DISCLAIMER: I don't own Daniel Jackson, Sam Carter, Jack O'Neill, Teal'c, General Hammond, Dr. Frasier, Dr. Warner or the Stargate, and I don't lay any claim to them. They are the property of MGM and Gekko Productions. I am not making any money out of this, I am just writing for my own, and other fans, enjoyment. However, this story is sole property of the author, and cannot be used without permission.

NOTES: This is my first piece of fanfic anywhere, so please be considerate! You can flame, but be gentle! I just want to say thanks to all other Stargate Sg-1 writers whose work I've read for inspiring me to write this. It has been beta'ed, so any typo's are my sisters fault. Enjoy!

WARNING: Contains minor spoilers for 'The Enemy Within,' 'Solidarity,' and 'In the Line of Duty.'

RATED: PG. It has minor language, h/c and some smarm. Beta-ed by Taleya.

Copyright (c) 1998

by Bronwyn

habitation: n 1. a place of living; dwelling. 2. the act of inhabiting or living in.
(Macquarie Dictionary)

Colonel Jack O'Neill looked around the planet, sighing. The place was nice to look at, but that was about all it had going for it. His team had found no evidence of life outside native fauna and flora, so Carter and Teal'c were taking soil samples to take back home, in case there was anything of interest. Daniel had wandered off a little, looking at the trees, absorbed by his own curiosity.

Jack suddenly looked around, and frowned. Where was Daniel? He'd been there a second ago. Jack decided to round him up, since there was nothing much of interest here, they should get back to the base. He was heading towards where he'd last seen the archaeologist, when he heard Daniel call his name, sounding worried and uncertain, but unafraid. Deciding he didn't need back up, Jack moved toward that sound.

Daniel sighed as he wandered around the green planet. It was peaceful, but like Jack, he thought it was also boring. He thrived on the study of cultures, and there were none here. He had moved out of sight of the group, around a clump of trees, when he stopped short at the sight before him.

It was like a vertical rainbow, hanging in the air at the same height as his head, only with nothing to hold it up. The blur of colour shimmered and glowed, rippling almost, reminding Daniel of the surface of the 'gate. He stood there examining it, marvelling at the colours swirling inside it when it began to move towards him, floating through the air. Daniel began to back away, only to have it follow him.

"Jack!" called Daniel, worriedly.

He didn't know if this thing was going to hurt him or what, but he didn't want to find out.

Before he could move, the shimmering light arched forward and touched him. He could feel it blending in with himself, it was *merging* itself with his skin. He lifted a hand, and saw that his skin was glowing the same colour as the rainbow, with shining particles like stars moving through it. He let out a whimper, and then felt a blinding, crippling pain. The pain went on and on, tearing through him, dragging through him so intensely that he couldn't even scream. Then suddenly it stopped.

Jack hurried around the side of a copse of trees to find Daniel on the ground.


He knelt beside the archaeologist, who was unconscious. As far as Jack could see, there were no wounds on his body, but something must have knocked him out. Then he turned him over, and found the bloody cut on the side of his head. He looked around, weapon ready, but he found nothing out of the norm. He turned his attention back to the young man lying before him.

"Danny, can you hear me?" There was no response.

"Dammit! Carter! Teal'c! Get over here, now!" The other two members of Sg-1 stopped short at seeing Daniel on the ground, then ran to his side.

"Colonel O'Neill, what happened?" asked Teal'c.

"I don't know!" snapped O'Neill. "He called me, I came, and he was like this."

"It looks like he may have tripped and knocked his head," said Sam, examining her friend.

O'Neill frowned. "I don't know. He called me, and he sounded worried."

"Perhaps he called you before falling unconscious," stated Teal'c logically.

Carter finished examining Daniel, and looked up at the Colonel.

"We should get him home sir. He might have a concussion or a fracture." O'Neill nodded.

"Teal'c, carry him. Carter, get the 'gate open."

The klaxons blared as the circle on the Earth Stargate began to turn, and the chevrons locked. General Hammond crossed the room in quick strides.

"Who's due back?"

"Sg-6, sir. Sg-1 is due back too, but not for half an hour," a technician answered.

"Check the code." The technician frowned, then looked up in surprise as the code came through as the Stargate bloomed to life.

"It's Sg-1, sir, but they're early." Hammond looked up at the Stargate.

"Perhaps there was nothing of interest on that planet. Open the iris." He hurried down the stairs to the 'gate room to welcome Sg-1 back.

Sam came through first, and she went straight to the General.

"Sir, we need a doctor, Daniel's been hurt." Hammond nodded to an airman to call the infirmary.

