writerfangirl: ([more than just words])
Title:  Unspoken Dialogue
Characters: Daniel
Prompt: 098: Writer's Choice (Deep)
Word Count: 563
Rating: PG (language)
Summary: First person POV in which Daniel muses about his early thoughts on the depth of Jack O'Neill
Author's Notes: A piece from a series of ficlets taken from Daniel's journals and memoirs.  Essentially, Daniel will be writing to the particular word (a good way to get the muse to work, I think!) Spoiler for Stargate

When I first met Jack O’Neill (before I realized it was two ‘l’’s, not one; that joke is partly at my expense.  When I had hastily pulled together a written report for the Air Force---which is just as bad as academia and any government agency is when it comes to documenting everything---I hit one ‘l’ on the keyboard and not two), I didn’t find him terribly deep in personality.  He seemed rather a ‘here or there,’ ‘this or that’ personality, an unmovable force for me to work with when my findings fit neither.  My first impressions said this was who he was, how the Air Force had conditioned him to think, but this had been a gross error on my part.  Thinking beneath the surface was too much for him.  Thinking beyond the job, beyond protocol, would have crippled him.

That’s when you get me, proverbial wrench tossed into the delicate mechanisms, disabling the entire works.  I didn’t initially know that Jack existed out of pain only.  He knows how to pretend, knows how to pull himself together into a semi-presentable human, even if that description of ‘human’ can only be classified as such when one is in the military.

On our first meeting, I sized him to be an arrogant ass, like one of those macho guys who used to corner me in the P.E. locker room, or ridicule me during lunch to impress friends (what annoyed them the most was me continuing doing whatever I was doing through the taunts; making them feel like I had no time for them, which of course I did not, pissed many a bully off), and one to work around or to simply ignore.  He wasn’t that impressive; a little taller than me, a little better built, but he wasn’t a consideration (and I wasn’t really thinking of any combat training, physical or otherwise, he might have had; truth be told, neither occurred to be in my own shallow awareness of spending my entire adult career in academia.  Sure I had encountered road blocks before, against my funding, my theories, but I would work away from them, seeking assistance from sources that had the power to help.)  He looked just like any other member of military personnel who took things entirely too seriously, intent on perpetuating the status quo, but there was one thing oft-kilter and unsetting about him: his eyes.  Yes, they were steely and vacant like many of the other officers, but, at the same time, they were different: something quite crucial was missing.  Character and force of personality had been violently ripped away from him. 

We had been crossing through the same corridor when we looked at one another.  I’m not sure why we did just then.  This was the first time I had met his gaze since he had dismissed me and banned me access to information about the Stargate.  I looked away just as quickly.

While Jack could have taken advantage of my awkward retreat, he didn’t; he didn’t make any chance to offend me.  What I never thought about until years later was, in that moment, when I saw him for the broken and injured man he was, he saw me.  We didn’t share any kinship or even an acknowledged understanding, but a dialogue had been opened between us and it knew that we were the same.


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March 2011

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