TITLE: Across The River - Kawalsky

AUTHOR: Tiv'ester

E-MAIL: tivester@lycos.com

STATUS: Complete


SPOILERS: Too many to count



CONTENT WARNINGS: A few bad words

SUMMARY: Reflections on the living by someone who isn't.

DISCLAIMER: I do not own Stargate SG-1.  Stargate SG-1 and its characters are the property of Showtime/Viacom, MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions, and Gekko Productions.  I have written this story for entertainment purposes only.  No money has exchanged hands.  No copyright infringement is intended.  This story may not be posted elsewhere without the consent of the author.

AUTHOR'S NOTES:  Thank you Lems for the great beta job on this little tale.


This is definitely NOT the way I had planned my life.

There I was, career military, a once-in-a-lifetime assignment, butting heads with the biggest and the baddest out there in the galaxy, and I end up with a snake in my head.  I'm telling you, life just isn't fair.

I fought it.  Man, I fought it.  That snake was just too strong.  I couldn't get the upper hand no matter what I did.  I knew exactly what I was doing when I told the Colonel that if I didn't come off that operating table human, then I didn't want to get up at all.  That thing had no right taking me over.

There was another reason.  It wasn't the main reason, but it was there running around my mind at the time.  I didn't tell the Colonel or Feretti this; damn it, they would've argued the point with me, but I let the docs operate on me to see if it could work for Jackson's wife.  I saw the look on his face in the Abydonian gate room when we got back from the map room.  It was a mix of terror, panic, pain and helplessness.  Both Sha'uri and Skaara were taken, so many dead, and he didn't know where to start or what to do.  I mean, this was his family we're talking about here.  I knew he was hurting.

When we got back from that first trip to Abydos, I did a little checking up on Doctor Daniel Jackson.  I read a lot of his articles and papers (didn't understand half of it), listened to some of his recorded lectures, even watched some old videos of him on a dig.  Now I know we gave him a hard time back on Abydos; boy, were we wrong.  The guy was a genius!  In some ways, he's even smarter than Carter.  I did a little more digging on him and his past, and all I can say is I still don't know how he got PhDs with the kind of childhood he had.  No family that wanted him, no real home, no one to care if he lived or died.  Then he goes to Abydos, gets a family, and we help set up the situation for Apophis to come in and rip them apart.

Oh, yeah, we owed Daniel big time.

How do I try to repay him?  I let the doctors cut open my neck to see if there's such a thing as snake removal.  If it worked on me, it would work on Sha'uri and Skaara.

It didn't work.

That little monster was still in my head, and Teal'c didn't have any choice but to kill me so he could kill it.

Come to think of it, I'd rather be dead than be a host.

Since I've been here, wherever here is, I've met a lot of people.  Some are waiting for someone, others like me are waiting their turn for....whatever it is we're waiting our turn for.  Apparently, there's even bureaucratic red tape here on the other side.  I met the Colonel's son, Charlie.  He's a great kid.  He's waiting to see his mom and dad.  I met a lot of people I've served with, even some of the members of the Abydonian militia.  We're waiting, but there's always stuff to keep us busy.

The dead don't just forget the living.  We get to take a look in on the live folks every now and then.  I wouldn't have guessed that those four on SG-1 would've become such close friends.  They're a tough bunch to beat, and the bad guys know it.

I'm really glad Daniel and the Colonel have become such good friends.  Given the way he was acting toward Jackson at first....well, Jack never really fooled me.  He may have a steel spike driven down his backbone and a hide as thick as a rhinoceros, but on the inside he's a marshmallow.  The hard-ass soldier routine could never work on someone as smart as Daniel, and Daniel's (what I know now is a patented defense mechanism) I'm-fine-why-worry-about-a-nobody-like-me attitude would never wash with someone as over-protective as the Colonel.

I just had no idea that the two of them would push that friendship of theirs past normal limits.

Jack attacking Daniel when they got sick in the Land of Light....

Daniel forcing Jack to leave him behind on Klorel's ship....

Then there was that whole sarcophagus deal.  Damn, I thought for sure that would have done them in, but I forgot who I was watching at the time.  There was Daniel, losing it, and there was Jack, trying to help him hold it together.  When they were in that storage room, Jack finally let those last defenses down.  He let Daniel in on the last few personal secrets he had.  Jack was the one who helped Daniel through that.  He never mentioned the gun again, never mentioned Daniel's sudden ability to throw people around a room (he just tossed Teal'c across the infirmary and Doctor Fraiser across the quarantine room), never mentioned anything Daniel said while under the influence.  Jack stayed with him day and night during the rest of the withdrawal and wouldn't let anyone say anything about it then or after.  The Colonel went to the mat for Daniel after that incident.  He let everyone know that no one knew what would happen with a sarcophagus, and Daniel's attempts to gain that Princess' trust by getting back into that Goa'uld gadget was nothing less than heroic.

