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Happy birthday to jennickels, and many happy returns of the day. I got you something you say you enjoy - angst. It's a little odd to wrap that up as a birthday present, but I hope that a touch of sadness will bring you joy, I guess.

Title: The Eyes Have It

Season: Early. After First Commandment, at a minimum.

Spoilers: Stargate (the movie), Children of the Gods, First Commandment

Warnings: Well, angst for one. Whether there is s/j depends on whether you are wearing your ship!goggles today. Fig, take those off! Those are someone else's goggles. I think these are yours, they seem much more gen.

Synopsis: It's there to see, if you know how to look.



The Eyes Have It


Some veterans claimed that you could see it in the eyes, that they could tell, they could always tell. When a soldier had made his first kill, you could see it ever after, in his eyes. The first time Jack heard someone make that assertion, he put it down as an old soldier's tale, one of those stories told to keep the rookies on their toes and make sure that they gave the veterans their due, but back then his own eyes had been clear, and bright, and eager. He could see the difference now, every time he looked in the mirror. He wondered if Sara had seen it, if that had been the first sharp tip of the wedge that had separated them. Jack's spiral of silence after Charlie's death had been what finished the split, but maybe the eyes had started it.

There were other places he saw it, other eyes. Some of the eyes of his nightmares, the ones where they came, all those people he'd killed, they came and they sat on the bed or stood by its side, and the looked at him, just looked at him. He saw it in some of their eyes. He would have slept more soundly if he could have seen it in more of them.

He saw it in Teal'c's eyes, the first time he met him, and he's sure that it's part of what Teal'c saw in his own, as he pleaded for help to save the frightened prisoners massed behind him, and facing death at the hands of Teal'c's men. He's always wondered. Did Teal'c come over to him because of what he saw, or in spite of it? He'll never ask.

After Abydos, he'd looked long into Daniel's eyes, and not seen it. His heart had broken to see it in the eyes of Ska'ara and most of the other boys, but it wasn't in Daniel's eyes, then, and Jack had nearly wept with relief. Was it because he had not killed, that his aim was that of a scholar, and not a trained soldier? Or was it because Daniel's eyes were so focused on his new wife that he didn't notice that he'd killed?

Jack brought Daniel back to Earth, and it wasn't long before he could see it in his eyes too. That had been a night that Jack had gone home, reached for a beer, but put it back in the fridge unopened. He'd done five shots of whiskey instead.

So Jack hadn't been insulted or hurt when he overheard Sam tell Daniel that the guys who had been in black ops were all crazy. It was, as far as Jack was concerned, a simple statement of fact. Afterward, when Hanson was dead, Jack pulled Sam over, and after a long look in her eyes, her fresh, clear, innocent blue eyes, he tried to explain. Jack and words had always been odd bedfellows. He hadn't really managed to tell her, distracted as he was by his great relief that she hadn't joined him, that she was still pure.

He knew it wouldn't last. It couldn't. If he held her back, if he kept her safe, she would never get to where she wanted to go. Men less talented, men less deserving, would be promoted over her, because the people making the decision would look for something, and find it lacking in her eyes.

So he let her step up and do her part. He slowed it, but he didn't stop it, and when it came, it was worse than the old nightmare, the staring faces, because this was reality. This was something he could never wake up from. This broke him somewhere deep inside, to look at Carter, his Carter, and see a killer in her eyes.

Comments

( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
sjhw_tolerance
Dec. 13th, 2011 12:30 pm (UTC)
I think you nailed the angst. Well done!
thothmes
Dec. 16th, 2011 04:36 am (UTC)
Angst and Jack go together like Oreos and milk, I think.
jennickels
Dec. 13th, 2011 06:09 pm (UTC)
OY, the last line...gah.

Perfect birthday present, thank you.
thothmes
Dec. 16th, 2011 04:37 am (UTC)
You are very welcome, and I hope you had a lovely dinner out.
ardvari
Dec. 13th, 2011 06:35 pm (UTC)
Wow, this was awesome! I loved the tone. I loved everything about it, in fact! :)
thothmes
Dec. 16th, 2011 04:38 am (UTC)
Thank You!
traycer_
Dec. 14th, 2011 12:41 am (UTC)
War does that to a person, but yeah, it's got to be hard to watch your friends lose site of their innocence. Great story!!
thothmes
Dec. 16th, 2011 04:40 am (UTC)
Thank you.

Yeah, I think that two of the most terrible things that war does is harm innocents, and rob the participants of their innocence. And that's before you get into the obvious issues of death, maiming, and environmental distruction.
lolmac
Dec. 14th, 2011 04:55 am (UTC)
*hides the shippy goggles from Fig*
thothmes
Dec. 14th, 2011 05:04 am (UTC)
:)
bluewillowtree
Dec. 14th, 2011 06:49 pm (UTC)
Oh, this gave me chills. Very well done!
thothmes
Dec. 16th, 2011 04:41 am (UTC)
Thank you.
sg_fignewton
Dec. 19th, 2011 05:39 pm (UTC)
Oh, OW. This hurts (in the good kind of way).

I agree that Sam was innocent a lot longer than Daniel ever was. And Jack, wanting to keep that in Sam but knowing it would lesson her if he did -- yes, that is so very Jack.
thothmes
Jan. 17th, 2012 02:29 am (UTC)
Hey, sorry for the very late reply. The combination of vacation and much to do when I got back kinda caught up with me! I didn't intend to be rude and unresponsive.

*************************

LATE REPLY TOKEN

This entitles the bearer
To overlook replying to one
Of Thothmes' comments
For an unconscionably long time.


**************************

I don't see Daniel as having been either naive or innocent in all the time we see him, starting with the movie. He grew up too young for that. What Daniel is instead is unsquashably hopeful about his fellow man, and much, much more convinced of the power of words over the human mind and heart than Jack ever was. Daniel believes that words can fix things, that words can change minds and win hearts. Jack thinks they are just words.

And Jack, poor Jack, is a protector and guardian in his every cell, and with all his soul. He would want to keep them all safe, but he's also a good enough parent to know that you have to let the "kids" grow up, or you keep them from becoming all that they can be.

And yeah. Ouchy fic is ouchy.
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )

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Speak to him, for there is none born wise.

-The Maxims of Ptahotep

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In mourning or rejoicing, be not far from me.

- an Ancient Egyptian Love Song

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But your embraces
alone give life to my heart
may Amun give me what I have found
for all eternity.


-Love Songs of the New Kingdom, Song #2

~~~~~~~~~~


To Know the Dark


To go in the dark with a light is to know the light.
To know the dark, go dark. Go without sight,
and find that the dark, too, blooms and sings,
and is travelled by dark feet and dark wings.


-Wendell Berry

~~~~~~~~~~


Up in the morning's no for me,
Up in the morning early;
When a' the hills are covered wi' snaw,
I'm sure it's winter fairly.

-Robert Burns

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Visit to the Hermit Ts'ui


Moss covered paths between scarlet peonies,
Pale jade mountains fill your rustic windows.
I envy you, drunk with flowers,
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~~~~~~~~~~


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do not let my understanding stumble
across some jagged falsehood.


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