Title: Holding Back the Tears
Spoilers: Contains spoilers for the S1 episodes 'Thor's Hammer' and 'Bloodlines', the S2 ep 'Secrets', the S3 ep 'Forever In A Day', plus a very minor spoiler for one of my other fics 'The Gifts'
Disclaimer: All characters from the television series ‘Stargate SG-1’ belong to Stargate (II) Productions, Showtime/Viacom, MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions, and Gekko Productions. I’m only borrowing them for my personal entertainment, and I promise I’ll put them back all nice and proper. I didn’t profit from writing this piece, though if someone wants to pay me huge wads of cash for the copyright, I won't argue. All original characters and situations belong to me, but you can use them if you really want to - just mail me first. Also mail me first if you want to archive this somewhere else. Thank you kindly.
Author's notes: I've read quite a few of what I call 'songfics' so I thought it was about time I gave it a belt. The song 'Holding Back the Tears' from the album 'Nobody Else' by Take That is used without permission. BTW, if you hadn't already guessed, Lenny McCoy is named for DeForest Kelley's character on 'Star Trek'. Rest in peace Bones.
Update: Just fiddled a bit to bring it up to date with the series (we're nearing the end of S3 now).
Daniel threw open the door to be greeted by the sight of a Rhya with her arms full of paper grocery bags.
"Hi!" she chirped. "You gonna let me in?"
He flushed slightly at his apparent forgetfulness and stood aside. "Sorry," he apologised. "I just wasn't -"
"Expecting me," she finished and grinned at the quick scowl of annoyance that flitted across his features. "I know, so you can stop trying to remember whether or not I was invited. But I thought it was about time I demonstrated my culinary finesse."
"You… You're going to cook for me?" Daniel grabbed one of the bags just as she lost her grip on it and followed her into his kitchen.
"No, I'm going to clean your shower," she replied in a completely deadpan voice. "Of course I'm going to cook for you. Don't you even want to know what I'm going to make?"
"What are you going to make?" he asked obediently.
She reached out and fluffed his hair. "Good boy," she praised him in a voice people usually reserved to animals and small children. "We are having…" She began to unpack the bags as she spoke, "creamy chicken satay with snow peas and baby corn, those funky thick noodles and a nice mixed salad with vinaigrette."
"Sounds good." He could almost feel his salivary glands starting up production. He hadn't eaten since… breakfast? Then again, that's probably the reason behind the unannounced visit; just to make sure he actually ate. Daniel was well aware that she worried when he got so engrossed in an artifact that all he cared about was where his next mug of coffee was coming from.
Rhya allowed herself a self-satisfied smile. "Yes well, I rather thought so." She folded the paper bags and put them in the drawer he reserved for them. He always liked to think he was doing his little bit for the environment.
"Here," she said, handing him a CD and starting to pull out cooking utensils.
"'Take That'? Who are they?" Daniel flipped the case over and read the playlist.
"They're a British group that broke up a few years back. Lenny McCoy leant it to me - apparently she was quite a fan," she informed him as she began to chop the celery.
"Any track you'd prefer?" he asked as he wandered over to his well-hidden stereo system.
"Um, number eight is nice." She popped a piece of celery into her mouth and crunched on it noisily. "It's a ballad."
"Number eight it is." He slid the black and silver into the disc into the tray and set it to track eight. He glanced at the playlist again. 'Holding Back the Tears' it was called. Sounded depressing. The delicate sound of violins and cellos soared above a harp as the introduction began.
"Need any help?" he called politely.
"No, you keep looking at your rocks," she replied, using 'rocks' instead of 'artefacts' just to stir him up.
He shrugged silently and sat down at his desk, which stood over to the side of the room. The vocals began and Rhya's soft soprano soon joined in.
//I kind of keep asking myself little questions/
like where do I go from here//
Daniel picked up a pen in one hand and a small stone jar in the other. Turning the artifact over, he began to jot down some rough notes.
//I seem to keep losing track of time and how long its been/
since I last had you near//
He paused and listened to the lyrics.
