Title: Finally Home
Fandom: Stargate SG-1
Category: Angst, Slash, Drama, AU
Summary: Jonas has to decide between going home to Kelowna or staying here on Earth with Jack.
Author’s Note: This is the second story in a series that I’ve yet to title. The series will be written from the standpoint that Jack and Jonas are together during the middle and end of S6, through S7 and beyond. So basically, I’ll be adding Jonas into S7 (hence why it’s AU). The first story is What Could Be Better? and can be found at my website.
More Notes: Thank you to aelora for the beta and for her encouragement. It means a great deal to me. Thanks also to medie for the read through. I’m rather nervous about embarking on this series of stories. So their support has been priceless. *hugs* You two are great!
Spoilers: Up to and including Homecoming
Disclaimer: I don’t own them. Lot’s of other lucky people do. I just play in their sandbox because it’s fun.
Archive: At Heavenly Bodies.
Summary: This is the sequel to ‘What Could Be Better?‘
by Christina A.
Jonas had earned a reputation at the SGC for being extremely intelligent… a quick learner. What only a select few knew was that, along with the book learning, he was a quick study in life lessons as well. For example, he learned, long ago, how to hide his true emotions. His face could easily become a mask, only giving out the slightest hint as to his feelings. What people saw, he wanted them to see. But he hadn’t learned that here at the SGC. It had been honed and perfected here, but learned by years of working in Kelownan politics.
He was putting all his skills into practice now, though this was the most difficult of all tests. Given the level of emotions involved, he wasn’t surprised that he’d taken to hiding out in his… Dr. Jackson’s… office. The more he exposed himself to people, the more opportunities there were for his mask to crack and the pain to show. He didn’t want that to happen. He needed the mask more than ever now. Given the situation, he needed it.
What had happened had been good… great even! Everyone was happy, including him. Dr. Jackson was back. The archaeologist had returned from ascension. Oma had expelled him, and everyone was happy, which was as it should be. Everything was going back to being as it was supposed to be. Dr. Jackson was reclaiming his place on SG-1. Again, Jonas wasn’t going to argue the fact that it was Dr. Jackson’s place. Jonas had merely been the replacement.
Jonas was young and naïve about a lot of things, but he wasn’t delusional. He wholeheartedly agreed that Dr. Jackson belonged on SG-1, but he was left to wonder where that would leave him… personally and professionally. He loved being here… working here. He loved Jack. He loved the work. However, he’d also been offered the chance to go home to Kelowna. There, he could be instrumental in negotiating peace amongst his people. He’d no longer be branded as a traitor and could finally make a difference somewhere.
He had to wonder where he was needed most… Kelowna or here? He rubbed his sore arm and stretched out his side. Again, his inability to delude himself came to the forefront and he knew he was needed far less here.
But here… Earth held something far more appealing and necessary than Kelowna could ever hold. Earth was the home of Jack O’Neill. It hadn’t been so long ago since that magical Christmas. Jonas hadn’t known that Jack could smile like that. They’d lived together for months, and Jonas knew that full smiles were rare for the older man… even at home. It was his home, too, because he did still live there—technically. He hadn’t been ‘home’ though since Dr. Jackson’s return. He’d been confined to the infirmary, and he hadn’t complained about that. He was puzzled though. Jack had been with him during his stay, but in typical fashion, he hadn’t talked about the decision Jonas had to make.
This had only served to confuse Jonas more. They talked about TV, the weather, and books. Most of their conversations were superficial, but the weight of Jonas’ decision hung in the air between them. The deepest they delved into it was to talk about Dr. Jackson’s return. They didn’t discuss the implications as far as SG-1 either… or about Jonas’ place at the SGC. They just talked about Dr. Jackson and the friendship he shared with Jack.
He knew that Jack and Daniel were only friends. He understood that all they had ever been was friends… the best of ones. It had been a very rare occasion that Jack had opened up… just a little… and told him about Abydos and how Daniel had saved his life—twice. He’d taken a staff blast for him and then talked him out of suicide.
Jonas could comprehend the friendship, but with Dr. Jackson back, he was confused as to what to do. He loved Jack, but was that reason enough to stay? Did Jack even want him to? When he compared his reasons to go with his reasons for staying, it came down to simple choices really. Peace for his people or love for himself? Selflessness or selfishness? Mind or heart? He knew what he wanted, but was it what he should do?
At first, he didn’t notice the slight knocking at the door. It barely registered even as it grew louder. What finally caused him to lift his head was the loud banging. He was often distracted by thought but rarely on this personal of a level, hence why he missed hearing the knocking.
“So, what do I have to do to get noticed around here? Curse? Barge in? I’m not used to being ignored, you know?”
“Huh?” Jonas shook his head to get his mind back in the present and out of the clutter of confusion it had been residing in. “S… sorry, Colonel, come in.”
Jack sighed heavily. “Would you please…”
“… stop calling you ‘Colonel’ when we’re alone?” he finished the question and offered Jack a smile that didn’t quite touch his eyes. “Sorry about that.”
Jack came the rest of the way into the office and sat down on the chair opposite his lover. The look he gave the younger man was long and hard, giving away nothing and yet everything at the same time. Those who knew Jack could tell he had a lot on his mind. The light tone of his voice didn’t fool Jonas. “Made a decision yet?”
Jonas was surprised, however, that Jack came right to the heart of both their concerns. He normally beat around the bush, started and stopped, or just assumed Jonas would know what he wanted to say. Jonas contemplated his answer and the longer he took, the more pain became evident in Jack’s eyes. Could Jack O’Neill be feeling this to the same degree as he was? Having to be this openly honest saddened him in light of the revelation. “I haven’t,” he admitted, “I don’t… know what to do.”
Jack cleared his throat and let his inner struggle show on his face. But the guard was down only for a moment before it was back up again. He sat up a bit more straight and nodded his head. “Yeah… lots to think about, isn’t there?”
“There is,” Jonas agreed with a nod of his own. When he finally locked eyes with the other man, he practically begged for something… anything that would help him to make a decision. He let down the carefully upheld mask so Jack could see the anguish beneath it.
Of course, the look got the response Jonas assumed it would… nothing but a sigh. Jack wouldn’t offer anything unless Jonas asked directly. It frustrated the young man to no end. “Look,” the Kelownan finally said. He managed to sit up straight and pushed aside the notebook that was on the table in front of him. It was a move that easily illustrated his irritation. “There are a lot of reasons why I should go. Darn good ones. There’s only one, really, for staying…”
Jack shifted in his seat. “Yeah, well then…”
Jonas lifted his hand to stop Jack from saying any more. For once, the Colonel did it. “I don’t want to go,” he finally admitted. Amid all the confusion that was his thoughts, it was his heart that led him to finally speak.
Jack chuckled, an action born of sheer relief. Though he could tell it mystified Jonas. “Look,” he admitted as well, “I don’t want to influence you. It has to be your decision. You know, or should know, what I want. This has to be what you want.”
“So you want me to stay?”
Jack ran his hand over his hair. This was an action he reserved in order to let Jonas know that he was frustrated. Lovers or no, Jack’s patience had limits. When he finally spoke, his voice elevated loud enough to be heard in the corridor. “For cryin’ out loud, Jonas, why in the hell wouldn’t I want you to stay?”
The Kelownan’s initial reaction was one of shock. He didn’t speak at first, merely blinked his eyes. There was no denying his insecurities. Even as his relationship with Jack became more than just an affair and some of the self-doubt was alleviated, he still worried about the ‘what if’s’. What if they found someone more qualified for SG-1? What if he failed them? What if Dr. Jackson came back?
The last had only came up when they discussed the mission to Abydos, and Jack revealed he’d seen and talked to Dr. Jackson. Jonas hadn’t really thought it likely, but there was always an outside chance. One that had come to pass. His voice was quiet as he repeated, “You want me to stay?”
“Aw hell.” Jack stood up quickly and stalked over to the door. He slid it closed before taking three strides toward Jonas and spun the chair so Jonas faced him. It was a simple move to take his face in his hands and then he kissed the Kelownan… soundly. “Now, damn it, listen to me.” He pulled away and crossed back over to his seat. “I. Don’t. Want. You. To. Go. I can’t be any clearer than that. But for Christ’s sake, I shouldn’t be influencing your decision. It’s yours to make, and I don’t envy it at all. I just can’t make it for you.”
Jonas couldn’t speak. He couldn’t reply because he was still stunned.
Jack voice turned from annoyance to a growl. “I swear, Jonas, if you question again the fact that I want you to stay, I’m gonna dial that Gate myself and throw your skinny ass through it. And guess what? When you land on the other side, it’ll hurt… lots.” He couldn’t keep the gleam out of his eyes, even if he wanted to.
His comment caused Jonas’ concerned countenance to finally crack, and the young man had to laugh. This was classic Jack O’Neill. This was how he expressed his emotions. It was, more than likely, the best way he knew how. Finally, Jonas found the ability to speak. Jack had expressed his feelings, now Jonas needed to put words to his thoughts. “The Kelownans, Andarians, and Terranians are depending on me,” he said. Though the words were serious, his tone was teasing. In all reality, he’d already made up his mind to stay. The second Jack walked into the office; he knew he couldn’t leave. Being somewhere this man wasn’t would be too difficult.
The only hitch was the Joint Ruling Council. The Andarians and the Terranians only agreed to meet if he were the Kelownan representative.
The teasing glint in Jack’s eyes turned to mild confusion. His face showed the aggravation he was starting to feel over Jonas’ indecision. “What?” he finally asked, and all his emotions were conveyed in his voice.
Jonas had started to tease about going home, but the more he thought on it, the more confused he became. “My planet needs me,” he said softly.
Jonas watched his partner as he exhaled and slid back in his chair. Jack, other than the sigh, wasn’t giving away any of his thoughts towards Jonas’ last statement. When he did speak, however, his voice dripped with disdain. “Funny thing that. They NEED you… yet… Well damn it! Jonas, they branded you a traitor and now they’re blackmailing you by offering to clear your name!”
“They aren’t blackmailing me.”
“Bullshit if they aren’t! The Kelownan ambassador said it herself. *IF* you go back, *IF* you represent them, *THEN* your name will be cleared. If that isn’t blackmail…”
Jonas shook his head. He hadn’t heard it that way, but he also knew he wouldn’t be able to change Jack’s mind about his interpretation. Jonas had to change tactics, and the one he chose was to appeal on a level Jack completely understood. “They’re my people,” he said softly. “Tell me you wouldn’t be confused if you were in my position. We have a chance for peace that we haven’t had in centuries. Two of the three factions will only be there if I am… and that’s because of the experience I’ve attained by being here.” He sighed. Once again, he was torn. “Think of the lives that could be saved. Honestly, regardless of clearing my name, what would you do?” He knew what Jack’s answer would be. Any proof he needed could be easily gleaned from Jack’s past actions. How many times had Jack sacrificed himself for Earth? How many more times would he do it? Jonas had a really good idea about what Jack’s answer would be.
“Aw hell, Jonas. Be selfish for Christ’s sake!” He gave the other man a look that tried to be innocent but failed miserably. “Please.”
Jonas’ reaction wasn’t what he’d thought it would be. What Jack said baffled him, but the look on his face caused the younger man to laugh. He couldn’t help it, in all honesty. The situation was intense, to say the least, and the process they were using to make the decision wasn’t helping matters.
“What the hell is so funny?”
“Like you don’t know,” Jonas retorted. “That look you’re giving me… You’re sure as hell going to make certain that I stay. I can see it in your eyes.” He knew, on some level, that he always intended to stay. His heart was firmly in control, even if his head asserted itself once in a while. Jack O’Neill could be gruff, frustrating, even very confusing, but despite all of that, Jonas loved him. Yeah, it was a mushy sentiment, but it was true. He loved Jack’s loyalty, his devotion… Oh dear, he really was mushy.
“Figured you wouldn’t go,” Jack said with a smirk. He reached out and placed an understanding hand on Jonas’ arm. “What are you going to tell Ambassador Lady?”
That question had been the main cause of concern for Jonas. What would happen once he said no? Once again, he was perplexed. He let down his mask so Jack could see just how he was feeling over that question.
The Colonel grinned. “If I can offer some advice?”
“You could tell her to go to hell,” he offered with a shrug of his shoulders. It was like the answer was so obvious to him.
Jonas had to chuckle. Jack had a knack for saying the nastiest things, but smiling genuinely while he did it. It was then that the answer to his problem hit Jonas like a sledgehammer. His eyes opened wide and he leaned carefully toward Jack. “Or… I could go, negotiate peace, and then come back?” It was such a simple solution. Why hadn’t he thought of it before?
Jack lifted a brow and nodded. He leaned toward Jonas and said, “Or… you could do that.”
Jonas had to wonder for a moment if this wasn’t the solution Jack wanted him to reach all along. The Colonel wasn’t as dense as people thought, and he could be manipulative, though he was rarely this subtle about things. That thought gave Jonas an idea. Motivated by both his heart and his mind in this matter, he queried, “Maybe SG-1 could come with me as advisors?”
Jack’s immediate response was to shake his head. Jonas was the only Kelownan he liked. “No offense, but I really am not fond of the people who run your planet. Have nothing against the civilians I haven’t met, but the government does nothing but piss me off.”
Jonas understood the other man’s sentiments. In all actuality, he agreed with them. He had to sit back though and used his good hand to rub his side. It seemed odd to him that Jack would just let him return to Kelowna without going with him. Jack had been by his side almost the entire time he was in the infirmary. So why would Jack let him just leave now? “Well, yeah, I know you don’t like them. Can’t say that I do. But I think this is the best way to go about it, and besides the obvious, I think SG-1 could be of some help. It’s not like you guys haven’t done negotiations like this before.”
Jonas shook his head and had to try not to laugh. “So… you may not like it, but…”
“Yes…” Jack lifted a brow and smirked. Both actions were second nature to him.
