A Tale to Tell
By Amberfly

 

The new day that was, is coming to a close now the sun was setting and the cooler night air was beginning to make its welcomed appearance. This day is now old.

The insects that buzzed and played all day have left now, but the cicadas are making their presence known.

In a large, over-stuffed chair, sits a man with a child leaning lazily against his knees. An old stuffed bunny is clutched by its ear, and the expression on the face of the small child was one of absolute rapture.

The man leans close, speaking softly and in the way of natural born story teller, and the little one just can't contain his excitement.

I can listen in every so often, but only quickly, as I can not risk being seen, or have my presence felt by those who hunt me relentlessly.

“Once upon a time” the man says, smiling through his words, "there was a little boy who lived in a far away land called Egypt. He lived with him mommy and his daddy and this little boy, well he was much loved.”

“That's me huh, Jack, that's me. I'm that little boy aren't I? Huh, Jack, aren't I?”
The little one can't wait, can't contain his excitement, and interrupts many, many times, but the grey haired man doesn't mind. He just laughs and tickles the child under his chin, with such a tenderness it makes me wish, it makes me want.

But no more:  that time for me is gone, so watch... and envy... this is what I do.

“Yes, Daniel, you are that little boy in this story, now shall I continue?”

Giggling and leaning in closer, he is bumping the man’s knees with his squirming little body, making the man laugh anew, and the sound excites me with its throaty
masculinity. The grey haired man's face softens every time the child wriggles and giggles, as if by this very motion his heart grows younger, and more carefree.

This is indeed a man worth knowing...if only... but I made my choice and so I continue.

“Yes, little boy, where was I now? Oh that's right... a beautiful little boy
Called...”

“I know.... I.... know.” Crowed the little boy. “Daniel! His name is Daniel!" And with that the fair haired little bundled of energy jumped into the story teller's arms- a mass of giggles, wiggles, and noise, but definitely no poise.

 

The knocking of papers and pencils makes the man wince, and he looks at the child with an amused and exasperated way. The giggly child is daring him to tickle him, daring him to continue with this much played game.

“Daniel Jackson! You weigh a much as a Pygmy hippopotamus,” laughed this grey- haired man and, this of course made the child wriggle and giggle more.

Effortlessly scooping up the small body and holding it tight to his heart, the man uses the age old trick of rubbing tiny backs and patting a gentle rhythm on small bottoms to calm the child.

The man sings a lullaby he says was learnt from his grandmother decades ago, and the child settles in, listening, his fair head leaning against the man's beating heart.
  
Warm and no longer a giggly, wiggly little mass of boy, the child struggles in vain to keep those blue eyes open. So quickly the child turned to calms: such is the skill of this grey-haired man, such is the trust of the fair -haired child.

The grey-haired man looks now at the now sleeping child in his arms, as if amazed by his beauty. As am I. The boy’s ruby red mouth is slightly ajar, and the thick honey-brown eyelashes are flickering in a sleepy manner. He is a sight for old eyes to behold.

The child moves gently in his sleep, bunching and unbunching his small fist, but never, not for one moment, letting go of that material he had snagged.

The possessiveness of this movement makes me smile anew. I never for a moment thought my idea was poor, but I was a minority of one.

The man sits with this child nestled warmly in his arms, humming that gentle and long loved lullaby, and I know he thinks back to how this amazing miracle had happened.  How a soldier such as he now has this fair haired son.
  
And it is an amazing story. You will surely believe you me.

This story is a little hard to explain, and so I will do my best, but if you get confused or become cynical, please, remember this is true. That it happened exactly as I will tell it.

I am a Baird of sorts, a witch to some, but only to those who think poorly of me. There are many who doubt my motives, and therefore you must excuse me if I try to make my story more exciting sometimes...

 But do I lie? No.... it is the truth.....this I swear.
  
