Title: Change Reaction
Date: August 16, 2003
Category: Missing Scene; some angst
Spoilers: Missing scene for Chain Reaction; also spoilers for Forever in a Day, Maternal Instinct, Crystal Skull, The First Ones, and The Curse.
Summary: Daniel has mixed feelings about the situation in Chain Reaction, until he gets a visit from a certain friend...
Archive: Gateview; Dan&Jan Archive; Heliopolis; anywhere else, please ask permission
Feedback: Yes, please!
Disclaimer: Stargate does not belong to me.
Author's note: This fic came about because I said something about being able to project D/J ship
into just about any episode of Stargate. A certain person :cough:Suzie:cough: challenged me to
write a missing scene fic for Chain Reaction. Little did she know I'd already had one in mind. ;)
Oh yeah, and I believe someone also put in a request for Janet. Playing. With Daniel's. Hair. ;)
*Many thanks to the wonderful Suzie, who is the world's best beta (and no, I'm not just saying that to suck up!); to my mom (aka Urgo), for oh so many reasons; to my dog Bodie, for giving her honest opinion; and last but not least, to Dax and Karen... you know why. ;)
Daniel Jackson could see that everyone he passed as he strode down the hallway toward his office, seasoned Air Force officers and timid scientists alike, took one look at his face and quickly scuttled out of his path. He didn't care. He was mad. No, he was more than mad... he was downright furious.
Brushing his shoulder roughly against the doorframe of his office as he passed through it, he marched straight over to his desk and slapped the notebook he'd been carrying down with such angry force that it sent half a dozen loose-leaf papers fluttering into the air. They landed unheeded at his feet as he paced the length of the room, his rushing adrenaline making it feel necessary to keep all of his limbs in constant motion. After a minute or so, his pent-up anger overwhelmed him, and with a loud curse he brought his fist down hard on the desk. Another curse quickly followed as he winced at the pain the action caused.
"Careful, Daniel," a voice spoke up from the doorway. "The last thing I need right now is for you to end up in the infirmary with self-inflicted injuries."
Daniel spun around to face the owner of the voice, knowing that if looks could kill he'd be up on murder charges. Dr. Janet Fraiser, however, didn't seem the least bit perturbed by his outburst. In fact, she looked slightly amused as she watched him shake his now-sore hand, gingerly opening and closing his fist as if subconsciously making sure it still worked. "Not funny," he said, his voice tight with both anger and pain.
Janet seemed to think differently. Her eyes twinkled as she asked, "Want me to take a look at that?"
"Thanks, no, I'm fine," Daniel responded, his tone laced with sarcasm. "Why are you here, anyway? Something I can do for you?" As soon as the words had come out of his mouth, he mentally kicked himself for them. It was hardly Janet's fault that he was in a lousy mood, yet here he was snapping at her. 'Nice one, Daniel,' he thought to himself. 'You're mad at Bauer so you take it out on Janet. Oh yeah, that's the perfect way to win the fair maiden's heart.'
Janet, however, remained unfazed. "Actually, I came to see how you were dealing with all of this," she said. "Obviously not well."
Daniel nodded and rolled his eyes. "I take it you've heard the news, then?" he said, trying without success to take the angry edge out of his tone. "That General Bauer is wasting no time in turning the SGC upside down and inside out? That SG-1 has been disbanded without Jack even having a say in the matter? That Sam's been ordered to go against everything she stands for and build a Naquada bomb enhanced by what he calls 'nuclear ordinance'? That Teal'c's been shunted off onto SG-3? And that I, apparently, 'have no place on a front line unit,' and from now on will be stuck in this office, unless absolutely necessary, working as a consultant?" He spat the word "consultant" out of his mouth as though it was one of the most distasteful words he'd ever spoken.
"Yes, I heard."
"What is that supposed to mean, anyway... 'an archaeologist has no place on a front line unit'? I mean, what does he think I've been doing the past four years, just tagging along for the ride?" Daniel was pacing again, his feeble attempt at controlling his temper long forgotten. "General Hammond kept us together for a reason. We're a team, and each one of us brings something unique, something important that can mean the difference between life and death for not only ourselves, but for entire worlds, depending on the situation. By taking the scientists and civilians off all the off-world teams, he's severely tipped the balance between exploration and subjugation... who knows what's going to happen to the program now that they're sending purely military teams through the gate! I mean, what's the first thing they're going to do if they come across a race of people they don't understand? Shoot first and ask questions later? They need the non-military perspective out there on the so-called 'front line'! Why can't he see that?!"
