Stargate Horizons


Jack, Sam and Teal'c met in front of Daniel's room.

"Do you think he'll be willing to see us, sir?" Sam asked.

"I don't know," Jack replied.  His expression firmed.  "Either way, we're going to talk to him.  We need to get this straightened out."

The colonel turned to the door, lifting his hand to knock.  A sudden outcry startled them all.  Jack quickly ran his keycard through the slot and threw the door open, rushing in with Sam and Teal'c on his heels.  Daniel was in the bed, the covers twisted about him.  He was sobbing brokenly.

"Let me out!" he cried.  "Please don't leave me here alone.  Jack, Sam, Teal'c!  Pleeeease."

"Oh, God," Sam whispered, tears welling up in her eyes.

Jack went the bed and started gently shaking his friend's shoulder.  "Daniel, wake up.  It's just a dream. You're not there anymore."  When the archeologist didn't respond, he raised his voice and shook a little harder.  "Come on, Daniel.  Wake up!"

Daniel drew in a sharp, gasping breath, and his eyes flew open.  Jack saw an expression of abject terror and anguish in the blue depths before it changed to confusion.  Daniel's gaze locked upon his like a man about to fall over a cliff grasping hold of a rope.

"Jack?"  The archeologist's voice was small and scared.

"Yeah, Danny, it's me.  I'm right here."

Daniel's eyes darted wildly about the room.  "What. . . .  Oh."  He shrugged out of Jack's grasp and wiped away his tears.  "Sorry."

"Sorry?  What the hell are you apologizing for, Daniel?  You were having a nightmare."

With some difficulty, Daniel untangled himself from the covers and slid upwards so that his back was against the headboard.  His gaze had fallen to the bed.

Jack studied him for a long moment.  "How often do you have these nightmares, Daniel?"

"I'm okay," Daniel quickly responded, so quickly that Jack wondered what the younger man was thinking.

"Not from where I'm standing," Jack told him bluntly, "but that isn't the question I asked.  How often do you have the nightmares?"

Daniel lifted his eyes and stared at him, meeting his gaze head-on for the first time in days.  "Why do you want to know?  So that you can tell MacKenzie, and he can come up with new theory?"

Jack closed his eyes.  'Crap.'

"I'm sorry," Daniel said.  His gaze was back on the bedcovers.  "I shouldn't have said that."  He let out a choked little laugh.  "I seem to be putting my foot in my mouth a lot today."

Jack stared at his friend.  "No, Daniel, I'm the one who's sorry.  I am so damn sorry that happened to you.  I'm sorry that we let it happen to you.  Don't you think that we would do anything to turn back time and change it?  I didn't want to believe MacKenzie's theory, but in the VIP room. . . .  I didn't know what to do, Daniel.  There was no enemy to fight, no strategy I could plan out to rescue you."

Daniel looked at them with eyes that were more accusing than questioning.  "Why didn't any of you think that it was because of something alien?"

"I don't know, Daniel," Sam admitted.  "I know we should have.  It was stupid of us not to.  But, except for the dopamine levels, your tests all came back negative, and Janet believed that MacKenzie's theory was the only logical answer."

Daniel stiffened and dropped his gaze.  His knees came up, his arms withdrawing into his own little cocoon.  "So, because Janet believed him, you did, too.  Just like that."

"No, Daniel, not just like that," Jack declared firmly.  "I didn't buy MacKenzie's theory, and I know that Carter and Teal'c didn't want to either."

"But you didn't try to find another reason."

Jack let out a sad sigh.  "No, not until after they took you away.  I thought about what you'd said on the planet, about feeling something brush by you."

Daniel recalled Sam telling him that in the padded cell.  He looked at Jack.  "But you didn't really do anything about it, did you."

Guilt made it impossible for Jack to maintain eye contact.  No, he didn't do a damn thing, none of them did.  During the whole time that Daniel was in that padded room, all he, Carter and Teal'c did was talk.  They should have gone to Hammond and asked that they be allowed to investigate.  They should have told Janet about what Daniel said on the planet.  More than that, they should have pointed out to her that her stupid tests might not be infallible.

