A Stargate SG-1 fanfiction story
Spoilers: Ripple Effect
Disclaimer: I don't own Stargate, not one bit
Summary: A little something between Daniel and Janet during Ripple Effect
Something inside him had shattered at the sight of her. In fact, he was surprised he hadn't completely fallen apart when he had first laid eyes on her. Truth be told, she was the last person he had expected to see – literally. And there she was, in the flesh, alive and well and kicking, and boy was she kicking.
Even coming from another dimension, nothing seemed to be able to dull the fire in Janet Fraiser's eyes as she stared down people many times her size and rank. Daniel chuckled at the memory of Landry being stared down by a woman he had heard of by reputation but had never actually gotten to meet. The archeologist was pretty sure that even now the General was in shock about the casual way Janet had marched into his office and demanded to be sent back to her own universe.
Now that was an idea. Shock. Maybe he himself was still in shock over seeing a dead woman again. He had watched Janet – his Janet – die, from feet away. There had been times after that day where he had wished to have lunged for her, to have taken that staff blast for her.
The depression that followed that thought was always the worst, and it usually took some rather forceful insistence from Jack and Sam to draw him out of the pit he was digging himself.
Now, two years later, he thought he had gotten over her. And then here she was, and he found himself staring at her, as captivated by her as he had been the very first day.
He hadn't forgotten her; Janet Fraiser was a persona who was impossible to forget. But he had thought he had gotten over her, and apparently, he had thought wrong. Feelings he had thought buried long ago were clawing at the edge of his mind, and more than once he found himself staring at the woman who still haunted his dreams.
He noticed there seemed to be a sense of cameradie between the other him and Janet, but nothing that went as far as he would have liked to go with their Janet, had she not met her demise on P3X-666. That struck him as odd, as a great many other things seemed to be identical between the two worlds.
It was rather ironic, he figured, that the one world, the one universe, where Janet had survived, needed her. And he knew her – her duty as a doctor always came first, and nothing would ever keep her from doing it if she set her mind to it.
And suddenly, Daniel found himself hating the thought of having her go back with a reckless abandon that bordered on the insane. It was completely illogical, he knew. This was not the Janet he knew, it wasn't the woman he had begun to love. He hadn't even spent more than an hour or two around her, still, she looked the same; her mannerisms, her voice, her passionate determination to see through what she had started, they all were what had drawn him to her in the first place.
And as much as this Janet wasn't his, so she was.
With the Prometheus returned from the scrubbed mission to deploy a nuke in the middle of the singularity that was the cause of this whole mess, he found himself wandering the corridors of the SGC in the middle of the night with nothing to do. Teal'c was meditating, or whatever else he was doing during Kel'nor'eem, and Sam was probably brooding over her calucations, notepad, and whiteboard. And Cameron was catching up on his "beauty sleep."
As he found himself unable to sleep, with Janet on his mind, and unable to help out Sam as he found himself sorely lacking of astrophysical knowledge, there wasn't much else to do but wander.
His feet steered him towards the mess hall, and Daniel found himself instinctively walking behind the counter, fetching a cup of coffee. He froze when his hand brushed another, and only then looked up, to stare into grey eyes. For an instant, his breathing stopped; her touch, brief as it was, felt electric. He couldn't seem to move his eyes from hers, and for a moment they just stood there, their fingertips lightly resting against one another's.
She was the first to break the moment. With a quick smile she reached for the mug and poured him a coffee, then filled her own mug. Daniel sighed. Of course she wouldn't react – after all, it wasn't his Janet. Her Daniel had never started a romantic relationship with her, and she had never looked at his counterpart as more than a friend.
"What's wrong, Dr. Jackson?" She had taken to calling him "Dr. Jackson," while her Daniel remained simply "Daniel." "Nothing."
His reply was automatic, and he nearly walked into her as she stopped abruptly. Her back was still turned to him, her slightly tousled hair hanging down from the bun she had put it up in. "You know, Daniel has an odd habit. Whenever I tend to ask him if something is bothering him, he'll usually only reply with 'nothing' if there's a matter that is seriously troubling him, or he's seriously hurt." Her back was still turned to him, but he could almost see her smile.
"Now, I don't know about you, Dr. Jackson, but I figure you might be quite similar." She turned around, and she was indeed smiling. Daniel leaned against the counter, not really trusting his legs to keep him up. She waited patiently for him to answer, staring at him as she held the mug in her hands, the steam from the coffee slowly, almost sensually drifting up into the air between them.
Daniel closed his eyes and his memory took him to a very similar scene, with a very similar yet different woman. "Maybe I am," he said slowly. "But unfortunately, I don't believe this is something you can help me with."
All of a sudden, Janet looked at the ground. "Of course. It isn't my place to pry. I remind you of her, don't I?"
"Yeah. Your world…is so different than mine. So many things that went down different paths. But you're…you're just like her. You're Janet." He chuckled. "That's the best way I can put it. Seeing you…it's so easy to forget that my Janet died two years ago. It's so easy to think you're her, I find myself in a rather…peculiar situation."
"I understand. It's probably very hard for you to look at someone who wears the face of a dead friend; someone acting just like her, but who isn't truly her."
