It just figures that when he finally finds a planet that is, as yet, untouched by the Ori, Jonas gets arrested for crashing his ship in someone's field. The jury-rigged propulsion system (calling it an "engine" would be an exercise in euphemism) had been making disconcerting noises for hours when he finally came in sight of the small, green-blue world, and entering the atmosphere had proved to be too much for it. At least the guidance controls had held out long enough for him to aim at an open patch of green and hope for the best.
He's trying to remind himself that waking up in a cell with a blinding headache still beats not waking up at all. Besides, he's due for a lucky break. Maybe the planet will have a Stargate. Maybe once he's smoothed things over with the authorities and the farmer whose staple crop he plowed under with his "landing" (euphemism again) he can contrive to contact Earth. Maybe he can somehow get them to send a MALP, and then when they see it's him, maybe they'll let him through the iris. Maybe Teal'c and Sam and Doctor Jackson will be waiting on the other side to welcome him. Maybe even the Colonel.
Maybe the Ori will spontaneously decide that the Milky Way isn't worth the trouble, pack up their Priors and soldiers and battleships, and go bother someone else.
Jonas stares at his cell's ceiling and foggily contemplates all the ways in which he is, as Colonel O'Neill would say, royally screwed. If the planet has no Stargate, he's stuck. He has no illusions about his own ability to get his scrap-heap of a ship space-worthy again, and based on the small jail where he is currently in residence, the planet isn't technologically advanced enough to provide him with other options in terms of space-travel.
If the planet does have a Stargate, well, then it's only a matter of time. He can do his best to be out of his cell and off the planet before a Prior makes a visitation, but they don't exactly publish their schedules in advance, and he isn't sure how quickly he's going to be able to get himself out of here without help.
The door to what amounts to the town sheriff's office opens and two of the local officials enter the jail, pushing a black-haired woman ahead of them, hands behind her back. Her homespun dress is dark with soot in places, and has fallen off one shoulder so that the whole thing hangs askew.
"Look, this really isn't necessary," the woman protests. "I can easily--well, that is--my friends can easily pay for the damage to the...well, I don't actually know what it was, exactly, but I'm sure it can be replaced. Or put back together, I suppose, there weren't very many pieces left, but I know some very talented--" Here she is shoved unceremoniously into the cell across from Jonas and the door is locked behind her.
The officials turn to leave and the woman calls after them "Hey! You could at least untie me!" There is no response but the slamming of the jail door.
"Well, nice to see that chivalry is not dead everywhere." The woman glances around herself, and Jonas has a feeling that she is getting more information out of those quick glances than most people would get out of a few hours' scrutiny. Her eyes fall on Jonas, and he gives her half a smile and one raised eyebrow in return for the rather fetching head-tilt that she gives him.
"They take property damage pretty seriously, here," he says, deciding she must be from out of town. (Or off-planet, he tries not to think, but the tug of hope will not be ignored.)
"So I surmised," the woman shakes her head, wriggling her arms behind her back. "Also, apparently, assault on an officer of the law. Though I had no way of knowing he was an official at the time, and anyway it's not my fault his nose got broken, I was startled. Still no excuse to leave a girl tied up like this."
"I'd offer to help, but..." Jonas waves at the bars of his own cell. He thinks about sitting up, but he doesn't think his head is up to it. Even if it were, the three hours of unconsciousness after the crash were his first sleep in days, and he just can't muster the energy.
"That's alright, I'll get it. Probably even before my friends give up trying to talk that unpleasant town leader into letting me go and decide to just rescue me."
"Must be nice," Jonas can't quite keep the bitter edge out of his words, and the woman tilts her head at him again. "Having friends to bail you out, like that."
"Well, it's not something I'm really accustomed to, yet," the woman says, sitting down on the floor of her cell. "But I'm getting to think it's not bad. Being on one's own has its charms and advantages, but nothing beats a really good rescue when one blows up--completely by accident--some crabby local's property."
Jonas doesn't reply, but after a particularly impressive feat of contortion that moves her bound hands from behind her back to under her knees, the woman askes him "So is that what you're here for, too? Who's property did you wantonly destroy?"
Jonas can't think of a reason not to tell her, and it's so nice to actually have a more-or-less straight-up conversation with someone that he answers "I crashed my ship in a farmer's field. Apparently I took a pretty big chunk out of his yearly profits, though I'm not sure how holding me in this cell is really going to help him with that."
The woman's eyes narrow ever so slightly, though she keeps on working at the knot binding her wrists, peering at it around the bulk of her skirt. "Your ship. I didn't realize this planet had developed space-flight technology."
"This planet." That little tug of hope, again. He tries to remind himself to be cautious, and replies as casually as he can "Well, I'm from out of town. So are you, I take it."
She grins. "That obvious, is it? I told Mitchell no one would take us for locals. Of course blowing things up probably didn't help, at all, but it was an accident." She gives a small grunt of effort and draws both hands out from under her knees, throwing the rope that had bound them into a corner of her cell. "There. Now," she rises to her knees and pulls a small ornament and two pins out of her hair.
"Nice," Jonas can't help being a little impressed, through the haze of his headache. "You think you can pick that lock with those?"
"Never underestimate the usefulness of hair accessories," she replies, going to work on the lock. She works silently for a moment, and then, out of the blue: "I'm trying to think where I've seen you before."
