My Daughter

Category: Drabble

Spoilers: Reckoning

Season: Eight

Pairings: Sam and Jack

Rating: G

Warnings: Sappiness

Summary: Jacob is proud of his daughter and wants her to be happy.

Author's Note: Hedwiggins requested this drabble, so here it is. This is not betaed so all mistakes are mine.

Disclaimer: Stargate SG-1 and its characters are not my property. I have written this story for the enjoyment of Stargate SG-1 fans all over the world. No copyright infringement is intended and no monetary gain is expected.

I gaze at my beautiful daughter and I can't help but proudly smile. What father would not, beholding such an awe-inspiring picture?

She concentrates on her mission with her usual undeterred determination, entirely oblivious of my scrutiny and the warm feelings she stirs within me, and I remember with a heavy heart that I won't be with her for much longer.

Her mind is currently immersed in the challenge before her, the seemingly insurmountable puzzle that holds the key to humanity's survival. But, no matter how difficult the task is or how unlikely eventual victory seems to be, Sam is determined to succeed. Failure is not something she is willing to contemplate when the fate of her planet and of her loved ones is at stake, and I again wish for the millionth time that her mother could be here to witness this wonderful example of female perfection, and duly revel in the outcome of her loving motherly efforts.

My beautiful and gentle wife would be the proudest parent in the world if she could see what she produced, this magnificent, gorgeous woman, warrior, and scientist that has saved humankind countless times while denying herself what she desires the most in the name of honor and duty.

My heart breaks for my little girl every time her blue eyes betray her, every time her gaze softens as she speaks to him. She doesn't realize that I understand her true feelings for her commanding officer, and that her eyes exposed her adoration long, long ago.

She would be shocked to know that I secretly wish that she could disregard the rules and just take what she wants and deserves. I earnestly hope that she could fulfill her dreams and become even more than she already is, not just a hero but also a beloved wife and mother, and that she would fulfill those dreams with the man her heart chose years ago, not the one she's settling for now.

Who would have known that the little girl in pigtails that used to climb trees, run like a colt and swim like a fish would turn out to be such a soft and gentle woman despite her potentially lethal might? Who could have imagined that the little whiz-kid who used to blow up containers in the yard would turn into this complex and thoroughly enthralling blend of femininity, brilliance and power? And who could ever comprehend how such a woman still does not understand how truly special she is? Why is it that, after all that she has accomplished, her humility and perfectionism continue to demand such a toll from her?

'She is her father's daughter,' my dying companion whispers inside my head.

'She's much more than I could have ever hoped to be,' I reply.

'You are keen to recognize your wife's beauty and gentle qualities in her, but her inner strength and her brilliance are yours,' Selmak insists.

I can feel my symbiote's vigor weakening with every breath I take and with every movement I make, but he continues to push me. He won't let me give up because of him.

'I wish I could tell her,' I openly confide. 'I hate hiding this from her.'

'You still must. She will not let you help her if she knows I'm dying. What is at stake is more important than both of us. Our sacrifice is necessary,' Selmak relentlessly reminds me.

'I know. Don't worry; I won't give up. Just rest while you can. She's taking charge for now,' I entreat, and I sense his reluctant withdrawal as he takes advantage of the momentary respite.

I know I won't survive. I know that I will leave my daughter sooner than I had anticipated, and my soul withers with dread wondering if she will ever get to be truly happy, if she will ever discard the bindings that prevent her from reaching for what she really wants. I question whether she will ever allow herself to accept some recompense for her years of toil and sacrifice.

I continue to watch my daughter masterfully handle the alien technology as instinctively and artfully as an Ancient, and I again marvel at the qualities that make her the amazing person she is. Both her gentleness and her strength are in full evidence as she coaxes cooperation from her enemy, not backing down but not dictating, either, somehow achieving the delicate balance of give and take that the mission requires, and I just know that I could never do what she is doing.

But Sam can do it. Sam can accomplish anything that she sets to do because of those traits Selmak alluded to, the tender qualities inherited from a long lost mother who managed to impart in a few years a lifetime of wisdom and care, and the steely strength and determination that have always driven me, her father, to give to my country the most I could give, even when it required me to sacrifice time and attention to my family, time and attention that, as it turned out, I was never able to make up for.

And now the thought strikes me. Selmak is right, as he usually is. Sam is very much my daughter. Her self-sacrifice should not be so surprising. She is doing the same thing I've always done, putting herself second to everyone and everything, demanding the impossible from herself and still feeling like she's never given enough, and denying what her soul craves without realizing that, when time is gone, it's gone forever, that second chances are rare, and that lost opportunities are unrecoverable.

I had refused to learn that lesson for years, stubbornly holding on to my sense of duty and allowing myself to be blind to the needs of my children once my beloved was gone. Only when I was given an exceptional second chance and was graced with the temperate wisdom of an ancient being — who patiently and persistently endeavored to open my eyes — did I finally realize what I had lost.

So I've tried to make up for it ever since. Yes, I have continued to do my duty, just as my daughter would expect me to do, but I have also attempted to mend fences and open my heart to my children, and I have been rewarded with their unconditional love and forgiveness despite the years of abandonment I made them suffer. I was not worthy, but they generously opened their hearts to me, anyway, and I can't help but see the hand of my sorely missed wife in this most incredible gift.

As Sam smiles with satisfaction, her clear blue eyes sparkling with unrepressed passion and resolve, she turns to me with conviction in our eventual success. It is now within reach. All we need is a little more time.

The same can be said about her dreams. She might not realize just how much she is giving up, but I do. And I will not let her lose something she should rightfully have. I will do whatever I need to do to help her see what Selmak made me see.

I will talk to her, as difficult as I still find it to express my feelings with words, and I will encourage her to reach for what she deserves. I will remind her that she still can have everything she wants, and that the boundaries she believes to be unmovable are rather ephemeral when faced with true love.

I just hope that she will be willing to open her eyes and finally see what I can so clearly see, that her happiness resides in the relentless love of one man, the man who gave her up thinking that she would be happier without him, but whose life is barren and bitter without her in it.

This man is the one constant in my daughter's life. No matter what choices she makes or which path she chooses to follow, I know that he will always be there for her.

The End