It's been three days since it happened, and I still can't sleep. Too many memories. Too many times the picture runs through my mind, like one of those bad horror films that has you peeking through your fingers. You don't wanna watch, but you can't quite look away....
They killed him. They beat him and they put him in chains, and threw him in that lake to drown - and there wasn't a goddamned thing I could do to stop it. I watched him die, and it was like having my heart ripped out. Nothing I've seen or done in the last three years prepared me for that feeling. It was almost - God forgive me - worse than when I lost my kid. I watched him die, and I wanted to just dive in there and drown with him, let my own chains drag me under and hold me there until it was over.
Teal'c. Yeah, I know, it's crazy. Falling in love again at my age is enough of a joke, not to mention the fact that the one I've fallen for just happens to be a guy. Nice move, O'Neill. Court Martial 101, whatever they say about 'don't ask, don't tell'. And to cap it all, the guy I'm in love with isn't just your common or garden red blooded American male. Oh no. I have to go lose my heart to an alien with a worm in his belly. But guess who gets the last laugh? I'll thank the Almighty every day for the rest of my life for that Goa'uld larva. I'd kiss the little bugger - if I didn't think I'd throw up.
He survived - how 'bout that? Carter said something about Junior filtering the air and feeding it to him, keeping him alive. I don't care how or why, I just know that when I saw him walking towards me, like Lazarus coming out of the tomb, it was like Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Year and the Fourth of July all rolled into one, with a few other holidays thrown in for good measure. He was alive. Teal'c, this beautiful man with the strength of an army and a heart that's so full of compassion and caring, this amazing man who owns more of me now than I do myself - was alive. I wanted to tell him, right there and then, how I felt, how much I wanted him. To hell with the fact that Carter and Daniel were right there beside me - if this team has the heart I think it does, they won't care - but for his sake I held back. When I tell him - and I know now it's gonna be 'when', not 'if'- I want it to be just between the two of us. Things like that have to be said in private.
Gonna have to tell him soon, too, because I can't go on like this. I'll go crazy. Maybe he'll turn me down, and if he does I'll respect that, but I have to know, one way or the other. I'm sure a part of him cares, I just don't know how his people look on things like this. Thought of asking Daniel a while back. He and Teal'c have done a lot of talking about customs on Chulak and amongst the Jaffa, and since Daniel has this secret fascination about sexual customs in other cultures (which, incidentally, he has no idea I know about), I guess he's dug around in that sandbox too. Trouble is, I never figured out a way of asking him about it without giving myself away. "Hey, Danny, d'ya think Teal'c likes boffing boys?" is a bit too unsubtle, even for me. So, I guess I have to pluck up the courage to ask the man himself.
God, it hurts. I want him so much... Half the time, when I'm around him, all I can think about is that mouth, those arms and that... that incredible ass... It's a cliché, but you really could crack walnuts on that butt. And his legs... There's not a trace of weakness anywhere in him, not a hint of the fragility of a woman. Don't get me wrong, I love women too, it's just... I always believed that with Teal'c I could just - let go, not be in control all the time. I think I need that. The further out into the galaxy we go, the more races we come up against and the problems we face, the harder it gets to step back. Even harder when you've got nobody to turn to. There's no respite in a cold, empty bed. But with his arms around me....
Sun's coming up. Another day, another dollar they say. Maybe today will be the day I finally pluck up the courage to tell him. I think I know him well enough by now to know he won't throw it back in my face. He'll give one of those little head-nod things he does, and tell me he's honoured, but... and then he'll change the subject, or I will, and we'll never talk about it again. If he turns me down.
Then again... he might just say 'yes'. It's just the thought of taking that first step that scares the crap outta me, but... Well, anything's better than this.
Yeah... Maybe today...
It's been three hours since it happened, and I still can't sleep. All I can do is sit here, and watch him, and marvel at the turn my life has taken.
