The Stuff of Fairytales

I dug out some of the really old stories, the first fanfics that I wrote.  I’ll post them here over the next few weeks.  Don’t think I’ll bother editing them, they stand as they are; just remember that they were written around 12 years ago!

These stories are based on characters from Stargate SG1. Enjoy.

The Stuff of Fairytales

Disclaimer: I don’t own them, I’m not making any money out of this.  I just enjoy playing with them for a while, and hope you enjoy reading the result.

AUTHOR: loopy
CATEGORY: Action/Adventure
SPOILERS: Children of the Gods
WARNING:  Character Death.  But it’s Daniel, so you know how it’s going to end, right??

“Wow,  this is amazing!”  Daniel moved his fingers excitedly over a small wooden box he had found hidden in the ruins of the old temple they had discovered.

“If this inscription is true, then maybe even the fairy tales on Earth are based on real events!”  He lifted up the small tape recorder he had been recording his observations onto.  “The language appears to be some combination of Goa’uld, Babylonian and something I’ve never seen before.”  He continued to talk to the machine about the inscription on the top of the box, trying to analyze exactly what language he was dealing with.   He lifted his head and looked around briefly.  Sam was still not in sight.  Probably exploring the other half of the temple, which seemed more or less intact.  Daniel was much more interested in the artifacts to be found amongst the ruins, while Jack and Teal’c had gone to look around the forest that surrounded them.

Daniel bent his head to his work again.  The inscription seemed to talk of some poison.  Daniel wondered if it was within the box.  Maybe the box itself was poison – but if that were so then he would surely be dead already.   Daniel shook the box gently.  It was about the size of a shoebox, made of some kind of dark wood, and with a tight fitting lid.  Curious to know what was inside, and vowing to be very careful, he took his knife out of his pocket and began to prise gently at the lid of the box.

Suddenly a noise startled him, and the knife slipped, cutting his hand.  He muttered something under his breath, then sucked his hand and looked round.  He had thought Sam was behind him, but all he saw was some kind of animal slipping back into the forest.  Daniel cursed again, and stood up to look for the first aid kit, then staggered suddenly and fell back to his knees.  His head came up abruptly as he looked at the box, and then his hand.  Frantically he grabbed for the tape recorder.  “Th-th-the b-b-box was p-p-poison,” he stammered.   “Pins and apples, Sam, pins and apples,” then he fell forward amongst the rocks and lay horribly still, the tape recorder at his side still turning, recording the noises of the forest and the sounds of Daniel’s last breaths.

About forty minutes later Sam returned from the temple, where she had been taking notes of a new set of cartouches on the wall.   “Daniel,” she called, then spotted her friend slumped over a pile of rocks.  As she moved closer, she spotted the box that she had left him working on, now with a smear of what looked like blood on the corner.  That and the knife lying beside Daniel’s blood-covered hand told its own story.  The top of the box contained some sort of inscription, which Daniel had been trying to translate, but the box itself was empty.

Sam bent over Daniel, then dropped to her knees as she took in her friend’s blue-white face.  “Daniel?” she whispered, and felt for a pulse on his neck.  Even as she did so, she took in from the cold flesh that she was far too late.

As Jack and Teal’c returned to the temple even Teal’c was out of breath from the steep climb.  “I’m glad we traveled light on this mission!” Jack gasped as they finally reached the ruins.  As they turned the corner past the largest pile of rocks, Jack became aware of Carter sitting on the ground, cradling Daniel in her arms.  As she stroked Daniel’s hair gently the Colonel cleared his throat.  “Not interrupting anything, are we?” he began cheerfully, then dropped to his knees beside them as he saw the tears which ran down Sam’s face.

Sam looked up at him.  “Daniel’s dead.”

“What? How? Were you attacked?”  Jack looked around quickly, looking for signs of disturbance, of anything which might be responsible for his friend’s death.  He saw nothing except a wooden box with a smear of blood, and a knife lying open on the ground.

“I left Daniel working on translating the inscription on this box.  I was working in the temple, but when I got back I found him like this.   He’s dead, Jack.  He was already cold when I found him.”  Sam took a deep breath and tried to hold back the tears that had flown unbidden. 

“How long were you away?”  Jack knelt down beside them.   A quick check of Daniel’s pulse confirmed Sam’s story.

“About an hour.”  Sam looked down at Daniel, who other than being a strange blue-white colour looked as if he might wake up at any moment.  “I don’t understand it, Sir, there seems to be nothing wrong with him other than that cut on the hand.”

Teal’c bent over the box without touching it.   “That is very similar to goa’uld writing,” he reported.  “I am unfamiliar with most of it, but I can see the symbol for poison, and that symbol there is similar to that for the word death.”

