Break Down
By: SaraC
Rating: PG-13 (imagery)
Spoilers: Post Heroes/Beginning Season 8
Summary: An anniversary brings a breakdown and a breakthrough for two members of SG-1
Disclaimer: Not mine. I own nothing!! Never will!
Notes: Okay, there’s been a rash of fics and videos to the song "Broken" by Seether, Featuring Amy Lee. I’m adding my angsty take on it, but hopefully, in a different way from others. A warning here, it is ANGST. Definitely not all roses for this one. But, I love the song and the ideas behind it so much fit SG-1, I would happily read all the stories and watch all the videos I can find using it!


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

Break Down


Daniel slipped through the halls, careful to keep out of sight of anyone he might pass. Not that he expected to pass much of anyone at 3AM. Finally reaching the door he sought, he slipped inside, breathing a sigh of relief as he noted the gym was completely dark and silent. Closing the door behind him, he debated whether to lock it, deciding that since, technically, the gym was open 24 hours, it would probably not be good to keep anyone else out. Again though, he didn’t think this would be a problem at 3AM.

Walking over to the two month old surround sound stereo system (something the entire base had thanked General O’Neill for countless times), he placed the bag he carried onto the bench in front of it, unzipping it partway and pulling out a CD.

His throat closed as he saw her handwriting on the disc, simple and elegant, a reflection of the woman she had always been, who had carefully written "Our CD" in understated black letters. Setting it to the track he wanted, he pushed pause on the remote, bringing it and the bag with him over to the heavy bag that hung in the corner of the room.

Unzipping the gym bag further, he removed a pair of boxing gloves Jack had gifted him with three years ago, stating he had needed to learn how to take out his anger and frustrations on something other than SG-1. Not that he did that too frequently, but the few times he had, had been legendary, according to the SGC gossip mill.

Today though, he needed to take out his grief and anger on something--and he was determined not to allow it to be SG-1 or any one else on the base. Hence the 3AM wake up call, not that he’d been sleeping. He barely slept a full 6 hours anymore, his dreams still haunted by her face.

Punching ‘play’ on the remote, he allowed the light string melody of the introduction to flow over him as he laced up the gloves. As the words began, he flowed with them, easing gently into the familiar warm up routine, completely in time with the words. It was automatic, which left his mind to wander to the place it never seemed to leave.

~*~*~*~*~

I wanted you to know
I love the way you laugh
I wanna hold you high and steal your pain away

~*~*~*~*~*~

She had such a beautiful smile. His step faltered a moment as he remembered her laughing at Cassie’s birthday party, smiling in relief when he woke up from yet another accident induced coma, the soft glow of her smile in the morning light, waking up with her body wrapped around his.

If he had been given the chance, he would have done everything in his power to keep that smile on her face, stealing away anything and everything that caused her pain.

~*~*~*~*~*~

I keep your photograph
I know it serves me well
I wanna hold you high and steal your pain

~*~*~*~*~*~

His right arm shook a bit as he stretched in time with the tempo, thinking of the picture he kept on his bedside table--a smiling, laughing Janet, wrapped in his arms at one of Jack’s notorious cook-outs. It had been one of the last pictures they’d had taken together and he treasured it.

Every morning when he awoke, it was the first thing he looked at, feeling the familiar stab of pain, followed by the strength to look through it to face the day. She had always been able to do that for him, no matter how much pain he might be in, she could steal it away with a touch, a kiss, even something as simple as a smile.

If only he could have done the same for her.

~*~*~*~*~

Because I’m broken
When I’m open
And I don’t feel like
I am strong enough

~*~*~*~*~

He began to hit the bag as the chorus kicked in, his mind going down the familiar track it always did at moments like these. Was he strong enough to do this on his own? To perhaps one day move on and find someone else to share his life with?

The thought of loving, touching, holding anyone other than her was abhorrent to him. He punched the bag harder as he wondered if that would ever change, if the pain would ever go away and allow him to live a normal life. Questioning the fact--did he even want to?

~*~*~*~*~*~

Because I’m broken
When I’m lonesome
And I don’t feel right
When you’re gone away

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

He was so lonesome without Janet.

He slammed his fist into the punching bag as the first tear fell.

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

Sam held her breath, her heart breaking for the man she considered a brother as she watched him slam his fist into the punching bag over and over again, noting the tears that slid down his cheek.

She hadn’t meant to spy on him, but she’d known how hard today was going to be for him, for them all, and she hadn’t been able to sleep. A quick stop by Daniel’s room had alerted her that he could not sleep either and she had gone straight for the gym, knowing Daniel followed Jack’s lead in working out to relieve whatever problems might be bothering him.

Unfortunately, she knew that today, nothing could resolve what he was feeling.

When she’d reached the gym, she’d heard the sounds of strings and guitars, underscored by a pulsing drumbeat--music that sounded nothing like the style she knew Daniel listened to. Pushing open the door slightly, she was hit with a wave of music and the sight of Daniel punching the hell out of a heavy bag in the corner of the room.

Tears welled in her own eyes as she watched him begin to break down, wondering if she should say something, try to comfort him, or simply leave him to grieve in peace. Realizing that he probably would not want her intruding on such a private moment, she turned to leave, when the words of the song caught and held her.

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

The worst is over now
And we can breathe again
I wanna hold you high and steal your pain

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

Despite her worry over Daniel, she could not help but feel something twist in her heart as the words conjured up the ‘worst’ situations she had ever been in while serving in the SGC. Not to her surprise, the one person who had been with her through it all--was not the man sleeping peacefully in her bed down the hall in her on base quarters.

