Disclaimer: I own nothing. Twilight characters belong to Stephenie Meyer. The Stargate people belong to Gekko Productions, Double Secret Productions, MGM/UA, Showtime/Viacom.
Timeline/Spoilers: AU from Eclipse. It completely ignores Breaking Dawn. For Stargate: AU from Fragile Balance Season 7. The events in this fic occurs only a few months after Jack is cloned.
Authors Notes: This fic is not meant to be taken as a criticism of Twilight (I like Twilight), but is more what I view as a realistic look at the consequences to Bella's choice to become a vampire. I dislike that everything went so well for her in the books and feel that realistically her life would be far from perfect. I suspect that not everyone will be happy with this interpretation and have been advised that this fic will probably be received better by non-Twilight fans than Twilight fans, so be warned.
Authors Notes II: Thank you to Orange Thunder and Demona for looking over this fic for me and words of encouragement. All quotes for this fic were found via Think Exist dot com.
Please Note: This fic alternates between Clone!Jack's POV (which is in Italics) and Bella's POV (in regular font).
"There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences."
Being a vampire is better than anything Bella Swan – Bella Cullen – could possibly imagine. It's been a little over a year since she chose to become a vampire and, truly, it's like a dream. She has everything she's wanted: the perfect husband, the perfect marriage and the perfect family.
There was a time, before her Change, when Bella wondered if maybe she was making a mistake, but her life has been nothing but perfect.
It's all she ever wanted and more.
Whatever it is hits him before he even has a chance to react and then just as quickly it's over. He doesn't know what it is, all he knows is that its grip was so tight that his bones snapped like twigs from the pressure.
But it's not the pain in his arms that has him screaming.
Bella doesn't quite know how it happened. One minute she's running alongside Alice and Rosalie and the next they're pulling her off a teenager fishing at a lake near one of their hunting grounds in Canada. She doesn't remember making the conscious decision to feed off the human. She doesn't even remember catching his scent.
She's still in a daze when they pin her to the ground. She doesn't fight them to get back to her prey, the taste of his blood in her mouth is surprisingly unappealing; she just simply lies there, confused.
Her confusion is replaced with horror when, after a second, the boy begins screaming.
The clone, formally known as Colonel Jack O'Neill, knows pain all too freaking well. All kinds of pain actually, both physical and psychological. Hell, he's been tortured to death over and over again, but the pain that's spreading through him is beyond anything Ba'al or any Goa'uld has done to him. It doesn't take long for him to realises that this is it, that this is the end. It's impossible for anything this painful to be anything else. A part of him is relieved, death is preferable to the pain, but another part of him is pissed beyond all reason that this is the way he goes out, that this is how he dies. In fact, he's pretty much pissed about everything: the pain, the fact that Loki of the Asgard decided to clone the real him and fuck up so spectacularly that instead of a fully grown clone he's a fifteen year old boy with fifty years worth of memories. He's pissed off because he's lost everything and everyone he's cared about.
The only consolation is that he'll be dead soon.
He has to be.
Even though Bella's been through the Change herself, it's not the same as watching someone else endure it. It's worse. She carries the boy in her arms as they race towards their Alaskan home. He's screaming and writhing in agony, cursing someone named Loki on the top of his lungs. For the first time since she became a vampire she stumbles and falls. She's so focused on the boy in her arms that she doesn't pay attention to anything else. The only reason she knows Rose and Alice are with her is because they help her stand whenever she falls.
It takes them two hours to reach their home and the entire family is waiting there for her. Carlisle takes the boy from her arms while Edward pulls her into his. She doesn't fight his embrace, although a part of her wants to. She wants to follow Carlisle and Esme into the house, she doesn't want comfort.
"Bella..." The boy's screaming cuts off Edward's words.
She closes her eyes and leans her head against his chest. "It isn't supposed to be like this."
For the first time since she was Change she doesn't feel right. Nothing feels right.
"Are you okay?"
No, she's not okay. She's not sure she ever will be.
This isn't how she imagined her eternal life with Edward. She gave up her human family and friends for a life with the man she knew she couldn't ever live without. She had known the consequences of her choice and she had readily accepted them.
Bella just never truly believed there would be any consequences to live with.
Jack doesn't know why he's actually surprised this is happening to him, that he's in hell once again. By all rights his life should be boring. Mind numbingly, scream inducing, I'm-going-to-pull-all-the-hair-from-my-head boring.