He's asleep. Not the sort of 'sleeping-with-one-eye-open' that he does on a mission (and I'd love to know he does that!); this is real, deep, untroubled sleep. I'm glad of that because it means I can watch him. Can't believe what I'm seeing - him, buck naked, laying face down on my bed like he belongs there, like it's the only place in the world he's meant to be. If I had my way he'd stay there forever, mine and mine alone.
It's been a crazy day. I went to the base this morning, determined to tell him regardless of the risk involved. One way or another I had to know. Thought I'd found the perfect moment, too. Tracked him down to his quarters, caught him just finishing one of those meditation sessions of his, so he was all relaxed and ready to hear me out. I'd dispensed with the usual amenities, done the "think we need to have a talk" line and was settling down to the speech I'd spent all night preparing, the one that started "I don't know what the rules are on Chulak, but..." - at which point the sirens started up and all hell broke loose. Ferretti, bringing SG2 home three days ahead of schedule and hauling a truck load of trouble in the shape of a couple of Reetoo.
By the time things settled down Teal'c had gone to the gym to take a class in Jaffa hand-to-hand combat that was scheduled to finish ten minutes after my meeting with Hammond and the other team leaders started. I was getting nowhere and the constant stream of thoughts about him, the speculation, was driving me nuts. By the time the meeting finished I was so wound up I knew there was no point in trying to see him then, it would have to wait for another time. Didn't even say goodnight to him, I just grabbed my stuff and headed home.
I'd showered the day away and was on my second beer when the doorbell rang. For a moment I thought it might be him - until I remembered that, even after all this time, they don't allow him off-base without an escort. Instead it was Daniel, standing there with a real shit-eating grin on his face, like he was about to drop some bombshell which, as it turned out, was exactly what he had planned.
"Hi, Jack," he grinned, and I 'Hi'd him back and stood aside to let him in. If I couldn't have Teal'c, then I could at least enjoy Daniel's company for a few hours, even if it did mean we'd probably end up watching some highbrow stuff on Discovery.
"No, it's okay. I'm not staying," he said. He was chewing his bottom lip and that's always a sign he's up to something. "I just - brought someone over to see you..."
Terrific. For the last few months he's been seeing - okay, maybe 'seeing' implies too much. Let's make that 'spending time with' - one of the young female lab assistants. There's nothing romantic going on, he's still too wrapped up in his quest to find Sha're, but I have to admit I'm glad he's finally taking an interest in his social life again. On the other hand, the last thing I needed was Daniel bringing her over to spend the evening.
"Good evening, O'Neill."
Hooboy! I couldn't help it: one minute I'm trying to phrase some excuse for sending Daniel and Miss White Coat on their way, the next I'm standing there like a beached fish, looking into those incredible eyes. "Teal'c?"
There's this thing he does with his head, not a nod, just a - I dunno, it's almost like he's bowing. It can mean 'yes,' 'hello', 'I agree', 'thanks', or just about any one of a half dozen other interpretations. Tonight it was 'hello'.
"What are you doing here?" I asked.
"You said that you wished to speak with me, but you did not return. I sensed that you considered the matter important and so I asked DanielJackson if he would act as my - escort to your home."
"And now that I have, I'm going," Daniel announced. "Have fun you guys!" he called over his shoulder. Then he was gone, and I was left standing on my own porch, staring at the centre of my world.
I told him he better come in and pointed him through to the living room while I went to get him a beer. To be honest, I needed a moment to get my head together. I had no idea how I was going to play this. When I'd left the base I'd kinda shifted everything to a back burner till I got the chance to be alone with him again. Now we were alone, and all my words were disappearing. Fast.
"You didn't have to come all the way out here tonight," I told him as I handed him the bottle. "It could have waited."
"I do not believe so," he said, "but if you wish me to leave -"
I guess the way I shouted 'No!' was a bit of a giveaway, but suddenly I didn't care. I'd already decided he wasn't leaving till I'd said all I had to say, so I suggested we sat down. When he sat down next to me on the sofa I wasn't sure whether to be pleased or worried. Those fists could do a lot of damage at close range.
"So - here we are," I said. I don't think I've been that nervous since my first time, and that was... over 30 years ago.
"So it would appear."
