TITLE: Jack's POVs: Fragile Balance

AUTHOR: Feli

EMAIL: author@sg1-place.de CATEGORY: POV, Drama RATING: G SPOILERS: Fragile Balance (season 7) SUMMARY: Jack's thoughts during the episode 'Fragile Balance' STATUS: Complete

DISCLAIMER: Stargate SG-1 and its characters are the property of Showtime/Viacom, MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions, and Gekko Productions. This story is for entertainment purposes only and no money whatsoever has exchanged hands. No copyright infringement is intended. The situations and original story are the property of the author. Not to be archived without permission of the author.

AUTHOR'S NOTES: Once again a big "thank you, Sam"! You always challenge me to see things a little differently.

[Note: Paragraphs in between *********** denote Original Jack's thoughts]

Oh, for crying out loud, a PlayStation? Not that I mind playing with one, haven't had the time lately, but please! How old does Carter think I am?

Yeah, right, stupid question. Well, I'm *not* 15 and the sooner she understands that the better.

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Well, she understood alright. Called me cute. Now if that isn't proof... . And then Teal'c with his quip about vitality. I'll give him vitality - WHEN I HAVE MY BODY BACK!!!

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You know I'm not really comfortable having others snoop around in my stuff, even if it is my team. And if she hadn't distracted me with questions, I really would have been offended by the way Carter took that beer from me.

And now they're checking my bedroom. Come on, guys, what do you expect to find here, huh? Oh, my boxers, yeah, that's great, thanks, Daniel! And Teal'c, bud...whoa!

The Asgard. It was the Asgard, I can't believe it!

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Okay, this day definitely belongs in the category of not good. The thought that anyone would experiment with my body is bad enough but to realize that it was the Asgard is like a kick in the gut. Thor's about the only one of our allies I trusted not to screw us - at least not too much - and now this.

Wha..wait a second! Carter's running *my* briefing?

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You want *me* to understand? Hey, I'm the victim here!

Come on, general, those pilots need my expertise. And I am perfectly capable of keeping them im line, no matter what I look like, you should know that.

Heck, I'm still me. Not a kid, for crying out loud!

Okay, I know when I've lost an argument. Doesn't mean I'm going to accept it though.

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This is a weird existence. Heck, even weird doesn't quite cover it. I'm sitting here playing a video game and feeling another zit grow to unheard- of proportions.

But no one complained when I ran the briefing for the pilots. *They* valued my input and it took them all of three seconds to accept that I'm me. This is good, isn't it? It means that I can continue doing my job until the others figure out the solution.

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How bad can it be? That's what I said to Carter, how bad can it be. Well, she had an answer for me, one that I did so *not* see coming.

But I feel fine. Honestly, Doc, I do. I'm not merely putting up a brave face!

Okay, maybe I am a little. It's just that I don't get it, I can't believe the Asgard would do this to me.

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Wohoo, yeah, let's involve the Tok'ra. No offense, Jacob, you're a decent guy but the solutions the Tok'ra usually come up with...

So what is it this time? Another freakin' symbiote? Noo, much better, they wanna put me in the freezer. Oh, that's a good one. And of course I have to make up my mind immediately, I mean, why should I take the time to consider such an important decision? It's not like my life is at stake here - oh, wait a minute...

Well, the answer is no! No way in hell, to be precise! Just let me get out of here.

I need a beer.

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Dying is always a possibility. Heck, Daniel's died how many times now since we first met? I knew from the beginning that every op, every mission held the risk of not coming back. Sara knew it, too.

Somehow I learned to live with it. It's not a feeling I enjoyed having but it wasn't something I consciously kept thinking about either. It was just there, like a...a fact of life. Something you accepted even though it never got easier with time. And why should it? It's meaning of life stuff after all.

I always thought I was okay with it. Well, not okay with dying, how could I ever be okay with dying, but the knowledge that it would happen some day. On a mission, fighting for my country, even for my planet nowadays. Or here at home, in a car accident. Shit happens, that's okay.

But this? DNA manipulations, my body shrunk down to that of a 15-year-old? This is degrading, it's - what's the word I'm looking for? Hell, who cares, I'm talking to myself, for crying out loud!

This is wrong, that's what it is! I've never been overly concerned about medals or ribbons or any of that stuff but I did expect to go out with more dignity than that.

Like right now. This here, this is okay. Sitting here and watching fish ignore my bait, I could go out like this. Would be better with a beer but hey, who's ever had it all?

I'm not giving up! I still think there's gotta be another way. Carter and Daniel will think of something. Ha, and speak of the devils...

Did ya bring beer?

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Now I know how my robot double must have felt. Only this time I'm the double. Thinking I'm me and then finding out I'm not... . Of course, the robot wasn't about to die.

