Friday, November 4, 2011

The Return of First Friday Fanfic with Dream Giver (Parts 1–6)

I realize it's been over 2 years since I posted this fanfic. (Did you catch my hints?) And I realize that the only way for me to call myself a writer of any shape or form, is to, well, write. I have two unfinished stories (well, two that I care about right now), and one novel in need of a serious edit. So, if I can finish this story, move on to the next one, then I can maybe flex these unused muscles and one day soon be able to edit/re-write my novel and be happy with it. I was inspired to get back to this by my sunshiny friend Sarah, who has gotten back to something creative she had left behind (and which I had no idea about)—she motivated me to get back to something creative which I love.

So, here is the all the story which I have posted on here so far (figured it would be easier for you than going and hunting for each part). AND, Part 6 (which is brand new to you) is posted at the end. As always, constructive criticism and feedback is appreciated. I have some notes already, but anything YOU can add will help this become a polished piece of work, even if the only light of day it will see is here and fanfiction.net. ^_^ Enjoy!

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(Author's Note: This fanfic takes place sometime during Season 7 of the show–just in case anyone didn't want any spoilers. Not that they're huge. Well, maybe.... You've been warned.)

Dream Giver
(a Stargate SG-1 FanFic)

Part 1
The preliminary survey had barely touched on the woodland they now encountered. Having earlier watched it through a tiny view screen with muted colors showing through a grainy picture, the party of four now stood in awe as a noonday sun streamed down through the leaves of large, lush trees and warmed them.

“I could get used to this,” the leader quipped as he swiped his cap off and scratched his gray-haired head for a moment before adjusting his cap back on his head.

“It is beautiful, Sir,” the blonde-haired woman smiled with a warmth given to someone that was a good friend, and not just a superior.

“Indeed,” the large, black man nodded, the golden symbol on his forehead gleaming softly in the rays of the sun.

The brown-haired, bespectacled man nodded as he made his way down the steps of the landing. “It appears as if this is a place of worship, or some sort of shrine.” He pointed to several containers filled with exotic flowers placed carefully around the area. His forehead crinkled as he pushed his glasses up his nose. “But I don’t see any writings, so I—”

“Hey!” the leader called out playfully. “We’ll have time for that later, first we need to—”

“Sir?” the woman called out calmly, but with a hint of chiding as her gaze landed on two figures peeking out from behind a tree.

The rest of the group followed the woman’s gaze.

“Oh, hey,” the leader blinked. “Hey there!” he called out cheerfully. “Come on out.”

“We will not harm you,” the large man said stoically.

The woman grimaced as she looked at the large man and merely shook her head with a soft laugh.

The figures came out from the shadows and walked toward the group slowly. They were young women, both with pale hair, light eyes and slender figures. Though their features were distinct, one might have thought them to be sisters. Their simple dresses of a silken material, floated behind them as they came close. Warm smiles touched their faces as they were now near enough for greeting.

The taller one spoke. “We thought it possible, but no one has ever come through the Chapa’ai before.”

The brown-haired man jumped a little and made his way to right in front of the women. “Chapa’ai. You know this word?”

The young women gasped softly as their eyes went hugely round. Huge smiles then began to spread across their faces. They crossed their hands lightly over their lips and gave a bow of their heads.

The shorter one spoke, with an uneven, young voice as she looked back up at the brown-haired man. “We never thought we would ever get to see you! There are many that believe you do not exist.” She almost seemed to giggle, and the taller one put a hand on her shoulder.

“We, however, are not of that belief,” the taller and seemingly older one said calmly, with a hint of delight, as she pointed to the flowers. “We are of a group that believed one day we would see you.”

The brown-haired man blinked as his eyes narrowed. “You’ve been expecting me?”

The older woman merely smiled and then turned to the younger one. “You must tell the others! I will lead them shortly.”

The younger woman nodded, gave another strange bow and took off running.

The rest of the party looked on in disbelief.

“Wait a second!” the leader called out. “You want us to go with you?”

The young woman turned to him and smiled softly. “Is that not the reason you came?”

The leader’s mouth opened as if he was about to speak, then he shrugged and nodded. “Yeah, sure, okay, but first I’d like to know what’s going on?”

