As time marched on, Daniel became aware that sometimes these ancient findings of eons ago enabled him not only to see a window into Earth's past, but also became a starting point for Earth's future. The artifacts spoke and Daniel, with a patience that belied his years, listened and learned.
As the years progressed, Daniel was surrounded by artifacts from planets far distant from Egypt, light years from Earth, yet each one was handled with the care, definitiveness, and an open mind as per the teachings of his parents. Daniel listened as he fondled the ancient pieces of pottery, admired the primitive weapons, and read the disintegrating pages of scrolls and tomes. Some stories were frightening, many enthralling, some piqued questions to answers that would never be forthcoming and yet others were downright boring. But still each item was treated no differently than the rest, they were all catalogued with an anal precision, slowly, and by hand, provoking thoughts of those that had gone before.
And then one day, Daniel discovered an artifact right under his nose. Caught unaware, he wondered how he had missed this one. Embarrassed that this artifact, which spoke volumes, had for years fallen on Daniel's deaf ears. Such a simple old relic buried amid others that were far older, had been pushed to the wayside. Daniel could only cringe at his parents' imagined "tsks" at their son's failure of the most basic of their lessons.
'Open your eyes and listen, the simplest piece may hold the answer to all the questions.'
Daniel had forgotten those words and years had been lost. And one day, for want of a better description, the artifact had fallen into Daniel's lap and life, waylaying him when he least expected, forcing Daniel to open his eyes, to listen and to learn.
Tonight, in the quiet solitude of his loft, in the darkness of his bedroom, he expertly used his hands to explore and examine every inch of his new-found artifact. The one that held the answers to Daniel's questions, the one who moaned his name under his expressive hands, the one who drove him crazy. Colonel Jack O'Neill...the walking, talking perfect example of his parent's teachings about what the little pieces of the world can teach you if you handle them with care and love.
Author's Comments: This fic was written in response to Alpha Gate's FNF Challenge #34: If you Give An Archaeologist an Artifact. A thank you to jo for the faster than the speed of light beta ...and to babs for this thought provoking challenge
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