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Having done this before, Daniel helped Teal'c set up and light the candles while Jack and Sam watched.  Once the final candle had been lit, they all settled on the floor.  It was kind of funny watching Jack attempt to cross his legs properly as he complained about his knees not bending that way anymore.

"Okay, now that I'm completely uncomfortable, what's next?" the colonel asked.

"Now you do that not thinking part," Daniel replied.

"Not thinking.  Sure, I can do that.  Piece of cake."  There was a short pause.  "So, I just sit here and not think?  Isn't that awfully boring?"

"Well, there is a little more involved in it than that."

"So, is it like that Kel'no'reem stuff that Teal'c had to teach me when we switched bodies?"

"In a way, but you won't be communing with a symbiote—"

"Thank God for that."

"You also won't have the advantage of that symbiotic connection and being in the body of a Jaffa."

"Thank God for that, too."  Seeing Teal'c's frown, Jack hastily added, "Not that there's anything wrong with your body, Teal'c.  It's a great body, wonderful body."  Realizing how that sounded, he even more hastily said, "I mean, looking at it from a purely male perspective with absolutely no interest in your body whatsoever. . . ."  Jack's voice trailed off.  He turned to Daniel.  "So!  Let's get started, shall we?"

Hiding his smile, Daniel explained to Jack and Sam the process of entering a meditative state, explaining that they might not have a lot of success the first time.

"You were quite successful on your first occasion, Daniel Jackson," Teal'c reminded him.

"When was that exactly?" Jack asked.

"When I was getting the memory flashes of what happened to Bra'tac and Rya'c on Erebus," Daniel replied.  "I thought that maybe meditation would help me.  As it turned out, it did."

Jack's expression brightened.  "Hey.  Maybe it will help me remember where I put my VCR remote."

Daniel glanced back and forth between Sam and Jack.  "Ready?"

"Yep," the colonel replied, all ready to think of nothing.

Sam nodded.

Everyone closed their eyes.  Daniel started going through the process of lowering his brainwave pattern.  He'd just achieved a low alpha frequency when. . . .

"So, how long is this supposed to take?"

With a little sigh, Daniel opened his eyes and looked at Jack.  "It takes as long as it takes."

"What kind of answer is that?"

"Ask Chaka."

Jack stared at him in bafflement.  "What?"

Not bothering to explain that that was the answer Chaka had given to Daniel on P3X-403 when he asked the Unas how long they'd have to wait for the other Unas to show up, the archeologist closed his eyes.  "Just keep trying, Jack."

"Right.  Sure.  Keep trying."

There was silence again.  This time, Daniel managed to achieve a high theta frequency before he was interrupted again.

"So, how long should I keep trying?"

With an even louder sigh, Daniel opened his eyes and glared at Jack.  Before he could say something, Teal'c spoke.

"O'Neill, for successful meditation, there is one element required above all others."

"What's that?" Jack asked.


Daniel almost laughed, recognizing that the Jaffa had almost said word for word what he'd told Daniel the first time the archeologist tried meditation.

Chastened, Jack finally shut up.

A third time, Daniel stilled his mind.  At last, he succeeded in lowering his brainwave pattern to a calming, soothing theta frequency.  Not wanting to be disturbed yet again, he filtered everything else out of his awareness, including his three teammates.

A few minutes had passed before Jack got bored and gave up.  He looked around at the others.  Sam's eyes were closed, but she didn't look relaxed enough, and Jack guessed that she hadn't had any success yet.  Teal'c's face was calm and peaceful, his body relaxed and still.  As for Daniel, his face didn't just look peaceful, it looked totally blank, like his brain was completely out to lunch.

'How can he do that?' Jack asked himself.

A tiny sigh drew Jack's attention back to Sam.  He leaned closer to her.  "No luck, Carter?" he asked in a lowered voice.

Sam opened her eyes.  "Not really, sir.  It's the not thinking part that's a problem for me."

"Gee, what a surprise."

"I don't think I'm cut out for meditation."

"Join the club.  I'd rather be doing nothing with a fishing pole in my hands."

"Not all individuals can succeed in meditation," said Teal'c, who opened his eyes to look at them.

"Hey, I thought you were Kel'no'reeming," Jack said.

"Indeed I was, O'Neill.  However, I am no longer."

