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"Ashes to Ashes" [Aug. 13th, 2007|10:56 am]
kellifer_fic
Title: Ashes to Ashes
Author: kellifer_fic
Rating: PG13
Pairing (if any): Cameron/Sam/Daniel
Warnings: None
Wordcount: 1,404.
Prompt: A storm of fire has scourged the Earth, burning cities and leaving only ashes blowing on hot winds. Sam, Cam and Daniel look for answers among the ruins.
Notes: Thanks to twasadark and gigerisgod. Based loosely on Reign of Fire. Written for apocalypse_kree.



Awake.

She’s not really sure what wakes her in the dark recesses of the night. It might be the guttering candle or movement from one of them men curled around her, Cameron with a hand on her hip behind and Daniel facing away. All she knows is that Cameron’s hand tightens and he whispers, “You okay?”

Sam knows that if she answers, she’ll wake Daniel. His face is close to her and even the lowest whisper, the slight disturbance of air on his face, will break him out of sleep. She rests her hand on Cameron’s instead, squeezing briefly before tucking it back into the warm space between her and Daniel.

His own hand lifts away and up, spanning her and coming to rest on Daniel’s shoulder, tucking him back towards them. Daniel is forever curling away in sleep and Cameron is always reeling him back. He grumbles but doesn’t stir and Sam is often caught wondering why Cameron can manhandle Daniel without disturbing him when a single syllable from her has him awake and blinking.

The candle on the crate that is serving as their nightstand goes out with a drowned hiss and Sam closes her eyes.

000


Cameron is the one who explains to the kids just why they sleep three to a bed, when all the other adults sleep in pairs or by themselves.

“We’re just used to doing everything together,” he says with a shrug and for some reason that’s enough when it comes to Cameron. Sam knows that if she tried the same vague, noncommittal answer they would pepper her with endless questions.

She’s resorted to saying, “Ask Cameron,” for most of the stickier issues.

The other adults take it at face value, a side effect of living in a Brave New World. Everyone has their own problems and their own way of dealing with them and three people sleeping together is certainly not the weirdest way to tame your demons. Sam’s glad for the acceptance, mostly understanding that people think it’s her and Cameron looking after Daniel even though that’s not strictly true.

They are all broken and only when they fit their jagged pieces together do they lie smooth.

000


Celeste, one of the older children at fourteen, holds a pad of paper out. “I can’t get the wings right,” she says, nibbling on her lower lip. Sam looks at the lines etched in charcoal, both graceful and terrible and pauses for a second to digest the fact that this small girl is drawing dragons from memory rather than fantasy.

“Looks good to me,” Sam says, taking another forkful of MRE lasagne into her mouth. Raided supplies from underground bunkers are what they have been subsisting on lately. She’s not sure how others—those who don’t know where to look--are surviving.

“Do you think Doctor Jackson would help? Didn’t he have some?”

Sam pauses for a moment, not really sure what Celeste is talking about until it clicks. Cameron often tells a gathered horde of rapt children stories about SG-1. They all love hearing about how Daniel fell from the sky, butt-naked Cameron is always sure to add, with no memory.

It seems the children have been embellishing on their own.

“Daniel wasn’t an angel,” Sam starts to explain but the look of disappointment on Celeste’s face is so tragic that she quickly amends, “We don’t think.”

Satisfied that Daniel is still shrouded in mystery just the way she likes him, Celeste nods and scampers off, legs in grubby jeans pumping.

“Cameron should stop telling them that kind of stuff,” Daniel says, emerging from the shadows of the kitchen area.

“C’mon, it’s not harming anyone and they like his stories,” Sam says, scooting over a little so Daniel can join her on the bench seat. He doesn’t though, instead circling and touching items and she’s reminded of Jack so sharply that Sam has to close her eyes for a second.

“I just don’t want them getting the wrong idea,” he says cryptically and disappears back through the archway he’d emerged from.

Sam doesn’t really want to know just what wrong idea the kids would be getting.

000


The water filtration system always needs repairing. It’s fairly dull, repetitive work but Sam relishes the time with just herself and her tools, almost to the point of only very grudgingly teaching others how to fix it.

