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18 January 2013 @ 01:05 pm
Fic: The Heroes of Earth [SG1, Rated T]  
Title: The Heroes of Earth
Rating: Teen and Up
Original/Fandom: Stargate SG-1
Character: Jack O'Neill
Summary: Yes, Virginia, there are aliens
Notes: Takes place early in my Countdown to 2010 series.
Written to writerverse quick fic prompt: On the front page
Word Count: 983


The clouds in the early morning sky were heavy and gray. Jack would bet anything that there would be at least a few fresh inches on the ground by evening. Might as well fill up now, he thought, and pulled into the gas station and up to an open pump. As he walked into the little convenience store, it occurred to him that it would be a good idea to grab a couple of Toblerones as peace offerings for Carter and Daniel. Not up to his usual standards - he liked to put a little more effort into making it look thoughtless- but he wanted to get to the Mountain as quickly as possible and start to assess what the fallout from yesterday's worldwide announcement was. Yes, Virginia, there are aliens, some of them are really bad, but hey, there's also these Aschen fellas who are just going to answer all our prayers, so don't worry your pretty little head about it.

Crap, he could practically hear Kinsey's voice; that can't be a good sign. Fallout-wise, though, he was pretty hopeful. No obvious fires, looting, or bizarre cult-ish demonstrations were visible on his ride through the Springs.

The personal fallout of his ‘discussion’ about the Aschen’s intentions with Daniel and Carter on the flight back was still to be seen. It had gotten pretty heated. Carter had been on the edge throwing military protocol out the door - along with Jack, if her repressed glare had been any indication. Daniel, not subject to any such constraints, had let him have it and Jack had given back as good as he got. He hadn't backed off until Teal’c’s stern look had made him feel like a young jaffa getting caught doing... whatever it is they weren't supposed to do. Smile, laugh?

He mentally shrugged and grabbed the chocolate bars and headed to the coffee station, hoping that the caffeine could offset his lack of sleep. A couple of teenage girls, probably on their way to school, stared at him as he passed them. He gave them a small smile and nod and they practically fell over themselves giggling. He tried to look at himself in the semi-reflective surface of the nearby microwave but couldn't see anything that would cause laughter.

It’s not like his personal feelings about the Aschen were going to make a difference at this point. The news was out there. The whole world knew about the gate, the Goa’uld, the Aschen. Couldn't put the toothpaste back in the tube. And, if he couldn't convince his own team after all they had been through, it was unlikely he was going to convince anyone else. Especially when all he had was a gut feeling that seemed to be contradicted by every piece of available evidence.

He felt a slight tug on the hem of his jacket as he was fastening the lid on the coffee cup and he looked down to see a little boy smiling up at him.

"Hello," the child said.

"Hey, big guy," he answered affably, looking up to see if there was a parent around. A woman approached, smiling apologetically. “Don’t bother Colonel O'Neill, Aaron," she said as she took the boy's hand in her own. "I'm so sorry," she said to Jack.

"Not a problem, ma'am." Jack frowned slightly, trying to place the two. He wasn't in uniform, wasn't wearing any rank insignia, and the fact that she knew his name rankled uncomfortably. He started back up to the front, the chocolate in one hand, coffee in the other, and decided they must be family of someone at the SGC. He'd probably met them at some barbecue.

Setting his purchases down on the counter, he pulled out his wallet and started thumbing through the bills. "Okay, let me get $20.00 on pump 2 and this stuff." He looked up to see the cashier staring at him wide eyed.

"Are you really him?"

Jack stared at the kid. "Really who?"

"Jack O'Neill. The guy who saved Earth."

With a sinking feeling, Jack looked around to see everyone in the store staring at him. The two teen girls were on their cell phones, an older man looked on approvingly, and Aaron was about to twist his mother's arm off trying to get back to Jack.

"Uhhh," he started, rubbing a hand against the back of his neck. Then his eyes fell on the rack of newspapers near the door and he froze. Every single one had a banner headline about the stargate. He'd expected that; it would be news for months. But at least one of the papers had a full-color photo, above the fold, of SG-1 at yesterday's ceremony.

The Heroes of Earth

He should have expected this, would have, if his mind hadn't been filled with Kinsey’s sneers, Carter’s doubts, and Daniel’s frustration.

"Yeah," he muttered, not so much an answer to the question, more a verbal nod as he put all the pieces together.

But then the questions started.

"Can I have your autograph?"
"Can I get a picture with you?"
"What are aliens really like?"
“How many have you killed?”

Flashes from those disposable cameras started going off in his face, leaving little dots of light dancing in his vision.

"You know, folks, I really have to get to work now."

"Fighting aliens?" Aaron asked excitedly.

He started edging toward the door, giving the kid a smile and a thumbs up. Safely back in his truck, he realized he had left all his purchases in the store; of course, he hadn't paid for them either, so it kind of worked out. It looked like he was just going to have to face the Wonder Twins relying only on his own charm this morning.

Ignoring the audience crowded in the doorway of the store, he pulled out of the parking lot and headed for the Mountain.

 
 
 
Ami Ven: Carterami_ven on January 19th, 2013 05:36 am (UTC)
Very nice! Poor Jack, being a hero is such hard work...
magickmoons: jackmagickmoons on January 19th, 2013 06:47 pm (UTC)
You know, Jack strikes as the one who would least tolerate the hero worship - the way they will totally miss the point of what he'd done, romanticize it all, the lack of privacy...
aelfgyfu_mead: Jack&Danielaelfgyfu_mead on January 20th, 2013 01:52 am (UTC)
Oh, ouch! The worst of it is knowing what happens later—if Jack thinks the convenience store is bad, wait until he finds out he's right about the Aschen!
magickmoons: sarcastic jackmagickmoons on January 21st, 2013 04:51 am (UTC)
Oh yes. Things just keep getting worse!