Familiar Territory

 

Daniel:
Jack said that Teal'c and this Shan'auc were more than friends. The logical part of me refutes this-she is a priestess and Teal'c is married and a man of proven honor. I sometimes forget that Teal'c is older than he appears, nearly three times my age. I'm sure if there was a relationship between them it was long before his marriage to Drey'auc. I wonder if he is technically still a married man?
I can't help but wonder about it. What must he be feeling right now, knowing he might have to watch someone he obviously cares for die before his eyes?
Even as I am asking myself the question, images of Sha're spring unbidden into my head. While I knew the chances of finding and saving her were slim at best, her loss was gut wrenching. If I let it, the sting can still be felt as immensely today as though she died yesterday. She was my everything. I've managed to get over her death. No, who am I kidding? I continue to focus on anything and everything to avoid really dealing with it.
And Teal'c is my ever-present reminder. It's strange, but in a way I am glad for that fact. I don't want to forget, even if I could. Teal'c's presence in my life insures that I won't.
I'm also glad it was Teal'c who made the choice to end Sha're's life. Despite our polar opposite lives, Teal'c understands. . .me. In many ways, more than any other, including Jack and Sam. He knew what it meant when he aimed his staff weapon at Sha're and fired. Knew I'd accept his decision eventually. I wasn't so out of it that I didn't catch and interpret his pained and confused expression when I told him he had done the right thing. I knew he'd blame himself and attempt to atone in some fashion.
Still, he knew our friendship would remain, maybe shaky for a while, but intact nonetheless. After many hours of conversations and chess matches, I finally got him to forgive himself and convince him that it truly was all right. In the process and without even realizing it, I actually convinced myself that it was all right. And it is most of the time. Worthwhile hours for both of us.
Even before our 'bonding' as it were, I felt a closeness with Teal'c. I've said before that I wanted to hate him. Upon his arrival on Earth, it took only days to see that he was a warrior of more than physical battles. I still can't help but shake my head at his stalwart courage and determination. He gave up everything, everything, to join us and that speaks to me more than anything else about him. I admire and respect him more than I thought I ever would or could.
Selfishly, I don't want to be a witness to heartache. The memories are still too real for me. But I am also concerned for Teal'c. I don't want him to have to live through that.
But he might. And while Shan'auc will not technically die by another's hand, the situation is similar enough for me to seek him out to make sure he is handling the recent events all right.


Well, that was. . .interesting. Not wholly successful, but at least he knows I will be here for him if needed. I admit I am a little bewildered by his jovial mood. Jovial might be too strong a word, but he definitely is convinced Shan'auc holds the key to save the universe from the Goa'uld. I've rarely seen him express any emotion, let alone be excited about something. There was that time he told us the Jaffa joke. . .which I still don't get.
We're heading to Vorash. The Tok'ra are surprisingly willing to help Shan'auc. I was about to give up on them completely, honestly. With the exceptions of Jacob and Martouf, I don't particularly care for them or their unwillingness to lend assistance unless it directly benefits their cause. Martouf is even borderline sometimes. I hope for Sam's sake Jacob will never slip 100% into the Tok'ra role.
I really want to believe they are indeed coming through for both Shan'auc and Teal'c, but I just know there must be ulterior motives.
When did I become such a cynic? I'm starting to sound like Jack.


Thank goodness it worked! For a moment there I thought Shan'auc was going to die in Teal'c's arms. Anise says she'll be very weak for quite a while, but should recover.
I'm sure my revulsion at the entire transference was visible. I will never understand now someone would willingly allow a Goa'uld share their body. Even if it is a Tok'ra. I guess that's a subject both Jack and I agree on, judging from his reaction.
I'm not surprised when Anise informs us the Tok'ra will not be sharing the knowledge they gain from Tanith with us. I figured as much, but it looks like Jack didn't anticipate it. Sam looks just as upset as we head up to the 'Gate, giving Teal'c a moment of privacy.