We must go back to a planet in a galaxy that they knew little about, a planet that was so insignificant that few explorers ever bothered to visit it,. But one group did; one group of natural explorers who came in peace and eventually left in peace -of sorts I suppose.
  
I thought for a long time that they would never leave; such was their anger at us.

Explosive and frightening, and I knew if not for the love that they immediately showed to the small one, our world would be lost to us, for they would be formidable foes. I knew I had erred with my judgment, but what was done could not be undone. But, they would not see this.

But, see! I digress. I try to make it more interesting by mentioning what may or may not have happened, but forgive me! I am so very old, and my thoughts ramble.

This group of soldiers that I watched unnoticed was an odd group. Truthfully, I wondered what they could possibly have in common.

Firstly, came the handsome grey-haired warrior, and he was clearly the leader. No mistaking his authority. Next, a beautiful young woman with hair the color of honey, and eyes the color of corn flowers. The female was graceful despite the strange clothing she wore. His mate, I had first thought, but no, I was very wrong. Mistakes happen and this was just my initial thought.

Out of the Chapp’ai eye came another warrior, fearsome, muscled, and black as ebony. Regal in his stance, but I sensed his danger. This was a man to be feared, and he carried within him another.

The last of this group of exploder's was a younger male, fair haired, and with strange circles of glass on his face. He didn't seem to be a warrior though, his stance was different, there was no natural aggression about him and I loved him from the moment I saw him.

My heart leapt with a joy and passion that I thought long buried. Blame it on the warm breeze and the scented air, but I had to have him, to possess him....one final fling before I died.

I know I am an ancient crone, and he would have been horrified if I had tried to make myself known to him in this form… so I changed myself. I became the most beautiful young woman he had ever seen, and with my trickery, I made him love me.

The other soldiers were not as easily fooled and I had trouble convincing them to stay.

Their leader cast his eyes up and down my body, and had the grin of a predator. Fascinating, bold and exciting; I knew he’d be a passionate lover, but far too much trouble. I feared that this warrior would be able to see straight into my deceiver's heart and know me for the trickster I was...

No...Not him...I feared his retribution when he saw through my ruse.

The ebony warrior was of a different race to the others, and like the leader, would have made an excellent dalliance. His strength and his beautiful body made me weak, but no... He too would not be happy with my deception, and his cold eyed stare frightened me. There was something strange about a man who shared his being with another creature. So, I made myself discount the ebony warrior, no matter how his body excited me.

The woman, well she was beautiful, but no... not for me. I have had my fill of beautiful women.

The young male was my pick and I wooed and captivated him. My perfume and my seductive body teased and lured him.  But then that older male, the one called Jack, tried to put a stop to it...

He spoke to my beautiful boy sternly and told him to behave. “Enough, Daniel! Leave the good–lookin’ aliens alone! What is the golden rule about dating outside your species?” He mocked me by teasing my love, but my Daniel blushed with the first flush of love. I was irresistible in my new form, and the boy couldn’t help but adore me. Still, the grey-haired warrior fought me and scolded my love like a child. He laughed his words, but there was no humor in the sound. The warrior meant to have me gone, but I had bewitched Daniel, and so he disobeyed his leader, and stole away with me late at night, far away from any interference. It was a magical experience and Daniel was all that I hoped he would be, but then, I too was very good. I had a millennium to hone my trade after all!

Then it all went catastrophically wrong. I thought we were safe in the pretty close, but the warriors came looking for us. They stormed in, crushing my flowers, and were not happy to find us together. My young man blushed and scrambled for his strange clothing, trying to cover himself quickly. He face was flushed, and he stammered his apologies. He was embarrassed to be caught with me in front on his companions, and I saw he feared the leader’s anger.

“Get dressed, Daniel! Now!” He was told sternly by the grey-haired leader.

And shame faced, he trailed after his people. He didn’t even look behind at me, and I felt a pang of anger. I am not a creature to be ignored!

