Title: Simple Addition
Fandom: Stargate SG-1
Category: gen, angst, hurt/comfort, drama
Summary: Jack faces some of his issues concerning Jonas after the two are caught in a crossfire and stuck together.
Spoilers: slight ones for "Descent"
Disclaimer: The characters and situations of Stargate SG-1 do not belong to me. This story is for entertainment only and I make no money from it. Please don't sue.
Author's Note: This takes place early in season 6; it probably fits best between the events of "Descent" and "Frozen." It is focused on Jonas and Jack. I like Jonas and yes, I know that is a minority opinion in the fandom. I love Daniel as well; I've just found a way to appreciate them both. That is part of the theme of this story. Still, if you hate Jonas, you may want to leave now. Also, there is some talk of injury (not too graphic) and treatment, so I have to throw in my standard "I am not a doctor" disclaimer and apologize if it is not completely accurate. If I still have anyone with me (and I hope I do!), please read on and let me know what you think!
Jack stared warily at the unhappy native. At least, he assumed the man was unhappy. It was a bit hard to tell with all the face paint and the rather gaudy headdress hiding all but his eyes. But years of experience on other planets had taught him that tense body language and a raised voice spouting off gibberish at a rate this fast were not good signs.
The Chieftain finally paused to take a breath and Jack glanced backwards. "You want to take this one?"
His eyes still automatically searched for Daniel. It was a habit he couldn't seem to break, a habit that always sent a familiar pang to his heart with the realization that Daniel was no longer standing there. He thought that pain was supposed to diminish with time. It wasn't.
He shook himself back to the present as Jonas—not Daniel—stepped up beside him. "I think I've got it, Colonel." Then he went and spouted some of the same gibberish back in a calmer tone. The young alien never failed to amaze with his lightning-fast ability to learn. Again Jack's years of experience kicked in and he simply stood looking at the Chieftain, trying to give the impression that he had some idea what the heck his teammate was saying.
They went back and forth like this for several minutes, Jonas' calm seeming to slip a bit each time he spoke. When Jack grew tired of the exchange and saw no improvement in the man's mood, he interrupted. "Jonas. Care to clue in the rest of the class?"
"Uh…they say we're not like any Jaffa they've ever met."
Jack glanced behind them as if Teal'c could have somehow tagged along without them noticing. Nope—the road was clear. SG-1's only Jaffa was a couple of miles away performing a scout with Carter. Jack brought his attention back to Jonas, a wary eye staying with the group of men. "We usually get this type of thing when the natives are afraid of Teal'c. Did you tell them we're not Jaffa?"
"Of course." Jonas managed to seem only a little insulted at the insinuation that he had no idea what he was doing. "I think they know that. They keep asking me where the Jaffa are. Something about tributes…just give me a minute, Colonel."
Jonas went back to his gibberish. Jack blinked at him. If the 'Colonel' hadn't been tacked onto the end of that, it would have been a Daniel-flashback. In fact, standing by his side while he spoke in some alien dialect and tried to calm an agitated native…the whole thing had a definite deja vu quality to it.
'Stop it, Jack,' he ordered himself mentally. He couldn't afford to do that in the middle of a mission, especially when there were a whole bunch of possible hostiles facing off with them. He didn't like the idea that these people were so familiar with Jaffa. He eyed one of the men behind the Chieftain, who was in turn eyeing the sharp end of the spear in his hands. Jack's fingers tensed on his lowered weapon. "Jonas?"
"Ah…I think they were expecting someone else, Colonel."
Jack prompted, "Like who?"
He got his answer not from Jonas, but from one of the native boys who suddenly became animated. Jack spun around to follow the pointing finger and found a group of Jaffa just coming into view, heading straight toward their little gathering.
The natives went crazy. At least, that was Jack's take on things as they all began screeching their gibberish and jumping around, pulling weapons. He readied his own in response, but it was a little unclear which way he should be pointing. "Do they understand that we're not with them?"
"I don't think so," the young man replied before trying to get the Chieftain's attention again. It was no good; he couldn't be heard over the commotion.
"He doesn't think so," Jack mumbled sarcastically. He looked warily from the natives to the approaching Jaffa. "Something tells me this is not a place we want to be…"
Jonas' call made Jack turn back to the natives. He instantly spotted what had the Kelownan so worked up—at least one of them was wielding a staff weapon of his own.
