Disclaimer: Stargate SG-1 and its characters are the property of Showtime/Viacom, MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions, and Gekko Productions. I have written this story for entertainment purposes only and no money whatsoever has exchanged hands. No copyright infringement is intended. The original characters, situations, and story are the property of the author(s).
"May you love and fight like warriors-just not with yourselves," Bra'tac announced.
The echoes of gentle laughter lingered in the gate room.
And with that, Ry'ac and Kar'yn were married. Teal'c could scarcely contain the pride
and love he felt for his son. Ry'ac was now a man and had shown his father the
strength of his convictions and wisdom that belied the young man's age.
Directly across from him, Ishta gave him her enigmatic smile. Teal'c then rotated to
look upon the other celebrants at the marriage, the members of the SGC, the people
and organization to which he had vowed his allegiance. Teal'c sought the
visage of one person in particular. The one who had irrevocably changed his life
and the lives of so many others, including that of his beloved son. His eyes locked
with eyes almost as dark as his own as he found the face of his "brother". O'Neill
could not be described in any other way.
Eight years dissolved away and Teal'c remembered the first time he had
encountered O'Neill. In the dank dungeon on Chulak, where SG1 had been imprisoned
with the other children of the "gods", Teal'c had grabbed the wrist of the
uniformed man and demanded to know what was fastened around it. The soldier called
it a watch, something Teal'c recognized as something not directly traceable to Go' auld
technology. That timepiece provided the glimmer of hope he needed, a realization that
there were others in the galaxy with resources perhaps sufficient to mount resistance
to the Go' auld's relentless advance.
When the selection of the "children" was complete, Apophis had ordered everyone
else in the chamber to be killed. Amidst the panic and fear, O'Neill had stood
firm and proclaimed, "I can save these people. Help me!" In that penetrating
stare Teal'c saw the strength, courage and conviction of the man, whose words
inspired him to finally act. And after he had turned his staff weapon upon his
fellow Jaffa and all but O'Neill had made their escape, Teal'c had resigned
himself to his certain fate. Until O'Neill had gestured and yelled, "Hey, come on!"
How could he have known how different his life would become after that? From
the isolation of being Apophis' First Prime to becoming a member of what
could only be described as a true family. From the moment he set foot
in the SGC, O'Neill had been his champion. He had been accepted due much
in part to O'Neill's unwavering support of him. Even before the Cor'ai and
the colonel's powerful defense of him, Teal'c realized that O'Neill was a true friend.
Through the years their bond had grown even stronger. When Apophis had forced
him back into servitude, O'Neill had not turned his back on him, but had endured
his vicious tirades, refusing to let him succumb to the Go' auld's damnable powers.
Teal'c watched as the general moved forward to congratulate the happy couple, with a
gentle hug for Ka'ryn and an elbow-to-elbow clasp for Ry'ac. Behind O'Neill's smile,
and seen only by those who knew him best, was the ever-present burden the man
carried with him. While he had saved countless people and their children, he had
been denied the privilege of seeing his own son grow to maturity. Charlie O'Neill
would be a perpetually tow-headed ten-year-old, never to experience love or marriage.
And Jack O'Neill would never experience the joy Teal'c was feeling this day.
O'Neill was now headed in his direction and Teal'c quickly reined his emotions
in behind his normal stoic faade.
"Hey, you're a dad again. Congratulations," O'Neill said as he extended his hand.
Teal'c grasped the proffered hand. He held on tightly, perhaps too tightly and too
long, for O'Neill gave him a quizzical look. Teal'c released his grip and O'Neill
quickly withdrew his hand.
"So... nice ceremony."
"Bra'tac did a good job."
"Our...er...your kids look very happy."
Teal'c did not draw notice to O'Neill's slip of the tongue. On many levels, the
man was right. Without his intervention, Ry'ac would not be married today,
perhaps not even alive, and who knew what fate would have befallen Kar'yn and
her people. All because one stubborn Tau'ri had not destroyed the Abydos gate
as ordered. For a moment sheer gratitude threatened to overwhelm him. It would
not do to "lose it" in the Gateroom. He swallowed hard and managed to croak out...
"I am aware."
O'Neill's forehead wrinkled. "- T, are we okay here?" His voice was rife with
concern. "I mean if this has something to do with that goat thing. I couldn't
go along with that. I've got enough people pissed off at me on a routine basis.
I don't need to have PETA breathing down my neck too."
Teal'c recognized the typical "O'Neill deflection" as DanielJackson once described it.
He knew very well O'Neill held a special place in his heart for animals,
right next to the place reserved for children. He would never entertain the
idea of ritual sacrifice.
"It is an archaic custom, best left in the past," he replied.
"Glad to hear that," O'Neill responded.
They both watched as the group file out of the Gate room, led by Ry'ac and Ka'ryn.
"We should have gotten some rice," the General said.
"It's tradition. You throw it at the bridal couple. It's supposed to confer
prosperity and ...fertility upon the couple."
Teal'c did not miss O'Neill's wry smile. He matched it with an eyebrow arch.
O'Neill continued. "Grandpa T. That has a nice ring to it."
"Indeed," Teal'c intoned and then masterfully changed the subject. "I understand
the feast has been set up in the commissary. We should attend."
"Of course. Wouldn't want to miss the cake." O'Neill said.
But neither of them made a move through the door and soon only the two of them
remained in the room.
Teal'c watched as O'Neill's jaw line tensed. The man looked exceedingly serious.
"Since you're the father of the groom, could I ask you a question?" O'Neill said.
"Certainly," he answered. What did his friend want to know? He prepared himself
to be supportive no matter what O'Neill wanted to talk about.
O'Neill took a deep breath and then asked, "Do you think they're going to like
that crock-pot I got them?"
Author's note: This story was somewhat inspired by happenings in my own life. My
son was married last year, and it certainly makes you proud and happy. My daughter
will be married in 2006. She's marrying a Minnesotan with the last name of Anderson.
She was talking about bridesmaid's dresses with me and asked "What do you think
about the color peridot?" In the end, she decided on periwinkle. Then she brought
up having children and said she and her future husband had discussed names,
deciding they both liked the name "Jack". Hmmmm. "Jack" I can live with that!
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