Daniel's ranting came to an abrupt halt when he felt a light touch on his arm. "Daniel," Janet said, her voice gentle, yet surprisingly firm.
The action took him by surprise; he hadn't even noticed that she was no longer standing in the doorway but had entered the room. His eyes immediately locked with hers, and he felt his expression soften the instant they did so. Just one touch, one word from this woman, and all of his anger seemed to drain away, leaving him with a sudden, overwhelming feeling of exhaustion and sadness. "I'm sorry," he said with a sigh. "I'm sorry, I shouldn't have ranted at you like that." He slowly crossed the room to stand once again at his desk, resting his fists on its surface and hanging his head in defeat.
"It's alright," she reassured him. "You have good reason to be upset, and if talking about it helps... I'm all ears."
Daniel hesitated a moment before speaking again, taking a deep breath in the hopes that it would ensure his voice remained steady. "I don't know, Janet, I just... I feel as though my life is unraveling before my eyes, and I'm powerless to stop it. I mean, SG-1 is... it's my life. It's all I have. To have it taken away like this by some... arrogant jerk who doesn't have a clue what he's getting himself into..." He stopped and shook his head, turning around to sit on the edge of the desk. "I don't know..." he repeated, taking off his glasses and wearily pinching the bridge of his nose. "I feel like my whole world is being taken away from me these past few months, piece by piece."
This statement came as a bit of a revelation to Daniel. He hadn't known he'd been feeling that way until he actually said the words aloud, but it was true. First Sha're, the Harcesis child, Nick, Rothman, Sarah, and now General Hammond and SG-1... all of the people who meant the most to him were being taken away, one by one.
Janet had come to stand beside him by then, and she laid a sympathetic hand on his arm, just above his wrist. He was looking down at his hands where they rested in his lap as she did so, yet her nearness somehow failed to register with his mind until she spoke. "I'm still here," she said.
Daniel, startled by her words and the softness of her tone, looked up and found himself simply staring into her eyes, not fully believing she'd said what he thought she'd said.
"For what little that's worth," she added with a shrug and a slight smile.
'Ah, so it was just a light, friendly comment,' Daniel thought, grasping at reason in the hopes that it would quell his surging emotions. 'She's a friend... friends say that kind of thing to each other all the time. They see someone hurting; they try to cheer them up. That's all this is.' He forced a tiny smile in return and laid his hand over hers, where it still rested on his arm. "Thanks, Janet."
"Besides," Janet continued, "it's not like you've lost SG-1 completely, right? Just because you'll be working out of your office from now on doesn't mean you'll never see them again. Sam's working on this Naquada bomb, but she's still around the base. Teal'c may go off on missions with another team now, but the base is still his home. Colonel O'Neill is... where is Colonel O'Neill, anyway? I saw him leave a few minutes ago."
"General Bauer sent him off on leave for a little while. I spoke to him just before he left, and he said he was going to try talking to Hammond, hopefully find out what's really going on here."
"Does he suspect some kind of conspiracy?"
Daniel nodded thoughtfully. "This whole thing is happening way too fast. It's like it's all been planned in advance."
"Including General Hammond's sudden retirement?"
"Jack seems pretty sure of it, yeah."
"There, you see?" Janet said, giving his arm a slight squeeze. "If Colonel O'Neill's looking into it, then there's still a chance that all of this can be put right. Right?"
Daniel gave a vague nod, but his mind had already wandered elsewhere. What if there really was a conspiracy in the works? What if General Bauer did know what he was doing? And what if Jack couldn't put it right? These questions and a thousand others flooded Daniel's mind all at once, filling him with concern and doubt.
Janet seemed to sense his growing anxiety as she silently gazed at him for a few moments. Finally, she spoke again, her voice dragging Daniel's thoughts back to the present. "Come here," she said, wrapping her arms around his neck and gently drawing him toward herself.
