CHAPTER EIGHTEEN – Sweet Sorrow
Let me confess that we two must be twain,
Although our undivided loves are one:
So shall those blots that do with me remain,
Without thy help, by me be borne alone.
In our two loves there is but one respect,
Though in our lives a separable spite,
Which though it alter not love's sole effect,
Yet doth it steal sweet hours from love's delight.
I may not evermore acknowledge thee,
Lest my bewailed guilt should do thee shame,
Nor thou with public kindness honour me,
Unless thou take that honour from thy name:
But do not so, I love thee in such sort,
As thou being mine, mine is thy good report.
Sonnet 36 by William Shakespeare
Amelia sat, arms crossed, jaw set stubbornly, in a cold, hard chair in a cold, hard room. She couldn't help wondering if her father had chosen it based on its resemblance to an interrogation chamber. It was bare, devoid of any form of decoration. There was nothing within but a table, two plastic chairs, and a cart in the corner that boasted an overhead projector.
"Amelia, what in God's name were you thinking?" her father snarled in a voice he hadn't used on her since she was nine.
She made no effort to hide the rolling of her eyes. Instinctively knowing he would tirade for another couple of minutes at least before actually expecting a reply, she bit her tongue and stared at a corner of the table. To say the moments after the livid Senator had so unfortunately discovered her and Jonas together were awkward was the understatement of the decade. Amelia had been so shocked she'd choked on everything she'd tried to say, and her vain attempts to recover were probably the only reason her father had been able to shuffle her off for this little lecture.
Big lecture, she amended internally.
"Do you have any idea what sort of strings I had to pull to get you in here? And this is how you repay me? Taking up with one of Jack O'Neill's people? An alien, no less!"
Amelia turned her head to look at her father incredulously. "No offence, dad, but the way I understood it when we started this was that you didn't really give me much of a choice, remember? So how exactly is it I owe you anything?"
Especially now that I know the whole truth, you hypocritical—
He gave a derisive laugh. "Don't give me that crap, Amelia. We both know you would have made the choice on your own. Without my influence, you would be dead now. You don't think I get at least a little credit for that?"
"Fine. For the record, thank you. I have my life back. May I emphasize the point that it is my life?"
"You have no idea what you're messing with here. Who you're messing with."
"You don't know Jonas," she countered. "Anyway, for all intents and purposes, he's human."
Another scoffing laugh. "Oh no. I have no idea what he is, but he's definitely not human."
Amelia frowned. "What do you mean?" she asked coldly.
"He's a freak of nature, is what he is." At this description, Amelia winced, wishing she hadn't used it once herself, albeit jokingly. "An alien with physiology so far beyond ours we have no idea what he's capable of. I've been pressing the government to keep him confined for study, one of the highest security risks we've ever dealt with, including that Jaffa, but as usual, no one listens to what I have to say. Instead, we let him in on the most sensitive details of our planet, fraternize with our highest ranking people, and learn secrets that even good, God-fearing people of our country don't get to know. An alien! Who knows what true his agenda is!"
"He's a good man," she said levelly.
"He's a traitor! A turn-coat!"
"How can you say that?" Amelia snapped back, angrier than she'd ever been in her life. "Jonas made a huge sacrifice coming here. From what I understand, his contributions have already been very beneficial to Earth, and you want to lock him up in a little room and study him like…like a lab rat!"
Her father rolled his eyes and gave a snort. "We might have benefited once or twice, yes," he said, "but that doesn't change the fact that the man turned once, he's liable to turn again. You take advantage of defectors when it benefits you, Amelia, but you never really trust them."
Amelia had no idea what to say. The man standing across from her was far greater stranger than she'd ever suspected. Someone she'd had no idea even existed. How could he be so cold-hearted? Unbidden, a single tear spilled from her right eye. It surprised her, for she hadn't felt like she was about to cry. Anger was the only thing she was aware of.
Apparently, her father interpreted the teardrop as a sign of early acceptance. "Well, at least I seem to be getting through," he said in a satisfactory sort of tone. "Now, I think it's high time we went home, and—"
"No," Amelia cut him off bitingly.
Her father's mouth hung open halfway between words, and he closed it with a grim expression, glaring at her darkly. "What, you think you're just going to stay here forever?" he asked appraisingly.
