TITLE : Broken
AUTHOR : Lucy Maria Elmer
SUMMARY: Daniel reflects on the death of a colleague and friend, and thinks about the things he should have said.
CATEGORY: Character Death!!!!! angst, drama, some graphic descriptions, character grief, Daniel POV.
SEASON: Set after Heroes Part 2.
SPOILERS: Heroes! Meridian, Lifeboat and prolly a few other episodes.
DISCLAIMER: All publicly recognizable 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 were 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.
AUTHORS NOTE: For Teryl, Els and Nike and Bryn.
`Cos I'm broken, when I'm lonesome and I don't feel right, when you're gone away'
I close my eyes and I can still see her. Every day I see her. The memory of that moment so deeply etched into my mind that I fear that I will never escape from it and that it will never leave me. I fear that every day I will relive that moment over and over as if I'm in purgatory. A moment so full of pain and suffering and such loss to everyone that ever cared about her and was ever saved by her. I fear I will relive that moment over and over until the day that I die and it's a memory that haunts me so.
Before that moment my head was already full of visions of her beautiful face. The way that her brown eyes shone when she smiled and lit up her face. How her olive skin glowed, so full of life. Now my head's full of different visions. Visions of the look on her face when she was hit, her mouth open in shock and her eyes not even closed. Her body smoking, her flesh burnt and torn and her last scream ringing in my ears. I'll never forget those open eyes which once so full of life and love, were then just empty and blank and never to look upon the living again.
I can't see her face at its most beautiful now like I once could. At the moment the pain's too raw to remember anything but the circumstances of her death and how small, fragile and broken she looked during her last seconds of life.
Every moment I saw her when she had been alive I just wanted to take her into my arms and protect her from everything bad. She was the kind of woman that you just wanted to take care of and protect because she was so small and appeared so vulnerable, but then when you got to know her you realised just how strong she really was, in heart, spirit and will. She wasn't strong enough to survive this though was she? The moment that blast hit her she was gone. Her body shattered and torn and left smoking from the blast. The light that shone so brightly in all of our lives blown out just like that and one of earths true angels lost to us forever. A life belonging to a woman who truly didn't deserve a death so tragic and unnecessary extinguished by one single, painful blast while doing the thing that she did best, saving the life of another human being. An act that ultimately cost her, her own life. Ironic isn't it really?
As much as I wanted to protect her for all of our days I had to sit at her side and watch her stolen away from me by an enemy that has cost so many people so much. I was helpless. So incredibly helpless and so heartbreakingly lost. So many times she had saved my own life. She'd brought my back from the brink and I had lived to fight another day. But I couldn't do that for her. I couldn't save her. I couldn't bring her back. All I could do was call for a medic. Scream at the tops of my lungs for someone to help her knowing that there was nothing I could do. All I could do was call for someone who could possibly bring her back. All the time I knew in my heart that it could never be and that from that moment on she would be gone forever because the moment she was hit by that blast, the woman I loved was gone.
I always thought that she was invincible. I always thought that she'd be there to patch us up when we got injured on a mission or to provide a shoulder when something was playing on our minds. I know doing the job we do that our lives could end just like that. She knew it too. It was something that had been instilled in her since the very moment she joined the military. But Janet rarely went off world. She was always at the base, as safe and sound as she could be. It shouldn't have been her! What justice is there in the knowledge that on one of the few occasions she left the base she lost her life? A life so precious to so many and a life dedicated to saving others. But then there's not justice in death is there? It's not fair. And now I have to live every day of my own life reliving the death of someone so special to me. Someone who I owed so much to and cared so very much about and I'll never get to say thank you to her for all those times she saved me, for the many ways in which she saved me that she probably never even knew about.
