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'A million years into the sky'

Title: A million years into the sky
Characters: Gen, team; (peripheral S/C)
Rating: PG
Length: ~4000 words
Notes: No spoilers past 'The Quest pt. 1'. Written before 'Unending' aired but takes place, I think, after. (Off-screen) canon character deaths.

Thanks and credit and much love go to sg_fignewton, who betaed and put me back on track when I went a little awry, and to paian, whose input was tremendously helpful when I stepped back and asked ‘now what?’ and who ended up giving me some very much appreciated perspective on the theme.

There’s a place that burst into existence on an afternoon otherwise unremarkable to most of the universe, bright and hot and full of life. It’s hard to find; you can’t get there by ship or by gate, it can’t be plotted on a map. There are no borders to speak of, and most people will never know it’s there. The only way to find it is if someone guides you.

...

A million years into the sky

1. The end of all our exploring

There are many planes of existence, stretching out to infinity together in a beautifully disorganized mess of parallels and overlaps and fuzzy edges. Some like to rank them, to attribute value where none inherently exists, but the universe will not be ordered, and she ripples out regardless, every variation exactly, perfectly, the way it is meant to be.

--

The doctors offer theories, come to briefings with folders full of charts and test results, neatly typed pieces of paper that assure everyone that nothing is wrong, for days. Finally, finally they admit they have no explanation because there is no explanation, that there is nothing they can find to indicate Daniel is in anything but perfect health, excepting allergies and the fact that he hasn’t opened his eyes in weeks.

Sam discovers that she can’t work in her lab anymore, that it’s suddenly too quiet, and so unless potentially hazardous materials dictate otherwise, she packs up what she needs for any given project and takes it with her to the VIP suite cum isolation room where Daniel sleeps, mindless of the machines that record every unconscious twitch. She works much better there, Sam finds, with her tools spread out across the wooden table and her laptop perched on the top tier of a low bookshelf, and the soft beeping of Daniel’s heartbeat in the background lulling her breath into a slow, steady rhythm.

It’s just over a month to the day that she walks in at 0900 to find General O’Neill in jeans and an old sweatshirt, sprawled on the couch Cam and Teal’c brought in two weeks before and flipping carelessly through a magazine.

“Morning, Carter,” he says, without looking up.

She hesitates, flicks her eyes from him to Daniel’s still form and back, and then resumes her course to the table, starts unloading her materials for the day. “Morning, sir.”

“Not anymore,” he answers.

“Sir?”

He hesitates, then closes the magazine with care and sets it aside, looks at her. “Listen, Sam,” he says, and then she gets it. “I think it’s time you called me Jack.”

Sam swallows against the block in her throat, the burning behind her eyes. “Me too,” she says, and pulls out a chair, and goes to work.

--

Jack doesn’t come every day, but he comes often, and Sam never does figure out if there’s a pattern to his appearances. He turns up some mornings and stays for a week, then vanishes to God-knows-where until the next time she walks in and he’s there. He’s always there first on those mornings, and always outlasts her at night, and finds an unexpected kindred spirit in Vala, who takes quite a shine to Bart Simpson. They watch the show constantly, loudly, and hassle Sam when she’s working on the fiddly bits of whatever project has her attention, and rope Cam and Teal’c into toothpick-ante poker games, and are generally so annoying, so much more intolerable together than either could ever have been individually, that there are moments where everything feels normal. She thanks them the only way she can manage: by sneaking beer in with her supplies and then taking it away again before they start to get maudlin.

But in the early mornings and the late evenings, when the room stills and Sam is left with the steady beep, the quiet sound of pages turning, then Jack seems just a little off center, distracted, a little less the man she expects. It doesn't really bother her, she doesn't give it much thought at first, they’re all feeling the absence...except the longer it goes on, the more she starts to notice it, starts to wonder. And it reminds her of the year Daniel was gone, the way Jack had so infrequently seemed himself then, and of all the time since his last promotion, how Daniel has changed. And she realizes, slowly, that she has very few memories of either man that the other doesn't feature in, in spirit if not in body. And she wonders if they had already forgotten how to function without the other as a constant counterbalance by the time she had formed her images of them in her head, if she had ever really known one before the pervasive influence of the other took hold. And she finally decides, no, she didn't.

