Janet Fraiser had always wondered what her life would have been like had her parents allowed her to keep her baby daughter; she’d often daydreamed about it in one of her more boring classes in school or college.
She couldn’t even get away from the memory of her daughter when she slept, in fact they were worse and more vivid; she’d often dreamed of a seemingly-endless hall that eventually faded into the darkness. It was always the same, she would hear a little girl crying, the noise echoing around her.
She always ran towards the noise but it seemed that the closer she got the further away the child went; her cries only coming louder and more desperate.
Despite the fact that she hadn’t seen her daughter for the last decade and a half the dreams that started after she’d given her up still hadn’t faded; she’d often wake up shaking and feeling the weight of sadness pressing down on her.
The auburn-haired woman sighed as she watched her new adopted daughter, Cassandra, sleep in a semi-peaceful state; the child was still traumatized over the events that happened before, during and after their intrusion onto the planet Hanka.
Cassie’s entire family had died and suddenly she was in an entirely different world altogether with people she was only just starting to trust, apart from that there was the survivor’s guilt that they had to consider; the girl wasn’t very open about what had happened on Hanka or about her family.
Janet had only learned that Cassie had a mom that she missed very much, other than that she never talked about Hanka.
The doctor frowned slightly as the twelve-year-old strawberry-blonde girl shifted restlessly in her new bed, her panicked mumbling met her ears making the sadness already in her grow and deepen.
She walked further into Cassie’s bedroom and carefully sat on the girl’s bed, Cassie had a terrified look on her pale face; Janet lay a cool hand over the child’s hot forehead and smoothed some of her reddish hair away from her face gently. Janet looked at her, the girl whimpered but she stopped her panicked murmurs.
Slowly, the fear seemed to drain from her girl’s face as she calmed down; still looking less than content, suddenly the girl smiled slightly, eyes still closed.
“Mom?” she mumbled in her sleep. She sleepily rolled onto her side, still facing Janet, and then relaxed as she fell into a deeper sleep that lacked the aftermath of the Tau’ri’s interference on Hanka.
Janet smiled at her adopted daughter silently, feeling the remorse on behalf of the Goa’uld that had stripped Cassandra of her family and her world settle deep inside her along with everything else.
Finally, Janet stood up and walked out of the room, pausing for a moment to check that Cassie was still sleeping peacefully, and then she went to bed.
Forty-five minutes later saw her still being awake and unable to sleep; she sighed and turned on the bedside lamp on the small table beside her bed; she squinted at the sudden brightness as she sat up.
As her eyes adjusted to the brightness she yet again got lost in thoughts of her biological daughter, she missed her. She’d jumped at the chance of adopting Cassie, maybe subconsciously she was trying to make up for giving away her own child. Though she knew that she hadn’t had a choice in that matter.
Adopting Cassandra was a way of taking something back from the world that had taken away Willow; giving herself the experience of taking care of a child and protecting them- something that she’d never had chance to do.
It had been months since she’d adopted Cassie and her feelings towards her adopted daughter had changed since then, she wasn’t trying to think of Cassie as being the daughter she’d abandoned anymore; no, Cassie was a separate girl all her own.
Janet wasn’t trying to see her as something she wasn’t, she was now seeing her as what she was- a orphaned girl in need of a family, a very brave, smart little girl who Janet was going to protect with her life no matter what.
Cassie wasn’t Willow, and Janet didn’t want her to be; she already loved the girl for who she was, just as she loved her biological daughter from afar. Wherever Willow was Janet loved her.
She wished she could see that she was okay, the nightmares always made her wonder whether Willow was okay, she was sure she was. She’d left Willow in the care of Sheila; the baby’s own aunt, her own blood family.
She was fine.
Janet’s eyes had now adjusted to the brightness; she stretched out her hand towards the drawer of the small table and pulled it open; then she withdrew a photograph.
It was a photo of Willow, the picture had been taken a day before her daughter had been taken away from her; she still hadn’t forgiven her parents for making her give Willow up.
But sometimes she managed to see it from her parents’ point of view; and this was it- their young teenage daughter her gotten herself pregnant and the father, more immature than she was, didn’t want it. Janet was still only a child herself and, though her intentions would only be good, she’d never be able to bring the girl up by herself. She simply wasn’t old enough or mature enough to do so.
The fact was made obvious simply because she’d gotten pregnant in the first place.
Janet ran a hand through her hair, maybe they were right in THAT aspect- as in the fact that giving Willow to the Rosenberg’s to bring up- but the thing was they were wrong about keeping Janet away from her.
It was bad enough that Willow was going to be calling another woman ‘mom’ but to not be able to at least LOOK at her daughter was just plain torture to her.
Maybe she agreed with giving her to Sheila, but she’d never say that moving away from her daughter was a good thing.
She’d missed the first sixteen years of her daughter’s life; and she was most likely going to miss the rest of it; she’d tried to find Willow after she’d graduated high school but it was like looking for a needle in a haystack, she could be anywhere.
Finally, she’s given up looking after her first year at Medical school had started; maybe she’d have a chance at looking for her daughter later on.
For a few years after she’d graduated high school Janet had looked high and low for her whenever she had the time to; but time after time after time she’d come up with nothing.
Nothing but the reminder of what she’d lost.