Jonas had never had a soulmate.
As long as he could remember, he’d heard people talk about how wonderful it was to have a soulmate. How the world changed when you met them, how everything was brighter, more vibrant, better.
He’d always found the thought exciting, even when he was a little kid and couldn’t really understand the significance. Every time he met someone new, he hoped that this would be it, that this would be his fist soulmate.
It never happened. As he got older, more and more of his peers started meeting soulmates, but Jonas never did. He got through school, then university, and still nothing. Everyone he knew had met at least one soulmate by then, and was desperate to experience it too, to see all those things everyone had been telling him about his whole life.
There was a small part of him, though, that was starting to lose hope. He tried to push the thoughts aside, but they lodged themselves firmly in the back of his mind: maybe it wasn’t just that he hadn’t met the right person yet. Maybe it was him. Maybe there was something fundamentally wrong with him, that he could never have a soulmate.
This anxiety stayed in the back of his mind and slowly started to grow as he went on living and meeting people, and still nothing changed. He didn’t give in to it though, he tried to stay positive, he was still eager to meet new people. He kept working, kept meeting people, and life went on.
Jonas had never expected his entire world to change courtesy of a stone ring they found buried in the ground outside the city.
They found the Stargate along with a host of other historical artifacts, but they barely had time to even speculate on what it might be before it came to life and delivered them SG1.
They found out that what they had was a portal that could take them to other planets throughout the galaxy. And they’d found another planet full of humans, just like them, who were friendly and willing to teach them. It was unbelievable.
Jonas was ecstatic when he was chosen to be the liaison to the earth people, that he would be one of the first people in history to meet someone from another planet.
So, he went to meet the new team that’d come through the Stargate, enthusiasm probably radiating off of him.
One of those people was Daniel Jackson.
The moment they locked eyes Jonas felt the world shift beneath his feat. Suddenly, eyes that had been greyish a moment before were a deeper blue than Jonas had ever seen. He stared, mesmerized by the colour. He couldn’t look away. He found himself grinning uncontrollably.
He hadn’t thought meeting a soulmate for the first time would live up to all the hype, but it did. It was more amazing than he ever could’ve imagined.
When he finally managed to tear his eyes away from Daniel, he noticed that everything around them had changed. Even the grey walls of the facility seemed brighter.
He looked down at himself, almost startled to see that even his clothes, which had been so familiar before, were now different. He saw now a redder, deeper brown, and pale blue rather than grey. He realized that the colours didn’t go together at all, and wondered absently if his entire wardrobe was so mismatched.
After a moment, he remembered he should be responding to whatever Daniel and the others were saying. He wondered what Daniel was thinking.
He turned back to them, grinning, about to comment on what’d happened, but stopped. Daniel was continuing his conversation nonchalantly, giving no indication that anything had changed.
Jonas’s heart sank. He hadn’t expected Daniel to be as excited as him, since Daniel had almost surely had other soulmates before, but even so, he would’ve reacted somehow if he’d seen what Jonas saw. He would’ve at least noticed.
Jonas wondered if soulmates could be one-sided. If Daniel maybe was his soulmate, but to Daniel he was nothing important. The thought stung more than he expected.
He pushed his disappointment down and resolved not to let it affect him. This was good. At least now he knew that he could have a soulmate, and he knew what the world looked like in full colour. What he was now was beautiful, and that was something.
As the day went on he stuck close to Daniel and tried to soak in as much colour as he could, looking around every room with child-like wonder. It gave him a new appreciation for this base. It looked a little less dreary now.
In spending all this time together, Jonas found himself drawn to Daniel beyond the mere fact that they were soulmates. He had kind eyes and a soft smile, he was passionate about his work, not to mention brilliant. And he cared. He cared deeply about his friends, and his home, and even about Jonas’s people, even though he’d barely met them.
He was starting to feel something for Daniel, something that brought on a growing, painful tightness in his chest.
At the end of the day, Jonas led them outside the base, to lead them to the building where they’d be staying the night.
As they stepped outside, Jonas felt like the air was knocked out of his lungs. The sun was setting over the city, and to Jonas it had always seemed like nothing special, but right now it was painfully beautiful. He couldn’t help stopping to stare at it.
Daniel glanced back when he realized Jonas had stopped.
“What is it?” He asked.
Jonas hesitated for a moment. “It’s nothing, ” he finally said, smiling easily at Daniel.
Once he left Daniel and started home, the brilliant colours faded from the sky. At that
moment, the thought that Daniel would leave in a few days, probably forever, made Jonas unbearably sad.