That's what breaks her, what makes everything intolerable, because now she's losing two of them. The next time she sees Jack she wraps her arms around him without warning, presses her face into his shoulder, and he holds her until she stops shaking. When she pulls away his shirt is damp.

“You okay?” he asks.

She brushes the wet patches with her fingers, watches the weave of his shirt absorb the first tears she’s cried for Daniel. “Sorry. I’m so sorry, Jack,” she says.

“It’s fine,” he says, he lies, but that’s okay, now.

--

They bury Daniel’s ashes on a crisp morning in mid-October, in a plot at the edge of a quiet cemetery near Glen Oaks Park, where they can let the grass and wildflowers grow up naturally without feeling guilty about anything creeping out into someone else’s space. Jack is quiet at the funeral and the internment, eyes off in the middle distance for most of the day, not really paying attention. There was a time when Sam would have found that beyond comprehension, when she would have felt a familiar white-hot stab of grief and outrage. But without the layers of Colonel and General and the SGC and the fate of the world between them, with ten years of learning behind her, Sam is finally starting to get Jack. She stands next to him in the pale sunlight and slips her hand into his, and they watch Teal’c drop the first handful of dirt into the hole.

--

A few weeks later they meet for coffee, and Jack looks good. Sam tells him all kinds of classified things she isn’t supposed to now that he’s a civilian, speaking in the shorthand they all perfected years ago, just in case anyone happens to be listening in.

They don’t talk about Daniel for almost an hour, and then she sudden blurts, “Do you blame him?”

Jack is slow to reply, rearranges sugar packets into patterns on the table for a long time: white yellow white blue white pink white. “He did what he had to,” he says, finally, quietly, evenly. “The Ori weren’t going to go away and he…had a chance and he took it. The rest of it wasn’t his fault.”

“The rest?” She puts her cup down, puts her hands in her lap before the trembles become so violent that she sloshes coffee all over her sleeves.

“Dying. Not his fault. This time.” Jack looks up and shrugs, offers a sad, faint, crooked smile. “You can’t be two places at once. Not even Daniel.”

--

The official file says that Daniel collapsed during the final battle against the massed forces of the Ori’s armies and never got up again. The report on the battle is twenty-seven pages long, mostly speculation on what could account for the wildly improbable twists of fortune that allowed them to walk away from the fight not only alive, but secure in the knowledge that the Ori threat had passed; that one brief mention of Daniel on page eight is the last time his name appears. Teal’c and Vala had locked themselves away the night before the report had been submitted and meticulously edited out any further reference to him. Later, Sam was grateful for it, although she couldn’t understand at the time.

They always did have the most foresight. When the program goes public a few years later and the press picks it apart, goes over their histories with sharp eyes and sharper tongues, there is nothing remarkable about the death of Daniel Jackson, nothing to catch anyone’s eye. He is remembered to history for his life, for better or worse, and that’s all any of them had hoped for.

--

There’s a place that burst into existence on an afternoon otherwise unremarkable to most of the universe, bright and hot and full of life. It’s hard to find; you can’t get there by ship or by gate, it can’t be plotted on a map. There are no borders to speak of, and most people will never know it’s there. The only way to find it is if someone guides you. Luckily, the locals are friendly, and they never forget a Good Son.

--

Sam realizes after about a year that she’s expecting the call, has been expecting it for a while. When it finally comes, another two years later, directly to her private line, she isn’t surprised.

Heart failure, they say. Peaceful. In his sleep. But Jack hadn’t even been 60, and his heart had always been fine. She doesn’t have to talk to Teal’c about it to know she’s not alone in her opinion. He finds her that night, and they go out for pizza and beer, and toast to Jack, and hope he’s happy.

She’s pretty sure he is.

--

A certain theory states that even the tiniest of changes in the makeup of the universe would have utterly precluded even the possibility of sustained life. It’s one of Sam’s favorites, one of the only scientific theories she has no urge to pick apart, one that she’ll accept on faith alone.

She likes to think the universe takes care of her own, the only way she knows how.


2. To arrive where we started

Vala Mal Doran is not likely to stay in one place overlong; it is not in her nature. When she parts company with the Tau’ri it is well after Teal’c would have expected, but perhaps their belief that Daniel Jackson remained her only tether to the SGC had stopped being entirely accurate long before they had reason to suspect such.