//Been a painful road to a door that's closed/
Been a gamble that I knew I couldn't win/
Been a lonely conversation to this photograph of you/
In the mirror there's a sign I must give in//
His eyes flicked to the portrait of Sha're that now hung just above his desk, where he could look at it if he had a mental block while writing up a report or performing a critical analysis of an artifact. As he gazed at his once abducted, now deceased wife he felt a myriad of emotions sweep over him. Love, despair, anger, frustration, hopelessness. He laid the pen and the jar back onto the desk.
//So I'm not holding back the tears anymore/
Tryin' escape the heartache, tryin' escape emotion/
No, I'm not holding back the tears anymore/
Yesterday's my memory reminding me of all the times/
That I depended on you//
He rested his chin on his hands and let his mind drift back over the few years he'd been with SG-1. For a long while, Sha're had been the first thing he'd thought of in the morning, and the last at night. But the focus had gradually shifted away from her and towards his life here, on Earth. His friends, his work. He was making a difference now - and hopefully he'd keep on making that difference. Without his wife.
//I used to enjoy spending time on my own here/
Watching the jaded people pass/
Now here I am sharing their pain and their lonely tears/
I'm walking a road of broken glass//
Okay, he'd had a few disasters in the oh-so-wonderful game of love, but they'd never really changed his lifeview. Not until Sha're at least. After Apophis had taken her he'd had to come to terms with his darker side. The side of his psyche that prompted him to shoot up a tank of Goa'uld larvae with an MP-5. Losing her like that had changed him - for the better he hoped.
//It's a constant fight to get though each day and night/
it's a war between the present and the past/
And the face that's in your mind every time you close your eyes/
What's the reason, what's the answer, how will this last?//
As the chorus repeated, he remembered how selfish he'd been back on Cimmeria. For a very brief moment, he'd seriously considered leaving Teal'c in the caves just so they wouldn't have to destroy Thor's hammer - the only sure-fire method to remove a Goa'uld from its host and leave the human more-or-less in one piece mentally. If that happened now the decision wouldn't be so hard - he'd destroy the device in a heartbeat. His teammates, his friends had come to mean a lot to him. Probably more that he'd ever let on to them. Now they were the center of his life.
Daniel idly wondered what he'd do if Sha're were suddenly presented to him alive, gift-wrapped and minus her Goa'uld, Amaunet.
//Been a long, long time since I heard your last goodbye/
still I hear it clearly every day and night/
What's the point in love when you have to give it up/
yet still you need it and it's nowhere you can find//
He looked up at the painting Rhya had given him and blinked away the sudden tears. He knew, deep in his soul, that if he were to be faced with a choice between Sha're and SG-1, his teammates would come out on top nine times out of ten. He still loved his wife with all his heart, but his chances of getting her back were torpedoed the moment Amaunet turned a ribbon device on him. At least he got to hear Sha're say "I love you" one final time before she died from the wounds she'd received from Teal'c's staff weapon. But it was a small consolation for all the heartache he'd suffered since.
//Yesterday's my memory reminding me of all the times/
that I depended on you//
The music faded in a swirl of notes from a harp. Daniel shook himself clear of his morbid thoughts and wiped all traces of tears from his face.
"Danny?" Rhya asked as she came over to where he sat, a knife in one hand and a concerned expression on her face.
"I'm okay," he said uselessly. She knew exactly what he'd been thinking while the song had played.
She put the implement down on the desk and hugged him around the shoulders, laying her cheek on the top of his head. "Take it from one who knows - its far better to have closure on an issue than keep wondering 'what if?' You'll find someone else who'll mean just as much as she did. You'll see."
He sniffed slightly and leaned into her embrace, slowly letting the misery go. When he finally felt a little better, he tilted his head back so he could look into her eyes. Then he smelt the burning.
Her eyes widened with panic as she flew back into the kitchen. "Oh no!" she cried in despair. Then she stuck her head around the dividing wall. "How does take-out sound to you?"
Daniel smiled at her warmly. "Sounds good."
Any comments or suggestions...?