"Captain, what-" he was cut off by Teal'c stepping through the 'gate, Daniel over his shoulders, Colonel O'Neill following close behind. As they descended the ramp, Dr Frasier hurried into the embarkation room.

Dr. Frasier had pushed past Hammond in seconds, medical team in tow. She knelt down beside Daniel, whom Teal'c had placed on a waiting stretcher.

"What happened, Colonel?" She asked as her fingers gently brushed over the cut on Daniel's head.

"I don't know, I just found him on the ground. Captain Carter thinks he might have fallen." Dr. Frasier nodded.

"I think he'll be fine, but I want him in the infirmary in case he has a concussion, and I want x-rays to check for skull fractures." With a gesture from the small woman, the medics left the room.

Hammond watched as Daniel was carried out of the embarkation room. Frasier lingered for a moment.

"When you're ready, I want you all to come to the infirmary. We need to do the usual checkup, but there is also this. Now, this might just be something with Dr. Jackson, or it might be something with you all. I'll need to check you all out." Then she was also gone.

Jack looked after the retreating medic, worried about his friend, but confident that the Doc would look after him. He was interrupted from his concerned musings by Hammond snapping:

"Sg-1! Report for debriefing!"

The remaining members looked at each other. All of them wanted to check on Daniel, but they knew that the General would be impatient. Jack sighed, then headed towards the debriefing room, followed by the rest of his team.

After the debriefing, Sg-1 headed down to the infirmary to get checked out. While Dr. Warner was examining her, Sam asked how Daniel was. Dr. Warner indicated that she was all clear, and said,

"He's currently Dr. Frasier's patient, but I believe he's fine. I think he's awake now." Sam thanked the doctor, then hurried to see her friend.

She found Teal'c already there, as he didn't need to be checked out for diseases or Gou'ald. He was sitting by Daniel's side, and was filling him in on what they knew about his collapse.

"So you just found me on the ground?" asked Daniel. He sounded puzzled.

"Colonel O'Neill found you."

"Don't you remember what happened, Daniel?" asked Sam as she came in. Daniel gave her a smile, which she returned.

"How are you feeling?"

"My head hurts like hell, as Jack would say. And no, I don't remember." Daniel frowned.

"Where is Jack, anyway? Is he alright?" Sam nodded, and smiled again. Daniel squinted at her, his vision overcome in the bright room without his glasses.

"Oh, he's fine, Dr. Warner is just doing the routine checkup."

"Oh," said Daniel. He sat back, wincing as he held his head. "I feel so tired," he muttered.

"You're probably still a bit off colour. C'mon, Teal'c, we'll let him get his rest." Daniel nodded, and settled himself on his pillows. Carter opened the door, then hesitated.

"I'm glad you're alright Daniel."

"I am also," intoned Teal'c.

Feeling his friends concern and care for him, Daniel smiled before drifting off to sleep.

It was only a few minutes later that Jack came from his checkup to do one of his own. Dr. Warner had informed him that Daniel was fine, but he had to check for himself. He had run into Carter on the way down, and she had told him that Daniel was asleep, so he was just going to stick his head around the door. However, when he reached the room, and looked in, the bed was empty.

"What the hell??"

Sam and Teal'c were on their way to General Hammond's office to inform him that Daniel was alright. They were almost there when Daniel stepped out into the corridor ahead of them. Teal'c and Sam exchanged surprised glances, and moved toward him.

"Daniel Jackson?" queried Teal'c.

At the voice, Daniel turned around, confused.

"Teal'c? Sam? How did I get here?" Sam came up and took his arm.

"I don't know. You're supposed to be in the infirmary. Come on, we'll take you back."

She looked worriedly at Teal'c as he took Daniel's other arm. Daniel leant against them gratefully. He couldn't see were he was going very well in the dimly lit corridors of the base.

"You must have hit your head worse than we thought."

The three of them walked back toward the infirmary, Daniel strangely silent all the way. He made no attempt to explain how he came to be wandering in the halls. They were nearly back at the infirmary when Daniel suddenly stopped and turned to Teal'c. With an almost childlike look of curiosity on his face, he reached out and touched Teal'c stomach where the larvae Gou'ald resided.

"What's that, there, in your stomach?" he asked. Sam stared at Daniel in confusion.

"Daniel, you know what that is."

Daniel turned to look at her, and his face was somehow...different, his expression almost like that of a child. But the main difference was in the eyes. Daniel's eyes were no longer blue, they were a shifting rainbow of colours. When he spoke, his voice had an odd, echoing quality to it.

"Who's Daniel?" he asked.