The leader said nothing more, and it was this silence that made me sure of his anger. He was most displeased with my beloved, and he snarled like a wolf at the beautiful woman to make the Chapp’ai Eye come alive. He told them they would be leaving as soon as possible. Daniel needed his head read. How is it I thought, can a head be read? The warrior spoke in riddles and I couldn’t understand him. Now I know this was his ruse, his intelligence fooled me by hiding deep where I could not see it.

Now I could not have this now could I...? I wanted this young man to stay with me a while longer, I fancied myself in love with him- but I was not... I was just deluding myself.

And my people were so very angry that I had forced the travelers to leave before they could trade anything.

We begged their forgiveness but this Jack would not listen.

He was angry with my Daniel and told him that he behaved like a child, impetuous and disobedient.

He snarled at my beloved like the predator he was, "Lucky I don't kick your young ass for you. Now get thru that Stargate before I change my mind... Move!"

Still snarling, the Jack person muttered angrily, “You've just brought yourself a month's down time. See if that will shake up any misguided sense of loyalty you have developed recently!” He wasn’t finished with my love though, far from it, but I could see his anger died and quickly as it sparked. This man with the heart of a warrior cared deeply for the man with the heart of a poet. Instead of warning me of my foolishness, it made me want the boy even more. I was besotted.

“You know, Daniel,” this man said to my love sadly. “If I wanted to bring a child to chase after I would have picked one of the real kids from the village. Let’s just stick to military protocol, okay?  Danny, seriously, what were you thinking, huh?”

The gentleness in the warrior’s voice startled me, but then it came to me! How I can make the tau'ri soldiers stay. I will give the older male what he obviously wants... I will give him a child.

Now calm yourselves ... not my child, mind! Tempting as that may have been to me, it wasn’t possible. But I would gift the warrior a child nether the less.

Daniel was a beautiful man; he would be a beautiful child too, so I decided as a gift to this Jack, I would give him a beautiful child.

And I did ....I gave him Daniel...

This, I was sure would make them stay and trade their medicines and their technology, but I was wrong again. It just enraged them all and they threatened us with such dire consequences.

It was easy for me to perform my act of kindness; the pretty blue flowers that I sent on the wind sent them to sleep. And whilst they slept I made my incantations so when they awoke, my beloved was still beautiful, but now a babe.  I had given him the great gift of childhood.

I had given the warrior what he asked for, a child. And still he snarled; still he frightened us.  I wished him gone now; he was far too dangerous to keep a moment longer.
  
My people were horrified by my trickery and were equally horrified by what I had done to the race called the Tauri. But Daniel was such a beautiful child and even though the soldiers threatened to bring war upon us if I did not reverse my ever increasingly poor decisions I could not...

And- I did not know how to.

I fled my people. They would not risk the retribution of the Tauri and I knew that they would hunt me and force me to try to correct this mistake of mine. I knew how to hide, I am a master of trickery so the small bird that flew away, startled by the noise, was not noticed, and I escaped as I always do.

My people, frightened by the anger, swore that they would contact this race of warriors as soon as they could locate me and force me to remedy this disaster. They pleaded to be granted this chance to redeem their world but I had no intention of going back.

They would not have believed me when I told them that my knowledge was limited and would probably harm the small one.

Besides it was a gift and it was rude not to accept a gift don't you think?

Daniel Jackson returned with the Tauri explorers a little different than how he arrived at my planet, This Daniel Jackson was carried back by their leader, tucked tightly to his chest; the small child barely three summers I predicted snuggled in and went to live his new life.

The tiny insect that traveled with them was of course myself.  I was now a felon wanted by both my people, to appease these warriors, and by the warriors themselves.

Oh dear ...I just wanted some light hearted love and romance....

So now I must hide and keep myself hidden.

This was maybe not my best idea, but it was a fine story and I will enjoy telling it to any travelers that come across my path.

Especially the young and beautiful.

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