Jonas feels his heart-rate quicken and every muscle in his back stiffens slightly. He can't think of any particular reason the Ori could have to hunt him down (and even if they did have a reason, he can't imagine how this woman getting herself arrested would fit into a plan for his capture) but being on the run for weeks has made him edgier than he'd thought it was possible to be.
The woman seems to notice his reaction, and she stops fighting with the lock long enough to give him an appraising look. He shrugs, gives her a guarded smile, and says "I don't believe we've met. I think I would remember, especially if you make a habit of accidentally blowing things up."
"Well, just because you didn't see me doesn't mean I didn't see you." She ignores the wisecrack and instead frowns thoughtfully. "You've never been to a planet called Teshet, by any chance, have you? Maybe for the big summer solstice parade they have every year?"
"Not that I can recall," replies Jonas.
"Hm, shame. Everyone puts on their finest jewelry for the occasion and then gets spectacularly drunk. Absolutely heaven for a experienced pick-pocket, especially one with a high tolerance for ethanol. What about...no, none of the men there were under six-five, it wasn't allowed." She gnaws her lip for a moment, staring at his face with a disconcerting intensity.
Jonas feels the urge to fidget under such direct scrutiny. He smiles nervously and begins "I'm pretty sure I've--" but the woman suddenly snaps her fingers and grins at him.
"I knew it! I've seen those dimples before! But you had less hair then, and you'd shaved. Well, I suppose we will have to be grateful that a Prior decided to make this planet top of his list, since I don't think we would have come here in the first place, otherwise."
Thoroughly taken aback, now, and alarmed by her mention of a Prior, Jonas finally sits up. His head gives a pang of protest. The woman, apparently pleased, goes back to work on the lock.
"This is good timing. No one can yell at me for blowing things up if they're too busy being pleased to see you. In fact, if it weren't for me, we'd never had known you were here. Ha!" Her cell door pops open. She calmly steps out and begins work on the door of Jonas's without so much as a pause in the stream of one-sided conversation. "Good thing, too, because Daniel sounded like he'd already built up a pretty long lecture about not touching things off-world, which is, if you ask me, a crashing case of the pot calling the kettle black."
It is Doctor Jackson's name coupled with the Earth turn of speech about pots and kettles that finally gets all the way past the headache and floods Jonas with relief. He stands and then quickly sits down again, head swimming. "You're from Earth."
"Not originally, but I'm told you never let that stop you." His cell door opens and the woman flashes him the most engaging grin yet, swinging the door wide and stepping into the cell. Jonas is about to try standing again, but instead finds himself pushed back down onto the wooden bench as the woman deposits herself easily in his lap, saying "Best stay there, you don't look too well. Help will be along in a minute."
He has to admit that standing up, however briefly, has done something very unpleasant to his head. The woman takes his chin in one hand and turns his face away, prodding less gently than possible at his left temple.
"Ow?" He'd like to get up and get the woman off his lap, but he's not sure he won't faint if he tries.
"Mm, you seem to have done yourself a bit of damage."
"Well, I didn't crash on purpose," Jonas protests, relief mingling with irritation and bafflement.
"Mm," she nods, fishing in the neckline of her dress for what turns out to be a tiny plastic bag of...oh, thank god, Asprin. He tears open the plastic and downs them dry.
The woman chuckles and affectionately brushes the hair off his forehead, as if he's...well, as if he's someone in whose lap she can sit without a qualm. "You're not much like Sam's pictures of you," she observes critically. "You look older, and I'm not sure the stubble suits you."
"Having your planet invaded by the Ori and barely escaping with your life will do that to your looks," he snaps, but only weakly, trying to ignore the fact that he sounds a lot like Colonel O'Neill.
"Mm," she says again. "Your escape certainly had theatrical appeal, but in its defense, our rescue plan did involve fewer arrests and head injuries."
"What rescue plan?" Jonas asks, so tired and grateful for the painkillers that he hardly puts any edge into his words. "I was being taken away to be executed as an unbeliever when I escaped."
"Yes, Colonel Mitchel and the Marines who posed as your execution detail were...rather annoyed at being rendered unconscious by the person they were trying to rescue." She gave him a stern look that did nothing to hide her amusement. "Thankfully, nobody got killed or captured, so Mitchell didn't have to haunt Daniel from the grave for suggesting the undercover-as-Ori-soldiers idea."
"I kind of wondered why they didn't just shoot me," Jonas admits, leaning his head back against the cell wall. The woman and the cell are beginning to go a little fuzzy, and he's suddenly struggling to keep his eyes open.
"Yes, well, everyone at the SGC will be happy to see you. Muscles and Samantha have been particularly anxious ever since the rescue team misplaced you."
He smiles for no other reason than the fact that he doesn't have to ask her who "Muscles" is. "Earth is still fighting, then? When they didn't send...well, when I thought they didn't send anyone for me, I was worried..."
"Mitchell may have some words for you about the concussion you gave him when you escaped, but other than that you have nothing to worry about, anymore." She gives a small, rueful grimace and adds "Well, no more to worry about than the rest of us, which is a far cry from nothing, at the moment. But still."
Jonas huffs out a very tired laugh. "We still have to worry about getting out of this jail, don't we?"
"Shouldn't be a problem." He feels her move her legs against his and realizes a moment later that she's clicking her heels.
He laughs again, feeling almost delirious from exhaustion and relief. "No place like home?"
"No place like home," she agrees, and then adds "hold on tight," as white light envelops them both and she wraps her arms securely around his shoulders.