“I do not understand.”

The leader narrowed the gap between himself and the brown-haired man. “Why do you think you’ve been expecting him?”

The young woman smiled beatifically. “Because he is the Dream Giver.”





Part 2
The SG-1 team all looked at one another, perhaps trying to see if anyone else in the group understood what this young woman had just said.

“Dream Giver?” Major Samantha Carter asked, brows furrowed.

The young woman smiled widely as she nodded and continued looking at Daniel Jackson.

Teal’c quirked an eyebrow, his lips twitching just a moment. “What is this ‘Dream Giver’?”

The young woman didn’t blink an eye as she answered. “The one who gives dreams, of course.”

“Oh, of course!” Colonel Jack O’Neill let out quickly and then pursed his lips together.

Blue eyes narrowing in thought, Daniel finally let out slowly, “One who gives dreams to whom?”

She blinked. “You do not know?” She didn’t give Daniel a chance to answer as she smiled softly. “Of course, you do not know her name. She said names were never given, that’s why she called you the Dream Giver. It was the only way she knew you.”

“She?” Daniel’s glasses slid a little off of his nose as he looked at the woman.

The woman smiled widely, almost beaming, and stood straighter. “Yes, my sister, Elpis.”

Sam blinked. “You mean the girl that just ran off?”

The woman laughed delightedly. “Oh, no. That was my youngest sister, Hebe. I am Daphnis. My oldest sister, Elpis is the one of dreams.”

“Uhm,” Jack called out, “Daphnis, could you please excuse us for a moment?” He gestured to his teammates to follow him off a ways.

She merely nodded and backed off herself.

Once gathered, Jack began to whisper. “Okay, who here thinks these people are nuts?” He raised his hand and looked around.

Sam chuckled softly. “Well, Sir, to be honest, this isn’t the first time the local female population has become enamored of Daniel.”

Jack gave a wry grin.

Daniel’s mouth dropped open, a hurt expression crossing his face. “Sam? Humor? Really?”

She shrugged and tried to contain a large grin.

He scowled. “So suddenly this is all my fault?”

“Major Carter’s comment is valid, Daniel Jackson,” Teal’c said calmly, though a touch of a raised eyebrow also confirmed his mirth.

Daniel threw up his hands and sighed.

Jack patted Daniel on the back. “It’s okay, Daniel. Really.” He then looked around to the rest of them. “Seriously, though, what do we think?”

“They appear to be harmless,” Teal’c spoke first.

“But why do they think that Daniel’s this Dream Giver, and not any one of us?” Sam’s brows furrowed.

Jack nodded. “Good question, Carter.” He looked toward Daphnis and waved her over. She nodded and walked toward them. “Daphnis, why is it that you think Daniel here is the Dream Giver? Couldn’t it just as easily be one of us? We all did come through the Chapa’ai.”

She blinked at looked at Daniel. “Daniel? That is your name?”

Daniel nodded.

She smiled softly and then turned to Jack. “We know Daniel is the Dream Giver, because we know his face.”

“What!” both Daniel and Jack questioned in disbelief.

Daphnis’ face fell a little. “Perhaps it is better that I take you to my father and the others. He is the leader of our clan.”

“Yes!” Jack nodded. “Take us to your leader.” He grinned widely.

“Sir,” Sam chided lightly.

“Oh, come on Carter, you know it’s fun to say!”

She merely shook her head with a boys-will-be-boys smile on her lips.

Daphnis blinked, nodded, and began to lead them through a path in the forest toward her home.



Part 3
After a few miles, the group emerged from the forest onto a wide plain with deep green grasses and majestic mountains in the far distance soaring into powder-puff clouds and azure skies. Several bloom-bearing trees lined paths into the prosperous village with wood and stone homes, with the peaks of more decorative stone and marble buildings showing the heart of the town.

A soft breeze caressed around them, rustling leaves and carrying the sweet scent of spring.

“Wow!” breathed out Jack.

Sam smiled as she inhaled deeply. “I think I could get used to this too, Sir.”

Daphnis smiled widely as she looked at them. “It is beautiful, is it not?”

Daniel raked a hand through his hair. “I wouldn’t mind retiring here,” he chuckled softly.