She leaves them gifts before she goes, trinkets passed on over the course of several days. A small child’s puzzle acquired off-world slipped into Cameron Mitchell’s back pocket, accompanied by more groping than was perhaps entirely appropriate in the briefing room; a necklace left in Colonel Carter’s locker, a blue stone on a chain that appeared silver, made of materials that they are never able to identify. Teal’c she hands a folded piece of paper without pretense, just as the wormhole forms.

“For later, Muscles,” she tells him, and minutes later the gateroom is silent and Vala is thousands of light years away.

He keeps the paper in his pocket for the rest of the day, feels its presence against his thigh as he goes about his tasks. That night, after his candles are lit, he retrieves it, unfolds it.

It bears a gate address, and a hastily scribbled note. I hear winter on Chulak is dreadful – V.

--

She is no less beautiful, no less irrepressible, when he sees her five years later in a field of orange blossoms, on the world that has remained their private neutral ground. She flings her arms around him and presses a wet kiss to his cheek, and Teal’c is once again glad to have decided against introducing her to Ishta.

He tells her of Samantha and Cameron’s noisy, boisterous son, and of their infant daughter, whom he has only had the pleasure of meeting once, at the child’s baptism, and of Teal’c’s first grandchild, also a girl, already beginning to take her first cautious, trembling steps. She tells him which of the rumors of her activities that have reached his ears are true (most are, as is usually the case) and sometimes includes the stories behind them. They part a few days later, as they always do, and agree that in another year by Chulak time, they will meet again.

She does not return the following winter, nor the winter after. Teal’c never discovers what has become of her, nor does he ever stop trying to. He can only hope that whatever it was, she found pleasure in it. She found pleasure in the strangest places. It was one of his favorite things about her.

--

Rya’c names his first daughter Drey’auc for his mother, and his second Han’ti, for Kar’yn’s. When the third girl is born, he turns to Teal’c, grants him the honor of choosing a name for the solemn, tiny, precious soul Teal’c cradles close through the still, silent autumn nights of her first months.

As Rya’c and Kar’yn present their Sha’re to the skies at her Naming, Teal’c feels the last of his burdens loosen and lift to the heavens with her, twisting up to the skies as would a feather.

--

The universe subjects them all to her whims, presses her weight upon her children without hesitation. Teal’c once thought that she was capable of nothing else. The Tau’ri show him that she is capable also of incredible grace, that they are all capable, and for that he is grateful.

--

Bethany rides his back down the long corridor. At just ten, she is nearing the age where such activities will no longer be appropriate, nor particularly wanted on her part, but for now she still runs to Teal’c when she sees him and throws her small arms around his neck, and the sun glints off her golden hair and brightens eyes the color of the sky. And so he indulges her while he can.

Jacob’s body still speaks of boyhood, with his soft jaw and spindly limbs, but there is a gravity about him now, something pensive and somber, and looking at him, Teal’c knows the look of fourteen years is deceptive. He is not yet a man, but the day is fast approaching. Teal’c watches his father rests his hand on his boy’s shoulder, cups it around the nape of his neck, and knows that Cameron sees it as well.

“And Daddy taped my last softball game and I got to pitch a whole inning for that one and we can watch it, tonight, if you want.”

“Beth, he just got in, Teal’c might be tired. Maybe tomorrow morning.”

“I would like that very much,” he says, and feels her smile against his shoulder. Cameron looks sideways at him, and Teal’c presses on, undaunted. “In her last letter, your mother informed me that you were a ‘ringer.’”

“Struck somebody out and everything,” Bethany confirms.

Jacob huffs a low noise, perhaps a laugh, and mutters, “Nailed somebody in the leg, too.”

“Hey she moved –”

“Okay,” Cameron warns, and pushes open the door.

Teal’c does not know what to expect. Cameron’s letter had been terse, urgent, and so Teal’c has prepared himself for all possibilities he can conceive. He does not expect this: Samantha, propped up with a mound of pillows, a pencil in her mouth and a yellow pad on the bed beside her, narrowing her eyes at a thick folded-over magazine, the way he had seen her do so many times in days past, at so many files and reports. She looks up as they come in, and the hollows of her face vanish behind a brilliant smile.

“Teal’c!” she says, as Teal’c himself says, “It is good to see you, Samantha,” and Bethany says, “Mommy, he’s gonna watch my game!”