"What the—" He didn't have time to complete the thought as the first blast came from the group of natives. It took the Jaffa about 3 seconds to realize that they were being attacked, after which they promptly started firing back. Jack reacted, calling "Hit the deck!" and diving for the cover of the trees on his left.
The verbal command was merely a reflex, unnecessary in reality because he physically hauled Jonas right along with him. The young man was still new to all of this soldier stuff. It wouldn't do to have him get his head blown off.
They hit the ground hard and scrambled for better cover. Jack made sure they were a relatively safe distance from the fighting before he turned, pulling Jonas to relative safety behind him, and checked out the battle.
The natives were greater in number and seemed seriously ticked off, but Jack had no doubt it would still be a massacre. One or two staff weapons in the hands of the inexperienced wouldn't hold up long against trained Jaffa.
"Colonel? Jonas?" Carter's voice crackled through the radio at his shoulder.
"We're here, Carter," he responded.
"We're hearing shots, sir."
"What a coincidence; we're seeing them. We've got a group of natives trying their hand against some Jaffa. I personally am not placing bets on the natives."
"Do you require assistance, O'Neill?" Teal'c asked.
Jonas spoke up from behind Jack, not into the radio but only to his CO. "If we added our firepower, we might be able to even the odds."
Jack frowned, not at the suggestion but at the unexpected weakness of Jonas' voice. "Jonas?" Reaching behind him, he connected with wet flesh and earned a pained gasp. His fingers came away sticky and crimson.
He turned fully then, attention shifting from the battle as he looked for the source of the blood. So much for his 'protect the new kid' routine. Jonas' upper right arm was a bloody mess, the obvious result of a staff blast. Jack cursed under his breath, wondering how he hadn't noticed this immediately.
"And what do you think you're going to be able to fire with that arm?" he snapped, instinct kicking in as he hastily began making a makeshift bandage from a bandana.
"We can't just let them be slaughtered," Jonas protested. It might have had more weight if the pain hadn't been so evident in his voice.
"Do you even know which side this shot came from? You said yourself that they think we're with them. They might not be too welcoming." He tied off the bandana, but knew that it was woefully inadequate. He needed to get the younger man further from the fighting so he could attend to it. Then he'd also have time to worry about this seeming lack of self-preservation. Who actually wanted to charge into battle wounded?
"Colonel?" He realized he hadn't answered Teal'c. Carter sounded a little concerned.
Jonas started to speak again, but Jack hushed him and reached for his radio. "Jonas is injured, but I think he can walk." He paused to look at their surroundings, then considered his options. "You two circle back to the gate; we'll meet you there."
There was a slight hesitation, then a "Yes, sir."
Jonas was still conscious, though his breathing was rapid and he was in obvious agony. "You with me here?" Jack asked. His response was a jerky nod. No arguments, for which he was thankful. "Okay, let's go." He reached for the younger man, soon finding that he was hardly lighter than Daniel. He grunted as he got him upright, thankful that he didn't have to carry him. He got a better grip and started off through the trees.
The sounds of battle continued behind them, dimming with distance. Jack angled around the conflict and back towards the gate. When he was sure they weren't being pursued and thought that they had put a safe enough distance behind them, he paused for a break.
Jack sat Jonas down at the base of a tree, leaning him back against the trunk for support. He made sure the young alien would stay upright before he let go to shrug out of his pack. His actions were quick but well rehearsed as he removed the makeshift bandage. He then reached for the medical kit as his eyes studied the bloody upper arm. He hated staff blast wounds.
Jack slowly pulled the fabric away from the charred skin and gently probed the wound, earning a gasp of pain from his patient. Jack involuntarily winced, knowing how much it must hurt. He glanced up to Jonas's face, a little concerned about the pale complexion. "I've seen worse," he pronounced as he reached for the bandages. "I think you'll live."
Jonas bit his lip and nodded, obviously trying to play the part of the brave soldier. "Sorry," he murmured.
Jack glanced up from his bandaging. "For what?"
"Did you do it on purpose?"
That earned him an odd look and a slightly confused, "No."
"Then stop apologizing." Maybe it came out more gruffly than he had intended. Whatever the reason, Jonas nodded slightly and shut his mouth, saying nothing more.
Feeling unexpectedly guilty, Jack spoke again as he tied off the hasty bandage. "Aren't you forgetting something?"
Another confused look. This kid was good at those.