Jane, a tall red-head with a knack for mechanics, sits by Sam’s feet, handing her tools when they’re asked for. Jane doesn’t talk and Sam’s pretty sure it’s because of something that happened to her when she was sheltering with another group. She won’t let Annabel, the fifty year-old nurse who is their only medico, look in her mouth to determine a cause for her silence and Sam believes that she wouldn’t find anything physical anyway.

Jane is sitting with her knees drawn up to her chest, toying with the laces of her sneakers when not actually handling tools.

“What happened to you?” Sam asks. She does that sometimes because she doesn’t want to take Jane’s silence for granted, assume that it’s going to last forever. She wants Jane to remember that she can talk if she wants, to Sam more specifically.

Jane makes a gesture with a wrench that Sam can’t really interpret and goes back to staring at her shoes.

Sam hadn’t even gotten that before so she believes she’s making progress.

000


Sometimes Daniel disappears.

Sam has come to accept it because he always comes back, but she notices the way Cameron tenses right up until the moment Daniel comes back. The kids think it’s got something to do with the whole Ascension thing, asking the first couple of times if Daniel has gone like before but Sam always assures them that no, he’s just gone for a walk.

To be honest, she has no idea where he is or what he’s doing, but she suspects.

There’s a crater about three hours East. Standing alone at its center, at the very bottom, is a metal ring, the sole survivor of wanton destruction. In her mind’s eye, Sam can just see Daniel sitting on the lip, swinging his feet and waiting to be rescued.

Sam thinks she’ll probably worry more when Daniel stops disappearing.

000


Cameron is the one that bears their weight.

He laughs and jokes and tells stories. He makes plans and forages, always coming back exhausted but elated. He found the mine that they were able to convert into their living space.

He was the one that asked them to bed first, not with any words but just a gentle tug on each of their hands. There were no explanations, just shadows, skin and them.

It’s easy to forget sometimes that even though he’s the only one who remembers how to laugh, Cameron is the most fragile of them all.

000


“I always assumed that our doom would come, just from out there,” Daniel says as they lie on their backs during their watch. Sam half rolls so she’s up against his side and even though he’d always been a furnace in the past, ever since they came through the gate to find nothing left, he’s been cool to the touch.

“I always assumed it would be my fault.”

000


Sam sometimes writes little notes to Jack in her head.

Dear Jack,

The only person I ever met who liked MREs was Rodney McKay and even he would be getting sick of them by now
.

Or,

Dear Jack,

Cameron is burying himself and Daniel is growing more distant with every day. I’m not sure what to do…


But most commonly,

Dear Jack,

Don’t be dead.

P.S. Wherever you are not being dead, have Teal’c and Cassie there with you too.


000


Jane starts talking without any warning, just like Sam always suspected she would.

“Sometimes when they’re circling, looking for us, I think I can understand them,” she says.

Sam knows the calls the monsters make, how you can feel it through your bones.

“I know what you mean,” she agrees.

000


Atlantis is still out there somewhere and with it, humans from Earth.

It’s only a matter of time before they make their way home to find out what the radio silence is all about.

For now, Sam nestles in the space just for her and tries not to think about all the space that’s left.
linkReply

Comments:
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[User Picture]From: dknightshade
2007-08-13 01:22 am (UTC)
Beautifully bleak. The letter to Jack asking him not to be dead and to have Teal'c and Cassie with him is heartbreaking.

Standing alone at its center, at the very bottom, is a metal ring, the soul survivor of wanton destruction.

That too. Painful.

Beautifully done.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: kellifer_fic
2007-08-13 04:36 am (UTC)
Thankyou so much!
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[User Picture]From: katcorvi
2007-08-13 01:26 am (UTC)
Oh, this is excellent! Humor liberally interspersed with bleakness makes for lovely apocafic. I hope that Sam can hold Daniel and Cam together long enough, however long that is and I fear it's going to be quite long.

This:
Dear Jack,

Don’t be dead.

P.S. Wherever you are not being dead, have Teal’c and Cassie there with you too.


Yes!!!
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: kellifer_fic
2007-08-13 04:37 am (UTC)
Much appreciated... :)
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[User Picture]From: thehallway
2007-08-13 01:47 am (UTC)

ooooohhhhhhh...

...you just killed me with this.

just spot on voices for all three of them and pitch perfect interactions, but sooooooooooo much sam love here. the letter to jack and the end...jut perfect.

wow. just wow.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: kellifer_fic
2007-08-13 04:37 am (UTC)

Re: ooooohhhhhhh...