“Great!” says Samantha, as Teal’c gently lowers the girl to the ground. Bethany darts around him and leaps onto the foot of the bed, crawls up over her mother’s legs to sit beside her with a deft avoidance of the wires that speaks of practice. “But don’t keep him up too late watching, okay? He’s had a long trip.”

“It was, in fact, remarkably short,” Teal’c says, a bit wickedly, and Samantha gives him an admonishing glance that does little to hide her amusement.

Cameron pulls a few dollars from his wallet and hands them to Jacob. “Bring Beth down to the lounge for a little while, okay? And no candy.”

Jacob nods, pockets the money and looks expectantly to his sister. “C’mon, we’ll try the puzzle again.”

“It’s got a thousand pieces,” Bethany announces as she climbs down from the bed, starts for the door. Jacob catches her hand as she scrambles past, holds it. Samantha watches them round the corner and they listen as Bethany’s soft soprano fades down the hall.

“You didn’t have to come,” she says, with a sharp look to her husband.

Cameron is already looking out the window, hands in his pockets. “Yeah, he did, Sam.”

Her face twists and she smoothes it over almost instantly, shakes her head and shrugs. “It was inevitable, I guess. I mean – I’m almost surprised it didn’t start sooner, considering all the things we brought back to the lab over the years –” There is a sharp, muted sound from Cameron, some aborted protest, and the line of his back tenses. Samantha stills and looks down, carefully slides her reading glasses from her face and folds them, sets them on the small bedside table. “Cam, can we have a few minutes?”

“Yeah,” he says. Cameron crosses to the bed, presses a kiss to her hair, and wordlessly follows the path of their children, head bowed.

They sit in silence for a time, and finally Samantha draws in a slow breath and says, “I need to remember to call McKay about this paper, he’s making some unbelievable assumptions, I never thought he'd –”

“You should have told me,” Teal’c tells her.

She turns her head away, blinks into the slanting late afternoon light. “I had hoped…they thought they got it all, last time. I had hoped that when you came this summer everything would be okay, I guess. And you must be so busy on Chulak, with Rya’c and the girls…”

“There is nowhere else I need to be,” Teal’c says, gently. She presses her lips together, closes her eyes. “Jacob has grown very tall.”

“Yeah, he has, hasn’t he?” Samantha smiles mistily, looking to a photo on the nightstand, her son, her daughter, sunburned and covered in sand and seawater. “And he’s so smart, he was accepted in the honors track this year, and Beth is…” Teal’c takes her hand as her face crumbles, runs his thumb along the pale, thinning skin there. “They’re so young, Teal’c, I can’t –“

“They will be fine,” he says. “They are warriors.”

And she laughs, squeezes his hand and holds it tight. “God, I hope not.”

Teal’c squeezes back, and reaches with his free hand to smooth hair from her brow, tuck it behind her ear. “Tell me of this paper.”

Samantha swipes at her eyes, clears her throat. “Well, I knew he was working on it, of course, but I never thought he’d publish so soon, which was stupid, because it’s McKay, and he’s the same self-assured, arrogant little…”

--

Cassandra is breathtaking at the funeral, gracious and poised, stunningly beautiful. She watches the family silently, knows exactly when to step in, when Cameron needs to retreat and catch his breath, to scoop up his daughter and walk her away from the crowds before she dissolves again; she stands with Jacob as they lower the casket, arms tight around him. In all the years he has known her, Teal’c has never, never been more proud.

He leaves with a pledge to return, and he does, for a week, every month, without fail, until he is satisfied he did not make a promise he could not keep, that they are fine indeed.

--

The news arrives via a young Major, wide eyed and more than a little intimidated by the solemnity of the respect his uniform grants him among the Jaffa who escort him from the Stargate.

Jacob’s letter is long, made longer still by the interjections from his sister in purple ink and curled, frenetic script. Of their father’s death, they write relatively little. There was not much pain, they assure him, and so Teal’c is otherwise unconcerned with the details.

They write, instead, of Jacob’s postgraduate studies, of the medical school he has chosen to attend, and of Bethany’s recent road trip to Kansas, taken between her freshman and sophomore years of college. They include with the letter a large box, packed full of items they or their parents have set aside for Teal’c.