“Well, that would explain why he would apparently die from a small cut on the hand,” Jack grunted.  “I’m certainly not going to touch it.”

He looked down at Daniel in despair.  To have gone through all the adventures, all the battles they had faced together, and then for Daniel to be overcome by a goa’uld poison! He shook his head, erasing all thoughts of the courageous way Daniel had faced up to Ra, just when Jack had written Daniel off as a useless geek, and the innumerable times since then that they had fought for each other – and the times Jack had had to drag Daniel out of some kind of trouble.  Jack shook his head sadly.  “I’m sorry, old friend,” he whispered quietly.   “I wasn’t around this time to keep you out of trouble.”

Sam reached for tape recorder lying by Daniel’s side.   She found it had run to the end of tape, so she rewound it and pressed play.    “Maybe there’s some kind of clue on here,” she suggested.

It was painful listening to the archaeologist as he muttered to the tape about the origins of the language on top of the box.   Then they heard Daniel stammering about the poison being on the box, and Jack’s face grew grim.   “What was that last part?”  he asked. 

Sam shook her head.  “It sounded like ‘pins and needles’, Sir,” she replied.  “I guess that’s how the poison felt to him.”.

Slowly the team packed up ready to leave.  Teal’c lifted the box gingerly and packed it in a plastic bag.  Maybe the scientists on earth could find some kind of clue as to what the poison was.  Jack somberly split Daniel’s load between him and Sam, while Teal’c slung his comrade’s body over his shoulder.  He had mentioned that it was Jaffa custom to bury the dead where they fell, but Jack gave such a scowl that it had not been mentioned again.

They set off down the hillside, helping Teal’c steady his load.  Teal’c strode on in silence, remembering the time when he had first met Daniel, the time when they had entered the palace at Chulak and found Sha’re, now taken over by a Gou’ald.  She had used her goa’uld weapon to knock Daniel unconscious, and it had been Teal’c’s job to carry the sleeping archaeologist to the dungeons.  At that point he had no idea that his burden would one day be one of his closest friends.   Since then he had carried him other times, but always before there had been hope.   Now there was no hope, and the burden seemed the heavier for it.

Sam carried Daniel’s glasses in her pocket;  she checked them to make sure they were still safe, then remembered that there would be no need for them anymore.  The number of pairs of glasses Daniel had got through in the time she had known him!  However had he managed on Abydos, with no optician in the nearest town?  She smiled at the thought, then the smile faded rapidly, as she helped Teal’c over a rock.  It was hard to believe that Daniel was really gone, that he would never come into the room bounding in excitement as he made a wonderful new discovery.   Daniel was the one who had made the gate work, and had always seemed central to the project.  Now the project would continue without him, and if they ever did manage to rescue Sha’re, there would be nothing for her.  Sam shook the thoughts from her head and concentrated on putting one foot in front of the other.

For the most part Jack walked a few paces in front, checking the path.  He looked through the forest at a small clearing, where there was an abandoned hut, and remembered how Daniel had shot over there, while Jack stood helplessly, his M16 in his hand, still checking the area was clear.  Would he ever learn to think first?  But it was too late for him now, his chance had gone, and Jack would never again have to worry about what his friend was doing, whether he was putting himself or someone else in danger.  His life would be much simpler now, he supposed – but he would give anything to have Daniel back, pain in the ass that he was!

When they stopped for camp that night they all sat eating silently, not looking at each other, and all pointedly avoiding the heap that lay at the edge of the clearing.  It was still another day and a half back to the Stargate, and all of them were dreading the return to Earth, and the questions that would follow.

Sam dreamed that night of Daniel, lying calling out to her.   “Sam, help me, please, come back!”  She woke up in a sweat, and stood up, looking round at her friends’ sleeping forms.  Then she noticed Jack rolling over to look at her.

“Problems, Sam?”  he asked.

Sam sat down beside him.  “I can’t help feeling responsible,” she admitted.  “If I’d have stayed nearby, I would have heard him call, maybe I could’ve helped – “

Jack sat up.  “Sam,” he said gently, “don’t go beating yourself up over all this.  If the silly bastard hadn’t tried forcing the box open – the one thing I learnt after Charlie died was that it’s useless to keep going over and over what might have been different.  You can’t change anything, you just have to learn to accept it and go on from there.  That’s one thing Daniel taught me…” his voice trailed off.

Teal’c joined them.  “I too learned from Daniel Jackson,” he said.  “I learned that it is possible to forgive, and to be forgiven.  I never thought that I could be forgiven for the crimes I committed in the service of Apophis, and Daniel should have been the last to forgive, but instead he became my friend, and trusted me with his life, and I trusted him with mine.”  He sighed deeply.  “And now he is no more.”