- - -
Jonas shot up in bed, breathing heavily. For a moment he was disoriented, trying to place what he’d been dreaming about, then it all came flooding back to him. The reactor. The overload. Daniel. Shooting the glass. Jumping through it. Daniel, standing over the reactor, staring up at Jonas with that look on his face, like he knew he was a dead man.
He’d just stood there. Stood there and done nothing, while Daniel Jackson had given up his own life to save Jonas’s people from their own arrogance.
His heart was racing, he couldn’t go back to sleep. He stood up and started pacing around the room. The whole thing had been running around his head for hours, and he was no closer to comprehending it. Part of him was in denial, the rest was short-circuiting.
After they sent Daniel home, things kept moving around him. Somehow he felt like he was drifting, untethered.
The other scientists - he tried to push the images out of his mind, but it was like it was seared into his retinas. They died horribly, painfully. A familiar panic started rising in his chest at the thought of them. He took a deep breath, trying to calm his racing mind.
And after all that, his government - he almost couldn’t believe it. They wanted to blame Daniel for what happened. After he saved all of their lives.
They never even asked Jonas what happened. He was the only witness left, and they never even asked him. They just needed someone to blame, a scapegoat, so they could continue their Naquadria weapons research without worrying.
Jack O’Neill came back, full of anger and pain, ready to fight tooth and nail for his friend’s honour. My government will admit Daniel is guilty over my dead body. He didn’t care that Kelowna had something he wanted, didn’t care what his leaders thought. He was here, ready to do the right thing, just like Dr. Jackson had.
Jonas wished he was as brave as them.
Every time he closed his eyes, he saw horrible images playing. He saw Daniel, jumping through the glass. Saw the scientists, dying again. Saw Daniel, surely dying in the same horrific way back on Earth.
He stopped. He couldn’t just stand by and let this happen. He had to do something.
So Jonas did. He stole some Naquadria, and he ran away to Earth. It seemed pathetically small compared to everything Daniel and his team had done, but it was the best he could offer.
No one was particularly happy to have him there, and he didn’t blame them, but they were happy enough to have the Naquadria that they let him stay.
“I want to see him,” Jonas said.
General Hammond gave him a severe look, and for a moment Jonas was afraid his request would be denied. Then the general nodded curtly and led him out of the room.
Jonas was left in the observation room, looking down at Daniel through the glass. The now-vibrant colours of the infirmary only highlighted the bleakness of the situation.
Jonas stared down, feeling lost.
When Daniel Jackson died, Jonas knew instantly, even though he wasn’t there. He was nearby, trying to figure out what to do next, when the colours started to drain from the base.
Even though he knew it would happen, it still hit him like a punch to the gut. Daniel was gone. Really gone.
For a moment Jonas stood there, in the halls of the SGC, feeling totally untethered, swept away by a flood of emotions. Then he regains some portion of sense and rushes back to his guest quarters.
When he was there, alone, and he didn’t know what to do. He flung himself down onto the bed and griped the sheet in his fists, so tight that his fingernails dig painfully into his palms.
The unfairness of it all hit him so hard he felt like screaming.
For the first time in his life, he had a soulmate. Even if Daniel didn’t returns feelings, he had one, and he was more than Jonas ever could’ve hoped for. He could see, like everyone else who’d met their soulmates, like he never had before.
And now, just a few days after they’d met, he was gone. Jonas was alone again, only now he was on an alien planet where everyone hated him.
It wasn’t fair.
But life wasn’t fair. If it was, it would be him lying there dead instead of Daniel. It was his planet in danger, his people. But because he’d been a coward, because he just stood there watching while Daniel Jackson - he got to live, and Daniel was dead.
Right now, all the guilt and frustration and pain had drained out of him, leaving him feeling empty and tired.
- - -
Over the next few days, Jonas pushed himself to get over it. He has no right to be so upset. He didn’t know Daniel, not really. The people here, the rest of his team, they knew him, they were the ones who’d really been hurt.
He found out later, in a conversation with Dr Fraiser, that they’d been his soulmates. The whole team, all of SG1, had all been soulmates to each other. They’d been a family, close to each other in a way no one else could understand. And now, because of his inaction, that was destroyed.
After that conversation, he felt a renewed wave of guilt.
He tried to focus on moving forward, on trying to make up for what he had done - or hadn’t.
It seemed like an impossible task for a long time. No one here was looking to give Jonas any chance to do some good. Most of them were cold, and kept him at a distance. Not that he blamed them. After what happened to Dr Jackson, they have every right to.
