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H is for History
by dennydj
Tag to 1969
Written for sg_fignewton's Time Travel Alphabet Soup
Category:  Gen, Episode tag
Word count:  1072
Summary:  Sometimes history needs a helping hand.
Thanks to marzipan77, gategremlyn, and eilidh17 for their help with this story.

She rang the doorbell and waited, pulling her jacket more tightly around her to keep out the brisk early spring breeze.  The carved oak door swung open, revealing the familiar face of a dark-haired woman in her early thirties.

“Hello, Allison.”

Allison smiled back.  “He’s been asking about you.”

“I hope he hasn’t been too much trouble,” she replied, feeling every one of her seventy-plus years as she crossed the threshold and entered the house.

“No more than usual,” the young nurse laughed as she closed the door and followed her inside.

They stopped in the entry and Allison helped her remove her jacket.

“How is he, really?”

The young woman’s smile evaporated.  “The doctor doesn’t know how he’s managed to hang on so long.”  Allison looked earnestly into her eyes.  “But we do, don’t we?”

She nodded.  “Yes, we do.  Which makes my visit bittersweet.”

“Maybe you should wait—”

She laid her hand on the nurse’s arm.  “No, I have to tell him.  It’s what he’s been waiting for.”

Taking a deep breath, she went in search of her long-time friend, Allison at her side. She knew this house well, its familiar halls carpeted in oriental rugs, its walls a museum of masks, weapons, and other odds and ends collected from this world and others.

After a short walk, they arrived at a room that was bright and toasty warm, thanks to the sun streaming through the floor-to-ceiling windows that ran the length of the longest wall.  They looked out over a bright green meadow surrounded by budding trees, all of it towered over by mountains with snow just beginning to thaw.

There was a fireplace at one end of the room, embers of a fire still glowing softly.  Tall bookcases flanked it, crammed full of tomes of all shapes and sizes, some ancient, some new, an occasional photograph dotted among them.  A modest mahogany desk sat on the opposite side, its surface covered with more books and papers that spilled over the side and onto the floor.

An antique grand piano was pushed to one side of the room.  She remembered when it had once been the center of the room, its music filling the space and holding her enthralled.  In its place was an overstuffed chair, which faced the windows.  One gnarled hand rested on its arm, its fingers tapping gently.  On the opposite side stood an IV pole, a half empty bag hung on its hook, clear tubing snaking its way down to disappear in front of the chair.  On a small table nearby, medicine bottles were lined up like chess pieces waiting to be played.

Allison called out, “You have a visitor.”

The fingers ceased their tapping and grasped the arm of the chair as her old friend leaned into view.   He was thin, balding—with only a few wisps of hair still clinging to his head—tanned and wrinkled, but his blue eyes were still bright despite his age.  He smiled when he spotted the visitor.

“You’re back.”

“Of course I am.”  She crossed the room, bent down, and gently hugged the old man.  He felt thinner and frailer than the last time she’d been here.

She pulled up the desk chair, placed it close to her friend, and sat down.  Reaching over, she gently grasped his bony hand in her own.  “You haven’t been pestering Allison while I was gone, have you?”

He chuckled, then coughed roughly. “Maybe just a bit.”

Allison laughed.  “How about if I go fix some tea while you two visit?”

“That sounds lovely,” she replied.

The nurse headed for the kitchen, leaving her alone with her friend.

“So?” he encouraged.

“So, I did it.  It happened just like all of you told me it would.”

“I assume, since I didn’t disappear, that it must have worked as planned.”

“We’re pretty sure it did.  Although, would we know if things had changed?”

Her friend smiled mischievously.  “That’s a question Sam could have answered.”

“Yes, it is.  She tried to ask me a question—in the gateroom—but I reminded her that I couldn’t answer it.”

His smiled faded, and he looked down at his their hands before glancing out the window.  She was sure he was remembering his friends, all gone now.  She stayed quiet and allowed him his memories.

“How… how did they look?” he asked finally, turning to face her again.

“So young!” she laughed.  “I’d forgotten what all of you looked like when we first met.  Of course, we have pictures, but meeting them—you—in person again was like stepping back in time.  You had hair!”

“Don’t remind me!” he said, reaching a crooked finger up to tap his bald scalp.  There was a twinkle in his blue eyes.

“But they were still you—all of you.  Jack still had the same cocky attitude, Teal’c was strong and quiet, and Sam was self-assured and… beautiful.   And you—you were your same inquisitive self.  With hair.”  She squeezed his hand.

“I wish…” he let the sentence fade as he looked out the window again.

“I know you would like to have seen them again, and I know you understand why you couldn’t.”

He nodded silently as he continued to gaze out the window.

“But I have the next best thing.”

He turned to her, blue eyes as curious as ever, she thought, waiting for her explanation.

“I recorded it—the meeting—and I can show you.”

“You did?”  His face brightened briefly before worry took its place.  “Wait, do they know you rec—”

“No, no one knows and know one will know.  It will be our secret.”

She held up a tiny square of polished silver.  Picking up a small computer tablet that lay on the medicine table, she placed the silver square on its surface.  The screen brightened as video began to play.

“Do… do we know you?” a young version of Jack O’Neill asked.  His teammates surrounded him on the ramp, dressed in clothes from another age.  Their brief meeting played out quickly before they disappeared into the shimmering wormhole.

The video ended and her friend turned to her, smiling even as his eyes filled with tears.  Reaching up, he patted her cheek.  “Thank you, Cassie.”

Laying her hand over his, she felt tears prick her own eyes.  “Anything for you, dear Daniel.  Anything.”


Mar. 16th, 2015 12:01 pm (UTC)
Awwwwww. :)

Cassie! Daniel! What a lovely full-circle for them both.

Thanks so much for contributing to the Soup!
Mar. 28th, 2015 03:50 am (UTC)
I enjoyed writing for it. Glad you liked the scene. :-)

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