Seeing the answer to his question on Jack's face, Daniel returned his gaze to a spot on his bent knees.

Jack knew that he had to say something.  "Daniel, I swear that, even if Teal'c hadn't gotten sick, we wouldn't have just given up on you.  We'd have looked for connections to what happened on the planet."

Daniel wanted to believe that, but he wasn't sure if he could.  "You didn't believe me before when I said it had something to do with the Linvris."

"Daniel, you thought that nine dead Goa'uld all wanted you for a host," Jack reminded him gently.

Daniel let out a sigh.  "Yeah, I guess it's no surprise that you thought I was insane."

Jack looked at him intently.  "I didn't, Daniel.  I didn't think you were insane."

Daniel's piercing blue eyes skewered him.  "Not even when you saw me in that . . . that room?"

Yet again, Jack found that he was unable to continue meeting his friend's eyes.

A heartbreakingly sad smile curved Daniel's lips.  "That's what I thought."  He wrapped his arms around his chest in a self-hug and ducked his head.

'Dammit,' Jack cursed to himself.  "Daniel, I may have believed at that point that you were . . . nuts, but I still didn't want to believe that it was only because of going through the Stargate."

"Neither did I," Sam stated.

"Nor I," Teal'c added.

"We were all floundering, Daniel.  None of us know much about mental illness, what causes it.  Even the experts don't know a lot of things.  We'd never encountered anything on a planet that drove people insane, so we didn't know what could be causing it."

"But those are just excuses," Jack stated.  "We screwed up, all of us.  I know that no matter how many times we say 'I'm sorry', it isn't going to make up for that, but I hope that you can give us another chance."

Daniel did not speak for several seconds, trying with all his might to hold together his crumbling self-control.  "I-I don't know if I can," he admitted.  "I don't know if—"  His breath caught, his eyes clamping shut as his emotions quite suddenly overflowed.  "I was so scared," he whispered.  "All my life, ever since Mom and Dad died, the one thing I had that never failed me, the thing I could always count on, was my mind, my ability to reason.  But then it failed me, too.  I couldn't think.  I couldn't concentrate.  I saw and heard things that weren't there.  I couldn't trust my own mind anymore."  Daniel's tears finally started leaking out.  "I wanted someone to tell me that it was all a mistake, that I wasn't really crazy, and they were going to find a cure.  But nobody did, nobody did anything to help, and I was so afraid that I was going to be like that forever."

Jack felt his heart tear wide open.  He grasped his friend's shoulder tightly.  "God, Daniel.  I'm sorry."

Sam came around to the other side of the bed and wrapped her arms around the archeologist, tears pouring down her face.  Teal'c laid a gentle, comforting hand on Daniel's leg.

"We're so sorry, Daniel," Sam said in a voice choked with anguish.  "Please forgive us."

A sob caught in Daniel's throat.  A part of him wanted to just let go, to allow his teammates to give him the comfort that he had so desperately needed from them before.  But the other part of him, the part that still bore the feelings of pain and betrayal, wouldn't let him.

With an effort, Daniel regained control of his emotions and pulled away.  Though she really didn't want to, Sam released him.  He wiped his face dry, too embarrassed to look at any of them.  His friends watched as he visibly reconstructed the walls, withdrawing back into himself.  It hurt terribly to see it happen, especially knowing that the reason for it rested squarely on their shoulders, the people he should have been able to trust implicitly.

"Do you want us to let you get some more rest?" Jack asked, recognizing that the younger man needed to be alone.  His question was answered by a faint nod of the head.

Sam reached out a hand to touch Daniel's hair, but halted midway.  With an inaudible sigh, she dropped her hand back to her side.  As she wiped away her tears, she turned and headed out of the room, followed by her two teammates.

"God, this is horrible," Sam said after the door was closed behind them.  "We hurt him so much.  Do you think he'll ever be able to give us another chance?"

"I don't know, Carter," Jack answered wearily.  "I really don't know."  He looked at the door.  "I've never seen him like that before, except for when he was all messed up by the sarcophagus.  He's so. . . ."  'Fragile' was the word that came to his mind but was left unspoken.