He has enough presence of mind to know what's happening to him here isn't right. It hurts to think, but Jack pushes past the pain because he can't let himself give into it. Even though he's just a clone, and the memories that inhabit his mind aren't really his, Jack still feels as though he is Colonel Jack O'Neill, so just lying back and screaming is something he can't do.
So, difficult as it is, he forces his mind to try to work out who or what could be doing this to him. As far as he is aware, there are only a handful of people who are even aware of his existence and only one of those people knows what name he goes by now. He's pretty sure that O'Neill – the real O'Neill – wouldn't give him up, not unless he had no choice.
But then the real O'Neill didn't know he was spending his summer vacation in Canada. In fact, the real O'Neill has promised never to contact his clone unless Jack contacted him first.
No one – alien or humans – knows who or what he is, so this shouldn't be happening.
Bella blames herself. As far as she's concerned there's no one else to blame. Edward's trying to take responsibility, he's convinced that because he was the one who turned her into a vampire that it's his fault, but it's not. It's no one's fault but her own.
Bella never had any trouble adapting to this life. From the moment she opened her eyes it's been easy for her. She never had the issues of control like her siblings did when they were newborns. In fact, Bella's already stopped herself from killing a human once, on her first hunt, so she's not sure exactly how this happened or why.
It's because things have been so easy for her that she honestly didn't think there was much of a risk of her losing control. She thought that even if there was a risk she had her enhanced senses, and Alice's ability to see the future, to help her. She honestly thought that Alice would see if there were any humans on their hunting grounds, or that if there were humans nearby she would see if Bella would be able to resist them.
It kills Bella to know that she was wrong, to know that someone died because of it.
"This is a nightmare," she whispers as Edward slips his arms around her. She lets out a sob and her husband tightens his hold on her. She knows that had she been human he would have killed her. The thought causes her to close her eyes in pain. If she was human, this wouldn't be happening.
"I'm sorry," Edward whispers.
Bella wonders what he's apologising for. Was he sorry that this had happened? Was he sorry that Alice never saw a vision of the teenage boy? Was he sorry he changed her? For the first time in a long time, she doesn't want to know what he's thinking. So she doesn't say anything.
Instead, she stands and listens to a teenage boy screaming at the top of his lungs while his body changes from the inside out.
The pain still hasn't stopped and he's pretty sure it's not going to. If anything, it's getting worse. Jack's come to the conclusion that he's never going to die an easy death. Seriously, first Ba'al and now this.
He really wants to know who he pissed off in a past life to deserve this one.
His name is Jack Simpson and, according to the ID they found in his backpack, he's fifteen years old. After the summer break he would have been entering into his junior year at Lincoln Park High School. From the looks of the campsite they found Jack had been there a couple of days. They're not sure why he was fishing alone or why his parents weren't anywhere nearby.
Although, right now, that's the least of their worries.
It's only when he stops screaming at the top of his lungs for a full minute that Jack realises he's not alone. The realisation makes him clamp his jaw shut to keep from screaming again. He's not stupid enough to try to open his eyes, because he knows that's not going to happen, but he does start to pay attention. It's hard, harder than simply thinking, but his survival instinct and memories of O'Neill's military training kick in.
From what he can work out there are at least six people here and at least one person stays with him at all times. There's a mixture of males and females and he's beginning to suspect they know exactly what's happening to him. In fact, Jack heard one of them saying that it would be over in three days.
That piece of knowledge is almost enough to start him screaming again. He's not sure if he can last three days.
"We made it look he just disappeared," Emmett tells them. "We thought about making it look like an animal attack, but we weren't sure if anyone would buy it. We just cleaned up the site and made it looked like he disappeared. A storm hit as we were leaving so no one will be able to track us."
Bella closes her eyes and thinks about his parents.
"Alice, have you been able to see anything yet?" Carlisle asks.
More than anything Bella wishes she had a power like Alice's. She'd give anything to see the future right now. Not that it's a particularly useful gift when it comes to Jack. Alice hasn't been able to get a good read on the newest member of their family, not for the lack of trying.
Alice shakes her head, frustrated. "Not clearly. It's like watching a television that isn't tuned in properly. I think that's why I didn't see anyone on our hunting grounds."
"His thoughts are similar," Edward says as frustrated as his sister. "His mind is just constant static."
"Have you ever come across something like that before?" Bella asks.
"Aside from you, no," Edward replies. "I don't think he's a mental shield like you are. I can still hear him, I just can't make out his thoughts. It's almost as if he's on a different frequency than everyone else."
"Jasper, can you feel his emotions?" Carlisle asks.
"Yes, but not as clear I can others," Jasper replies, his eyes drifting to Bella. "It just takes a little extra work."