I can't believe what I am hearing.
I know it's been said that love knows no bounds, but I am still reeling with Teal'c's sudden 'retirement' from the SGC. I understand he's excited to fight the battle with Shan'auc and to convert many Goa'uld into Tok'ra, for the good of people of Chulak and Earth. Something tells me, though, that his love for Shan'auc plays an equal if not greater role in his decision. The stunned faced around the table mirror my shock, as do the denials.
I want to join in their protests. And I do. I can't imagine life without Teal'c, but I can't begrudge him. Who am I to deny him happiness?
The 'discussion' is interrupted by an unscheduled off world activation and we run into the control room to see who's coming to visit.


I sneak a look at Teal'c hopeful, excited face when the Tok'ra signal comes through and see it change to consternation when Freya and company emerge from the event horizon, carrying a. . .stretcher? Oh, God!! I can literally feel my heart dropping into my stomach, accompanied by a huge lump in my throat.
Teal'c bolts into the embarkation room. Jack, Sam, and I are not far behind. I watch his back and shoulders stiffen into stone at Freya's words.
"It is with great sorrow that I return." She intones with, in my estimation, very little real emotion.
I glance at his face again, gauging his reaction. And again, several emotions flit rapidly across his normally stoic features and I know he knows. The happiness that was evident only minutes before has been completely erased.
"Shan'auc..." he murmurs.
Freya continues, "We found the body just outside her chamber. The symbiote she carried is also dead. If we had found a more mature larvae..."
"She appeared well!" Teal'c interrupts in a desperate voice.
"Shan'auc's death is simply the unfortunate result of waiting too long."
Does being a Tok'ra automatically make you a robot?
Teal'c gently folds back the sheet to reveal Shan'auc's face and he caresses it tenderly. Jack, Sam and I watch helplessly as he mourns the loss of his love for the second and very final time. He's whispering something to her. What is it? Embarrassed to be an uninvited guest at this personal interlude, and yet fascinated by a side of Teal'c so rarely seen, I listen.
"Tel Mat. Pal tiem shree. Tal ma."
My heart breaks for him, and my voice almost follows suit as I translate for Jack and Sam. "Our love does not end in death."
I quickly look at my feet to hide the tears and instantly my mind transports me back to that day on P8X 873. Sha're and I sharing our last moments together, with Teal'c as the sole witness.
This is exactly what I hoped Teal'c would not have to face. I know all about the cold, dark void that will replace his heart. I know how hard it will be for him to fill it once again with warmth and happiness. I know he might need help and I intend to offer it.


Jack and Teal'c have returned from Vorash. Teal'c looks once again like a living statue, face reflecting absolutely no emotion. I don't know what happened, whether Teal'c received the vindication he desired. One look at Jack's disgusted, upset face tells me everything I need to know. Teal'c sacrificed his personal retribution for the 'greater good', whatever the hell that is.
Goddamn Goa'uld.
I really want to talk with him now, but I don't think he's ready quite yet. Instead, I exchange glances with him and retreat to my lab.


"Daniel Jackson." Teal'c's deep voice interrupts my work.
I look up to greet him, but his face once again brings a lump into my throat. This is going to be difficult for both of us. Before I can say anything, he continues.
"Daniel Jackson. I wish to speak with you. I. . ."
His voice is incredibly soft as it trails off. I strain to hear his words. He doesn't continue, instead looks at me with extremely weary, old, sorrowful eyes.
I don't say anything at all. I hope he understands what my own eyes are replying.
You've come to the right place, Teal'c. Oh, yes, this is familiar territory, and I am ready to help you through your pain.