Sam lunged backwards in shock, even as Teal'c raised his hands as if to fire a weapon, but he was unarmed. Daniel merely looked curiously at them.

"Daniel?" whispered Sam softly.

He looked at her a moment longer, then, shrugging almost dismissively, he turned and began to walk back the way they had come. As Sam stared, unable to move, her mind was screaming:

//Oh my god, he's a Gou'ald!//

The eyes were slightly different, and he didn't have the deep intonation that was common of the Gou'ald, but Hathor's visit had shown them that that was controllable.

Teal'c was moving forward, jumping to block Daniel -or whoever's- way. He caught Daniel by the arm, pulling him back. Daniel's expression changed to a look of panic, and he flung out a hand and touched it to Teal'c's head. Sam watched as the hand

//it's glowing!!!//

connected with dark skin. Teal'c made a hoarse cry, and pulled away. As soon as he did, Daniel turned and fled down the corridor. Sam lunged to the wall intercom.

"Security to section B, detain Daniel Jackson, repeat, detain Daniel Jackson. We have a possible Gou'ald infestation."

Without waiting for acknowledgement of her call, she hurried to Teal'c's side.

"Teal'c, are you alright?" Teal'c stood up slowly, puzzled.

"I am unharmed." Sam nodded.

"C'mon, we've got to inform General Hammond and Colonel O'Neill."

"We must also find Daniel Jackson."

It turned out that they didn't have much trouble in tracking Daniel down, he had been found, unconscious again, about three hundred metres down the tunnel. Apparently, he had been heading toward the 'gate room. That did nothing to improve the suspicions that a Gou'ald had taken control of his body.

Now he was back in the infirmary, under guard and restrained. He hadn't woken up yet. Sg-1 and General Hammond were waiting to see what results Dr. Frasier could come up with. She came out into the corridor, frowning thoughtfully.

"Mr. Teal'c, you said that Dr. Jackson hurt you in some way?" Teal'c nodded.

"That is correct." Frasier considered it.

"What did he do to you?"

"I am not sure, but when he touched me, I felt great pain."

"Teal'c, do you have any idea how he could have done it?" asked Frasier. The warrior frowned.

"It felt almost like an energy charge, as on a Gou'ald hand-held submission device. But he wore no such device."

Frasier looked back into the room at Daniel's still form on the bed.

"I don't believe it is a Gou'ald. First of all, there is no sign of an entry wound, either in his throat or anywhere else. Secondly, nothing shows up on the MRI to indicate he's infected. Thirdly, he's in a worse condition now than when you brought him through the 'gate."

"What?" snapped Jack. "How could he be worse? There was hardly anything wrong with him!"

"I don't know, but he has lost a lot of energy. It's almost as if something is enervating him."

At the confused looks she received, particularly Colonel O'Neill who didn't understood terminology that didn't refer to astronomy, she rephrased it.

"It's draining all of his energy out of him. That is why I asked Mr. Teal'c how he was harmed. It appears that whatever is inside of Dr. Jackson used his...internal energy as a weapon to harm Teal'c. That would explain why he collapsed only a short space down the corridor, as he wouldn't have had enough energy to go any further. Now, if there *was* a Gou'ald in him, he would be in perfect health. But I still have no idea what could be infecting him. I'm waiting for the results of his bloodwork."

Jack found his anger was growing with every word the doctor uttered. Daniel was infested in some way, with some thing, and it had already tried to hurt Teal'c. He wanted answers, not guesses. Daniel's life was on the line. He vented his frustration on the group.

"So what the hell is in him? It's not a Gou'ald, you said you ran all the checks. Unless it's a type we haven't encountered before, it has to be something else. But WHAT!" General Hammond intervened, trying to get some information he could use to help Daniel.

"Are you sure that this isn't connected with his collapse on P34886?"

Sg-1 paused. It was something that none of them had considered.

"Maybe," said Carter doubtfully. "But it really did look like he just tripped." Teal'c looked at the General.

"Perhaps we should go back and see if we can discover what happened." Hammond shook his head.

"I'm not authorising another team to go back until I know what's happened to Dr. Jackson!"

At that moment, an orderly came out of the room.

"Doctor, we have those test results." Frasier turned and hurried inside. The rest waited tensely outside.

"Oh my god!" cried Frasier. Jack's head snapped up, and he leapt to his feet. He raced inside, quickly followed by the General and the rest of the team. Frasier was staring from the paper in her hand to Daniel, and back again.

"What is it?" asked Sam.

"Whatever's inside of him appears to have *merged* with him."

"What are you talking about?!" snapped Hammond.