He waits until he can be alone to open it, and when he does, he lifts each item out with reverence, stops to consider it. There are photographs – Samantha and Cameron on their wedding day, their honeymoon; Samantha, heavily pregnant with Jacob, Cameron bathing an infant Bethany; Jacob on a bicycle, in a suit beside a pretty young woman with dark hair; Bethany among a group of small girls in matching baseball uniforms, at her high school graduation. Cassandra with her family, her four sons. Two women that Samantha’s faded print identifies as ‘Tessa and Kayla, March 2018.’ A startlingly young Jack O’Neill in full field uniform. Daniel Jackson turned half away from the camera, tracing the inscriptions on the wall of a temple on some distant world.

He finds a worn, faded green baseball cap, a hand-carved wooden bowl, a silver necklace with a blue stone. Countless treasures he could never have asked for, ones that he places individually about his home with care and grave consideration.

That night he walks to the forests beyond the city, builds a fire in a small clearing he has visited on only a handful of occasions before, and recites the funerary prayers to himself, one last time.

--

Teal’c passes the days quietly, now. Sha’re has grown to become a beautiful woman, a proud, fierce warrior as befits her namesake, and Drey’auc has children of her own, small ones who crawl beneath Teal’c's chair and cackle with glee as he throws them overhead, catches them and swings them low despite the protestations of muscle and bone that wish to rest before he is ready to give his consent.

He sleeps each night to faces and voices long since passed from places where he can reach them whilst awake, and wakes each morning to Kar’yn pushing aside the window coverings and humming to herself. Sometimes he wakes still feeling a distant sun upon his face, still smelling the sweet air of a far off place, and he carries that with him for as long as he is able.

And then one morning Teal’c wakes and it is not Kar’yn welcoming him to the day, but Daniel Jackson, sitting beside the bed as if it were the most natural place for him to be. He smiles and squeezes Teal’c’s forearm, and his flesh is solid and calloused and warm, and Teal’c realizes that he has not woken at all.

“Shal’kek nem’ron,” he says.

Daniel shakes his head and corrects him. “You lived free, Teal’c.”

--

The geography, like so many things about this place, would make very little sense to a rational mind. But rationality is irrelevant in this shifting land, where arid deserts fade seamlessly into the coniferous forests of the American mid-west, and those who choose to be children run laughing and learn baseball for the first time, and large orange blossoms bloom in oases that appear and vanish, seemingly arbitrarily, among the sands.

It’s quiet; the universe lets the inhabitants be, gives them her blessing and leaves them in peace.

And the future here, if it is to be imagined…imagine a cabin in the trees, except when it’s a tent in the sand or a pretty yellow house with a driveway covered in brightly colored chalk art, and a clear blue lake overflowing with fish, and laughter rolling out over the dunes and the hills, twisting up into the sky as would a feather, up into the hot Abydos sun, forever.

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
Through the unknown, unremembered gate
When the last of earth left to discover
Is that which was the beginning;
At the source of the longest river
The voice of the hidden waterfall
And the children in the apple-tree
Not known, because not looked for
But heard, half-heard, in the stillness
Between two waves of the sea.

T.S. Elliot – “Little Gidding”

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Comments

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dunv_i
Mar. 17th, 2007 10:08 pm (UTC)
That was really beautiful. Sad. Not angsty, just true, and I think I really, really like it because of that.

Dunvi

*wishes she had appropriate user pic*
niamaea
Mar. 18th, 2007 03:41 am (UTC)
Oh. 'True,' is actually such, such a compliment for me, so I'm so flattered that's the word you chose. So, really, thank you.
starglyph
Mar. 18th, 2007 03:07 am (UTC)
And she wonders if they had already forgotten how to function without the other as a constant counterbalance by the time she had formed her images of them in her head, if she had ever really known one before the pervasive influence of the other took hold. And she finally decides, no, she didn't.

Wonderful, and eloquently done. Wow.

This is all so lovely and sad, and so very lyrical. The characters come across true and heartbreakingly sincere. Oh, Jack.

Just beautiful, Nia.

*sniff*
niamaea
Mar. 18th, 2007 03:45 am (UTC)
Aww, and you read gen for me! (And the icon!)

I'm really glad you liked it -- there were a lot of elements here that were kind of risky/unusual for me, and I was really nervous...I'm so glad it worked for you!

Thank you so much for reading :)
(no subject) - starglyph - Mar. 18th, 2007 04:07 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - niamaea - Mar. 18th, 2007 05:04 am (UTC) - Expand
l_jade
Mar. 18th, 2007 07:39 am (UTC)
Awww, this is beautiful & made me sniffling a bit.
I really hope Teal'c will see not just Daniel but the others too.
niamaea
Mar. 18th, 2007 06:20 pm (UTC)
I really hope Teal'c will see not just Daniel but the others too.