When Jonas first arrived at the SGC, he’d heard the analogy that sometimes the Colonel’s head was harder than a brick. Incidents like these confirmed it. He tried for blunt. “I’ll be there. You’ll be there as advisors but… I still have my apartment.”
Jack slowly nodded. “Ah… yeah… Well there is that.” His smile was mischievous.
Jonas picked up a wadded piece of paper and threw it at his partner. “You’re an ass, and you’re going with me.”
“Yep.” It was Jonas’ turn to smirk. “Besides, you can use the time to figure out what the SGC can use me for when we get back.”
Jack shrugged. “Guess a five-man team is out of the question?”
Jonas figured this wasn’t Jack’s favorite topic of conversation. “General Hammond already told me that Dr. Jackson would be put back on SG-1 as soon as possible. I didn’t expect any different either. He belongs there. I was just his replacement. SG-1 doesn’t need two of him on the team.”
Jack opened his mouth to try to deny that, but how could he? Daniel ascended; Jonas joined the team. Daniel descended… “Yeah, about that…”
“It’s okay, Col… Jack. If anyone understands that the spot on SG-1 is Dr. Jackson’s, I do. I just want to be useful. I don’t want to wander around the SGC and do nothing… like I did before I joined SG-1. I just want to… be useful is all.”
Jack waggled his brows, taking that statement immediately to the gutter.
Again, Jonas had to laugh. The conversation was supposed to be serious, yet with one look, Jack had toned down the intensity and made a rather sad situation bearable. Then again, that was how Jack dealt with highly emotional moments. It wasn’t that he couldn’t handle them. He was living proof that the pain of loss could be survived, but it was how he chose to deal with it that made him unique. He dealt with it by using humor. Jonas never let anyone doubt how he felt about being a part of SG-1. He also knew that Jack couldn’t—or wouldn’t—do anything to try to change the General’s mind. With Dr. Jackson’s return, he was to retake his place on SG-1. It was where he belonged. Given all that there was to deal with, Jack colored the situation with humor. Jonas understood that.
“Jonas,” Jack finally said, “there is a place for you here. There are other SG teams.” His face honestly lit up as he continued, “Some of them get into almost as much trouble as we do. I’ll make sure that you get on one of those teams. I promise you that.”
Jonas simply nodded. He’d be useful, no doubt about it, and he’d still be with the SGC. He’d miss SG-1, but Jonas wasn’t the kind to ask—or hope—for what wasn’t his. Then again… he looked up at Jack. At one time, he’d hoped for the other man’s approval and believed he’d never get it. He’d been wrong about that.
Suddenly, he came to terms with the entire situation. It could be fun to work, say, with SG-16. There was nothing wrong with that. He could do this. He’d help Kelowna, negotiate peace, and then come back here to work with the SGC. He wouldn’t be on Jack’s team, but the most important fact was that he’d still be *in* Jack’s life. Everything else, he’d deal with as it happened. It was a pretty good deal.
Jack let out a long, exaggerated sigh and moved in his seat. “Well… damn it, Jonas! Say something!”
The younger man laughed. “Okay… Working on another SG team won’t be so bad, however…” He gave Jack a very devious look.
Jack, in turn, gave Jonas a long, hard, rather distrustful look. “What’s it going to cost me?” he asked, his voice revealing the fact that he was resigned to his fate.
The question sort of took Jonas by surprise. In all honesty, he hasn’t thought it all the way through. He’d just been having fun teasing Jack. The question now became what to ask for. Driver’s license? He was getting that. A car? He could buy one for himself. Whatever he asked for would have to be good… something Jack would enjoy giving… An enthusiastic request that was of a personal nature would really be beneficial to them both. He gave his partner a quirky smile and said, “It will cost you positioning.” He punctuated the statement with a wink.
Jack leaned forward, as close to Jonas as he could get and still remain in his seat. His voice dropped an octave and he nearly growled, “That’s m’boy. Now, let’s go home.”
Taking his cue from the other man, Jonas carefully leaned forward, and it was enough to bring them close enough to kiss. It was a quick one though, given where they were. Something like that would definitely be frowned upon by the SGC. Honestly, though, Jonas didn’t much care at the moment. He didn’t need public displays to know how Jack felt, but sometimes, it was nice to just relax. “Sounds like a really good idea to me. I miss being at home, you know? All my stuff is there.” There was no longer a reason to doubt where his home was. He’d been born on Kelowna and grew up there. Home for Jonas now was wherever Jack lived. The choice had been given to both of them. They’d had the opportunity to go their separate ways and chose to be together. Jonas would never doubt again where he belonged. He didn’t need to go back to Kelowna permanently. As he followed Jack out of his office, he knew he was already home.