Bella freezes at his words. "How is he..." She doesn't finish the question because she knows exactly how and what he's feeling.
To her surprise, Jasper answers anyway. "He's feeling pain, mostly."
"Mostly?" Carlisle repeats.
"His emotions are surprisingly controlled considering the circumstances. Even though he's in pain, he's able to work through it. Right now he's mostly confused and pissed off."
Bella doesn't blame him... Wait! "He's not scared?"
Jasper shakes his head.
Bella wonders what that means.
His body is changing, at least that's what the one named Carlisle says. How it's changing, Jack's not sure he understands, but it has something to do with Edward's wife Bella accidentally biting him. Carlisle seems to know that Jack can hear him and he's being nice enough to explain exactly to Jack what is going on.
Jack actually wants him to shut the hell up because what Carlisle is saying can't be right.
Unfortunately for Jack, Carlisle does not shut up, nor does someone named Esme. He has no choice but to listen to them explain to him that his body is changing from the inside out... That he's turning into a vampire.
Jack wonders at what stage he lost his mind.
There's no mention of a missing teenager on the news. They keep a close eye on the television, internet and the newspapers, looking for any sign of trouble, but so far there's nothing. It's a little concerning because it's been forty-eight hours since they found Jack and Bella thinks someone should be missing him by now. Edward and Emmett have made trips to the town closest to where Jack was fishing in the hopes that Edward will hear something in someone's mind. Fortunately (or unfortunately) no one seems to be missing him or even seems to know that he was out fishing on his own. While they were able to take Jack back to their home in Alaska after she bit him, they can't actually move him any significant distance while he's going through the change, so the more time before his disappearance is known the better.
They're preparing for the worst anyway, especially since Alice can't see Jack's future. While he screams they pack up the house so they can move at a moment's notice. Bella doesn't know where they're going and she doesn't dare to ask. Most of the family is understanding about her accident. Rosalie, however, is less than understanding. Carlisle and Edward have tried to keep her in check, but they haven't been successful.
Rosalie's not at all afraid to say I told you so.
Jack's insanity continues for what seems like an eternity. The pain still hasn't stopped, although there are moments he thinks it's improving, and Carlisle hasn't stopped either. He, along with a female he suspects is Bella, spends the most time at his bedside. The female rarely says a word to him, or anyone for that matter, but unfortunately for Jack, Carlisle doesn't have that trouble. Carlisle spends a majority of his time telling Jack about vampires, and about the 'family' he's joining.
Apparently Carlisle is the eldest and the patriarch of the family. He Changed Edward to be his companion a couple of hundred years after he was Changed. After Edward the next to join the Coven was Esme, his mate. After Esme came Rosalie and then Emmett, both Changed by Carlisle. Alice and Jasper joined the family in the 1950's some time and Bella was Changed by Edward a little over a year ago.
Jack still believes he's gone insane.
Actually, he hopes he's gone insane because otherwise... well, he doesn't even want to contemplate it.
The three day changing process is a painful, agonising experience that no vampire, no matter how old, can ever forget. Bella sits by Jack's bedside watching the transformation for hours at a time. As far as she's concerned it's the very least she can do. She tries to keep him as cool as possible, hoping that maybe he'll get some sort of relief through the transformation. She doesn't ask Carlisle or Edward if they think it will help because she doesn't want the answer. Watching Jack become one of them is driving her insane and she needs to do something.
As they edge closer to the three day mark, the rest of Cullens join her in her beside vigil. Edward doesn't want her to be here when Jack wakes up, but she refuses to leave. She knows that newborns are dangerous, but she needs to be here. She has to be here. Bella asked for this life, she fought for it. From the moment she fell in love with Edward this life is all she's wanted. She wanted to be his equal. It's only right that she faces her consequence. So she fights Edward tooth and nail to stay at Jack's bedside and she wins.
Although, it turns out her argument with Edward is a little premature because Jack doesn't wake at the end of the three day transformation period.
Three days turn into four and he's still Changing.
He's beginning to question whether he really is insane when he realises he can hear people who are not just in this room, but in other rooms in the house. He can smell them, too, although that's not what is worrying him the most. No, the sound of his heart pounding at a speed that's just not right is beginning to concern him.
And when his heart stops beating altogether and he's still alive... Jack knows he's in deep, deep shit.
As luck has it, Jack wakes while she and Edward are hunting. Before her lapse in control Bella would have waited to hunt, now she hunts more. Daily. She never knows when she will run into another human.
