Cam: Because I don't want your dad coming after me. Again.
Hattie: Well, if I wasn't pregnant. And wait, what? Again?
Hattie: What aren't you saying NOW?
Hattie: Cameron Mitchell, don't you get avoid-y with me.
Cam: I'm not! Honest.
Hattie: *eyes him* I know you did something.
Cam: I didn't do anything! ... Although if you ask your dad, it's a different story, but I think he just likes to blame me for anything involving you.
Hattie: Oh god. Am I missing something this time? Is it me?
Cam: No, no. It's just ... *does a really bad Daniel impression* "Hattie wants to go out to this place but it's too dangerous, but she said that's what guns are for, and it's YOUR fault."
Hattie: *O.o* Because you're the one that taught me most about guns (well, and then mom) and fighting, he's upset?
Cam: He's overprotective. I guess you can't really blame but ... good God does it get annoying sometimes.
Hattie: If he only knew...
Cam: *looks at her*
Hattie: *innocent* What?
Cam: I don't want to know.
Hattie: Probably not. If it makes you feel better, he wasn't that way before.
Cam: Who, your dad? Do I have to remind you about the time he slugged me?
Hattie: Dad. yeah. He... was understanding, almost. *smiles* That's because he doesn't remember, either.
Cam: Oh, you mean he WON'T always be this way. Well, I should hope by the time he's a grandpa ... *snickers*
Hattie: *shakes head* Don't do that or even MOM won't be able to protect you.
Cam: Aw, who am I kidding. He's gonna stop worrying about you and start worrying about
Optimus Prime that kid of yours.
Hattie: Stop worrying about me? I wish my insta-age came with that switch. *wry* When are YOU going to stop worrying?
Cam: ... *trying to be all cool about it* Who says I worry now?
Hattie: You don't? About that time I got shot...
Cam: ... okay, I MAY have worried then.
Hattie: *smug smile to herself* You worry.
Cam: ... so do you.
Hattie: *maybe just a lil defensive* ... yeah? So?
Cam: *smug* Nothin'. Just nice to know you care.
Hattie: *makes a face and slugs him in his arm* Ugh. You.
Cam: Hey, no fair. You know I'm not gonna hit you back!
Hattie: I know! *laughs*
Cam: *tries not to rub his arm, because ... ow. But he's gotta look cool.* You're such a brat sometimes. *really dramatic sigh*
Hattie: *crinkles her nose and points* And you're a drama queen!
Cam: You take that back!
Hattie: Make me! I'm too old to spank.
Cam: *ahems* Is that what you tell KITT?
Hattie: As if I'd tell you! Besides, to be fair? *smirks* It's not what I told you before.
Cam: *makes a face* Okay, I know that technically it WAS ... will be ... me. But ... TMI.
Hattie: WON'T be you. Not anymore. *shrugs* Which is why it doesn't hurt to say it. Well- *snickers* Doesn't hurt ME.
Cam: ... *grumbles* I hate you.
Hattie: *teasing* You LOOOOOOOOOVE me. *thinks better of what she just said, nudges him and rests her head on his shoulder* You'd miss me if I weren't here.
Cam: *gives her a little affectionate noogie* Yeah, you've got a point there.
Any change, any loss, does not make us victims. Others can shake you, surprise you, disappoint you, but they can't prevent you from acting, from taking the situation you're presented with and moving on. No matter where you are in life, no matter what your situation, you can always do something. You always have a choice and the choice can be power.
- John Donne
"The answer is no, Hattie, and that's final."
Daniel Jackson's voice was the same irritating matter-of-fact tone he'd always taken when he'd found a new translation that he was certain was correct. The only difference was that this one had the added 'Dad' filter thrown in and Hattie had to grit her teeth to keep her temper.
"You can't make that kind of decision for me," she pointed out. "I'm not a kid any more."
It was a harsh point of contention between them. THE point of contention, as it were. True, he'd seen her grow up. He'd educated her in all the finer points of literature, math, science and more, not to mention the pick-ups she'd had from Sam and Landry, Teal'c and Cam. He wanted her to go back so that her mother could experience all those things with her, too.
He wanted her to have a normal childhood. She knew this. Just as he knew that she considered what she'd lived and breathed to be perfect. Living eighteen years in .08 of a second was fine to her. It was what she had known. Exploring the Ancient database had given her a different kind of education, but one that was rounded, nonetheless. She had no doubt that she would pass any college entrance exam upon returning to Earth.
They were all going back, that much was fact. Teal'c had been chosen to stay old since he had so many years on the rest of them due to his previous symbiote and current Tretonin use. The only remaining question was Hattie.
She was fighting tooth and nail to get to stay old.
"You'd take your childhood, watching you grow up into the beautiful woman you are, from your mother?" It wasn't a new argument, not all on it's own. The 'watching you grow up into what you are now' bit was, and Hattie was prepared.
"Dad. Who's to say I'd be the person I am now if I grew up on Earth? I wouldn't know half the things I do now, I would have had to suffer through public education, I wouldn't have unlimited access to galactic information and-" She sighed. "You'd take my childhood from me? All the Christmases, the birthday's, the... the LEARNING, everything that makes me ME from me, now?"
Hattie was dangerously close to crying.
"I wouldn't remember, honey," Daniel pointed out, taking off his glasses to wipe at his own eyes. "I won't remember any of that."
