by cgb

The memories do not return gently, they break through the barrier of his amnesia with brutal force, assailing him like a sharp, cold wind, freezing the extremities.

It seems nothing fails to trigger a memory. He crashes into a bulkhead as he rounds a corner and it reminds him of large stones falling.

Large stones - cut like Stonehenge - tumbling from their constraints and crushing the people below. It takes him a second to realise these people are his parents and that's something he needs (really doesn't need) to think about.

And then he was running. Something about his feet moving quickly beneath him made him think of Abydos: Abydos in the days before Jack came back. He taught the children to play baseball and Sha're impressed them all with a heck of an arm. The women of Abydos were always lifting things so her strength shouldn't have surprised him. But she always surprised him.

He needs to think of this too. He would like to grieve for his parents and remember life on Abydos but he has two hours before the isotope wears off and he becomes Jaffa public enemy number one and there are things that need his attention.

One of those things is Jonas Quinn. Jonas makes him think of burning, pain shooting up his arms, a screaming in his head only he can hear.

Another memory. He shuts it down like he did with the others, allowing himself a moment to ponder an incontrovertible fact: he once led an interesting life.

The ventilation shafts are safer than roaming the ship's passages but he finds running therapeutic and he tries to do it as much as he can. He runs through each passage until he finds a shaft exit and then he crawls for a while, using his time on all fours to review his latest memory and to consider the patch-worked puzzle that is Daniel Jackson.

He's not through thinking of himself as outside the name. The glasses, the uniform, the watch and the boots all fit but he can't help thinking that Jackson was someone who knew what he was doing and he hasn't got a clue what he's doing.

Ironically, he has a good memory. Or he has good memory technique because he memorised a plan of the ship by connecting his various routes via a mnemonic and now he's using it to find Jonas's cell. Only it's not actually working because he should be five levels from where he started and he's only seen three ventilation exits so maybe he's not as smart as he thinks he is.

He climbs another ventilation shaft and wonders whether the shafts come in doubles: two to a floor. He guesses he wasn't a frequent reader of alien floor plans in his past life.

He passes the first exit he encounters and climbs until he reaches the next. He checks the opening for signs of activity and then presses out the grating so he can let himself out. He runs again, past two bulkheads and round an arching corner. He hugs the walls, keeps his weapon trained in front of him. He rests when he finds a storeroom. His feet ache. He wonders if his shoes were always this heavy.

He takes up the search again, going just a little further until he finds the section where the cell is supposed to be. He slows down, leans back against the wall and inches himself forward.

He bends slightly in order to sneak a glimpse around the corner. Two guards stand at attention in the passageway. He can't see the door but he figures it's pay dirt. Finally.

He ducks into the room next door. There are boxes on the ground, pipes and shelving. Plenty to hide behind.

He whispers into the venting. "Jonas."


He knows nothing about the physiology of the beings inside those metal suits but he's counting on all that armour making for lousy auditory perception.

"Are you all right?"

"Fine. How about you?"


Jonas touches his arm. He has soft hands, a scientist not an archaeologist, not someone who works in the field. He says, "that's incredible" and his eyes are honest and open...


Daniel shudders. Did that happen? The memories are loose at times. Dreams and fantasies and television (Jack says, "You remember the Simpsons, right?") mix with each other to form sounds and images that may or may not be his experience.

And sometimes he knows how to tell them apart. And sometimes he doesn't.

His radio sparks to life and Sam's voice is in his ear. "You're going to need to get out of there," she says.

He thinks that should be obvious but he considers they do this sort of thing all the time so maybe they know better.

Sounds echo in the passageway outside. "Someone's coming." He says it loud enough for Sam and Jonas to hear. He ducks behind the shelving and hopes his breathing isn't as loud as he thinks it is.


Jonas puts his hand on Daniel's shoulder and leans forward to get a better look at the scrolls on the bench.

"What does this mean?" he says, pointing to a row of symbols on the side of the page.

"I can't be sure but I think it's the author's mark. These two symbols roughly translate to 'being in the house of' which I assume is a family name."

Jonas leans forward further and he's in Daniel's personal space. His hair is inches away and he smells like sandalwood and smoke.


He frowns at the floor in front of him. The images seem real. He should probably ask Jonas, and he wonders why he doesn't want to, why he wants to see how the story ends before he confronts the antagonist.

