Author: ocean gazer: email@example.com
Date: 22 May 2003
Category: vignette, angst
Rating: PG13 for melancholy content
Pairing: implied Sam/Janet
Season: 2, set between Secrets and The Tok�ra (with
spoilers for both)
Summary: Sam�s thoughts after learning her dad has
Archive: Pink Rabbit. Singularity, Area52 (if it�s
worth bothering with)
Disclaimer: I don�t own them. Other people do. Any
Additional disclaimer: I realize I don�t have Sam�s
voice exactly right here, since she�s a hard character to get
inside. My apologies if my effort completely sucks.
Notes: Even though they�ll never read this, it�s
dedicated to my family.
When I was a little girl, I thought my dad was Superman. Not in the
literal sense, of course. Even at an early age, I was well aware of the
difference between fantasy and reality. But to me, Dad was always larger
than life. Invincible. A hero.
He�d put on his uniform and pick up his gun and head out for months
at a time. Off fighting the bad guys is what he always told me. I missed
him when he was gone, but I knew what he did was important. It kept
people safe. It kept me safe. He always warned us that he might not come
back someday, but I never believed him. Odd � I was the child who
wanted proof of everything, and yet I took it on faith that my father
was indestructible, that there was nothing that could hurt him.
He always came home in one piece. And then he�d be busy around the
house � fixing the little things that invariably broke while he was
away, then getting bored and deciding to remodel something. Or he�d
spend hours working on the neighbors� car � or fixing Mark�s bike
� or some other project that kept his hands busy. There was nothing he
couldn�t do. It seemed like he could fix anything, like he could find
a solution to any problem. There were days when I�d follow him around
like a shadow, traipsing along beside him in my overalls and tool belt.
Mom made them to look just like a miniature version of Dad�s work
clothes. He never seemed all that happy to have a tagalong and he never
said much to me. But he�d ask me to hand him his tools and he�d let
me watch what he was doing. I loved just being there with him. I wanted
to grow up and be like him � to be the person who can figure out how
to do anything. I wanted him to be proud of me. I spent my whole life
trying to please my very own superhero � my dad � and never once
have I come close to feeling like my best was enough for him.
Even now, in my thirties and leading my own life, it still hurts to
know he�s disappointed in me. If only I could tell him that I am
following my dream, that I�m traveling through the stars. But the
Stargate program is so classified that even he can�t know what I�m
doing. I can�t tell him why I don�t want to go to NASA. I�m not
even sure he�d accept it if I could explain it to him � because he
always wants more from me. Always wants me to do what he thinks is best
for me. It doesn�t matter that I never asked him to pull any strings
for me. It doesn�t matter that I�ve told him before that I�m happy
in my life. All he can see is what he wants me to be. And once he�s
set his mind on something, he�ll never let it go. He�s going to go
to his deathbed feeling like his daughter has failed him yet again. Just
like I always have.
There�s a part of me that wishes I didn�t care so much what he
thinks. It�s not like he�s been around a lot in the years since Mom
died and he and Mark became estranged. He pretty much left me to my own
devices. And it�s not like we�ve ever been close emotionally. He�s
too stoic and demanding. And I�m too stubborn and lost in my own head.
Mom used to bridge that gap for us, used to help us show our feelings a
little more easily. But when she died, our relationship died a little
bit too. Dad and I are too alike in the worst ways � the ways that
make it hard for us to really open up to each other. I should just let
go of it all and stop caring what he thinks of me. But I can�t, not
really. No matter how much I know my work is important, no matter how
happy I am with my life, I still want his approval. I want to � for
once � feel like he�s proud of his daughter. I�d give a whole lot
of things to hear my dad say � just one time � "I�m proud of
And now, I don�t think I�ll ever get that chance. After arguing
with me about NASA, he dropped a bomb on me and told me he has cancer.
Terminal cancer. I felt like I�d been hit in the chest with a shovel
when I heard the words. And I tried to talk to him, to fix what�s
wrong between us, but he pushed me away. It didn�t surprise me, not
really. It�s how he always deals with things. Hell, it�s how I
usually deal with things. But this is different. This is important. He�s
talking about dying like it�s already happened, and he won�t talk to
me about it or let me be with him. And while it didn�t surprise me, it
did hurt. A lot.
I want to be there for him, the way he was there for me when I was a
kid. But he won�t let me. I know he doesn�t want to be vulnerable
with anyone. I know he doesn�t want me to see him when he�s scared.
But I think he needs me; I�m all he�s got since he and Mark still
aren�t speaking. And even if he doesn�t need me, I need him. I want
to sit down and talk to him � tell him how much I love him and how
much I�ve always admired him. I need to tell him how I feel about him,
before it�s too late. But anytime I try, he walks out on me or hangs
up the phone.
I don�t want my dad to die, but there�s nothing I can do to stop
it. There�s nothing I can do to fix what�s wrong. And I especially
don�t want him to die alone. But he�s not going to let me be there.
I already know that. Even when he told me he had cancer, he was
desperately trying to hide just how sick he was. And I know, in the back
of my mind, that he hadn�t planned to tell me at all. I think the only
reason he did was because he was trying to guilt trip me into doing what
It about killed me to lose my mom. Even now, I still struggle with
bouts of sorrow. But the one thing that I have as consolation is that
with her, there was nothing left unsaid. She knew how much I loved her
and how much she meant to me. And she always made sure to tell me how
much she loved me and how proud she was of the things I did. I�m not
sure how I�ll cope with losing my dad. I don�t know how I�ll deal
with all the regrets of things left unsaid � how I�ll deal with
never knowing just what we meant to each other. How I�ll deal with the
guilt if he keeps pushing me away. How I�ll deal with having to watch
my once invincible father fading away a piece at a time. I still can�t
quite believe it�s happening. Not like this, with his body wasting
away inch by inch. He deserved to go down fighting � to be tough and
strong �til the end.
I know that somehow I�ll soldier on. Somehow, I�ll find a way to
work through the pain. I�ve done it before and I know I�ll do it
again. I�ve got Janet to lean on � and she always finds a way to
soothe my demons when they overwhelm me. And I�ve got my team and
General Hammond. They all understand loss and the persistence of pain.
And they all know how to just keep on going in spite of it all. It�ll
be hard, harder than I can even imagine. No matter how much death you
see, nothing prepares you for each new loss. But I do know I�ll find a
way through it. After all, my dad taught me about discipline and
I�m not someone who spends much time reliving the past. My focus
has always been on the future. But still, just for a moment, I wish I
could go back in time. Back to when I was little and the world was
simple. Back to when my dad was Superman and nothing could ever hurt
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