Title: A Day Like This
Characters: Jack O'Neill/Sara O'Neill
Word Count: 927
Author's Notes: Well, the prompt said "diamond" and you'd figure diamond ring or something, but Jack said it was a baseball diamond. Who am I to argue with Jack? ;-) Anyway, thank you Azar for the beta reading.
Summary: A sunny day gets Jack to thinking
It was on a day like this one that Jack and Sara O'Neill's world almost came to an end.
The sun was shining, bright and warm, and Jack had just gotten home from the air force base where he had been stationed. School had only been out for a half hour and as Jack wrapped his arms around his wife, he had entertained thoughts of playing ball with his son before helping him with homework.
His plans changed in a split second, and instead of homework, he was rushing to the hospital behind an ambulance with the sound of his own discharged gun and Sara's frantic sobs ringing in his ears. Sometimes, he heard them even now.
The doctors said he wouldn't make it through the surgery, not to get their hopes up. Sara took his hand and prayed.
Later, the same doctors warned he might not wake up, even though the surgery had gone as planned, but blue eyes opened to the world in the grey of the morning, just forty eight hours into the ordeal.
It was on a day like this one that they brought him home the hospital. Jack carried his son to his bedroom and laid him down as carefully as he could, despite the fact that he couldn't feel a thing below the waist. The doctors said he'd never walk again.
"Would you like to watch some TV?" Jack had asked. "I think there's a game on Channel 2." Charlie had always loved baseball, but twenty minutes into the game, he closed his eyes and begged Jack to 'just turn it off.'
Sara cried in Jack's arms every night for a month, mourning the loss of her son's vibrancy. Jack held her, but he didn't cry. Silently he blamed himself -- it was his gun -- for robbing Charlie of any chance at a normal life. Would it have better had he died? Jack couldn't have said, but in the dark of night when Sara's tears hadn't yet dried on her pillow, Jack wondered how things would have been different.
It was on a day like this that Jack came home early to find Sara sitting on the front porch with his suitcase by her side. There were no words of sorrows or regrets. No 'I'm sorry' and no 'we can try again when I get back.' He simply picked up the suitcase and said he'd come by for the rest of his stuff later. He didn't plan on there being a 'later' anyway. There was a mission he'd been offered, dangerous and outlandish. He couldn't tell her about it (who'd believe in alien invaders and a 'stargate' anyway?), and a part of him hoped he'd never come back.
It was on a day like this that he did come back, only to a cheap rented apartment on the other side of town. He was tired and bitter, not exactly what one would expect from a hero who'd just saved the planet. He kind of missed Daniel, but he wished the dorky archaeologist all the best with his new life. Maybe it would work out for the kid; who knew?
Jack kind of missed Sara, too, and after a couple of days R&R, he screwed up the courage to call her and let her know he was back in town. No, he couldn't tell her about the mission, but could he stop by later? She told him Charlie'd asked about him, and that brought a lump to Jack's throat.
It was on a day like this one that Jack sat on the edge of his son's bed reading comics when the most amazing thing happened.
One of Charlie's legs twitched. "I can feel it!" the boy exclaimed and Jack had called out to Sara, who came running. The three of the embraced on the bed, becoming a family again in an instant.
Jack moved back in, and started asking for more leave... so he could take Charlie to therapy sessions and doctors' appointments. He wanted to be there when his son walked again.
It wasn't an easy task, either. There were days Charlie's legs hurt too much to get out of bed, but he did anyway. There were days he could barely hobble about the house with leg braces or that hideous walker, let alone walk two steps by himself. But the boy was a chip off the old block in more ways than one. He had courage, determination, and in the words of someone or other famous, 'miles and miles of heart.'
And on a day like today, Charlie returned to school, a year behind the rest of the kids his age. He walked into the building all by himself, no crutches or walker or leg braces. Beside him, his mother cried tears of joy.
This particular day, however, was in Jack O'Neill's mind, the most important day in the whole world. His son was playing baseball again for the first time since the accident. He and Sara sat on their picnic blanket by the chain link fence in the school yard and watched as the two little league teams took their places in the dugout. It didn't matter to either of them if their team won or lost, but when Charlie stepped up to bat for the first time, they jumped to their feet to cheer.
When he hit a home run later on in the game, one lone tear slid down Jack's cheek as his heart burst with pride.
To think he'd almost missed a day like this.