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rocketfic | the hero dies in this one

Title: The Hero Dies in This One by Rocketchick
Rating: 15+ Pairing: Sam/Janet
Notes: Missing scene from "Heroes."


I say a prayer for you tonight
Because nothing is impossible
The Hero Dies in This One, by The Ataris


She was crying so hard she couldn't even read her laptop screen.

Sam snuffled loudly and swiped at her nose with an ineffectual tissue. The words she had so far were pitiful, useless. She held down the delete key until the computer beeped in protest, then started over.

Janet Fraiser was...

Nothing. There was absolutely nothing she could say to adequately sum up her friend's life.

"This is too hard," she said aloud. She got up and started pacing laps around her office. "I can't do it."

"Sure you can," Janet's voice said. The doctor turned the corner and entered the lab, like she'd done so many times before. Only this time the gray walls bled through her image, reminding Sam in no uncertain terms that her friend existed only as a figment of her imagination.

"Someone else needs to do this," Sam insisted. She pointed feebly at her laptop, at the blinking cursor in her word processor. "I can't think of a single thing."

Janet smiled kindly. "Now that's not really true, is it? You're thinking of too many things."

The blonde's face crumpled in a sob. "God, I miss you so much."

The image of Janet gave her an sympathetic look, then turned toward the door of the lab just as Daniel stepped inside. "Hey, Sam," the archeologist murmured. He looked around, at the ceiling, back out the door, anything to avoid her eyes.

To avoid her.

They hadn't spoken since P3X-666. Since Janet died right in front of him. There was both too much and not enough to say.

He rocked on his feet in the face of her stony, angry silence, then peered at the blank screen of her laptop. "You're doing the eulogy?" he asked. "What are you planning to say?"

"You're the linguist," Sam said bitterly. "What would you say about her?"

If Daniel registered the sting in her words, he didn't show it. "Well, I guess I would say... she was... extraordinary," he answered, with a wistful smile. After a moment he ducked his head, then stole back out of the lab.

Sam sat heavily in front of her laptop again.

Janet Fraiser was an extraordinary person.

She sighed. It was a start.

"See, it's not so hard," the image of Janet said.

"Major Carter?"

Sam turned at the voice of Sergeant Davis. He was already in his dress uniform, and he looked as serious and somber as she could remember.

"Yes?"

He took a hesitant step forward. "I just... I heard you were speaking at the memorial today." The sergeant stammered.

Janet was peering at his nametag. "You know, I still don't know his first name."

"I was talking... with some of the other enlisted guys. We were all saying how much we were going to miss Doctor Fraiser." He fidgeted a bit. "I know you two were friends... She was always there, and she always smiled so much. It made going to the infirmary a lot easier."

Sam stared at him for a moment, then offered a small smile. "Yeah, you're right. Thanks, Sergeant."

She was kind...

"She was funny," came Jack O'Neill's voice from the door. "I don't think I ever told her that."

"I knew I was funny," was ghost-Janet's rather indignant response.

Sam chuckled despite herself.

"I actually enjoyed arguing with her, even though I never won," the colonel continued. He leaned against the doorframe and stared off into space for a moment. "And how she managed to wear those heels every day, I'll never know."

"It's a talent," Janet said dryly.

He smiled. "She was one hell of a woman. One hell of a soldier."

Tears threatened to overwhelm Sam again, and all she could do was nod.

... funny, and talented...

"It's not enough," she whispered.

Janet's voice tickled her ear. "It will be."

Sam sniffled again, and wiped her nose. Teal'c appeared in the doorway this time, nearly filling the entire opening with his broad shoulders.

"Hey Teal'c. General Hammond asked me to speak at the memorial service," she babbled needlessly. Of course he already knew that.

"I am aware."

She stared balefully at the meager sentence she'd written so far. "I don't know what to say. Nothing seems good enough."

"I believe you should only speak from your heart," the Jaffa said in his inimitably wise way.

Janet peeked around his massive arm and smiled up at Sam. She appeared to be growing even less distinct against her surroundings.

"I've got to go pick up Cassie," Sam said in a rush, suddenly sure that if she stayed where she was, Janet would blink out of existence completely. She grabbed her keys and made a break for the door, but Teal'c's large frame stood in her way.

"I have pondered what I would say if given the chance," he rumbled.

Sam nearly laughed. Apparently everyone had something to say about Janet but her. "Really?"

"They want it to come from you," Janet offered.

"But I believe it would be best if it came from you," Teal'c said, in an eerie echo. He offered up a note covered in his careful writing.

"See? What did I say?" the doctor chimed. She folded her arms and grinned.

Sam took the note and read it. The Jaffa, in the true habit of a warrior, had detailed the bravery of his fallen comrade, then meticulously listed the scores of fellow soldiers who had survived because of Janet's stalwart efforts over the years. It was perfect, it was exactly what needed to be said, and she knew it.

So she had her eulogy. That part was over.

Out of the corner of her eye she saw the image of Janet give her a satisfied little nod, then stroll back out of her lab.

If only it could make up for never having had the chance to say goodbye.

Sam broke, and buried her face in Teal'c shoulder, praying that when she opened her eyes again she'd stop seeing the endless and searing loss.

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