Though he had not finished his thought, Sam knew what he meant.  "Janet said that some of the chemical imbalances are still affecting him.  His serotonin level is low, and that can cause depression.  She hopes that it will get back to normal soon."

Jack wanted to hope that, once Daniel was back to normal physically, everything would be fine and he would immediately forgive them all, but the colonel wasn't that naive.  He knew that, though the chemical imbalances might be affecting Daniel's emotional state, the anger, bitterness, and pain were real and would not magically disappear.

Jack, Sam and Teal'c walked away, hoping that, somehow, Daniel would find in his heart the ability to forgive them.

For the rest of that day, Daniel stayed cloistered away in the VIP room.  He tried to rest, but his sleep was filled with nightmares of being left alone in the padded cell, all his friends looking at him pityingly as he fell deeper and deeper into madness.  People he knew from the archeological community were there, commenting on how he'd always been crazy, and it had only been a matter of time before he cracked completely.  The worst dreams of all were the ones where his teammates called him crazy, and then Sha're came in and said the same thing, laughing at him and telling him she was going back to Apophis.

He thought about doing something to take his mind off everything, but, even if he could move around well, he lacked the desire to do much of anything, so he stayed mostly in bed, even his attempts to watch TV not helping.

It was nearly nine p.m. when Daniel picked up the journal again.  He tore out one of the pages and began to write.

Dear General Hammond,
I respectfully request that I be transferred from SG-1.  After what happened, I feel that I can no longer be a part of the team.

Daniel stopped writing and stared at the words, feeling like they were a betrayal of Sha're and his quest to save her.

Sudden anger ripped a sharp curse from his throat.  He crumpled up the paper in his fist and threw it across the room.  It hit the door and landed a few feet away.

A knock on the same door startled him.  He hesitated before telling the person to enter.  The door opened to reveal General Hammond.

"Good evening, Doctor Jackson.  I hope I didn't wake you."

Surprised by the man's visit, Daniel said, "Um, no, I was awake."

Hammond noticed the piece of paper and picked it up.  When he spied his name on it, he partly smoothed it out and read the words.  A sad, silent sigh escaped his lips as he lifted his gaze to Daniel, who was now staring at his lap.  The general wheeled a chair over beside the bed.

"Doctor Jackson . . . Daniel.  I cannot begin to express how sorry I am about what happened.  I know that I had a part in it, too.  As the commander of this base, it is my responsibility to look out for the welfare of my people.  It is my job to question what's going on, to look at all sides of an issue and not accept things at face value.  I knew that Colonel O'Neill did not believe Doctor MacKensie's theory and that your other teammates had doubts as well.  I knew that you believed your symptoms were connected to what happened on your mission.  In these years that I've known the four of you, I have come to trust your judgment and your instincts.  Time and again they have proven to be right.  Yet, instead of questioning that theory of Stargate-induced schizophrenia and considering that there might be another explanation, I chose to accept it.  In doing so, I failed in my duty to you, as your commander . . . and as your friend."

Surprised by those last words, Daniel looked at the man.  He could see sorrow and deep regret in the pale blue eyes.

"I know how much this is hurting your teammates, Daniel.  They care about you very much.  Doctor Fraiser cares as well.  If it was possible, every one of us would do everything in our power to change what happened.  But, sadly, we don't have that ability.  All we can do is make sure that something like this never happens again."

The general leaned forward.  "I cannot ask you to forgive any of us for the way we failed you.  I don't have that right.  I can only ask that you give us one thing: time.  I know that you're hurting and angry, but please don't rush into a decision that you may regret later.  Once you're well, if you want some time away, I will be glad to give you some leave, as many days as you need."  Hammond looked deeply into the archeologist's eyes.  "Don't give up on SG-1 yet, Daniel.  That's all I ask of you."

Daniel's gaze fell from the older man's.  He drew in a slightly unsteady breath and nodded once.

"Thank you," General Hammond said.  He got to his feet.  "Is there anything I can get for you?"

"No, sir."

"All right, then.  I'll let you get some sleep."