The ship shakes. There's the sound of hurried feet and the clanking of armour. The Jaffa are running.

The room grows quiet once more and Daniel takes the opportunity to sneak a peek into the hallway. He notices the guards outside Jonas's cell have gone. He finds Jonas standing at the entrance contemplating the depleted force field. Now or never.

Sam is the scientific one. He remembers that. She'd tell him how a force field worked and whether it would tear you in half if you tried to push through it. This thought may or may not have occurred to Jonas as he makes a run at it.

It's academic anyway. Jonas gets through with only bruises to show for the feat. He extends a hand, helps Jonas off the floor, and then he is running again.

The guards are everywhere. Daniel remembers the Jaffa. He remembers them in Apophis's jail, energy flying in all directions, Teal's face as he turned on his comrades.

He remembers they are usually a tightly regimented group that only break formation in extreme circumstances, which makes Daniel think that whatever's happened to the ship is definitely extreme. They need to get out of there.

Their first encounter is just beyond the next section. Jonas is fast and Daniel's reflexes are surprising and they manage to hold them off long enough to make it to the next ventilation shaft.

Daniel leans back against the walls of the shaft and thanks every higher power he can remember for small ventilation shafts and awe-inspiring, yet utterly useless, armour

"I don't think I've done this in a while," he tells Jonas.

"Well - no," Jonas says. His answer is cryptic but Daniel's existence (as it is) is cryptic so it fails to draw his curiosity. "Do you want to rest?"

"Just give me a moment."

"Okay." Jonas looks up and down the shaft. The angle prevents them from seeing too far into the chamber so there isn't much to look at. "I'm going to scout ahead." He doesn't wait for an answer. He's gone, athletically attacking the crawl space, a picture of boundless energy.


"What about this one?" Jonas produces another parchment.

Daniel takes off his glasses and rubs his eyes. He checks Earth time on his watch. They've been at this for seven hours.

"Do you - you know - sleep?"

Jonas takes in Daniel. "I'm sorry - you must be tired."

"I just don't think we need to translate your entire collection in one day."

"No of course not." Jonas is always smiling, even when he's not. His smile is etched into his features, like lines.

"I don't suppose you have coffee?"

Jonas smiles completely, teeth showing. "I don't know what that is, but I think I've got something better: Yapna."


"Trust me."

Jonas has a thermos-like vessel in his workshop and he fixes Daniel a warm drink. It's nutty and, quite definitely alcoholic. Not coffee but not exactly hot chocolate either. Daniel searches for appropriate similes. Nothing comes to mind.


The ship shakes again. He sees flashes of light at the end of the shaft. There are shouts and cries echoing down the corridor, rising in volume and frequency with each quake.

He takes his glasses off and rubs them against his BDUs.


He takes his glasses off and rubs them against his BDUs. Jonas promises to take him through the city museum tomorrow and Daniel promises to be back as soon as Hammond clears him for return.

Jonas shakes his hand and grasps Daniel's shoulder. "It's been a pleasure."

Daniel relishes the pressure. He thinks, Jonas has beautiful hands. He doesn't let go.

Jonas kisses him. At least, he thinks Jonas leaned forward first because they're kissing and it's happening and it's irrelevant how it started.

Jonas pushes him back against the workbench. He's got his hands on Daniel's stomach, tugging his t-shirt away from his fatigues. Daniel fumbles for his glasses, manages to take them off and leaves them on the workbench.

"God, Daniel," Jonas is breathing against his ear. "I've wanted to do this all day. I thought - I mean I never suspected..."

"Shut up," Daniel says, and he pulls Jonas toward him, kisses him hard.

Jonas pushes his knee between Daniel's legs and rubs his thigh against Daniel's groin, stroking Daniel's erection. Daniel's sexual experience ranges from fumbled encounters in the dorms of UIC (three girls, two boys) to a misspent affair with Sarah, to Sha're and to the nothing of life at the SGC. He thinks he may be out of his depth. And Jonas radiates confidence, like he does this all time. Jonas is an alien too. Dr Fraiser would probably give him one hundred reasons not to do this.

But he forgets to be sensible because Jonas has his hand down Daniel's pants and his tongue at Daniel's throat and the Yapna is making his head swim.