Daphnis’ eyes grew round in surprise. “You would wish to stay with us, Dream Giver?” she exclaimed with hope.

His smile fell a little, softening as he looked at her after calling him by the title apparently bestowed upon him. “Well,” he began, but was cut off as a small group of people emerged from a nearby building, making their way quickly toward SG-1.

A tall, older man with a large girth and sparse, darker blond hairs on his head led the group comprised of quite a few young girls who looked like Daphnis and her sister Hebe, as well as a few young men with similar light blond hair and eyes of varying degrees of blue.

Daphnis stepped out to greet him with the now-familiar bow of the hands over the lips. “Abaris, we have visitors.” She smiled gently at him, and turned to Jack. “Colonel O’Neill, this is the Abaris of our clan. He is our leader,” and with a hint of pride added, “and my father.”

Jack held out his hand and, after bowing to him, the Abaris took Jack’s hand hesitantly, unsure of what to do until Jack started pumping it.

The Abaris laughed, his darker blue eyes crinkling at the corners. “Well met, travelers!” His eyes scanned the SG team, and stopped on Daniel. He gave a quick glance to Jack, recognizing him as leader. “And these must be your companions?”

After the quick introductions, the Abaris stepped toward Daniel, his eyes intent. He whispered softly to himself: “It seems true.” He then blinked and smiled gently, addressing Daniel. “My daughter Daphnis has told you whom we believe you to be?”

Daniel’s brow furrowed and nodded. “She mentioned it briefly, but, I must tell you, I don’t really understand what’s going on. Could you maybe explain more about this Dream Giver?”

The Abaris pursed his lips briefly, then sighed. “Perhaps it is better if I take you to Elpis. She will be able to tell us if you are truly him. I sent Hebe on ahead to let her know.” Spreading his arm out, he began walking away from the village. “Please come.”

As they walked, the Abaris talked about their village and home, about Elpis being with other young women, picking fruit in a nearby field. The SG-1 team asked varying questions about the climate, their enemies, if any, in addition to information regarding medicines and herbs.

Daniel, normally very talkative with inhabitants of any new world they encountered, curious to find out their history, lagged in silence behind the group. Samantha caught Jack’s eye and motioned him to Daniel, who fell behind, in step with the archeologist.

“So, Daniel, what’s an ‘Abaris’?”

Daniel blinked several times, then looked at Jack. “Uhm, Abaris was a priest of Apollo.”

Jack’s eyes narrowed and he murmured, “Apollo.”

Daniel sighed. “Apollo, the Greek god of the Sun? Also medicine, archery, and music. And also the god of—” he broke off as he noticed Jack yawning. “Anyway, Apollo gave Abaris a golden arrow which was supposed to cure diseases and even spoke oracles.”

Jack scratched under his cap. “The arrow spoke?”

Daniel rolled his eyes at Jack. “Yes, Jack, the arrow spoke,” he quipped sarcastically, but quickly resumed the lecture. “And, it also rendered him invisible and allowed him to ride through the sky.”

Jack chuckled. “Must have been a big arrow.”

“Indeed,” quipped Teal’c, who had joined them while Sam continued talking with the Abaris.

Jack grinned at Teal’c, then motioned in the direction of the Abaris. “So…?”

Daniel shrugged. “From what I gather, the clans or villages of this world have leaders who call themselves ‘Abaris’, though they aren’t necessarily priests, from what I can tell, as I didn’t see any symbols of any particular pantheon. And, since Daphnis didn’t give us his actual name, it would seem that if his name is known, he is usually addressed only by his title.”

“Ah.”

“Although,” continued Daniel, now seeming more like his usual self, “all of the names we have encountered so far have been from Ancient Greece. Names of gods or goddesses, or those associated with them. But they don’t really look like ancient Greeks, do they?” He pushed his glasses back up the bridge of his nose. “Actually, if I had to put a race to them, I would say perhaps Nordic.” He shook his head, his eyebrows furrowing. “Very strange.”

“I’ll say,” said Jack, as they caught up to the Abaris, who was being approached by a group of women, some holding baskets of fruit, all with the same fair skin, hair and eyes—except for one.