The three friends sat in silence for a while, together in body but each alone with their memories of Daniel, then Jack slapped his knees.   “Come on guys,” he said in an attempt to sound normal.  “We have a long walk ahead of us tomorrow, we need to sleep.”

The day on P3X878 was longer than that on Earth, so not wanting to stop while it was still light, it was nearly 24 hours later that the team stood at the DHD.  Jack stood beside it, his hand hovering over the controls.  This was usually Daniel’s job.  He looked around him at the others.   “Ready?” he asked.  They nodded, and he took a deep breath.   “Here goes.”

The General was shocked at the sight of the team coming back through the Gate.  “What happened?” he asked grimly, as he accompanied them to the Infirmary.  Teal’c lowered his burden onto a gurney. 

“It’s Daniel, Sir,” O’Neill said shortly, as Dr Frasier hurried over to them.  “He’s dead.”

Dr Frasier examined the body.  “How long ago?” she asked.

“About two days ago.  It was a long walk back,” O’Neill replied.  “As for what happened, we don’t know.  He was on his own for about an hour, and he cut his hand trying to get a box open.   Apparently the box contained poison.”  Jack shook his head, “he was already cold by the time Sam found him.”

He sat down heavily on a chair nearby, and put his head in his hands.

A few hours later, after some rest, Sam sat in the lab, waiting for the test results on the box.  She looked up at her team mates.   “It shows up as remarkably similar to our puffer fish poison,” she told them.  “Its result would be to paralyze the body completely.  Being unable to breathe, he would have simply suffocated, unless his heart stopped beating first.   Either way it’s deadly.  And there’s more to it, as well.  I can’t figure out what effect the other ingredients would have.”

“Dr Frasier is doing the post-mortem now,” Jack replied.  “Maybe she can give us some idea.”  Just then the phone rang.  Sam answered it.  “Carter.   Okay, I’ll be there in a few minutes.”  She turned to the others.   “Dr Frasier wants me in the infirmary.”

Frasier was frowning over Daniel’s body when Sam arrived.  “Tell me again, how long ago did he die?” she asked. 

“Two days ago, why?” replied Sam.

“I’m not sure.  It’s strange.  I can find no evidence of decay in the body, It’s like – I can find no signs of life, but I can find no signs of death either.”

“How is that possible?” Sam asked, looking down at her friend’s white face.  Daniel lay as if asleep, his blond hair surrounding his face like a halo.  In death, Daniel seemed even more vulnerable than in life, although Sam knew from experience that he was much more capable of taking care of himself than people gave him credit for.

“I don’t know.  It’s not possible.  But all I do know is, I’m not happy about cutting him open to find out why he died if I can’t find signs that he’s definitely dead.”

They gathered around the briefing table.  General Hammond was frowning, not liking the uncertainty surrounding Daniel’s death.   “Well, Doctor, is he dead or isn’t he?” he demanded.  Frasier shrugged.  “Sir, I can find no signs of life.  There is no brain activity, no heart activity, everything about him says he is dead.  And yet – Colonel, how long did rigor mortis last?”

O’Neill opened his mouth, then closed it again.   “Uh – I don’t think I noticed any – ” he looked around at the others, who shook their heads. 

“Well, that’s worrying, but means nothing on it’s own.”  Frasier looked round at the others.  “I need to know everything about where you were.  Anything, however small, that could give a clue as to what happened to Daniel.”

O’Neill cleared his throat.  He ought to have known that the archaeologist would be as awkward in death as in life.  “Carter, you were the last to see him alive.  What was he doing?”

Sam frowned.  “He was looking at that box.  I think he was trying to translate the inscription on it.”

“Do you know if he had any success in translating it?”

“He didn’t say.  Wait a minute, we have his tape recorder.  There might be some clue on that.”  This time they rewound the tape fully and listened to Daniel firstly recording his impressions of the temple from the outside, then looking at various artefacts.  Every time Daniel turned his attention to something new he gave a brief description, so it was easy to work out when he came to the box that had caused his death.  Daniel’s comment about fairy tales caused Teal’c to raise an eyebrow enquiringly.

“What is a fairy tale?” he asked.

Jack turned to look at him.  “Well you know, Teal’c, it’s – ah – ” he looked to Sam for inspiration.  “It’s the kind of story you tell your kid at bedtime, ” he finished.  “You know, the kind that start ‘once upon a time’ and end ‘and they all lived happily ever after.’  I used to love listening to that kind of story.  It was always the type of thing that would never happen in real life.”

“So what did Daniel Jackson mean when he said fairy tales were based on real life?”

“Ah hell, how should I know?” asked Jack impatiently.  “You know – knew – the man.  Always with his head in the clouds.”