Teal'c:
With excitement I have not felt since my youth, I stride into the embarkation room when the hooded figure reveals its identity. Shan'auc! My love.
Jaffa training returns before I allow my. . . joy at seeing her again become apparent. I thought I never would see her again. Because of the Goa'uld, our love never could never succeed.
But I never forgot. Despite the rigors of Jaffa training and life, despite learning to repress emotions, despite the comfort I allowed myself in my marriage to Drey'auc, she was always present in my thoughts.
Never before and never since have I been driven to such passion. I have felt much rage. I have felt great sadness and even fear. But passion strong enough to override strict Jaffa habits never.
I clench my jaw as I gaze upon Shan'auc and see my feelings still mirrored in her eyes.
"Friend of yours?" O'Neill interrupts our stares.
"Yes." I reply simply.


I sense my friends' doubt at Shan'auc's revelation. I myself have difficulty accepting that she communicates with her larval Goa'uld and that she has developed a. . . friendship with it. But I cannot doubt her sincerity. I know O'Neill believes she could be part of an elaborate deception meant to harm the Tau'ri. But he does not know her as I do.
I rush to her as she collapses in agony. She does not have much time before the symbiote destroys her. Because of what she has revealed, even the mere possibility of it, I cannot allow that to happen. The potential gain of such information would prove very beneficial in our fight. I must endeavor to learn her methods of communications when she is well enough to discuss it with me.


The passion in her beautiful eyes moves me greatly. As she speaks to me from the infirmary bed, I begin to believe more strongly in this new. . .weapon. If it is true, it is indeed the most powerful weapon we could have against the Goa'uld.
Behind the desire to aid our people, I see her love for me shining through. Neither of us require words to express it.
Determined to prove both to myself, but to General Hammond and O'Neill, I know what I must do.
I must seek to link to my own symbiote.


The attempt to communicate with my symbiote is successful.
Pure hatred emanates from the Goa'uld larva as it transmits the vision of my father's execution to me. Pain wracks my body as a result and I feel O'Neill and Daniel Jackson's hands grasp me with concern. Major Carter looks to be dialing for assistance.
I am fortunate to have friends such as these.
Even as I am recovering from the shock and pain of first contact, I am overwhelmed with hope. Together, Shan'auc and I will begin to plant the seed of this new weapon to as many Jaffa as we can. This is indeed a great day for my people.


I cannot contain my euphoria as Daniel Jackson approaches me. My human friends are unaccustomed to seeing me express emotions, and this is evidenced by Daniel Jackson's startled jump when I greet him. This only makes my smile broaden. Shan'auc and I will be instrumental in the Tau'ri fight against the Goa'uld.
Shan'auc.
My mind returns to my previous evening with her. It was as though we had never been apart. She alone has seen and heard my inner thoughts and feelings and I was pleased to once again share them with her.
Of my friends, Daniel Jackson is the one that I am able to share a fraction of these thoughts and feelings. O'Neill and Major Carter feel as deeply as he does, however their military training, much like my Jaffa training prohibits them from discussing such things openly. I have taken what comfort I can, knowing that if the need arises Daniel Jackson will be there.
As he is offering right now. He flinches as I grasp his shoulders. It puzzles me that one with such deep feelings has difficulty expressing those emotions in a physical manner. There is no time. Major Carter approaches to inform us of the Tok'ra's willingness to aid Shan'auc.
My heart races with anticipation. If the transference is successful, I will spend the remainder of my days with two of my greatest passions.


Shan'auc collapses in great pain. I want to scream for the Tok'ra to take action immediately and cradle her in my arms. I do not enjoy seeing her agony and want it to be over as quickly as possible. I will not accept that we may be too late.
O'Neill, Major Carter and Daniel Jackson watch the proceedings with concern and disgust fighting for supremacy on their faces. They have never witnessed the transference of a larval Goa'uld into a new host, a disturbing act even if done by the Tok'ra.
Relief floods my being when the Tok'ra supply Shan'auc with a new symbiote. Everything will be all right. Shan'auc will recuperate here for some time and I must return to Earth to inform General Hammond and SG-1 of my intentions to take leave of the SGC.