"There's a foreign element in his bloodstream, in his soft tissue, everywhere! Whatever this entity is, it's incorporated itself into every part of Daniel's body. It has infected every part of him, and it appears to be feeding off of his energy."

The group looked at each other.

"So what does that mean for Daniel?" asked Jack, dread settling like a stone in his stomach. Frasier met his eyes.

"I can't remove it. To do that, I would practically have to drain all his blood from his body. It's like Cassandra with the naqquadan in her blood. Whatever it is, it will have to stay there."

Jack looked at her disbelievingly for a long moment, then turned on his heel and went inside the room. He sat down beside his still unconscious friend.

"Danny?" he asked quietly. Daniel lay under the restraints, the only visible sign of injury the cut on his forehead, and his pale countenance.

"Danny, I just want you to know that we're here for you. We're gonna beat this thing, just like we did when a Gou'ald was in Carter. You're gonna be fine." He reached out a shaking hand, and pushed some of Daniel's hair away from his face.

"I swear, Daniel, you're gonna be fine. We're not gonna lose you." Sam had come into the room. She stood by the Colonel and looked down at Daniel.

"Of course he's going to be fine, sir." But O'Neill could see the doubt in her eyes.

The General had debated what to do with Daniel. If Frasier was right, and she couldn't help him, then they should move him to the brig, to prevent him from escaping, or hurting other people. And there was the possibility of communication with the entity. However, if Frasier was also right about the energy loss, Daniel should stay in the infirmary so that she could keep an eye on him.

Hammond eventually decided to convert one of the brigs into an impromptu medical room. That way, Daniel was contained, and help was readily available. The medical team had moved him into the brig, and Hammond had ordered an around the clock watch of at least two guards outside the room and at least one person, preferably a doctor, inside. Daniel still hadn't woken up, but Hammond ordered that he be informed when he did.

Sg-1 had also made a decision, that any time of day, one of them would be with Daniel. Sam had volunteered to take first watch while Teal'c and Colonel O'Neill were with General Hammond, trying to figure out what had happened to Daniel. She had remembered how it felt to be trapped on the other side, and how alone and helpless she had felt when the Gou'ald had control of her body. Maybe Daniel wouldn't feel so bad if he knew that his friends were with him.

When Sam entered the room, Daniel was awake, and sitting on the bed of the cell, staring blankly at the wall. He probably couldn't see much without his glasses, she wasn't sure just how bad his vision was. Sam indicated to one of the guards outside to call both the doctor and General Hammond, and then stood on the other side of the bars, feeling eerily reminded of when she was inhabited by a Gou'ald, and had been in the same cell.

"Daniel?" she whispered softly.

He looked at her, and there was confusion and hurt in his eyes. His *blue* eyes. There was no sign of the entity residing within him, though he looked tired and drawn.

"Sam, what's happening to me? Why do I keep blacking out? Why am I in here?" But she could see in his face the question that he was too afraid to ask. He knew the symptoms of Gou'ald inhabitation as well as the rest of them, and he wasn't stupid.

"There's no Gou'ald, Daniel. Dr. Frasier made sure of that." Daniel closed his eyes for a second in blessed relief, then opened them, and fixed her with a stare.

"Then what is it?" Sam could only offer her friend a shrug.

"They don't know."

Daniel drew his knees up to his chest, and rested his head on his folded arms. He looked helpless, and alone.

"I'm so tired, Sam. Why am I tired?"

"Dr. Frasier thinks that whatever is inside of you is draining your energy to feed itself. It doesn't seem to want to talk to us now, but it did before."

Daniel lifted his head, suddenly apprehensive. He remembered clearly the havoc that Kawalsky had caused during his 'blackouts' when he was under Gou'ald control, even hurting Sam herself.

"Did I hurt anybody?" Sam decided not to tell him about Teal'c just yet.

"No." Daniel frowned, and Sam could see that he was thinking hard.

"You're sure it's sentient?" he asked with a sudden intensity.

"Yes," said Sam, taken aback by the change in Daniel's demeanour.

"Maybe I can talk to it. It's in my head, maybe I could make it talk to you, or find out what it is." Sam shook her head.

"I don't think that would be a good idea, Daniel. We have no idea if you could do that, and even if you could, we have no way of knowing what effect that would have on you." But Daniel's mouth was set into a determined line.

"I'm going to try."

"Daniel, no. I could be some form of Gou'ald we haven't encountered yet, it might kill you!"

"I don't care what it is, I want it out!" snapped Daniel. The thought of a entity inside of him, controlling him, like a Gou'ald was controlling Sha'uri sickened him and made him furious.

