Title: Alone
Author: Nike
Rating: PG
Archive: DJA
Summary: "All of a sudden, the idea of being alone doesn't seem so appealing anymore. It just seems...lonely."
Category: Daniel & Janet, Janet POV, songfic
Season: 4-5ish
Spoilers: Minor "Singularity" for mention of Cassie
Status: Complete
Disclaimer: "All publicly recognisable characters and places are the property of MGM, World Gekko Corp and Double Secret productions. This piece of fan fiction was created for entertainment not monetary purposes and no infringement on copyrights or trademarks was intended. Previously unrecognised characters and places, and this story, are copyrighted to the author. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author. The song lyrics used within are from "Alone", by Heart, and are the property of the copyright holder."

Author's Notes: Is there some sort of help-group for Janet POV addicts? If so, I think I'd like to join, now, please... *eg*

Huge huggles to the Beta Goddess Kitty for giving this fic the once over. ;) You rock! *smooches*

("And a millions thanks to the best friend I could ever have, the brilliant and irreplaceable, Bryn. I wouldn't be me without you, Bryn!") *snorts* Now stop fiddling with my ANs! ;D

Feedback: It's nice to be nice...if you liked it, let me know! I *always* appreciate feedback! ;)

*Sits `Alone' behind the controls of stealth jet, snaps on goggles and arms missiles.* Go get `em!

Copyright 2004 Nike Ann Johnston


~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Alone


# I hear the ticking of the clock
I'm lying here the room's pitch dark #

I don't even bother to turn on the light as I slip into my bedroom, shrugging off my jacket and tossing my purse in what I hope is the general direction of the overstuffed chair that basks in the shadows in the corner. Navigating my way with easy familiarity across the room, I reach up and unhook my earrings, cursing quietly as one of them catches in my hair, and drop them carelessly onto the dressing table. The mirror there glints softly in the reflected moonlight that oozes in through the window, and I use the dim glow to see by as I extract each of the pins from my hair, letting them fall haphazardly down beside the discarded jewellery. I scowl faintly at the blurry reflection in the mirror, tugging at my bangs and combing my fingers through the tangled tresses, before giving up in recognition that nothing short of a wire brush and a pair of hedge trimmers is going to make my hair sit acceptably now. In defiance at being caught up so long, it seems to have doubled in mass, and frizzes smugly around my head in a honey-tinged halo. I smile pityingly at myself. Well, it's not like anyone's going to see it anyway.

That last thought depresses me so much, I fling myself dramatically onto my bed with a sigh, and stare up into the blackness where the ceiling would be if I could see it. I kick my boots off, pleased at the satisfying *clunk* each one make as it hits the floor, and wiggle my sore feet. I have to start buying sensible shoes, I really do. More flat heels. I don't think there's a single member of my medical staff who could tell you what height I really am; I seem to yo-yo up and down day by day, depending on what size heels my mood favoured that morning. I yawn, tired, relieved to be flat out in my own bed.

Not that I'd have minded being flat out in someone else's bed, mind you, but that plan was effectively thwarted tonight.

Don't get me wrong, it wasn't a *bad* night out. There was a huge group of us from the base: me, the general, SG-1, SG-4, SG-7, SG- 13, SG...well, there were a lot of SG-somethings there anyway. It was kind of an impromptu "Hey-Look-We-Saved-The-World-Again!" party, after all that business with SG-13 and those aliens. You know, the trouble SG-1 had to go in and haul them out of. I swear their 2IC goes in looking for trouble.

Thus, we took up most of O'Malley's, and were loud, cheerful, boisterous, scared off the usual clientele, took about ten years off the manager's life, and generally set about having the good time we're so infrequently allowed in the job we do. I'd fortunately found some half-decent civvies and a makeup bag in my locker, and was enjoying being on the receiving end of some male attention for once. There was an air of goodwill and general relief that permeated the celebrations, and I was all too happy to join in with the crowd. I felt more relaxed and more carefree than I had in years. Probably since I joined the SGC.

But once I'd made a circle of the room, shaking hands and hugging various familiar faces, once I'd spoken to every SF, officer, medic and scientist in range, I realised there was someone missing. Someone I'd really been looking forward to seeing.

# I wonder where you are tonight
No answer on the telephone
And the night goes by so very slow
Oh I hope that it won't end though
Alone. #

Unable to see the wall clock in the gloom, I pinch the buttons on my slim digital watch, the green numbers glaring obnoxiously at me as I squint at them. It's not too late, I note, and grope through the surrounding darkness till my hand knocks over the bedside telephone. Sighing, I roll onto my side and lean over the edge of the bed till I feel something that's probably the handset, and I flip back over, punching in his number one-handedly. I don't need to see the numbers; I've dialled it often enough.

As it begins to ring on the other end of the line, I let my mind wander.

