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Here is my offering for Jonas Alphabet Soup on SG-1 Gen Fic Day.

Title: E is for Extrovert
Season: Seven
Spoilers: Redemption, Abyss, Prophesy, Fallen, and Homecoming
Synopsis: An enquiring mind wants to know about Jonas. Jack, as usual, has trouble with words.


E is for Extrovert


One week after his return, when Daniel had finally stopped calling him Jim, Jack took him home to stay in his guest room, until the paperwork, filed and re-filed in triplicate (what was it about un-dead, but no-not-a-zombie that those idiots who read these forms at the Pentagon just didn’t get?) would clear the way to get him his salary, his back pay, and his driver’s license returned to him. His stuff wasn’t a problem, having been divided between Carter’s garage and his own. Well, except the piano. Turns out you could get specialized humidity and temperature controlled storage for them. Who knew?

Now both men were lounging on Jack’s deck, on a Sunday morning, each with a coffee cup in his hand. Daniel’s was, to Jack’s eye, unappetizingly white with milk, and probably almost as sweet as his own. Daniel had made great inroads in his, being accustomed to swilling the stuff still hot on a regular basis, whether he remembered this or not. Jack was in no hurry, and was paying more attention to the Sports Section than to his steaming mug.

“Hey Jim?”

Jack looked over sharply. Daniel’s eyes were twinkling, just a little. So. Just yanking his chain, then.

“Dennis?”

“Jim!”

“Denny!”

Daniel apparently decided that the chain was yanked enough.

“Jonas Quinn. I got to work with him for a bit, but at the time I was a little busy trying to figure out who the hell I was, and what it was I needed to remember to get us all through it safely and back home. I didn’t really get a sense of what he was like. Tell me something about him!”

This was a familiar feeling for Jack. It felt exactly the same way when his tenth grade English teacher had handed out sheets of paper one day and told them to write a poem about something significant in their daily lives. The vast whiteness of the paper had been more intimidating than Nelson High’s bruiser of an enforcer. He had no idea where to begin.

“Anything?” prompted Daniel.

“He liked bananas. A lot,” said Jack.

“And?”

“Well actually he was pretty enthusiastic about all our food. Carter says when she took him to Steveston – “

“Steveston? Where is that?”

“Washington State somewhere, I think.”

“You weren’t there?”

“Nope.”

No way in hell was he going to explain where he had been. Those memories were in the forbidden zone of Jack’s mental attic, surrounded by yellow warning tape and barbed wire. Silence grew, deepened, and spread over the landscape like the chemical fog over Bhopal, sucking the life out of everything. Jack could swear it even got darker out, until he realized that a cloud had scudded across the sun. Still, he held his tongue.

Daniel sighed.

“But what was he like? What did you feel about him when he first came? What made you choose him for SG-1? What did he add to the team? What were his talents? I know you liked him, or you wouldn’t have told him he earned his spot on SG-1 when he left.”

Jack saw again the grin, alloyed of pride and relief that Jonas had given him after Jack had told him that, and felt again the twinge of guilt that came with it. He was so bad at that sort of thing. Jonas had needed the words, and time after time Jack had failed to find them, until, at the last possible moment, as Jonas stood there looking so earnest and young, and tongue-tied himself, as if he really was one of Jack’s kids, he finally found a way. Lame, oblique, but apparently enough. He should have managed it sooner.

And now Daniel needed an answer. Jack searched for one.

“Hammond wanted me to take a Russian on the team,” he said.

But that was not the reason why Jack had picked Jonas. It had been a factor, sure, but not the main reason.

Jack looked up from the stack of files, each containing the dried and sanitized career of a Russian soldier, along with an identifying photograph, all in Russian, with a sheet inserted by some poor bilingual wage slave in the Pentagon, who had provided a translation. Jack could read most of the information in the original (although he saw no reason why anyone should know this but himself) but he found it very helpful, in that the translation spelled out all of the abbreviations used in the original. Bureaucracy was apparently the same the world over, and the Soviet military was just as acronym-happy as the USAF. He closed the last of the files, and with a feeling of having earned his reward, began to address himself to the piece of carrot cake that had been patiently awaiting his attention just a little to the right of his elbow. A tray containing a full plate of the day’s cooked entrée, some vegetables and Tater Tots, two smaller plates, each with a different cake, in this case one serving of carrot cake and one of the chocolate cake, a banana, a full glass of milk, and all the requisite cutlery and paper goods suddenly appeared before him. Glancing up he looked straight into the grinning, eager face of Jonas Quinn.

