It feels odd to be back here. I've been gone six Earth months, but I was here for a whole year. I lived here, ate here, slept here, communicated with the people, tried to learn things.
Most of them were nice. Samantha Carter was the first to be friendly. Then even Teal's would offer to explain things to me. I think he helped me because he remembered what it was like to be different, to not know about things here. Even General Hammond tried to help me, to find me a place.
The Colonel never really tried to get to know me. I know that he blamed me for his friend's death. I know that he never quite forgave me for the accident. Of course, I never really forgave myself either. Doctor Jackson was my guest. I was supposed to be showing him around. It wasn't my fault the test went so horribly wrong, but he was my responsibility. And I failed him in that.
Then, my government tried to blame the disaster on Doctor Jackson. I was shocked, that they wouldn't even take responsibility for the mistake. That's when I realized that they were weak and wrong and pitiful. I had to try and make it right, I had to try and fix things. It was, after all, Kelowna's fault and my failure. So I did it...I stole some nacquadria and I went through the Stargate. I committed treason against my own planet. Then, I couldn't go back even if I had wanted to.
I tried to fit in, I read all of Doctor Jackson's books to learn how to translate languages and understand their mission. I wanted to be useful; I wanted to be needed. After a while, General Hammond told Colonel O'Neill that he needed to replace Doctor Jackson on SG-1. I was surprised when he chose me.
Oh, I know. He didn't pick me so much as he decided he didn't want anyone else. I was a known quantity if not one that he liked. So, I joined SG-1.
I threw myself into learning my new job. I wanted to be as good as my predecessor; I wanted to be appreciated for my knowledge and my skill just like he was. Major Carter noticed and helped me. Teal's agreed to assist me in my physical training. The Colonel grudgingly realized that I was trying and would work hard for him. But I could never equal the one he lost nor I could live up to his high standards, and I surely could not take the place of him. I could translate ancient texts in the same way, I could explain legends and mythology in a similar fashion, I could understand alien politics like he could ...but I could never replace him...I could never be him.
At first I didn't understand. I apologized, I explained, I tried so hard and I failed so badly. I just didn't get it. Then it occurred to me, it 'hit' me, as the Colonel would say. I would never be him, I could never be him. It wasn't that they put him on a pedestal. They didn't need to. It didn't matter.
I could never be his friend.
I could never be her brother.
I could never be the missing part of his soul.
Then one day, on an alien planet, he was there. He had no memory of them, of his life, or even who he was but it didn't matter to them. They didn't care. They only saw him. And they didn't see me any more.
So he came back to them and, in doing so, he did it again. He saved my planet, my home, my people and me. I could go back home now...I had to go back. Because there was no place for me here anymore, the rightful owner of this place had returned.
Now, I'm back here, because my planet was going to be devastated. The stupidity of my people was going to win at last and we were going to destroy ourselves. But we finally stopped it, with the help of SG-1. There is now time, time for an alternative answer to our problems,
time for us to fix what is wrong with our world and us.
So I'm back here in the office that I occupied for a time. It looks different now. The shelves are arranged differently, the lights are dimmer, the books in a different configuration. There is now a new computer on the desk and different materials on the desk. As I look around now I realize something.
Once I had thought to make this my office, my home. But I know now that I had been wrong. I was only occupying space, spending time, and holding a place for someone else. I had never really fit in. I had never truly belonged. This space, this room, this office could only belong to one man. It could only hold one spirit and delineate one life.
It could only be Daniel's office.