Hebe had her arms linked with a woman of olive skin, whose long brown hair curled softly, hints of red glinting in the sun. Tilted eyes of emerald-green laced with lashes so dark it almost seemed as if they were rimmed in kohl contrasted with the smattering of light freckles across her nose. The women quickly made their way toward the newcomers, bowing to the Abaris, though the one with tan skin gave him a warm embrace.

The Abaris held the woman and they looked into each other’s eyes.

“Is it true?” her melodic voice asked him.

He merely turned, and the group behind him parted, leaving a path to Daniel. “My daughter, Elpis.”

Her eyes went round and her lips parted as she stood the distance, looking at Daniel. She swallowed softly and licked her lips, approaching him cautiously. Her eyes began to glisten as her lips gathered into a wide smile, a dimple dancing into one cheek as she stopped before him. Her eyes darted over him, trying to absorb every detail.

Daniel shifted on his feet, watching this woman, until his eyes caught hers and held them. He spoke gently. “I’m Daniel.”

Elpis stared intently into Daniel’s blue eyes, and then her smile faded, the unshed tears of happiness now falling down her cheeks in sadness. “You—you do not know me.”

He winced slightly at her tears and shook his head slowly. “I’m sorry,” he breathed softly.

Her face fell and she nodded lightly, before turning and walking back to her father. “By your leave, Abaris.” She gave a quick bow and left hurriedly toward the village, with the calls out to her by her father quickening her pace even more.

The Abaris sighed deeply and turned to Daniel and the other members of his team. “Please forgive my daughter’s behavior. Seeing that you were not the Dream Giver has upset her. I assure you, she is usually the most cordial of many of my people.” He frowned slightly as he watched her form disappear over the rise.

“But Fath—uhm, Abaris,” Daphnis spoke up, “Elpis didn’t say that he was not the Dream Giver. All we know is that Daniel did not recognize her.”

Hebe lit up. “It is true, Abaris. He does look like the drawings!”

A few more murmurs of assent rippled through the small crowd.

The Abaris nodded. “Very true, my people. Very true.” He turned to SG-1. “Regardless of whether you are the Dream Giver or not, we never let visitors go without a meal. Please join us, friends. And perhaps we will settle this soon.”



Part 4
Shortly before updating Stargate Command on the situation, the team discovered that their radios weren’t working. After some quick diagnostics by Sam, they concluded that something near the village was causing electromagnetic interference. Once in proximity to the Stargate their radios seemed to work fine. Clear that there was no danger, they settled in for a meal in one of the common buildings, along with a few of the town elders, the Abaris, and a few of his eldest children—with a noticeably absent Elpis.

“So is it just me,” Jack murmured to the others at the dinner table as the meal was ending, “or is ‘one of these things not like the other’?” His eyes rolled a little, his last words trailing in a sing-song voice.

The Abaris looked in SG-1’s direction and called out to them, down the long table. “What was that you said, Colonel?”

Jack looked around at his team, but Daniel jumped in before the question could be answered.

“Abaris, one of your daughters mentioned drawings. Could I see them, possibly?” He looked around at the team. “It might help us understand a little bit more about what you believe me to be.”

“Of course, Daniel. They are housed in our simple museum but one building over.”

The Abaris led SG-1 next door, and they made their way through large rooms housing paintings and drawings, with a few stone sculptures and artifacts dug up through the years. Normally Daniel would have been interested in these, but he held close to the Abaris, intent upon seeing these drawings that supposedly depicted him.

“After the first drawings, we had many people attempt to copy the likeness, and so we put the small collection of the best likenesses in this small room.” He stepped into a side room, leading them to a main wall that stood in the middle of the room. Hung cautiously without frames and drawn on rough-hewn, canvas-like pages, were striking likenesses of Daniel.

Daniel stared at the images. Logically, he knew this couldn’t be possible. There was no way that some woman he didn’t even know, light years away from home, could possibly know him, much less what he looked like. But in front of these images his heart told him differently. Soon after they were mentioned as existing, he knew it had to be true. Her warm emerald eyes had held recognition, and he knew that it was his lack that caused her to turn away. She knew him. But how?

“It is indeed puzzling, Daniel Jackson,” Teal’c answered.