“Do you mind if I keep you company, Colonel?” he asked politely.

In deference to Carter’s plea that he consider Jonas’ role in saving the Earth, Jack quashed the knee-jerk reaction to say “Yes!” loudly, and with emphasis. Jack could hold a grudge with the best of them, as Frank Cromwell could have attested, and as far as he was concerned, what had happened to Daniel was way worse than his own little sojourn in Iraq. Carter had said he should give him a chance, and Carter was smart and a better person than he was, so he was trying to fight his natural inclination to turn this into his own Tau’ri wrinkle on the Jaffa revenge thing.

“You’re going to get fat,” Jack offered instead.

Jonas glanced at his flat and toned abdomen with a momentary expression of concern, but in short order his grin was back.

“I’ll keep that in mind,” he said. “I just have such trouble deciding. It’s all so new and delicious! Did you know that this cake,” he waved his fork in the direction of the carrot cake, “actually has vegetables in it? Airman Sibley explained that carrots are generally naturally quite sweet, which makes them suitable for use in a dessert. He says that on Thursday there will be a sweet sort of bread, zucchini bread, which contains a less sweet vegetable. He says I’ll probably be surprised by how much I enjoy that too.”

The information came out in an eager and enthusiastic rush, accompanied by a joyous grin and expansive waving of his fork. There was something heart-stoppingly familiar about all this, but Jack could not quite figure out what it was.

“Airman Morton told me that the meat course contains six different herbs and spices. The parsley is grown right here in your United States, but each of the others comes from a separate country. He directed me to a book in your base library which is all about the various spices available, their botanical classifications, their habits of growth, where they are grown, and their uses in various regional cuisines. A whole book! I’m looking forward to reading it. He tells me that Kentucky Fried Chicken has eleven herbs and spices in it.”

Jack’s heart clenched painfully as he suddenly knew what this reminded him of – Charlie at the dinner table, seated before a plate of Sara’s spaghetti and to-die-for meatballs, hardly able to get a bite in edgewise as he explained eagerly all the latest information about dinosaurs that he’d learned since Jack had last been home. Maybe if Carter was there she would add to the illusion by reminding him to put his napkin in his lap and be careful with his hands if he didn’t want to end up spilling that milk. So eager, so full of the joy of discovery, so passionate about sharing it all, but Charlie was gone while Jonas was here. Jack felt a flicker of anger that this was so, but it was dwarfed by the wave of protectiveness that swelled to drown it out.


“So that’s why you took him onto the team? He wasn’t a Russian?” Daniel asked.

“Well, that and coming up with an idea to save the world. And he was a quick learner.”

Daniel looked sharply at Jack at this. Like many very bright minds, Daniel was intellectually competitive. If he and Sam had not had such different areas of interest and such contrasting methods of solving problems, it could have been a disaster. As it was, they fed off of each other, and everyone benefitted. Still, there was not a chance in Hell that Jack was about to let him know how many games of chess he’d deliberately thrown in the course of their friendship.

“He handled the language and cultures piece for us, but he couldn’t have done it without your journals. The way he translated stuff was…different.”
“How?”

Jack took a moment to ponder this.

“You learn a language, and well…it’s a part of you. When you translate it’s like you’re using an arm or a leg. It just comes naturally. For Jonas it was like a puzzle, or an equation to solve. He had to reason it out.”

Jack was not about to say how quickly Jonas could do that. No sense in stirring things up.

“Did you like him?”

“He was a good kid. A little enthusiastic…” Jack had a vision of Jonas in the briefing room, waiting for Hammond to come in, bouncing on his heels and grinning in anticipation of discussing the mission to come. It tended to remind Jack of how it felt on New Year’s Day when Charlie would come bounding in and climb on the bed with no respect for his elders’ late night or burgeoning hangovers. “He was like a Golden Retriever pup.”

Daniel didn’t get the point. Clearly to him, a dog was a dog, and breeds were immaterial.

“Eager to please,” Jack explained.

“You must have hated that,” said Daniel.

“No. Yes. Well, a little.”

“So you did your Colonel Curmudgeon act.”