"Are you okay?" I asked, and all the time my brain is telling me to get to the point. "Did you want something to eat? I can fix -"
"I am fine, O'Neill," he said, and that was the end of that conversation. And then he said something that startled me. He looked right at me, deep into my eyes, and asked "Why are you afraid of me?"
Afraid? Me, afraid of him? I started to tell him I wasn't, then I realised I was, and suddenly everything was falling apart around me. He'd opened the door, all I had to do was walk through it.
So I told him. "I'm not afraid of you, Teal'c, I - want you."
His brows arched as he considered this. Well, at least he hadn't hit me - yet. Wasn't saying anything either, just - looking at me. I wanted - needed - him to say something, but he sat there for the longest time. Then at last he asked " Do your military regulations not forbid relationships between members of the same gender?"
So, he'd taken enough interest to check up on the subject. Gotta give the guy some credit for that. I confirmed what he said, and he went back to thinking, then: "So if you were to act upon your feelings you would be endangering your career?" I nodded, mentally watching myself standing in front of the inquiry board. Not an illustrious end to my career. "I find this very strange. Amongst the Jaffa such relationships are considered to be a means of strengthening the bond between warriors and are therefore encouraged."
"You mean you've -" The question was out before I could stop it, but it didn't seem to bother him.
"I have had three lovers, not including Master Bra'tak."
Now, I don't know about everyone else, but there's only so many surprises my mind can handle at one time, and this one just pushed me over the line. Teal'c and Bra'tak, the old guy who's always calling me 'Human' or 'Hassock'? No way could I imagine those two doing the horizontal tango, even if it was a long time ago, which I assumed it was. Put a whole new slant on the master/pupil thing.
"Don't suppose you'd be interested in one more?" I swear I didn't mean to say that, not out loud anyhow, but then I've never been known for my tact and diplomacy. But Teal'c... He looked at me, took my hands in his and did that thing with his head again, and said "It would be an honour." Get that - he would be honoured to have me as his lover.
I guess for a moment or two there I felt cheated because I'd had this whole scene mapped out in my head for such a long time, and now here he was, taking the responsibility away from me onto those broad shoulders of his. I started to say his name - I still thought we needed to talk - but then everything I wanted to say just - vanished, as I watched him lift my hands to his lips and kiss them. He kissed my hands, can you beat that! Me? I couldn't help myself: I opened my hands and caught his face between them... and then I kissed him.
That guy has to have the sweetest, softest mouth ever made, I tell ya, and what he can do with that tongue... Man, I thought I was gonna die from that one kiss, it was so good. Just had to get me another... and another.... Coulda gone on doing that all night, just sitting there wrapped up in his arms, trading kisses, but he had other ideas - as I found out when he started pulling my clothes off me. The tops went first, all knotted in together like he was too impatient to get to me to go slow. He made me stand up then, right in front of him, and before I could stop him he'd unfastened my pants and pushed his hands inside, grabbing hold of my ass. That was sweet - I mean really sweet, to feel his hands on me, stroking me like he'd done it a thousand times before, which he might have done - but not with me.
The pants slipped south and I kicked them off as he pulled me towards him. Next minute I was holding his head and watching my cock slide down his throat, right the way in, till his lips touched the root. I can't describe what that felt like, there aren't words enough for it. Sara and I used to do oral sex once in a while, but it was never like this. I watched as he slid his mouth back and forth over me a few times, and it felt so good ... and then suddenly I was pushing in, meeting him halfway... and then he let me take over. This amazing man was just sitting there, making these soft moaning sounds that could only be pleasure, while I held his head and fucked his mouth until I couldn't hold back any longer and shot the whole load right down his throat. He took it all, sucked me dry then licked me clean, then he opened his arms and caught me as my legs gave way and I landed in an undignified heap on the floor at his feet.