She rolled her eyes. "Of course not," she replied. She met his eyes, "I meant no, you're not 'getting through' to me. The fact remains that, alien or no alien, traitor, turncoat, guinea pig, or whatever you want to call him, how I feel about Jonas is really none of your business. I'm twenty-four years old, dad! You think I don't have a mind?"
The silence that followed was colder and harder than Amelia's chair. She and her father stared at each other, and she understood instinctively that a battle line had just been drawn. No longer would she perceive him with detached neutrality. Somehow, he had become an enemy. For some reason she would probably never understand, it made her sad. "You can't stop me from associating with him," she finally said, very calmly and firmly.
"Oh, I most certainly can," her father retorted. With the air of one who'd just scored some kind of victorious point, he set his briefcase down hard on the table and snapped it open. "What you don't realize, Amelia, is that I was aware of your little affair before I even arrived at the SGC. In fact, it's the whole reason I'm here."
Caught off guard, Amelia blurted out a puzzled, "How?" before she could stop herself.
He pulled a manila folder out of the briefcase and tossed it roughly at Amelia. "I have my own friends with connections in the Stargate program," he said. With no small amount of trepidation, Amelia opened the folder. "Yesterday, these photographs came to my attention," he continued.
Amelia's blood had run cold. Each and every photograph was of her and Jonas together on a sunny Wednesday afternoon over five weeks ago. In the pictures, the two of them were usually chatting and holding hands – sometimes outside the movie theatre, sometimes eating ice cream, sometimes laughing while recovering from a particularly undignified bicycle crash. With each progressive picture, the frigid knot of fear in Amelia's stomach became larger and tighter. "You were spying on me?" she finally asked in a weak voice.
"We were monitoring the alien," her father corrected. "I don't know what the General was thinking, allowing him out unsupervised for so long, but now I realize you must have had something to do with it."
"And who are your…sources?" Amelia asked slowly. She was still staring at the photographs, transfixed.
He smirked satisfactorily. "No one you know. No one you'll ever know. There are some of us who do what we can to compensate for the lack of competent leadership at the SGC. Keeping tabs on aliens' whereabouts and activities at all times falls under that category. I've been heavily preoccupied in preparing for the conference that General Hammond and myself participated in this past week in Washington, otherwise, I assure you, I would have known about this sooner and done something about it. As I'm going to do now."
Amelia paused in her perusal of the pictures. "Do what, exactly?" she finally managed to ask.
Across from her, her father placed both hands on the tabletop and leaned down to stare at her with authority. "You're coming home with me," he said. "I already know there's no need for you to remain any longer. You will break all ties with Jonas Quinn, or I swear to you, Amelia, I have the power to make sure you regret it."
Amelia couldn't believe she was hearing this. "You wouldn't do anything to me," she said, though only half- assured of this conviction.
His only reply was a snort. "No, I wouldn't," he agreed. He straightened triumphantly. "It wasn't you I was talking about."
The coldness in Amelia's veins froze completely. She swallowed, eyes wide and stared back at her father, for the first time genuine fear. "What has he ever done to you?" she asked in a small voice full of pain. Another tear escaped onto her cheek.
It doesn't matter what he's done, it matters what he is," was her father's unfeeling reply. "And who he associates with," he added, almost to himself.
Amelia closed her eyes, willing herself to stop crying. Her father's dark demand had cut her into shreds like a hacksaw. She could not give him the satisfaction of seeing her cry. "I will come with you," she agreed, deadpan. Each word was like the stab of a knife.
"I'm glad to see you've come to your senses. Let's go get your things."
Jonas paced furiously about the space before the elevator, nervous, uncertain, uneasy, and above all, mortified. What had he gotten Amelia into? Where had her father taken her? Why was he even here? Should Jonas have said something – done something? But nothing had seemed fitting. He'd been so shocked that he could hardly think straight, let alone take any action. In a strange way, it almost reminded him of that fateful moment on Kelowna when Doctor Jackson had so unthinkingly put his life in the line and Jonas had stood by, paralysed.
He didn't think anyone's life was in danger this time, but the situation was no less frustrating, in its own way. He'd come down here, of a mind to speak to General Hammond, to find out if he could shed a little more light on the situation, but the General had only arrived back from Washington a little while ago. He was currently cloistered away with Colonel O'Neill, getting caught up on the state of affairs at the SGC since his departure, and Jonas was pretty sure his own problems weren't going to rank very high on the General's priority scale. Come to think of it, he wasn't sure if the General was even the person he needed to talk to. He began pacing faster and rubbed the back of his neck furiously. He didn't know what to do.
