The Grand Scheme of Things

Rating: PG-13

For tafkarfanfic, who wanted a story with Dr. Darkside.

The thing was, Daniel really did like Ketep. Egypt wasn't Abydos, but even across all of that time and space there were some similarities, and sometimes Ketep felt very familiar--his accent, his coloring, his earnestness, even the way he looked unerringly toward Daniel for guidance and answers.

Back on Abydos, that had been exactly the kind of thing that had made Daniel feel uncomfortable, the kind of reaction he'd been so incredibly grateful not to get from Sha're. More recently, he'd been less freaked but just as happy to deflect that attention toward one of his teammates--Jack, usually, because the Jaffa thing made Ketep nervous and Sam tended toward the overly conservative, even though they'd decided to go ahead and make a difference after all.

Had tended. She had tended toward the overly conservative, back when she'd been a woman far ahead of the time she'd found herself in, rather than just another one of Ra's victims.

It really, really pissed Daniel off that from the universe's perspective, that was a perfectly good description of her, of all of them, of everyone in the whole goddamn world--just another victim or another murderer, equally worthwhile and equally worthless. But hey, if that was the game, Daniel could play too. Wasn't that his job, after all? Pick up on the cultural cues, learn how the Romans did it, lead the rest of SG-1 down the garden path?

He'd told the Ascended that they were wrong to use innocents to punish Oma, and he knew he'd been right about that, and yet... it had worked for them, hadn't it? Using billions of innocent people and plants and little fluffy bunnies, using one death-prone archaeologist to make their point; it had worked for them, gotten them to where they needed to go. And besides, it wasn't like he was holding a gun to anyone's head to make them stay with his nascent rebellion. Well, okay, yes, occasionally, but once that point had been reached the gun had very little to do with making people stay and much more to do with threat elimination.

Daniel knew better than to think that Jack would've been proud of that, but he certainly would've understood. People were going to die getting the world to where Daniel needed it to go: Ra gone, the Stargate buried, a coverstone and a Colonel and an academic at the end of his rope all coming together beneath Cheyenne Mountain, with a ZPM there for the picking. And, Daniel thought, Ketep would probably be one of the dead.

A shame, but there it was. Ketep never took risks that put anyone else in danger, but since his brother's murder he didn't talk like a man who valued his own life very much, and Daniel expected that would turn out to be useful in the end. Which hurt, a little; he liked Ketep, he did, and it would certainly be nice if he could carry off this rebellion without getting the man killed. But there was an necessary outcome here, and if the universe didn't care how he got there, well then, fuck it. Neither did he.

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