Title: Five Things Jack O'Neill's clone decided to do differently in his life this time around
Author: Rebecca Johnson [.com]
Rating: G
Spoilers: Fragile Balance

Summary: title tells it all

Author's Note: I always wished I knew what happened with Mini-Jack

Disclaimer: Mini-Jack and all other Stargate-related things do not belong to me.

1. If they had told him that it would only make him feel worse, he wouldn't have believed them, he would have done it anyway. When he felt those soft lips under his, lips that he had dreamt of over and over again, he was saddened by the utter finality it contained. He had meant it to be a goodbye, one final chance to take an opportunity he shouldn't, but he had not thought it would pain him so much. But still, as he walked out of the mountain, her taste still lingering on his mouth, he couldn't help but feel that it marked his new life; that the kiss he never should have had was the start of a life he was determined to live differently. This time he walked away from her and he told himself that he wouldn't look back.

2. There was a strange excitement in the air, an energy of attention and enthusiasm that was so unusual for the stale aired corridors of the teenage hell he visited every day. The evidence of this excitement was held firmly in his hands: slim glossy pamphlets from many of the stalls populating the school career fair. Shifting the pamphlets like a deck of cards through his fingers, a skill perfected over years he had once lived, his hands stilled when the bright blue paper of the USAF pamphlet found its way to the top of the pile.

He had a place waiting, they had told him so. He knew that he would do well, better than he ever had – his many years of experience in his now younger and more agile body practically guaranteed a quick and distinguished career. Who knew, he might even end up back at the SGC, after all, he already knew the big bad secret …

Then the burn of remembered pain seared through his mind. Iraq, years of Black Ops, snatches of faces etched in agony …

The pamphlet hit the bottom of the bin in a surprisingly freeing flutter.

3. When he pulled the pile of envelopes out of the mail box he allowed his old self to give a smirk at the nervousness he was finding himself with. He never thought he'd see the day – he was sure that he wouldn't have been the only one.

Walking back into the small apartment he had been living in for the past four years, he let the envelopes slip through his fingers onto the table. Each one hit the table with a soft tap, each one emblazed with logos offering a possible future to choose from. Anthropology, physics, languages, teaching, medicine …

He may have left that life behind, but there was no denying that it was still influencing him.

4. It had taken him a long time to get used to the sensation of having a warm body in the bed next to him. Even before his teenaged rebirth (which, while not making it impossible, had certainly made it a little awkward), his job as an intergalactic alien-butt-kicker had put a distinct dampener on his romantic life.

His hand drifted up and over his wife's curves with a gentle hand, meeting her sleepy his with his own. When his wandering fingers reached and tangled in her long brown hair he whispered soft words of love. He told her how much he loved her, how much he needed and longed for her, his words filling the small space between them.

It had taken a long time, but he wasn't afraid of the words anymore.

5. His day always started the same: he force fed his daughter a disgustingly healthy breakfast (he'd sneak his Froot Loops later) before dropping her off at school, far enough away so as not to embarrass her.

He was used to being the dorky dad who insisted on driving her and her friends to the shops so they wouldn't have to walk. He was used to being told he was being way too overprotective. And he was used o that sharp look she had perfected for when she accused that he just "didn't understand teenagers at all!" What's more, he liked it.

Despite any and all dramas that occurred between them on a daily basis, his day always ended the same as well. Every night before she headed to bed, Charlotte, tall and dark like her mother, would tuck up her long legs and curl up against him on the lounge, hugging him and kissing him on the cheek. "I love you, Daddy."

Yes, he was completely okay with it.