Daniel did a double-take and looked at Teal’c, finally realizing that he had spoken his question out loud.

Jack tapped on the wall, near the pictures. “Well, the clothes are different,” he said, trying to be helpful in pointing out discrepancies.

In the portraits it was hard to distinguish, but in the few full-bodied images, the Daniel in the pictures was shown wearing clothing similar to the locals of this town.

“And the glasses are missing,” Sam pointed out.

Daniel crinkled his nose and merely nodded.

“Who drew these,” she asked, turning to the Abaris.

“These were the first, and were drawn by Elpis herself.” He smiled. “She is quite talented.”

Almost as if he hadn’t heard the previous few comments, Daniel turned to them, eyes wide and throwing his hands out to the drawings. “Besides the fact that someone had a dream that had someone that looks like me in them, and they put that likeness to paper, why the shrine at the Stargate? Why the copies of the initial likeness? Why a whole wing dedicated to this Dream Giver! What makes him more than a dream?”

Sam, Jack and Teal’c looked at each other, then to the Abaris. With drooping brows, the Abaris looked softly at Daniel.

“While we call you, uh, him,” he said, pointing to the drawings, “the Dream Giver, it is only because he always appeared in dreams. Elpis claims that he spoke with her, almost as if he were with her. He helped her guide our village. He helped explain cures to simple ailments, helped us with ways of going about our daily lives in this village, and taught us how to guard against any who would come to us through the Chapa’ai. It was as if he were our protector.”

Daniel’s shoulders slumped, and he closed his eyes briefly, running both hands through his hair. “I need some air,” he murmured, making his way through the simple maze of halls and rooms.

Stepping outside, he let his eyelids slide to close and took a deep breath of the cool evening air, exposing his face to the sky. Slowly opening his eyes, his peripheral vision caught the last vestiges of light on one side, giving way to the inky night sky, which gently took twinkling stars into its embrace. He blinked. He was used to unfamiliar stars after traveling to so many planets, but he was surprised as he looked at these. These seemed vaguely familiar. He shook his head, took another deep breath, and started walking slowly around the village. Very few people were out—most could be heard in their homes, enjoying their evening meal.

Almost to the edge of the town, he was about to turn around and go back, when he heard singing. It was hard to make out at first, amidst the gentle coo of birds settling down for the night, and the evening sounds of crickets and cicadas floating through the night air. He walked toward one of the larger homes on the outskirts of the village, the song becoming louder, and clearer. He knew that song! Well, perhaps not the words—those eluded him—but the melody was quite familiar. The house sat right before a downhill slope, and at the back a large garden was surrounded by a stone half wall, with an impressive wrought-iron gate. In the middle of the garden, built up on more stone, was a gazebo that looked out to the plain and the mountains beyond. And in the gazebo, upon a marble bench and surrounded by ensconced candles, sat Elpis singing the hauntingly intimate tune.

He watched her from beyond the gate, transfixed upon her gentle song, filled with a heartbreaking hope, sung in a clear soprano. His breath caught as her face turned slightly toward him and he saw tears on her cheeks glistening in the candlelight’s glow. His jaw clenched slightly as he watched her sorrow from the shadows. In the darkness he whispered, “Who are you?”

Her fingers wiped at her tears as her song trailed off.

Daniel paused for a moment and turned silently to go.

“I am Elpis,” her voice chided softly, gently carried to him.

He turned back to the gate, sure that she didn’t mean to speak to him.

“But the question is,” she continued, as she rose and approached the gate, flickers of candlelight catching the green in her eyes like fireflies, “who are you?”


Part 5
“I . . . don’t think I am what you believe me to be, Elpis.” Daniel paused. “If I may call you, Elpis?” He paused again. “But then, I don’t know what else I would call you.”

She smiled softly at him through the gate. “You never used my name before, though I always suspected you knew it. It sounds nice when you speak it.” Her smile widened. “Hope.” She looked away briefly, as if recalling a memory, her eyes drifting closed dreamily. “The few times you addressed me, you referred to me as ‘Hope.’ But the weight given was not just the meaning. It felt like it could carry the universe.” Her eyes opened, and the darkened orbs stared at Daniel.