"Daniel, don't! Please!"

But Daniel wasn't listening. He closed his eyes as he attempted to communicate with the entity inside of him. Sam could only watch in fear as he sat there for a long moment, still and silent. Then all of the colour drained out of his face, and his breath began to come in hitching gasps.

"Daniel?" Sam whispered.

His breathing evened out, then became shallow, and he opened his eyes. They were the shifting rainbow colour. His voice, when he spoke, echoed and was heard more in her mind than in her ears.

{you wish to speak with me?}

Sam swallowed. She nodded, forcing herself to speak.

"Yes. We want to know what you are doing inside Daniel."

{daniel? is that the name of this person?}

Before Sam could answer, the door opened and Jack and Teal'c entered. Sam was relieved when Jack indicated he would take over.

"Yes. Daniel is the name of the person you have taken over." The entity blinked with Daniel's eyes.

{i have taken nothing. i merely exist within him. i would not hurt him} Daniel gave him a shy smile.

{i like him} It was Jack's turn to blink.

"You *like* him? If you like him, then why the hell are you killing him?" he demanded. The entity pulled Daniel's body back into the shadows of the lower bunk. It refused to answer. In fact, it looked frightened of Jack.

"Colonel, I think you're scaring it." Jack spun to face Samantha.

"Scaring it! It's killing him!" He shouted. Sam looked back at Daniel, who was trying to huddle in the corner. A number of things were clicking together in Carter's mind.

"Sir, I think that whatever is inside of him is a child." Jack stared at her as Teal'c said;

"I concur. When it attacked me, it looked frightened. I believe it was afraid, and that was why it attacked."

"Sir, if it *is* a child, then it's possible that this was an accident. It might have somehow gotten into Daniel's system, and then couldn't get out."

"How!" snapped O'Neill. "I'm inclined to believe that it did it accidentally *on purpose*!"

Sam ignored that and stepped forward, closer to the cell bars. She made her voice as low and calming as she could manage, trying to phrase her words so that a child could understand.

"I promise, we will not hurt you. We just want our friend back." Daniel emerged from the shadows of the bunk, giving Jack a wary glance. But it seemed willing to talk to Sam.

{what did you mean, i am killing him? i have not hurt him}

Sam took a deep breath. She had to make this entity understand.

"We think that you are using his energy." Daniel, or rather the entity, through Daniel, nodded.

{it is what i need to live. is that somehow wrong?}

"You're taking *too much* of his energy. If you take it all, he will die."

{i do not want that. i want to go home. if you open the 'gate, i will leave your friend and go home}

"How did you come to be in him in the first place?" asked Jack. The entity hesitated before answering, looking at Carter who tried to smile encouragingly.

{i was curious. i have never seen beings like you before. i wanted to touch him - }

"And when you did, you merged with him," Sam finished.

{i did not mean to. i could not get out. but if you take me to the 'gate, i will try my best to leave. i want to return home}

Jack frowned, even as Teal'c said:

"How can we be sure that you will keep your word?" The being sounded confused.

{why would i not?} Teal'c raised an eyebrow.

"We have been deceived before."

{i do not lie. i will return your friend to you}

As they watched, the colour drained from Daniel's eyes to be replaced with blue. Daniel pulled in a great heaving gasp before he pitched forward and tumbled off the bed onto the floor, where he lay unmoving.

"Daniel!" Jack cried. Sam ran to the door.

"Get this cell open and get a doctor in here, now!"

The one guard hurried in with the key, while the other called the doctor. As soon as the door was open, Jack was through the door, kneeling beside Daniel. He was terrified that Daniel was dead, just as Sam had almost been when the Gou'ald had been inside of her. His fingers felt for a pulse on Daniel's neck while his eyes looked to see if his chest moved as he breathed.

"He's breathing," he gasped in relief.

Dr. Frasier came running down the corridor. Her eyes widened when she found Daniel on the floor. She quickly moved to his side, checking his pulse. A nurse came into the room, and began to aid her. With Jack's help, they lifted him back onto the bed. He watched nervously, stripping his hands through his short cropped hair as they gave him an injection of something that looked like adrenaline, to try to boost his energy levels. Once she had Daniel stabilised, Frasier turned to the others, just as General Hammond came in.

"What happened?" he asked. Teal'c answered.

"The entity within Daniel Jackson spoke to us. When it stopped, he collapsed." Frasier nodded, her eyes straying back to Daniel.

"I'm afraid that confirms my suspicions. The entity is using Daniel's energy to sustain itself. From what I can gather, it is draining massive amounts, even when it is not in direct control of Daniel's body. If it continues to do so at this rate, I'm afraid that within twenty four hours, Daniel won't have enough energy to keep his own heart going."

