Season: Season 8
Category: Drama, Episode Tag
Spoilers: Children of the Gods part, Forever In A Day, Affinity
Summary: Teal'c offers his gratitude for all Daniel has done for him.
Disclaimer: Stargate, Stargate SG-1 and all of its characters, titles, names, and back-story are the property of MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions, Gekko Productions, SciFi Channel, and Showtime/Viacom. All other characters, the story idea and the story itself are the sole property of the author. This story cannot be printed anywhere without the sole permission of the author. Realize this is for entertainment purposes only; no financial gain or profit has been gained from this fiction. This story is not meant to be an infringement on the rights of the above-mentioned establishments
It was over and Teal'c found himself at the SGC once again.
His time posing as a citizen of this planet had been nothing but an illusion. Teal'c understood that no matter how hard he had tried to assimilate and adopt the customs of this world, he could never be one of the Tau'ri.
He was not of this world. He would never be welcome among these people.
The thought was a heavy one for Teal'c, as he loved his friends of Earth. Yet, even after all of these years, there would always be a divide between them, despite their warmth and loyalty. They indeed had a common cause, but where would they be in the end?
With a silent sigh, Teal'c proceeded to light his candles in preparation for a meditative session. He would need this time to reflect, to understand his place.
To understand Daniel Jackson.
Teal'c had always enjoyed a complex yet simple relationship with Daniel Jackson. They had assumed a position of mutual respect despite all that Teal'c had done to him. It was through Teal'c that Daniel Jackson had lost his wife the first time, and through Teal'c that he had lost her the final time. He had every reason to be filled with hate for Teal'c, yet he did not. Daniel Jackson remained by Teal'c's side and would do anything within his codes of reason to support him.
Teal'c had always admired the strength of his friend. It was a power that came from a place that was not of brute force, or aggression. It appeared to be a different, more encompassing power that made Teal'c feel invited, as if he truly could belong to this world.
And now he had come to Teal'c's assistance once again, jeopardizing his life and his position at the SGC in order to protect him.
For this, Teal'c had no words. He could only wish to show his gratitude for Daniel Jackson some day, in a way that truly encompassed the depth of their love and friendship.
It was for this reason Teal'c had decided meditation would be appropriate. He felt confusion within him, and he needed an outlet with which to sort through the events of the past few days.
Teal'c had only just begun to meditate when he heard a knocking at his door. "Enter," he said, mildly annoyed.
To his surprise, Daniel Jackson, still dressed in clothes that were not standard for this place, slipped through the opening, his gaze passing Teal'c to fall to his many candles. "Oh, I'm sorry," Daniel said quietly. "I didn't mean to interrupt you. I'm always doing that, aren't I?"
Teal'c immediately rose to his feet and rolled back his shoulders, using the old Jaffa stance to signal it was okay for him to enter. "You do not disturb me, Daniel Jackson." Teal'c found he could not help but smile. "Your presence is most comforting."
"Oh," he seemed uneasy about the comment, but did not say anything further. "Can I come in?"
Teal'c nodded once, bowing his head as Daniel entered the room and shut the door. But, instead of taking his regular seat on the floor of Teal'c's room, he moved toward the bed, almost collapsing onto it as if he were burdened by some weight Teal'c could not see. Concerned, Teal'c stepped forward, coming to meet his friend by the bed.
"Are you unwell?" Teal'c asked.
"Uh, no." Daniel cleared his throat. "I'm a little annoyed that the Pentagon doesn't understand why I did what I did, but then again, I'm not surprised."
So it was true. The actions created by Daniel Jackson had caused problems with the leaders of this establishment. From the moment that Teal'c had learned that he had "taken matters into his own hands" Teal'c had become overwhelmed with guilt and fear. It was his doing that his friend had placed himself in such danger, and Teal'c knew that he could not live with himself if he became the cause for Daniel Jackson's death. Teal'c felt burdened as is, overcome with the knowledge that he had placed his friend's job and livelihood into question.
Daniel shook his head, as if he possessed the ability to read Teal'c's mind. "Don't worry about it," he told him. "Jack's trying to smooth things over. He's mad that I didn't tell him what I was going to do, but I think he understands why." Daniel paused, his eyes becoming unfocused as he gazed into the distance. "Jack's really got to stop doing that. He's going to endanger his job."
"He often feels the need to watch over us," Teal'c said.
"I know." A smile touched Daniel's lips. "Where would we be if we didn't look out for each other?"
This was something that Teal'c found he could appreciate. "Indeed."
The two remained silent for a moment, as if there was an air of unfinished business between them. Perplexed, Teal'c cocked his head, studying his friend closely. "Is there not something else that you wish to say?"
Daniel cleared his throat again before nodding quickly. "Yes, actually. I just came by to see how you were holding up."
Teal'c felt a rumble of discontent roll through his stomach. "I am holding up fine."
"Really? Because you have an awful lot of candles-"
"Daniel Jackson," Teal'c said firmly.
"Teal'c, I know you'd been looking forward to moving out of the base and having a place of your own. You haven't had somewhere you could call home in a very long time. It's understandable that you'd be upset."
"The SGC is my home." His eyes darkened. "I am not upset."
"Then why are you looking at me like that?"
Teal'c blinked. He had not realized he had been looking at Daniel Jackson in any particular way. Embarrassed, Teal'c turned away from his friend and stared at his candles.
