TITLE: Buried Truths

AUTHOR: Sharim

EMAIL: misssharim@y...

SEASON/SEQUEL: Sequel to `Revelations'. No spoilers.

PAIRING: S/J

CATEGORY: AU

SUMMARY: The truths taken to the grave. A sequel to Revelations.

A/N: Not at home = no Freedom. Sorry. So I wrote this for the

peeps who asked for a sequel. Hugs to my sidekick ::wink:: :D

Also, this is unbetad... which is getting to be a habit of mine. Sorry

for any huge typos.

~o0o~

Empty silence hangs in the air. Only the rhythmical, artificial

breaths pumped into his body offer any relief from the echoing

stillness.

His hands are cold and leathery beneath my fingers, the limp

stillness a prelude to the inevitable: death.

Dying.

He's dying, and there's nothing I can do about it.

The tear is scalding as it slowly carves a glistening trail down my

cheek.

My Dad is dying.

Through the glass windows on the other side of the room I can see

the doctors and the nurses; the patients being helped as they walk

dragging their IV's along with them; the families watching their

loved ones die.

When you're younger you think your parents are invincible. You

think they're strong and perfect, their lives and knowledge so firmly

built up on a pedestal that you don't notice their imperfections.

Stubbornness is hidden beneath admiration; wrinkles around eyes

and lips aren't noticed; grey hairs don't exist on their heads.

They know everything.

They're your parents.

And then one day something happens and those solidly constructed

gold pedestals crumbled into a heap of dust. Suddenly their good

points are distorted and hidden from view.

Age hides their wisdom. Strictness blunts their sense of humour.

They're wrong.

They're stupid.

You hate them.

Even though you hate them, you don't want them to die. You don't

expect them to die. You expect them to live forever; to always be

there.

I'm not stupid. I knew he wasn't going to be there forever, just like

Mom couldn't be there forever.

I still wasn't expecting this.

He should have gone out in a blaze of glory, his accolades and

courage carrying him out of this world, leaving me with fierce pride

and respect to fight the grief and guilt.

But now....

He's still brave. He's far braver than I ever gave him credit for.

He's

dying, and not once has he admitted fear.

And that hurts me, because I'm his daughter. He should admit

things to me. He doesn't need to impress me, he doesn't need to try

and meet my approval.

So now I'm sitting here, watching the silent monitors display the

last aching records of his life, documenting his final battle. The

battle he will lose.

~o0o~

It's been raining again.

I've knocked on Carter's door a few times now, but she hasn't

answered. I know she's home, her car's still parked out the front

and I can hear the soft murmur of her TV playing in the

background, the colourful flickers of light playing against her

curtains.

"Carter?"

Maybe she's out the back.

Like last time, the gate to her backyard creaks beneath my clumsy

hands before swinging open noisily.

Yup, there she is, flat on her back in the mud. Again.

"Therapy?" I ask, dropping down in my spot next to her.

She doesn't even bother answering.

"Need any help cleaning up?" I ask again, looking around the yard.

The tables she had set up for the wake are still standing in the lawn,

their covers wet and bedraggled.

"No," she answers eventually, not moving.

Something cold hits my cheek. It's raining again.

"We should go inside, it's starting to rain."

She ignores me, and the rain drops that are starting to fall harder

and faster.

"Carter?"

"He's gone, Sir."

"I know."

I know. I was there.

I was there watching as the coffin was lowered into the ground.

I was there watching as they folded up the flag and fired the shots.

I was there watching as they gave her the flag.

I was there watching her.

Not that I'd ever admit that of course.

"Do you believe in heaven?"

The question is unexpected to say the least. Do I? Do I believe in

heaven?

"Do you?"

"I asked you first, Sir."

I sigh.

Yeah, I'd like to believe in heaven. "I'd like to think that there's

something there. That Charlie is there..." So where did that come

from?

I shoot her a surreptitious glance in the dark, her pale skin shining

faintly in the rain.

"If there's a heaven then there's got to be a hell as well," she says

softly, her words almost lost beneath the onslaught of water bearing

down on us. I can feel cold rivulets trickling beneath my jacket.

"I don't know what to believe, Carter. With the Goa'uld posing as

gods... it's a bit hard to believe in anything at all."

"I know."

We drop into silence again, the rain still pouring over us.

"Are you going to be alright?" I ask eventually, starting to feel

uncomfortable with the silence, the mud and the rain. And the

mood. This isn't the Carter I'm used to. The Carter I know never

gets melancholy. She gets upset, she gets pissed... hell, does she

get pissed.

But she's never just... sad.

"I'm fine, Sir."

She's lying, but I'm not going to call her on it.

"Carter... could we move? I'm cold and wet and the mud really

doesn't work with cream trousers..."

"I rang him every day, after he told me," she speaks suddenly, her

voice far away. "I rang every day just to hear his voice so that I

could believe he was okay, so that I could believe the lie that he

wasn't going to die just yet."

I say nothing. What is there to say?

"And each time I rang he told me off. He said he didn't need me

checking up on him. He was fine. Just fine." She hesitates, and I

can hear the tremor on her voice as she starts again, "I never told

him."

"Told him what?"

"How much I loved him. How proud of him I was."

"Why not?"

A bitter chuckle is almost drowned in the rain.

"He'd laugh at me. Or he'd pretend to be annoyed. My Dad isn't one

for talk like that."

"Neither are you."

She's silent, and I know she's surprised. Carter's caring and

affectionate with people, it's easy to like her. But she's not close.

Not to anyone. She keeps her distance carefully. Like I do.

She moves next to me, rising unsteadily to her feet.

I get up too, the wet ground squelching beneath my feet as I stand

up and wait to see what she's going to do next.

"I wanted to tell him," she says softly, "I wanted to tell him what I

did. I wanted to tell him I'm living my dream far better than NASA.

I wanted him to know what I was doing."

She wanted him to be proud of you.

Every kid's dream: To gain their father's pride.

Must be universal.

I fell horribly flat in the department.

Carter hasn't.

"He's proud of you Carter."

"You can't say that, Colonel."

"Yes, I can."

There's silence.

"I can say it because I'm proud of you, Sam."

The rain is still falling, the droplets cold and hard against my

chilled

skin, soaking the mud further into my cream trousers, and mingling

with the tears on Carter's cheeks as she holds onto me and cries.

END