General Hammond stared at the doctor as the meaning of her words sunk in.

"You mean to tell me that that thing is killing Doctor Jackson?" Frasier nodded.

"Yes. And there is nothing I can do to stop it."

It was decision time. General Hammond had to choose from his options. He could allow the entity to return through the Stargate, but there was no guarantee that it would go. But if it stayed here, Daniel Jackson would die. The only decision that he had made so far was to not let Colonel Mayborne find out about this. If he did, he would be down to the base like a shot, claiming the entity for study and allowing Daniel to die.

Hammond stared down at the monitor which showed him Daniel's cell. He now lay on the bed. Dr. Frasier had placed an IV in his arm, constantly feeding him drugs in an attempt to slow down the rate of energy loss. Even via the camera, Hammond could see the effects of the entity's existence on Daniel. He was listless, not responding to Jack's attempts to speak to him.

Hammond felt a familiar feeling growing inside of him. It was one of fatherly protectiveness. These Sg teams, particularly Sg-1, had become like children to him, and he was not going to lose one of his own to anything if he could help it. He decided that they would have to allow the entity to go through the 'gate, and hope it would keep it's word, for Daniel's sake. He stood and headed down to the brig.

Jack sat by Daniel's side, feeling helpless. Dr. Frasier had said that there was no worry of the entity attacking Jack, as Daniel simply did not have the strength to do so anymore. He had tried a few times to make conversation, but Daniel had not responded, even once. He just lay there, on his back, staring up at the ceiling. Not even his eyes moved. But Jack got the impression that Daniel wasn't snubbing him, he simply didn't have the energy to talk. As time passed, Jack was becoming more and more worried. Daniel was obviously sinking deeper into exhaustion, even though the entity wasn't currently in control. He eventually drifted off to sleep, but it looked more like he was dead than resting.

Daniel had been asleep for only a few minutes when the General entered the cell. Jack stood up.

"How is he?" asked Hammond. Jack looked down at the haggard face of his friend. He told the General the truth.

"We're losing him." Hammond looked at him sharply, and saw only fear in Jack's face, not irony or exaggeration.

"We need to talk to the entity. I've decided to send it back through the 'gate. It will be allowed to return through the Stargate as long as it leaves Dr. Jackson alive."

"Do you think it will keep its word, sir?" asked Jack. Hammond looked back at Daniel.

"I hope so, for Daniel's sake," he said quietly.

It had been difficult to wake Daniel, in fact it had taken so long that Jack had almost become frantic. He was about to call the doctor when Daniel mumbled,


"I'm sorry, Danny, but we need to talk to the entity."

"...I wanna sleep Jack." The colonel looked at the general.

"I don't think that's a good idea right now Daniel. It took us too long to wake you last time. We only have to talk to the entity for a little while, we want to send it home."

"...it's gonna leave?" muttered Daniel.

"Yep! We just have to make sure it will keep it's word."

"...'kay.." Daniel closed his eyes for a second, then opened them again.

His eyes went from blue to those odd colours that indicated the entity was present. Jack could see the change in Daniel's features as he came under the entity's control. The entity had more vitality than Daniel, more strength.

//Strength that it stole from Daniel!!// Jack thought furiously. Then the entity spoke.

{you have my promise, just open the 'gate, and i will leave your friend's body, and return home. if i do not leave this body very soon, daniel will die. and if i do not leave, i will die also }

Hammond was startled. This was the first time he had heard the entity communicate directly. Jack frowned, uncertain that the entity, or whatever it was, would keep it's word. He looked at Daniel. As Jack watched, his eyes became blue once more. He wearily lifted his head and fixed his friend with a listless stare.

"...let it...go back, Jack." It was a great effort for Daniel to talk. Each time the entity gained control, he was drained further. "It doesn't...doesn't want to hurt me." Jack was torn.

"How do I know it's you, Daniel, and not that *thing* speaking?"


Daniel let his head fall limply back on the pillow. But Jack knew that he could not. He had been mislead by the Gou'ald too many times to trust any hostile alien. This one had taken over one of his friends and attempted to hurt another.

But his friend's life was on the line, the closest person he had to family. Jack studied Daniel carefully. The scientist's eyes were rimmed in red, and he was pale. He looked like he had lost weight, and there were deep circles of black under his eyes. Jack could see that this entity, even if it didn't mean to, was killing him. Daniel wouldn't last much longer.

"General, I think you should call Dr. Frasier to make sure he can move."

Hammond nodded.