The world seemed to fuzz out then. I can't recall the last time I came that hard and I felt like a new-born kitten as I sat there, with his arms around me to keep me warm, waiting for the world to right itself again. I could feel him kissing the top of my head and I gathered up every tiny bit of energy I had left and tipped my head back, letting him have my mouth. His mouth tasted different this time, till I realised I was tasting myself. Talk about erotic! I don't know what buttons he was pushing, but by the time I got myself up onto my knees and reached for his pants, I was already getting hard again. Hey, I'm forty-six years old, things like that just don't happen anymore. The days of 'fuck-all-night-O'Neill' are long gone - or so I thought. Maybe Jaffa have the power to raise the dead.
"C'mon, Teal'c," I urged "Time for a little payback..." I tried to open his shirt but at first he wouldn't let me and I wondered if it was some kind of weird Jaffa thing, then I remembered what that shirt was hiding and it all made sense. He was protecting me. He knows how much I hate that thing inside him and he was trying to protect me from being upset by it. How 'bout that? Except, I didn't hate the snake anymore. For cryin' out loud, the thing saved his life! Without 'Junior', Teal'c would be fish food on some alien world.
"It's okay," I said, "Really."
"You find it offensive - "
"I find what it stands for offensive, but it's part of you and if we're gonna make this work we can't just pick out the good bits and ignore the rest."
I pushed him back against the cushions and this time he sat there and let me work. It didn't take long, a few buttons and the shirt went one way, the undershirt the other. I pushed him back into the sofa with a kiss, then I just sat back on my heels to look... and look. He is so beautiful! I let myself examine every little detail with my hands first, then my mouth. I took his mouth one more time before kissing my way slowly down his stomach, till I reached the opening of his womb.
Don't ask me why, but I had this sudden need to get as close to 'Junior' as I could, so I slid my arms around Teal'c's body and lay my head against his belly. I could feel the little critter moving around in there and right about then I realised I wasn't scared of it anymore. It was almost like when Sara was carrying Charlie and I used to go to sleep at night with my head on her, just like this, feeling him move inside her. Teal'c says there's no link between the symbiont and the host in the larval stage, but I found myself wishing there was some way we could influence the little bugger, teach it that we're the good guys, that way Teal'c would be safe when it matures. I'd like to believe that it was more than just self-preservation made it keep Teal'c alive in that water.
Hearing him use my name - something he'd never done before - made me look up. He was smiling, the sweetest, shyest smile I'd ever seen, and I knew why: put simply, this was proof to him that he was finally accepted.
"It's okay," I promised, and then I did something that twenty-four hours ago I would never have believed I do: I leaned down and kissed the opening to his pouch and whispered "Thanks, kiddo," to the creature inside. Teal'c gave a shudder and this time, when I looked up, there were tears glistening on his cheeks. The thought that I'd caused that simply by showing him what I felt about him made me wish I'd told him sooner. I'd never realised before how lonely he must be in our world.
"Come on," I said, getting to my feet and hauling him up beside me. "Let's go to bed...."
We made love all night. I gave him my mouth, the way he'd given me his, and then I gave him my body. I can still feel him inside me, well, the memory of him. When I saw how big he is I almost backed down, but he took control, spent what felt like hours getting me ready, so when the moment came for him to take me it was less painful than some of Doc Fraiser's exams. And yeah, I did feel him come inside me. Wish I could keep that part of him with me forever, but at least I know now that this wasn't a one-off, not a casual fuck but the start of something special. Where we go from here I don't know, I only know I don't want to go back to how it was before. I love this guy, and he tells me he loves me, for now that has to be enough.
It's getting cold in here, think I'll go back to bed for a while. I'm sure he can find a way to - warm me up. The real problem will be when we get back to the base because I can't help thinking everyone will know the moment they set eyes on us. If nothing else the honking great grin I'll be wearing will give us away.
Ah, what the hell! If they find out they find out. We can always go join the Tok'ra, or Bra'tak's rebels on Chulak. Hmmm.... On second thoughts, given their 'history', that might not be such a good idea just yet. We need the old guy as an ally, not a jealous lover.
I gotta get some sleep. C'mon, lover, move over... Yeah, like that... Hey, did you bring a Zat gun to bed? 'Cos if that's what that is, I know the perfect holster for it.......