Fandom: Stargate: SG-1
Characters: Daniel Jackson/Sha're, Jack O'Neill
Word Count: 661
Summary: He's not even thinking of her when it hits him all over again.
It's been a year, already, and he--he doesn't ever stop and think he's past the worst of it, doesn't wake up in the mornings and feel the buoying hope of "Maybe today", but he manages. He buries himself in his work and the search for the Harcesis, falls asleep at his desk eight days out of ten and wakes up to Jack shaking his shoulder with a worried frown on his face.
They're following a lead that peters out to nothing on a planet named Alterra when something shorts out at the Stargate and Sam says it'll take an hour or two to fix it. Jack leads him to a tavern and tells him to stay put, and Daniel actually does for half an hour before he wanders out to the bazaar outside the city (because someone's speaking in a language he's never heard before that sounds like it might be a relative of Finnish, of all things, and he has to find out where it came from).
The woman he heard (the language is Some, she tells him, and she's from some islands across the sea from the country they're on) is selling shawls and headwraps for the coming winter, carefully crafted and dyed bright blue and purple and green and all sorts of colors the SGC botany department would get excited about. He traces over the wool with his hand, soft and warm, and when he sees a red one his mind thinks Oh, I should buy this one so Sha're can wear it when we find her like it always does when he sees something in that color, an automatic trigger and response he usually ignores.
Except he's found her, since the last time, but she's never coming home again.
"I'm sorry," he says when he realizes he's crumpled it up in his grip. "My wife, she. Red was her favorite-"
Red was her favorite color. One time we had a fight and she dyed my favorite tunic bright red, and I wasted an entire afternoon upset at her before Kasuf made us apologize to each other. We walked out behind a sand dune to talk so the village wouldn't hear us yelling and ended up having sex in the sand, and I'd torn her dress so I had to lend her my tunic for the walk back, and her little brother mocked me for two weeks, he doesn't say.
He drops the shawl back on the cart.
He can't breathe.
The woman calls after him as he jerks away and walks into the crowd. His head's buzzing and his hands are numb and Sha're is dead and won't ever wear the tunic he's got hung at the back of his closet again. Sha're is dead and he'll never wake up with her hair on his face or her cold feet on his legs or her elbow in his ribs again. Sha're is dead and he'll never get to save her and tell her how sorry he is that he let her be taken.
He stumbles into an alley and hides behind some wooden crates so the villagers don't see a Tau'ri break down over a bunch of cloth.
Sha're is dead.
Sha're is dead.
Sha're is dead, and she'll never be anything else again.
Jack finds him some time later, easing too-tense fingers off a gun and drawling 'Daniel' easily like finding your archaeologist red-eyed, wet-cheeked, and crouched in a long, filthy puddle of mud and vomit and god knows what is nothing out of the ordinary.
"Time to go," Jack says. His eyes crinkle behind his sunglasses like he's planning how much beer he should take with him when he ambushes Daniel at home tonight, so Daniel lets him help him up and follows him out, just in case going along convinces Jack he doesn't have to.
Sha're is dead, and nothing Jack or anyone else tries to do is ever going to make it better.