Jonas tried anyway. He took it upon himself to go through Dr Jackson’s notes, to try and learn all the thing’s that he’d known. It was the least he could do, after what happened. It didn’t seem to help. People seemed to think he was trying to replace Dr Jackson, which wasn’t it at all. He could never replace Daniel. But he could try to continue his work, to make sure it didn’t all go to waste. Jonas was persistent. He would keep trying.
Then the incident with the gate happened, and he finally managed to convince Colonel O’Neill to give him a chance.
Even after that, it was slow going. He was a member of SG1, but the rest of the team didn’t really trust him, especially not Colonel O’Neill. The rest of the base personnel were still wary of him, at best.
He tried not to let it get to him, he really did. He tried to focus on his work, on trying to do some good. But he couldn’t ignore how isolated he felt. How lonely.
He always tried to be friendly and open with people here, but it didn’t seem to do him any good. He was starting to feel like maybe there was no point.
He’d started to resign himself to a very lonely existence, stuck living on this base with no real connections to anyone. He didn’t even think to hope to find another soulmate.
Then, slowly, things started to change. As he spent more time on the team, he felt them starting to open up to him. The colonel still didn’t quite trust him, but Carter was definitely warming up to him, and Teal’c seemed to consider him a friend.
The rest of the base seemed to take cues from SG1, because as the team started to trust him, everyone else started to become more friendly. There were still people who resented him, of course, but the blanket hostility he’d felt being on base was dulling out.
The others started inviting him to spend time with them outside of missions, and he couldn’t be more happy. They would eat meals together in the mess, and sometimes they would come to visit him in the lab.
“I doubt we will find anything of interest,” Teal’c said, as they stood in line at the cafeteria. “The planet did not appear to have ever been inhabited.”
“We don’t know for sure,” Jonas said. “You can only see so much with a MALP.”
“The planet seems barren, it likely could not sustain human life for long,” Teal’c said.
Jonas started to respond, then paused, staring at the shelf of deserts. They were serving jello. It was bright red, and it looked much more appealing today than it ever had to him before.
He picked it up hesitantly, then turned to Teal’c. “Has this… always been that red?” He asked slowly.
Teal’c looked confused for a moment. “Indeed it has.”
Jonas stared down at the cup, not sure if he should keep talking or drop it. “Um, so are Colonel O’Neill and Major Carter back yet?”
Jonas looked nervously over at Teal’c, who was now wearing a look of dawning realization. “No. They will not be here for several hours.”
Jonas nodded. The obvious conclusion, the only real explanation, was that he and Teal’c were soulmates. There was still a part of him terrified that he’d somehow misinterpreted, but he was afraid if he asked directly he’d somehow offend Teal’c.
If it was true, Jonas really didn’t know what to do. It didn’t seem possible. He was just a replacement for Daniel Jackson, Teal’c’s friend, his actual soulmate, his family.
The rest of the meal was awkward. Jonas rambled half-heartedly about the upcoming mission in an attempt to fill the silence. Teal’c barely spoke. The look on his face was difficult to read, but Jonas thought he looked troubled.
Afterwords, Jonas immediately retreated to his office, intending to avoid Teal’c until he could figure out how to deal with this new information. He tried to think how the other man might react. Maybe he’d be resentful of Jonas for seemingly taking Daniel’s place in yet another way. He’d be surprised at the very least.
Jonas was startled out of his thoughts a few minutes later by a knock on the door. When he opened it, he was shocked to find Teal’c there.
“May I come in?” He asked simply. Jonas nodded, taken off guard by Teal’c’s sudden appearance.
Teal’c simply sat down at the table and started talking to him, a normal conversation like they’d always had before (though most of their conversations until then had been initiated by Jonas).
At first, Jonas was nervous, his fears from earlier still lingering in his mind. But Teal’c stayed, and continued to talk, and the message was clear: He wasn’t upset. This was okay.
By the time he left, Jonas feels calm. More than that, he feels practically elated. He has another soulmate.
The next day, when they embarked on their mission, the Stargate looked different then it ever had before. When they get to the planet, it looked like nothing he’d ever seen, though in reality it was very similar to the other planet’s he’d been to.
Jonas took in the clear blue sky, the rolling green hills, and he couldn’t help grinning. He caught Teal’c’s gaze, and was met with a smile in return.
“What are you so happy about?” Colonel O’Neill said wryly, eyes narrowed.
“I’ve just never-” Jonas cut himself off, suddenly thinking that O’Neill might not be happy about this development. That Jonas was intruding on their friendship yet again.