Shaking her head as she lowered it into her hands, she felt the tears come. "I can't have my life taken from me, Dad. Please. You have a life to go back to, I'll just go back to diapers and never knowing the awesome things I have and it feels like such a loss."
"Even if you never knew it was a loss?"
She just nodded. There were things they never talked about, things she hadn't told him about. Things he might have known about, but things they'd never actually discussed. And it was heartbreaking to know that all of it would be gone, too, with no one to remember how wonderful and beautiful it had been.
Quietly, her dad spoke again. "He wouldn't remember, either."
"All part of the tragedy, Dad," she said as she stood. He could make the decision, but she had to decide how she'd react. She wouldn't become a sobbing wreck. Nodding once at him, she left the room, taking a deep breath and heading to the workout room.
Once there, she took her frustrations out on a punching bag until her hands were raw, then winced as she ran them under cold water in her quarters.
"It'll all be for the best," came a voice as her door swished open.
Hattie sighed and looked down, patting at her knuckles with a light blue towel which she tossed into the sink. "Glad to see you're taking it with such a hearty attitude."
"Don't be like that," Cam said, crossing the room and wrapping his arms around her just as she sat, which caused them to tumble onto the bed. "Even if you stayed an adult, I'd forget and treat you horrible like I did in the beginning."
She nodded and rolled into his chest, burying her face there. "I know. I don't want to forget this, Cam, even if I'm the only one who remembers."
Sensing the seriousness of her tone and feeling how tense she was, Cam tightened his grip on her and kissed the top of her head. "Then talk to your dad again, sweetheart. Tell him. You always have a choice. And the choice can be power."
"Do you want me to remember, Cam? Or would it be easier if I forgot? Would you rather see me two again?"
"If you remember this," he murmured as he kissed her forehead gently, "and that I love you," he whispered, "I don't care how old either of us are. Talk to your dad."
Hattie nodded, feeling more like she had someone on her side, the one person who mattered. Her dad, for all his good intentions, couldn't prevent her from staying an adult.
When it came time, when the barrier went up, Hattie hugged Teal'c for the moment it took for the ship to explode. The heat, the intense heat, then black nothing-
- as she was shoved to the side with more explosions and she swore she saw a little girl vanish. She lay on the ground, her arms covering her head from the sparks and falling debris until she heard Sam Carter shout they were entering hyperspace. The pull behind her solar plexus gave her pause and then she stood, brushing off her uniform.
The look in her father's eyes as he searched for the toddler he'd been holding onto and the way it changed into one of knowing when he finally caught sight of her was almost heartbreaking. She swallowed and took a step forward. "Hi, Dad."
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It's not that they're not together. She'd prepared herself for that part, really she had. If it was simply not being held or hugged or kissed or even being made love to, that would be one thing. But that's not it at all. Not even a little bit.
It's the way that he looks right through her, as if he never loved her at all. And really? He didn't. He hasn't yet, and if everything goes right, he won't have the chance.
It's sick, really. Putting things right so that your life, everything you've ever known isn't really yours to experience. To remember. Those little moments that take two people to remember correctly, where you fill in the moments by finishing each other's sentences? She has to that herself, without any help from a diary or anything else. Even Teal'c's memory can only go so far.
It's the little things. She knows this. The way he'd touch her cheek before he sat down at breakfast or the way he looked at her while she studied the chessboard. The way their footsteps would run in pace or the way their breathing would even out together... after. Things that only SHE can remember, or forget.
It's not even that he doesn't remember loving her. It's that he'd be horrified if he knew the truth. It's that he looks at her like she's just a kid again, if he can remember that she's not two at all. It's that he treats her like one of the guys when he used to treat her like so much more. It's that she's just Hattie, again.
It's one thing to tell yourself that it would never have worked anyway, but it's something else entirely to see that played out as if your worst nightmare ("What if?") had come to life. She can't go back, she wouldn't want to go back and yet... she wonders. She wonders, in reverse now, what if? What if things hadn't gone back to normal? If time hadn't been reversed? If the Ori beam had finally hit the Odyssey and destroyed it or worse? If everyone had gotten old and died without her and she'd been forced to live the last twenty or thirty years of her life alone?
He might not remember being in love with her, but she remembers and she has to force herself to move forward. To act as though it never happened. She's not the only one, and maybe that's what sends her to Teal'c time and again. He has his own grief in love and they talk. They talk over and over and while he's stoic, she gets angry until there's nothing to be angry about anymore. She can't begrudge Cam his youth any more than he can begrudge her her age.
She watches him with Amy Vandenburg when they all take that vacation to Kansas. She knows her dad knows something she's not telling and there's a reason she's not telling. Would he kill her or murder Cam? It doesn't matter, it's all over and done and by the way Cam's disappeared with Amy, he's clearly moved on. Moved on from something he doesn't remember? It's not fair and she knows it, but she can't help the bitterness that chokes her from the inside out and the walk she takes into the middle of the cornfield does little to help the feeling.
On the base, he wonders why she's avoiding him, their chess games, their sparring matches and their jogs. When she agrees to the sparring match, there is genuine anger there and she has to quit before she attempts to do him serious damage. Instead, she agrees to an offworld mission with SG-12 as their linguist. Camping, it was not.
Instead, it gives her time to rethink her goals. SG-12, studying and finally, maybe, moving on from Cam. He knows now and while they have an understanding, they'll never be where they were. He's not 'her' Cam, anymore. Deep down she knows this even if her heart has a hard time recognizing it.