He looked at her, tilting his head slightly. “Haven’t you ever heard of the origin?”

She shook her head slightly, a few stray strands of hair catching a dance on the night wind. “All anyone knows around here is the meaning. There have been rumors of there being a story of origin, but it has been lost these many years.” She opened the gate to him. “Would you tell it to me?”

“Uhm,” he looked back, as if wondering if he should return to his team, but knew they wouldn’t leave without him, and turned back to Elpis, curious to know more of this woman who had dreamt and given his likeness. “Sure.”

She led him to the gazebo, under more light, and they sat on the bench on which she had been earlier.

The story of Pandora’s Box was short and simple to tell, but, he couldn’t help himself in expanding on the usual tale, finding an apt audience in Elpis. He found himself going off on several tangents as Elpis asked about other gods and goddesses mentioned in the tale. She laughed melodically as she caught names that were those belonging to friends or family, interested to know if they knew who they had been named after.

She had drawn up her legs onto the bench, crossing them under each other, with her arms resting on them, as she leaned into him, caught up in the last part of his telling.

“The lid was shut before that which was at the bottom could get out. And while the evils of mankind ran rampant throughout the world, one thing remained,” Daniel’s voice dropped softly, entreating Elpis to the end of his tale.

Her eyes round and lips parted slightly, she breathed out, “Hope.”

He smiled gently and nodded, blue eyes twinkling softly in the candle’s light and from the enjoyment he had in sharing his knowledge of history and mythology with a willing listener. “Also known as ‘Elpis.”

Her mouth widened into a winsome smile and she laughed in joy. “Such a wonderful story, Dream Giver!”

Daniel’s smile faded slightly. “Elpis, you can just call me Daniel.”

She glanced down, smiling at his correction and gently catching her lower lip under a few teeth for a moment. Her eyes slid up to meet his. “And what does your name mean, Daniel?”

“God is my judge.”

She more fully looked at him, her back straightening and her head tilting slightly, brows lightly furrowed. “Which god?”

He shook his head slightly. “It comes from a religious book we have on my planet called the Bible. In that book, there is only one God. Daniel is in one of the stories.”

“And these stories are different than the ones you told me about, with Pandora?”

“Yes, quite! Actually, our planet is rich with stories, histories and mythologies.”

Her eyes lit up. “Oh, Daniel, I would love to hear them all!”

He laughed out loud. “It might take a lifetime.” He then looked around. “Besides, it’s getting late, and I’m sure my friends are probably wanting to go back home.”

Almost as if summoned, one of Elpis’ youngest sisters, whom Daniel had not met before, came running from the home into the garden. “Elpis! The visitors are wishing to leave, but they cannot find—” she stopped, eyes widening, in front of Elpis and Daniel. “The Dream Giver!”

Elpis unfolded herself from the bench and stood, her face calmly collected. “Cyrene, your manners?” she chided with a stern warmth, different from the child-like wonder she had exposed to Daniel earlier.

The girl’s eyes went wider, as she placed her hands over her lips and gave a deep, though unsteady, bow to Daniel.

“Daniel, this is my sister, Cyrene. And,” Elpis glanced at Daniel briefly, pursing her lips, and then looking back to her sister, “Cyrene, he wishes to be called Daniel.”

Daniel smiled warmly and held his hand out to the girl, which she took briefly, the barely-lit area showing her lightly-blushed cheeks. She then squeaked out, “Your friends are looking for you, Daniel.”

“Thank you,” he nodded as he stood. “I figured they would probably be looking for me, seeing as I didn’t let them know where I was going.”

“Cyrene, please let the visitors know that Daniel has been found and will be along shortly.”

The young girl gave a hasty bow and ran out of the garden, disappearing around a corner of the house.

“You seem almost like a mother to her, rather than a sister,” Daniel said cautiously.

Elpis sighed, her face softening. “The burden of being the eldest sister. Especially since our mother died shortly after Cyrene was born.”

“I’m sorry. I had thought perhaps that was the case, but didn’t want to ask.”

She turned to him, lips curved down, and spoke softly. “You thought because you already knew. In my dreams I told you much about this, only letting you share in the knowledge of the obligation I feel in caring for my brothers and sisters.”