Daniel Jackson was not the kind of man who could easily be refused. Instantly, he had stepped away from the bed and come to stand behind Teal'c.
"What's wrong?" Daniel asked.
Teal'c would not reply. He had no desire to pursue this line of questioning.
"Teal'c, you've always opened up to me before." Daniel's hand pressed down on his shoulder. "What's bothering you?"
Teal'c sighed. Daniel Jackson truly could not be refused.
"You have risked yourself for me again. I know not how to repay you."
"Teal'c." Daniel said, sounding both hurt and surprised. "This isn't about reparation. This is about us. This is about what we do." He rubbed Teal'c's back. "It doesn't matter-"
Teal'c turned, his face cold, hard. "How can you continue to be my friend after all that I have done? How can you continue to show kindness to me?"
Daniel appeared stunned, causing Teal'c to regret, in part, what he had just said. Yet, only in part.
"How can I not?" Daniel Jackson answered, equally as emotional. "Just because you've made some mistakes, or have done some things in your life that you're not proud of doesn't mean you don't deserve friends, and freedom, and love. We all do things that we end up regretting. I've done many over the course of my life. It doesn't make me any less of a person, and it certainly doesn't make you any less of one, either."
"I am not of this world," Teal'c said bitterly.
"Is this what this is all about? You feel that you're not worthy because you're a Jaffa?" Daniel's hand disappeared. "Teal'c, turn around and look at me."
Teal'c did as instructed, holding his resolve as he stared into the eyes of his friend.
"Is that it?" Daniel asked again.
"No," Teal'c admitted. "It is not."
"Then, what is it?"
With care, Teal'c reached over and placed the palm of his hand on Daniel Jackson's cheek. "It is because I cannot have what I desire."
Daniel's eyes widened at Teal'c's revelation, just as he had expected. Then, in an act that caused Teal'c great pain, Daniel took an uncomfortable step backwards until he had created a great divide between the two of them.
"I am sorry, Daniel Jackson."
His friend did not respond. Instead, he took another step away from Teal'c and turned. He did not seem to know what to do with himself and had alternatively taken to staring at Teal'c's candles.
Teal'c did not know what to do. For some time, there had been a deep conflict within him. And now, he feared that the years of their brotherhood would be vanquished by his own faulty words. He could not allow this to happen.
"I ask for your forgiveness," Teal'c said quietly.
"No, don't...don't apologize. I'm just...just. I'm sorry. I'm sorry, Teal'c." He laughed a nervous laugh. "I-I don't know what to say."
Curious over the vagueness in his response, Teal'c took a step forward. Daniel did not retract from his spot. "I would not harm you."
"I know," Daniel said, his voice near a whisper.
Feeling a renewed sense of confidence, Teal'c ventured farther. While he did not wish to destroy the friendship that had grown between them, Teal'c could sense no contempt from Daniel Jackson. Teal'c could see now while his friend had not accepted his advances, he had not shunned them either. This was an act that incited much hope and electricity through Teal'c.
Teal'c wanted to show Daniel Jackson his gratitude. He wanted for Daniel Jackson to truly understand what their bond meant to him.
Teal'c stepped forward until they were chest to chest.
Then, with a grace and tenderness Teal'c kept in reserve for only those for whom he held the greatest of affections, he bowed his head and brushed his lips across that of his friend's.
Daniel Jackson made no move of protest.
Slowly, Teal'c withdrew in order to study the reaction of his friend. He remained where he stood, and would have appeared immobile if not for the gentle sway of his form. Daniel quietly licked his lips, his eyes closed. Teal'c understood that this was Daniel Jackson's way of processing information, or new experiences.
He was considering his options and what steps to take next.
But Teal'c had not repulsed him and that provided him with hope beyond all hope. Carefully, he began to undo the buttons on Daniel's shirt, releasing them one by one, until he could see the slick smoothness of his friend's light skin.
It was then that Daniel gasped, and a look of uncertainty, perhaps even fear, flashed across his face. Teal'c smiled, keeping his strength to himself as he pressed the palm of his hand against Daniel Jackson's bare chest. He slid his hand up and down, rubbing him soothingly.
"I will only do what you wish," Teal'c told him. He brought his lips to kiss his friend's chest. "Please allow for me to show you my gratitude."
He straightened his back, watching for any signs of discomfort in his friend. Daniel Jackson held a look of both anticipation and shock, but there was more there, even if his friend had not yet discovered it. This was good news, indeed.
Fueled by Daniel Jackson's limited acceptance, Teal'c gently pulled him close, allowing their bodies to come into contact with each other's, while keeping his hands planted on his chest. Daniel's breathing increased.
Teal'c refused to push his friend beyond limits he did not wish to pursue. For now, he would be content to be as is, and to allow Daniel Jackson the room that was necessary for him to decide. But, for Teal'c, it was imperative that his friend truly know the depth of his feeling.
"I wish for you to understand the depth of my affection for you and the importance of our bond."
Daniel looked up at him, a slight smile forming on his lips. Carefully, nervously, his friend reached in and kissed him before taking Teal'c's arms and wrapping them around his waist.
"I understand," Daniel said to him softly. "One day, allow me to show my gratitude, too."
Teal'c smiled. For this, Teal'c could wait until the heavens moved themselves. For he knew, some day soon, Daniel Jackson would be ready and Teal'c would be waiting to accept him.
Then, perhaps, they could show their gratitude together.