Absolutely.

Thank you for reading :)
sg_fignewton
Mar. 18th, 2007 01:44 pm (UTC)
You know how much I loved this!

there is nothing remarkable about the death of Daniel Jackson, nothing to catch anyone’s eye. He is remembered to history for his life, for better or worse, and that’s all any of them had hoped for.

“Shal’kek nem’ron,” he says.

Daniel shakes his head and corrects him. “You lived free, Teal’c.”


Most fitting epitaphs, ever.

I love the natural progression here. People do die, after all. I wouldn't wish immortality on anybody. And Daniel died doing what he wanted to, and the others followed, going... well, gently into that good night. In the right way.

And Teal'c! Teal'c was awesomely wonderful. I was tearing at his granddaughter's name. Everything about Teal'c was utterly perfect.

I would have liked some kind of confirmation that Daniel found Sha're in that... place, but still. Achingly lovely, and how satisfying that there's a universe out there that takes care of her own.

niamaea
Mar. 18th, 2007 07:05 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for your help with this. :)

I'm especially glad Teal'c worked...he's a funny gun to pin down sometimes, so..

And it's funny you mention Daniel and Sha're, actually, because I had been trying, at one point, to find somewhere to mention her, and it never quite fit. (For what it's worth, though, I can't imagine anyone on Abydos forgetting a daughter, either.)
secondalto
Mar. 18th, 2007 09:31 pm (UTC)
Oh that was absolutely beautiful. Made me cry, really cry. *sniffs*
niamaea
Mar. 20th, 2007 04:17 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry for making you cry! Thank you for reading, though.
6beforelunch
Mar. 18th, 2007 11:51 pm (UTC)
You made me cry!

Um, that's a good thing, by the way. ;)

This is really nice and bitter sweet. Amazing use of language. Very lyrical.

“Shal’kek nem’ron,” he says.

Daniel shakes his head and corrects him. “You lived free, Teal’c.”


Oh, that's such a perfect line. Thank you for posting this. :)
niamaea
Mar. 20th, 2007 04:20 pm (UTC)
Thank you for reading! I'm really glad you liked it (although I'm sorry if I made you cry!) :)
50mm
Mar. 19th, 2007 02:01 am (UTC)
hello! came across this via friendsfriends yesterday, and I enjoyed it very much (actually I got rather teary-eyed :D). I like how you followed all the characters into the future (even Cassie!), and ending with Teal'c. It has a quiet melancholy tone which seems fitting for the story you are telling.
niamaea
Mar. 20th, 2007 04:22 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! I'm very glad to hear that it worked for you. And thanks for coming by!
green_grrl
Mar. 21st, 2007 07:11 pm (UTC)
I am crying my eyes out, but in the good way, you know? Thanks... just, thanks.
niamaea
Mar. 21st, 2007 08:00 pm (UTC)
Aww...I didn't mean to make anybody cry! But I'm glad it's at least good crying. Meep!

Thank you for coming and reading.
synecdochic
Mar. 22nd, 2007 01:04 am (UTC)
Oh, so quiet and lovely and understated and true. The connections are written so large in every word -- the bonds, the love. It's quietly sad and uplifting at the same time.

There’s a place that burst into existence on an afternoon otherwise unremarkable to most of the universe, bright and hot and full of life. It’s hard to find; you can’t get there by ship or by gate, it can’t be plotted on a map. There are no borders to speak of, and most people will never know it’s there. The only way to find it is if someone guides you. Luckily, the locals are friendly, and they never forget a Good Son.

Yes. Just -- like that.

"Little Gidding" is a perfect connection: so clear, so true.

Thank you for this; it's beautiful.
niamaea
Mar. 22nd, 2007 10:35 pm (UTC)
Wow. I'm thrilled you liked it. I tend to be (more than) a little comment shy, but I've read and loved quite a lot at your journal, and spent quite a lot of time on the writing meta, so. Thank you.

