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Bobbin' Along

by Katrina

Post-Unnatural Selection

One of the perks of being towed home by an Asgard ship was the downtime. Usually, a long space ride meant being on shifts, ready for any sort of catastrophe that might (and usually did) arise. But with Thor at the helm, there were no worries. Just a long, stress-free ride back to Earth.

Was it bad that she had started to find these rare occasions of off-world inactivity relaxing?

She wasn't going to think about it too hard. Instead, she had a few hours of spare time, a deck of cards stashed in her vest, and three of her favorite people all in one place with nothing to do. Things could be a whole lot worse.

Rounding another passageway, she came up short when she noticed Jonas sitting on the floor, knees up and back resting against the wall. He didn't seem to notice her arrival, and his trademark grin was missing.


The man turned his head, but didn't really focus on her. "Hey."

"The Colonel, Teal'c, and I were about to play cards to pass the time. Care to join us?"

"No thanks," he declined.

Uh-Oh. It wasn't like Jonas to pass up prime 'team bonding' time. "Everything okay?"

Jonas didn't even try to hide his monotone, "Sure." Clearly a lie.

She sighed. So much for the free time and the mindless games. She slid down the wall beside him and nudged his shoulder with her own. "Which explains why you're busy sitting doing...what are you doing again?"

Jonas shrugged. "I'm...just thinking."

"What's on your mind, Jonas?" she pressed.

"I can't seem to get over the Colonel purposefully using Fifth that way."

Ah. That. "Jonas, dwelling on stuff like that won't help anything."

"It suddenly doesn't bother you?" He seemed genuinely surprised.

That was a tough question, especially considering how differently she had hoped the situation would turn out. She made sure to really think it through for a minute before replying, "It does and it doesn't. I'm not happy about it, but in the end the colonel is right."

"Yeah," Jonas muttered, grabbing the back of his neck and trying to work out some of the tension lingering there, "that seems to be the general consensus."

"Jonas," she said firmly. "Do you remember the mission report with Reese?"

"Sure. Report 702561Q-A."

Well...that was a bit disturbing. Shaking it off, Sam just said, "What wasn't explained in that mission report was the trust Daniel formed with her before things got out of control. When all was said and done, he was furious with the Colonel for making a decision much like this one."

"You're consoling me by telling me that he does stuff like this often?"

"No. The point is, while Reese could have helped us - while Fifth may have given us a new understanding and advancement with technology - it's not worth the price we'd have to pay."

"He was different. I thought you saw it too," Jonas argued.

"I saw something. And yes, maybe it looked like compassion or empathy. But he was just a machine. And those were all just programs and command prompts."

"But wouldn't that be great to study? I mean, there's no way to know it would have ended badly."

"True. But there's no way to know otherwise, either. Replicators have a unbreakable conscious link with each other. If we would have brought Fifth, eventually others could have found him, which would have lead them straight to Earth. And you heard Thor, their way of life leads to nothing but destruction of everything but themselves."

"So it's okay that we manipulated them?"

Trying to comfort him, Sam laid a hand on Jonas' arm. "What choice did we really have? He might have looked human..."

"But he wasn't," he finished for her. At her nod, he heaved one last sigh, his head falling forward a bit. "I know. But when I thought about that, all I could wonder was how that makes them any different from Teal'c," he paused, before tightly adding, "or me."

"There's no comparison there," Jack's voice answered, causing both Jonas and Sam's heads to turn. He was leaning against the wall, hands in his pockets. "You and Teal'c might be aliens, but those things aren't. They're just fancy machines." With one more step, he officially joined their conversation, though it looked like the last thing he wanted. "Fancy, evil machines."

"I guess I just didn't expect this sort of thing."

Colonel O'Neill straightened a bit, smiling a little. "Jonas, you did read the mission reports, didn't you?"

The gentle teasing returned the smile to Jonas' face and this actually seemed to please Jack. "Now, come on. We've got nothing but time on our hands and cards to play."

"Plus there's all that food to eat," Sam pointed out as she took his hand and stood, stretching a little.

"Oh, Teal'c's already on it," Jack assured her with a wry smile.

By the time they got to the mess, it was clear that Teal'c was, indeed, on top of the surplus food situation. Having laid out quite a spread of any remaining perishable foods, the alien had already helped himself to a hefty plate loaded with food. The sight made Sam's stomach rumble a little, and for the first time she realized how hungry she was.

Once they all had plates in front of them, Sam dealt out the cards, the four team members settling into an easy game of rummy. "Now if only there was beer," the colonel sighed wistfully.

"I prefer juice," Teal'c informed him tersely.

The colonel's nose wrinkled a bit and he looked at Sam hopelessly. "I ask you - where did I go wrong with him?"

"He was bad from the start, sir," she confided in a mock whisper.

"Nothing I could do?"

"Completely beyond your control, I'm afraid."

"Ah. Well, that's all right then," Jack concluded amiably.

