Category: Angst, MissingScene/Epilogue, POV, Thoughts
Episode related: 001 Stargate - The Movie, 101 Children of the gods, 413 The Curse
Season: Season 4
Warnings: adult themes
Summary: Daniel's thoughts on the way to his former mentor's funeral.
Daniel stared out of the cab window, barely noticing the scenery as he neared his destination. This was his first visit to Chicago since the disastrous lecture which had ended his academic career. Once Daniel had been the `fair-haired boy' of The Oriental Institute, favorite student of the eminent scholar, Dr. Jordan. Now his former mentor was dead, killed in a freak accident. Although the two had parted on acrimonious terms, Daniel was determined to pay his respects.
`I am not looking forward to this,' he thought. `Seeing Steven will be bad enough, but facing Sarah will be worse. It'll be so awkward meeting her again, especially after the way we parted. How could something that started out so well have gone bad so fast? I remember the first time we met, she was beautiful, but after spending an hour with her I forgot about Sarah's looks and fell in love with her mind. Sarah's the only woman I've ever met who shared my passion for knowledge, who wanted to explore, to learn. I thought I'd found the perfect mate. We were going to be a team, Gardner and Jackson, The Oriental Institutes' premier archaeologists. I pictured the two of us working in the field side by side, making fantastic discoveries, lecturing to classrooms of enthralled students, even writing best selling books,' Daniel thought nostalgically.
`Does she ever think of me or did she put me out of her mind years ago? For that matter, does anyone in Chicago remember me? They haven't heard a word from me in over five years. From their perspective it's like I dropped off the face of the earth. You gotta love the irony of that,' he thought ruefully.
`Maybe I should have kept in touch after I returned from Abydos, tried to patch things up with Dr. Jordan, let him know that I was all right, that I'd found a good job; that contrary to Steven's prediction, I wasn't lying in a gutter somewhere. No, it wouldn't have worked. I can't tell anyone about my work. Anyway, Sarah's so smart, she'd probably put two and two together, and I couldn't risk her getting too close to the truth, not after what happened to that reporter,' Daniel thought.
As the countryside rolled by, Daniel's mind drifted back to their final argument:
Sarah was furious. Confronting Daniel in his office at The Oriental Institute, she launched into an angry tirade.
"Daniel, don't be such a damned fool! You're about to destroy your career AND our relationship and over what? Your ridiculous theory that ancient astronauts created Egyptian society?" Sarah had shouted.
"I don't care if it ends my career," Daniel had yelled back. "I KNOW I'm right, and I know if I can just get people to listen to me, to open their minds to the possibility, I can find the proof. It would revolutionize the entire field of archaeology."
"Don't be so naive," Sarah said cuttingly. "You aren't going to revolutionize anything. All you will do is bring disgrace on Dr. Jordan, and make yourself a laughingstock."
"You don't understand, Sarah. I have to tell the world about my theories. I don't have a choice," Daniel insisted.
"Of course you have a choice. No one is forcing you to do this. You're becoming obsessed, just like your grandfather, I think you're quite insane, Daniel. If you keep on this course, you'll end up in an asylum as well," Sarah said.
Daniel paled. "How can you say such a thing? If you cared at all about me. . .," he said, his voice trailing off.
"Daniel, it is precisely because I care about you that I am saying these things. I cannot stand by and watch ruin your future, our future," Sarah said. "What of our plans, Daniel? If you go through with this Dr. Jordan will not support you. Your grant will be withdrawn. You'll lose your position."
"I don't care if I lose my position and if you really loved me, you'd support me," Daniel said.
"Support you? Daniel, I will not stand by and watch you make a fool of yourself," Sarah said. "Ruin your own career if you must, but you will not ruin mine."
"What exactly are you saying?" Daniel asked.
"If you insist on presenting your paper at the conference, we are through," Sarah said. "I will not allow my reputation to be destroyed for your sake."
"All right then, if that's how you want it, we're through," Daniel said shaking with rage.
The cab turned into the cemetery. `I can see Sarah's point now. From her perspective I threw away a promising career for nothing. It's not like I've been active in the field. I haven't published a single paper, or attended any conferences in years. As far as my former colleagues are concerned, I'm a complete failure. They don't know I'm a highly paid civilian consultant for the United States Air Force. For all they know, I really could be lying in a gutter somewhere,' he thought, amused.
`To be honest, If I hadn't opened the gate, and joined the SGC a year later, Sarah would have been absolutely right about me throwing my career away. After being laughed out of the archaeology profession, I'd have been lucky to have gotten work on an urban archaeology site, digging up 200 year old garbage, or maybe as a museum tour guide. No, I'm not a success like Steven. He's become quite the celebrity with his best-seller; there's even a rumor he'll be hosting a special on The Discovery Channel. I'm sure he'll gloat about it too; knowing him, he won't be able to resist a few cheap shots. I may not be guesting on talk shows, but still, I wouldn't trade what I do for a million dollars,' Daniel thought.
The cab stopped abruptly. Jolted from his reverie, Daniel paid the driver and made his way towards the assembled mourners.
Spotting Sarah in the crowd, he took a deep breath, and braced himself for the coming confrontation.