Teal’c looked at Sam, who shook her head.  “If this is a fairy tale, then I guess Daniel must be Sleeping Beauty,” she commented, trying to raise a smile.

As Teal’c’s eyebrow raised again, Jack explained,   “In one fairy story, a princess called Sleeping Beauty pricked her finger on a pin and fell asleep for a hundred years.”

“That certainly describes him,” agreed Frasier slowly.  “It’s just as if he’s going to wake up at any minute.”

Sam went pale, and stood up so abruptly her chair shot back.   “Or Snow White,” she whispered.  “Holy, Hannah, Janet, it wasn’t pins and needles he said after all.  It sounded like it, but maybe he really said ‘pins and apples’.”

As she looked at the blank faces around her, she repeated, “Pins and Apples.  Sleeping Beauty pricked her finger on a pin and slept for a hundred years.  Snow White ate a poisoned apple and lay as if dead.  That’s what Daniel was trying to tell me.”

Now Dr Frasier had turned white as well.  “That’s incredible,” she said.  “You mean the fairy stories are based on truth?”

Sam spread her hands.  “I found that part of the poison is like one on earth that mimics death. If the other ingredients work to preserve the body so that it needs no oxygen – the Goa’uld were on this planet thousands of years ago.  I can just about picture a scene where the stories are handed down and turned into fairy tales, but with a basis in real events.”

Jack looked from one to the other.  “Does that mean you can revive him?” he asked cautiously, getting to the heart of the matter.

“I don’t know.  Anything’s possible, I suppose.   I would have said it was impossible for him to be in this state, but the number of times you’ve all found something new to amaze me…”

Teal’c stood up.  “Shall we move to the infirmary, then?”

A few moments later, O’Neill, Teal’c, Sam and Dr Frasier were all gathered around the bed on which the body of their friend lay.  “Any ideas?” asked Frasier.

“I suppose you’ve thought of trying the obvious,” Jack commented.

“How were the victims revived in the fairy tales?” asked Teal’c.  Frasier and Sam looked at each other.  “With a kiss”, they said simultaneously.

“Then should you not try that first?”

Jack snorted.  “I suggest that one of you ladies tries it.  I’m not sure what Daniel would think if it were one of us…”

Sam nodded.  “Janet, you try.”

Frasier looked at her, then stepped forward.  She bent over Daniel, imagining she could feel the cold radiating from him.  This was not the usual treatment for patients who were brought into the infirmary dead.  Slowly she moved her head down, then pressed her warm lips onto Daniel’s cold ones and kissed him.

She took a step back.  Nothing.

O’Neill frowned.  “I hope it doesn’t have to be his only true love that wakes him,” he commented.  “Otherwise we’re stuck unless we find Sha’are.”

Sam shook her head.  “No, Sleeping Beauty was woken by someone she’d never met before.” 

“I thought she’d already met the prince?”

“Only in the Disney version,” Sam grinned, feeling that the situation was now completely unreal.  Here they were, gathered around the body of the colleague and friend who only an hour ago they had been mourning, but now they were discussing fairy tales and Disney films.

Teal’c stepped forward.  “Is there anything else in these fairy stories that would help?” he asked.

Sam shook her head.  “I can’t think of anything, ” she replied, looking round at the others for assistance.  “They were both woken up by princes who fell in love with them and kissed them.”

“Then maybe the kiss should be a little more passionate?” suggested Teal’c.

Sam looked at him, then at Daniel.  To think of kissing her friend’s dead body – and yet Teal’c’s suggestion did make sense.  And after all, if they were just clutching at straws, if there was no hope of reviving him – at least she would have had the chance to say goodbye properly.  With this thought, before she could change her mind she stepped over to the bed, gathered Daniel’s limp body in her arms, and kissed him passionately.  Holding him for a couple of seconds, she searched his face for any kind of response, then laid him down again despondently.

Sam rubbed her hands over her face, then turned to the others.  “Any other ideas?” she asked.  But they were busy staring past her, at the bed.

Slowly, Sam turned round.  Daniel had opened his eyes, and was staring around him in surprise.  “How did I get here?” he asked weakly.  Dr Frasier moved over to him. 

“You were taken ill, Daniel,” she said briskly, taking his pulse.  “But now you’re going to be just fine.”  She busied herself checking him over, to hide the tears that were welling up in her eyes.  Of all her patients, Daniel was the one who managed to cut things finest…

Jack gave a broad grin.  “Space monkey,” he said affectionately.  “I oughta have known they couldn’t kill you off.”

Daniel looked from one to the other in complete amazement.   “What’s going on?” he asked. 

“That’s a long story, Daniel,” replied Jack.

Even Teal’c broke into a smile as he replied “It will make a good bedtime story, Daniel Jackson.”