"Jonas?" Startled, he looked up. Sam was coming out of the door to the briefing room, closing it behind her, a couple of folders in her hand. She looked confused and concerned. "What's wrong?" she asked.
He opened his mouth to reply, not exactly sure what he was going to say, when the elevators opened behind him, and a glowering Senator Kinsey exited, his airman escort on his heels. His eyes rested contemptuously on Jonas for the briefest of moments, and he ploughed on down the hall, dismissing Jonas as though he didn't exist.
"Senator!" Jonas called desperately, and started off after him, quickening his pace to catch up until he could match that of the other man. By the time he caught up, they were already storming through the briefing room towards General Hammond's office. He could sense that Sam was following as well. "Senator, if you'll just –"
His words were cut off as the other man suddenly whirled around, confronting Jonas with a murderous expression. "Amelia is packing her bags," he snarled. "I've talked some sense into her. She'll be accompanying me home, and I don't even want –"
General Hammond and Colonel O'Neill must have noticed the commotion, because just then the door to the office opened, and both men came hastily out. Senator Kinsey stopped mid-rant to face them.
"Kinsey, what are you doing?" the Colonel asked without hesitation.
"Colonel," spat Kinsey viciously. "I don't suppose you had anything to do with my daughter fraternizing with one of your team in a most… disgraceful fashion?" He turned and glared at Jonas. Sam was looking between all four men uncertainly, and she turned a questioning gaze on Colonel O'Neill.
The Colonel looked thoughtful. "Fraternizing?" he repeated. "Fraternizing," he mumbled again, lowly, casting his eyes about, his face a picture of mock concentration. "Oh, that," he said a moment later. "Kinsey, if your daughter has better taste in friends than you do, it's not my fault." He turned to General Hammond. "General, I assume you knew of our distinguished guest's presence?"
Hammond nodded. "Yes, Jack. I didn't get a chance to tell you."
"As for what I'm doing," Kinsey injected, obviously trying to maintain control of the conversation, "I've come to take my daughter home where she belongs. Away from the whole damned lot of you."
Jack looked at General Hammond and shook his head. "And this is the thanks we get," he said, throwing his hands up in the air. He turned and glared at Kinsey, now without the slightest trace of sarcasm. "Kinsey, Jonas practically saved your daughter's life single-handedly when the Tok'ra almost forgot about her," he said. "Not to mention worked his butt off to find who tried to kill you. I think you're being a little uncharitable."
Jonas, who had been desperately trying to find a place to join the conversation, stopped long enough to pause in amazement. First off, he'd had no idea the Colonel had known so many details of Amelia's sickness, especially considering he'd been trapped on the alien moon with Colonel Maybourne at the time. More than that, though, it wasn't very often the Colonel so directly and blatantly praised him, and it set him a bit off guard, though he couldn't say he was displeased. "Senator," he managed to say calmly when he'd found his voice again, "I have a very high respect for Amelia –"
"If you really respected her, you would keep your hands off of her," Kinsey retorted. "And from what I saw, I don't think you have that sort of self control."
Now Jonas was starting to get really angry, and that didn't happen very often. "Maybe you should just be happy for her, and let her do what she wants with her life," he said, his voice rising slightly.
"Don't you tell me how to deal with my own daughter, Mr. Quinn," Kinsey said darkly. He was several inches taller than Jonas, and seemed to tower now. "You stay away from her. You'll have nothing else to do with her. In fact, you're not even going to speak to her before she leaves this facility, you understand?"
"Gentleman," General Hammond finally input. He was probably the calmest person in the room, Jonas reflected. "This is hardly the time or place for a discussion of this nature. Senator, if you'll please join me in my office; I have some things I wish to discuss with you." Despite his composed tone, Jonas could see that the General was obviously as annoyed as anyone else by the Senator's presence. He turned smartly on his heel, heading back the way he'd come. Kinsey spared one more glare for SG-1's benefit before following.
"I've got to find Amelia," Jonas said immediately, and turned to rush out the door.
Colonel O'Neill darted out a restraining arm to his shoulder. "Whoa, there, Sparky," he said. "Let's not be rash. The good Senator is watching you like a hawk." He clapped Jonas twice on the shoulder and began walking at a much more reasonable pace towards the hallway. "If I know him, he set one of his loonies to watch Amelia anyway. The man may be a pain in the proverbial ass, but unfortunately, he's not stupid."
