A Good Man
Author: Tara aka LovinJackson
Summary: With bad memories brought to the surface, Jack comes up with reasoning he can live with. Season 7 "Fallout" Missing Scene/Tag.
Disclaimer: I do not own Stargate or its characters. I am just borrowing.
A/N 1 – Hey Guys. Long time No see. A lot of stuff has been going on in my personal life lately that has kept me from writing, but also reading a lot as well. I have missed it terribly.
This fic owes thanks to angelustatt, my mother and also Manda for her encouragement.
I know that I owe my wonderful friend Nana56 a fic. She bought me in the Authors auction at KazCon pretty much a year ago. That Supernatural story is in production but not yet ready. I feel terrible. So much so that I wasn't going to post this until I had finished the Supernatural one. But I had the sudden urge to post something today, to prove to myself that I can still be productive no matter how crappy things are at the moment. So bare with me Supernatural readers, I will return you back to your normal viewing at some point.
This Fic has been a long time coming, years in the making. It was one of those fics that played in my mind whenever I would watch the SG-1 episode "Fallout" in Season 7 but every time I gave it a try I would scrap my efforts. Now after years of struggling with this I have managed to complete it. I hope it is at least somewhat enjoyable :) I'll shut up and let you read now …
A Good Man
"I say we send 'em packing."
Jack didn't slow down as he walked out of the briefing room with Teal'c, Daniel hot on his heels. The archeologist was trying to win him back to being part of the solution to the problem at hand. It wasn't going to happen, not this time.
"We can't give up on them yet, we still have the potential to save thousands of lives here," Daniel argued, keeping in step with his team members. The speed of his words told Jack that Daniel knew he was fighting a losing battle.
"And yet curiously they don't seem to understand or care," Jack pointed out, heading towards the elevator.
"This is diplomacy; this is the way the game is played. It takes patience."
"Yeah? Well I'm fresh out."
"As am I," Teal'c agreed.
Jack stepped into the open elevator, Teal'c following him inside. The Jaffa stood impassively, yet with an air of irritation that had followed them both from the briefing room.
"I think you're on your own," Jack told his friend. If these people weren't going to help themselves, then Jack was finished with them.
Daniel's face fell and his frustration could be seen as the elevator doors closed, separating the archaeologist from him and Teal'c.
Kelowna … a continent on a planet in the Milky Way; a place that had hit them all hard, a place that had taken one of their own because of their own selfish incompetence. Jack would never forget the first time he had met these people, how hard Daniel had tried to talk sense into them.
The planet held nothing but a rare substance – Naquadria - that his own government had been willing tarnish one of their own to get.
If it weren't for Jonas Quinn, Jack would have been quite happy to shut the door on that world for good. It held no interest, nothing that they couldn't find on their own world in the form of selfish, gutless politicians and arrogant scientists who never thought of the consequences of their actions.
A weapon of mass destruction can only be used for one thing. Now you might think it will ensure peace and freedom but I guarantee you it'll never have the effect you're hoping for until you use it… at least once.
His own words floated back to him. They were words he'd used on Jonas back the first time they'd met after everything had gone to hell and Daniel had been laying in the infirmary dying slowly, drowning in his own fluids.
Despite what had happened to Daniel that day, despite the obvious uncontrollable, unstable power they were trying to wield, the Kelownan's hadn't gotten that message. They had still gone and detonated the Naquadria Bomb and the result? They had not only screwed up their own continent … but the entire planet.
Jack didn't feel sorry for them. He didn't feel sorry for them one bit. They had brought this on themselves.
He had learnt something in all of this, though. It stunned Jack that he'd found someone even worse than the Kelownan's… the two rivaling nations, Tirania and Andari.
They had left Jack's mind reeling. How they couldn't understand the seriousness of the situation they were in, he just couldn't process; although it did bring to light why Kelowna had been at odds with them in the first place. He wanted to blow them all to hell himself.
It's why he had stormed out of there. Langara - as the planet was now called - was dying because of their own short-sightedness. Daniel had been killed in effort to save them from the very thing that ended up being their demise and yet they still couldn't agree on one damn thing to save themselves.