`You know I died in this room? And even then she didn't want to let me go. I owed her a lot more...than I ever gave back'
Those words that I spoke just a few minutes ago resound in my head as I sit enveloped in the darkness inside this infirmary room unable to bear to have the lights on. Not wanting to let anyone else indulge in this emotion with me or see the intense grief that engulfs me. This room was the one where she fought so hard for me before my ascension. The room where she cried for me. The room where for the first time she hadn't been able to bring me back. Now I know how she must have felt watching me go. Unable to prevent me from slipping away in front of her very eyes. I know the utter helplessness and unbearable pain she must have felt and that I, myself, feel with every heartbeat as I remember seeing her hit, knowing that there wasn't a thing I could do to save her or bring her back. All I could do was watch and pray that she would find peace as she quickly left our world.
I was lucky though wasn't I? I could come back after my ascension and I did. I left this earth only to return again. To see her again and to see my friends. But she'll never get that chance will she? She's gone forever and I'll never feel the warmth and comfort of her presence again. Why did I get a chance to live on in some way when I have done nothing with my life like she has? Why didn't someone who spent their life trying to save others get the chance to do something for the greater good when I did? If I could turn back the clock and get hit instead of her I would. She truly didn't deserve that to happen to her.
When I came back I swore to myself that I'd thank her for everything she did to try and save me. For all the things she had ever done to save me and that had been a lot. Even after my coming back when I had been taken over by multiple personalities she had worked tirelessly to help me reclaim my body and mind but I never thanked her. Not really and definitely not like I should have. I did owe her so much more than I ever gave back. I guess I always took for granted that she'd be there. I should have learnt from my own ascension that our lives can be taken away from us just like that when there's so much more left to be said. I wanted to say so much to her. I wanted to before I ascended but we barely had a moment alone during my final hours and I could barely see past the pain.
The moment I saw her again on the base my mind filled with memories of that beautiful face and all of the efforts she had made in the past to save me. I decided right then that I would let her know just how much I cared for her and just how thankful I was that she had been my guardian angel so many times before. I never got round to it though. There was always some distraction. And now it's too late. Instead of telling her that I loved her I put it off. I put off telling her how when I had been taken over by all those personalities, when my own came through so briefly and I saw her there in that room with me so filled with emotion and fear, that I was so glad she was there. I didn't tell her that I felt so much better knowing that she was fighting so hard for me or that I was so sorry that Martice was scaring her so much. I just wanted to take her into my arms and comfort her. I wanted her to take me into hers and tell me it would be okay and that soon I would be all right again instead of a prisoner in my own body and mind. Now I'll never get that chance because I waited too long.
When I finally said those words to her I was sat in the woods, staff blasts echoing in the air around me as a fire fight raged. Wells screamed "is she hit?" Over and over at my side as I called for a Medic, feeling so tortured inside, as I already knew that there was no hope for that beautiful woman that lay so still at my side. I wanted so much for her to be all right and I prayed so hard for some kind of miracle, but it wasn't to be. That was her end. She was gone just like that and I'd seen it happen. I'd never forget. Not ever.
I didn't know what to do. There was nothing I could do to help the woman that I loved and I'll never forgive myself for it. They tell me that it wasn't my fault but I was right there. I was at her side. I should have been able to protect her. I should have been able to do something...anything, so that she would still be here today. The truth is I blame myself. I spend every waking moment blaming myself, feeling haunted by it and I don't know how to keep breathing and keep going knowing that she's not just down the corridor, or just down the other end of the phone. Instead she's just gone. Stolen from us by the enemy we have grown to despise. The SGC ripped to shreds.