The frown he gave Jack told the colonel that it was his fault.  "Sorry."  Jack turned to Daniel, whose eyes were still closed.  "Okay, Daniel, I give up.  So does Carter."  There was no response at all from the archeologist.  "Yoohoo!  Daniel."  The younger man still didn't stir.  "Come on, Daniel.  I know you're faking it.  Give it up."  When there was still no response from the linguist, Jack looked at Teal'c.  "He is faking it, right?  I mean, he can't still be under."

"If Daniel Jackson so chooses, he can achieve a deep state of meditation in which his mind is isolated from his environment," the Jaffa told him.

"You mean he can't hear us?"

"He cannot."

"Not even if I jumped up and down and screamed at the top of my lungs?"


"Not even if I dressed in a tutu and did Swan Lake, swelling orchestra and all?"

"Not even then, O'Neill."

Jack looked at Daniel.  "How come he did that?"

Teal'c merely stared at Jack and cocked an eyebrow.

"Oh," Jack said, getting the message.

Unaware of the conversation taking place, Daniel delved deeply into his own mind, seeking the information they desperately needed.  He could actually sense the vast storehouse of knowledge that lay like a huge python in his brain, waiting for the moment when it would spring upon him and wrap its coils around his mind, slowly crushing it as it constricted tighter and tighter.

Wondering why his mind had come up with that particular analogy, Daniel pushed the thought aside and attempted to find what he was looking for, some clue to where the Lost City was.  The minutes continued to pass with no success.  Then, all at once, it was like a door was opened a crack.  Words leapt into his mind with such suddenness that he blurted them out aloud.

The archeologist's eyes blinked open to see his teammates staring at him.

"What the hell does praclarush taonas mean?" Jack asked.

"I have no idea," Daniel admitted.  "It just popped into my head."  He got to his feet.  "I need to. . . ."  His voice faded off with a little gasp.

"Daniel, what's wrong?" Sam asked, quickly getting up off the floor, as did the others.

Daniel staggered, hands pressing against his head.  "Oh, God.  Too much," he gasped.

Jack and Teal'c grasped Daniel's arms, seeing his face pale.  Seconds later, he cried out in Ancient and collapsed.  The colonel and Jaffa gently lowered him to the floor as a distraught Sam dashed to the phone and called for a medical team.

Minutes later, an unconscious Daniel was being rushed to the infirmary, his teammates hurrying alongside the gurney.  Once they arrived, Janet made them stay outside.  Sam began to pace.

"Too fast.  It's happening too fast," she said.  "Dammit!  It should have been me!"

"No, Carter, it should have been me," Jack responded quietly.  "If it wasn't for Daniel's abilities, it would have been me.  I wish to hell that I'd beaten him to it."

Sam's eyes closed against the tears that were burning in them.  She was so scared, terrified that she was going to lose Daniel.  God, this couldn't be happening.  She couldn't lose him.

The hour that passed as Jack, Sam and Teal'c waited for word of their friend seemed like forever, but, at last, Janet appeared.

"How is he?" Jack asked her.

"He's asleep," she answered.  "I don't exactly know what happened, but he woke up for a short while, and the EEG was going all over the place.  He was talking in Ancient, so I couldn't understand a word.  I finally had to sedate him because he was getting extremely agitated and appeared to be in pain."

Janet looked at the archeologist's teammates.  "You said that Daniel was meditating, trying to access the Ancients' knowledge."

Sam nodded in confirmation.  "He suddenly came out of it and said something in Ancient.  He told us that it had just popped into his head.  Then, all at once, something went wrong."

"He said 'Too much' before he collapsed," Jack supplied.

"Too much?"

"I believe that the knowledge contained in Daniel Jackson's mind may have come forth too quickly," Teal'c stated.  "I witnessed an incident earlier this morning.  He told me that he was briefly inundated by the knowledge of the Ancients."

"And why didn't he tell the rest of us?" Jack asked, more than a little angry.

"He should have reported to the infirmary," Janet said, also not happy.

"Daniel Jackson is most determined to gain access to the information we need," Teal'c explained.

"Yeah, well, he won't be able to get that information if he's dead!" Jack exclaimed.

"What if the meditation triggered another incident, only one that was much worse?" Sam suggested.

Janet nodded.  "That sounds likely.  The problem is that, unlike when this happened to Colonel O'Neill, the Ancients' knowledge is not taking over Daniel's consciousness incrementally.  It appears to be happening in spurts, and it's happening a great deal faster.  At this rate, Daniel may completely lose the ability to communicate with us within a matter of hours.  For now, I'm going to keep him sedated, but that isn't going to fix anything.  We need to get that stuff out of his head."

