He's sitting next to me, but I've managed to arrange my chair so I can seem him as easily as I see the bank of monitors and screens. His brow his furrowed, his intense blues eyes dark with worry. He's chewing his lip without even realising that he's doing it. I want to gather him up, smooth away the wrinkles, kiss his mouth... but I can't. So I sit by his side and will to him every ounce of silent support I can muster.
I find myself chewing my own lip and force myself to stop, turn my gaze back to the monitors, showing O'Neill and Teal'c setting the explosives, rigging the detonator.
No, not lucky that they're about to go face to face with those bugs. No, they're lucky because every day they get to see this man sitting besides me. They hear his laughter, they know his stories. They share an easy comradere, a bond of friendship no interloper could ever hope to breach. They get to sit around a campfire and talk about whatever's on their minds, whether it be whatever god forsaken world they'd been put on that week, or...whatever.
I shake my head slightly, rest my chin lightly on my hand, lean forward, try to be totally focussed on the mission. Did saving the world always involve so much waiting, watching?
Perhaps its for the best we barely see each other once a month now. I can smell his scent on the air. Another distraction to add to the list. He smells of soap and coffee, salty sweat and the salt of the sea air blowing in off the harbour. He must have stepped outside when the others set off back to the sub. His scent is a drug, a heady narcotic. Distracting and overwhelming. If I had to be next to him every day and not have him...
The helmet microphone's pick up and amplify the boom of the explosives detonating.
This is it, O'Neill. Good luck. And come back. I don't think that even in my best fantasies I could soothe him if he lost you two.
He's leaning forward, his eyes darting everywhere behind his glasses. I lean forward too. To the casual observer, I'm intent on the monitor feed.
Some detached, logical part of me is. The part of me that's the Major.
The rest of me, the emotional me leans forward to remain close to him.
If we should fall.
I can't see his face any more, and I don't need to. This close, I can see the tension in his shoulders, the way the muscles have bunched up into tight knots, the way he worries his fist with his teeth...
Focus. The sudden report of a grenade snaps me back fully into Major-mode.
From O'Neill's helmet camera, we watch, side by side, as Teal'c throws open the hatch and O'Neill begins firing. The Colonel mutters something, the mike's don't pick it up. Next to me, his head flits slightly from side to side as tries to watch both monitors simultaneously.
Teal'c and O'Neill running. Up the hatch and...what the fuck is that!?
I am caught up in his worry now, not distracted. I am not close, not a part of that special group that is SG-1. But I respect them.
We can't loose them. Not SG-1. Not like this.
"Colonel, can you make it to the escape hatch?" I'm surprised my voice isn't shaking more. He cocks his head slightly to listen to me, the forgotten one at his side. But he doesn't look at me. He doesn't meet my eye. I don't seek him out with my gaze.
"...Mission accomplished, blow it!" O'Neill's angry, not afraid. Letting the former emotion override the latter. Beside me, he argues with O'Neill like one who refuses to accept this as within the realm of possibility. I notice he doesn't look at O'Neill, who's staring down his own camera to speak directly to his friend. To tell his friend to leave him to die. Shit. I love him, but I don't think even I could pick up the pieces after this. Anyone listening to these two could hear the depths of emotion, the intensity of the connection about to be severed, delivered in those few terse words.
O'Neill gives me a direct order.
I hesitate. The only time I've ever faltered with a direct order.
I can't do it. I'm sorry. I can't take this weight off you. You have to make this decision yourself. The monitors show O'Neill as he falls to the floor next to his helmet, still fighting.
He shudders slightly. "Okay. Okay."
I give the order. No one at this table can look at each other. Siler observes the Dallas. Torpedoes away.
He stares at the monitors, at his friends. I stare at the table, at the phone, anywhere else. Anywhere but at him. Its an illusionary privacy, but its the best I can offer.
"Direct hit." The words hit me like a hammer. This must be killing him.
I'll take care of him O'Neill. I can't replace you. I wouldn't want to try.
But I'll take care of him. Even if it kills me to be that close...
Beside me he starts suddenly. I jerk my head up, scan the monitors but see only snow.
"They're!" He stutters, barely able to draw breath. He throws his hands up and gestures to the sky. "They're okay!"
The Asgaard. Bless their shiny grey arses. They came through. He's laughing with relief and joy as he cups his head in his hands. I slap him on the back, leave my hand there for a second to convey a world of emotion and relief to him in a single gesture. Then I back away.
We're back off the precipice. No one fell. Not today. But I meant it. I meant every word. I'll be here for him.
Should he fall.
|Genres:||Angst, Drama, Missing Scene/Episode-Related, Smarm|
|Summary:||Just me getting into Davis' head during Small Victories.|
Author's Chapter Notes: