TITLE: Just Desserts
SPOILERS: Quite a few
CONTENT WARNINGS: Character death - major or minor depends greatly on your point of view.
SUMMARY: Never assume anything because you could be wrong.
DISCLAIMER: I do not own Stargate SG-1. 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. No money has exchanged hands. No copyright infringement is intended. This story may not be posted elsewhere without the consent of the author.
AUTHOR'S NOTES: A lot of people don't care for the character of Jonas, and there have been several stories (both long and short) concerned with removing Jonas Quinn from the team and reinstating Daniel Jackson. I've been experimenting with several genres lately, and this is my contribution to this one. Thank you, Lems. You're a wonderful beta!
Fact or fiction: when waiting for an elevator, it's very easy to strike up a conversation with whomever's standing there with you -- even when you think that the conversation is semi-private...
The elevators had been moving slowly that day. The techs said it was a glitch in the computer system but would be fixed before morning. Waiting for the next elevator car to arrive had become a repetitive irritation, but everyone was trying to make the best of it. Such was the event that preceded the conversation of the two men waiting for the elevator.
"They're assigning him to SG-1?"
"The top brass was running out of people to take Doctor Jackson's place. It's been three months, and none of them worked out. O'Neill had to make a quick choice - Quinn or a Russian. He chose Quinn."
"Why? The Cold War's over. Russia's our ally now...O'Neill should have gone with the Russian."
"O'Neill came up through the ranks when Russia was our worst enemy. You don't trust people just because the politics change."
"So he'd rather trust a sniveling little coward who's responsible for what happened to Doctor Jackson rather than someone who would be interested in keeping the Stargate program going even if he was from Russia?"
"Looks like. Hell, I'm not giving Quinn any odds of surviving the first
mission. If he cowers behind a wall again and costs O'Neill another member of
his team when things get tough, they'll be looking for another replacement.
"There's a betting pool going as to how long until O'Neill zats him. Want in?"
"Sure. Sounds good."
The elevator doors opened and the two men stepped in to continue their conversation behind closed doors.
Unknown to them, their conversation was overheard. Jonas Quinn had been walking toward that elevator when he heard the two men talking. He crept into the shadows to listen further and heard the stark truth.
He was, what was the term? The booby prize.
It wasn't as if he were a coward. He hadn't known what to do when the accident happened in the lab back on Kelowna. He didn't know why Doctor Jackson was shooting out the glass until...whom was he kidding? The people at the SGC were soldiers who risked their lives daily trying to stop the Goa'uld. Doctor Jackson was no exception although he was a civilian. He had risked everything to save the Kelownans, and they had used him as a scapegoat. Jonas had put up a token resistance to the accusations against Jackson but had not pressed the issue once the decision by his superiors was made.
Were his actions cowardly? The soldiers at the SGC would think so. Was he a coward? He didn't think so, but why would someone act cowardly if he weren't a coward?
O'Neill was allowing him on SG-1. He had a chance to prove he wasn't like that. He'd studied all of SG-1ís mission reports (or at least those they allowed him to read), had memorized countless Stargate addresses, and had learned everything he could about Doctor Jackson's job. He felt he knew everything Jackson did. He would take his place and do the job so well that no one would miss Daniel. He already had one advantage: he had learned in three months what Doctor Jackson had taken a lifetime to accumulate.
He'd prove it to them all.
Tomorrow, SG-1 was making their quarterly visit to Abydos to get a fresh supply of naquada and check on how things were in general. A message from the chief elder, Kasuf, had stated that Shifu was visiting and O'Neill was to bring Jonas to answer "questions." Both O'Neill and Hammond acted surprised by the specific request for Jonas but seemed happy that this Shifu was present. O'Neill's comment of the trip being "just a little get-together with the family" prompted Jonas to research the name Shifu. He soon discovered that Shifu was connected to one of the files that had been kept from him due to its highly classified status. The boy was Doctor Jackson's stepson.
When Jonas had first asked for sanctuary at the SGC, he didn't realize how tightly knit a group it was, especially SG-1. It was no matter. No matter how many examples he found of how entrenched Doctor Jackson was in every aspect of everyday life of the SGC, no matter how much of Jackson's intuitive expertise was required by the everyday events at the base, no matter how important Daniel was to people like O'Neill, Jonas knew he could do Jackson's job and do it well. He had a lot to live up to, but he was certain he was up to the task. He'd start with the Abydonians.