"Well then what am I supposed to do?" Jonas asked, a bit more angrily than he intended.
"Carter and me'll handle this. Just go to your office and wait there."
"No buts, Jonas," Colonel O'Neill said wearily, rolling his eyes. "Just go."
"I can't believe I'm doing this." Jack's voice was resigned as he and Sam walked down the hall towards Amelia's quarters.
Sam smiled. "What? Thwarting Kinsey or helping Jonas with his social life?" she asked, grin widening.
"Mmmn. The benefits of the former far outweigh the tediousness of the other," Jack said.
"Actually; sir, I think you handled yourself pretty well, considering how much you were dreading this exact scenario," she said.
"Fortitude in the face of adversity, Carter. Dealing with Kinsey is like… conditioning. Why do you think I have such a flair with the Goa'uld?"
"Right," she agreed, laughing again. They were approaching Amelia's door now, and the Colonel slowed down. As he'd surmised, there was a stone-faced man in a suit sitting in a chair beside the door, looking bored. There was a briefcase by his feet.
"Mr….Lambert?" Jack asked, hands in pockets, as they sidled up to the door. He and Sam had accessed the visitor log to find out the man's name.
"Yes?" the man asked in a voice that matched his face.
Jack pulled one hand out of his pocket and pointed with a thumb over his shoulder. "I hate to be a pain, but General Hammond needs you to sign some papers before you leave. New security procedure."
"Senator Kinsey told me to stay here."
"Hey, no offence, pal, but my boss versus your boss… well, this is the General's command." Jack shrugged. "I'm supposed to take you myself. Major Carter can take over till you get back."
The man looked even more suspicious. "Major Carter-?" he began, looking at Sam.
"Listen, I don't have all day, okay?" Jack continued. "Can we get going already?"
Sam watched him lead the flabbergasted 'crony' away, and made sure they were safely in the elevator before knocking quietly on Amelia's door.
It wasn't long in opening. A numb-looking Amelia answered, a suitcase at her feet and her violin case in one hand. When she saw Sam, her red-rimmed eyes widened and came to life. "Major?" she asked amazedly. "What -?"
"Listen," Sam cut her off, "We don't have much time. Jonas is in his office. Colonel O'Neill's going to try and buy you about fifteen minutes, but you have to leave now if you want to make it back in time. I'll wait here for you." Amelia only stared back, eyes still wide for a moment. "Well, hurry!" Sam added, emphatically.
Coming to herself, Amelia nodded hastily and rushed off. Sam watched her go, violin still in hand, and then took Mr. Lambert's place at the abandoned chair. She hoped Amelia made it back in time. The story about the new security policy had been her idea. Actually, it wasn't even really a story, except that the proper paperwork was usually filled out et the door before a visitor departed. Poor Mr. Lambert was going to have to fill it out twice, but that was the nice thing about a governmental organizations, at least in this particular case. Overkill was never suspicious.
Amelia was quite certain no elevator in history had ever moved so slowly as the one that carried her up the seven levels between her and Jonas. She was grateful she had it all to herself – a rarity around the SGC – so that no one could witness her sorrow and apprehension. When it finally stopped, she was out the doors before they'd even fully opened, nearly knocking over an unsuspecting sergeant in her haste. "Sorry!" she called over her shoulder.
She raced through the familiar corridors to Jonas's office. The light was on in the room as she approached and her steps slowed. Her heart began beating faster.
When she stepped through the doorway his eyes were already on her, obviously having heard her approach. "Amelia," he said urgently, getting up from his stool and heading towards her. "I'm so sorry," he continued. "If I'd had any idea that –" He must have finally perceived the sadness in her eyes, for he stopped short mid-sentence. "What's wrong?"
Amelia couldn't think of a single thing to say. She could only stare at him, her heart hurting more and more with every breath. He was so sweet and beautiful, her Jonas. Enlivening, encouraging, endearing…he had been through so much and still he held on to optimism and hope, and now she was going to have to break his heart. How could the universe be so cruel?
A ragged sob escaped her throat. "I can't-" she began. "I can't – Jonas –"
All semblance of coherency fled out the door as Jonas stepped forward and wordlessly enveloped her with his arms. "Hey, it's okay," he soothed as she wept into his shoulder. She clung to him tightly, desperately, trying to memorize every scent, every sensation, so that she would always remember what it felt like for him to hold her.
She could not allow herself to forget the need for haste. As soon as she was sufficiently calmed, she pulled away from him and wiped her eyes with the heel of her hand. She sniffed loudly. "I'm so sorry, Jonas," she said softly.
"For what?" he asked with gentle confusion.
She took a deep, shaky breath, determined not to waste time with further tears. "I – I can't see you anymore."
"I know," he said, as if surprised this was all. "We already talked about it, remember? We're going to try and write letters, right?"
She smiled at him sadly and shook her head. "No, Jonas. That's what I'm trying to tell you. No letters, no phone calls, nothing. I can't explain. Please," she added hastily, cutting short his protest, "please don't ask me to explain. My father," she took a deep breath and plunged on, "he is a very dangerous man, Jonas, and there's more at stake than just you and me."
The pain and understanding in his eyes made her want to scream. Why, why, did he have to be like this? Why couldn't he yell and scream and get angry with her and argue and try and make her change her mind? "So this is goodbye," he finally said.
She nodded, unable to prevent two silent tears from escaping her vigilance. "I'm so sorry," she said again, whispering.
Her violin was resting in its case beside the door, where she'd place it upon first entering the room. She retrieved it, grateful for the excuse it gave her to escape Jonas's sorrow, at least for a moment. Then she turned back to him and held it out. "I want you to have this," she said.
His surprise was unmistakable. "But –" he began, half heartedly.
"Every violin has its own voice," she went on, rambling, "—its own personality. They're like people that way. And all musicians look for that one special instrument, you know? That perfect fit. I found mine in this little consignment shop in Brussels when I was sixteen. We were on vacation – I wasn't really looking for a violin, just browsing. I picked it up and I fell in love." She gave a shaky laugh as she remembered. "The shopkeeper – he was so excited after I played it. I have no idea what he was saying. He was talking so fast, and my French isn't that good, but he gave me a really good price."
"Amelia, why are you telling me this?" Jonas asked desperately. "You can't give me this – it means too much to you."
He made to hand it back but she stubbornly pushed his hands away again. "No," she said firmly. Her voice softened. "Jonas, don't you see? That's why I want you to have it." Her voice was desperate. "I can't stay, but…it'd be like a part of me could stay behind. With you."
He still did not seem satisfied. "But what will you play?" he asked.
She smiled. "I have a spare. I'll make do. Please, Jonas?"
He finally nodded slowly. "All right." He turned, and very deliberately set it on the table behind him, where so many times they'd had lessons – where he'd kissed her for the first time.
"I have to go," she said softly when he turned back around again.
"Yeah," he said.
She reached up to embrace him goodbye. His arms tightened around her, strongly, with no hesitation. "I'll miss you so much," she whispered fiercely. "Thank you for everything."
She did not add the words that rested at the surface of her thoughts. To utter them would probably only hurt him more.
I love you.
Their last kiss was deep and unrestrained, full of yearning. Amelia felt like crying again when she finally forced herself to pull away. She took three steps back from him and wrapped her arms around herself, feeling cold. "Goodbye, Jonas."
"Goodbye," came his reply.
She forced herself to tear her eyes away from his. It would not do to get Colonel O'Neill and Major Carter in trouble after what they'd done for her. The thought of it was her only strength, the only reason she was able to turn around. She fled back the way she'd come, back to her room, back to her father, back to a life she'd left behind. Never again would it hold the joy it once had.
For the first few silent, hollow hours after Amelia was gone, Jonas did not touch the violin case. He really didn't even want to look at it. He numbly set about getting caught up on some long-neglected work, trying to shut off all parts of his brain that had anything to do with emotion. It had been a long time since he'd felt so lonely.
He knew he couldn't hide forever, though, and sure enough, just as he was thinking of packing up for the night, he heard his team-mates' approach. He reached up to turn off his lamp just as the three of them came into the lab. Sam spoke first. "Hey," she said, a little hesitantly.
Jonas did his best to give a wave of greeting in return, but the result was less than inspiring. "Hey," he said back. After a moment's awkward silence, he added, "Thanks, guys, for what you did for me. It meant a lot. Did Amelia get into any trouble?"
"Not that we could tell," Sam said, looking briefly at Colonel O'Neill for confirmation. "Kinsey will probably suspect something when that Lambert character tells him Colonel O'Neill got involved, but…I don't think he'll make too a big fuss over it. Anyway, he got what he really wanted."
"Yeah," said Jonas, flicking a pencil on his desk with his forefinger. "Thanks for reminding me."
Sam winced. "Sorry."
"I just don't get it," he went on. "What could he have said to make her so afraid?"
"What?" asked Colonel O'Neill.
"Amelia," Jonas clarified. "I don't think she would have left like that just because Kinsey snapped his fingers. She was frightened about something. "He sighed in frustration. "She wouldn't say what."
"Kinsey's a weasel," Jack said. "Nothing he does shocks me anymore. I wouldn't be surprised if he'd threatened her somehow. You're right. It wasn't like her. At least," he confessed, "what little I know of her. Spunky kid," he added thoughtfully.
"Is this not Amelia Kinsey's musical instrument, Jonas Quinn?" asked Teal'c, who had been eyeing the violin case speculatively.
"Yeah. She gave it to me."
"Wow," said Sam, sounding impressed. "Did she say why?"
"Yup," said Jonas, still playing with the pencil. He did not look up.
"Well?" Sam prompted.
After a moment's silence, the Colonel said. "Ah, Carter, I get the feeling it's personal."
"Right. Sorry, Jonas."
"Hey, get some rest tonight, huh?" the Colonel said brightly. "We've got a mission tomorrow. Carter wants to point a telescope at yet another slowly exploding sun, so don't forget your fun gear!" He pumped the air with his fist and gave an encouraging grin.
Jonas couldn't help but crack a small smile. "Right. I look forward to it."
The Colonel made a meaningful face at the other two and jerked his head towards the door, taking the lead in their exit. Sam and Teal'c bid Jonas goodnight, which he returned politely, uncharacteristically subdued.
When their footsteps had once again faded down the hallway, he finally got up from his chair. Exhaling loudly, he turned to the violin case and stared at it thoughtfully for a moment before snapping it open.
It looked as it always did. Warm brown wood, polished and smoothed behind a light glaze of varnish, clean and beautiful and very much loved. He reached out and plucked the strings lightly. They were perfectly in tune, and their bright sound seemed to have some kind of bolstering effect upon his spirit. Amelia had been right. It would never be the same, of course, but it really did feel like a small part of her was still here in the form of this instrument.
Gently, he lifted the violin from its bed of plush velvet and looked around. He wasn't sure he'd ever have the heart to play it – at least not for a very long while, but now that he'd had the courage to open it, he was reluctant to put it away again. He needed it near. He needed to be able to see it.
A moment later, he stepped over to the filling cabinet by the door and settled the instrument carefully on the back end of it, against the wall. As soon as he got a chance he'd make a proper stand of some kind for it, but it would probably be safe enough there for now. He stepped back, surveying his handiwork with satisfaction. Yes, it looked very at home here, Amelia's violin.
There were some things that people like Kinsey would never understand, Jonas decided. Friendship and love couldn't be killed or broken by threats and demands. They would always share a connection, Jonas and Amelia, even if they never saw one another again. But Jonas Quinn was, and always would be, a man of hope. The future was never certain. Maybe someday they would find a way.
I close my eyes, and there in the shadows I see your light.
You come to me out of my dreams across the night.
You take my hand, though you may be so many stars away.
I know that our spirits and souls are one.
We've circled the moon and we've touched the sun.
So here we'll stay.
For always, forever,
Beyond here and on to eternity.
For always, forever,
For us there's no time and no space,
No barrier love won't erase.
Wherever you go, I still know
In my heart you will be with me.
From this day on I'm certain I'll never be alone
I know what my heart must have always known
That love has a power that's all its own
For always, forever,
Beyond here and on to eternity
For always, and ever,
You'll be apart of me.
For always, forever
A thousand tomorrows may cross the sky.
And for always and ever,
We will go on beyond goodbye.
From the motion picture soundtrack "A.I. – Artificial Intelligence"
Music and lyrics by John Williams
Performed by Josh Groban
A/N: Well, there you have it folks, and just in time for the nominations! I hope you enjoyed the changes (or for those of you reading for the first time, the whole story). I'm going to try and get another three or four chapters of the sequel under my belt before I begin posting, but I don't think it will be too long. Anyway, it still needs a title. LOL
In the meantime, I'm offering up a treat— a deleted scene. This is one that Domi Lys fought and fought to have included in the rewrite, but try as I might, I could never find any justification for it. Metamorphosis as an episode had little bearing on my story, so in the end I realized trying to force it in was a distraction. Yet this moment remains a favourite, so here you go. Enjoy!
