The Definition of Strength
Disclaimer: Stargate SG-1 and its characters are the property of Showtime/Viacom, MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions, and Gekko Productions. I have written this story for entertainment purposes only and no money whatsoever has exchanged hands. No copyright infringement is intended. The original characters, situations, and story are the property of the author(s).
It's an interesting concept, strength. When I was a kid it was all about fighting - whether my Dad could punch out Joey O'Leary's Dad, whether little Kenny Davis was ever going to be big enough to fight off the class bully. Bigger was stronger and that was all there was to it.
I know better now. I'm older, more world-weary. I guess you could say I've matured (oh how sister Catherine would have laughed to hear me say that). I learned that strength wasn't all about muscles or about beating anyone up. It was so much harder to be emotionally strong than it ever had been to smack someone over the head with a hockey stick.
My first real test was Iraq. I thought I was going to fall at the first hurdle but memories of Sara and of Charlie gave me what I needed to pull through and when I finally got back, I had to be strong for them.
I got used to it - never letting anyone see my pain; wanting them all to think I was invulnerable. By the time I lost Charlie I was so good at it that I'd forgotten how to express my emotions. I pushed Sara away, didn't have the strength to let her forgive me for what I'd done. I was prepared to die, not for the first time, but this time I felt I deserved it.
Ironically it was on a suicide mission that I met the man who gave me a will to live; made me see a greater purpose in what I was doing. Even more ironic, then, that the little geek Daniel was back then turned out to be one of the strongest men I've ever known. I don't think I ever told him that.
Now I'm sitting here on my rooftop with a bottle of beer in my hand and for the first time it really dawns on me that he's gone and that I'm really going to miss him. I don't know if I can keep doing this without Daniel but I know I have to. I'll put on my mask of strength and face the world, and while everyone else talks about what a heartless bastard I am, I know that Daniel, wherever he is, will understand.
If you enjoyed this story, please send feedback to