DISCLAIMER: The story, and characters and anything and everything else concerning SG: SG1 belong to MGM, Gekko, Secret Productions etc, they are so not mine and no money is being made from this and no copyright infringement is intended.
SPOILERS: Abyss - season 6
Meditations on the Abyss
Jack O'Neill stood alone in the kitchen of Janet Fraiser's house. Absently he rubbed his chest where Ba'al's acid had burned into his flesh. There was no sign of it now, of course. Repeated trips to the Sarcophagus had seen to that.
He'd been having flashbacks to it all evening. He was genuinely pleased that the Doc was okay and that she and Carter were having a child together even if he was still more than a little hazy on the how He blinked.
Jack be nimble, jack be quick. It was raining harder n'hell and the ground underfoot was liquid mud. His Tokra issue boots just weren't hacking it in the traction department. It was not helping that Kanen was in a flat panic. O'Neill had no control over the situation. Ba'al's men were getting closer all the time. He had very little understanding of why they were here in the first place. Kanen was playing his cards very close to his chest or whatever the snakehead equivalent.
The symbiote said something rude and to the point in Goa'uld. A staff blast passed very close to his head then a second fried his shoulder. He finally lost his footing and sprawled flat on his face in the mud. There was incredible pain and suddenly he was alone in his head again. Blinking the mud from his eyes he looked up to see Kanen slither into the undergrowth. The symbiote had bailed on him.
"Oh crap!" he groaned as the butt end of a powerstaff clipped him across the back of the skull and sent him spinning into darkness.
Carter was bending over him. He was sitting on the kitchen floor, his back to the refrigerator, his hand rubbing his chest.
The girl. They had gone back for the girl. He had no idea whose idea it was, his or the snake's. He couldn't even remember her name though he did remember her face. She had short blond hair like Carter. She was Ba'al's lo'tar, his most trusted personal servant. And Kanen's last host had been in love with her. Yep, unrequited love. Hooyeh, Jack was an expert in that.
"Sir? Are you okay?"
Soft fingers closed on his wrist. He blinked. For a moment he saw the girl again, and then he saw it was Carter. "Are you okay?" she repeated.
He was back in the cell, the gravity field pressing him against the wall as the world tilted. He had already lost count of how many times Ba'al had tortured him to death and then revived him in that damned sarcophagus. And every time it had Jack could feel that another part of him never quite made it back.
Oh, that was just great. Now he was hallucinating. At least the view was pretty. "Hey Carter?"
"How're you holding up, Sir?"
"Just peachy, Carter. Just peachy. "Okay, I know I'm not exactly running on all cylinders here, but still what the hell are you doing here, Carter. I thought you did the glowy thing? How's that working out for you?"
"It has its moments. Sir, you must get out of here. Ba'al will keep on taking you to the point of death and then revive you in the sarcophagus."
It hurt to look at her. She was so beautiful. She was dressed in white, which seemed appropriate since she was some sort of angel. Though he didn't think angels were supposed to look so hot. The long-coated suit appeared tailored to fit, the white shirt beneath open to show her cleavage. Yeah, she was hot, and dead, and a hallucination. He was so screwed.
"Can't we drop the Sir, now. I mean, you're Ascended and I'm well, I'm not sure what I am. We're not exactly in the same chain of command any more. Hell, we're not even in the same dimension."
"Sir, you must focus " she paused, gifted him with one of her smiles. "I can't believe the mess you've got yourself into. It's good to see you."
"You too. Shame you're a delusion."
"No, I'm here. I'm really here." He managed to take off one of his boots and throw it at her. It passed through her, bouncing off the opposite wall. "I mean in the sense that my consciousness is here."
He remembered her name now, Shaylin. She had stayed with the Tokra. With any luck he'd never see her again. And he had come back here, got on with his life, tried to forget. And he had almost managed it until Carter came back. She did what she couldn't do for him, acted directly, saved the Doc's life and got reincarnated or deascended or whatever for her troubles. He had heard her explanation and had no problem with her saving the Doc's life and not saving his.
"Is it you?"
"You shouldn't be here."
"You look so different. How can you be Kanen?"
"Do you want me to get Janet?"
"I'll be fine, Carter. Just give me a minute."
"Do you remember what I said to you when you were in the cell?"
"Do you?" He looked at her fully for the first time, saw the concern in her eyes. "Do you remember everything that happened whilst you were "
"Ascended? Yes. I remember everything. What I was, what I could do and what I wanted to do but couldn't."
"Jack, did you think the Asgard named a ship after you because they thought it was a cool name?"
"I don't want to see this cell again, Carter."
The touch of her hand on his bare arm sent shivers through him. He had forgotten how soft her touch was, how good she smelt. His chest still hurt. Dimly he wondered if it was remembered pain or if he was having some sort of heart attack.
"I'm going to get Janet "
"No, stay. You promised."
"I promise I'll stay with you 'til this is over."
"It'll never be over." He rubbed his chest where the acid had eaten through to his bones. There was nothing to see now, but he knew what had happened. The flesh remembered.
"Yes it will." Her blue eyes were beseeching him to believe her, to hold on, but he wasn't strong enough.
"Sam, you have to end this."
"Jack, you just have to hang in there a little while longer."
"No. I can't go back in there. If I go back, I swear to god I'll give Ba'al what he wants. I'll tell him."
"That he loved her."
"Came back for her, he wanted to save her."
"Ba'al doesn't know this?"
"If he finds out hell do to her what he's doing to me. Sam, if you don't end this, I'll tell him."
"You won't have to. It's almost over, Jack."
"You were right. There's always a way out or at least there's always a chance. Your journey isn't over, Jack, not yet."
"What did you do?"
"I didn't do anything, it was the guys."
"They thought of something."
"This is it. All you ever wanted was a fighting chance, Jack and now you have it. If anyone can make it out of here, you can."
She was still there, crouched beside him as he hunched over the pain. There was movement just beyond the field of his vision. "O'Neill, do you require assistance?"
"Teal'c can you help me get him on his feet. I think he's having a flashback to Ba'al."
Teal'c lifted him to his feet. "I have seen him like this before. In a few minutes it will pass and he will be fine again."
"Till the next time," Carter said. She sounded almost disappointed in him. "I don't suppose he's talked to anyone about what happened?"
"Only when you returned did he say what had happened: that you came to him during his confinement."
"Of all the stubborn, overly self-reliant sonsab-"
It was passing, as it always did. "Hey, still here and still technically your superior officer, ya know."
"I know, sir. I'm not likely to forget, am I?" The kiss that was pressed to his cheek was butterfly light yet burned through his skin like Ba'al's acid. She smiled at him again. "Do you need anything?"
"Just some fresh air," he said. "I'll take a turn or two around the Doc's garden, smell the roses."
"I've got my journey, you've got yours?"
"Something like that."
"Will I see you again?"
"I don't know." He could hear the explosions coming closer now, the room shaking, the sound of panicked footsteps on the levels above him. "You're sure this is going to work?"
"You're just going to have to trust me, Sir."
"I can do that. Are you going to be okay?"
"I'm going to be fine."
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