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T is for Torn

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Jack looked across the table to see Daniel nodding off. He could not blame the man, really, as they'd been up for nearly two days now and Daniel wasn't used to this sort of thing yet. But that didn't mean Jack could let him sleep just now. They were seated at a celebration on a world they'd just made first contact with. There were hopes of negotiations between the two peoples and though the civilization was somewhat primitive, preliminary soil samples had shown an abundance of naqahdah. 

"Daniel!" Jack whispered across the table, not wanting the sleeping archeologist to be spotted. If he'd learned anything from Daniel over the years, it was that falling asleep during a ceremony held in your honor was a very bad idea. "Daniel!" he whispered again. Then he aimed a kick under the table with one more whisper, "Spacemonkey!" 

Daniel sat up at once, blinking. He met Jack's gaze with an apologetic look but didn't have a chance to apologize until they were back on Earth in the locker room. 

"I am sorry," Daniel said, rubbing his eyes and then rubbing his nose. "I guess I wasn't as ready to jump back into things as I thought I was." 

"You're just tired," Jack said, stripping off his shirt and only then realizing he should probably turn his back to Daniel while changing. "It's great to have you back on the team, and I wouldn't let you gate out if I didn't think you were ready." He laughed. "Funny thing about it is, though, usually it's the other way around. You're usually the one watching me to make sure I don't step on any toes." 

Daniel nodded, sitting down on the bench in-between the two rows of lockers and staring at the group. "I've remembered a lot... including a lot of things I wish I'd forgotten. But little things like my relationships with you all... it doesn't feel second nature to me yetâ€"" He broke off, his breath hitching. "h'Chihhh! h'Choo!" He rubbed at his nose with a groan. "I'm on allergy medicine. What's wrong with me?" 

Jack had noticed this about Daniel. "It happens when you travel. Back when you first joined SG-1 you used to sneeze all the time from all the gate travel. But once you got used to it that went away." 

"How long was... hah... was that?" Daniel asked, searching his pockets for a tissue. "hahhChuhhh!"

Shrugging, "A few months, maybe." 

"Months?" Daniel rolled his eyes. "That's something I didn't actually want to know." He rubbed his thumb and forefinger at the bridge of his nose and between his eyes. "There's a lot I'm not sure I want to know. But I also really want to remember who I was," he said. 

Jack pulled on a T-shirt that didn't smell like P5X-M94 and sat down next to Daniel to offer moral support. 

"There are also a lot of things that don't add up, Jack. Like why I didn't try harder to save Sha're..."

"You did everything you could, Daniel."

"Or why my memory was erased but I'm able to recover it..."

"I'm sure Oma was just trying to help you out. One of those 'a reed bent in the wind might not stay bent' types of deals." 

"Or the fact that my apartment's so bare." 

Jack was surprised by this one, and it took him a few moments to get over it. "Bare?"

Daniel looked up, nodding. "I mean, it's got lots of things I remember... and I know you all thought I wasn't coming back. But... I only have a few changes of clothes in the closet and dresser and I didn't even have a toothbrush." 

Jack sighed and stood up. He ran his hand through his hair. Ever since Daniel had deascended... unascended... whatever it was called... he'd been trying to decide when to talk to Daniel about them. Half of him had hoped Daniel would remember on his own, but Daniel had said himself that the relationship part was the part slowest to come back to him. And while he wanted to go back to where they'd been before, he didn't want to shock Daniel. After all, Daniel had remembered his wife almost right away but had had the most trouble remembering Jack's name. That had to mean something. 

And now that Daniel seemed to be slowly getting back into things... he really didn't want to make it even more difficult... on either of them. 

"huh-Chihh!" Daniel had given up on trying to find a tissue by now and scrubbed his nose into the back of his hand.

Jack sighed and turned, rooting around in his locker until he found a mini-box of tissues he always kept on hand for Daniel. He tossed the box over and Daniel fumbled the catch but set it on his lap as he pulled one out. "Thanks, Jack," he said, rubbing at his nose. He looked at the box on his lap for a moment, then picked it up and looked at it more closely. "I remember..." he said thoughtfully. Jack held his breath. "I remember you sending me a box through the Stargate." 

This was true, and Jack nodded. This was the perfect time to say something, but Jack couldn't... 

"And you called me Spacemonkey today."

Jack nodded again. He replied but still held back, wanting to say more but not daring to. "One of the first nicknames I had for you."

Daniel looked pensive, still staring at the tissue box. Finally, "I remember the others." 

Eager, but trying not to look it, Jack waited. "You do?"

It was Daniel's turn to nod. "You could have just told me at the start we were lovers, Jack." He smiled, looking up at the man. "Would have saved us both a lot of anxiety. I've been worried about how attracted I was to you."

"You mean this wasn't one of those things you didn't want to remember?" Jack asked cautiously. 

Daniel laughed. "Of course not. Just drive me to your place so I can see the rest of my things, okay?" He turned his head, breath hitching again. "h'chishh! Sniff!" He rubbed his nose again with another laugh. "And for the sake of less traveling, maybe I can spend the night?" 

Jack grinned, glad to know Daniel was ready to jump back into this. He wrapped his arms around Daniel and pulled him into a hug, patting Daniel's back. It was good to have Daniel back. It was good to feel whole again.