Thankyou so much!
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[User Picture]From: magnavox_23
2007-08-13 01:48 am (UTC)
Oh wow. Yep, the letters to Jack really hit. Great fic! :D
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: kellifer_fic
2007-08-13 04:38 am (UTC)
Thankyou!
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[User Picture]From: gigerisgod
2007-08-13 02:04 am (UTC)
So glad you've posted this. I enjoy this story more each time I read it.
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[User Picture]From: kellifer_fic
2007-08-13 04:38 am (UTC)
Thanks hon!
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[User Picture]From: advection
2007-08-13 02:12 am (UTC)
Oh, wow, that last line. And “I always assumed it would be my fault.” And the whole thing, really. Wonderful, really enjoyed.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: kellifer_fic
2007-08-13 04:43 am (UTC)
Thankyou! :)
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[User Picture]From: cofax7
2007-08-13 03:23 am (UTC)
::loves::

Now I want the whole thing. Ahem. *g*

No, seriously, this is great--characterization and imagery, the picture of Daniel sitting on the dead Gate is just haunting. Great stuff.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: kellifer_fic
2007-08-13 04:44 am (UTC)
Heheheee... there are definitely ways I could be expanding this... *laughs*
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[User Picture]From: ladybirdness
2007-08-13 03:36 am (UTC)
oh lord...I'm crying again
this is so beautifully sad...
the three of them are just...ugh
exactly what they need
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: kellifer_fic
2007-08-13 04:44 am (UTC)
Thankyou so much!
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[User Picture]From: stargazercmc
2007-08-13 05:21 am (UTC)
This is so dark and beautiful. Cam as the fragile one that bears their weight, and Sam there to watch Daniel keep his faith by visiting the gate...

I loved Reign of Fire, and I love your inspiration from it in this fic.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: kellifer_fic
2007-08-13 06:30 am (UTC)
Thankyou so much... very glad you enjoyed.
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[User Picture]From: ticklie
2007-08-13 05:40 am (UTC)
...people think it’s her and Cameron looking after Daniel even though that’s not strictly true

People always do assume that Daniel's the fragile one, don't they? I love the way the three of them fit together to keep each other from breaking here.

Love the notes to Jack, love Sam's interactions with Jane, love the whole thing in fact.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: kellifer_fic
2007-08-13 06:31 am (UTC)
Thanks! Glad you enjoyed... :)
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From: shaedowcat
2007-08-13 06:37 am (UTC)
Your fics are always...gah. Perfect. How do you do that?!

Just going to quote the one thing, because otherwise we'de be here 'til the end of days:

It’s easy to forget sometimes that even though he’s the only one who remembers how to laugh, Cameron is the most fragile of them all.

I love that bit. It's just so right.

Thanks for the fic!!!

soul survivor

I think that's sole survivor.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: kellifer_fic
2007-08-14 01:47 am (UTC)
Oops! Maybe my beta thought I was being poetic when I was just being crap...

Damn homophones! *shakes fist*
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[User Picture]From: rigel_7
2007-08-13 09:34 am (UTC)
I always love your fics! You can take 1500 words and wring out so much from them - it's all the unsaid things and the pauses that we all have to fill in that make them so memorable.

Excellent take on the prompt (I was thrilled when I saw you had chosen it) and it's almost creepy in that I was thinking of Reign of Fire when I wrote it.

The candle on the crate that is serving as their nightstand goes out with a drowned hiss and Sam closes her eyes.

Beautiful line - the drowned hiss is just... an amazing image.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: kellifer_fic
2007-08-14 01:48 am (UTC)
Thankyou so much hon... :)
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[User Picture]From: kellifer_fic
2007-08-14 01:49 am (UTC)
Hehehe... apocafic is goooood... :)
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[User Picture]From: triplesnap
2007-08-13 10:55 am (UTC)
Seriously, and don't take this the wrong way, but I want to make out with you right now. :)

I let out a little squee when I saw that it was Sam/Cam/Daniel. The writing was just beautiful and there are so many lines I could quote to gush over, but I'd be here all day, really.