Jack explained lightly, "This is the first time you've been shot. Shouldn't you be smiling?"
Jonas cracked a weak grin in response.
Jack smiled also and reached up to playfully grip the back of his neck. "That's my boy."
It was a few long hours later when they neared the gate. They found that Jonas could walk on his own if they went slowly, or they could pick up the pace a bit when he leaned on Jack. They alternated between the two as they wove their way through the trees, not willing to risk meeting someone on the pathway they'd taken earlier.
Jonas was holding up like a trooper. Jack was actually rather impressed. But he was glad they were nearing the gate, especially since he suspected nightfall was not that far off.
Soon they were atop a small hill overlooking the gate. Jack was just reaching the crest when Carter's hushed voice cut through on the radio. "Sir, we're in sight of the gate. But we have a problem." At that moment he got his first view of the area…and had to abruptly go to the ground at the sight. He tugged Jonas down beside him, made sure he was all right, then looked back to the gate with a sinking heart.
Jaffa. Everywhere. Not a massive army by any means, but more than enough to effectively guard the gate. And there was no telling when their friends would be finished with the natives and wander back down the road. Jack grimaced. "What else could go wrong?" he grumbled.
Jonas was looking up at the sky. "It could get dark, Colonel. And it could rain."
"That was a rhetorical question, Jonas." Still, he looked for himself. The light was definitely dimming quickly. And it was hard to tell with the encroaching dusk, but those gray things did look suspiciously like storm clouds.
Not twenty seconds after he had the thought he felt the first raindrop hit his nose. He sighed, then cued the radio. "Carter, I think we're going to have to take shelter. We've got a cave about a hundred yards behind us. You two want to join us?"
"We'll have to take the long way around, sir. But we'll be there."
"I'll leave a light on for you," he responded, then reached for Jonas again. The young man looked even worse for wear in the growing shadows. "You up to another walk?" he asked with some concern.
He received an affirmative nod. "What about the Jaffa?"
"They can find their own cave. Or, with any luck, they'll melt."
Jonas seemed confused by the reference. While he was puzzling over his Colonel's sense of humor, Jack regained their balance and started the short trek back through the woods.
The rain was a fine but steady mist that might actually have been enjoyable under other circumstances. But now, it was simply adding to the cooling temperature of the nightfall. While they weren't soaked when they reached the rock entrance, they were definitely damp. Jack deposited Jonas by the opening with instructions to stay put. He needed to go in first, just in case it was already inhabited.
He lit the area around him with his flashlight. It was fairly small, but after walking the circumference of the walls he determined that it seemed to be closed in and habitable. In fact it might have been a home once, or at least an area of recreation, if the colorful drawings covering the rock face were any indication. Jack reached out to touch one lightly, smiling wistfully. If Daniel were here, this cave would be like Christmas for him. Of course Jack would have had to drag him away by force to get him to rest…
A sudden sound behind him brought him off memory lane and made him spin around, gun and flashlight up. A few seconds later he clenched his jaw and lowered the gun. He let Jonas squint into the blinding light a bit longer. "Are you trying to get yourself shot again? I told you to stay put!"
"It started raining harder and the wind picked up. I didn't want to get soaked," Jonas offered in explanation. "I can walk. And I brought in some dry twigs from the entranceway before they could get wet."
Jack angled the light downward to find a nice little pile, perfect for a fire. It did little to make him happier about being disobeyed. But Jonas looked a little unsteady on his feet, so Jack swallowed his reprimand and dropped the issue.
He walked over to get the wood, choosing a spot where they could see the entrance to protect themselves from unwanted visitors but would still be shielded from the elements. Jonas followed, dragging their gear with his good arm, and lowered himself to the cave floor with a grimace. He leaned back, resting against the wall as Jack dug for a match and lit the fire.
Jack expected the kid was exhausted enough that he wouldn't move from that position. But when the flames lit the small cavern in their glow, Jonas seemed to come to life again. Jack was surprised when he abruptly struggled to his feet again with a "Wow."
"Where do you think you're going now?" Jack reached for him, but he was already up and moving towards the opposite wall.
"Did you see these?" came the slightly awed voice as he took in the drawings.
"Yes," Jack offered absently. He tried to ignore the almost childish excitement and went about pulling out the necessities to make this a campsite. He allowed Jonas a few minutes of viewing before the younger man tripped over his own two feet and almost fell headfirst to the cave floor. "All right, come back and sit down before you fall and hurt something else."