Hammond not only called Frasier, he also called Teal'c and Carter, understanding how close Sg-1 was, and that not only would they want to be there, but Daniel would also want them there. They arrived first. Jack met them outside. He hated being in there, watching Daniel's life slide away, but had remained because Daniel had needed him. But now Daniel was asleep again, and didn't even know he was there.

Jack, Teal'c and Sam went inside, and moved toward the bed, where Daniel lay. His back was to them, and he was still.

"Daniel Jackson?" Teal'c asked softly. "We are allowing the entity to return through the Stargate." He touched Daniel's shoulder, and rolled him over.

The group had to fight down the urge to stare in horror, even Teal'c's eyes widened. Daniel's face was gaunt and pale. His cheek bones were protruding far more than they should, and he looked as though he hadn't slept or eaten in weeks, although it had not even been two days. Even Jack was shocked, Daniel had deteriorated that much in fifteen minutes. His time was running out.

When Daniel dragged his eyes open, they were blue, and he seemed almost uncaring that he would soon be free of his unwelcome passenger. Teal'c couldn't even be sure that Daniel had understood what he had said. He carefully slid his arms under Daniel, and gently lifted him up.

"I will carry him to the Stargate room. I do not believe he can walk on his own." His tone brooked no argument.

Jack was amazed by how gentle Teal'c could be, especially where Daniel was concerned. Perhaps it was because of the guilt Teal'c felt, as it was him who helped Apophis to make Sha'uri a Gou'ald. Now that he knew Daniel, he regretted deeply that he had not left Apophis' service sooner, and could have perhaps saved Daniel from the grief he felt every day.

They were just turning to go when Frasier came in. Her eye widened when she saw Daniel's deteriorated condition. She had read the readouts, and knew how bad he was, but seeing him made it worse. Frasier reached out a hand and caught his wrist, feeling for his pulse. She met Jack's eyes, and he could see the fear in his eyes reflected in hers.

"We need to get this entity out, now!" She removed the IV from his arm, and detached him from the machines she had used to monitor his condition.

As Teal'c walked quickly to the door, Sam looked at Daniel. His head head rested against Teal'c's chest, but as she watched, it rolled to one side. He hung limply in Teal'c's arms, and it looked like he was already dead.

People quickly moved out of the way as Teal'c carried Daniel through the halls, closely followed by his friends and Dr. Frasier. Daniel was faintly aware of urgent voices, but the swaying motion of Teal'c carrying him soothed him. He could hear the voices of his friends, but he couldn't understand what they were saying.

And, deeper, somehow inside his own mind, he could hear another voice. It was telling him it was sorry, and that it would leave soon. It was telling him other things, too, but he found it hard to concentrate. He just wanted to sleep. He vaguely became aware that he was in the 'gate room, and that people were talking to him.

"Daniel? Danny? C'mon, we're sending your visitor home. Wake up."

Daniel felt himself being set down carefully, on both feet. Jack and Sam both grabbed an arm to keep him upright. He forced his eyes open.

They were standing at the bottom of the ramp to the Stargate. Before them, the first chevron was locking in place. Daniel wasn't too steady, even with support, and he was swaying from side to side. Beneath his pale, exhausted countenance, Jack could see a glimmer of fear. He tried to reassure the ill man.

"Hang on Danny, you're gonna be fine in a little while. Your passenger will go home, and then you'll get a holiday." But even as Jack spoke, Daniel's legs went out from underneath him. It was only through quick movement on Jack and Sam's part that he didn't come down hard on the ramp. Sam pushed Daniel's hair out of his face, and studied him. He was still conscious, but very, very weak.

"Colonel, he can't hold on much longer!" she cried.

"Get that 'gate open, now!" shouted Jack.

From the control room, the technician was calling out as the chevrons locked. He saw Daniel sag, and missed out on calling the second chevron as he stared at the people below. He quickly remembered his post in time to miss chevron three, but called out four. The iris unlocked and retracted. He counted up to seven, then, with a mechanical whine as it coordinated with the 'gate at the destination, the Stargate exploded into life, tearing down the ramp before leaping back and settling into the ring.

Jack and Sam tried to help Daniel up the ramp, but he straightened, painfully, and managed to stand on his own. He pushed Jack and Sam away from him.

"Stay back...I...don't...know what...it's going...to...do..." Daniel's voice was breathless.

Reluctantly, they stood back.

Almost as soon as they did, Daniel's skin began to glow. Shimmering lights swirled over the surface of his skin, and the entity began to exit his body. It seemed as though someone was dragging Daniel's soul out, and it looked like a brightly coloured blob. Daniel twisted in pain as the entity slowly extracted itself, it felt the same as when it entered him. Sam started to go to him, but O'Neill and Teal'c pulled her back. They couldn't risk it taking over someone else.

