Lost Majesty

Title: Lost Majesty
Author: Christina A.
Fandom: Stargate SG-1
Pairing: None
Characters: Daniel Jackson, Jack O’Neill
Category: Character Driven, Gen
Warning: None
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: I do not own the characters or the premise of Stargate. That honor belongs to MGM, et al.

Summary: Daniel tries to recover some of what has been lost over the years.

Lost Majesty
by Christina A.

He heard the voice long before he saw the person it belonged to. Of course, he didn’t have to see to know it was Jack. Adjusting his glasses, Daniel minimized his browser and sat back in his chair, waiting for the inevitable.

“Hey,” Jack announced. “You know it’s bad enough I can’t walk down the damn hall without noddin’ at everyone, but now I gotta answer all kinds of questions too. Damn annoying that.”

Daniel sighed, emanating the patience of Job before asking, “Something wrong?”

“Naw, just bored. All that paperwork… thought I’d take a break… maybe get something to eat. Whatcha doing?”

Daniel glanced at his computer monitor and shrugged. “Not much.”

“Liar.” Jack picked up a magnifying glass and spun it in his hand as he walked further into the room. “You’re workin’ on something.”

Daniel folded his arms over his chest and asked, “And how do you know that?”

“Because you always are. You and Carter are poster kids for workaholics.” He smiled as he leaned against the table.

Daniel inhaled deeply. It was really a pain in the ass that the commanding officer of the SGC was bored, hungry, and chose NOW to pester him instead of Carter and Teal’c. There were two ways Daniel could now approach this. One was he could try a diversion, although those rarely worked for long. The second was to simply accept that Fate really did hate him sometimes and spill the truth.

“Hello,” Jack called, snapping his fingers. “Earth to Daniel.”

At the sound of Jack’s voice, Daniel shook his head. “Sorry.” Resigned to his fate, he continued, “I was just thinking about things.”

“See,” Jack pointed out, “that’s why I try to never think. Causes all kinds of trouble.”

Unfolding his arms, Daniel leaned forward and maximized the browser to reveal a photo of the pyramids of Giza. “I loved these as a kid,” he said. “Every home I lived in, I took a picture just like this one with me. Not only did it remind me of my parents, but it kept me focused on what I wanted to do when I grew up.”

He was looking back at his monitor so he didn’t see Jack pick up the magnifying glass again.

“The first thing I did was join a dig in Egypt. It was like coming home. You wouldn’t believe how much I remembered.”

“Sure I would,” Jack said.

Daniel nodded. The time he spent in Egypt wasn’t all he remembered or recalled with perfect clarity. Jack had been the recipient of Daniel’s memory many times. “I made some good friends on that dig,” he continued. Maximizing another browser, he pointed to a picture of a man who couldn’t have been much older than he was.

“Drinkin’ buddy?” Jack asked jokingly.

“Not hardly. At least not anymore. We worked together on the dig and became friends. Later we were colleagues… until, of course, my radical theory on the pyramids and then he became my biggest critic.”

Jack furrowed his brows and set down the magnifying glass. “What happened?”

“He just published a book. His theories are all terribly wrong, of course, but he plays right into the Academic community’s delusions so he’d being heralded as a great success.” Daniel sighed again and brought up his public email account. “Of course, I probably wouldn’t have known about the book had I not received this email from another former colleague.”

“Oh yeah?” Jack was honestly giving this his full attention. What was to come had affected his friend deeply.

“Yeah. Seems I’m mentioned in the preface… the acknowledgements. Sort of as a ‘regret’ or whatever on his part. It reads, ‘To my old colleague and friend, Dr. Daniel Jackson… for him the pyramids lost their luster long ago. Maybe this will help restore some of that magic for him.’” Daniel let out another sigh and leaned back in his chair.

“The bastard,” Jack said. He always hated it when Daniel’s colleagues belittled him. If Carter found out, she’d see red too. Jack made a mental note to tell her. For spite, he decided to tell Teal’c too. Let the big Jaffa have a ‘word’ or two with the asshole. Though that begged the question of who was scarier when acting overly protective of Daniel… Carter or Teal’c? Tough call that one.

The archaeologist smiled. “Well it was very egotistical, but he’s right…”

“The hell he is!”

This time, Daniel chuckled. “About part of it,” he finished. “The pyramids don’t hold the same awe and majesty that they once did. That picture I had as a kid… I don’t have it anymore. The minute I realized that they were nothing but…”

“Airports?” Jack couldn’t help but supply.

“Yeah, something like that. They just didn’t draw me for the same reason anymore. It’s kinda like how the meaning of Christmas changes for a kid who finds out there isn’t a Santa Claus.”

“That is a bummer. But, Daniel, you’ve seen and done more than this asshole will ever do. So don’t let it get to you.”

The younger man nodded and started closing the browsers. As much as he hated to admit it, Jack was right. Though he’d never EVER tell Jack that.

“Say,” Jack brought up, “rumor has it they’re serving pumpkin pie in the commissary. Carter and Teal’c are saving seats for us.”

Daniel looked at his long-time friend and smiled. “Sure. Pie sounds good. I’ll be there in a minute though. Go ahead without me.”

“Cool.” Jack pushed away from the table. He couldn’t really help Daniel with the actual ‘problem’. The only one who could really do that was Daniel himself. So Jack helped the only way he knew how, by trying to help his friend put it all behind him. “Cya in a few.”

As Jack left his office, Daniel looked at the one browser that was left open… the picture of the pyramids. How nice would it be to get back to that time… to that state of innocence? He may have seen and done more than any of his former colleagues, but those days had been some of the best. Using his mouse, he navigated through a series of clicks and finished by exiting out of the last browser. As he left to join his friends, the wallpaper on his monitor now showed the photo of the pyramids. He couldn’t get those days… that feeling… back. Maybe, though, just maybe he could recapture some of the wonder. It was a very beautiful picture, so maybe there was some majesty left after all.

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