Out of the goodness of her heart, Doctor Fraiser allowed Jonas and Sam to have beds next to each other. "Doctor, I really think I'm fine," Jonas said, trying to be extra persuasive as the small woman took his blood pressure, for all the good it would do. Which wasn't much. He was already wearing hospital clothes and had been tucked smartly into bed, as was Sam across from him.
"Hey, no arguing with the Doc," said Colonel O'Neill from the door. Their CO had come to check up on them after debriefing and cleaning up. He was dressed in his civilian clothes, on his way out the door. His hair was still wet from a shower. "Trust me, you get alien stuff messing with your head, it's better to be safe than sorry."
From the other bed, Jonas heard Sam snort softly. "Oh, like you're one to talk," she muttered lightly, and Jonas smiled.
"Whatever do you mean, Carter?"
"The Colonel is right, Jonas," said Doctor Fraiser briskly, writing her results on Jonas's chart and putting back in the slot beside his bed. "It's only prudent to keep you both under surveillance for at least twenty-four hours."
"Eggar seemed pretty confident he'd returned us to normal, Janet," Sam said, making her own plea.
"Sam," said Janet patroziningly, raising her eyebrows at the Major like a mother hen.
Sam gave a small, resigned sigh. "Okay, fine," she said. "Can somebody please send up my notes from PX3-651, then? If I'm going to be stuck here I might as well be doing something useful."
"Doctor, if you allow her to partake in any kind of work during the course of the next day, I will personally come and steal your pen light. And come to think of it, that goes for Jonas, too."
"Colonel," protested Sam.
"Ah!" he interjected, holding up a warning finger. "I said no."
"Well, you're right at least about the need to rest, Colonel," Janet said. "I'd advise you to get some yourself. Go home and go to bed. Don't make me order you."
"Right-o, doc," he said, grinning. He threw a smirk at Sam and turned around to leave.
"Oh, and Colonel," Janet called to his retreating back.
"Yeeeees?" he said slowly, turning back around.
She gave a small smirk of her own. "You will never find where I keep my pen lights."
Sam and Jonas shared regretful expressions upon watching the Colonel leave. The levity he provided would have been welcome, had he been allowed to stay longer. When Doctor Fraiser wandered away to check on her other patients, Sam gave a long, frustrated sigh and rested her head back against the wall behind her. "Man, I hate this. I feel fine," she complained.
"So do I," Jonas said. After another moment, he said, "So do you think we'll have a chance to work on those crystal devices again anytime soon?"
"I don't know. I hope so. Hey, Jonas?"
Sam turned to face him more fully. "When we were back at Nirrti's fortress, after they'd cured me, they put you in the machine, too."
Jonas frowned a little, not sure what Sam was getting at. She was stating obvious facts. "Yes, you were there," he said confusedly.
She nodded briefly, but then shook her head, indicating that this was not her point. "Eggar said you were fine. That Nirrti hadn't done to you what she'd done to me," she pointed out.
"Oh." Jonas shrugged. "Don't ask me. I was in the machine for a long time."
"Well, she must have said something to you. Indicated some reason why your, …treatment, for lack of a better word, was different. I mean, you were gone longer than any of us."
Jonas was silent for a moment, slightly embarrassed. He was hoping to avoid telling any of his teammates about Nirrti's proposition. In light of the medical considerations, General Hammond had agreed to put off the official debriefing for a couple of days. The debriefing they'd already given him had been the bare minimum. "Well –" he began, but stopped, not quite sure what he could say, really.
"What?" she asked.
Jonas couldn't help it. He flushed.
Even though he wasn't looking at her, he could sense Sam's surprise. "What?" she asked again, her voice heavy with curiosity and suspicion.
"It's… quite an interesting story, actually," he said, trying to be casual, but his voice betrayed his embarrassment.
Suddenly, Sam began laughing, full-blown realization dawning on her face. "She made a pass at you, didn't she?" she said knowingly, her voice heavy with tease.
Jonas did not reply, but met Sam's eyes and pursed his lips. "Apparently, I have really attractive DNA," he said defensively. Sam began snickering. "It was creepy!" he insisted. Sam only laughed harder. "Fine," he said in a mock sulk, turning away from her. "You get a wacky Goa'uld hanging off you and see how you like it."
