Jmas Fan Fiction

Title: Counting the Dead
Date: June 21, 2001
Status: Complete
Author: Jmas
Category: Drama, angst
Rating: PG-13, language
Email: jmasg1@bellsouth.net
Disclaimer: Characters are property of MGM, etc.
Spoilers: Watergate, bare mentions of FiaD, Enemy Within, First Commandment, Crossroads, The Light, Rules of Engagement
Author's note: Another of the promised missing scene/tags. Thanks to Brenda, my lovely beta, and Kaz for the ‘OK’ that this notion wasn’t too close to one of her own.
Disclaimer: The characters mentioned in this story are the property of Showtime and Gekko Film Corp. The Stargate, SG-I, the Goa’uld and all other characters who have appeared in the series STARGATE SG-1 together with the names, titles and backstory are the sole copyright property of MGM-UA Worldwide Television, Gekko Film Corp, Glassner/Wright Double Secret Productions and Stargate SG-I Prod. Ltd. Partnership. This fanfic is not intended as an infringement upon those rights and solely meant for entertainment. All other characters, the story idea and the story itself are the sole property of the author.


 

Counting the Dead

By Jmas

 

A simple thing….

A simple, final duty to these latest of lives lost to the Stargate.

It was simple.

But Daniel couldn’t help but wonder when he’d actually gotten used to it. These people, largely scientists like himself, had died senselessly and - from the expressions on their terrified faces – horribly. Yet all Daniel could seem to do for them now was to count their dogtags, check off their names on his list, then move on.

Daniel remembered finding the bodies on Hanka, the horror and panic of the macabre discovery; now though, three years and too many similar situations later, it had become easier. The horror was still there, just displaced to some nether region of his soul to be released later in the form of nightmares when he could no longer avoid sleep. He knew better than most how ghosts walked at night.

His ghosts, for he owned them all….

Sha’re, Kawalski, Frakes, Hanson, Connor, SG11, SG5, Shan’auc, so many others….all his. All because he’d opened the gate and set into motion events that still yet echoed on in all their lives. Names and faces tallied up over the years, never forgotten, that lived in his dreams on dark lonely nights and reminded him exactly who was at fault.

Shivering at the many vivid memories, Daniel noted Teal’c’s tense back leaning over to retrieve another set of tags, marking off yet another name to the tally of the dead. Daniel hunched his shoulders inside his coat and moved on to the next body

~*~

Jack couldn’t shake the feeling he’d fought the entire day, a pervasive cold and damp that had much more to do with the presence of death than the Siberian atmosphere.

God, he hated the cold….

Since nearly freezing to death in Antarctica, he’d dreaded the numbing tightness winter always seemed to bring. Jack couldn’t imagine living and working in a place like this – a place of perpetual ice and snow with no lasting warmth to ease the soul.

And less warmth now than ever before….

Something really bad had happened, something bad enough to convince the commander of the base that killing his own people was a better choice than continuing to fight.

Jack shivered again, musing that it was perhaps a hopeful sign that, after so many years in the company of death, he could still feel the chill dread of its nearness. He liked to think it was a sign his soul was still redeemable.

Teal’c and Daniel had been gone just over an hour, surely time enough to….

It bothered Jack on a level he didn’t care to examine that Daniel had calmly accepted the gruesome task of counting the dead. For all Jack had once hoped that Daniel would toughen up, he wasn’t sure he was comfortable getting this particular wish granted.

~*~

Daniel ached all over, the return trip though the stargate had not gone nearly as smoothly as the trip in. They’d hit the ramp pretty hard - not a new experience and not nearly his worst landing, but hard enough to bruise. Sam wasn’t much better off, though she’d been lucky enough to hit on softer parts of her anatomy than he had.

Maybourne was secured in another area of the plane; none of them had wanted to share sleeping space with the man who’d caused them so much grief…and was now officially a traitor to his country.

The crew of the plane had provided blankets and pillows, which didn’t exactly alleviate the hardness of the seats but did make them more bearable for sleeping.

‘Not that I’m in a hurry to sleep…’

As tired as he was, the memories of the dead were far too clear in his mind for him to want to rest. The soreness helped, keeping him from sinking into the exhaustion that had claimed his teammates hours earlier. They were still hours out from Alaska where yet another plane would take them on to Colorado. Maybourne would be traveling on to the Federal stockade to await trial.

The stars were clouded in the misty trails left by their passing, the world was ghostly grey and seemed appropriate to his mood. The dimly lit cabin showed him the huddled forms of his friends…so still as to worry him, though he knew they were okay. More ghosts to walk this night, a night of regrets and uneasy spirits.

~*~

The restless movements of the man across the aisle from him disturbed Jack’s attempts to rest. Not that he was having much luck at it himself. He felt as if the past day or so had cast him in a replay of the Night of the Living Dead. Frozen Maybournes and regurgitated alien water were a little far out there in his experience - and he’d seen some decidedly odd things in the past four years. Didn’t make them any easier to swallow - or forget.

He’d known Daniel wasn’t as okay with the body count as he’d let on. In a way, it heartened Jack. It meant Daniel was still Daniel. Still able to touch his soul and walk away untainted. To Jack, it was a good thing. Hell, better than good; it was great.

So to speak….

Jack sat up slowly and looked over, Daniel’s eyes were staring unfocused out the window, more miles away than Siberia or Colorado, Jack was sure. Most of Daniel’s ghosts resided much further away.

“Daniel?”

Shadowed eyes slowly returned from whatever nightmare images he’d been treating himself to, blinking heavily as his mind completed the journey and brought him back to the here and now.

“Jack? You okay?”

With a nod, Jack slid over and jumped the aisle, settling himself into the seat next to Daniel, blankets and all.

“Too wired to sleep, I guess,” Jack half-lied, digging a deck of cards out of the pack under his seat. “Care to play?”

A suspicious look danced over Daniel’s face, weighing the truth against the need not to sleep. “You feeling lucky?”

Jack grinned suddenly, thinking about ghosts and death and the souls they touched, the souls still able to remember them with honor and regret.

“Yeah, damn lucky….”

*fin*

 

 

 

 

 

 

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