I knew my announcement would bring much commotion, but attempts to dissuade me will fail. I am mildly disappointed that Daniel Jackson apparently does not understand my decision. He protests along with the others. . .but not quite as vehemently.
All understand I will not be remaining with them. I need to make them understand that I will continue to fight for and with them, if not directly beside them.
Before I can speak again, the alarms announcing an unscheduled off world activation sound. We rush into the control room to see who it is.
My heart leaps as the Tok'ra code is transmitted.


Sorrow and rage battle for possession of my soul. I do not understand how this could happen. She was well when we left Vorash.
I feel as though I am in a trance. Words are coming from my mouth automatically, grief seemingly taking control and making me numb. I vaguely hear someone repeating my words in English. Daniel Jackson. He sounds upset. If he felt a fraction of what I feel now upon the death of Sha're, I am very fortunate to have retained his friendship.
I cannot handle being here. I must be alone.


Rage consumes me. Shan'auc did not die naturally, as the medical examination proves. The human expression 'seeing red' is now understandable to me. Her death will not go unpunished.
We were mistaken that the Goa'uld Shan'auc carried was true in its intentions. It is obviously responsible for her death.
I will savor seeing its pain and panic as I squeeze the life out of it. Vengeance will be mine on this day.
O'Neill intends to come with me back to Vorash. I know that he plans to determine exactly how this has happened. I think perhaps he has other motives as well.


The Tok'ra were aware that Shan'auc's link to her symbiote might have been an elaborate ploy to gain access to Tok'ra knowledge. They intend to use this information against it, and for some reason this fact fuels my anger. I cannot stop from lunging forward to locate this 'Tanith'. And kill it.
I hear O'Neill's voice shouting at me to stop. That he does not approve of the Tok'ra's method here, but that he does understand it. Killing Tanith will be non productive and make Shan'auc's death meaningless.
I am attempting to swallow my rage, to acknowledge that the subterfuge played by Tanith can be used against the Goa'uld. Not as powerful a weapon as direct interaction with a symbiote, but a weapon nonetheless.
Jaffa training snaps back, allowing me to rein in my emotions.
But I swear that one day Tanith will die by my hand.


As we return through the Stargate, grief once again consumes me. I do not let it show.
Daniel Jackson is in the embarkation room when we arrive. He does not speak, although it is apparent that he wishes to. He simply looks at me, and I at him.
I must seek the solace of Kel No Reem. I fear if I do not, I will become destructive.


This is not helping. Not since the death of my father by the hand of Chronos have I felt such pain. During that time I was young and foolish, seeking retribution by becoming a Jaffa in the service of Apophis. I was more angry than sad.
Now it is the complete opposite and I find myself unable to satisfactorily control the despair within me. I can think of no outlet. . .my thoughts turn to Daniel Jackson.
Is this struggle between sadness and anger similar to how he felt after the death of Sha're? Despite my pain, guilt floods my being. He acknowledged that I was without choice when I took the life of his wife, but it took some time before he would speak with me, or even look at me.
To assuage my own guilt, I persisted and gradually Daniel Jackson opened up to my attempts. The hours we spent together were, I believe, beneficial to him as well as to myself. The experience strengthened our relationship, and I was able to learn a great deal about forgiveness and acceptance.
I look up, unaware that I have been walking. I am at Daniel Jackson's lab.
"Daniel Jackson."
He looks up from his desk and it is evident that his thoughts have been of Sha're once again. I am disturbed that his sorrow is still as strong as ever. He disguises it well. Will I still feel this pain a year from now?
"Daniel Jackson. I wish to speak with you. I. . ." I repeat.
He says nothing. There is no need. I know that this is familiar territory for him and that despite this fact he will do what he can to aid me.
I enter his lab and shut the door quietly to begin the healing process.
The End

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Disclaimer: Stargate SG-1 and its characters are the property of Stargate (II) Productions, MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions, and Gekko Productions. This story is for entertainment purposes only and no money exchanged hands. No copyright infringement is intended. This is a parody for entertainment purposes only. The original characters, situations, and story are the property of the author. This story may not be posted anywhere without the consent of the author.