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.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is set today 8 Jun 2004 and therefore after the events of Heroes.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author
Transit of Venus
I fell asleep and dreamt that I fell asleep and dreamt. But I only remember waking up once. So am I asleep or awake?
I watch the CNN feed on the transit of Venus. A once in a lifetime thing. The last time anyone saw this was in 1882. The next time it will happen is in 2012 with any luck I should see that but after that it won't occur again until 2117. With the possible exception of little Janet Wells and maybe my father (if Selmac keeps him well) no one else I know will be alive to see that. A once in a lifetime event.
If you are lucky.
As if sensing my train of thought she comes to me. Her small hands rest on my shoulders as she stands behind my chair, her warm breath stirring the hair at the back of my neck.
Even without looking at her face I know she is smiling.
"Watching the Transit of Venus." I point out the little black dot in the sea of red that is the sun's photosphere. "Happens once every 120 years or so." That was the simplistic version but I didn't want to waste these snatched moments with her, so precious to me.
"So why aren't you outside watching it?"
"It's not visible from here this time Europe and Asia get to see the show. Colonel "I correct myself, "General O'Neill did offer to let me go and see it at one of the observatories in the UK but I couldn't spare the time. And anyway, thanks to satellite broadcasting and the Internet " I gesture at the screen.
"Ah hah." Her hands begin to gently massage my neck and shoulders. "God, Sam, you're so tense! It feels like you've got concrete back here."
"Not tense, focused," I remind her. "You know me, Janet, this is my natural state." Especially since Hurriedly, I change the subject. "So, what have you been doing? It's been a couple of days since I last saw you."
"This and that," she replies softly. "You know how it is."
"Mmm," I groan. Her talented fingers have hit a sweet spot. I tip my head forwards as her lips follow her fingers across my skin. It's nice that we don't have to hide anymore, not even on the base. I remember something.
"Oh, I talked to Cassie last night. She's doing really well. Aced her midterms. She told me to tell you that she misses you and she loves you."
"She's such a great kid, Sam. Even if we did nothing else good with our lives we did well with her."
"We you did great things with your life, Janet. Never doubt that. Just ask anyone here. You " I could not say it, I could not acknowledge the truth. For that would make this what? I could feel the warmth of her pressed up against my back, the sensation of each fingertip against the bare skin of my upper arms, feel a lock of her hair tickling my cheek. I could smell her, the jasmine of her shampoo the faint scent of her cologne, that indefinable Janet-ness. I could hear her breathing, feel her heartbeat in tandem with mine. I wish I could see her but I don't dare turn to look. Like Orpheus I can't break that rule. I daren't.
"It's okay, Sam. I know, I know." The soft lilt of her voice makes my breath catch for a moment. I missed her. I missed this closeness something I've never experienced with anyone else and have this awful feeling I will never have again. Now that she is gone.
I concentrate on the screen for a moment that mote of darkness creeping ever onwards. Proof of the logic of the universe, I suppose. But how can I explain this?
"Airmen Wells stopped by with little Janet yesterday," I said. "She's growing so fast and she's so bright. She's six months old already, Jan, imagine that. Imagine "
Six months. If I don't say it, don't acknowledge the truth maybe this time she will stay. But as ever even thinking about thinking about it is enough.
"Gotta go, sweetie," she says and her fingers card through my hair. Tears blind me as she kisses me on my lips for one long sweet moment and then on my eyelids, her skin cool and sweet against the scalding salt of my tears.
At the last I say it. "I miss you, Janet, I miss you so much!"
But she is already gone.
I open my eyes, take a deep breath and scrub my tears from my cheeks with the back of my hand. Somehow I can still smell her. Sense-memory I tell myself.
On the screen the black mote continues its journey across the face of the sun.
And so do I.
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