When they get to the house, Carlisle, Rosalie, Alice, Jasper and Emmett have gone hunting with Jack.
They're not all that's gone, however.
The door and part of the wall at the back of the house are missing. Inside the house two walls and pretty much all of the furniture in the living room have been destroyed. Esme is the only one left in the house and Bella's never seen her look so distressed.
"Esme, are you okay?" she asks, rushing to her side.
"I'm fine," she assures her. "Jack didn't hurt anything but the house."
"Jack?" she repeats.
"He's awake," Esme tells them.
"He has his memories," Edward says, reading his mother's mind.
It's not a question, but Esme nods anyway. "He has perfect recall. He hasn't lost any of his human memories."
Bella bites her lip. She's not sure if that's a good or a bad thing. "Is he okay?"
"He's confused and... angry," Esme says.
A sliver of fear coils in her stomach at the words.
"Jasper wasn't able to calm him when he found out what he was."
When the pain stops and he opens his eyes he's so freaked out that he crashes through the wall of the room he finds himself in. While he had been aware of the 'people' in his room when he woke up, it doesn't stop him from attacking the man with the scars. Jack hadn't intended to attack, but his instincts just screamed at him that this man was a threat and, well, he attacked. Of course, Jack's so freaked out when he moves so fast, that he's actually no match for the man he later finds out is Jasper. Jack goes down for the count in less than a one-hundredth of a second.
Jasper has him pinned to the floor while he explains what's happening, what Jack now is. It takes more than a minute for what Jasper's saying to sink in and for Jack to realise everything Carlisle had told him was true... that Jack isn't insane. For a long moment he's still in denial, but the burn in his throat convinces him, along with the fact that he's moving faster than a speeding bullet and is more powerful than a locomotive, that there is a good chance that this might actually be real.
It takes Jack a little bit longer to remember everything he's heard about the vampire myth (Daniel would be so proud). Most of the knowledge comes from movies he saw as a kid, some come from watching a few episodes of Buffy with Teal'c. In the end it doesn't take long for him to work out, and for Jasper to confirm, what exactly being a vampire means.
No one is able to stop him from destroying everything in his path when he realises he'll be stuck as a fifteen year old forever.
They arrive home three days after Jack wakes. The house no longer looks like a disaster zone, but the atmosphere is tense. Bella watches as they emerge from the forest. Carlisle is in front, behind him are Rosalie, Jack and Jasper. Behind them are Emmett and Alice. All of them look a little worse for wear.
Bella ignores her family for the moment and she lets her eyes zero in on Jack. She never really saw him before she went after his blood, so it's almost like she's seeing him for the first time. He's beautiful, like all of them, but he also looks so young walking beside Jasper and Rose. His blonde-ish hair is caked with blood and fur and his face is smeared with mud and dirt. He almost looks like a kid after he's been dirt bike riding with his friends. It's a nice thought and for second she lets herself pretend he's not the boy whose life she stole, but someone from school, like Mike Newton's little brother.
The illusion doesn't last long, however, because his blood red eyes are staring into hers. Immediately from the look on his face she knows he knows who she is, that she's the one who made him.
As they come closer to the house, Esme and Edward move closer to Bella. They're standing on either side of her in a way that almost reminds her of when she was human. They're protecting her. Carlisle stops a few feet from the house and gives her a warm, sympathetic smile she doesn't deserve.
"Carlisle," Edward greets him. Out of the corner of her eye she can see him shake his head minutely and she wonders what Carlisle is asking him.
Carlisle clears his throat and glances behind him to Jack, who is still staring at her. "Jack, I would like you to meet my son and daughter-in-law, Edward and Bella."
"Hello," she greets him.
Jack's eyes momentarily flicker to Edward before they focus back on her. He doesn't say anything to them or even acknowledges them beyond what he's already done.
Bella's stomach tightens at the behaviour and guilt solidifies in her stomach. She doesn't know what to do, she only knows what she wants to do. She wants to apologise, to beg for forgiveness, but she doesn't know how or the words to do it. She's not even sure there are even words to apologise for this. There's nothing she can say that will change what's happened or make it better.
How do you apologise for something that should never have happened?
On one level she knows that what she did was an accident, unintentional. Bella still can't remember making the decision to drink from Jack... it just happened. On another level, however, she knows that she's completely and utterly responsible for destroying Jack's life.
Bella closes her eyes momentarily and opens her mouth, she needs to say something – anything – to Jack, but before she can speak Alice moves from her spot behind Jack to stand in front of him.
"There's a shower upstairs, Jack," Alice tells him, her voice unusually subdued. "You should get cleaned up."
