SG-1 FIC: Every Breath You Take Title: Every Breath You Take Summary: Sam's in trouble, but her team is there. Author's Notes: Written for one_prompt. This is a strange little ficlet/vignette, but I thought I would post it anyway. It's not beta'd yet either, even though I had plenty of opportunity.
Every Breath You Take
The word penetrates through the fog in my mind, and I try to obey. In fact, I desperately want to obey, but it's so hard. I can't seem to get any air into my lungs.
"Come on, damn it. Breathe!"
Blackness clouds my vision, pulling me away from the trees and the sky, and the face of the man kneeling over me. He wants something from me, but my struggles to inhale the cool, crisp air that surrounds me has taken over completely. I can't concentrate on anything but trying to breathe.
The voice sounds as desperate as my efforts, while pain crushes my chest with extreme pressure. Something warm covers my mouth, something that tries to push air past the tightness in my throat. It hurts so much. A burning searing pain that robs me of the very thing I crave more than anything.
And then it hits me. Cold, clear blast of air, filling my lungs like water flowing from a tap. I look up at the sky, a clear, blue cloudless sky filled with the sounds of birds and leaves rustling in the wind and I can't help but rejoice in my relief. The pain is gone.
The voice seems so far away, yet still loud and demanding. It's the Colonel's voice I hear and I know that tone. He wants me to do something. Not quite sure what, but before I can ask, I see a bluebird sitting on the limb of a tree. It reminds me of that little bird I once found on the driveway, its wing bent and broken.
"You can't fix everything, Sammie."
Words of wisdom from my father, words he has used so many times throughout my life. The bluebird, the radio that Mark broke, the failing grade I received in my high school English class, the flower pot I dropped the day after mom's funeral…
God. Pain splits through me again. A burning, crushing pain as dry, hot air rushes into me. Darkness fills my vision once again, and I find myself struggling to keep the air flowing in and out of my tortured lungs.
"Come on, Carter. Breathe!"
It's his mouth covering mine. I know this now. The warmth of his lips as he tries to force air into my chest is secondary only to the warmth that seeps into my lungs. Air! I still need to struggle to breathe, but somehow it's easier. I open my eyes and he is there, working hard to help me get the air I so desperately need. I want to thank him, but breathing is my top priority at the moment and besides the urge to cough is overwhelming.
More pain. Oh God, it hurts so much. The Colonel is no longer breathing for me, but he is still there. His hands are holding my arms down, keeping me from moving around like I want to. Need to.
I can't respond to Daniel. The pain in my chest is taking up all my conscious thought. All I can do is try to suppress the coughing, a task at which I am failing miserably.
"How is she doing, Jack?"
"Not so good. Help me out here, Daniel."
The Colonel lets go, but apparently that's because Daniel is here and holding me down. I still can't move, but now that the coughing finally subsided, I don't want to. The pain is more than I can bear.
"It's going to be all right, Sam."
I hope so. I am still struggling to breathe, but at least some air is finding its way into my lungs. Maybe I will live after all. I still hurt, but I look up past the concern on the Colonel's face, up to the gray skies above the trees lining my view. The sun and the bluebird were not there and never have been, at least not today.
The sunny day had been a dream. A dream that is fading fast, leaving me with pain and an empty feeling of despair.
I don't want to lose sight of what once was.
Based on the look of confusion on Daniel's face, I must have said that out loud. I try to smile, but my chest hurts so badly. Someone places a mask over my mouth and nose, and breathing seems to be a little easier, but only a little.
"You're not going to die, Sam. Not today."
I nod my head and close my eyes now that I am not fighting for every breath. I close my eyes and try to find that sun, the bluebird and my father's voice. They were there once. Maybe I can find them again.
"You're going to make it Carter."
I actually believe that now. I am being moved, but I hear my father's voice again, telling me that I have to fight for what I want. He's right about that and I cling to the memory, knowing I need all the help I can get now that I can breathe again.
A soft hissing sound fills the air as I wake up, a sound that is familiar and comforting. I open my eyes to see that I am right. I'm in the infirmary.
"Hey there," Daniel says.
I can't help but smile back at him. "Hey."
"You had us worried for awhile there," he tells me, his voice soft and soothing. Colonel O'Neill moves into view behind Daniel, and Teal'c is standing at the foot of my bed. All three of them standing around, waiting for me to wake up… it feels good to know that they really care.
"You do know, don't you that you scared the hell out of me," the Colonel says. "How many times do I have to tell you to never scare me like that?"
"Sorry sir." I try to look chagrined, but I know that he's just kidding. The crooked grin on his face is my first clue. He nods and rocks back on his heels, totally at ease with the world as it is. Now that I'm feeling better, I can't agree with him more.
"Doctor Fraiser has informed us that you are going to live," Teal'c says with a slight bow of his head. "You will live to fight another day."
"That's good," I say, an understatement of major proportions. I certainly don't want to die.
"So," Daniel says, as he leans sits down next to me. "Did you lose sight of who you are?"
"What?" I stare at him, trying to figure out what it was I missed during that last minute or two. Lose sight of myself?
"Never mind. It was just something you said back on the planet when I thought you were dying." He's smiling at me again, but I'm still trying to process what he's talking about.
"Not who she is but what she once was," Colonel O'Neill says as he shakes his head at me as if to say, don't mind Daniel. I am still at a loss as to what they're talking about, but it doesn't matter. They are arguing amongst themselves while Teal'c stands idly by, and I am comforted by the voices, and by their presence. It means I am alive.
I close my eyes as the talk turns to something else and I feel myself drifting off despite my willingness to stay awake. Drifting off to memories of collapsing buildings, bluebirds, and my dad, all jumbled up and confusing, yet somehow coherent in the scheme of things. I am breathing and at peace again. That's what counts.