When I realised that her death was caught on tape my heart broke into a million different pieces. I can't describe how it felt to know that something so unbearably tragic and horrifying had been captured on film, especially on a film that I had taken. I didn't know how to deal with that fact. I still don't. She was taken in such an unimaginable way that I wasn't sure I wanted anybody to see it. How could I burden them with the same memories that I live with every day surrounding her demise? And how could I tarnish the memory of such a compassionate, caring and wonderful young woman with visions of her departure from this earth? I suppose it was selfish too in a way. I didn't want anyone else to share in the intense grief that I was feeling. I didn't want anyone else to know what it felt like to have seen those things, not that I believe anybody could ever imagine what it was like to see that. I also wanted to protect her. Death isn't something that occurs for the world to see and speculate over. Every person's death is private and I wanted to keep hers that way. I didn't want other people to share in a moment so personal and so tragic and unexpected. I'm not sure she would have wanted people to remember her because of the way she was taken rather than what she did in her life for others. Ultimately though it was a tape that showed what she was about. A tape that showed how brave she was how and dedicated she was to saving the life of others and so I did share it in the hopes that people will think of her in the way she deserves. As a brave, caring and dedicated woman.
There was so much that I needed to say to her but my stupidity prevented me from saying all those things until it was too late. I only hope that in some way she was able to hear the words that I said to her as she lay there cradled in my arms after she was hit. I'm sure she was gone as soon as the staff blast struck her, but just in case she wasn't and was still clinging to life by a thread I took hold of her, as gently as I could, her small body laying limp in my arms as I cradled her, sobs escaping from my throat as I thought about how unfair it was. I didn't want her to die alone; lying there on the leaves as death took hold of her. I wanted her to slip away knowing that she meant enough to me for me to do that. I hope that if by some kind of miracle she was still alive as I held her she knew that she wasn't alone and that I was there with her. I'm not sure if it would have comforted her or not. I just couldn't bear the thought of her possibly still being alive with no one there to hold her as she travelled into the unknown.
I told her so many things as I sat there with her. I thanked her for everything she had ever done for me and the people that I care about. I told her that she was one of those people and that she'd always be in my heart and would always mean the world to me. I told her to hold on and fight for her life. I told her I'd watch Cassie for her. I told her that I loved her so much and that I was so sorry I hadn't told her sooner. I begged with her not to go but it was out of both of our hands and so I cried.
I held her for a long time. The smell was horrible but I couldn't bear to let go of her. I remember taking off my jacket and placing it carefully around her small frame. Zipping it up so no one would have to see the horrible injury that she had endured at the hands of the Goa'uld and giving her a little dignity. I ran my hand over her eyes so they were closed and peaceful instead of wide with terror and pain. Then was when it hit me the hardest. She just looked like she was peacefully sleeping rather than gone. Like she could open her eyes and come back to us just like that, but her skin was already paling and her body started to feel cold and I knew it could never be. Then the Medics came and told me the inevitable. They told me that Jack had been hit too but was alive, and then they told me that Janet never stood a chance.
They wanted to carry their CMO back to the base on a stretcher but I wouldn't let them. To me she was still the woman I loved and while I hadn't shown her just how much I cared in life, I wanted to show her just how much she meant to me in her death. I carried her all the way to the gate. Teal'c offered to take over when the strain was starting to show but I wouldn't let him. She wasn't a burden, it was just he's stronger than I am and I know he thought the world of Janet too and wanted to do something for her. I know I was selfish not to let him and I know he was worried for me after having witnessed her passing, but I just couldn't let her go. I never wanted to let her go because then I knew I'd never hold her again.
Sam was inconsolable. She had just seen Jack go down only to be faced with me coming out of the woods with a sombre medical team trailing behind me and Janet's limp body in my arms. I don't think I'll ever forget the look on her face when she realised her best friend had been lost. She just ran over to me and looked at the figure in my arms and started to cry, placing a gentle kiss on her friends forehead.
Walking to the gate was so eerie. Jack and Lieutenant Wells had gone ahead of us on stretchers and been rushed straight to the infirmary and we knew that everyone would already know what had happened off world. I could never have prepared myself for the looks on their faces as they saw us come through. Grown men began to cry when they realised their beloved CMO had been killed in action and General Hammond looked like his heart had shattered. He thought of Janet as a daughter and now he was watching her body be carried back to the place we all thought of as our home.
