Stargate SG-1 fic: Distraction From the Black
I started writing this before Father’s Day but didn’t get it finished until last week some time and FINALLY got it looked over for posting. And, in this, I’m procrastinating from actually writing anything.
Distraction From the Black
by jennickels (aka Jen Connelly)
The third Sunday in June is a day Jack would rather skip over but Carter is there to help take his mind off of things.
don’t own… wish I did, but I don’t. No infringement intended.
There are a lot of things that Jack O’Neill dreads: facing a platoon of heavily armed Jaffa after running out of ammunition; listening to pompous, over-dressed snakeheads blather on about how great they are; listening to pompous, over-dressed politicians blather on about how great they think they are. Long, boring meetings; mountains of paperwork; crappy movies; attempted alien incursions; dealing with brainiacs; and warm beer all top his list. But this day in late June, more than any other, keeps him in the dark. Metaphorically and physically.
Jack rolls onto his stomach and covers his head with the pillow. He can’t really breath that way but, at the moment, doesn’t particularly care. He’s drawn the curtains tight to the morning sun and tries to forget what day it is. He figures if he can stay in the dark he won’t have to see what’s missing in his life.
And, at the same time, he knows that’s already a lost battle so he takes a deep—albeit stuffy—breath and forces himself off the bed. It’s after 1000 hours already but the room is still dim, streams of dust drifting in the tiny slivers of light that break through his window coverings. There’s no escaping this day.
He’s tried every year since that fateful day. He’s thought about just disappearing. About dying. He’s drawn out missions so he’s off-world, let Daniel drag him to some god-awful boring seminar on Ancient Egypt just to listen to him mumble under his breath about how they got it all wrong, holed himself up in the mountain and this year, when Hammond ordered him off base for R&R he blacked out the day on every calendar he could find.
But it didn’t stop the day from happening.
Out in the kitchen he starts the coffee maker bubbling and tries not to look… at anything. He wishes he would just go blind. Just for this one day. Not that he doesn’t have every photo in his house memorized. Even with his eyes shut the images float by, clear as day.
The doorbell rings, catching Jack off guard and he almost spills his coffee all down the front of him. He’s grumbling to himself about not even getting one sip before people are bugging him when he throws the door open.
Jack blinks twice, the bright morning sun momentarily blinding him. “Carter.”
They just stare. Jack’s still only half-awake and he can hear his coffee calling to him—he swears he can—so he’s not really sure what Carter’s doing at his house on a Sunday morning. She looks nervous, her hands twisting the hem of her shirt. She licks her lips and opens her mouth to say something a couple times but no words come out. For a second he thinks she might leave and he suddenly doesn’t want to be alone.
“Coffee?” he asks, dumbly, and she nods—a look of relief on her face. After finally getting a couple sips he sets his mug down and watches his 2IC. “So, Carter, what brings ya round this early in the morning?”
She glances at her watch. “It’s 10:30, sir.”
“It’s Sunday, Carter. You know… the weekend. The two days of the week normal people take to relax and sleep in—not get up early.”
“Yes, sir.” She’s staring at her hands wrapped tightly around her coffee cup, her brow knit together in concentration. Like she’s willing the coffee to turn into something else. Maybe something a little stronger.
Jack takes a sip of his own drink and leans back against the counter. “I’d give you a penny for those thoughts but I’m pretty sure they’re worth a lot more than I have in the bank.”
She smiles at that and finally looks up at him, her expression guarded. “I’m not really sure why I’m here,” she finally says. “I just realized what day it is and my dad’s who-knows-where and I thought… ”
“Misery loves company?” Jack supplies.
She looks down again. “I thought you might like the distraction.” Her eyes dart over to the calendar hanging next to the phone—the day covered over in black marker.
Jack shrugs. “Why would you think that?” He busies himself with wiping spilled coffee grounds into his hand. Anything to not have to look at Carter and what he assumes will be pity on her face.
“It’s usually what you do, sir. Like last year when we ‘accidentally’ got stuck on P2R-711.”
He makes a noncommittal noise. Leave it to Carter to see right through him. Jack takes a deep breath and turns to face his 2IC. “What did you have in mind, Major?”
She gives him a little half grin. “I hadn’t really thought it that far through.”
“Well it’s your idea,” he says with a chuckle.
Carter gets up to stand next to him. “It’s your day.” Her voice is soft and unsure. Jack swallows hard. She’s staring at him with such an intense, expectant expression he can’t find it in himself to deny her.
“There’s this little spot along the river… ”
She smiles slightly. “Does it have fish?”
Her grin grows and Jack’s surprised to find his world brightens a little along with it. Nothing will ever take away the guilt or the stabbing pain of loss but maybe someone could keep him occupied enough that it didn’t hurt so much. Glancing over at his second he’s pretty sure that if anyone could do it Carter could.