G is for Good Pie
by Eilidh17

“You’re kidding me, right?  There must have been someone.”
“What about while you were at school?  I take it you did go.”
Jonas raised his eyebrows at her, questioningly.  “To school?”
“What? Yes, of course to school.”  Sam had been tracing lazy circles around the rim of her coffee cup for almost an hour now and the strong brew had gone cold. “What else would I mean?”
“I just wanted to be sure.  And no, there was no one at school either.  Not at school and not later at college.  I just never seemed to find the time.”
“All study and no play?”
Jonas enjoyed the commissary at this time of the night.  Not by design, he and Sam had set a routine of meeting here on the nights she didn’t go home.  Pie and coffee where the norm and the conversation was easy.  There was only ever the two of them though.  Teal’c always said his quiet goodbye’s and retired to his room, never taking up their offer of company, and the Colonel, well; Jonas still wasn’t able to read the man’s moods, so he gave up asking.
“More like, all study or no future,” he said at last.
“What do you mean?”
The pie was cold, the cream warm and now a sloppy mess on the plate.  Jonas pushed it around with a piece of apple but had no intentions on eating it.  “Kelownan’s are a rich people,” he said, staring off into the distance.  “The upper echelon jobs are filled by those whose parents have enough money to buy them positions.  Those that don’t, well, they have to be the best in their field or be left behind.  It’s really as simple as that.  My father was an exobiologist working on a dig site just outside the capital, my mother was an architect.”
“Pretty impressive credentials there.”
“Uh-huh, and yet not enough.  By Earth standards they’d be regarded as blue collar workers and nothing more.  That’s the reason they only had one child.  Between the two of them they earned enough of an income to live comfortably and put me through college, but not enough to guarantee me a lucrative position.”
“Wow,” Sam reached for the coffee pot, pouring a fresh cup, “sounds like a dog eat dog society.”
“Dog eat dog?”
“Oh,” she winced, “it’s a cultural reference, meaning: To be in a ruthless occupation or industry.  Something along those lines.”
“The Tau’ri have some very unusual sayings.”
“Well, we’re an unusual people.  So, you were saying?  All work and no play?”
“Basically, I couldn’t afford the time to socialize.  My degrees in ancient Kelownan history, social studies, and finally ethical sciences, were enough to get a place on Dr. Kieran’s team, but it was hard fought for.  The project was top secret and presided over by a military oversight committee.  If it hadn’t been for the ethical considerations brought up by factions within the Kelownan government, I doubt there would have been a place there for me at all.  Sometimes, I think…”
He pushed his plate away.  “It’s nothing.”
“Come on.”  Sam reached out and rested her hand over his.  “You can’t just leave it like that.”
Jonas pulled his hand away, and leaning back in his chair, he regarded her closely.  Their fledgling friendship was one of very few he’d established since defecting to Earth.  He didn’t mind the lack of solid company, was used to living a solitary life divided between home and work, but on Kelowna, he knew his place.  Here, he was still trying to feel his way through a society he was unfamiliar with, in an establishment he wasn’t quite sure he belonged.
The badge he wore on his shoulder didn’t quite fit comfortably yet, and served two purposes, neither of which he was happy about.  But neither of which he could avoid the reality of.
It marked him.  Gave him a place within the structure of the SGC that he could be proud of, but it also served as a reminder to others of what they’d lost.  He could see it in the faces of the people he worked with, their eyes drawn to the familiar patch, smiles dying for a moment, to be replaced with a falseness they couldn’t quite disguise.
He’d seen it with Sam.  While he accepted her assessment of his new station, he could still hear the sadness in her voice.
He took a deep breath, held it for a moment. “Sometime,” he began, “… sometimes I wonder if we were too naive.  We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into.  It seemed as if we never took the time to stand back and look at our accomplishments, risk assess… I don’t know.  I feel as though my people stumbled blindly around in the dark with the naquadria project, and look where we ended up.”
“Don’t do this to yourself.”  Sam leaned in closer, pushing her coffee cup to one side.  “This is how we learn, Jonas.  Your world, mine, and probably thousands of others.  Our mistakes are our lessons, but it’s what we do with those lessons that dictates how our future history unfolds.  No one here is blaming you for what happened to Daniel.  He knew what he was doing.”
“But still, my people accused him of sabotage.” He tipped his head questioningly. “How can you not blame us?”
“The accident and the accusations are two different things.  Sure, okay, they’re intertwined in the grand scheme of events, but desperation does this to people.  It was far easier to blame an outsider than it was to examine their own actions.  We’ve been through this already. I thought it was settled.”
“You miss him.”
“Yeah, I do miss him.  I miss him a lot.  But you know, even though not a day goes by when I don’t see something that reminds me of him, I still would never hold you responsible.”  A sad smile tugged at her lips.  “Neither does anyone else, okay?”  Sam let the rest of the sentence hang.  She’d made her point.
“You sure?  I mean, I have to tell you I think Colonel O’Neill will always see me and think of what might have been.”  Lowering his eyes, Jonas sighed.  “I don’t know how to make him see me, Jonas, and not the man responsible for Dr. Jackson’s death!”  A flash of fire flickered in his eyes before it disappeared.  “Guess I won’t bother holding my breath.”
A moment passed.  Sam snorted softly, and looking, smiled.  “Jonas, you have to take my word on this.  I have known the colonel for six years and I have leaned one thing.  For all his kidding around, he’s a complicated man, and he’ll only allow you to see what he wants.  Take each moment as it comes, don’t sweat the small stuff, and he’ll warm to you.  Like me, he’ll see the good in you.”
“Ha,” he laughed.  “If it’s taken you this long, I don’t think I’ve got much hope with him.”
“Oh, don’t be so sure.”
“Right.”  Sam smiled slyly.  “This is far too deep for pie and ice cream.  Let’s talk Lt. Redman!”
Jonas groaned.
“You know who I’m talking about.  Don’t get all innocent with me, Jonas Quinn.”
“Lt. Redman,” he rolled the name around in his mouth, brow knotting in thought.  “I… I don’t think I recall her.”
“Sure you do!  Blond, slender, blue eyes that seem to follow you around the room.”
He stared open mouthed at her.  “You’ve been watching her?”
“No.” She leaned over and punched him playfully on the arm.  “She’s been watching you. How can you not know this?  Every time we’re down in supplies, she follows you’re every move like a hawk.  You’d have to have been blind not to see it!”
“No.  No.  Can’t say I’ve noticed.”
“Right.  I know you!  You just don’t want to ask her out.”
“That’s not it at all.”
“You’re chicken shit, you know that, right?”

The End


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