Title: Empty Spaces
Spoilers: Lifeboat (through Season 7)
Summary: Janet's thoughts after "Lifeboat"
Disclaimer: Not mine, never will be.
Notes: This is a companion piece to "Shared Spaces" and it's written from Janet's point of view. It's the second in what I'm calling my 'introspective' series, dealing with how the SG-1 family responds to Daniel's experiences during "Lifeboat." I'm not sure where this came from, (well, not completely sure, but I have an idea) but hopefully, it will hold your interest enough to keep reading!
I'm the doctor. I'm supposed to be the detached professional, capable of putting aside all my feelings and doing my sworn duty to protect and defend the sick, weak and abused. My professionalism is relied upon- not in the least because it is needed to save lives.
For years, I was able to perform those duties, to close myself off from the feeling. My ex taught me enough to make me cynical and hard- unwilling to open myself to further pain. In some ways, it gave me the incentive to become what I am today, chief medical officer for the SGC. I won't lie to you, I am proud of my work, of the things I've done here and the people, the aliens even, that we have saved.
So what, you might ask, has me sitting here on a Saturday night, in the middle of one of Jack's legendary bar-b-que's, surrounded by friends and family, contemplating my place and my mission in life if I seem so happy to be doing it?
My life changed the day Colonel Jack O'Neill, Major Samantha Carter, Dr. Daniel Jackson and Teal'c were brought into my infirmary. Because of those four people, my life had changed from black and white to all the colors of the rainbow.
SG-1 brought me my daughter, Cassandra. I never thought I'd be a mother, now I know I was always meant to be one- Cassie was always meant to be my daughter. The experiences I've had watching her grow, growing with her, are ones I will treasure my entire life.
SG-1 brought me my best friend, Sam. You'd think it a quirky mix, a brilliant physicist and a take no prisoners doctor. But as I grew to know SG-1's second in command, I found a woman who shared the same hopes and dreams for career and family that I did. She understands how hard it is to be a woman in the military- and the challenges and rewards it brings. We see each other through those triumphs and tragedies, only bringing us closer as a family. Sam and SG-1 love my daughter as much as I do- making us both a part of their 'family' though we do not travel through the Stargate with them.
SG-1 brought me Colonel O'Neill, and a respect that I give only a few men in the life I've chosen. Yes, he irritates and exasperates me to no end with his criticisms and his most definitely unappealing infirmary manner. But he wouldn't be Jack if he were any other way- and I can accept it, because I know how much he loves and cares for his teammates- both on SG-1 and off. The man has risked his life for Sam, Jack, Teal'c, Hammond, Cassie, myself and most of the world- although they will never know it. He's overcome so much personal hardship- and still puts friends and family above all else.
And then there's Daniel.
Dr. Daniel Jackson- the man who has a permanent bed marked "his" in my infirmary. The man whom most of my staff know the medical history of inside and out. The brilliant doctor, archaeologist and linguist who is scorned by his fellow colleagues and scientists of the world- but can never tell them that he opened the Stargate and provided the knowledge that will one day save them- and life as we know it. The man who will give up anything if it will save his family and friends- or even a people he knows nothing about.
Those people, this mission, has forced me to reexamine that 'detachment' I've grown so used to. These people brought me into their world, trusted me with their lives and their friendship. They've forced me to realize that I do have a family, people who care about and love me.
Which means putting aside those feelings every time they are brought back, bruised and broken, through the Stargate. There is no time for personal feelings when life is on the line- not even when it is the life of one of your best friends.
But I do it. I make myself the observer, the distant one concerned with nothing more than making them well again. I spout my medical jargon, stress the medical principles I was taught in my studies and often times take the side no one wants to see- telling the unwelcome as well as undesired almost as often as delivering the joyous news of a friend survived.
I hate it. I hate watching people I've grown to love and depend on look so weak and helpless. I having to accept the fact and the viewpoint of what's best for the moment, instead of what the others might say is best in the long run.
I hate the fact that I have become used to such things, to forcing myself not to feel.
Daniel's recent 'possession' still weighs on my mind, more than likely what is causing this contemplative, somewhat depressing mood I seem to be in.
I love SG-1, but my heart holds a special place for Daniel. I don't know exactly what that place is, or what I feel, but I know that it is there. Which makes it difficult to remain professional and detached as I watch him suffer- from something as simple as a bruised leg to having several minds, consciousnesses really, tearing him apart from the inside.
I remember the look of fear on his face as he asked "who are you?" when they returned from their last mission. The horror and shock made my own heart break and I wanted nothing more than to wrap my arms around him and tell him it was going to be all right.
I won't forget the way that, that 'sovereign' spoke to me, the arrogance in his words and tone- spoken in Daniel's cultured voice. The anger that flooded my body when it became apparent the man did not want to give Daniel his mind and body back.
The engineer I will always be grateful to for his rationale and understanding.
The little boy gave me the opportunity to do what I'd wanted earlier, to hold Daniel in my arms and reassure him that it would be all right.
I can't forget the way he said my name, a desperate, pleading "Janet?" for the moment he surfaced amid the confusion in his mind. I can still hear my heartfelt "Daniel?" in reply- feel my absolute desolation only to realize I'd lost him a moment later.
I've never felt such determination to bring him back as I did when I lost it and yelled at the man to give Daniel back. All that clinical detachment went right out the window- in a way I'd been tempted but never given into before when dealing with SG-1's myriad of injuries.
Getting him back, hearing his voice and knowing it was Daniel was one of the best and worst moments of my life. He was back, he was safe, he was, thank God, Daniel.
But when he'd been medically cleared and sent home, I locked my office door, sank down at my desk and cried. I cried for Jack, the agony on his face as he feared losing his best friend. I sobbed for the happiness on Sam's face when she realized her surrogate younger brother was back. I wept for the expression of relief that crossed Teal'c's usually stoic face at hearing Daniel's weak, but lucid voice.
I cried for the fact that my professional detachment had been unequivocally shattered.
I cared too much. Not just for Daniel, but for Sam, Jack, Teal'c the General and the others at the SGC. That care was going to affect the way I did my job- the way I reacted when saving lives. One screw up, the moment I forget to be "Doc" and simply become "Janet" when a member of SG-1 is lying in my infirmary and lives will be lost.
I came close to that with Daniel. I nearly lost my clinical detachment and if Jack hadn't burst into that room, I don't know what I would have done or said to bring Daniel back.
Which brings me back to the here and now, sitting among my friends, yet still feeling alone, wondering what I am going to do now that the walls have come down. Loking at my reflection in the glass of Jack's patio door, I realize I don't like what I see- the detached woman I was- the overemotional woman I seem to have become.
I don't like the knowledge that no matter how much I don't want to- one day, I am going to end up hurting the people I love most when my personal feelings prevent me from saving lives.
I would gladly give my life for my daughter, for SG-1, for the world we all fight so hard to protect and defend- without a second thought.
I fear the day that my friends, my family, will have to give their lives because of it.
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