At least, that's what he wrote in his report.  And he added that Daniel was full of surprises.  Some people were beginning to think that Jack had gone soft.  If only they knew the truth like I do.

As for Carter, the minute she and Daniel began babbling about planetary shifts, they clicked.  Oh, yeah, you could see the wheels in their heads turning.  No problem with those two being friends.  Good thing the two of them don't study the same kind of sciences or they'd be competing like crazy.

I knew from the beginning that the Colonel and Teal'c we're going to be good buddies.  I figured the Colonel and Carter would get along (eventually), but I had my doubts about Daniel and Teal'c.  I was in the debriefing room when we found out that Teal'c was the one who kidnapped Sha'uri and chose her to be a host.  Daniel just sat there for a moment, got real quiet, then he got up and left the room with the Colonel hot on his trail.  I don't know what was said between the two of them, but Daniel came back a little while later, took his seat and didn't look at Teal'c again during that meeting.  Didn't even talk to him.  I figured that was the way it was going to be from then on, but then Daniel went and forgave him!  Man, there's nothing that guy can't do.

But the Colonel really does look out for him.  And after Sha'uri...


I met her here not long ago.  I was really sorry Daniel couldn't rescue her.  That was the whole reason Daniel was at the SGC at first.  Every trip through the Stargate was a chance to find her or at least find a lead on where she was.  He was looking for Skaara, too, but Sha'uri was his reason for breathing.  Like Charlie, Sha'uri's waiting for someone, and I know good and well who that someone is.  She's going to stay by the river until Daniel shows up for good.  I mean, he's almost made it across a number of times already.

Now that's something else I've learned about since I've been here.  Everyone has their own idea of the afterlife.  I always pictured the afterlife as Heaven with clouds and angels with harps -- at least, that's how I saw the more pleasant version of the other side.  I'm glad I didn't end up in the not-so-pleasant version.  The Abydonians say that they are going Across The River.  I like that.  And wouldn't you know it?  There's a slow-flowing river nearby.  Sha'uri has set up camp right where the new arrivals cross.  She won't leave until Daniel gets here.

If you ask me, I think one of the reasons she stays there is because the river can do this one magic trick.  Sometimes, just sometimes, when you look into the water, you can see into a person's future, not just their present.  It's better than digital television -- well, let me just say that the picture's a whole lot clearer.  Everybody goes to the river a lot when they first get here.  I did, too.  After a while, I quit going as often.  I saw all that I wanted to see for a while.  Sha'uri still goes there and looks in the water every day to see what Daniel's doing.  Man, she misses him something awful.  She still feels like she betrayed him no matter how many times we've told her that she didn't do anything to be ashamed of.  Amaunet was the villain, not her.  All she cares about right now is making sure that Daniel stays alive and healthy.

I think the second reason she stays there is because she feels guilty.  She knows what's in store for Daniel and thinks maybe she's responsible for the way he feels.  They were happy until we showed up and busted up the party.  She knows just how much he loved her and how much he was willing to give up just to be with her.  Hell, he was willing to be a host just to stay wherever she was!  I know she would have done the same thing for him, but she's convinced that he's never going to be able to move past what they had together.  Since she can't be with him, at least she can keep an eye on him.  Everyday.

We both know what's gonna happen, and I still don't know how she does it.

I used to keep tabs on the folks at the SGC when I first got here.  Everyday.  Even got to see a little into their futures.  Hammond, Jack, Carter and Teal'c all have interesting futures.  Daniel does, too, but his future doesn't include another wife.  No family other than Kasuf and Skaara and that "eccentric" grandfather of his.  He's got the team so he won't be alone, but it's not the same.  He's always going to feel married to Sha'uri.  Now that's love for you.

That's not the way he planned his life either.  Of course, for a long time there, he never thought he'd ever have anyone to care about or to care about him.  Then he goes to Abydos and gets everything he ever dreamed of and more.

Listen to me.  Maybe I'm the one that's going soft.

I'm sitting here, waiting my turn for...whatever, Sha'uri is waiting for Daniel, Charlie is waiting for his folks....

Man, this is definitely NOT the way I had planned my life.

But, like the man said, life is what happens to you while you're out making other plans.




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