Thanks for writing such a kick-ass fic.
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[User Picture]From: kellifer_fic
2007-08-14 01:50 am (UTC)
Heheheee... how could I take that the wrong way? *laughs*
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[User Picture]From: bluflamingo
2007-08-13 12:18 pm (UTC)
That was beautifully written, with a lovely sense of melancholy throughout. I liked the look into Sam's inner thoughts, and the hints we got to what had happened, without it being spelt out.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: kellifer_fic
2007-08-14 01:50 am (UTC)
Thankyou so much!
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[User Picture]From: mz_bstone
2007-08-13 07:27 pm (UTC)
The dear jacks got me.

B
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[User Picture]From: kellifer_fic
2007-08-14 01:52 am (UTC)
Thankyou for reading.
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[User Picture]From: brandifer
2007-08-14 01:45 am (UTC)
Boy oh boy, if I ever have weeks like this one and need something to help me wallow in abject misery, you're my gal. This was wonderfully bleak and hopeless. And you KNOW I mean this in the nicest, most flattering way possible. ::big cheesy grin::
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[User Picture]From: kellifer_fic
2007-08-14 01:53 am (UTC)
Hehehee... I *enjoy* being the good kind of bleak... :) I seem to only have two settings... completely cracked or angsty mcangst pants... Ha!
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[User Picture]From: kellifer_fic
2007-08-15 01:09 am (UTC)
Absolutely don't mind at all... thankyou! :)

paian's a darling... *smiles*
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[User Picture]From: boombangbing
2007-08-14 07:26 pm (UTC)
Oh, this is very atmospheric. I don't know anything about Reign of Fire, so this is all feels rather mysterious and foreboding, and I have a particular soft spot for threesomes like this, more about the comfort you take from others than the smut. And this: “I always assumed it would be my fault.” makes me so sad for Daniel. Just great.
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[User Picture]From: kellifer_fic
2007-08-15 01:10 am (UTC)
Thankyou so much! :)
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[User Picture]From: zats_clear
2007-08-15 12:36 am (UTC)
omg, a thinky apocafic. I have tears in my eyes, a lump in my throat and an aching where my cold dead heart used to be before you ripped it out and tossed it on the pyre

Before you think any of that is a bad thing, it isn't. I love your story, all in pieces, from Sam's view.
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[User Picture]From: kellifer_fic
2007-08-15 01:18 am (UTC)
*retrieves heart from pyre, dusts it off a bit and hands it back*

Eep! :) I'm glad you enjoyed... *grin*
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[User Picture]From: exitmusic__
2007-08-16 12:46 am (UTC)
This is just so painful. I can't find the words to describe how this made me feel. Yet, I'm gonna read it multiple times because it's just that good.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: kellifer_fic
2007-08-16 02:13 am (UTC)
Thankyou so much... *blushes*
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[User Picture]From: ana_grrl
2007-08-17 02:02 am (UTC)
Lovely and bleak. I love the small ways that they are falling apart, even as they try to keep things together for other people (and each other).
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[User Picture]From: kellifer_fic
2007-08-18 01:07 pm (UTC)
Thankyou for reading. :)
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[User Picture]From: ernutet
2007-09-05 05:26 pm (UTC)
They are all broken and only when they fit their jagged pieces together do they lie smooth.

Ouch!

And this:

Dear Jack,

Don’t be dead.

P.S. Wherever you are not being dead, have Teal’c and Cassie there with you too.


Double ouch! That *hurt*!

Beautiful in the desolation that bleeds from every image.

Any possibility of the continutation?
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: kellifer_fic
2007-09-06 01:35 am (UTC)
Probably not as this was a ficathon response... but I never say never withs stories... :) Especially since I take ficlet requests so often...
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[User Picture]From: holdouttrout
2007-09-07 09:27 pm (UTC)
Oh, ouch.

This is--terribly bleak, dark, and sad. But it really is them--all three of them, so broken and yet still hanging on.

Very well done.
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[User Picture]From: kellifer_fic
2007-09-09 08:08 am (UTC)
Thankyou so much!
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[User Picture]From: surreallis
2007-09-09 06:24 am (UTC)
Oh, I quite like this. It's just the way apocafic should be. It's three of them trying to survive, emotionally as well as physically. It's equal parts angst, hope and mythology. Just... so good. :)
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[User Picture]From: kellifer_fic
2007-09-09 08:08 am (UTC)
Thankyou hon!
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