Jack O'Neill? Jon O'Neill? Who is he and what will he become? Follows Jon O'Neill as he becomes his own person. I've always felt sorry for Jon - he is Jack, and he has to leave everyone and everything he ever knew. How does a person get past that? Jon must become his own person in the world, but what will he become?
I've played with the timeline just a touch on this to move it to a more modern setting and tweak the time passing between some events. IMO, some seasons should have passed much more quickly than a full year while others would have lasted longer than a year. Jon is created in 2004 and is "aged" to 14. Slightly AU, but only slightly.
This is my first story here. As everyone always asks - read and review!
October 3rd, 2004, Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado
Jack looked up at himself standing just a few feet away. This was freaky. Freaky Friday sort of freaky.
He felt like himself, but he could see the body that he should have standing just a few feet away, and he had spent the last couple days in this 14 year old body. He had finally figured out that he was a clone rather than some …freaky …de-aged alien project.
He really had to find a better word than 'freaky'.
It was starting to sink in that, that as much as he would swear up and down that he really was 'Jack', he really wasn't. He was nothing but a clone with imprinted memories.
It hadn't been until he was standing there with, um, himself in the Asgaard ship, ready to be 'fixed' that it finally hit home. He really wasn't Jack. No matter what he felt and thought. He thought of Teal'c, a wash of warmth for that friend who was closer than a brother. He thought of Daniel, annoying scientist who was still one of his best friends. Sam, his 2IC. He ... cared, no, he loved her.
And with that, Jonathan 'Jack' O'Neill broke.
All fake. He didn't actually love her; his heart was breaking but it was all just fake memories. His team, closer than a family, and everything he felt was just a fake bunch of ideas copy and pasted into his head.
He was nothing. A clone and memories. Standing in front of him was the real O'Neill.
He was tired, so tired. He knew it was his body breaking down, and he considered insisting that the process of dissolution continue, but they, she, obviously didn't want him to die, so he acquiesced. It didn't matter if it was just a fake love implanted in him - he still wasn't going to do anything to hurt her.
He couldn't remember much of the next several days. Maybe it was weeks. He couldn't be bothered to pay attention.
The Asgaard fixed him up. Ya sure youbetcha. Good as new. Bah. Who cared.
Then days of being shuttled around to and from meetings with Air Force officers, more NDA forms than he could have imagined, and numerous lectures and discussions. He was running on autopilot.
Financial arrangements. School attendance. 'Foster care.' He was going to be a teen again. He sure as hell didn't feel like a teen, but that's what he was, so that's what he would be.
That was blankly agreed to, merely nodding in agreement to whatever they said. Then it was time to pick out a name. Several names were generated, and a young lieutenant brought them to him.
"Sean Michael Donovan? What do you think of that one?"
What? The expression on his face must have been enough of a reaction.
"Ok, maybe not Sean. How about Peter Tiberius Brown?"
"What? Tiberius? Where the heck did you get these names?"
Jack could feel a wave of rebellion building inside.
"They're generated based off popularity for your background and age combined with some random selection." The officer, a first lieutenant hardly dry behind her ears if he was any judge, gave a wan smile at the face Jack made. "I agree on some of these. That's why it generates 5 names and you get to pick. No mixing and matching names, though. That can introduce patterns into our fake names. We've got three more here - Daniel Mar..."
"Nope," Jack interrupted her. "Not going with Daniel. In fact, I'm not giving up my name. I'm Jack O'Neill."
The young lady frowned at him and Jack almost laughed. He was forty six year old Colonel and this kid was looking at him like he was a little kid. He shoved down the voice that reminded him that he was just a kid.
"You can't have that name. The Colonel …"
Jack interrupted her. "No, and hell no. I'm keeping my name. You guys can assign whatever you want, but I am keeping my name."
"But Jack O'Neill is already…"
"Oh come on lieutenant! There are dozens if not hundreds of Jonathan J. O'Neills spread across the country. One more isn't going to make a difference. I am not giving up my name."
He wasn't entirely sure why the idea of changing his name was so repugnant to him. He'd spent months undercover going by different names during his black ops days. Maybe this was just the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back, but he wasn't budging on this.
"It's not your name. You are not Ja…"
Jack's fists slammed down on the table and his world went red as he lunged forward from his chair. The lieutenant's eyes widened and she jerked back.
Jack just barely kept himself from leaping across the table. A roaring pounded in his ears and he could see nothing but the woman across from him.
"I. Am. Jack. O'Neill."
The words came out sharp and harsh. The woman flinched at each word.
Jack pulled himself back from that edge. Years of self control kept himself from raging, smashing everything around him, but he couldn't trust himself to speak further.
The lieutenant stood up from her chair and backed toward the door. "I, I'll ... I'll go check with the captain." With that she wrenched the door open and almost ran out.
Jack stood still for a few seconds, getting his breathing under control before plopping back down into his seat.
"Way to go, Jack," he muttered to himself. "Scare some poor lieutenant who's just doing her job."
The burst of emotion had shattered his previous ennui, and he began to think again. The wheels that had been locked up for the last week began to spin as Jack began to fully examine his situation.
Five minutes later a captain entered the room with a condescending smile for the young boy in the room. "So, I hear that you feel like..."
The captain's voice faded off as Jack met his gaze. He was a Colonel and had done more than this pissant could dream of doing. He had faced down beings that could have destroyed the world, and won. He couldn't be a Colonel any more, but he wasn't about to roll over and play dead any more. If he had to be a teen again, he was going to do it on his terms.
The captain unconsciously swallowed at the gaze the fourteen year old boy leveled on him.
Two days later, that O'Neill was sitting across from him in his truck. Or not his truck, but that O'Neill's truck. He was still working on how to even think about this, but it was slowly coming together.
He would be a teen. He was being dropped off at school. He would do sports. He would sleep through classes. He would be fascinated with …whatever it was that teens were fascinated with these days. He could do this.
"So," that Jack said, and then went silent.
He had a moment of sympathy, because that was all he could think to say too.
"I don't think we should keep in touch."
He felt a pain as he heard his older self say it, knowing it was the only way and knowing he wouldn't be seeing Teal'c, or Daniel, or ... . His thoughts shied away from that. That hurt too much. Fake or no. It hurt.
"I agree. It would be just too … "
"Weird," they said together. For a moment their expressions mirrored each other in the shared humor.
He saw the relief on his other face. On the older face. That wasn't him. But it was him. But. He stopped his mind from following that trail again.
He opened the door and stepped out. The laughter and talking of a hundred kids filled his ears, and he gathered himself together, slipping into his new persona. He was a teen. He was fourteen. He was going to school. He was interested in everything that kids were interested in.
A trio of girls walked by and met his eyes before glancing away and giggling. He wasn't sure he could do this, but he had to.
"You're sure about this?"
He glanced around at the kids flooding the area. He noticed the girls looking at him again.
"Yeah. Who hasn't wished to be able to go a second time around and do it better?"
The older man glanced around, easily catching the glances aimed at the younger man. He smirked a little.
"Ya sure, youbetcha. Take care …" that Jack trailed off, feeling awkward at calling the teen by his own name.
A smirk appeared on the younger face. He knew exactly how he, they, er, whatever, were feeling. He felt weird using the name himself. He had gotten at least one thing straightened out in his mind, though.
"Jon. I'm Jon O'Neill."