Summary: Another Jack ramble
He's dead. He's dead. HE'S DEAD!
This was not supposed to happen; it wasn't supposed to go down this way. If anyone was gonna buy it, it should have been me. With my kind of military career it would be par for the course but not for him.
How could this happen? I know Daniel was being Daniel but there was no warning and I wasn't even there to stop him, to protect him and keep him close. I was stuck with some fucking politician while he took that fatal dose of radiation and then, at the end, I couldn't tell him.
People think I'm strong and brave but when it mattered most I was a coward. I failed him because I couldn't tell him how I felt and now all I feel is a hard unyielding lump in the pit of my stomach that just won't go away. It's the only thing I can feel, the rest of me is empty, just plain empty...
Hammond says we can't even have a memorial service because he's not dead but he is to me. I thought he spoke to me but I must have imagined it. He asked me to let him go, said he thought he could do more in our fight against the Goa'uld that way but I can't see how. Was it because I was so desperate to keep him with me, is that why I didn't want him to die? Well duh, of course it was. Just because I didn't tell him doesn't mean to say I don't care. Except it wasn't enough. He deserved more from me than I actually gave him in all the years before and especially right then.
And now he's gone...my brain knows he didn't die as such, there wasn't even a body but my heart tells me I won't see him again.
I'm trying to write his eulogy. It doesn't matter that I'll never give it, in public anyway, it's just something I need to do. I've had some practice writing to grieving relatives when I've lost men in some conflict or other but this is different, Daniel doesn't have anyone for me to write to. God, I can't bear this, I have to stop...
I'm gonna stand and deliver this speech somewhere but the trouble is I don't know where yet. Daniel is everywhere I look and everywhere I go. He's in the commissary drinking coffee, in the gym working out, his muscles flexing and his smooth skin glowing with the heat of his body. The boonie he liked to wear is still hanging from the handle of his locker door and his office smells and tastes of him, except there's someone else there now and I hate his guts for being alive when Daniel is dead. I know, I know, he's not dead, dead but he might as well be. All I know is he's not in my life anymore.
Every time I sit down to try and write my speech I just stare at a blank piece of paper. I'm sure if Daniel was faced with a virgin sheet he wouldn't hesitate to fill it, like I wanted him to fill me.
I look at the paper again and taking the pen, run my fingertips along its length. I could talk about what he's done, the different people he's met, places he's been. I could mention his concern for the downtrodden, his gentleness and his consideration, even his passion and compassion for doing the right thing; it was that act that took him away and in doing so, saved thousands of Kelownans. Oddly he saved Carter, Teal'c and me as well; we were all there in the facility. He saved me, a stupid bastard who at the final moment couldn't tell him the truth.
I would really like to make my speech in his office, his lab where he did so much of his work. I know the hours he spent in that place, pouring over books and old papers, gently rolling and tumbling those artefacts through his fingers and for the most part, making sense of it all.
I'm not going to though. Since Jonas Quinn moved in, Daniel's place seems sullied, unclean and violated. Nope, I can't do it there. What I have to say is too important to me and thinking about it, inside the mountain is too oppressive.
I know where I need to go and I know what I need to say.
So, here I am, at the top of Cheyenne Mountain, at the top of my world on a clear, crisp morning and well away from snooping eyes and ears. Daniel and I used to come up here sometimes and talk. Not about anything in particular, it was just a case of 'being' really but recalling our visits now I know they were precious moments that I savoured at the time because it was just the two of us, alone under a big sky.
I could have told him then but I was content to hold my peace. Those times we shared here were...well timeless and somehow the need to tell him didn't seem so important then.
I just need to find the right place to stand and deliver my personal tribute to him. This is the spot, right here on a small bluff overlooking the uninhabited land beyond the Springs. We would sit here, on this horizontal log and be thankful we were alive and that's the joke, the irony in all of this is that I'm still here alive and he's...wherever he is and lost to me.
I just need to take a moment and compose myself before I fall apart completely...
Okay, I'm ready, I can do this, I need to do this. Listen up Daniel, this is for you...
Daniel? I LOVE YOU!
Next: Stand Alone