Title: Three Simple Words
Chapters: One shot
Summary: A challenge entry to be centered around the theme "revival" You can use the word any way you want, whether it's
bringing someone back to life, reviving someone's spirits, whatever
you come up with.
thanks to angw for the beta :)
“How long has it been?”
Daniel pulled his nose out of the book he’d been reading and met the worried gaze of Janet Frasier. “I’m sorry?”
Her smile seemed forced, “Can I come in a-”
“Oh, of course. Please.” He set his book down.
Daniel watched as she walked into his office, pulled a chair up to his desk, and sat down. She must have gone off duty, she was wearing a pair of tight black jeans, and a flattering lavender blouse. He couldn’t help but notice the way the outfit accentuated her curves. The look on her face pulled his attention away from her clothing. Janet seemed nervous. Her fingers began playing with the buttons of her shirt in a rapid, repetitive dance. Her teeth were attacking her bottom lip and she kept fidgeting in her seat. It wasn’t something Daniel was used to seeing in the normally cool and collected physician. She was strong, brilliant, brave, and very beautiful. A fact that he’d tried to ignore, unsuccessfully, for longer than he wanted to admit.
“Janet. Is everything okay?”
Her eyes widened and she suddenly seemed to become aware of how strange she was acting. She cleared her throat and sat up straighter. “Daniel, I just wanted to talk to you about something.”
Daniel raised his eyebrows, “Okay.”
“This is just kind of an awkward topic. I don’t want to upset you but I thought you might want some...company tonight.”
Daniel blinked. “Oh. Well, I was planning on staying late to work on these translations.”
“Daniel.” Her tone turned very soft, but became more confident. “I know what today is, you don’t have to pretend with me.”
He swallowed and tried to appear nonplussed. “I don’t know what you’re talking about. I really need to get back to work.”
“If that’s how you want to handle this, that’s fine. I understand. I just want you to know I’m here if you need a friend.” Her warm, somewhat moist fingers gave his hand a squeeze. Then she reached in her purse and pulled out what appeared to be a card and set it on his desk. “Call me if you change your mind. I’m off tomorrow, and I know you are supposed to be as well.” Then she stood and left the room.
Daniel just sat staring at the white envelope for what felt like hours. There was no way she could know. How could she remember something like that? Hell, he wasn’t even sure if the rest of his teammates had remembered. It had been three years now.
He felt like he was moving in slow motion as he picked up the card and opened it.
It was a simple card, but it wasn’t the outside that mattered. What she’d written inside broke through the shell of normalcy he’d cocooned himself in this past week. Trying to pretend this was just another week at work. He’d thought he’d done a good job of fooling everyone. Apparently, not everyone.
He closed the door on the tears that he knew wanted to be released.
Underneath the manufactures generic words, wishing you well in your time of loss, Janet had hand written three simple words.
“I’m always here.”
Without a moments thought Daniel grabbed his keys, jacket, and card, then left his office. Janet had already left the base so he headed straight for his car and started the engine. He drove in silence, his mind racing with a million thoughts about life, death, love, loss and everything in between.
Daniel arrived at Janet’s home without even knowing how he’d gotten there. Automatic pilot as Jack would say. He sat there staring at her window for several moments, clutching the steering wheel and wondering if this was a mistake.
He took a deep breath and was about to put the car in reverse when Janet’s front door opened. She stepped onto her porch, their eyes locked and he got out of the car. She met him halfway, her brown eyes were wide and bright.
“Daniel.” The surprise was evident in her tone.
“Hey.” He tried to sound lighthearted.
They stood in her driveway staring at each other for a few moments until Janet said, “Why don’t you come on in?” When he hesitated she smiled, “ I’ve got coffee brewing, not the cheap stuff either.”
“You know how to push my buttons,” he managed a small smile.
He could have sworn he saw the start of a blush before she turned away and headed for her porch. Daniel followed. His heart feeling lighter with every step as he approached the brightly lit doorway. As he stepped inside he realized this was the first time he had actually been in her house without any other member of SG-1 accompanying him. It was an odd realization.