I can never go back to the way I was because I never was another way. I've been so convinced, so sure, that Carter would find a solution - that I wasn't going to die - because this was all just a big, cosmic screwup and someway, somehow we would find a way. Like we always do.

But there's no way today. And my team - no wait, they aren't my team now, are they? They're *his* team, the real O'Neill's. And they want him back.

I'm okay with that. More than okay actually. Only thing I need to do is find a way to get to the Asgard and then they better get their little grey butts into gear and get me my own life. With a stable body!

All I have to do is persuade Hammond to give me a gun. I'm sure not going to go in there as bait!

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How am I supposed to fix this? I *am* 15 years old! Where am I gonna live, what am I gonna do?

My body is 15, just look at this monster zit if you need proof. Or how about the fact that I can't seem to stop thinking about this zit? There's your proof right there. And was I really this scrawny when I was a kid? Gah, no wonder Mary Elizabeth didn't want to make out in Dad's car that night. We did have beer though.

But my mind is *not* 15. I know stuff, a lot of stuff I didn't know when I was 15. And god, do I really wanna go through all this again? Sara, Iraq, Charlie, sweet Jesus, Charlie - how could I ever have another Charlie? How could I ever not?

How am I supposed to fix this? Do I have to grow up *again*?

Ha, I can just imagine Carter's face if she heard me talking ... thinking ... like this. "Sir, are you saying that you *are* grown up?" And I think Daniel was thinking quite the same thing when he saw what I was reading for this stakeout. The look he shot me was quite clear.

But this doesn't really get me anywhere, now does it? I don't even know if the Asgard can fix me at all. And speaking of skinny, grey aliens, geez, how much longer is it gonna take them to finally beam me up? I need to do something!

Let me check on the others once more.

************ Uff. Shouldn't have had that fourth burrito last night. For a moment I thought my team was here, standing around my bed in the middle of the night.

What's going on?

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Why am I suddenly on a ship? And who's the little guy? He looks familiar. ************

That's him, that's really him. Not me, it's him - yet me. God, my head hurts.

************ I don't believe this! I fucking don't believe this! They *cloned* me? Kept me God-knows-where for a *week*? ************

Now he's doing the offended act over there. Excuse me ... myself ... whatever. Could we focus on the important stuff right now? Like, oh, the fact that I'm *dying*, for example?

************ God, my head's swimming. Not only did this Asgard geek clone me but he did it wrong. Major screwup.

Not completely though, it seems. Mini Me just stole my line.

And again. Stop doing that!

So, I'm legendary, huh? You know, that's nice. Won't make me forget though that you snuck back here and did what you did. I'm gonna call Thor. ************

What do you mean you cannot reverse my fate? Tell me you're kidding! You know I'm kinda not feeling so good at the moment and you're telling me ... what? Tough shit? Boy, I tell ya when Thor shows up he's so gonna kick your ass!

************ Safeguarded? Thor, buddy, do you think I won't realize that you fiddled with my DNA when you put it like that? You know, this being advanced thing sounds kinda cool, I admit but soon you and I need to have a talk!

Oh! Not the key? Well, uhm, okay. Sorry I can't help. ************

Inconvenience? That's what you call kicking ass? He completely fucked up my life, for crying out loud! I don't care if I'm a clone, I'm me, I have a life! And I want to keep it!

Yeah, let my other self make the decision, that's fine with me. I know how he's going to decide, even though he's putting on this 'oh-let-me-think- about-it' act now. He's me after all.

************ Damn, I'm so not comfortable with the though of a Mini Me walking around there somewhere. But I don't really have a choice here, do I? I mean, for crying out loud, he *is* just a kid.

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Well, here we are. High school. I can't believe he wants to do this. I mean, he's me - how can he want to do this? ************

Boy, I can't remember the last time I felt this weird. I think I'm actually nervous. But I'm gonna do it, I'm going back to school. I *need* to do this.

I figured you wouldn't understand. Funny that I knew you wouldn't, huh? I can't explain why I need to do it, I don't understand it myself.

But I do understand that we're different somehow. Maybe my mind's catchin up to my body. No, I'm not going to revert to a 15-year-old brat - at least not totally. It's more like ... I don't know ... maybe now that I can let myself think of myself as an original 15-year-old and not as an old guy in a young body - it's easier to accept.

Aww, hell, I don't know, but I'll do it anyway.

************ Okay, okay. Maybe I do understand a little. But just don't... ************

Urgh, no, I'm not gonna keep in touch. A bit of weird I can live with but you gotta draw the line somewhere. I managed to convince the Air Force shrink they made me see that I'm okay with all this weird shit, but I don't want to screw with my head even more by keeping in touch with another me.

Okay, here we go.

I can do this.

Sunglasses.

Patented O'Neill smile.

Yes, I can do this!

FIN