The Abydonians were an untechnological people that Doctor Jackson had lived with for a year. His deceased wife's family lived there. His father-in-law was the chief elder of the nearby city. Jonas felt confident that he knew enough about the Abydonian culture and language that he would impress Kasuf. He would have to believe that his son-in-law's replacement was worthy, and Kasuf's good opinion would undoubtedly sway O'Neill, Carter and Teal'c into accepting him into SG-1.
Tomorrow, he'd be one of the gang.
The wormhole engaged and SG-1 stepped onto the ramp. Hammond saw the anger in O'Neill's eyes, and it wasn't a pleasant sight to see. He didn't know what happened yet, but for his second in command to be this furious after a trip to Abydos -- one of his favorite planets -- something very bad must have happened. It was then he realized that Jonas wasn't with the team.
Without delay, O'Neill walked into the control room while Teal'c and Carter hurried on to the infirmary for their after-mission exam.
"Colonel," Hammond asked, "where's Jonas?
"On Abydos, and he won't be coming back, sir."
"And why is that?" A part of Hammond was curious, another part didn't care that Jonas Quinn was permanently off his hands.
"While we were on Abydos, Jonas made a few comments about how he knew as much about the Abydonians as Daniel and how well he could speak the language, started going on and on about how Daniel had misinterpreted certain writings, that kind of stuff. It didn't go over very well."
"I imagine not. I take it Kasuf was very displeased."
"Oh, very," Jack repeated. "Nobody insults Daniel or his accomplishments when Kasuf's around. Then, Shifu showed up about that time. He was out playing with some of the other kids. Would you believe that he and Daniel have been spending a lot of time with each other?"
"They're together?" Hammond was pleased at that news.
"Seems so. Daniel's taken over as foster father. Oma's probably off ascending more people. Anyway, Daniel told him that every kid should have a childhood and sent him to Abydos to have some fun. He shows up in Kasuf's tent when Kasuf starts asking Jonas about what happened on Kelowna. When Jonas didn't seem to want to take any responsibility for his lack of actions and then starts lying about them, Shifu did a bit of a light show those ascended folks are so good at doing and showed Kasuf what really happened that day."
"Sir, the Abydonians hate liars and cowards and love Daniel. It seems that Jonas' actions have a penalty on Abydos. I'm sure you guess what happened."
Hammond almost breathed a sigh of relief. "So he won't ever be joining anyone ever again?"
"No, sir, he won't." There was no regret in O'Neill's voice.
"Colonel, this absolves us of any concern we might have been burdened with. May I ask why you're angry?"
Jack had to remember to rein in his temper. After all, he was speaking to his commanding officer. "Daniel's learning how to do a lot of things. Shifu said that he's got a lot of the basics down pat. The thing is, the radiation is still there. As long as Daniel stays ascended, the radiation burns off. It's almost completely gone, but if Daniel descends now, the radiation will come back and he'll die. He's got to stay ascended at least another two weeks before the radiation is gone completely and Daniel can be human again."
Two weeks? That short amount of time? "Colonel, this is good news!" Hammond was wondering why Jack wasn't almost dancing.
"Yes, sir. It is. And once he does descend, it won't have to be permanent. He'll be able to ascend anytime he wants, go back and forth whenever he wants to. He'll be the liaison between the ascended folks and us. Basically, he's gotten us some new allies. The problem is that we've got to wait two weeks. That'll give the Russians --"
"That will give the Russians the chance to request our putting one of their people on SG-1. I see the problem." The general liked the idea of a Russian team better than having a Russian on SG-1. At the moment, there was too much discontent between them and Colonel O'Neill to make any successful attempt. "Colonel, I think SG-1 has had some very stressful missions of late. You could all use some downtime. I know Teal'c would like to visit his family. The Academy has requested Major Carter to return to speak with a few classes. I believe you mentioned that you needed to repaint your house. You and your team have two weeks."
Jack loved working for this man. Who else could understand his troops' needs better? "I think that's an excellent idea, sir."
"Also, Colonel, you might want to take a few days out of your busy schedules to air out Doctor Jackson's apartment. I'm sure being closed up for three months has made it rather stuffy."
His apartment? "I thought we let his place go."
"I had the accounting department continue paying the rent. Knowing Doctor Jackson's unique ability to recover from what should be fatal situations, I had a feeling he'd be back. I wanted to make certain he had a home to come back to. I believe you've stored all his belongings in your basement? It might be a good idea to put those back as well."