For his part, Jonas just sat watching them all with a frown on his face. "I'm lost."

With a grin, Sam reached over and patted him on the shoulder. "It's probably better that way."

"All right," Jonas agreed easily, laying down yet another run. "So these are the Asgard, huh?"

"Pretty impressive, dontcha think?" Jack more confirmed than asked.

"You know, it was my first encounter with a really foreign looking alien species. Every one else has looked pretty similar to my own physiology."

"Excepting the Goa'ould symbiotes," Teal'c corrected.

"Well, most of the time it's the human host I've seen, so I don't really count them."

Jack took a bite of his sandwich, chewing thoughtfully. "I've seen cooler." At Jonas' inquisitive expression, Jack continued, "One time Daniel was held prisoner by a giant squid."

"A squid?"

"Oh yeah," Jack confirmed, bringing his fingers up to his chin and wiggling them for added emphasis. "Kind of a greenish blue thing. Lots of tentacles."

"You'd pick the giant squid over the re'tu?" Sam challenged, laughing a bit.

"Re'tu are over-rated," Jack insisted. "They were just over-sized cockroaches."

"Invisible over-sized cockroaches," Teal'c contended.

"See? Teal'c's on my side," Sam teased.

"Yet another example of my utter failure when it comes to his training," Jack acknowledged, mock glaring at their teammate. "Giant squid definitely trumps the cockroach."

"While the re'tu were strange, Major Carter, I believe the Unas are one of the most unusual races I have ever seen."

"Oh!" Jack hissed. "I forgot about them."

Her laughter was almost disbelieving this time. "You and Daniel were held captive with them and they slipped your mind?"

"It was three years ago, Carter," Jack defended. "I can hardly remember what I had for dinner three days ago. Plus, unfortunately my life hasn't gotten any less...strange since."

"Quite the opposite, in fact," Teal'c acknowledged.

"Hey!" Jack exclaimed, grinning at Teal'c while munching on a potato chip. "Maybe there's hope for you after all."

Without really thinking about it, Sam reached over to his plate and grabbed one of his last chips. When she caught him eying her, she just shrugged. "I was out."

His mouth closed almost audibly and he stood to get another round of food, an amused smirk lighting his features. "Anyone else need something?"

"I'm okay," Jonas assured him, still working through a positively monstrous pile of fruit. "Anyone remember where the bathroom is, though?"

"Down the hall to the left," Jack answered, eying Carter as he pointedly grabbed an extra large handful of chips and put them on his plate.

Enjoying the easy camaraderie, Sam just grinned unrepentantly as she stood. "Actually, Jonas, I'll come with you. I think I left my BDU jacket in my bag." Mostly empty space ships, as it turned out, could have quite the draft.

They walked down the hall easily together, veering apart as she showed him the head and grabbed a BDU jacket from her pack before heading back. She had to hand it to the colonel, he knew how to make the most out of unexpected downtime. It was nice just to sit around with her guys (and in her mind, they were always her guys) and feel like a team again.

When she got back into the mess, the first thing Sam noticed were a pair of neon yellow socks resting upon Jonas' seat. They made her steps falter for a moment, before a bright smile spread across her face. When she sat down, she scooted her chair a little closer to the colonel, their knees touching lightly. When he turned toward her, eyebrows furrowed in curiosity, she just smiled back. "Cold."

"You just got a jacket from your pack," he pointed out with a smile.

"I know."

"Ah," he said lightly.

Moments later Jonas appeared, whistling cheerily. The tune stuttered to a halt, however, when he caught sight of the socks now sitting in his chair. "What are these?"

Even Sam had to roll her eyes at that one. "What do they look like, Jonas?"

"Well, I know they're socks. I meant, where did they come from?"


Utterly confused by this point, Jonas looked at each of them in turn - remarkably, right as all of their cards needed to be rearranged in their hands. "Hey, come on guys! What's going on? Socks don't just appear our of nowhere."

"Sometimes," Sam volunteered slowly, "when you're on SG-1 and you've had a rough couple of weeks - not unlike the last few weeks you've had - sometimes, socks do just appear out of nowhere."

Jonas picked the socks up, studying them carefully. "That's...not possible."

"Jonas Quinn," Teal'c said abruptly.


"Discuss something else."

"Oh. Uh. Okay!" Jonas agreed, sitting down. "Whose turn is it?"

"Mine," Sam volunteered as she quickly played a card and passed play to Jonas. "Though I've decided that the colonel and I are on a team."

"We are?" Jack asked, amused.

"Yup! Can't let the aliens beat us at our own game, sir."

"Oh, good point, Carter," he agreed with mock seriousness.

Jonas shrugged agreeably. "Well, okay, but I think it's only fair to tell you - I'm out."

Surveying the cards on the table, Jack turned to her with a crooked smile and said the only thing there really was to say. "D'oh."

You know, Jonas (regrettably) wasn’t around long, but man, they liked to give him the emo when he was!

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