The entity pulled free of Daniel entirely, but didn't move toward the Stargate. It turned slowly in mid air, as if looking around the 'gate room. It seemed to be surveying the men with weapons, the General looking down in shock from the control room, Daniel's friends watching in fear. Then it looked at Daniel. It moved back toward him, but stopped just short of entering his body again. It hovered there for a long moment, then turned and moved toward the Stargate. In a second, it was through and gone. The 'gate closed after it.

The moment the 'gate disengaged, Daniel fell. Teal'c was first back to his side.

"Colonel O'Neill, I do not believe he has a pulse." Disbelieving, Jack leapt at Daniel, and placed his hand on Daniel's neck.

"Oh, god. C'mon, Danny, c'mon. You beat it, it's gone! You're alright now!"

Almost as if obeying Jack's command, Daniel coughed. He slowly opened his eyes -- and Jack saw that they were blue, not rainbow coloured.

"Is she..gone?" he asked. Jack nodded, holding reassuringly onto his friend, but he was thinking


Behind him, medics were hurrying forward. Daniel sighed, and closed his eyes again. Jack felt fear run through him, it looked like Daniel wasn't breathing.


The archaeologist dragged his eyes open again.


Frasier was suddenly there, her own slender hand on Daniel's neck.

"Get him to the infirmary, now!" She kept her hand on his neck, calling out urgent commands as medics crowded around, pushing Jack and Teal'c back. In seconds, Daniel was gone.

Teal'c looked toward the silent Stargate.

"The entity kept it's promise." Sam nodded, but her face was full of worry. "But it may have left too late."

Jack had been standing off to one side, staring vacantly at the way the medics had gone. Now he spun around.

"I do not want to hear that! Daniel is going to be fine!" Sam stepped back, surprised by the viciousness in his voice. Before she could comment, Jack was on his way to the infirmary, following those who had taken his friend.

It was about three hours before Frasier came out of the infirmary. She looked almost as tired as Daniel had. Jack stood, silently waiting for results. The others were with General Hammond, sending another probe to that planet, to see if they could determine what had happened to the entity -- and make sure it didn't come back. Frasier leant against the wall next to him.

"Daniel's alive," she said without preamble. Jack let out a breath.

"Is the entity gone?" he asked. The small doctor nodded.

"I ran tests, and there is no sign of it inside him. It has completely left his system. It took us a while to stabilise him, the entity left him dangerously low on energy. He barely had enough to stay alive. Another hour and we would have lost him."

Jack felt dizzy as he realised how close they had come to losing Daniel. But the doctor was continuing.

"He should be fine, but he'll tire quickly in the next few weeks. It'll be a while before he's back to full strength, and he won't be back on duty for at least a month."

"Can we see him?" asked Sam.

Jack jumped a mile, he hadn't realised that Sam and Teal'c had come up behind him.

"One at a time, and don't upset him!" Frasier said firmly. "And if he want's to sleep, let him. He needs all the rest he can get right now, he's still very weak." Sg-1 looked at each other.

"You go first Colonel," said Sam. Jack smiled his thanks, then moved into the small hospital room.

While he still looked shocking, Daniel was much better than only a few hours ago. Some colour had returned to his face, but the deep circles under his eyes remained. Frasier had put in the IV again, and a whole lot of other equipment filled the room that would ensure Daniel remained stable. Jack sat down at the bedside, and smiled at Daniel's sleeping face. As he watched, Daniel's eyes fluttered open.

"Jack?" Even Daniel's voice was stronger.

"I told you that you would be fine, Danny. The entity's gone." He watched Daniel digest this information.

"She went back? Through the 'gate?" he asked. Jack nodded. Then he asked the question that had been nagging him.

"What makes you think it was a female?" Daniel smiled softly.

"She told me. She apologised for hurting me, and told me her name." Jack's curiosity overrode his skepticism.

"What was it?" Daniel yawned, he was nearly asleep again.

"Jahania," he mumbled as he slid back into his slumber.

Jack sat there, beside his friend as he slept a healing sleep. He felt relief course through him as he allowed himself to absorb the fact that Daniel was alright. Then he sighed.

"You have to stop doing this you know. Between you and Sam, Danny, I think I've aged about ten years in the last few months." Daniel only responded with a snore. Jack grinned.

"I'm glad you're back, Danny. Rest up." Then, with a quick pat on his friend's shoulder, Jack went out to tell the others that Daniel was going to be fine.