Title: A Loss Threefold
Fandom: Stargate SG-1
Characters: Teal'c, Daniel Jackson
Word Count: 827
Categories: drama, angst
Spoilers/Warnings: For the series, specifically in relation to "Children of the Gods" (1.1), "Forever in a Day" (3.10), and "Fallen" (7.1).
Summary: Teal'c takes Sha're from Daniel Jackson three times.
There are some things for which forgiveness cannot be sought. Teal'c carries many such things within him, bearing the weight and not breaking, a pride and a penance.
He took Daniel Jackson's wife. The choice is another weight to carry, the pain it has caused his new friends quickly becoming his pain, too.
Teal'c gives his knowledge, gives himself to the Tau'ri – to their experiments and their missions – without complaint. He knows he is just as valuable as a test subject as he is for the intelligence he provides. He does not begrudge them either use. It is the least of what he owes them, and the only way he can begin to repay the debt.
Teal'c does not ask for forgiveness. He is given it anyway.
Daniel Jackson does not blame him. He tells Teal'c as much as they stand in his lab, pondering over the translation of a Goa'uld text. He meets Teal'c's eyes and Teal'c knows that his words are sincere. Somehow, Daniel Jackson has forgiven him before Teal'c can even attempt to make amends. There is no condemnation in Daniel Jackson's gaze. Teal'c cannot comprehend this unwarranted forgiveness. He has never encountered such a thing before.
Teal'c long before decided that he would stay with the Tau'ri for as long as it took – for his people and theirs. But he has never indicated as much to anyone, for all his pledges of allegiance, and he marvels at how quickly Daniel Jackson accepts him, trusts him, fights for him. He is offered friendship without hesitation from a man whose life he has destroyed. He does not believe himself worthy of such an offer.
He cannot forgive himself so easily.
Teal'c takes Sha're away for the last time with the blast of a staff weapon.
He hesitates only for the split second necessary for him to register what he is seeing. The intent in Amaunet's eyes, the pain on Daniel Jackson's face – Teal'c has seen them too many times before to not know their outcome.
At such close range, he does not even need to aim. He merely point his weapon and fires.
He expects Daniel Jackson to be hurt and angry, to blame him for the death of Sha're. But though there is an ache in Daniel Jackson's voice as he reassures Teal'c of his actions, there is no condemnation. There is deep sadness, echoing grief, even guilt in the way he carries himself, in the way he speaks. But when Daniel Jackson finally meets Teal'c's eyes, Teal'c does not see the blame he expects to see, the blame that he feels heavy within himself. Through the sorrow and loss he sees only forgiveness. It humbles him.
Once again, he has caused Daniel Jackson pain. Once again he has been forgiven before he could ask for absolution. Twice now he has taken Sha're from Daniel Jackson.
He is glad he will never have to do so again.
They have been through this before. It is different every time.
When first Daniel Jackson lost his wife, he was hurt, but also angry and determined to save her. The second loss wounded more deeply with its finality, and he was left with resigned grief. Now Daniel Jackson is a stranger to himself and the return of his past means both gain and loss.
Daniel Jackson frowns and smiles at the same time, the memories flickering inside him like candlelight behind a cover, coming in flashes and leaving behind shadows. There is a restlessness to him, an urgency to recall what he has lost and what teases at the edges of his mind. Confusion and frustration hang about him like whispers, but there is hope, too, and Teal'c is pleased to see it, knowing all that is to come. He understands the internal turmoil encountered in the battle to reclaim oneself.
Teal'c is surprised when Daniel Jackson comes to him bearing a picture of his wife and the frail memory of recognizing her face. He asks of Sha're, of the wife he cannot remember, and Teal'c hesitates. He has taken Sha're from Daniel Jackson before. Now he might be able to give her back, but only for a false moment. Then he will have to take her away again.
This time he takes Sha're without a word.
There is no skirmish, no struggle, no sedation. The acrid smell of a staff blast does not linger in the air, mingling with scent of charred flesh. There are no accusations and no penances. Daniel Jackson merely asks a question Teal'c cannot bring himself to answer. But the truth writes itself across his face, his emotions giving him away as they never would have done just a few years before.
He can see a small light in Daniel Jackson's eyes sputter out as he grasps what Teal'c cannot say. It seems to be his role by fate. He is destined to take Daniel Jackson's wife from him.