"Can we see him?" Sam asked.

"Yes, but don't disturb him."

"We won't, Doc," Jack assured her.

The three members of SG-1 went to Daniel's bed.  The archeologist was deeply asleep, his face looking pale to his teammates' critical eyes.

"We're here, Daniel," Sam said softly, taking her friend's hand as she sat down beside him.

Jack grabbed another chair and sat on Daniel's other side.  Teal'c took up position at the foot of the bed.

They were still in those positions two hours later when a slight sound from Daniel drew their gaze to him.  They were all startled when his eyes abruptly popped open, darting about the room.

Jack laid a hand on his shoulder.  "Daniel?  Take it easy.  You're in the infirmary."  He called over his shoulder for Janet, and one of the nurses went to fetch her.

Daniel's gaze traveled to him.  "Jack?"  He then saw Sam and Teal'c.  "What . . . what happened?"

"You collapsed, Daniel," Sam answered.  "Do you remember meditating with us in Teal'c's room?"

A look of confusion passed over the archeologist's features.  "Yeah.  I was trying to access the Ancients' knowledge."

"Well, you apparently succeeded a little too well," Jack told him.

Daniel frowned.  "Wait.  I think I remember.  These words came to me, praclarush taonas, and then there was all this stuff flooding into my mind.  It was too much."

Just then, Janet came up to the bed.  She looked down at Daniel in surprise.  "You shouldn't be awake."

"Sorry.  I didn't do it on purpose."

"What I mean is that the sedative I gave you should have kept you out for several more hours."

"Sedative?  Why did you give me a sedative?"

"Because you needed it.  Your brain was in an extreme state of activity, and you were very agitated."

"How long have I been out?"

"Just a couple of hours," Sam replied.

Daniel tried to sit up.  "A couple of hours that we couldn't afford to lose."

"Whoa!"  Jack pushed him back down on the bed.  "You're not going anywhere, Mister."

"Jack, I need to keep searching for something about the Lost City."

"Daniel, you don't understand how serious this is," Janet said.  "You may have come very close to being completely taken over by the Ancients' knowledge.  To be honest, I'm surprised that you're so lucid now."

"And he hasn't spoken even one word of Ancient," Jack added.

"Maybe all I needed was a little sleep," Daniel suggested.

"Actually, you may have something there," Sam said.  Everyone stared at her.  "We know that the subconscious can block memories from the conscious mind if those memories are harmful.  What if Daniel's subconscious somehow managed to repress some of the Ancient knowledge?  I know it sounds kind of crazy. . . ."

"But this whole thing is crazy," Jack concluded.

"The last thing I want is for that knowledge to be repressed," Daniel said.  "I need it."

"Dammit, Daniel.  Stop being so pig-headed.  According to the doc, you were spouting off Ancient right and left.  Now, how are we going to find anything if you can't help us understand you?  For all we know, you were giving us step-by-step instructions on how to get to the Lost City, but, because you were out of your head with all that stuff crammed in there, we had no way of knowing what you were saying."

Jack's words shut Daniel up.  He knew that his friend was right.  They had to take this slowly and gradually.  If he completely lost the ability to communicate before he gave someone the information they needed, it would all be for nothing.

"You should get some more rest, Daniel," Janet told him gently.

"I don't think I can.  I need to find out what praclarush taonas means.  I may be thinking clearly now, but we don't know how long that's going to last."

Though her instincts as a doctor were telling Janet to make Daniel rest and protect him from further harm, she knew that he was right.  Too much depended on what now resided in the archeologist's brain.  There was also the fact that, if Daniel didn't succeed in finding what they were looking for and he died, his death would be for nothing.

"All right, but I want you to stay here for a while longer.  Sam, the Colonel and Teal'c can bring you anything that you need."  Daniel started to object, but didn't get the words out.  "That is nonnegotiable," Janet added firmly.

Daniel gave a sigh.  "All right.  I need my Medieval Latin dictionary and some paper and a pencil.  Oh, and my laptop.  And my notebook, too."  There was a pause.  "And I could really—"

"Oh for cryin' out loud, Daniel," Jack exclaimed.  "You'll be having us bring the entire contents of your office, if you keep going."

The archeologist looked at him.  "Not unless someone has turned my office into a kitchen, Jack.  I was going to ask if someone could bring me something to eat.  I haven't had anything yet today, and I'm starving."