After the general had gone, Daniel stared at nothing in particular.  He knew that Hammond was right.  He shouldn't make any decisions now.  His emotions were still too close to the surface.

He reached for the light and turned it off.  In the darkness, Daniel wondered how long it would be before he didn't hurt so much.

The next day passed slowly, not just for Daniel but also for his teammates.  They wanted to see him, but they had all agreed to let him be the one to reach out to them.  When he was ready to see them, he would call.

The symptoms caused by the NMS were gradually fading, Daniel's muscles slowly loosening, the tremors disappearing.  He began to exercise, hoping that it would help.  He focused his whole will upon it, trying to force the stiffness and rigidity from his body.  It didn't seem to do much good, but he kept at it since the exercise served another purpose as well: keeping his mind occupied.

Daniel was not the only one who spent a lot of time exercising.  Jack was in the gym that day way more than usual.  He pushed himself mercilessly, ignoring the ache in his muscles and the exhaustion of his body.

While he was hitting the weights, Sam was in her lab, working nonstop.  Every time she paused, her guilt and shame would return full force, and she'd feel like hitting something.  Teal'c spent most of the day in his room.  Several times, he attempted Kel'no'reem, but found that he could not achieve a full state of relaxation.

As for Janet, because of her distracted thoughts, she chose to go home early.  Cassie was very surprised when she came home from school and found her mother there.

"Mom, what's wrong?" she asked.  "Why won't you tell me?"

Janet gazed at her adopted daughter.  This was not the first time that the teenager had asked that question.  The day that Daniel was taken away to the psychiatric ward, Cassie had seen immediately that Janet was upset about something.  The doctor hadn't had the heart to tell her daughter about Daniel's condition, so she said that she couldn't say anything because of doctor-patient confidentiality.

Janet sighed quietly.  "I made a mistake, Cassie, a terrible mistake."

Cassie sat on the couch beside her.  "What kind of mistake?"

"A misdiagnosis.  Because of it, someone was . . . hurt very deeply."

"They didn't die, did they?"

"No, thank God, but he suffered something that . . . that may have lasting repercussions."

Seeing the sorrow and guilt on Janet's face, Cassie put an arm around her.  "But you didn't do it on purpose, Mom.  It was a mistake."

"When doctors make mistakes, Cassie, it can destroy lives.  I've made mistakes in the past.  No doctor is perfect.  But, this one was inexcusable."

Cassie didn't know what to say, so she just kept holding her mother.  She could only hope that, whatever this mistake was, everything would turn out all right in the end.

It was after midnight by the time Daniel went to bed, utterly exhausted.  Within minutes, he fell into the first deep, dreamless sleep he'd had in days.  He woke up the next morning feeling better than he had since his collapse.  He was still far from normal, but he almost felt good enough to venture out of his room.  Maybe tomorrow he would, actually eat in the commissary instead of having someone bring food to him.  And a shower.  He was dying for a shower, but Janet had laid down the law that he was not to take one without someone there to aid him, and since having some nurse help him shower was not exactly a comfortable thought, he'd chosen to do without one, making due with a washcloth instead.

As the day progressed, much of it spent exercising, Daniel did a lot of soul searching, about his teammates and himself.  He thought about how Jack had stayed with him in the VIP room, refusing to leave him alone.  He recalled the anguish he'd seen on Sam's face when they visited him at Mental Health, how she looked like she was going to cry.  He remembered the gentleness of Teal'c's voice when the Jaffa told Daniel that there was no one in the room except his friends.  In those moments, they had all been friends to him, and they had shown how much they cared.  Yes, it was true that they had failed to search for other causes for his illness like they should have, but was he willing to throw away their friendships because of that?

Daniel knew that he needed to talk to them again.  There were questions for which he needed to know the answer if he could ever hope to get past what happened and move on.

It was late that afternoon when Daniel finally decided that he felt up to talking to them.  His call to them resulted in a knock on his door only a few minutes later.

Daniel could see the tension in Jack and Sam as they and Teal'c stood before him.

"I spent a lot of time thinking today," he said.  His eyes met Jack's.  "You said that you hoped I could come to trust you again, Jack, but what about you?  Can you trust me?"