Once again, Daniel was startled by the unexpected action. He really wasn't sure whether this was intended to be just a friendly hug or something more, but by that point he didn't really care. After only a moment's hesitation, he wrapped his arms securely around her, drinking in the feel of her... breathing in the smell of her. For weeks he'd been longing to hold her - ever since she'd accompanied him to Egypt and she had fallen asleep beside him on the plane, unknowingly leaning her head against his shoulder for almost the entire trip there. He'd sat for hours watching her sleep, and those few hours had changed the way he saw this woman forever. He'd finally realized just how much she'd come to mean to him, and that he didn't just want her as his friend; he just didn't think there was any possible way that she could ever feel the same for him as he felt for her.
But now... now he wasn't so sure. 'Ohhhhh...' he thought, letting out a deep breath as a long, soft sigh as her fingertips began massaging the back of his neck, slowly tracing circles from his collar up past his hairline that sent a shiver down his spine, 'I don't think friends do that.'
"Don't give up hope just yet, Daniel," she murmured into his ear. "I'm sure everything will turn out just fine."
"I hope you're right," Daniel said, holding her just a little bit tighter as he truly did begin to grow afraid that she was about to be taken away from him as well. After all, this couldn't be real... could it? Oh, how he wished this moment could last forever.
"I know I'm right," she said, pulling back from him slightly until he reluctantly had to release his hold on her. She rested her hands on either side of his neck, forcing him to look straight at her. "I don't want you to be mopey and miserable or angry and resentful about all this anymore. Is that clear?" she said, her stern, don't-mess-with-the-doc look on her face.
Daniel could tell she was half-teasing, but half-serious as well. He couldn't help but smile as he replied, "Yes, ma'am."
"Good." Her eyes twinkled with humour, but she kept a straight face as she lowered her hands and backed up a step. "Now, I want you to get on with the work you've been assigned, and do a darned good job of it, too," she commanded him, pointing at the notebook he'd thrown onto his desk minutes earlier.
Daniel nodded in submission. "Right."
"And clean up this mess while you're at it," she added as she turned to go, looking at the papers lying on the floor, most of which now had footprints on them.
Before he could stop himself, Daniel suddenly reached out and grabbed her arm, not wanting her to leave. "Janet?"
She stopped and turned back toward him, looking up into his face expectantly. "Mm hmm?"
Their eye contact took Daniel off-guard for a moment, and he found himself mesmerized by the open, innocent way she was searching his face. There were a thousand things he wanted to say to her, yet at the same time he didn't want to say anything at all. He simply wanted to take her in his arms again and never let her go. But he just wasn't sure...
"Thanks again," he heard himself say after a few moments - moments that felt more like hours than seconds - had passed.
Janet smiled sweetly up at him. "Anytime, Daniel." With that, she turned and left the room.
Daniel watched her walk away, clenching his fists and gritting his teeth to stop himself from calling her back or going after her. As soon as she was gone, he sank down into his chair and took a long, deep breath. Letting it out with a loud whoosh, he laid his arms on top of the desk and dropped his head down onto them, replaying the events of the last five minutes in his mind.
He couldn't deny that every word she'd said was true. SG-1 may have been disbanded, but at least they were all still there. They were friends, not just co-workers, and even if Jack wasn't able to get to the bottom of what was going on and put it right, they'd all still see each other as much as possible.
It suddenly occurred to him that this must be how Janet felt about staying behind on the base while her friends and colleagues traveled to worlds unknown, never knowing whether she would see them again. Maybe the things he thought she'd been saying simply to cheer him up were the things she said to herself whenever she felt isolated or alone when her closest friends were either off-world or just too busy around the base to spend any time with her outside of the infirmary.
His head snapped up in wonder as another realization dawned; maybe Janet was actually looking forward to having him and Sam around the base more now that they were no longer active members of an off-world team. Maybe her little visit hadn't just been to see how he was dealing with everything, but was a sign of things to come. Maybe...
Maybe being confined to the base wouldn't be such a bad thing after all.
He smiled to himself as his thoughts drifted back to the sensation of her fingertips playing over his neck and running through his hair. 'No,' he thought contentedly, 'friends don't do that.'