"Oh."  At that moment, Jack's stomach growled loudly.  "Come to think of it, neither have I."

"Nor I," Teal'c stated.

"Me neither," said Sam.

"Okay, how about if we all have breakfast here?" Jack suggested.

"My infirmary is not a dining room, Colonel," Janet said sternly.  "I'll make sure that Daniel gets something to eat.  You three can go to the commissary and eat there."

Sam, Jack and Teal'c reluctantly left to get some food, telling Daniel that they'd bring what he needed from his office after they ate.

The first part of the meal was spent mostly in silence.  Sam's food was only half-eaten when she put her fork down and just stared at the plate.

"I'm worried," she admitted.

"I, too, am deeply concerned," Teal'c said.

Jack put his muffin down.  "Yeah, it's not looking so good, is it."

"This is so different from the way it was with you, sir," Sam said.  "At any minute, that knowledge could completely overwhelm Daniel.  And, if that happens. . . ."  She couldn't finish the thought.

"No.  That's not gonna happen," Jack insisted.  "It just isn't.  Daniel hasn't survived all the other crap in his life only to let this get the better of him."

Sam said nothing, her gaze on the tabletop.  Though she wanted to believe that Jack was right, she knew that there was a very real chance that Daniel was going to die.

The major quickly got to her feet.  "I, um . . . I'm going to go get that stuff for Daniel."  She hurriedly left the commissary, not wanting her teammates to see the tears that were on the verge of falling.  She went to Daniel's office and gathered the things he needed, dashing away each tear that fell.

Before leaving there, Sam took a deep, steadying breath, trying to regain control.  When she believed that she had succeeded, she headed to the infirmary.  Daniel was just finishing his meal when she arrived.

"Hey.  Here's all the things you wanted," she said with a forced smile.

"Thanks, Sam."  Daniel lifted the food tray off the overbed table.  "Put it down there," he said, nodding at where the tray had been.

Sam put down the stuff, then took the tray from Daniel and set it on the empty bed beside his.

"Are you still feeling okay?" she asked.

"Yeah.  I don't think that I've said anything more in Ancient, although I suspect that's only temporary."  He smiled very faintly.  "One thing's for sure.  I'm not going to try the meditation again.  That didn't turn out to be such a good idea after all.  Well, maybe except for those words I came up with.  Now, if I can just find out what they mean."

Daniel opened up the book on Medieval Latin and searched through it for several minutes.  "According to this, praclarush taonas means 'lost in fire'."  He frowned deeply.

"What's wrong?"

"Twice now, I've had this vision of volcanic activity, volcanoes erupting and lava everywhere."

"You think that there's a connection?"

"Yeah.  I really hope, though, that what I saw isn't where the Lost City was."

"Me too, though it is possible that what you saw is only on one part of the planet.  The city might still be intact.  The problem is that, without a gate address, there is no way that we'd be able to find that planet."

"I know."  He tapped his head.  "It's in here somewhere, Sam.  I just have to find it."

"Just be careful, Daniel.  We don't want a repeat of what happened before.  For a moment I thought . . . I thought that we were losing you."

Daniel became quiet, his eyes gazing down at his hands.  "Sam, I. . . ."  He sighed.  "Before you came to my house yesterday, I was, um, working on my will."

Sam felt a tearing pain in the vicinity of her heart.  "Daniel."

"There were some changes that I knew had to be made."  Daniel lifted his eyes to meet hers.  "Sam, I want you to have the house."

Sam shook her head, tears instantly springing to her eyes.  "Daniel, please don't talk about this."

"I have to, Sam.  We both know that there is a good chance I won't make it through this.  I can't hide my head in the sand and pretend otherwise.  I know how much you like the house, and I want you to have it."

Sam closed her eyes, feeling tears slip down her cheeks.  The pain in her heart was growing worse.  She couldn't take this.  "I can't . . . I can't. . . ."  She abruptly turned and fled.

Having seen the astrophysicist's sudden departure, Janet came over.  "What's wrong with Sam?"

Daniel gave a sad sigh, wishing that he hadn't brought up the subject of his will.  "I told her that I was willing my house to her."  He looked up into her eyes.  "I guess that might be a surprise to you."

The doctor shook her head.  "No, Daniel, it's not.  I know that you love her."

Daniel's eyes widened in surprise.  "You do?  How did you know?"

"Sam confided in me a long time ago about what you told her when you were on that vacation."