The colonel frowned in puzzlement.  "I don't understand what you mean."

"What if, on a mission, I hear or see something that none of the rest of you do?  What if I have a bad feeling about something that you don't share?  Will you be willing to consider that there's something to it or just think it's all in my head?"

Caught off-guard by the question, Jack didn't know what to say, so Sam was the first to speak.

"I'd listen to you, Daniel," she assured him.  "You know I always listen to your thoughts and trust your instincts.  How could I not when you're right so many times?  What happened wouldn't change that."

"I, too, have always listened to and trusted your words," Teal'c said, "and I have learned, that, more times than not, you are correct.  Your mind is sound, and your wisdom remains.  I see no reason why my trust in you would change."

Daniel returned his gaze to Jack.

"Daniel, you know me," the colonel said.  "You know that, unless I see it or hear it or feel it myself, I sometimes have a hard time believing some things, especially stuff that sounds a little crazy.  That's the way I've always been."

"Yes, but what about now, Jack?  Before this happened, if I told you on a mission that I thought I'd heard footsteps inside an empty building, you'd have double-checked the place, then, if you didn't find anything, you'd have told me that I probably just heard the walls creaking or something.  But what about now?  What would you do?"

"I don't know for sure what I'd do.  It would all depend on the circumstances."  Jack met his friend's eyes.  "But I would never doubt your sanity just because of this whole thing with Ma'chello's little slugs."

Daniel's gaze dropped to his clasped hands.  He wanted to believe them, but he couldn't be sure if they would follow through on their declarations if something really did happen.  He worried that there would always be a hint of doubt in their minds.

"Daniel, please don't leave SG-1," Sam pleaded.  "We need you."

The archeologist didn't reply for a moment.  "I don't know what I'm going to do yet.  I'm afraid of what you and everyone else will think if something like this ever happens again.  I'm not sure if I can trust you to believe that there's nothing wrong with me no matter how crazy something I might tell you is.  And I don't know if . . . if I can trust you with my theories and beliefs anymore."

Daniel's confession hit them all hard, driving home how deeply their betrayal of his trust had wounded him.

"I'm so sorry, Daniel," Sam sighed.

"I understand how you feel," Jack said.  "If I was in your shoes, I'd probably feel the same way.  But I promise you that I trust you.  I may not always agree with you or believe that you're right about something, but I trust you."  He searched his friend's face.  "Don't give up on us, Daniel.  Please."

When his words were met with only silence, Jack and the others decided it was time to leave.

As they headed for the door, Sam paused.  "Daniel, you need to talk to Janet," she said.  "She feels terrible about what happened."

"She's thinking about leaving the SGC," Jack added.

Surprised, Daniel's gaze lifted to Jack.  "She is?"

"She feels that it was incompetence on her part that put you in Mental Health and almost ended up killing you," Sam told him.  She looked at the archeologist intently.  "She's a good doctor, Daniel.  She just made a mistake by listening to MacKenzie."

After his teammates were gone, Daniel sat in silence for a long time.  Could he stay with SG-1?  Could he put all this behind him and come to trust them as he once did?

Once before Daniel had questioned whether or not he could remain on SG-1, only, that time, he was the one who had betrayed his teammates.  After the incident with the sarcophagus addiction, Daniel had believed that he could never regain his team's trust and that he didn't deserve that trust.  But his team's faith in him had not been destroyed, and they had welcomed him back into their fold.  So, could he do the same?  Could he give them another chance?

Daniel knew that Sam, Jack and Teal'c were still his friends.  He knew that they cared about him, just as he cared about them.  If he didn't care, he wouldn't have volunteered to go into the isolation room after Jack, Sam and Janet were infected with more of Ma'chello's Goa'uld killers.

Daniel also knew that, if he ever got into trouble on a mission, his teammates would be there for him.  They would protect him, just as they always had.  That trust in them was never lost.

