"Colonel O’Neill, may I drive?"

This isn’t how it’s supposed to be.

"Just... don’t crash the car, please."

"I will attempt to refrain from doing so."

I sigh.

We went to the movies tonight; I let Teal’c choose which one. I don’t know if it was a good choice or not; I don’t remember anything past the opening previews. The guess the lights went down and my mind blanked. It has a habit of doing that. I have a habit of just drifting off and leaving everyone wondering where I went, mentally as well as physically.

The concept of movies got me thinking, I suppose.

The entire media - television, movies, all of them - should all be sued for faulty advertising. Life is NOT what they portray it as.

In fiction, the guy’s always some dashing hero, handsome, brilliant, fearless. He’s charismatic and witty and the kind of guy you hate to love, like Han Solo. Or supersmart, like Neo in The Matrix. Or a risk-taking, a barrier-breaking charmer like Captain Kirk.

Honestly, I’m none of these things. Maybe in my own way I’m special, but really, despite what people might say, I’m an average Joe. In some cases, below-average.

Not in all departments, but I take small comfort from that. I take small comfort from just about everything.

She’s not here.

I miss her.

I didn’t really like her at first... She was baggage, in a way, and embarrassing. I’d never guessed that I’d come to feel about her the way I did... and do. That she’d become an integral part of my life. That seeing her each day would become just as natural as breathing. But as they say, you never appreciate anything, or anyone, until they’re gone.

The others are watching me curiously, and perhaps a little worriedly. This is the first time we’ve been out since it happened - it’s no coincidence that it’s a group outing. And I appreciate their concern, even Teal’c’s raised eyebrows in the rearview mirror. But it isn’t their faces I want to see.

My thoughts return to the movie, or at least the concept. In the movie, there’s a formula. There’s a spell of hardship, a climax, and then happiness. But again, life’s been inaccurately portrayed. Take my life. It’s been one long burden marked by darker periods of tragedy, when I’ve lost people. And where’s the happiness? Not in the immediate future, certainly, and I would have to ask my friends about this, but I don’t think that anyone who’s lost family can be truly happy again.

Maybe I’m just over-dramatizing. I have a tendency to do that as well.

But most importantly, in the movies and on television, in fiction of any kind, the climax always ends in one important way.

The charismatic, genius, good-looking guy always gets the girl.

I didn’t get the girl.

I’ll never get the girl.

The girl is dead.

I meet Teal’c’s eyes in the mirror again, and then he returns his attention to the street.

"You okay?"

"Yeah." It’s a lie, but it’s swallowed.

I’m not okay. I’m empty. There’s supposed to be a woman sitting beside me, smiling her beautiful smile at me, accepting me unquestioningly, even though I had more than a few questions about HER. But she’s not sitting there. She never will.

We drop Teal’c off first, back at the base. It was where he wanted to go, and I think he feels more comfortable there than anywhere. Maybe it’s because it’s close to the Stargate. Or maybe he just didn’t want to spend any more time with me. Who the hell knows?

I miss her.


I whip my head up and stare at Sam. She’d been so quiet, I’ve almost forgotten she was there. "Yeah?"

Beside her, at the wheel, Jack informs me gently, "We’re at your place."

I glance through the windows and realize that they’re right, we’re here. Silently, I open the door and clamber out, turning back only when I hear Sam call my name. "Daniel... are you sure you’re okay?"

"I’ll be okay," I tell her honestly.

I catch sight of Jack’s face as he leans across Sam, to call out the window, "You gonna be there tomorrow?"

I shrug. "We’re scheduled for a mission, aren’t we?"

"Yeah," repeats Jack, although he still seems doubtful that I’ll show. I will. At least it keeps my mind off Sha’re.

Just barely.

And besides, the boy is out there, somewhere.

I nod goodbye and turn back towards the building. When I reach the front door, I look back at the street, surprised to see Jack’s car still parked at the curb. I squint, unable to make out much through the darkened back windshield, but able to catch the movement as Jack leans back into his seat, leaving one hand touching the face of the woman in the passengers’ seat. The woman he just finished kissing.

I give a sad smile. I wasn’t totally out of it for the entire movie. Unlike Teal’c, who’s always hypnotized by the bright pictures and loud sounds, I was aware enough to notice that my Colonel and Major weren’t watching the film either. They were much too wrapped up in each other.

Finally, the car pulls into the street again, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Sam and Jack are a bit late to work tomorrow.

I wish them the best of luck.

At least someone will wind up getting the girl.


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