“This planet is just… really nice,” he finished lamely. Teal’c raised an eyebrow at him but didn’t comment. Luckily, O’Neill and Carter were, by now, used to his enthusiasm, and accepted his explanation.
- - -
After that, Jonas’s situation started to improve much faster. Working with the team during missions was getting easier, and he was starting to fit in with them better outside of missions as well. Of course, he knew he’d never be as close to them as Daniel had been, but it could still be something meaningful. He wasn’t so isolated, as he had been, and Earth was slowly becoming a comfortable place to exist. And, on top of that, he had another soulmate.
On the downside he was really starting to get sick of the inside of the base. He got to go off-world, of course, but outside of missions he was largely confined, and he rarely got to see much of Earth. Funny, he thought, that he saw more of alien planets than the one he was living on.
Sam seemed to feel bad for him in that respect, because she did try to bring him outside with her as often as she could. Even Jack occasionally offered to take bring him somewhere, though Jonas was pretty sure it was just out of politeness, and that Jack didn’t actually want him along. Besides, he wasn’t sure if being off base would be worth all the awkward silences that always came when he was alone with Jack.
So, when Sam walked into his office one day and offered to bring him out to dinner with her, he jumped at the chance.
As they were driving through the mountains, on the way to the city, Jonas was struck by how green everything was. He stared out the window, amazed, at the fields and the trees rushing by. Earth hadn’t looked anything like this the last time he’d been outside.
He jerked against his seatbelt as the car abruptly slowed. He turned to Sam, who looked shocked, maybe upset. It was only then that his brain caught up to him and he realized what was going on.
Sam pulled over to the side of the road and silently got out of the car. After a moment’s hesitation, Jonas followed her.
“So, ” she said, after a long silence. “I guess this means we’re… you know.” She was staring off into the trees, her tone distant.
“Yeah,”Jonas said, staring at the ground. “I’m sorry.”
Sam snapped her head up towards him, stunned. “You’re sorry?” She sounded astonished. “What for?”
“I just - I feel like I’m -” he paused, searching for the right words. “Like I’m taking his place,” He finally finished, more softly. There was no need to specify who he was talking about. “Like I shouldn’t - I have no right to be here, to be your - your guys’ soulmate, and it’s-”
“Hey,” Sam interrupted him, placing her hand gently on his arm. Jonas finally looked up at her. “You’re not him.”
She looked right into his eyes and at that moment he had no idea what she was thinking.
She shook her head. “You need to stop worrying about this. You’re not a replacement for Daniel. You’re your own person, and you’re a valuable member of the team.”
Jonas ducked his head with a smile. “Thanks.” He felt a kind of warmth in his chest.
“And,” she added after a moment. “I guess we’re soulmates.” Jonas glanced up to see her smiling lightly. “That’s good, Okay?”
He nodded. “Okay.”
She moved in and gave him a quick hug. “Now come on,” she said, moving to get back into the car. “We’ve got places to be.”
Jonas was grinning the rest of the drive.
Though, now he knew they were soulmates, he thought he should probably be completely honest with Major Carter.
“Me and Teal’c are also soulmates,” he said, out of nowhere, a few days later in the lab.
She glanced up at him, surprised. “I know,” she said. “He told me.”
“Oh,” Jonas said, now feeling a little silly. Of course Teal’c would’ve told her.
Sam smiled at him. “That’s good too,” she said. “It’s a good thing, to have soulmates. It’s not something you should worry about.”
Jonas was silent for a moment. “What about colonel O’Niell? Does he know?”
Sam’s expression sobered. “No, we haven’t told him.”
“Right,” Jonas said, turning back to his notebook.
“It’s not that he doesn’t -”Sam hesitated, her expression said she was choosing her next words carefully. “He does like you.”
At Jonas’s skeptical expression, she pressed on. “No, really, if he didn’t you wouldn’t be on his team. He’s just… complicated.”
Jonas nodded. “It’s okay,” he said, smiling. “I get it.”
And he did. Although the open hostility had faded since Jonas had first gotten here, he could tell that a lot of people weren’t very comfortable being around him, the colonel included.
Sam looked like she wanted to say more, but decided against it, and they both went back to work.
It was okay, Jonas decided. Even if Jack never really liked him, being here on Earth had already turned out better than he ever could’ve imagined. He had two soulmates here now, and that was more than he’d hoped for a very long time, even back home on Kelowna.
It was okay, all of it. Because, Jonas realized, he could be happy here. One day, this could even be home.