Jack stares at Bella for another minute and then heads up stairs without saying a word.
Jack discovers that Carlisle left more than a little bit of information out when he was explaining what was happening to him while he was Changing. For one thing, he left out rather important information about his kids, like the fact that four of them have 'powers': a mind-reader, a seer, an empath and a mental shield (the last one sounds kind of boring to Jack).
He also neglected to tell Jack just how painful being a vampire is. Even after slaughtering an entire herd of deer Jack's not sated. He has O'Neill's memories of starving inside a Goa'uld cell, in Iraq, but the hunger O'Neill felt then is nothing compared to his thirst now. He doesn't want to stop feeding.
God help him, he's not sure there's enough blood in the world to satisfy him.
Bella waits until she hears the shower before she turns to Alice, glaring.
"Why didn't you let me talk to him?"
Alice makes a face, her expression pained. "He's not ready to talk to you yet."
Edward stiffens beside her and suddenly Bella understands. "You can see his future?"
She shakes her head. "No, I can't see him any better now than I did when he was Changing. Edward can't read his mind, either."
It's Jasper who answers. "He's very angry, Bella, and when he saw you it intensified. He remembers everything about his life before the change..."
"We know, Esme told us," Bella tells him.
"He also remembers everything that happened during the change. He knows you're responsible for what happened to him and..." Jasper hesitates. "Bella, I've never felt rage and hatred like that before, not even from Jane and Alec when they were here."
Bella freezes at the mention of the two vampires Bella's only had the pleasure of meeting twice. Jane and Alec, twins in their human life. They are part of the guard that protects the oldest and most dangerous vampire clan, the Volturi. The Volturi rule their kind, through power and fear, and their Guard, well, Bella's never seen more terrifying vampires in her life. The Volturi Guard is mostly full of vampires with special abilities. Jane and Alec are the highest ranking and most feared guards in the Volturi; Jane has the ability to cause a person pain with a thought while Alec can cut off a person's senses completely. The fact Jasper is comparing Jack to Jane and Alec terrifies her not just because the twins are so vicious, but because Alec and Jane are around the same age as Jack, maybe a little younger... and that brings up questions Bella doesn't want answered.
"Did he tell you anything about himself? His family?" Edward asks.
Carlisle shakes his head. "He refused to answer any of our questions. In fact, he was careful not to tell us much of anything."
"Much of anything?" Bella repeats. "So he did tell you something?"
Carlisle hesitates, but Rosalie doesn't have a problem telling her what Jack has said.
"He wanted to be an Air Force pilot."
The words hurt more than a million 'I told you so's.
Apparently, for the first year of their new life, vampires are a little... unstable. They're stronger than other vampires, their bloodlust is at its worst, they're unable to control their temper and they're unable to focus on one thing for too long.
Jack's always had a little trouble focusing, but his temper was never this bad.
He's never tried to kill someone for making a mistake before.
Jack tries to kill her two days after they meet for the first time. She tries to apologise to him and he moves so fast Jasper and Emmett barely stop him in time.
He tries to kill her for a second time three days later. She doesn't do anything to provoke him this time, he just sees her and attacks.
They start avoiding each other after that.
He tries, really he does, but the instinct to kill is so strong that he attacks before he thinks.
He hates her.
He hates that he will be fifteen forever. He hates that he'll never get his life back. He hates that all he wants, every second of every day, is blood and that animals aren't enough to quench his thirst. He hates that he can't seem to focus on anything that's not blood.
More than anything, though, he hates that he sparkles.
"I wish you could read his mind," Bella tells Edward late one night. She can hear Jack upstairs and has been listening to him move around for the last two hours. She thinks he's reading a book.
"I wish I could read yours," Edward says, and she feels yet another stab of guilt.
She never really understood Edward when she had been human. She always felt he was too hard on himself, too quick to call himself a monster. She still doesn't think he's a monster, but she gets it now. She understands how he could feel that way and why he did the things he did.
There's not a second that goes by that Bella isn't consumed by her guilt because of Jack. In fact, she obsessed by it, by Jack. Every time she sees him – hears him – she's reminded of the fact that she chose to become a killer. She's pretty sure Edward is as obsessed with Jack as she is, although for different reasons. It's all they seem to talk about now, it's all that she thinks about.
"Do you regret it?" Edward asks, whispers. Jack's stereo is now playing loudly, no doubt so he can't hear them talk.
"Becoming a vampire."
There's a moment of hesitation before she tells him she doesn't.
Edward doesn't look her in the eyes for a long time after that.