I had been so disappointed when I discovered he wasn't among the crowd at the restaurant. It was completely unexpected. Unheard of, practically. I had seen Teal'c, in his ridiculous Stetson, towering over the heads of the assembled revellers. Then Sam, seated with a group of puppy-eyed physicists who were gazing at her reverently as she bestowed her wisdom upon them, using a handy collection of bottles to cheerfully demonstrate whatever principle she was explaining. And I had definitely heard Jack O'Neill's laughter, lost somewhere in a large circle of airmen, knocking back beer and generally maintaining what they believed to be an air of cool and devastatingly attractive machismo. So, naturally, I assumed Daniel had to be somewhere around them. SG-1 are always at these sort of things together. Trust me. I know.

Except, evidently, tonight.

I frown as the ringing stops abruptly, to be replaced by an embarrassed recorded voice telling me that Daniel Jackson is sorry he's not home right now, but if I'd please, um, leave a message after the beep he'd, uh, try to get back to me as soon as possible. Um, Thank You.

"Hey Daniel, it's me," I offer helpfully. "Call me."

I hang up, satisfied. Short and to the point, that's me all over

# Till now I always got by on my own
I never really cared until I met you
And now it chills me to the bone
How do I get you alone? #

I know, of course, that he'll call me back. Still, as I lie gazing blindly upwards, too comfortable to think about moving to change or even to fetch the cup of coffee I realise I have a sudden insatiable craving for, I feel my eyes narrow almost against my will. I can't help but wonder, if he wasn't at the party tonight, then just where *was* he? I shift onto my stomach, stifling a yawn, crossing my ankles as my legs stretch out behind me. This is bothering me more than I'd like.

Daniel and I had been out on a couple of what I suppose you could, be default, call dates. None of them had been exactly roaring successes however; not by any fault of the company involved, but by sheer dint of our amazing talent to pick a restaurant, theatre, secluded walk or bar where *some other member of the SGC would be at the same time*. If you stopped and thought about it, it was really quite incredible. There was nowhere in Colorado Springs or outlying regions where a good, hardworking member of Stargate personnel couldn't be relied upon to be after six o'clock any night of the weekend. It always seemed that the night started with me and Daniel and finished up as a group effort. Not that it's not nice to have so many friends.

I sigh, knowing myself that I'm trying desperately to be flippant about something that's been bothering me for a while now.

It's not nice. It's damn frustrating.

My mood dampened further I shift onto my side again and curl up, listening morosely to the steady ticking of the clock slicing through the darkness.

To be honest, I'd never really considered myself to be one of those people who needs other people around to get through life. Since my teens, I'd floated happily from boyfriend to boyfriend, never staying with one long enough to get tied down or deeply emotionally entangled. My one short, disastrous attempt at a committed relationship had ended in a messy divorce that only further reinforced in me the notion that I was much better off footloose and self-sufficient. Some might call that hollow, but I never saw it that way. I had so much work, so many pursuits, so many friends that I never felt the need for a serious relationship. Then I suddenly had my teenage daughter, and all the family life I could handle. I never felt that I couldn't be perfectly happy on my own.

Then there was him.

The first few months after we met I barely noticed him. I had a new job and had been thrust unexpectedly into the world of single- motherhood with the most adorable alien ever to grace this planet's surface (until she hit fifteen), and he was married. God, was he married.

As time progressed though and we adjusted to out new situations, we fell into the sort of easy flirting that I'm a self-professed expert at, and he began to spend more and more time with me. Granted, for the most part he was drugged or unconscious, but still, quality time. He was the first man to really make me sit up and pay any kind of attention in a long while. A friendship of sorts grew out of the roots of that mutual, unacknowledged attraction, and we rubbed along quite happily together, safe in the knowledge that I quite liked him and he quite liked me and there wasn't a damn thing either of us could do about it. For any other two people, that might be a source of unimaginable angst, but for us it was a kind of safety net. And then he wasn't married any more.

The first time he'd asked me out, I'd surprised myself with my reaction. I do *not* blush easily. Under no circumstances let it ever be said that I blush easily. But when he walked hesitantly into the infirmary and asked me if I wanted to go out to dinner, I had definitely felt my cheeks tinge just a little redder, and we both seemed to spend the rest of the conversation studying the suddenly unbelievably fascinating intricacies of the carpeting in my office. I snort self-consciously at the memory. The dinner itself had been pleasant enough, but was hampered by the fact that within minutes of entering the restaurant we were spotted by Lieutenant Cochrane and his wife, who were sharing a meal with Major Thomson and *his* girlfriend, and were invited to join then. We could have said no, but even my usual brash disposition acknowledged that that would seem rude, or odd, and that they were undoubtedly going to spend the rest of the night `subtly' observing us *anyway*...and so it went on, the next time, and the next, and the next...

The last time was quite I while ago now. I frown again at the darkness, wishing I had someone to be displeased *at*.

# You don't know how long I have wanted
To touch your lips and hold you tight
You don't know how long I have waited
And I was gonna tell you tonight #

I had been looking forward to seeing him tonight. Over the past few weeks, we never really seemed to have time to talk, or see one another, past the occasional `Hi' as we strode purposefully through the corridors of the SGC. I missed him.

I don't think he knows how much.