Jack smiled. "Yes, sir." He saluted sharply and walked out of the control room.
Hammond grinned. Things were going to be put back to rights at the SGC.
One Month Later:
"Yo! Daniel! Let's go! This train's leaving!" Jack's voice carried over the ancient ruins. He could see Daniel's boonie tilting and moving by a nearby obelisk. He didn't know why he expected anything to be different. Why should it be? Daniel was back, he was back on the team, and he was healthy.
It had been quite a homecoming. The wormhole formed, the Abydonian signal was received and Daniel stepped through the event horizon as if he'd just returned from any other mission. Human. Solid. Corporeal. Not some shiny blob with wispy tentacles. The hugs and greetings commenced, even General Hammond showed a little more physicality than he was known for. Several dozen tests later, and Janet Fraiser had declared him completely healed. No radiation. Even his appendix scar was gone. Daniel had even joked that Jack would never get to see it now.
Their first mission came soon after Janet declared everyone physically fit. MALP pictures of ancient ruins found by a Stargate had sent ripples and waves through the archaeologists at the base. The writings on the obelisks were definitely Goa'uld and they were definitely about Ra, Hathor and Seth. So off SG-1 went, all members intact.
Nothing was different. The writings so entranced Daniel that he went into scholar mode almost immediately. Jack hadn't realized how much he had missed that. He'd missed the intelligence and intuition his friend unknowingly possessed. He had missed how quickly Daniel's mind worked when putting the pieces of the puzzles together. This was why none of his replacements worked out. They just weren't Daniel.
"Daniel!" Ignoring Sam and Teal'c's grins of utter amusement, Jack marched over to his friend and saw him sitting on the ground scribbling furiously into his notebook. "Uh, excuse me, Doctor Jackson, but time's up. We have to go home."
"Yeah, okay, Jack." And he just kept writing.
"It's incredible. Look at this, Jack. It's more information on the beginnings of the Goa'uld that we've ever seen before! This is even more than the hieroglyphs told on Abydos."
"And mares eat oats and does eat oats and little lambs eat ivy...."
It took a moment for Daniel to realize what Jack had said. "What?" he asked.
"Daniel, we have to go. We have to be back on base for that meeting with those Pentagon pencil pushers this afternoon. I'll tell Hammond that you found a whole new library to search through, and we'll come back. But we have to go. Now."
"Oh. Right. Meeting." Daniel started collecting his stuff, the boonie moving as Daniel's head moved back and forth. "I didn't miss those."
"No, didn't think you would. Iím sure the pencil-necked geeks missed having you at them though. They havenít been pleasantly confused with the truth and common sense since you left."
"That's not difficult. Even you could do it." Daniel told him. "They're military intelligence..."
"Contradiction in terms..." Jack added. "Doesn't matter. You're still a hell of a lot better at confusing them than I am."
Daniel glanced at his friend who was grinning. "A compliment? That's not like you."
"Aw, I do give them from time to time." Jack reached down, shoved Daniel's pack into Daniel's arms and pulled him along. "But if you ever tell anyone, I'll deny it. Or worse, I'll let you deal with those pencil pushers all by yourself."
One Month After That
The elevators never were fixed properly. People had to wait for the slow moving cars. The techs had sworn that the glitches were fixed, but then new glitches showed up. Two individuals waited for the next car going up to the first level.
"So, how are things with SG-1? I've heard that Colonel O'Neill hasn't chewed anyone out for weeks."
"Since Doctor Jackson came back, everything's been back to normal."
"That's good. Don't think I want to deal with O'Neill the way he was again. No one crosses this guy."
"Only Jackson's got what it takes to do that."
"Yeah, but he can ascend and wipe out the base if someone gets him mad. Isn't anyone worried about that?"
"You're kidding, right? Jackson wouldn't do anything like that. He doesn't even do light shows here on base. He only uses that ascended stuff off world. Heard he wiped out a couple of death gliders a couple of missions ago. Seems his abilities come in handy."
"Good. Hey, whatever happened to that replacement? The one that O'Neill had to take so he wouldn't have a Russian on the team? Oh, whatsisname...."
"Who remembers names? He couldn't have been that important. Besides, whoever he was, he wasn't Daniel Jackson."
The elevator arrived, the doors opened and the two men stepped in to continue their conversation behind closed doors.
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