"I'm okay." Jonas spared him a small smile before looking back. "Colonel, these are amazing!"
"Yes, pretty drawings," Jack said, sarcasm evident. "They'll still be there after you rest. Now get back over here."
Jonas didn't seem to have heard a word he said. "I wonder how recent these are…look, this could represent the Goa'uld they're paying tribute to. This could have been going on for centuries…"
"That was an order you know," Jack threw in sharply, temper flaring. The last thing he needed was to have to haul himself up and go physically retrieve the kid.
"Just a second," Jonas responded absently, thoroughly engrossed in his new discovery.
That was it. Jack had had it. The words were a conditioned response and out of his mouth before he put any thought into it. "Damn it, Daniel!"
Jonas spun to stare at him, mouth open slightly in shock.
But he couldn't have been more surprised than Jack. The realization of what he'd said hit him with the impact of a punch. He shut his eyes tightly, bringing a hand up to rub furiously at his forehead. When he'd gathered himself enough to look up again, Jonas had taken to studying the ground as if he'd done something horribly wrong. Jack shook his head. "Jonas…" he started softly.
"I'm sorry," Jonas interrupted. "I shouldn't have…I'm sorry." He obediently returned to the fireside, not unlike a puppy who'd been kicked.
And Jack knew he should say something. He knew he couldn't just leave that hanging, but he had no idea what to think about it himself. He also wasn't near comfortable enough with Jonas to get into a deep conversation. So he shook it aside and moved the few feet to where Jonas was trying unsuccessfully to settle in. "Here, let me change your bandage first."
That was an interesting feat, done with no eye contact whatsoever. Jonas was a docile patient, one thing he didn't have in common with Daniel. Janet probably loved this one. Or, it was possible that he was only this subdued because of what had just transpired. The silence in the cavern was almost palpable.
Jack sighed. "I guess we should talk about the giant elephant in the corner," he muttered to himself.
Jonas overheard and stirred, looking around at the wall paintings. "Where? I don't see any elephants. You think this planet has elephants?"
Jack chuckled softly despite himself. He'd almost forgotten he was dealing with an alien. "It's just an expression, Jonas. There is no elephant."
"Oh." He actually seemed disappointed. "I'd like to see a real elephant someday," he added absently, then frowned. "What were we talking about?"
Jack frowned as well, not liking the wandering thoughts. He placed a hand against a slightly clammy cheek. "Not going into shock on me, are you?"
"Not on purpose," came the vague reply. Jonas' attention drifted back over Jack's shoulder to the drawings.
Jack sighed. Carter was his resident medical person in the field, and she was still out playing in the rain. He was no doctor. Of course as CO he could handle the basics, but he'd much prefer to have Jonas back in the SGC infirmary. But knowing that all of the wishful thinking in the world wasn't going to get him anywhere, he mentally went through the steps to treat shock, just in case. Keep him warm, give him fluids. Seemed simple enough.
As he collected their blankets, he tried to encourage Jonas to stay alert. "So…tell me about all the little stick figures," he said, gesturing at the walls and assuming that would get him a detailed lecture about culture and whatnot.
Jonas didn't disappoint. Seeming pleased that Jack actually seemed interested, the young man visibly gathered himself to speak. "These drawings are probably decades old, maybe more. If I'm right and the one over there symbolizes whichever Goa'uld those Jaffa represented," he gestured with his good arm to the spot he'd been standing earlier, hampered only slightly by the blanket Jack was wrapping carefully around his back, "then they've probably been carrying out this tribute for just as long. If you look at the way it's drawn, you get the impression that they don't exactly enjoy offering it."
"I got that impression from the weapons aimed our way," Jack threw in as he tried to find some way to wrap the blanket securely and avoid constraining the injured arm.
"Well, yes, there was that," Jonas conceded. "One of them tried to tell me that they 'no longer believed in the god.' I was still trying to understand when the Jaffa showed up, but I think they got fed up with being forced to pay tribute to a false god and decided to do something about it. They'd probably been planning this rebellion for quite a while, including gathering those couple of staff weapons at some point."
"So we just happened along on the day all of this was finally going down," Jack concluded. "What are the odds on that one?" he added with a touch of sarcasm. He should know by now never to take the odds when it came to his team. If there was a possibility of trouble, they'd find it.