And for what's it worth, I wrote this, and was sitting on it for a while -- and then read 'Nesting' and loved it to so much that it immediately became part of my mental canon for this universe. It didn't change the story, but it did round Sam and Cam off in my head. So, thank you again.
fanofall
Mar. 22nd, 2007 04:50 am (UTC)
So wonderful. It's just perfect -- the best ending for them.
niamaea
Mar. 22nd, 2007 10:36 pm (UTC)
Oh, thank you so much! :)
(Deleted comment)
niamaea
Mar. 22nd, 2007 10:46 pm (UTC)
Even though I knew where I wanted the story to go when I started writing, I still think that if I hadn't written the scene at the end with Daniel and Teal'c first, I might not have finished it, or might not have followed through on the concept.

Thank you, really, for reading through. I hope it wasn't all sadness at the end. :)
(Anonymous)
Mar. 23rd, 2007 12:21 am (UTC)
OH MY!!!! That was just so beautiful. I have tear running down my face. I had to pause for a moment when you wrote they buried Daniel's ashes. I love how you included Sam and Cam.

I never thought about it much but Tealc will probably outlive all of SG1. I thought the ending was perfect. "You lived FREE."

Thanks for sharing this with us. . : )
_minxy_
Mar. 25th, 2007 05:36 am (UTC)
This is quietly lovely. I'm still thinking about the transition from Sam to Teal'c in POV, but I'm loving the gentle love and inevitability about this. It's got a sweet beauty, and I love well-written Teal'c; he is wonderful here.

Thank you, this is a lovely read.
niamaea
Mar. 25th, 2007 02:40 pm (UTC)
Thank you.

(I'd be very interested to hear your thoughts on the POV switch sometime, if you have them; I'm always on the lookout for what doesn't work for people, so.)
pellucid
Mar. 25th, 2007 09:56 pm (UTC)
This is so beautiful, so heartbreaking but in the most satisfying of ways, if that makes sense. I managed not to cry in the early part but started sniffling when Vala didn't return, and continued for the rest of the fic. I'm on a bit of a Teal'c kick at the moment, and you do so very well with him here. And you've used what's probably my favorite snatch of poetry ever as your epigraph (can it be an epigraph if it's at the end?).
niamaea
Mar. 26th, 2007 10:11 pm (UTC)
That bit from 'Little Gidding' is one of my favorite bits of poetry too -- so lovely.

I'm really thrilled to hear you liked the fic -- and especially Teal'c. He's a bit difficult to write in general, I think, and in the context of the story has a very unique perspective, so I'm very glad to know that he seemed right to you. Thank you :)
little_giddy
Mar. 26th, 2007 04:42 pm (UTC)
I loved it all but particularly how you dealt with Vala and Daniel. For all of their over the topness and Daniel's rants, the characters are essentially heroes who aren't fussy about being held that way, and that is exactly how they went here. They'd want to be little notes like that, Daniel in particular would want to be a footnote in history rather than a volume of it.

Loved it.
niamaea
Mar. 26th, 2007 10:14 pm (UTC)
the characters are essentially heroes who aren't fussy about being held that way

Oh, I like that. For the whole team, in fact, I think it's a very fitting observation. :)

Thank you for reading, and for the feedback. I'm glad you liked it!
sidlj
Mar. 27th, 2007 12:51 am (UTC)
Oh, so beautiful, and not really sad. Or maybe sad, but not sorrowful says it better. I sensed they would all be together ultimately - reunited and healthy and happy.

But there were definitely painful moments, and Daniel's funeral set the tone for everything that followed. One by one by one...

You did all the characters just wonderfully, including the various offspring. Really an excellent piece of writing and storytelling. :-)
niamaea
Mar. 27th, 2007 01:41 am (UTC)
Typey mood + lovely feedback = cue authorly ramble! In advance, thank you so much for reading! And now the babbling, which you may skip/not skip as you please. :)

'Not sorrowful' set me at ease, because writing this...I knew it should be sad, and that if there wasn't an element of sadness to it then I was doing a really horrible job with what I was trying to do with the team, but on the other hand, I never wanted the story to be depressing. Even knowing that they'd would all be together and happy at the end, there were still moments where I started to back off of the idea and change the story a little (I ended up taking most of it back out again, although I'm glad I left Sam/Cam -- not originally together -- in.) And certain sections (or even paragraphs) were really emotionally hard to write knowing full well everything would turn out okay, so... yeah. I'm very happy to hear that it struck you as sad but not necessarily distressingly so.