It reminded him of why he wanted nothing to do with these people and he was over with it. Daniel was by himself on this one because Jack was well and truly done with it all.
"Damn it," Jack cursed, hands on hips and eyes looking upward as if an answer that would satisfy him would come from the boring grey ceiling of the elevator. None was forthcoming … but you couldn't blame a guy for trying.
"You are angry with Daniel Jackson."
Jack turned to look at the large former first prime of Apophis. He'd almost forgotten the Jaffa had been beside him. He frowned. "No," he denied, shaking his head.
Teal'c simply raised an eyebrow. He clearly didn't believe what he'd just heard. Jack had to give the big guy credit. He could call bullshit without saying a word.
"I'm not angry at Daniel, Teal'c," Jack stated as the elevator came to a stop and the doors slid open. "I'm angry at those double standard sons of bitches."
Jack stepped out of the elevator and into the grey cement corridors of the SGC, Teal'c following him, stopping to step aside as two airmen walked past, taking their place in the elevator.
Jack wasn't even sure where he was going. He'd just needed to get away from that briefing room, from the Langaran's … and from Daniel. He felt like he wanted to punch something and didn't feel like being court-martialed for attacking leaders from another planet.
Teal'c was beside him again, nodded at him in his regal way that told him they could continue on their way and that he expected Jack to continue his mostly one-sided conversation.
"And you know what? I'm angry at General Hammond for even letting them through the damn gate, it was a complete waste of everyone's time …" Daniel was going to sit in that briefing room with the three ambassadors and go around in circles and the thing was he knew Daniel would sit there for as long as it took … because that was what Daniel was like.
He knew damn well that Daniel would go beyond the call of duty if he believed he could save lives. Jack had one problem with that in this instance. Daniel had already gone beyond the call of duty for this planet and he had paid the ultimate price.
"If they don't receive help from us they will perish," Teal'c told him as they rounded a corner and into the SGC Commissary. Food hadn't been on top of Jack's to-do list but he followed Teal'c. The Jaffa seemed content to be there.
"You didn't seem too concerned before," Jack counted.
He'd felt justified before in his anger and reluctance to be a part of helping the Langaran's. He had lost patience with them. Their world was on the brink of disaster and all they cared about was laying blame … not a lot had changed since they'd first met … only this time it wouldn't be a member of his team to take that fall.
"Jonas Quinn will perish along with them."
Jack paused halfway in their trek across the room. It had taken him a long time to warm to Jonas. He respected what the kid had done, trying to clear Daniel's name, bringing them Naquadria.
Jack respected it, but then Jonas had been put on SG-1, in Daniel's place. It had felt wrong. It wasn't Jonas' fault that Daniel had died … but it had felt like an insult to allow him Daniel's spot on the team. But Jonas grew on you. It had taken time but he had grown on Jack too.
Jack looked up at the large dark man. Teal'c's face was impassive as usual but Jack had worked alongside this particular Jaffa for seven years and could see the conflicting emotions in the man's dark eyes. Not only that but Teal'c was holding some truth or wisdom, Jack just knew he was waiting to impart.
"I'm sorry about that, Teal'c, I really am. He kinda grew on me … a little. I like the guy and I have no problem helping him; but it's his choice to go back there. I can't do anything about that."
"Agreed," Teal'c intoned, handing him a tray before he started to pile food onto his own plate. Jack watched in silence for a moment. The amount Teal'c ate for a simple snack was astonishing. He had thought he had one hell of an appetite until he had met Teal'c.
Jack looked at what was on offer and realized he really didn't feel hungry anyway. Coffee. He could do with some coffee. He allowed Teal'c to continue his foraging and replaced his tray, heading over to the coffee maker by the opposite wall.
He was frustrated. These people didn't want their help. Not really. They wanted to dictate and demand and Jack knew damn well they weren't going to be happy with anything Stargate Command had to offer.
Jack took his now full mug of black coffee and turned around. He found Teal'c sitting at a nearby table and moved to join him, taking a seat across from Teal'c and his mountain of food. Shaking his head silently over Teal'c's food, Jack took a tentative sip of his coffee, putting it back down again when it almost burnt his lips.