Daniel's thoughts turned to Janet.  Unlike Sam, Jack and Teal'c, she had fully accepted MacKenzie's theory.  She stood back and allowed him to be taken away, then left him in that place without even trying to come up with another explanation.  Could he forgive her for that?  Could he give her a second chance?  He had trusted her without question, because she was his doctor, because she had fought so many times to help him when he was ill or injured, because she had become his friend.  When she found out what Hathor had done to him, she was there with her compassion and support.  When he fought the addiction to the sarcophagus, she was there at his side, fighting right along with him.  When he was in Ma'chello's dying body, she fought with all her might to save him, never giving up.  But, this time, she wasn't there at his side, and she did give up.  He had to talk to her.  He had to know why.

Picking up the phone, he called the infirmary and told the person who answered to have Janet come see him when she had the chance.

Janet arrived about an hour later.  For several seconds after she came in and shut the door, they just looked at each other.

"Why, Janet?" Daniel finally asked.

He didn't have to explain the meaning of his question.  The doctor already knew.  "Daniel, I ran every test I could think of, a CT scan, MRI, EEG, just about every blood test under the sun, and I couldn't find anything, nothing except the elevated dopamine levels.  When I contacted Doctor MacKenzie, he told me about his research on Stargate travel causing side effects.  He believed that what was happening to you might be linked to it."  Janet gazed at him earnestly.  "Daniel, I just didn't have any other answer."

Daniel's gaze fell from hers.  "So you gave up.  You never even considered that there might have been something else, something that your tests wouldn't show."

Janet's voice was full of anguish.  "Daniel, I'm so sorry.  I can't tell you how sorry I am.  I believed in the evidence that the tests showed.  I had nothing else to go by.  I know that it was a mistake, and I gave up too quickly.  I know it was foolish of me not to consider that there could be a hidden cause, especially after everything I've seen.  There are no excuses for what I did.  I failed you.  I will never forget that, because of that failure, you might have lived the rest of your life in a mental ward.  Because of what I didn't do, you almost died.  I made a terrible mistake, and you paid the price.  I will never forgive myself for that."

There was a long silence.  It was Daniel who broke it.

"Jack said that you were thinking of quitting the SGC," he said.


"I've been thinking about quitting SG-1."

Janet shook her head.  "No, Daniel.  Please don't.  I know you're angry with Sam, Teal'c and Colonel O'Neill for not doing anything to prevent you from being taken away, but there's really nothing they could have done.  It was my decision, mine and Doctor MacKenzie's.  Doctor MacKenzie believed that he could better help you there."

Daniel choked out a laugh, staring at Janet in disbelief.  "Help me?  He sedated me into insensibility, pumped me full of drugs that made me even worse, and tossed me into a padded cell where I was left completely alone except for when someone came in to stick more needles into me.  I wanted so badly for someone to tell me that I was going to be okay, that they were doing something to help me.  But all MacKenzie did was give me more and more drugs.  By the time Jack, Sam and Teal'c came to visit me, I didn't have any hope left.  I knew that they were never going to believe that the Linvris had something to do with what was causing the schizophrenia.  And I was so afraid that I really was insane and would be that way for the rest of my life.  Was that helping me, Janet?  Was it?"

Janet closed her eyes, feeling sick.  She'd made a horrible, horrible mistake, and, because of it, Daniel was forced to suffer through something from which he would probably never fully recover.

"I'm so sorry," she whispered again.  She turned to leave.  Her hand was on the doorknob when Daniel's voice halted her.

"If it hadn't been for MacKenzie's theory about side effects from Stargate travel, what would you have done?" he asked.

Janet turned back to him.  "I'm not sure.  The elevated dopamine levels coupled with your paranoid delusions and hallucinations would have led me to a diagnosis of schizophrenia, but because there is no history of the disease in your family, I'd have known that something else was causing it and tried to figure out what, especially since it came on so suddenly, without warning."

"So, it was because of what MacKenzie told you that you didn't look any further."

Janet thought about it for a moment.  "Yes, I guess it was," she admitted.

There were several seconds of silence, then Daniel met the doctor's eyes.  "I felt like you betrayed my trust, Janet, like you failed and abandoned me," her eyes fell from his, "and I don't know how long it's going to take for me to trust you enough to be completely honest if I'm feeling weird or have strange symptoms after a mission."