Also thrilled to see: including the various offspring, because -- *huge sigh of relief* I worried. A lot. I'm personally very very wary about kid!fic just as a reader, let alone trying to do it myself, and I almost didn't go there. For several mostly-obvious reasons, Jacob and Beth were a bigger concern than Rya'c's kids, but I couldn't see Sam, and really couldn't see Cam, not wanting that life for themselves if given the opportunity. Knowing at least one person didn't hate the inclusion makes me feel much better, so -- whew.

Anyway! Thank you again.
eve11
Mar. 28th, 2007 01:51 pm (UTC)
Oh, now I'm crying at work.

This was heartbreaking-- the mundane mixed with the fantastic, the slow fade of lives from world-saving to world-living. And with living inevitably comes dying, but at the same time it makes you wonder-- if Sam and Cam had to pick the things that defined their lives, they would pick family, Daniel would pick sacrifice, Jack would pick Daniel, and Teal'c who has so so many years, would be able to both live and die free.
niamaea
Mar. 30th, 2007 06:21 pm (UTC)
Oh, wow, how beautifully phrased! I can't say yes enough to your observation of shifting from saving the world to living in it -- that's a theme that I love and I've played with a bit before, but it was especially relevant here, so I'm glad it showed through. And the characters defining themselves and their lives...yeah.

Thank you for reading, and for such wonderful feedback!
kazbaby
Mar. 29th, 2007 05:36 am (UTC)
*wipes away tears* Beautifully told.
niamaea
Mar. 30th, 2007 06:21 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
cofax7
Apr. 5th, 2007 04:46 am (UTC)
Oh, I want to cry. That was lovely. I think what got me most was Teal'c naming his granddaughter Sha're.

Really beautiful, and so fitting.

niamaea
Apr. 15th, 2007 06:07 pm (UTC)
This is so late (sorry!), but thank you so much for reading and for the feedback. :)
whisper99
Apr. 7th, 2007 05:34 pm (UTC)
That was beautiful! Sad, but good and still, very beautiful!
niamaea
Apr. 15th, 2007 09:23 pm (UTC)
Thank you for reading!

(And I'm sorry for this being so late. Been a leetle bit crazy.)
sg_fignewton
Apr. 23rd, 2007 05:08 pm (UTC)
I knew I was going to rec this one! Such a lovely, lovely story. :)
niamaea
May. 2nd, 2007 10:42 pm (UTC)
I've been away from the LJ for a while, and which is why this is so late, but -- thank you! I'm thrilled to be recced (and so flattered by what you wrote! Mmm, warm fuzzies.)
(no subject) - seanchaidh - May. 3rd, 2007 01:48 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sg_fignewton - May. 3rd, 2007 04:35 am (UTC) - Expand
thady
Apr. 23rd, 2007 05:22 pm (UTC)
Here from above mentioned rec.

This is beatiful and sad. I love this story. Very well done.
niamaea
May. 2nd, 2007 10:43 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much, I'm thrilled that you liked it! :)
beanpot
Apr. 23rd, 2007 05:35 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure how I missed this one the first time around, but I smiled while weepy. Perfection. I especially liked how the program was public, but it didn't ruin or run their lives. They still managed to be good people. And the subtle injection of Cassie and Hammond's granddaugthers flesh it out so nicely.



niamaea
May. 2nd, 2007 10:59 pm (UTC)
Oh, thank you! I'm very glad to hear that you smiled, reading it, and that you liked it. :)
redbyrd_sgfic
Apr. 23rd, 2007 05:36 pm (UTC)
And I'm here via sg_fignewton's rec. A beautiful story.

And I don't (always) hate ship, but this was probably the first relationship for Sam that I could actually really believe fit with canon. Because how could she ever really relate to someone who didn't understand what her life had been? And yet-none of them can rest until the galaxy is safe.

And I love it that you didn't leave any of the next generation out.. even Tessa and Kayla get a mention. And I can so see Teal'c as the patriarch of a family.

Lovely.
niamaea
May. 3rd, 2007 01:14 am (UTC)
Oh, wow, what lovely feedback, thank you. I can't really picture Sam (or really, any of them) with someone outside of the SGC, long term...there's just too much you could never explain, and a whole part of yourself you could never share.

Anyway, thank you!
seanchaidh
Apr. 23rd, 2007 06:21 pm (UTC)
Wow. Very, very nice.
niamaea
May. 3rd, 2007 01:14 am (UTC)
Thank you! :)
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