“Elpis, I—”

“I know, Daniel. You do not think you are my Dream Giver.” She then smiled gently. “But over some time ago, you became part of my life. And until you stopped visiting, I believed it would always be that way. You, watching over me and the people of this planet. Do you at least acknowledge that I believe you are?”

His eyes narrowed at something she had said.

“Yo, Danny boy!” Jack’s calling out from the gate broke into Daniel’s thoughts. “Time to go home.”

Jack was waving him over, with a patient Sam and stoic Teal’c next to him, along with the Abaris. “Let’s go! I don’t wanna miss The Simpsons.”

“I believe, O’Neill, that it is a re-run tonight.”

Jack shrugged as Daniel and Elpis approached. “Eh. They’re still funny, though.”

Elpis whispered to Daniel. “Who are the Simpsons?”

Daniel laughed lightly and rolled his eyes. “It’s a story of sorts, with moving pictures.”

Her eyes widened in wonder. “Moving pictures?”

But before he could explain more, the Abaris had opened the gate to ease them out, and Jack quipped. “So, kids, what were you doing over there?” He arched an eyebrow, gesturing toward the gazebo.

“Jack, we were discussing some ancient Greek myths. Elpis wanted to know the origin of her name, and so I told her.”

“Ah,” Jack intoned sarcastically, turning to Sam, “a great way to a girl’s heart, discussing dusty, old stories.” Sam chuckled softly.

Daniel sighed in exasperation.

“Will you be returning soon?” Elpis asked softly, addressing the whole group, but her eyes focused on Daniel.

The Abaris turned to O’Neill, in questioning, as well.

“Yeah, I suppose. We still need to get this whole ‘Dream Giver’ thing cleared up.”

Saying casual goodbyes, the group turned to leave, when Elpis caught Daniel by calling out to him.

“Daniel, do you believe I believe?”

He nodded. “I do,” he said softly. And he truly did.

A beatific smile crossed her face, and she then placed her hands familiarly, not over her lips, but over her heart, and bowed.

They left her like that, walking some way toward the Stargate, accompanied by the Abaris, before Teal’c asked, “Abaris, your daughter’s farewell was different than what I have noticed your people to use. Does its use have a meaning?”

The Abaris nodded, but took a few moments to respond. “The normal greeting and farewell is the hands lightly over the lips, with a bow of the head, or even a deeper bow. It means that what your lips speak is truth. Or, that it is to be perceived as truth. You see, we value honesty most highly here.” He then paused, glancing toward Daniel. “But with the hands over the heart…it is only used between intimates and rarely seen in public. It means that the heart speaks truth.”

The last few words the Abaris had spoken stayed with Daniel for a long time, even when the Abaris left them to continue on alone to the Stargate and they had made their way through, back home. Even until he was finally able to drift off to sleep that night, wondering if and how he was connected to the one whose heart spoke truth.


NEW! Part 6
The debrief in the morning had gone normally, with General Hammond’s probing questions over the people, the planet, and the supposition of Daniel being connected with them somehow. All in the team had agreed that the drawings had been as close to Daniel as to ascertain that it was almost positively him. It was even ventured as possible that maybe more duplicate androids of themselves were running around, but Jack’s idea was quickly dismissed, as Elpis was certain that Daniel and herself had only met in dreams—beside the fact that, as far as they knew, all doubles of themselves were no longer alive.

Over an early lunch, Daniel sat in a corner, his fork twirling absentmindedly in his mashed potatoes, as he thought over the previous day’s events, as well as the early-morning meeting.

“May I sit with you, Daniel Jackson?” Teal’c loomed over the seated Daniel, who gave him a brief nod.

They sat in silence for awhile, Teal’c eating and Daniel frowning at his food.

Finished with his meal, Teal’c leaned in across the table, and spoke in a low voice. “Not long ago, when your visions helped my son and Bra’tac, I told you how your appearance in my dream helped me live when Bra’tac and I had to sustain ourselves on one symbiote because of the injuries we sustained during the ambush of Kresh'tar .”

Daniel dropped his fork, his blue eyes looking at Teal’c in earnest.