Teal'c plopped a grape into his mouth, and then another one. The slowness and silence started to be another thing added to Jack's list of what was grating on his nerves. He should have headed to the Gym … or out of Cheyenne Mountain all together.
He banished that thought as soon as it had entered his head. As much as he wanted nothing to do with the rescue or relocation efforts, Jack had no intention of leaving until the Langaran's were no longer their problem. Daniel was still dealing with the ambassadors of their different continents and Carter was still down on the planet with Jonas, trying to fix their screw up. His team was still active even if half of it was in the Commissary with nothing to do.
Jack sighed, one hand wrapped around his coffee. "Daniel's gonna be in there forever."
"He will not stop until the Langaran's agree on a suitable arrangement."
"And why is that?" Jack asked immediately. "Why is he working so damn hard for people that don't even want to help themselves?"
Teal'c seemed to shrug although Jack wasn't sure he had ever seen the Jaffa actually shrug. He wasn't sure what to call it other than a non-committal response. "Daniel Jackson is an extraordinary person."
"He's an extraordinary pain in my ass," Jack muttered, looking down into his coffee cup.
His life hadn't been the same since the geeky archaeologist had been forced into his life – granted Daniel had come a long way, but that hadn't changed. He drove Jack crazy sometimes … most times.
"He's not normal." But then Daniel never had been … it was what made him so unique. It was part of what had saved his own life those eight long years ago on that first mission through the Stargate when they had worked together to defeat Ra.
"They don't deserve his effort."
"You haven't forgiven Kelowna for their part in Daniel Jackson's death." It was a statement, not a question.
"You think I should have?"
"I didn't say that."
"They didn't just get him killed, Teal'c. Those gutless bastards were playing with something they had no right to be, got him killed and then blamed him for sabotaging their research. He saved their asses and they were going to blame him? I can't come at that."
It still made his blood boil. He'd lost a friend because of those people, a best friend, a younger brother even. Daniel had sacrificed himself knowing the fatal danger, only worried for the lives that would be lost if he didn't act and he had gotten a big slap in the face for his heroic actions. They didn't deserve Daniel's time … they were lucky he was even with them now to help at all.
"I don't get it," Jack continued. He was on a roll now. "How he doesn't just tell them to go to hell, to save their own arrogant asses. I was ready to call it quits ten minutes into the damn talks. Why does he do it, Teal'c?" Daniel gave him a headache.
"Because the ambassadors from Langara aren't the only ones to die if a solution isn't found and this is not the first time that Daniel Jackson has pushed aside a reason to hate."
Jack eyed his friend. "That's different, Teal'c."
"It is no different, O'Neill. I am the one that took his wife and handed her to Apophis and then I was the one to kill her when he'd finally found her, yet he still works alongside me. More than that - he still calls me 'friend'. I am under no illusion that I am lucky to be considered as such and that a lesser man would not be so forgiving. He is a better man than most, myself included."
Teal'c met Jack's gaze for a few more seconds and then went back to his meal. Teal'c was a great soldier, one of the best he had worked with but he also would have made a great diplomat.
Jack stopped short at Daniel's greeting and looked around him before looking back at the back of Daniel's head. He used to think that Daniel's sense of awareness was at level oblivious. It had been back in the early days of SG-1 and before that. Jack could still remember that first mission through the Stargate to Abydos under General West's orders – the innocence … the naivety.
The boy had grown up a hell of a lot since that first mission.
"Hey yourself," Jack greeted as he continued walking, sitting down on the rock beside Daniel. "Whatcha doin' up here?"
Daniel glanced beside him and shifted to give Jack more room. "Just thinking, you know … it's been a long day."
"Diplomacy with a bunch of dicks always makes for a long day, Daniel."
"Yeah," Daniel sighed. He sounded tired.
Jack looked up to the sky. The top of the mountain at the SGC was a popular place for his team mates, Daniel in particular. If Daniel was deep in thought you could usually find him sitting on top of the mountain, staring at the stars in the sky. The constellations were, after all, what brought them all together on this journey in the first place.