I fell to my knees as soon as I got through the Gate. Janet was still in my arms, and tears were making my whole body shake. The memory just played over and over again like a tape stuck during one precise moment and all I could think of was why couldn't I protect her? How could this happen? Why did she deserve to die? Why couldn't I have told her how I felt so she knew before she had gone? Sam fell to her knees at my side a few seconds after, unable to take her eyes off the figure that I held in my arms and asking me over and over what had happened? I couldn't find it in myself to tell her. I couldn't bring myself to relive it more than I already was. I didn't want to keep seeing it over and over in my mind, but I knew it was something that wasn't going to leave me that easily. All I could do was sob as I saw how pale Janet now was and felt how cold her hands were. I didn't know what else to do.
All the questioning of events after was torture. Everyone wanted to know if she had suffered and what had happened. They wanted to know if she had said anything before she had died. And the military that were investigating didn't seem to have any sympathy; they just wanted the cold, hard facts no matter how painful. They didn't talk about her like a person. They spoke like she was a statistic and it made me so angry. I wanted to scream about everything she had ever done and how she had deserved so much more than this but they wouldn't have listened. I couldn't make them listen no matter how angry I was that she wasn't being given the respect she deserved and so I suffered alone. Unable to get them to listen, unable to share with my closest friends what I was feeling as I didn't want to burden them with my grief when they were suffering with their own. I'd never felt so alone.
We all took it in turns to say one last goodbye before her memorial. At first I wasn't sure if I could bear it but I did it anyway. I owed her that much. When I first saw her everything flashed through my mind again. It was as if it was magnified a hundred times. I'd never felt pain in my heart like that before but then as I sat down at her side and I took in her features once again I began to remember all of the things I'd miss about her as I realised this was it.
I took her cold hand in mine and held it to my face. I'd never realised how small her hands were before. Everything about her was so perfect. I saw so many things during those few hours I sat with her that I had never noticed in the seven years I had spent working with her. It's sad isn't it really?
I told her everything that I should have said during that time I was with her. Some things that I had told her back on that planet as she lay in my arms, and other things besides. I remember thinking how she still looked as though she was sleeping. She was so still and peaceful and tranquil, so different from what she looked like after she was hit.
I don't know how long I sat there for just talking to her. Getting everything out that I needed to say and wishing that there was some way that she could wake up and we could talk and everything would be fine. It could have been hours that I was sitting there but nothing felt like a long enough time to say goodbye to her. Ultimately I had to though and just before I left that room I leant down and kissed her forehead, knowing that this would be the very last time I would ever do so and would ever see the face of the woman who I loved so dearly. An angel who had never known what she had meant to this earth and the people around her. The next time we would all see her would be in a coffin and as I took one last glance back at her before I left the room I couldn't help but feel that I was to blame because I couldn't save her when she needed me and all I could do was watch her slip away.
Now I sit here in the enveloping dark once again, staring at the bed where I `died' and thinking of her, the quiet and darkness providing some solace for my tortured mind. It already feels different without her. It feels empty somehow. Like a vital part of his place is missing and has left a hole that can never be filled. I want her here so badly that it hurts, but we're never to hear the soft sounds of her laughter or her gentle footfalls again. Instead all we have left is memories and the quiet, and in my memories and in my quiet I see her hit and hear her scream.
Janet Fraiser was a beautiful woman in body, heart and soul and spent her life dedicated to saving others. I only hope she knows just how missed she is and how no one who met her will ever forget her. She is one of many who our Country has lost, in a battle with an enemy that the world still knows nothing about. I only hope that one day the whole world know, like we do, of the spirit, will, dedication and determination of such a beautiful woman and of the pride that we all have when we think of her.
"Rest in Peace Janet. I'll never stop loving you." I whisper to the darkness as I rest my head in my hands and try and contemplate a life without her. "I hope you`ve found peace." I then add softly, and as a gentle breeze caresses my cheek I smile. Maybe when they pass over our loved ones aren't as far away as we may think.
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