“As an ascended being, Daniel Jackson, you were able to appear to me in my dreams, and even influence me. Could it not be possible that you appeared in this woman’s dreams, as well?”

Daniel sighed and ran his hands through his hair. “Maybe, Teal’c, but the only memories of being ascended that I’ve been able to remember are those of Rya’c and Bra’tac. And we aren’t even sure of the time frame in which Elpis had her dreams with me in them.”

“Actually, Daniel,” Sam said, having approached quietly, with Jack in tow, “I think we may have a better grasp of it.” They slid in next to Daniel and Teal’c and Sam continued. “While you were talking to Elpis, we asked the Abaris when Elpis began having her dreams. The time he mentioned was fairly abstract to us, but he was able to provide a crude representation of a calendar, with the cycle of their moon. After converting their time to coincide by ours, using a variant, I was able to determine that—”

“You were all higher-plane and the like at the time,” Jack interrupted.

“Sir!” Sam’s eyebrows shot up.

He grinned and shrugged. “Sorry, Carter, but you were taking a darn long time.”

“So I was ascended at the time,” Daniel breathed out slowly.

Sam’s lips thinned a little in compassion and nodded to Daniel. “The good news is, it probably was you who visited Elpis in her dreams. The question is: why?”

Jack quirked an eyebrow. “Does it really matter? I mean, while Daniel was ascended he did a lot of watching, and I know he helped out some, at least with moral support, eh Danny boy?” He winked at Daniel. “So, what’s one more person? What’s special about her, besides being a little sweet on Daniel?”

“Sir,” Sam pursed her lips, chiding Jack.

Daniel frowned slightly at them. “Guys, I just think there’s more to this. More to her.”

Teal’c inclined his head slightly. “Elpis is like an orchid among wildflowers. Clearly she is not natural-born to these people.”

Jack slapped the table with the palm of his hand. “Thank you!”

“Colonel?” Sam turned to Jack.

“I’ve been trying to bring up the fact that Elpis looks nothing like the rest of her people. But nobody was picking up on it.”

Sam frowned. “Uhm, Sir, it’s pretty obvious.”

Jack pouted, and Sam laughed softly at him.

Chewing on his lip lightly, Daniel looked at them. “Then I think we need to find out who Elpis is, and why, as an ascended being, I would have visited her.”

“I think the easiest way to start is with a medical exam,” Sam’s eyebrows shot up in questioning to the group. “We might be able to determine her ancestry by her DNA.”

Jack nodded. “I’ll talk to Hammond about bringing Elpis here.”

“No!” Daniel shouted, then blinked slowly, as if a little confused at his vehemence.

“Daniel, are you okay?” Sam leaned into him, her eyebrows knit in concern.

He shrugged, raking fingers through his hair. “Yeah, I’m fine. I just got this feeling that it’s not a good idea to bring Elpis here.”

“Why not?” Jack raised an eyebrow.

Daniel shrugged again, glancing down for a moment. “Honestly, I don’t know.”

“Daniel Jackson, Dr. Fraiser and the medical staff are more than capable to perform the tests necessary to ascertain Elpis’ origins. They have helped many people, including all of us here, on more than one occasion.” Teal’c said, trying to comfort Daniel.

Sam smiled reassuringly. “Teal’c’s right, Daniel. We can only gain so much from taking a sample of blood or DNA from off-world. It’ll be more effective to have her here.”

Daniel’s blue eyes looked to every one of his teammates, pausing a moment at their insistent gazes and then finally sighing. “Okay, you’re right. And it makes sense. We’ll bring her here.”

Teal’c nodded, Jack grinned and muttered an “excellent”, and Sam smiled softly as she put a hand on Daniel’s.

“She’ll be fine, Daniel. We won’t let anything happen to her.”

His lips tightened into a smile as he nodded, hoping that the feeling of anxiety he had deep down wouldn’t betray him to his friends.


[Part 7 coming the First Friday in December!]

1 comments:

Manda November 6, 2011 at 10:06 AM  

Yay! Yes, I did suspect you were hinting at writing, and I did wonder if it would be the long-lost Stargate fic. As someone who, over the past year, has taken up writing again--and had some success with it--I'm happy for you to be writing again too!

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