DISCLAIMER: Stargate SG-1 and its characters are the property of MGM, Showtime, Gekko etc. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Heroes if you don't know what happens, or don't like angst, please don't read this it is not a 'fix-it' fic.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Mortality is the Greatest Enemy
George stood in the doorway that opened onto the veranda and observed the sight before him with a strong sense of déjà vu. In an instant, he was transported to another time and another place, but the pain was the same, and the feeling of uselessness was the same. Then he had been observing a child having to face the nightmares that no adult could protect from. Now he was observing the nightmare that no adult could face, let alone should face. The sense of guilty irony that had invaded him as a young officer ate away at him now as a commanding officer. The helplessness and pain felt by the godfather was unchanged, perhaps worse now, since this was the second time he could berate himself for causing sorrow and loss to this glorious person, who brought so much joy to so many people.
The sun was setting, casting fiery strands across the sky in every conceivable shade of red and orange. To George it seemed like the heavens were showing their everlasting tribute to the light that had been taken from their midst. Every passionate streak of Janet's character seemed to be represented there, captured for all to see, for all to cherish and remember. George recalled her tremendous passion for her work, for the people whose lives were entrusted to her. He had often paused to ponder where his command would have been if it had not had the unwavering support of his dedicated CMO: he had long ago concluded that the SGC's faith and heart was rested solely on the petite shoulders of one woman. He and Jack could come up with tactical military strategies and procedures as often as they wanted, issuing orders and missions that were dangerous and risky daily, hourly at times, and their people went about them without question, and with an unwavering loyalty born out of faith: faith that, where and whenever necessary, there would be someone working to ensure that there was the best chance of them living to fight another day. That faith was derived by the knowledge that, no matter what happened on some distant planet at the hands of alien forces unknown, Janet Fraiser never declared a cause lost until all battles had been fought.
As George watched the sunset change from rich reds and oranges to softer shades, he remembered all the times his CMO had disagreed with him, invariably he concluded, correctly. For Janet, nothing was ever risk free, a life was never disposable, her skills were not infallible. Many times, she had warned about the threats of complacency towards their indestructibility, SG1 particularly; reminding him that whilst the battles and challenges were unconventional and often unknown, the risks and limitations were not. The human body was not a machine - it had its limits and tolerances and whilst she could seemingly work miracles within these confines, there were some things that were just too great: mortality, she had often said, was always an option. And he had tried to heed her warnings, tried to respect the boundaries imposed on them. So often it had proved correct; so often it had protected a life, saved the day, eased the fight. But where was it now? Who did he turn to for wisdom and council when that wisdom and council had been lost, when the world felt out of balance?
As much as George wrestled with what he had lost, he could not tear his eyes away from what was in front of him. Cutting a dark shape out of the sunset was the one person in all of this who had lost even more than many would ever know. If Janet Fraiser was the heart and some of the soul of the SGC, George was the first to admit that Samantha Carter held the brains and the rest of the soul. The faith that there would always be someone who knew how to fix you back home was secured by the knowledge that there would always be someone who knew how to get you home to be fixed. But as much as Janet was to the SGC, as much as George knew he needed Janet, he knew that Sam needed her more than many would ever know. And so here he was, watching, guarding, protecting, loving Sam as best he could, for as long as he could. He knew it wasn't perfect, he knew it was little comfort to Sam, with his love, protection and council being insignificant compared to what he had taken from her, but he offered it for the taking without question.
If Sam ever needed him, he would be there, just as he had been when her mother died. And if he ever found a way to recover what he had stolen from her, he would gladly give it back to her. But for now he would wait until he was needed, until he could help. It was what he vowed to do the day his meeting with Jacob meant that her mother had to get into that taxi, and it was what he would continue you to do for as long as it took, starting from this day, the day he told his Sammie that he forgot that the greatest enemy was mortality, and Janet Fraiser was the victim.
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