Stargate Sg-1 fic: Living the Nightmare
Another story written for theme week at stargateland . The prompt for this one was: 41- SG1, Sam Carter, Talking to Cassie after Janet’s death. It kind of tumbled out of control and Daniel ended up there, too. I had tears in my eyes while writing it so fair warning.
Living the Nightmare
by jennickels (aka Jen Connelly)
Cassie, Sam, Daniel
WARNINGS: mention of canon death
Cassie finds out her mom won’t be coming back from her last mission but Sam and Daniel are there to help her through the nightmare.
don’t own… wish I did, but I don’t. No infringement intended.
It’s every military family’s worst nightmare. Cassie sees them coming up the walk just as she’s getting ready to leave. The door clicks shut behind her but she doesn’t move. Her feet are rooted in place, her heart slamming against her chest. They pause a few feet from the stairs but Cassie still refuses to move. Can’t move. She just keeps her eyes locked on the two people standing in her yard.
Finally they step forward. The seriousness in their eyes, the stubborn set of their faces tells her everything she needs to know. She collapses into Sam’s arms before she has a chance to speak and the two drop to the porch floor. It’s a long time before Cassie’s sobs slow and she can actually hear the words Sam is whispering into her hair. She realizes Sam’s lost her military facade and tears are streaming down her face, wetting the back of Cassie’s neck. Somewhere nearby is Daniel offering silent support but not interfering with their mourning. Cassie figures he’s got his own grieving to do.
Cassie pulls back a little and Sam reaches up with still gritty hands and wipes away the tears.
“How? What? Where?” Cassie knows her voice sounds absurdly small and she’s really not sure what she wants to know and what is automatic questioning by a brain too far lost coherent thought.
Sam wipes at her own face and takes a deep breath. “She was off-world. Someone got hurt and she went to help. She never gave it a second thought. Never thought about the danger she just…” Her voice cracks and she sucks in another rattling breath.
“She was hit with a staff blast,” Daniel says from his perch on the railing. He’s staring down at his boots with his arms wrapped protectively around him. “I was… I was with her when it happened. She saved the guy’s life.”
Cassie closes her eyes and tries not to imagine what her mother’s last moments were like but they pop up behind her eyelids anyway. And they mingle with other nightmarish memories of another mother… another family… another planet—memories she tries to keep buried. Tears slide down her cheeks again.
“She died a hero,” Sam whispers, her voice rough.
She feels her head nodding. A hero. That’s… something, she thinks. If her mother had to die that’s at least… something. “Where does that leave me? I’m all alone again.” The reality hits her like a ton of bricks and she doubles over again, a pain piercing her stomach and radiating up into her chest, squeezing the breath from her.
Sam rubs her back and she’s vaguely aware of other hands on her arms, Daniel’s steady presence anchoring her to this world… this unwanted reality.
“You’re not alone,” Sam tells her softly. “You’ll never be alone. You have us. And Teal’c and the colonel and everyone at the SGC. We’ll always be here for you.”
“And what about when you’re not?” Anger is building. Cassie doesn’t understand why. “You have the most dangerous job at the SGC. My mom was just a doctor but she was the one to die. What happens when… when SG-1’s luck runs out? What do I do then?” She knows they’ve come close so many times—those nights her mom came home with barely contained fear or exhausted relief. Her mom cared about all her patients but those expressions were reserved for SG-1—her family.
They don’t have an answer. She understands. Deep down she understands. They do what they have to do, just like her mom did. It’s who they are. Sam holds her tighter.
“I’m so sorry, Cassie. So sorry.”
Cassie nods into Sam’s shoulder, her hands digging into the older woman’s back. “I can’t believe she’s gone.”
Sam sniffles. “Me either. She was… she was my best friend.” Cassie catches her shooting Daniel an apologetic look. “I don’t know what we’ll do without her. What I’ll do without her. I never had a friend like her.”
“I’m here, Sam.”
Their voices continue to quiet, the words floating on each breath. After awhile they are both quiet and just hold each other. Daniel rocks back and leans against the railing, his legs stretched out. Cassie refuses to look at him. She doesn’t think she can handle seeing the pain on his face, to see the tears she knows are there.
“She was so amazing,” Cassie says after a few minutes of silence. “When I first came here she took me in and never once treated me like I didn’t belong. I missed my real mom but she… she made me feel loved and at home. She made it not hurt so much. She was good at that.”
This time Sam nods. “She was special that way. Every time I’ve been hurt I knew things would be okay if I could just get to the infirmary.”
“Me, too,” Daniel adds softly from behind them. “And I should know all bout it considering the amount of time I spend in there.”
Cassie laughs despite herself. She’s heard some of the stories—mostly from Jack just to get on Daniel’s nerves. “Indiana Jones he ain’t,” she mumbles.
“Just something my mom said once.”
Daniel actually laughs at that then groans loudly. “God, I miss her already.”
Cassie moves to sit next to him, taking his hand in hers. Sam joins them on the other side. They, non of them, are new to this experience—of the pain and anguish, regret and emptiness. Doesn’t make it any easier, though, she thinks
They sit in contemplative silence for a long while, Daniel’s arm eventually snaking around her shoulder to hold her close. His warmth feels good but she knows it will be a long time before she feels whole again. If she ever can.
She glances past Daniel—his eyes closed and face pale—to Sam. She’s holding Daniel’s arm but reaches a hand out to Cassie. Things are going to be hard now—a living nightmare that she knows won’t end any time soon—but she knows she’ll somehow get through. If only because of the strength and love of her friends… her family. She knows they won’t let her down. Haven’t yet. She closes her eyes and leans into Daniel and squeezes Sam’s hand tighter. She can’t dwell on what she do without them right now. That’s beyond comprehension. One nightmare at a time she tells herself and then lets their comfort envelop her… a soothing balm on her wounded soul.