TITLE: Who Wants to Live Forever?

AUTHOR: Mara Jade

EMAIL: marajade764 PG-13 for violence

CATEGORY: Drama/Angst/Character Death (of a sort)/Crossover/Whump

SUMMARY: Had the Asgard cloned whatever it was that gave him his quickening and made him immortal? He'd doubted it.

SPOILERS: Fragile Balance

AUTHOR'S NOTE: It's a crossover with the concept of 'Highlander' rather than the actual characters.

I should have been writing some more of 'Force', I know but…I have half the next chapter and then the plot bunny for this bit me. And it won't let go. Seriously, its like its been crossed with a Terrier or something…

The timeline for this works on the basis that Mini-Jack starts at more or less the beginning of the school year, and has his sixteenth birthday during this first year. I'm assured that it is 10th grade. For anyone who understands, it's the equivalent to the English year 11.

DISCLAIMER: The characters mentioned in this story are the property of Showtime and Gekko Film Corp. The Stargate, SG-I, the Goa'uld and all other characters who have appeared in the series STARGATE SG-1 together with the names, titles and backstory are the sole copyright property of MGM-UA Worldwide Television, Gekko Film Corp, Glassner/Wright Double Secret Productions and Stargate SG-I Prod. Ltd. Partnership. The concept of Immortals and related ideas belong to the people who came up with the original concept for the films. This fanfic is not intended as an infringement upon those rights and solely meant for entertainment. All other characters, the story idea and the story itself are the sole property of the author.

"What?" he snapped aggressively. He'd mistakenly believed that going to high school was something that he should do, something that would give him a chance for something that ninety-something percent of America had experienced for at last a few days, but that he hadn't. After all, America hadn't even been discovered when he was fifteen first time around, let alone high school for every child.

He'd realised within a few days that he'd made the wrong decision, but with the Air Force keeping tabs on him so closely, there was no way that he'd be able to disappear into society, especially as he was now fifteen years old. Externally, anyway. Internally he was so many thousands of years that he'd lost count.

"Geez, Jack. Sorry I disturbed your sleep. I only wanted to know if I could borrow your sharpener."

Jack shook his head. "Sorry, here." He threw the small block of plastic across the table, expecting nothing less than for it to land perfectly in the teen girl's outstretched hand.

"Thanks." The girl, Kerry, flashed him a smile that lit up her normally average face.

He nodded absently, already lost in thought once again. Centuries of practice had taught him the finer skills of just about everything imaginable and, though it had taken him the best part of his first year in high school, to discipline his body to match the skills of his mind. It wasn't as if he had much else to do. Now in his third and final year at the school, he'd more or less reached the full 6'2" he knew he'd one day make, and had bulked out considerably too. Constant sword practice - albeit alone - had helped immensely.

Not that he'd ever need the skill, mind you. That had bee one of his first questions, though he hadn't dared to voice it. Had the Asgard cloned whatever it was that gave him his quickening and made him immortal? He'd doubted it, or they'd have had something to say about it when they'd checked out his DNA before. Bastards. Jack - the original that was - had confirmed it after they'd returned from Loki's ship. No buzz. He wasn't even pre-immortal. He'd thought it would be a chance at a normal life, at kids of his own. As much as he'd loved Charlie and considered him his own son, he also knew that, as an Immortal, he could never have children of his own. So he and Sara had gone to the doctors for an anonymous donor and shortly after, Charlie was born.

Brushing the shavings onto the floor, Kerry went to hand the sharpener back, rolling her eyes at the vacant expression on his face. Biting back a grin, she grabbed the eraser off of her own table and gently throwing it at him, aiming to bounce it off of his forehead.

Without batting an eyelid, or even losing the vacant fix his eyes had on the far wall, Jack reached up and snatched it out of the air long before it hit him. Tearing his gaze away from nothing, he looked at Kerry and raised an eyebrow. "What was that for?"

The girl shrugged, "just trying to get your attention. Away with the faeries again?"

Jack snorted. "On another planet," he corrected.

"Right…" Anything more, she'd been going to say was cut off as the bell for the end of school sounded and everyone began packing their things away.

"You walking home?" she asked instead as she swung her bag into her back.

He had a car, but it was only a few blocks to his own apartment, and he'd had legs long before he'd had a car so he walked it, sometimes kept company by Kerry, who'd adopted him shortly after he moved in three doors along from her.

"Yeah, sure, you betcha," rolling her eyes at his distracted melancholy again, she led the way out of the door.

"Would it kill you to smile every once in a while?"

"Hey, I do smile!" He nudged her with his shoulder, ducking away as she returned the gesture and grinning as she stumbled, meeting none of the expected resistance.

They walked the first three blocks chatting amicably, falling into silence as they entered the small grocery store on the corner of the fourth block, Jack heading for the newspaper and magazine rack whilst Kerry went for whatever it was her father had asked her to get.

Pulling out a magazine, he cursed softly as he knocked a leaflet holder and several garish fliers fell out. Bending down to pick it up, he heard the door open. Glancing along, he could see Kerry crouched and looking at the cans on the bottom shelf. Picking up the last of the leaflets and sliding them back into the plastic dispenser, his preoccupied mind belated realised that there had been a long pause before footsteps sounded on the linoleum.

Crouching and twisting on the balls of his feet, he looked across at the counter just in time to see a large man wearing a balaclava throw a bag at the clerk. Waving a handgun in the terrified woman's face, the thug barked out a command, "Fill it!"

Everything went into slow motion as the gun-man gestured again with the gun, yelling at the assistant to "FILL IT!" when she hesitated and whimpered.

Spinning his head and fighting the feeling of moving through treacle, Jack looked to Kerry and, seeing her startled fear, he gave her a 'stay' gesture with one hand, out of sight of the gun-man.

She obediently ducked back out of sight, and Jack swivelled back to look at the cash register. As he did so, the clerk glanced his way briefly, but her assailant caught the movement and followed her eye line.

The time it took for the man's head to turn and his eyes to latch onto Jack seemed inordinately long. Seeing him crouched down there, the gun-man gestured for him to stand up. "Hands in the air!" The words were drawn-out and distorted because of Jack's personal sense of time dilation, and the woman behind the counter took advantage of what she thought was the man's distraction, pressing the silent alarm to call the cops in.

As soon as he saw this, Jack knew he would have to act and launched himself at the man even as he looked back and pulled the trigger.

The woman was blown backwards into the tobacco and spirits, glass bottles shattering along with the false acrylic nails as she flung her arms out.

Seeing Jack coming, the man brought the gun back to bear on Jack but despite the seeming weight of his limbs, Jack got there first.

He grabbed the gun and the hand that held it with one hand and jabbed his fingers into the inside of the balaclava'd man's elbow with the other. Forcing the other man to bend his arm, he proceeded to twist it violently outwards, hearing the tendons and bones crack as it was forced past any natural position. Nerveless fingers loosened their grip, and he grabbed the gun as it slipped, spinning around, aiming and firing a single round into the man's face in one smooth movement.

The door opened and another balaclava'd face appeared. "Hey, Jimmy hurry-"

The second man cut himself off as he saw his cohort hit the floor.

Before Jack could react, the other man had raised his own weapon and fired.

Jack felt pain rip through him as the bullet shattered his sternum and forced the air out of him in a rush, tearing into the soft flesh of his lungs.

Single minded determination and perseverance brought his aim to bear and he reflexively fired. Another headshot, another body fell to the floor.

The gun slipped from his hand and he fell backwards, lying motionless and gasping for breath that gurgled with blood.

All of a sudden, time returned to normal and there was Kerry, looking down at him with a tear-stained face that contorted grotesquely as her eyes flickered to the wound in his chest and then back to his face. He knew from experience that he was probably deathly pale by now; all the blood was leaking out of the hole that Kerry's inexperienced hands were trying to block up.

So much for a new chance at a proper life, at growing old peacefully. Some people were destined for the white picket fence life, but it seemed that he, in whatever incarnations he took, was one of the others. One of the ones destined to die early, to die painfully.

Staring up at Kerry's face as she pleaded with him to hang on and not to die, he felt tears spring to his eyes for the first time in at least a thousand years. He though he'd lost the ability to cry when he'd had to kill his Immortal wife, but here he was, crying real tears of the like he hadn't been able to shed even for Charlie.

He wept for he family he could have had, the children that could have been his biologically…the wife he could have grown old with.

The tears streamed from his face and Kerry sobbed again, her face contorting as she tried to hold back her own tears.

She leaned forward and rested her forehead on his, laying a brief kiss on tear-soaked lashes. "Why'd you have to be brave, Jack? Why couldn't you have just let him go and let the police get him, huh?" He couldn't help it…it was in his nature.

She brought a bloody hand up to his face and the movement caused a single salty tear to splash onto his face.

Jack drew in a long laboured breath, vaguely aware of the people from the street who had finally ventured in to the violated shop.

The blood gurgled where his lungs had been penetrated and he grimaced, the movement causing a spike in the otherwise distant pain.

He locked eyes with Kerry; both of them knew it was his last breath. That he had survived so long was a miracle. His life faded away with his words.

"Who lives forever, anyway?"

So, let me know what you think, please…feedback feeds my muse! (nudge, nudge, wink, wink)