Title: 5 Feet
Content Warnings: Character Death
Disclaimer: They're not mine. I'm making no money from this. Done purely for entertainment purposes.
Author's Note: I'm not quite as happy with this as I would normally expect to feel with things that I've written but I'll post it anyway.
The room was dark and the air slightly smoky, the smell of electricity and burnt electronics hung in the air. Alarms whooped in the background and a red light flashed, shining a beam of light around the room like a lighthouse. Jack carefully picked his way though the mess and wreckage. Time was of the essence but if he rushed, it would be just his luck if he slipped and broke an ankle.
The others were in what they had assumed was the control room. He'd been slowly working his way through the complex with Jones and MacCarthy, his helmet camera relaying a bobbing picture of his surroundings as he moved his head from side to side. Earlier, when things were a bit less desperate Daniel had asked him in a jocular fashion if he could possibly glide instead of walk as the swaying video feed was making him feel seasick. He'd laughed and before the sarcastic remark could leave his lips, all hell had broken loose. Jones and Smith had been crushed in the first tremor. They and the kit they carried buried under a pile of debris that he couldn't shift. Jack was glad that it had been quick for them but now he was on his own. Well that's just peachy he thought. Now he had to sort this mess out on his own.
They had needed to fix something in the lower levels of the complex. He didn't quite understand what it was exactly but Carter had told him it was something to do with the countdown that was being relayed over the hidden speaker system and that would lead to him, the rest of his team and the two teams on the surface being killed. He had understood that part of the explanation perfectly. He, Jones and MacCarthy were to make their way to the problem area and then using the kit they carried and the instructions from Carter they would fix the problem. Jack only hoped that he could still do it without the kit that the others had carried.
Finally reaching his destination he allowed himself a moment to peruse the room and wonder at just how he was going to accomplish what he needed to achieve. The place was even more of a mess than what he'd seen earlier in his trip through the corridors, if that were possible. Heavy cables lay all around him, their tie-backs to the wall pulled out and in some cases disconnected. Taking off his helmet, he placed it onto what looked like a shelf, giving a clear view of both him and the room he was in.
Confirming with Carter that she had a good view of the room he set about fixing things back together using the kit that he had carried, hoping he would have enough. While Carter called out instructions, he rushed around the room carrying them out, connecting cables here and there and repairing some when he could. He had to work carefully as the whole place was live, the intermittent sparks from short-circuiting cables attesting to that fact. They'd gotten three quarters through Carters list before they ran out of kit and he'd had to start improvising with the stuff that was around him. All the while the countdown continued with Daniel translating key time increments to him. Finally there was just one more thing to do. There was a connection needed between two points on opposite sides of the room. Both had the remains of a cable attached but a 5-foot section in the middle was missing, having been burnt out, the edges of the cable shredded and blackened. He looked round the room desperately, looking for something to patch it with. The others sent suggestions of places to look through the radio. He could imagine them all standing around the monitor showing his camera feed, jostling each other as they tried to get a better view of the room. The image made him smile slightly, reducing his stress levels slightly at the thought of his team behaving in a juvenile manner. It quickly became obvious that there was nothing in the immediate area that seemed to meet his needs.
The rest of SG1 could see him looking at the floor, his face scrunched up, thinking hard about what to do. Daniel returning his attention to the countdown, realised that there was now only a minute left and in a slightly desperate voice, relayed that fact to Jack. On hearing Daniels voice, Jack moved over to the camera so his face filled the screen. He lifted his head back up and stared into the camera with a blank look on his face. Suddenly Jack smiled, his face lighting up with the expression and Daniel instinctively smiled back, even though Jack couldn't see him.
They saw him bite his lower lip, then purse his lips as his eyes slid off to the right and then back again. Staring back at them the radio suddenly squawked back to life.
"Thanks kids. For everything. See you on the flip side" Jack stated and with a wink his face disappeared from the camera and they saw him striding over to the middle of the room, back to the last remaining cable.
He could hear them in his earpiece, telling him that it was OK. SG1 would die together. They knew he'd tried and they would be together soon. Daniel started to count along with the disembodied speaker voice, giving them all time to prepare.
In the control room, the three team members were saying goodbye the only way they knew how. Daniel and Carter were in a fierce hug, both with eyes shut and Daniel still translating the countdown. Only Teal'c still faced the screen showing O'Neills video feed. One hand wrapped around his team mates and one hand placed on the monitor to try to connect him to his brother, so far away from him at the moment.
Jack listened with half an ear. He regretted not being with his team in his final moments but it couldn't be helped. He'd see them again soon. Walking to the cable he scowled at the thing that would be the final death of him. Standing between the ends, so near yet so far apart, he could hear Daniel reach 5 on his countdown and he knew it was nearly time. Without a further thought he bent down and grabbed both ends of the cable in his hands.
In the control room Daniel reached one in his count and gripping tightly to Sam and Teal'c, prepared for the end. Everything went black and he knew this was it. Funny, he thought, I thought it would be more dramatic than that. Then, to his complete surprise, the lights came back on. Not the bright lights of before but the red glow he associated with emergency lights. Looking around in confusion, Sam looked as dumbfounded as him but Teal'c just stood with a tearful look in his eyes, a small smile on his face, staring at the now blank monitor.
"Teal'c? What happened?" Daniel asked, a look of concentration appearing on his face.
"O'Neill." Tealc'c said simply.
"Oh God!" Sam said in a rush of breath. "I thought we'd all had it then! Thank God!."
Picking up the radio and with a big smile on her face she called to her commanding officer, "Sir?" She didn't know how the Colonel had done it but she was glad he had. Now she just needed to tell him that.
"Sir?" she asked again turning to see Teal'c slowly shaking his head and the few tears that had escaped slowly tracking down his face. Daniel seemed to have gone from buoyant to deadly serious in a heartbeat.
"Sir?" she tried again.