“Yeah.”

“Did he fit in well with the rest of the team?”

“Oh yeah! He and Teal’c had their own little aliens only club. I tried to learn the secret handshake, but there was this secret hidden part they wouldn’t share. And you had to present an offworld birth certificate to get the decoder ring. Of course he and Carter were both fluent in geek-speak. I don’t know what they were always muttering about, but they seemed to get very excited by it.”

Daniel was silent for a moment, staring down into the bottom of his mug. Jack couldn’t decide whether he was looking for runes or waiting for more coffee to magically appear. When he looked up the china-blue eyes were uncertain and a little troubled.

“I’ve been trying to remember what it was like when I was…” Here he broke off and waved wordlessly skyward with the hand that wasn’t holding the mug.

“Glowy?”

“Ascended. I keep having this feeling that there’s a reason why I was sent back, that I’m here for something important. But it sounds like you were all doing just fine without me.”

Well this was fine and unmanly territory! Jack shifted uncomfortably in his seat.

“Carter really missed you,” he offered. “And Teal’c had no one to hit the museum trail with.”

“Jaaack!”

“You’re a better fit for the team, Daniel. Jonas was brave, thrifty, trustworthy, loyal, and he handled the responsibilities of the job well, but he was…different from the rest of us.”

“Different how?”

Jack had a kaleidoscope of images of Jonas. Jonas plunging eagerly into a crowd of interested villagers, in a pelter to begin exchanging information. A vision of him sitting on the edge of an exam bed in the infirmary getting a minor graze from a knife tended to, flirting shamelessly with the nurses. Jonas enthusing at a mile a minute about the Christmas customs that Sgt. Hanrahan had been explaining to him. Leaning eagerly over the briefing table to ask Jack to tell him all about the Easter bunny. Was it true that it was a pagan symbol of fertility transmuted for use in a Christian festival? Jonas spilling forth an encyclopedic compendium of facts about motorcycles at Carter when she’d explained why she was wearing her leathers, facts apparently gathered from talking to Siler and Airman Martin. A picture of him, tired and debilitated from the emergency surgery to remove the brain tumor that almost killed him, concerned that maybe he had not held out quite long enough to really make a difference.

There was a quality to Jonas that none of the rest of SG-1 had. It made him stick out like a shiny new bumper on an old banger of a truck.

“He’s an extrovert,” said Jack. “You’re much more…restful.”

“Ah,” said Daniel. He gave one more swift glance into the bottom of his mug, as if to make sure that no more coffee had appeared, and then set it down on the deck beside him.

Silence fell, a comfortable silence, each man lost in his own thoughts.

Find the rest of the Jonas Alphabet Soup here at LJ or here at DW, which has longer allowable comment lengths

And of course there's a reason for the grin in the icon. First time submitting to Alphabet Soup!

Edited for a capitalization error. You know, considering how obsessively I (mentally) edit everything else I read, you'd think I'd do a better job with my own stuff! I guess I just didn't inherit the compulsive perfectionist gene.

Comments

( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
samantilles
Apr. 7th, 2010 11:33 am (UTC)
You have some absolutely adorable moments... you caught my attention when you sampled Jonas's reaction to carrot cake, and the whole scene is brilliant. I also loved the alien only club and the handshake!! Jack would totally get jealous over something like that. Thanks for sharing!!
thothmes
Apr. 9th, 2010 09:59 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad you enjoyed it!

Yeah, Jack would get jealous, and he'd expend an inordinate amount of time and energy trying to get in the know, all with that JackTM special brand of flagrant bull-in-the-china-shop subtlety.

I'm looking forward to getting the chance to read yours which looks intriguing, but it looks like that will probably be tomorrow, since I'm getting a little beyond tired now.

p.s. I really must have been tired, because I seem to have made this a reply to my entry, and not your comment. Ooops!
ziparumpazoo
Apr. 8th, 2010 03:47 pm (UTC)
I think this made me fall in love with Jonas all over again. :)
And, oh the list of things that Jack keeps close to his chest, like understand Russian, and managing the academic competitiveness, which make his Colonel Curmudgeon act come across as legitimate.
thothmes
Apr. 9th, 2010 10:02 pm (UTC)
I think Jack plays an awful lot of his cards close to his vest.