"So just how were you planning on keeping this a secret?"
"I was going to tell you the... basic truth," he said, nodding with now-useless resolve.
Jonas frowned a little. "I don't know, Sam," he said, suddenly all seriousness. "There was something about my genetics that stood out to her. She said I was different from the rest of you."
"And you're thinking this explains your good memory, your observation skills, things like that?"
The conversation was forestalled by the sound of approaching footsteps and voices. They both looked towards the door, and Jonas smiled. "Amelia," he greeted. "Teal'c."
Amelia returned his smile with a gleeful expression of her own. "Teal'c came and told me you were back," she said, glancing at the Jaffa gratefully. She looked back at Jonas, then at Sam. "I was glad to find out you were safe."
"Thanks. It was pretty touch and go there, for a while, but…" Amelia's eyes widened, and Jonas was quick to add, "… but nothing we're not used to. Have a seat," he said then, nodding at the stool beside his bed.
"Has O'Neill retired for the day?" asked Teal'c, coming to stand at the foot of Sam's bed as Amelia carefully perched on the proffered stool.
"Yes," said Sam. "And gloating about it the whole way."
"Gloating?" asked Amelia, mystified.
"We're bored," Jonas told her matter-of-factly.
"Oh!" said Amelia, rising suddenly to her feet. "Do you want me to go get you a book?" she asked. She glanced at Sam. "And you too, Major? I have several."
Sam shook her head politely. "No, thanks, Amelia. Doctor Fraiser will make us go to sleep as soon as she leaves, anyway."
"Jonas?" Amelia asked.
Jonas shook his head, too. "No, just sit here for a bit," he said with a smile.
"So how come you guys have to stay here for the night?"
Sam and Jonas exchanged looks. "Well, we can't tell you that," Sam began. "It's –"
Amelia closed her eyes and gave a resigned smile. " – classified," she finished. "Right. I keep forgetting. But you're okay, right?" she added, opening her eyes again and glancing between them with concern.
"We'll be fine," Sam assured her.
"Amelia Kinsey, how do you proceed with the music of the Ancients?" Teal'c asked, politely.
"Pretty good, I think." Amelia gave an uncertain shrug. "All I have to do is play it. That's not difficult. Just don't ask me to know what it means." She poked Jonas lightly in the shoulder with a finger. "That's Jonas's job," she said, grinning a little.
"Hey," he protested blandly, resting his head back and closing his eyes.
"Okay, visiting hours are over," said Janet, suddenly sweeping back from wherever she'd been.
Jonas opened his eyes again. "They've hardly even begun," he protested.
"Teal'c, Amelia, you can come back first thing in the morning, I promise. But these two have been through a rough mission. They need rest. Teal'c, you should probably use some kelnorim, too. I know you haven't had enough time to do it since you got back."
"Very well," Teal'c agreed congenially, and made for the door.
Amelia stood up again. "Goodnight, Jonas. Goodnight Major Carter."
"Goodnight, Amelia," Sam said.
"Hey, I'm counting on that visit tomorrow," Jonas added, smiling.
Amelia gave him another smile of her own, and a nod, then turned to follow Teal'c out the door. "Goodnight, Janet," she said as she passed the doctor.
Just before they passed out of earshot, Jonas heard her say to Teal'c, "Like I said – worth a try, right?"
"Indeed," he replied.
After they were gone – so soon after they'd arrived – Sam was quick to smile at Jonas. "You really like this girl, don't you?"
"Now who's being observant?"
"I've certainly never found ping pong that enjoyable."
Jonas closed his eyes with a small groan. He should have known he couldn't avoid this forever.
"And Amelia's a lot less creepy than Nirrti," Sam continued, knowingly.
"Shut up." Jonas said, not opening his eyes.
"Speaking of Nirrti," Sam continued, "just wait until I tell the Colonel." Her amusement was unmistakable.
"Hah," said Jonas, opening his eyes and looking at her victoriously. "The Colonel will be properly sympathetic."
"Yeah, you're probably right."
"Jonas! Major! Sleep!"
Sam sighed and turned wriggled down from her sitting position, rolling her eyes at Jonas as Janet began turning off the lights around them, preparing to go home. "Napoleonic power-mongerer," she muttered when the doctor was out of earshot.
Jonas laughed, and settled down to sleep himself, thankful for another good day's work and a safe return home.
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