See, even on those few, mostly unsuccessful dates we'd ventured out on, I had found myself drawing closer to him. It's not just that he's an intelligent guy, or sweet, or just plain gorgeous, but I recently I'd found myself beginning to entertain serious thought about him. What I wouldn't give for just one night where we could go out together, alone, and really, properly get to know one another. But by tonight, I'd realised that that wasn't going to happen while I let us just drift along casually. I wanted...I *want* something more out of this. I think I could easily let myself get drawn into something here, something important. Something good. Something I really don't want to let slip away. I care about him, in a way I don't think I've ever cared about any man before.

All of a sudden, the idea of being alone doesn't seem so appealing anymore. It just seems...lonely.

# But the secret is still my own
And my love for you is still unknown
Alone #

I'd made up my mind to tell him all this tonight, when I was getting ready for the unexpected party I knew he'd be at. To tell him how I feel and to see if there was any chance he feels the same way. If he was willing to try to pursue this thing between us and see if it leads anywhere. But he wasn't there, and now I'm left, staring out into the dark with my old doubts starting to creep in upon me and my new-found resolve fading rapidly. If he wasn't there, then where was he? Where is he now? It *was* a surprise party. Maybe he had an engagement he couldn't break. Maybe he had a date.

Well that was a painful thought.

I sit up, and swing my feet over the edge of the bed. There's absolutely no point in sitting here moping about it. Imagination is always worst, or so they say. I rise slowly, stretching out tired muscles in my back and arms as I do so, and pad over to my chest of drawers, which I walk neatly into. Opening the middle drawer, I rifle unconcernedly amongst my nightwear trying to find the biggest, warmest pair of pyjamas I can with a sudden rebellious notion. If I'm gonna spend the night by myself, I may as well do it comfortably. I'm half way through unbuttoning my shirt when the phone rings, and I jump a mile. Diving back onto the bed, I yank it from its cradle before it completes the second ring, knowing immediately that it's him, and fight back my initial urge to snap "Who was she?" Instead, I try the more subtle, sane approach.

"Hello?"

[Hey, you.]

The affectionate tone of his voice dispels my fears completely and I can't help myself grinning, rolling onto my stomach and sweeping my hair behind my neck so I can shift the phone more comfortably to my ear.

"Hey." I murmur. There's silence for a minute, during which I just *know* he's smiling as dopily as I am, which pleases me no end.

[So what's up?] he asks, teasing gently.

"Nothin'" I reply in a singsong voice, aware at how teenage a conversation this is and loving it anyway.

[So why'd'ya call?] he counters in the same adolescence tones, and I laugh.

"I just wondered what happened to you tonight," I tell him, figuring there's no point beating around the bush. "I thought I'd see you." He hesitates for a moment, and I can picture his brow wrinkling on the other end of the line as he thinks.

[We...we didn't have a date, did we?] he says, worry etched into every word.

"No," I reassure him, a little confused. "I just thought, you know, that you'd be at the party."

Silence.

"Daniel?" I ask, cupping my chin in my free hand and supporting my weight on one elbow.

More silence, then,

[What party?]

"Umm...the party at O'Malley's? For SG-1 and SG-13?" I clarify.

[No-one told me about any party!] he responds, affronted.

Oops.

"Oh," I reply. "Well."

[When was this?] he continues, sounding remarkably put-out, and I stifle a giggle.

"Oh, it was a last minute thing..."

[I left the base early, after my post-mission physical. The doctor who looked at me told me to get some rest. ] No, I didn't even get to see him during that: I got Teal'c and O'Neill and Carter, and one of my minions took Daniel. I remind myself casually to have her fired tomorrow.

"It was boring anyway. Small."

[Who was there?] He's not giving up that easily.

"Everyone," I admit.

[Huh.] he replies huffily.

"Sorry," I appease him, feeling only slightly guilty, trying desperately not to see the funny side.

[Jack? Sam? Teal'c?]

I hesitate slightly, not wanting to land my friends in hot water, but shrug it off. He's going to find out anyway, better that he hears it from me.

"And the general." I add.

[Huh.]

A pause.

[Bastards.]

Unable to hold it in any longer, I giggle freely down the phone line, ignoring his injured protests, until eventually he's laughing as well. "I really am sorry," I gasp. "If I'd known..."

[It's okay,] he laughs. [I forgive you. This time.] When we finally compose ourselves again, there's still a hint of amusement in his voice as he asks [So when *can* I see you again? We've barely seen each other recently. I've missed you.] I beam gleefully at the telephone. All of a sudden, I'm feeling incredibly optimistic.

"I'm not busy now," I tell him, realising as the words leave my mouth just how unbelievably suggestive that sounded. There's a heavy silence on the other end of the phone, and few a few seconds I'm uncertain again, but then he responds,

[Are you sure?] I smile softly, not even having to think about my reply.

"Yeah."

[Then I'll see you soon,] he answers, before we hang up. I replace the phone deliberately, and lie on my back, looking up at the shadows again.

Well.

In the darkness, a slow smile creeps across my face, taking root there and becoming a full-blown grin. Looks like I'd better find a hairbrush after all. And with any luck, after tonight, I'll never have to worry about feeling alone again.

# Till now I always got by on my own
I never really cared until I met you
And now it chills me to the bone
How do I get you alone
How do I get you alone...#

*******
Finis
*******


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