."You have interesting underwear." Jonas strokes him clumsily, negotiating the fly of Daniel's boxers with difficulty. He speaks into Daniel's neck, the warmth of his breath trails up to Daniel's ear.

"I've never thought of it that way."

He feels the pressure inside him building. Not now, he thinks and he takes Jonas by the shoulders and spins him around. He switches their places so that Jonas is jammed up against the workbench, his back toward him.

He's forceful but Jonas doesn't protest. He works the catch on Jonas's pants. It's a simple clasp. He thinks he's seen a dozen ways to hold men's clothing together and never has the method been overly complex. Maybe the design contemplates these circumstances. Things are always different with the women, of course. He thinks of Sha're and remembers Abydosian woman weren't fond of constraints either.

He wrestles Jonas's pants to his knees. He runs a hand over Jonas's ass, caresses the skin and takes satisfaction in hearing Jonas groan with need.

He slides his free hand under Jonas's arm and grips him by the shoulder, pulling him hard against him so that Jonas can feel his erection on his bare skin. He says, "I want to fuck you," and wonders if Jonas even knows what that means.

Jonas breathes sharply, says, "Yes - please, Daniel" and Daniel knows there are some words that mean the same in every culture.


Daniel runs his hand across his forehead. There's a sheen of sweat there. The ventilation shaft feels warm and maybe that's him but more likely there's a malfunction in the ship's climate control.

Jonas crawls toward him. "I found the ring room. Two levels up. Three rooms to the right and four guards."

"You crawled two levels up?"

"No, I accessed the ship's computer." Jonas takes in a flash of light at the end of the ventilation shaft. "Come on. We're running out of time."

Jonas goes to turn around again and Daniel grabs his arm. "Wait." Jonas stops. Daniel puts his glasses on again. "We were intimate."

Jonas waits for a moment and then nods, his usual half-smile on his face. "You remember."

"I'm remembering a lot of things." He thinks there are other things he wants to say. He wants to tell him it moved him, made him feel alive. Instead he says, "You never told them?"


"Why not?"

"It never came up - and besides, what did you think I'd say? You guys should like me - Daniel liked me. In fact Daniel..."

"I see your point."

Jonas's eyes drift to the end of the shaft again. He gives Daniel one of his serious looks. He only has one. "We can't stay here."

"Right." Daniel starts to move, gets onto his knees again and crawls after Jonas.


He remembers that first time. He remembers being in awe, being a lot curious and a little afraid. He was self conscious, waiting for them to judge him, to change their minds and say he wasn't fit to be on their mission. He wanted to be right, but most of all he wanted to be confident that he was right because they looked to him as the guy with the answers and it was all blown to hell if he wasn't.

He thought of stupid things: what if you never came back? What if you disappear? Who would miss you?

He moved, one foot in front of the other. It was only thing left for to do.


Jonas is packed and ready to depart when Daniel finds him. The door to his quarters is open and he's standing in the centre of his room staring at the light bulb, looking like he's just discovered it's there. He's still wearing fatigues and Daniel wonders if he ever had Kelownan clothes on Earth, if he missed them.

"Can I help you with anything?"

"No. I'm good." He takes his attention away from the light bulb and resumes the smile-face. "You want to carry something?"

"Okay." Daniel grabs the bag at Jonas's feet, feels its weight and raises his eyebrows. "You're taking my library."

"No, but I'm taking some literature."

"I'll send you anything you need."

"I know." He raises a hand to Daniel's shoulder, lets if rest there briefly before it slides away and falls to Jonas's side. "You're a good man, Daniel. You're one of a kind."

"So are you."

"Yeah," Jonas says. And it's just something to say.

Daniel takes hold of the bag and lifts it onto his shoulder. "Are you ready?"

"I guess so. Daniel?"


"Would you have told them - if they asked?"


Energy shoots out from the centre of the circle. They cover their eyes, cover themselves, arms across their bodies as if that would afford them protection. When they open their eyes it's just a pool of light, liquid and peaceful and shimmeringly beautiful. Surely nothing so beautiful could be dangerous.


"Yeah. I would. And I will. Does that bother you?"

"No." Jonas smiles again. His teeth flash white, shining shine brighter than the 100 watt light bulb in his now empty quarters. "Not at all."

The leave together and Jonas doesn't look back.


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