Timeline: During 'Heroes'
Beta: Insane Vampiress
Disclaimer: Not mine. I play with other people's toys.

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Janet's dead. Images flash through your mind; images of a happy, vibrant woman, like the slide show Cassie put together one summer. Always together, her happiness, a quiet one, but there nonetheless. She was always so full of life. That she's dead is too difficult to comprehend.

Who's going to tell Cassie? Not only has she lost her entire race, but now her mother is gone, too. It's just not fair. She was a mother, a miracle doctor, a wonderful friend...and that's it, at least on the record. The military's oh-so-enlightened "don't ask, don't tell" policy makes sure of that. God forbid the bureaucrats in Washington should have to acknowledge that two women involved in the most significant military operation in history love each other.

It would be easier if you could just be an attendee to Janet's funeral, but like you've just said, life is rarely fair. And even though nobody knew about the two of you, they know you were friends, know how you would go home together when you had downtime and knew how Cassie saw you almost as often as she saw Janet. So they asked you to give her eulogy. It would be an honor if you were allowed to tell everybody exactly how much she meant to you and just how much you resent the military for making you keep it a secret for the past six years.

Because Janet's dead. Janet, your lover, your best friend, your life. She's dead and no one can know just how much it's hurting you. So you have to breathe and keep it together, because it's always a risk when you step through the 'gate that you might not come back. It's just that you'd survived so many times, you'd begun to think of yourselves as invincible, like nobody could touch you just because you say so. You got careless and forgot you could still die. So when Jack went down, you panicked. You ran to your friend and forgot about the battle.

So you breathe and try not to choke on each breath. Think about how to tell Cassie that her mother is never coming home because of a stupid mistake. Think about how to say how essential Doctor Janet Fraiser was to the project and the world, without letting on how essential she was to you. Think about how many times you would stay up late just to watch her sleep, and try not to remember how often she would worry about the exact same thing happening to you. Think about how she would smile at you like you were the only person in the world. Think about how much you love her and how special she was, about how lucky you were that she loved and trusted you.

Try not to think about how she misplaced that trust.

Try not to realize it was your screw up that got her killed.

Try not to remember she's gone.