SUMMARY: "He couldn't undo time, as much as he wished he could."
SEASON/SPOILERS: Probably season 4-ish. Set a year after and spoilers Forever in a Day.
NOTES: I haven't written any SG-1 is a very long time. Recently I've been sucked into Stargate: Atlantis and its fic world. Partially because Stargate: SG-1 has turned me off this season (too many forced S/J hints, works for some, but not my cup of tea, I just can't see it), but I caught Thor's Chariot on Scifi not too long ago and was reminded of why I started watching this show in the first place. And I will always have my DVDs from seasons 1-4 and can live in happy denial. :) And while working on some Atlantis fic, I stumbled upon this little story, dusted it off, and decided to share.
DISCLAIMER: The characters mentioned in this story are the property of Showtime and Gekko Film Corp. The Stargate, SG-I, the Goa'uld and all other characters who have appeared in the series STARGATE SG-1 together with the names, titles and backstory are the sole copyright property of MGM-UA Worldwide Television, Gekko Film Corp, Glassner/Wright Double Secret Productions and Stargate SG-I Prod. Ltd. Partnership. This fanfic is not intended as an infringement upon those rights and solely meant for entertainment.
The wind rustled through the camp, blowing the leaves around that had scattered to the ground. For a second, it seemed as if it was simply a fall day on earth, with the red and yellow leaves settling into new places on the dirt.
But it wasn't. In fact it was far from earth and far from the gentleness of a slightly cool autumn day. Billions of miles away, if he remembered correctly.
Daniel Jackson looked in the direction of the insistent voice and sighed. He wanted to be alone. That was why he wandered from the camp. He needed quiet, hearing nothing but the wind moving through the trees. Reflecting time. Time where the memories bubbled up and if he was lucky, he could filter out some of bad ones to pluck out a good one or two and hug it for as long as his mind would let him.
It was one year. Right down to the day. In fact, if Daniel was correct, it was almost down to the minute as well. A morbid thing, he realized, counting down to that exact moment when he had to give up looking for the one thing guaranteed to keep him happy for the rest of his life. He stared down at his indigo watch and watched the seconds tick by. The little hand shifted itself ever so slightly and professed another minute gone by.
She was gone.
Daniel closed his eyes. He couldn't undo time, as much as he wished he could. However, he could wish that he was any where but stuck on the planet of eternal fall and instead was back on Abydos, kneeling beside Sha're's grave and remembering the one year anniversary in a proper way.
Instead he shifted and heard the leaves crunch under his feet.
He heard footsteps. He knew who it was. He'd basically wandered off in the middle of Jack's watch without a word. Jack had let him fall asleep. He'd almost slept though the moment. He was angry with Jack for letting him sleep, but in truth, was far angrier with himself for falling asleep. That he could forget about it and surrender into his own fatigue.
That he could simply move on, as if it never happened.
He picked up a leaf and fingered it, wondering if it was true. Could he simply forget? Forget her face, the feel of her skin, her laugh, her shining eyes? If he closed his eyes, was his image of her faded, like the images of his parents had become over the years?
The footsteps got closer and from his position, Daniel saw two boots come into view. He didn't look up.
"Jack, I left the camp because I wanted to be alone." He hoped Jack would get the hint.
"Wallowing in self-pity won't help whatever you're feeling, Daniel." His tone was soft and solemn. Daniel looked up surprised. Surely Jack couldn't have known, couldn't have remembered, that this date was important to him. Daniel had counted down to it as soon as he turned the calendar page to the new month. Jack had padded him off on this mission, not even noticing how Daniel fingered the calendar, touching the day.
Or maybe he had. Daniel turned his gaze back down. In the end, it didn't matter. He was still here. And it all still happened. No place changed that.
"Six minutes, Jack," he finally said, admitting it. Admitting he knew the exact time and was sitting here in the dirt watching his wristwatch click the seconds by. The boots shifted again, as Daniel kept his gaze to the ground.
The words were quiet. For a minute, Daniel thought that would be it; that Jack would simply let the minutes tick by. That perhaps he'd leave now that he'd confirmed that Daniel just wanted to wallow in his own self-pity. The boots shifted again.
Daniel relented, finally looking up to meet the eyes of his friend. They were full of understanding. Of course, Jack would know. Jack had lost someone, too. Still, as much as he knew Jack understood, he still wished the man would leave him to contemplate the moment himself. Let it pass, as he shed the tears he didn't want anyone else to see. Daniel turned from Jack's gaze.
"I'm not leaving, Daniel." How had he known? Daniel's eyes wandered back to his watch.
"Jack, I-" The words faltered. He wasn't going to talk about it. He couldn't. Even with a man that understood. Jack certainly didn't like to reveal his thoughts about Charlie, so he had the right to keep his thoughts about Sha're's passing locked up tight as well. Right next to his parents. Let it fade with time as his heart slowly tried to cope with it, even a year after it happened.
"Daniel." Again, insistence filled his tone and Daniel found himself turning away. Less then four minutes. Why couldn't he leave? Silence again. Daniel focused on the ticking of his watch. Another minute went by.
Sha're was dead. He let his wrist fall to his side and let out a sigh. Can't undo the past. He felt a tear try and make its way out of his eye.
No. Not allowed to do that. Don't need to do that. He finished crying over her. Just like one foster parent had told him, there was no sense crying again over something that happened a long time ago. He blinked.
But it hadn't happened a long time ago. Only a year. Barely the same amount of time he spent with her. Memorizing her, holding her, smelling her ...
The tear made its way down his cheek. He blinked again, but it wasn't working anymore.
His watch beeped softly.
Another morbid thing for him to do. Mark the moment with a soft reminder that to him might as well as been blasted from every window in the universe.
He felt a hand on his back. Slowly he turned to his companion and met his eyes. More tears threatened to fall.
Jack wasn't backing down. Wasn't leaving.
It was then that Daniel let the tears fall. Let himself once again grieve another loss in his life. But this time it was different. He had thought he was alone. Every other time he'd been alone. His parents. His grandfather.
Now he wasn't alone. He wiped his eyes.
"Feel better?" Jack finally asked, holding out a tissue. For a second, Daniel wanted to laugh. Jack - Colonel Jack O'Neill - was handing him a tissue in the middle of a quiet planet. Jack, the guy that you practically had to bully into talking about his feelings, was prepared for Daniel's. Daniel felt his lips twist into a small smile.
Jack shook his head. "Only for you, Danny. And God help me, you tell Carter -"
"I won't." He took the tissue. "Ah - Jack. I didn't want to -"
"-talk about it? Doesn't help to talk it to death. In the end, they're still gone." Jack's gaze shifted toward the skyline.
"I miss her. A part of me always will."
"I miss Charlie, too."
" I know."
Another silence followed, leaving the words dangling in the air as the wind swept them up. Daniel looked at Jack. No, he wasn't alone.
Sha're was still dead.
But it was okay to still cry about it. Just as it was okay to remember the good times. Remember the love they shared even though it hadn't lasted into their golden years. It had existed. He'd never forget that. He wasn't moving on, he was moving forward. On to new things, guided by the fact that he had experienced love once in his life.
Maybe one day he would again. And somehow, it would be okay. While he wasn't sure exactly how it would be, he knew it would be.
"Ready to head back?" Jack offered a hand and Daniel took it, letting the older man help him up. He knew that later Sam would ask him if he was okay and Teal'c would give a few glances his way. They'd all try to cheer him up in their own ways, each one part of their unique friendship.
Yes, Sha're was still dead.
But he was still alive.