She remembered coming off the Prometheus, her mind filled with images of kissing Jack, of his whispered ‘I will always be there for you, no matter what’ in her mind--hearing his soft ‘hi’ as she’d managed to whisper his name in reply. She remembered how secure and safe she’d felt resting in Jack’s arms after killing Anubis’ super soldier. He’d simply held her, not saying a word. Nothing had needed to be said.

He always seemed to be the one there to steal her pain away--and deep inside, she knew he was the only one she truly wanted to be there to do just that.

She wanted to be there to do the same for him.

~*~*~*~*~*~

There’s so much left to learn
And no one left to fight
I wanna hold you high and steal your pain

~*~*~*~*~*~

While they had made a serious dent in people to ‘fight’ she knew there was still a long road ahead of them, for the entire SGC--and for herself and Jack. And watching him struggle with being left behind while SG-1 went off without him, was beginning to take its toll.

She knew if she could talk to him about it, she would feel better, as would he, although he would never admit it. But talking was something they didn’t do a lot of these days, especially since Pete had become more of a presence in her life, having been transferred back to Colorado Springs.

Her heart ached as she thought of how Jack tightened up, was polite, but never to the degree that others were, when her boyfriend was on base. She knew he was doing his best to be happy for her, happy that she’d found someone, but inside, she knew it was killing him slowly, a knife twisting away in his gut with no one to pull it out, to steal away his pain.

Because she felt the knife too, twisting and turning and even Pete could not pull it out.

~*~*~*~*~*~

Because I’m broken
When I’m open
And I don’t feel like
I am strong enough

~*~*~*~*~*~

She felt a tear slip down her cheek as she realized how broken she felt inside. She felt something for Pete, but it was in no way even close to what she felt for Jack. She’d known it from the beginning, but had fooled herself into thinking that she could make things work with Pete, because they could not with Jack.

For eight years, she’d bowed to the knowledge that she was not strong enough to deal with the repercussions of loving Jonathan "Jack" O’Neill. She’d turned to others in hopes of forgetting, of pasting together the broken pieces of her heart. For a while, she’d believed she’d succeed, feeling happy with Pete.

Until Antarctica.

Until Fifth.

Until she’d been lying next to Pete tonight, on the anniversary of Janet’s death, and thinking about how Janet and Daniel had never gotten their chance at a future together.

~*~*~*~*~

Because I’m broken
When I’m lonesome
And I don’t feel right
When you’re gone away

~*~*~*~*~

Turning back to the door, she noted Daniel was crying in earnest now, punching the bag like there was no tomorrow, looking as broken as the song pounding around them made her feel.

She felt like that all the time. Broken and unfixable.

Except when she was with Jack.

Maybe someone was trying to tell her something she’d been ignoring for years.

Maybe it was time to listen.

~*~*~*~*~

Daniel knew he was losing it as the instrumental part of the song pounded around him, his strikes increasing in strength as his anger mingled with heart wrenching grief. Janet’s image kept floating in front of him, her smile, her laugh, her concentrated expression as she worked diligently to bring someone back to life.

He wanted to pound the life out of whomever had taken her away from him before they had a chance to live the future they’d planned together. Wanted to hit something alive with all the rage and pain he could only transfer onto the inanimate heavy bag.

Since her death, he’d felt so broken. So alone. It was only fitting he play this song on the anniversary of the worst day of his life.

In a few hours, he would put on a brave face, face his friends, pretend that it was all okay, that he was dealing with her death, even a year later, that everything would be okay.

But for tonight, he needed to feel broken.

~*~*~*~

Because I’m broken
When I’m open
And I don’t feel like
I am strong enough

~*~*~*~*~

As the final chorus broke over him, his strokes weakened as his sobs strengthened. As the song finally faded out, he sank to the ground, cradling his stomach with his arms, uncaring of the awkwardness the boxing gloves caused in the movement.

"I’m so broken without you, Janet."

Closing his eyes, he rocked back and forth as he muttered the mantra, mourning the woman he had loved more than life itself.

~*~*~*~*~*~

Sam gently moved to close the door, tears streaking her cheeks as she listened to his broken mantra, repeated against the chorus of the song. The words and music had powerfully affected her as well, her tears not only for her dead best friend and still grieving friend, but for herself and the time she’d wasted by trying to deny the only thing, the only person, that could make her whole.

"Carter?"

She looked up quickly, another tear slipping down her cheek as she found herself staring into the eyes of the man who occupied her thoughts constantly.

"Are you okay?" He moved to the door, intending to enter, but she leaned in, placing her hand over his, stopping him before he could push it open more than the crack she‘d left it. She felt him tense however as he took in the scene he’d only glimpsed before she’d stopped him.

"Daniel needs to be alone."

Her heart stopped as she saw the moisture fill his eyes, the small sign of weakness a huge sign of how much he trusted her. Keeping her gaze on his, she made no effort to wipe away her tears, hearing the final chorus of the song wash over them, watching as it registered in Jack’s eyes--which never left hers.

~*~*~*~

Because I’m broken
When I’m lonesome
And I don’t feel right
When you’re gone away

~*~*~*~*~

She felt the broken pieces of her heart finally begin to mend as, without a word, he held out his arms.

Without stopping to think, she walked into them.

They held each other for a long time, the sound of Daniel’s heart-wrenching sobs and the echo of the music the only sound in the deserted hallways of the SGC.

~*~*~*~*~

The End


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