What an idiot. Yep, that was me. An idiot. Just about the biggest one of the planet Earth. Duh.
"Whoa, Jackson, don't—!"
Mitchell had warned me. He'd tried to stop me. But my damn curiosity had gotten me in a crap load of trouble. Again.
"ARRGH!" The boat cracked under his foot and his right leg sunk through, into the frozen water below.
What kind of an idiot stepped into a boat, obviously torn up, from the '40s? I mean, really. Sure, maybe I could've found the 'gate there but still.
"Daniel! Hang on!"
"Sam, don't--!" He tried, he really did. But water was leaking through the hole now, swarming around his leg. Tugging on his thigh, he tried to free himself but the waters were too harsh, too cold…
I had been sure it was over. I was finally going to be done for. Permanently.
"Sam, you two go on without me!"
"Sam, I can't get my leg out, and you guys can't come in here or you'll be in the same situation! Go!"
"Jackson, we're not leaving you behind!"
Had they made it? Were they still out there in that frozen wasteland? Was I alone, the only one who knew this wasn't how time was supposed to be turning out?
"You've got to stay with me! Come on, man! If you lose consciousness, I can't guarantee you'll ever regain it again!"
Nice guy. Never caught his name. Some scientist who was studying something or another in the Arctic. Saved my life. Took me to a hospital.
Where they cut off my leg.
"You've got extremely bad frostbite covering almost your entire body."
"Yeah, I caught that, thanks."
"Ultimately, sir, your right leg is dead. There's nothing we can do for it at this point."
"…What're you saying?"
"We have to amputate, sir. We have to cut off your leg."
"Iknowwhat amputate means!"
"I'm sorry, sir."
"Yeah. …So am I."
Then I'd gone home. It wasn't as if I could go back North to look for Mitchell and Sam. I have one leg. And, really, it's not like I actually want to go back. Sure, it'd be great to find them but how long would I have to look? The Arctic's bigger than you think, despite global warming. And how would I feel if I found them…dead? Their blackened, frozen bodies, clinging at each other desperately for warmth? Could I deal with that?
I can't deal with having lost a leg; I don't think I can deal with losing the only two friends I might have left.
So here I am. Dr. Daniel Nicolas Jackson, civilian. One-legged. Living in my apartment, not traveling outside save for groceries. And I avoid that as much as possible. Hate the stares people give me. Me, in my little ol' wheelchair.
Dammit, I was such an idiot!
Though…would I have been better off, not stepping into the boat and sticking with Mitchell and Sam, possibly still out there, in the deadly cold? And polar bears…hell, I hadn't thought of that…
All the same. I was helpless. Hopeless. Was there really a difference?
One leg. Still recovering from the less severe frostbite on the rest of my body. Sitting on my couch in my living room, nursing a beer.
While Vala and Teal'c had been kidnapped by Ba'al and Mitchell and Sam were freezing to death in the Arctic. He should be out there, looking for them, helping them…
But he wasn't. He couldn't. He had one leg!
A/N: I love reviewers and live for constructive criticism!