"But it all worked out in the end."
"Thanks to Sam and Jonas."
"And Teal'c," Jack reminded, pointing a finger at his friend in jest. "Don't forget Teal'c. You'll hurt the big guy's feelings."
Daniel chuckled, lowering his gaze to the earth beneath their boots before glancing at Jack. "And Teal'c … and a Goa'uld."
"Who'd have thunk it?"
"It wouldn't be the first time a Goa'uld has come in useful. I'm glad it all worked out for the Langaran's."
"But …" Daniel paused, looking off to the side in the direction of the trees that sat atop the Cheyenne Mountain Complex. He adjusted his glasses before looking straight ahead again. "But it would have been a different story if Sam's plan hadn't of worked."
"But it did and I say why dwell?" It was over and done with. The Langaran's were no longer their problem. Jack was quite happy to forget about them again.
"I know, but I can't help but wonder …"
It was Jack's turn to sigh this time. He looked skyward, asking for help but somehow knowing that he wasn't going to get out of this touchy feely talk. He'd avoided these kinds of talks easily enough before Daniel Jackson had come along.
"Daniel," Jack groaned.
"You were right, Jack."
"They were never going to listen," Daniel admitted, looking at Jack. "I guess I was kind of hoping that after everything that happened they could have put aside their differences."
"You can't save everyone, Daniel."
"I don't understand what was so hard to understand. Their whole planet was going to explode and they couldn't see past their own arrogance. They couldn't get past putting blame on each other just like …"
He hadn't expected Daniel to broach this subject. He had seemed at peace with what happened. Daniel had been driving Jack insane because he was so forgiving about that matter. "Like what happened on Kelowna when …" this time it was Jack's turn to trail off. They were making a great pair. "When you died," he finally added.
"Ascended," Daniel corrected.
Jack shook his head. "Ascended, died … it felt the same to us, Daniel. You were gone all the same."
"I guess. Anyway … it makes me wonder why I even tried for as long as I did this time around. If you hadn't of come in when you did it would have either been never ending or I would have snapped myself."
That's what you get for dicking around.
His own words to the Langaran's flashed in his mind, followed with their shocked faces when they realized that they had messed about for too long and because of that weren't going to get anymore help from Earth.
"You would have kept at it." That was something Jack knew for sure. No matter who these people were or what they had done to Daniel himself, the archaeologist wouldn't have let the thousands of innocents down on the planet die.
"What makes you so sure?" Daniel chuckled.
Jack kept his eyes on Daniel, meeting the younger man's gaze. "Because you're a good man, Daniel." He had an amazing ability for forgiveness and perseverance in the face of hardship. "Don't ever change."
Daniel's eyebrows raised in quiet surprise. His eyes moved down and then back up to Jack. "Thank you … for all the good it does."
Jack clapped his hand on Daniel's shoulder, giving it a slight squeeze. "It does more good than you think, Danny boy." It kept them all striving to be better. Every team needed a conscience and Jack knew they couldn't have been given a better one. "Come on, let's get off this rock. Carter wants to buy us a steak and beer. I for one want to cash in on that."
A team dinner – it sounded like just the thing to end this latest situation.
Daniel nodded with a smile and then stood up beside Jack. "Sounds great."
Jack nodded back at Daniel, pleased with himself and happy to put these memories behind them. He turned around and started back towards the door to the top of the mountain, Daniel walking in step with him.
"The same goes for you, you know."
Jack's brow furrowed as he continued to walk. "Huh?"
"You're a good man too, Jack." Daniel threw his previous words back at him with a sincerity that almost caused him to stop. "Don't ever change."
A/N2 – Thank you so much for reading! If you got this far then I hope you enjoyed what you read. Please feel free to let me know what you thought as I might not be knew to this show but I have never contributed to this fandom before.
Supernatural friends – if you read this too? I hope you enjoyed. I know some of you will possibly read this despite having not watched the show *hugs*
I hope everyone is having a great year so far and I hope to not leave it so long before I see you all again. Thanks again :)