"Oh."  He blushed slightly.  "I guess I shouldn't be surprised.  I know that you and Sam are close."

"Yes, we are, close enough to know that this whole thing is tearing her apart.  She cares about you very, very much, Daniel.  So do the colonel and Teal'c.  And Cassie and I do, too.  So, don't you give up on us.  You keep fighting, you hear me?"

Daniel met her eyes squarely.  "I will, Janet.  You know me.  I never give up.  I'm too stubborn."

Janet gave him a little smile.  "Yes, you are."  She glanced at the doorway.  "I need to go take care of something."

"Okay.  And, Janet?  If you see Sam, tell her I'm sorry.  I didn't mean to upset her."

"I will."

Janet left the infirmary and headed straight to Sam's lab.  Not finding the major there, she guessed that Sam had gone to her quarters and headed over there.  A knock on the door was answered by a small voice.

"Sam?  It's Janet.  Can I come in?"


The doctor opened the door and looked inside.  Sam was sitting on the bed, arms wrapped around a pillow.  Her face was wet with tears, which she was trying to wipe away.  Janet sat beside her.

"I'm sorry," Sam apologized.  "It's just that this whole thing isn't easy.  And I'm . . . I'm kind of scared."

"I know, Sam.  Daniel told me what he said to you."

Sam closed her eyes and turned away.  "God.  Hearing him talk about his will, it just. . . ."

Janet rested her hand on her friend's and said nothing.

After a long moment, Sam turned back to her.  "I love him, Janet," she said in a heart-wrenching voice.  "All these months I've been so stupid, so blind!  I couldn't see it.  I didn't want to see it.  And, now, it might be too late."  She began to cry in earnest.  "I can't lose him."

Janet pulled Sam into her arms and held her as she sobbed.  The doctor's eyes filled with tears of their own, which fell, unnoticed, upon Sam's hair.

It was a long time later when Sam quieted and drew away.  Janet kept an arm wrapped around her shoulders.

"Are you going to be all right?" the doctor asked.

Sam sniffled and wiped her face.  "No, not really, not until I know that Daniel is going to be all right."

"Sam, you need to tell him how you feel."

The astrophysicist shook her head.  "I can't, not now, not with all this other stuff that's happening."

Janet hated to speak the next words, but knew that they had to be said.  "And what if now is the only chance you're going to get?"

Anguish flashed across Sam's face, and she turned away.  She got to her feet and walked across the room, hugging herself.  "How can I tell him, Janet?  How can I say that, for all these months, I've been blinding myself to the truth and that it's only now, when he might be dying, that I've finally figured out that I've been in love with him all along, that a part of me was always in love with him, right from the beginning?"  Sam's voice caught.  "All this time, we could have been together.  We could have. . . ."

Sam's squeezed her eyes closed.  She knew that, before Daniel's ascension, there couldn't have been anything between them.  The memories of his wife and the love he had for her were still too strong.  But there was that moment in Daniel's tent on Vis Uban, when he asked if there had ever been anything between them.  If she hadn't been so hung up on her feelings for Jack, she might have stopped to think about that question.  More than that, there was the kiss they shared, the kiss that sent her pulse racing and launched her mind into thoughts of being with Daniel, thoughts that would not go away, no matter how hard she tried to get rid of them.  She should have known then.  She should have been able to figure it out.  She had been such an idiot.

"I can't tell you what to do, Sam," Janet said.  "But how are you going to feel if Daniel dies never knowing that you love him like he loves you?  He would want to know."  She got to her feet.  "I have to get back to the infirmary."  The doctor headed for the door.  "Oh, I almost forgot.  Daniel told me to tell you that he's sorry he upset you."

The sound of the door opening and closing told Sam that Janet had left.  She stood unmoving for a couple of minutes, then returned to the bed.  More minutes ticked by as she thought about what Janet had said.  She knew that her friend was right, that Daniel should be told, but Sam was scared.  She was afraid to tell Daniel that she loved him.  Her old fear had returned, the fear that every man she cared about like that would die.  As irrational as it was, Sam thought that, if she didn't tell him, Daniel would be okay.  For all those years, she never came right out and told Jack about her feelings, and he'd managed to survive.  The scientist in Sam scoffed at the ridiculousness of her thoughts, but she couldn't help it.  She couldn't conquer this fear.

Suddenly feeling very tired, Sam lay down on the bed, the pillow once again clutched against her chest.  Moments later, she was asleep.

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