He uncapped a water bottle and held it out to the younger man. He couldn't help but notice that the hand shook as he took a drink. Jonas was shivering. Now that they weren't exerting themselves, the chill of the night and rain was sinking in. That wouldn't work; he was supposed to be warm to stave off shock.
Now if this was Daniel, Jack wouldn't have hesitated to settle in beside him and pull him close, providing the warmth himself. That was a testament in and of itself to how close he and Daniel had become; normal boundaries didn't apply. Daniel had gotten so far under his defenses that he was like a little brother.
But Daniel wasn't here. Jonas was. This was definitely going to be a bit more awkward. But he was the commanding officer and his responsibility was to the people in his command. Jonas was a member of his team who needed something, and he would give it.
He moved to sit beside the young man, leaning against the cave wall. Jonas looked at him curiously. He explained simply, "You're cold. Come here."
Jonas was obviously surprised, but he didn't protest as Jack tugged him over and attempted to find a comfortable position, settling him against his shoulder. There was a certain awkwardness, but Jack simply draped the remaining blanket over both of them and began rubbing his back.
The shivering continued for a while, but definitely lessened as the gesture did what it had intended. Jonas also relaxed more as the minutes ticked past. Jack wasn't sure whether to attribute that to a higher comfort level or just the obvious exhaustion the day had bred. The cave was quiet, with only the popping of the small flames accompanying their breathing. Jack silently congratulated himself on actually getting the young man to rest.
He was surprised when Jonas broke the silence. "What does the elephant represent?"
Maybe he wasn't as out of it as Jack thought. Or maybe it was just that intellectual mind that refused to forget anything that might be significant. Jack sighed and gave the desired explanation. "Some big thing or issue that everyone is avoiding discussing. Like having a big elephant in the corner, not exactly a normal sight, and no one commenting about it."
Jonas nodded slightly against him. He was a smart boy and could draw the conclusions and implications all on his own. Still, his directness took Jack by surprise. "Colonel, I know you miss Dr. Jackson. And I know you probably still blame me for my role in all of it. I don't blame you for feeling that way. I just hope that someday you'll be able to accept me."
And there it was. And yet…Jack had felt that blame at first. He had been telling himself that he still felt it right up until the whole incident with the mother ship. But now when he honestly examined it, he suspected that it was simply masking something deeper. He wasn't sure he was ready to look at that truth yet.
He tried to find some tactful way to put it to his new teammate. "I don't think it's about blame, Jonas. I'm not saying that I didn't feel that way at first, because I did. But now…you're just not Daniel. It's going to take me a while to adjust, that's all."
"I understand that," Jonas said quietly.
They sat in silence for a few minutes. But it wasn't the strained silence that usually existed between them; instead it was almost companionable. Something prompted Jack to continue. "You remind me of him sometimes," he confessed softly.
Jonas twisted to look up at him, obviously surprised. "I remind you of Dr. Jackson?" he asked, as if needing clarification.
"Huh." Jonas turned his face back towards the fire. After a moment he responded quietly, "That's probably the best compliment I've had in a long time."
Jack thought of all the comparisons that he couldn't seem to stop making. The big brain with all the facts, the excitement over some cultural discovery, the gibberish with the natives, the slightly naïve we-can-save-the-world attitude. The confused and surprised looks in reaction to his CO's humor because he just didn't quite "get" Jack yet. Even the little orders disobeyed and the placement of others ahead of his own wounds—things with which Daniel had driven him nuts. And that desire for acceptance and trust…
Jack eventually voiced his realization. "Actually, you're more like what Daniel used to be. Before the universe got its hands on him."
There was another silence for a few minutes as Jonas seemed to debate whether or not to say what he was thinking. "This is the problem, isn't it?" he finally asked softly. "I bring back his memory, but I can't be him. That's painful for you."
"I don't want you to be him. No one could ever really take his place."
"No, I know that. Believe me, I know," Jonas was hasty to reassure. "I just wish…" he broke off with a sigh, then continued. "I wish that I didn't have to be his replacement. I could never live up to that, not for any of you. Why can't I just be someone new?"
It was actually a very good question. One that Jack didn't think he had a good answer for. But that had never stopped him before, so he plunged forward. "I'm not sure that's possible. We met you as we lost Daniel. You filled Daniel's position on the team, you work out of Daniel's office. There are just a lot of natural comparisons to draw."
Jonas' voice was resigned. "Yeah. Can't change the past."