I'm really glad you enjoyed this. I almost didn't decide to participate in this Soup because, quite frankly, I'm not Jonas' number one fan. Unlike some, I don't have anything against him, he just doesn't grab me. I found that trying to write him made me appreciate him more.
ansostuff
Apr. 9th, 2010 09:46 pm (UTC)
I love JOnas' enthusiasm for food! :) Nicely done. :)
thothmes
Apr. 9th, 2010 10:08 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you enjoyed this.

I think Jonas has enthusiasm for everything! We have four kids, and the youngest two are adopted. My husband and I are sociable enough, but basically shy by nature, and our two biological kids are little apples that didn't fall far from their tree. Our third child also came shy. The fourth one didn't. She really, really didn't, and although she is sometimes a bit of a shock to our systems, her joie de vivre and enthusiasm for every new moment and new face are a pleasure to behold and very reminiscent of Jonas at his chipperest.
ansostuff
Apr. 9th, 2010 10:17 pm (UTC)
Yeah, you're right. He has enthusiasm for everything, lol. I like Jonas.:)

That must be wonderful to have such an enthusiastic child in your family when the rest of you are not so openly enthusiastic. :)
thothmes
Apr. 10th, 2010 02:55 am (UTC)
Yeah, it is. She's a joy. This icon is from a photo taken when she was four and one of her siblings popped round a corner, startling her, and snapped the picture. It's less mean than it looks. A moment later, she was laughing.

We adopted our kids out of foster care, and people keep trying to make it out that this makes us sooooo noble. Nonsense. The joy our kids bring us makes us the debtors in the equation!

Love the Ciliconcarne icon, btw. Beautiful and funny.
ansostuff
Apr. 10th, 2010 08:13 am (UTC)
Hehe. The children have the funniest of faces sometimes. :) I'm glad they found a home with you. :)

Thanks! It's just a cropped picture of a poppy but it combine three of the things I'm fond of - the colour orange, flowers and phtogoraphy, lol. Now, if I'd be able to fit Daniel in there too... ;)
thothmes
Apr. 10th, 2010 08:50 am (UTC)
I dunno. Daniel as a flower fairy is a seriously disturbing image! :)
ansostuff
Apr. 10th, 2010 06:41 pm (UTC)
LOL!

That is indeed a very disturbing image. :)

Daniel is a flower in his own right though. Love your icon. I can never get enough of happy, smiling Daniel (even if I know it's a behind the scenes image).
gategremlyn
Apr. 10th, 2010 08:50 pm (UTC)
Good soup serving. I like the description of Jonas as a puzzle solver. It makes sense with his character.
thothmes
Apr. 11th, 2010 03:35 am (UTC)
Thank you. It made sense to me too. Well, obviously or I wouldn't have written that...but you know what I mean! :)
sg_wonderland
Apr. 10th, 2010 10:10 pm (UTC)
Like you, I'm not a Jonas fan but I think you've done a good job by latching on to a couple of his personality traits. Welcome to the soup, by the way!
thothmes
Apr. 11th, 2010 03:33 am (UTC)
Thank you. It was fun and I look forward to future soups. I'm glad he came across okay, because that was a concern.
sg_fignewton
Apr. 11th, 2010 02:25 pm (UTC)
Oh, I liked this on many, many levels. Jack's real reactions to Jonas, and the way he covers it for Daniel. Jonas and his zest for life. Daniel's uncertainties (so very canon until post-Orpheus.) This hit just the right spot in all the right places!

Thanks for contributing. Twice, even. :)
rdamel
Jan. 16th, 2011 05:01 pm (UTC)
This is good. I'm not sure if I read it when it came out. I am OK watching Jonas, yet I never seek him out in stories, and sometimes just avoid them.

However, as you may have guessed, I'm reading my way thru your lj, thereby finding some good stuff! Thanks for writing this.
thothmes
Jan. 16th, 2011 05:41 pm (UTC)
Why thank you! By all means, poke around in all the corners, look under the rugs, peruse the cupboards. Mi casa es su casa!

I didn't find Jonas a very compelling character as I watched the episodes. I didn't dislike him, but I was rather inclined to view him as DanielLite. Doing this Alphabet Soup, where I ended up pinch hitting and writing two letters gave me a better appreciation for Jonas as an individual, and now I'm kinda fond of him, in a quiet sort of way.
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )

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