Summary: Cassandra deals with the death of her mothers.
Author's Notes: Written for the prompt, "Alone" for Stargate Last Author Standing" community.
There was nowhere to run and everywhere to hide. Cassandra stayed near her mother most of the time, too scared to do anything else. The people of her village were all dead, lying on the roadside, near the well, in their houses - wherever they happened to be when the sickness took them. They all died, leaving her alone and scared - and wondering if she was next.
Cassandra walked among the dead at first, looking for anyone to help her. She searched all the houses, even the building the strangers had built, but she couldn't find anyone to help her. Her next thought was to run, to find safety in the woods. Surely death would not find her if she hid in the woods. This thought spurred her into action. Surely she'd be safe when she found the best hiding place.
Then the night came.
Terrifying sounds filled the night air. Sounds she never noticed before. The woods came alive with growls, chirps, splashes in the river and other noises that came from everywhere. She hunkered down next to a log with her hands over her ears until her fears got the best of her. A loud bang caused her to jump up and she ran back to her mother's body, the only solace she had ever known. Sitting down next to her mom, Cassandra hugged her knees tightly to her chest, rocking back and forth as she cried, her fears and grief too much for her to take.
She finally fell asleep, although her dreams were troubled. She awoke with a start the next morning, calling out to her mom in a hopeful tone, only to be met with silence.
It had been a dream, she realized with sadness. Her mother was dead. She stared at the body lying on the road and wept. It was only a dream.
The next few days were spent in a daze. Cassandra left her mother's side only to find food, and even then she didn't stray far. She was afraid of the animals that came to the edge of the woods, their long teeth gleaming as they stared at the dead. No one was around to chase them away, and they were getting braver, even when Cassandra threw sticks and rocks at them to scare them off. She tried to think of a way to keep them from getting closer, but so far her sticks and rocks were working. Maybe they would get tired of her and leave the dead alone. In the meantime, she was still so scared. What if she died too? Or worse, what if she was going to be alone the rest of her life?
She was worrying about this on the third day when she heard the sounds of the Stargate starting up. Terror welled up as she wondered if the people coming through would hurt her. She was all alone. No one would protect her if those people wanted to kill her. She crouched down in the bushes by her mother's body, unwilling to leave, yet too afraid to stand out in the open.
It was the tag they placed on her mother's body that convinced Cassandra to trust them. They only wanted to identify the body, not steal anything or destroy it. Cassandra still hid from the strangers, but she was a little hopeful that maybe they wouldn't leave her alone again. Then again, she thought, as she stared at their clothing. Maybe they were the ones who brought death to her village in the first place.
"We will not hurt you," said the man who held his hand out to her. Cassandra believed him. She remembered the stories the people of her village used to tell that the darkened sun would bring death to them. It was a legend most people didn't really believe. But Cassandra now believed. It was the curse brought on by the ancients that killed her people, not the man who stood in front of her.
She took his hand. She didn't want to be alone again.
Cassandra kept the picture she drew during her first stay at the SGC. She would look at it every time things went bad for her. The stick figure Sam had drawn to represent friendship gave her strength to battle the loneliness that struck whenever she and her friends had a fight. Cassie looked at it now, wondering if she would ever get over the death of her mothers.
She was more alone than ever before and it just didn't seem right some how. She traced her finger over the stick figure and cried, grieving over Janet's death, while remembering the days she spent living among the dead.
She looked up at Sam, not the least bit surprised that her friend showed up when she did. Sam always seemed to be there when she was needed most. It was something Cassandra came to rely on.
"I'm all right," Cassie said, drying her tears.
Sam nodded and came to sit down next to her. She tilted her head to look at the drawing in Cassie's hand, then turned to stare into her face.
"You're not alone," Sam said, as she smoothed her hand over Cassie's hair. "I'm here." She was apparently sharing the same memory of that day long ago and tears welled up in Cassie's eyes.
She nodded then leaned into Sam. She had long ago come to the conclusion that as long as Sam was around, she would never be alone.