Jack was silent, thinking about that. He finally answered, "No. But we can change the future."
Jonas again angled his head up to see his face, then smiled. Jack wondered if his smiles were always going to be this contagious. He gave the younger man a small squeeze.
At that moment, there was a commotion at the cave entrance. Jonas tensed and sat up a bit, but Jack knew who it was with a glance and didn't move. "I was beginning to think you got lost," he announced to his remaining team members.
"The storm picked up a bit, sir." Carter registered a bit of surprise at their position, but she covered it easily and actually looked a little pleased. "How are you doing, Jonas?"
"I'm alright," he responded.
Jack couldn't help but notice that she also looked a bit like a drowned rat, wet hair plastered to her despite the hat. Teal'c somehow seemed as unruffled as he always did, even with the water dripping down his forehead. They made quite a picture.
"You guys are wet," Jack commented sagely.
Carter shot him a look. As she grabbed her med-kit and made her way towards Jonas, Jack was almost certain that she was purposely dripping on him. Deciding to get out of the line of fire, he shifted Jonas to lean against the wall and stood. The Kelownan shot him an understanding look and a slight smile that Jack returned before moving away.
He stretched, joints protesting and reminding him that he wasn't a kid anymore. He made his way to Teal'c, who was looking out into the night. "You run into any trouble?" he asked.
"Aside from the storm, it was a pleasant trip."
Jack stared at him for a beat. "Pleasant. Right."
Teal'c just cast him one of those sidelong looks that always made him feel like he was the odd one. "I do not expect we will have any problems with the Jaffa we saw earlier. They likely joined with the rest of their group and left before the storm increased. I do not believe they knew of our presence."
"That would be nice. It's about time something went right with this mission." Even as he said it, his conscience told him that maybe something already had. Whatever fates had conspired, the result had been some much-needed interactions between himself and SG-1's newest member. They might not have settled anything, but at least they'd taken some steps in the right direction. Had they not been here, Jack knew he would have resisted that interaction as long as he could get away with it.
He turned back and approached Carter and Jonas. "What's the verdict? Can we wait 'till morning to go traipsing back through the woods?"
Carter smiled. "I think he'll be fine." She gathered the med-kit and stood, going to get herself dry and settled. As she passed him she said softly, "You did a good job with him, Sir."
"I'm sure that's not surprise in your voice, Carter."
"Of course not. Sir."
The storm had cleared by dawn. Jack let Teal'c handle Jonas this time as they made their way to the gate. It appeared that Teal'c was right, as he so regularly was. There was no sign of the Jaffa.
As Carter dialed home she spoke to Jack, "You know we'll need to come back. We have to figure out which Goa'ud is using these people."
Jack agreed. "We'll get some more manpower and go check out the site of that battle yesterday. Hopefully we can find someone alive to give us an explanation."
He walked forward with her, waiting until she had followed Jonas and Teal'c through before stepping into the wormhole himself.
He met General Hammond at the bottom of the ramp. "What happened here, Colonel?" the older man asked, obviously in reference to Jonas.
Jack had to wonder from the looks if it had crossed the General's mind that he had shot the young man himself. Jack choked back a laugh and said calmly, "Oh, some angry natives, some ticked-off Jaffa. The usual."
Hammond was still looking at him a bit suspiciously. He finally said, "Okay. After you're done in the infirmary, we'll debrief."
Jack smiled and shook his head as the General walked away. As he watched Janet load Jonas up for a trip to the infirmary, he found himself lost in thought. He knew things had changed on this mission.
He still couldn't stand the thought of trying to replace Daniel. He was repulsed by the idea. And Jonas' presence as the fourth member of SG-1 made him an automatic target for Jack's anger. The truth was that the Kelownan seemed like a nice kid with plenty of heart and will to do his best, and his abilities made him the perfect addition to the team. If only he wasn't in Daniel's place…
Stop looking at him as Daniel's replacement and start seeing him as simply a new addition to the team. Isn't that what Jonas had been talking about in the cave? Stop comparing them—that was only painful for everyone involved. Cut all of the baggage and start fresh.
Yeah, maybe he could learn to do that. There should always be room in his life for someone who could help the team.
His heart, well, that might be a different story.
All of this thinking made his head hurt. Jack shouldered his gear and headed out of the gateroom. First and foremost he needed a shower. But after that, he had a teammate to visit.