Janet gazed at him sorrowfully, not surprised by his words.  They were what she would have expected.

Daniel lifted his eyes to hers.  "But I understand now that you were just following the evidence, which seemed to support what MacKenzie was saying.  I've always believed in giving people second chances, and I'm . . . I'm willing to give you one, too."

Janet gasped as she stared at him in surprise.

"Don't leave the SGC, Janet.  We need you here," Daniel finished quietly.

Janet's eyes filled with tears, only, this time, they were tears of relief.  She felt like a giant weight had been lifted from her soul.  She came forward and, for the first time since they'd known each other, wrapped Daniel in a tight hug.  To hell with the rule about not becoming emotionally attached to your patients.  She'd thrown out that rule a long time ago when it came to Daniel and his teammates.

Daniel returned the hug.  They drew apart after only a few seconds.  Janet looked down at him.

"Thank you, Daniel.  I know that a lot of people in your place wouldn't give me another chance."

Just then, the phone rang.  Daniel answered it.

"It's for you," he said, handing the phone to the doctor.  She talked with the other person for a moment, then hung up.

"I need to get back to the infirmary.  There was a little accident in the kitchen."

"Anything serious?"

"No, just some minor burns that need to be treated.  Before I go, is there anything I can have someone get for you?"

"No, I'm fine."  He thought of something.  "Actually, there is one thing.  Can I please take a shower?  By myself?  I'm moving around a lot better now, and I promise I'll be careful."

Janet hesitated before replying.  "All right.  Just be very careful.  I don't want you falling and ending up back in the infirmary."


As Janet turned to leave, Daniel suddenly thought of something else.  "Janet, you mentioned that there's no history of schizophrenia in my family.  Did you check on that yourself or was it MacKenzie who did?"

"Doctor MacKenzie checked on it."

Daniel stared at her.  "What about other mental illnesses in the family?  Would that have been a factor in diagnosing me?"

"It all depends on the illness.  Any kind of mental illness that involved delusions or hallucinations would be an important factor, as would a family history of mental breakdowns.  Why do you ask?"

A deep frown had etched into Daniel's forehead.  "Just . . . something I was wondering about."  His expression smoothed out.  "Thanks, Janet."

The doctor paused a moment, then nodded and left.  Daniel's frown remained on his face.  A suspicion was beginning to form in his mind, one that filled him with anger.  If he was right, he was sure as hell not going to let it pass.  But that was something that could wait.  Right now, he needed to talk to his teammates again.

Daniel called Sam's lab.  "Sam?  It's Daniel.  I need to talk to you guys again."

There was a brief pause.  "Okay, Daniel.  When do you want us to come?"

"Whenever's best for you.  I'm not planning on going anywhere any time soon."

"All right.  I'll talk to the colonel and Teal'c.  We'll be by in a while."

"A while" turned out to be a mere five minutes later.  Daniel would have laughed at their speedy arrival if the reason for it hadn't been so serious.

Daniel's teammates looked at him expectantly.

"I just talked to Janet," the archeologist told them.  "I asked her not to leave the SGC."

His teammates glanced at each other.

"Soooo, what does that mean exactly?" Jack asked, really hoping it meant that Daniel was giving her another chance, not that he was leaving the SGC instead.

"It means that, though it's going to take a while for her to regain all of my trust, I'm not willing to throw everything away."

"You're giving her a second chance?" Sam asked.


Jack stared at Daniel intently.  "And us?"

Daniel nodded slowly.

Three smiles lit the faces of his teammates.  Well, Teal'c's smile was really just the corners of his mouth turning up and the impassivity of his expression softening.  But, for the Jaffa, it was the equivalent of a grin.

Not satisfied with just giving Daniel a smile, Sam came forward and engulfed him in a fierce embrace.

"Thank you for giving us another chance, Daniel," she whispered in his ear.  "We won't let you down."

Jack was the next one to come forward.  He gave Daniel a hearty pat on the back.  "So, when do you think you'll be fit for duty?"

"I don't know.  You'll have to ask Janet about that."

"Well, knowing you, Daniel, however long she says it'll be, you'll beat her estimate."

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