Daniel shrugged. "It's not just that. People have come back from the dead before. It's…knowing you and not knowing you at the same time. I mean, I think I know you roughly because major events played out the same in both our universes, but the subtle things changed. When I see you I see her, and it's hard to remember you're actually not, and that some things you might actually not know about."
"You two were close, weren't you?" Janet smiled slightly as she stared down into her coffee mug.
"I was going to propose to her after we got back from P3X-666." Daniel reached under his shirt and pulled out a light silver chain. Attached to it, Janet could see, was a ring, made of a finely crafted golden material. In the center of the ring sat a diamond, encircled with seven differently colored gems. They were arrayed in a sort of open octagon that left the bottom slot empty. The display vaguely reminded Janet of the Stargate itself, with the seven Chevrons positioned around the ring.
Daniel toyed with the chain for a moment before unclasping it and letting the ring drop into his palm. He handed it to her. "I started collecting these stones a while back. I wanted something to show you – her – that I would be coming back. Something to symbolize the thing that brought us together." He shrugged. "Then P3X-666 happened."
Janet inspected the ring closely. The band itself was white gold, simple, unmarked, widening slightly at the top to accommodate the eight stones. The dim lighting in the mess hall reflected in the stones, the seven outer stones refracting the light towards the central diamond, which seemed to light up in an almost unearthly gleam as the colors combined in a scintillating fire.
"It's beautiful," she whispered. "I'm sorry."
The archeologist waved her off. "Don't worry about it. I just wish…"
"So many things. That you could stay. That I could come with you. That my Janet hadn't died. That you were her." He glanced up into her eyes for an instant before dropping his gaze. "That you had died instead of her," he whispered. "It's selfish, I know. I'm probably being an egotistical jerk for even wishing that you should have died in her place."
She placed a hand on his arm carefully, placing the mug aside. "You aren't. You were in love with her. Maybe," she noted with a wry smile, "it would have been better had I died instead of her. She seems to have had so much more here than I ever did. Good friends, someone to love. You two should have deserved to stay together."
"Don't say that," Daniel hissed. "Yes, she didn't deserve to die. Yes, we should have stayed together, yes I wish I'd been shot instead of her. But don't you ever, ever say that we were better off if you had died. You are needed. Your world, your SG-1 needs you."
"I can see why I would have fallen in love with you, Daniel Jackson. My Daniel never was interested, especially since he had Sha're to return to." She caught the flicker of emotion that passed through Daniel's eyes, brief as it was. "She's dead here, isn't she?"
Daniel nodded. "Yes."
Janet didn't pry more, she simply leaned against the counter, watching him. "I'm sorry," she finally told him again.
"You have nothing to be sorry for. You didn't do anything except step through that gate at the wrong time."
"I'm here, and I'm reminding you of her. It's strange, but I kind of know what you mean. We barely talked for an hour in all the time since we arrived, and already I can see what I – your Janet – would have seen in you." She sighed. "Part of me doesn't really want to go back, either. You're so much like my Daniel, but at the same time, you're so different. I wish I could stay here, get to know you more. But I can't replace your Janet, as much as I wish I could."
Daniel smiled. "No, you can't. But by saying so, you already are. I'm not making sense, am I?"
"Not exactly, no." Janet answered his smile with one of her own. "But I understand, I think."
A comfortable silence settled over them, and both were content to let it pass. Janet was the first who broke it. She sipped her coffee, placing the mug back onto the countertop. "I need to go back. I wish I didn't, but I have to. Im needed there."
"I know. I never could stop my Janet from doing what she wanted to, from going where she was needed. Ever."
Janet sought his eyes for a moment. "But then, I'm needed here, too."
"Your world needs you."
"My world needs Dr. Fraiser. You need Janet."
"Can't have both without sacrificing one."
Janet let out an exhasperated sigh. "I know. It's hard being us sometimes." She played with the ring, watching the gems catch the dim light. She handed it to him, but Daniel simply shook his head, closing her hand around it. "Take it," he told her.
Staring down at their joined hands, Janet felt her breathing stop for a moment. "I can't. It's your memory of her. I can't take it."
"You are as much Janet Fraiser as she was. My Janet is dead, but at the same time, she isn't. Take it as a thank-you for keeping her alive, take it as a reminder of what could be; I'm sure my Janet would agree with me."
She let out a long breath she hadn't known she was holding, and placed her other hand on top of his. "Thank you," she whispered. Then, on impulse, she leaned forward and placed a gentle kiss on his lips."I wish things could have been different."
Daniel watched as one SG-1 after another departed through the Stargate. Finally, it was her turn. He watched solemnly as Janet Fraiser said goodbye to his teammates. When it came to his turn, he enfolded her in a tight embrace. He could smell the faint scent of her shampoo, could feel the silky curtain of her hair as she pressed her cheek to his. He could feel her arms wrapping around him, holding on to him tighter, as if she were afraid of what would happen if she let go.
Finally, they parted, and with one look into her eyes, he knew she regretted having to leave as much as he did – but both knew it was necessary, and no amount of force would have kept her here.
"I'll come visit," she whispered to him in half-jest, and he followed her with his eyes until the event horizon of the wormhole swallowed her. It was a promise that was almost certainly impossible to fulfill, but he found a strange sort of idle hope in the knowledge that she was out there, even if she wasn't his Janet.
Still, Daniel mused, it had been good to see Janet Fraiser alive and kicking.
And boy, was she kicking.