Summary: Daniel's thoughts as he morns Janet. A Heroes part II missing scene.

Disclaimer: If I owned them, I wouldn't be writing here.

A Real Hero

She wouldn't leave him be. When he looked into her eyes, he wasn't sure if it was regret or accusation he saw there. He hadn't been able to save her, and as much as he had wished for a medical doctor's skills at that moment, he knew it wouldn't have made the difference. She was dead even before he could force his suddenly paralyzed vocal chords to call for help.

Why Janet? His mind kept asking the question as inwardly he raged against the cosmic injustice of it all. Where was Oma now? Why wasn't she there to offer Janet that chance, as she had with Daniel? He was sure Janet was a greater person than he could ever hope to be. Why, then, was he still here while she was gone?

The ghost followed him out of his office. He didn't know where he was going, but somehow his feet led him to that room. He had avoided it like the plague since his return to human form, the memories of his time spent there too painful to be acknowledged. Now, however, it seemed somehow fitting that he should be standing in that room beside the bed in which he had died.

He suddenly wondered how she had felt while watching him slowly succumb to radiation poisoning on that bed. He knew she had done everything she could; he had vague memories of soft hands changing bandages as a gentle voice spoke to him through the pain and morphine-induced haze. But he knew that she had been helpless, just as he had been as he watched the life leave her eyes on that planet.

Had she cried? Had she railed against the inevitable loss she could do nothing to prevent? She had been all professionalism whenever she had been in the room with him, a quiet tower of strength that he could draw from in the last moments of his life.

Suddenly he was glad he had been there with her. It was such a little thing in return for the huge debt that he owed her, a debt that could never be repaid, but it was something, and he was glad of it.

The light hurt his eyes, and he retreated into the semi-comforting darkness against the far wall. She remained beside the bed in the blinding light of the overhead lamp, her eyes dark with sorrow, and he shut his own in a futile attempt to hide from her. Images of the staff blast hitting her chest plagued him behind his eyelids.

He wished he could cry. Sam had, he knew, and Jack and Teal'c had mourned it their own quiet ways, but Daniel could find no peace in salt tears, no solace in words that fell so short of expressing his grief. Maybe if he could cry her ghost would leave him, but his eyes remained dry even as his heart seemed to be breaking.

The sound of footsteps made him open his eyes again, and they unconsciously narrowed as he saw the last person he wanted to see looking around the seemingly empty room.

He didn't want Bregman's attentions during his time of grief. He didn't want his attentions at all, and he knew that he had been less than cooperative during the interviews. It wasn't that he particularly disliked the man himself, or that he enjoyed being contrary, but he wasn't a hero, and he resented Bregman's attempts to portray him as one. Why didn't he find a real hero to film? But then, all Jack would give him were shots of his ass.

But the fact that Bregman was in this area instead of trying once again to get in where the action was suggested he was specifically looking for Daniel, who was too polite to just ignore him, however much he wanted to.

"Over here."

Bregman started and turned, searching the room for the source of the words. Reluctantly Daniel disengaged himself from his blanket of shadows and stepped back into the light.

Watching Dr. Jackson emerge from the darkness against the wall was a little eerie for Emmett. He could see the lines of pain in the other man's face and shadows beneath his eyes that had nothing to do with the weird way the brilliant light played over his features, and Emmett wondered that he hadn't noticed them before now. He hadn't seen them when he had visited Dr. Jackson in his lab and discovered that the man had, in fact, taped something, and there had only been petulance and stubbornness in his face when he had slammed the tape down on the table in front of Emit and General Hammond and stormed from the room. But perhaps there had been something else there that Emmett had missed, and saw only now because he was taking the time to look.

His elation over the procural of the tape had been dampened somewhat when he had seen the death and blood that the camera had captured. For all his speeches of journalism in war and knowing the truth, he had been unprepared for the magnitude of it. He had still recognized it as the perfect climactic shot for his documentary; this was real, not the hidden truths or tailored stories he had been given before now. This was the war that these people were fighting, and it was the perfect way to show the world what it was they were doing. But then he heard Dr. Jackson's voice, screaming for a medic, strained with pain and fear and screaming although it was easy to see, even through the lens of the camera, that Dr. Fraiser had been dead by the time she hit the ground.

And for the first time, Emmett had understood why the people of the SGC had been so resistant to his efforts to insinuate himself into their lives within the Stargate program. In his single-minded quest for the perfect documentary, he hadn't really realized that the reason that Colonel O'Neill avoided him and Dr. Jackson danced so infuriatingly around his questions wasn't because they disliked the media or didn't want the public to know the truth, but because maybe the truth was just too painful, and too personal, to share. That was why he was here now, giving the tape back to Dr. Jackson. Not because he didn't want to use it, but because he thought that maybe it would just be too much for those who had lost such a good friend that day.

Daniel felt a wave of relief wash over him as Emmett tossed the tape on the bed. He had hated giving up that tape, hated the fact that the whole world would be witness to Janet's pain. His pain. At least now it could be kept private. No one would see that terrible death that had come to her and so many others.

No one would see how the woman who had dedicated herself to the preservation of life had had her own taken by the enemy. Few would ever know what she had done for Wells and for countless others. Everything she had done would remain naught but names and words in a file somewhere, mere facts to those who had not known her.

God! He had always felt so bitterly about the secrecy in which they had to operate. He remembered all the good men and women who had died offworld and whose deaths had had to be covered up like some sort of dirty secret. He thought of Hawkins and Rothman, who had to be buried on a faraway planet and Kowalski who had to be cremated so no one could ever find the goa'ulds wrapped around their spinal cords. No one would ever know what they had done, what they had died for, either.

What was he doing? He should be embracing this chance to tell the world the truth. He had wanted Bregman to find a real hero to film, and now he was taking that away chance, hiding Janet away because he was too afraid to face the pain. Janet hadn't become a doctor for money or fame, she hadn't sought recognition or veneration from others, but Daniel knew she deserved it. More than almost anyone else he knew.

Bregman was turning away, leaving, but Daniel's voice stopped him.

"Wait. I want you to."

And as he held the tape out to the other man, he realized with finality that Janet was really gone, that even the specter that had been his companion since her death no longer stood beside him. He had to blink to hold back the tears.

AN: I wrote this immediately after watching Heroes II. I guess I felt like I needed to hear Daniel's farewell to Janet. I feel this does them both justice. We miss you, Janet.