“Cassie’s spending the night at a friends house,” Janet said as she waltzed into the kitchen. The smell of fresh coffee wafted into his nose. He felt his mouth begin to water. “Make yourself at home.” Came Janet’s warm voice over the sound of coffee being poured.
Daniel removed his jacket and hung it on the coat rack in the room. He had just sat down on her couch when Janet entered carrying a tray with cream, sugar, spoons, and two mugs of coffee. “Thought you might enjoy this.”
“You thought right.” He felt his throat tighten. Gestures like this were something that still surprised and moved him. Growing up in the foster system made you appreciate the simple kindness of a friend a lot more.
She sat next to him and filled her spoon with sugar. He busied himself doing the same. When they both had taken a few sips of the perfectly made coffee Janet broke the silence that had once again fallen. “I’m glad you came.”
He set his cup down. “Me too. And thank you for the card. It means a lot to me.”
“It was nothing.”
He didn’t think, just reacted. His hand reached out and enveloped Janet’s. “Yes it was. I didn’t think anyone remembered.”
“They all remembered Daniel. They just weren’t sure whether or not you wanted it mentioned.”
“So you volunteered for babysitting duty.” He smirked.
“No. I wanted to be there for someone I care about. You’d do the same for me.”
“Thanks Janet,” he whispered wiping quickly at his eyes. Then he felt her arms around him. He melted into them. He needed this more than he knew, and he allowed himself to be held for the first time in a long time. “I’m so pathetic aren’t I? It’s been four years Janet, and I still turn into a bad hallmark commercial on this day.”
“You are not pathetic. She was your wife Daniel. It’s not something that goes away, it just gets a little bit easier over time.”
“Thanks. You know what bothers me the most.” he whispered and pulled away slightly so he could see Janet’s warm loving eyes.
“Tell me.” Her breath was warm, and it caressed his face when she spoke. They were much closer than necessary, but he didn’t back away.
“The fact that I don’t think about her as much. I almost let this day pass, Janet. I didn’t even realize it until two days ago when I knocked her picture over. Then I felt even worse because I had forgotten. How could I forget like that?” All his fear and guilt spilled out of his mouth like a broken faucet stuck in the on switch on and he couldn’t stop the flow. “I forgot her Janet. I forgot my wife. What kind of a person does that make me?”
Her hands cupped his cheeks and wiped away his tears. “A person that’s moving on. A person who loves so much he’s torturing himself for moving on. Do you think Sha're would want you brooding your life away? I know she wouldn’t . She loved you Daniel. She’d want you to be happy. To have a life, and you’re doing that. I think she’d be very happy about that.”
“You do.” His voice was hoarse and raw.
“Yes. I know I would want that for yo-I mean someone I loved.” Janet pulled back and swiped at her own eyes.
“So you don’t think I’m a lost cause?” He buried his face in his hands.
“No. I think you are...amazing.”
He looked up in surprise. “Me.”
“Well, thanks.” He couldn’t stop the smile that formed.
She laughed. “Your welcome.”
“I think you’re amazing as well.” Daniel didn’t know why he was suddenly feeling lighter than a feather when two minutes ago he’d felt the weight of the world on his heart. But, he wasn’t going to fight it.
Now she really was blushing. “Nah. I’m just an average woman who works more than she should. You on the other hand on the brilliant archeologist who saves the world on an almost weekly basis.”
“There’s nothing average about you, Janet. Besides I’d be dead by now if it wouldn’t be for your talents as the world’s best physician.” He fell silent a moment. “And you have a talent for waking me up when I need it most.”
“You mean like resuscitating you?”
“No. More like reviving me.” Daniel leaned in, intending to kiss her on the cheek, but to his surprise she met him halfway and it wasn’t her cheek he ended up kissing. It was tentative and slow, but still wonderful.
When they pulled away he just smiled.
She smiled back.
It all seemed to make sense in that moment. She’d been right there in front of him for all this time and he’d been too blind to see it. But tonight he was seeing things very clearly. There was no guilt anymore, only warmth. Janet was right. Sha’re would want this for him, and more importantly so did he. It was time to start living again.
He leaned in, and this time the kiss was anything but tentative.
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