beatrice_otter: Me in red--face not shown (Default)
[personal profile] beatrice_otter
Title: The Weight of Non-Existent Years
Author: [personal profile] beatrice_otter 
Fandom: Stargate: SG-1
Rating: G
Characters: Teal’c, Sam Carter
Warnings: none
Spoilers: Unending
Word Count: 683
Written For: [livejournal.com profile] choc_fic Round II, February 27
Prompt: Teal'c/Sam (gen or ship): sparring - weight of non-existent years
Betaed by: [profile] redbyrd_sgfic 
Remixed as: The Weight of Non-Existent Years (The Gravity Remix) by [personal profile] butterflykiki


The day before Colonel Samantha Carter leaves for her new post in the Pegasus galaxy, Teal’c comes to her and asks if she will spar with him. She hedges for a few seconds—there are many details still to be accomplished before she may leave them, leave him—but in the end she acquiesces with a smile and slips from her chair to accompany him.

It is a familiar ritual—to him, at least. On the Odyssey, she had buried herself in science and guilt, to the exclusion of all else, including physical health. Daniel Jackson had done likewise with the Asgard cultural data. Colonel Mitchell had brooded and exercised obsessively. Vala had distracted herself by distracting Daniel Jackson. General Landry had grown a garden. Teal’c—Teal’c had taken care of Samantha even when she would not take proper care of herself.

Now, Colonel Carter does a few stretches to warm up and prepare for their match, as Teal’c does the same. She speaks of Atlantis, her new command, trivia about the scientists she will be working with. Nothing of consequence. In return, Teal’c speaks of training simulations planned for the newest batch of SGC recruits, of currents among the Jaffa now that the Ori are gone. Nothing of consequence.

On the Odyssey, they had been silent at first. Samantha, oppressed by her continued failure, had been uncharacteristically quiet. Teal’c, taciturn by nature and training, had not pressed. Until one day the words that Samantha had been burying deep inside herself exploded outwards, full of frustration and fear, and hope. And tears. They did not spar that day, nor the next. On the third day they began again, blows and words in counterpoint as in the music Samantha began to teach herself to play. They did not speak of the trivial details of their lives on Odyssey; each day was much the same. Samantha spoke of growing up as a motherless, math-focused girl on a series of military bases in the 1970’s, of attending the Air Force Academy, an institution not known for its friendliness to female cadets. In return, Teal’c spoke of Bra’tac’s training, of walking the tightrope between Apophis’ demands and his own conscience. In the fifth year he had realized, with some shock, that Samantha now knew him better than anyone in his whole life. Better than Bra’tac. Certainly better than Shaun’auc, Drey’auc, or Ishta.

Now, Colonel Carter finishes with her stretches and falls silent, signals her readiness to begin. She waits for him to strike, taking all the advantage defense buys her, biding her time before attacking. Her strength is formidable for a human woman, and her skills are the result of ten years of fighting with Earth’s greatest soldiers against the galaxy’s greatest warriors. She is still no match for Teal’c, but she does not give an inch. Her blows feel light on his skin, though he knows she is not ‘pulling her punches.’ As a human, and female, her best strength is, like the span of years allotted to her, considerably less than any other warrior he has trained in his time. Yet she makes no apologies for this fact, and uses what she has with a high degree of skill.

He has sparred with her countless times, both in the world she remembers and in the timeline that never was. Yet now he finds himself caught off-guard, under- and over-estimating her by turns. For the last few decades of their time on Odyssey, her body was too fragile and weak for serious combat; before that, years of sparring daily with him had honed her skills far beyond where they are now. He must be constantly on guard to respond to Colonel Carter as she is, not as he remembers her.

Colonel Carter lands a blow solidly, one she should not have been able to. Teal’c is almost knocked down. He counters it, forces her back, and they separate, circling. “You okay, Teal’c?” she says, frowning. “You seem a bit preoccupied.”

“I am fine, Colonel Carter,” he says, missing the woman standing in front of him.
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(no subject)

Date: 2008-02-28 12:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kuwdora.livejournal.com
Oh this is SO poignant.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-02-28 02:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] aabbey.livejournal.com
I love how understated this is, and yet how much it packs. Thanks for writing!

(no subject)

Date: 2008-02-28 02:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] seldear.livejournal.com
This is awesome! I love the way you've shown their relationship, particularly in the light of Unending.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-02-28 02:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] skydiver119.livejournal.com
such a sweet fic.

Who woulda thunkt that TEal'c woulda ended up the Angst King of Unrequited Love :)

(no subject)

Date: 2008-02-28 03:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] livrelibre.livejournal.com
That's lovely. Thanks!

(no subject)

Date: 2008-02-28 04:02 am (UTC)
cofax7: climbing on an abbey wall  (Default)
From: [personal profile] cofax7
....oh! Oh, that's a lovely insight: all those years together, and the physical changes he witnessed and adjusted to, and all of it gone in an instant.

Very nice.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-02-28 04:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lorettakay.livejournal.com
*deep sigh*

very nice. It's sad, and bittersweet.

I adore the last line. It's heartbreaking in it's simplicity, summing up, how he feels. She's there, but not. Sam, but not his Sam.

And thanks for showing how hard it maybe for him to remember all the time that's she's not who she was, or who she would have been.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-02-28 06:29 am (UTC)
ext_1941: (Default)
From: [identity profile] sg-fignewton.livejournal.com
“I am fine, Colonel Carter,” he says, missing the woman standing in front of him.

Oh, OW.

I hated Unending with the passion of a thousand burning nuns :) but the Sam and Teal'c bits did redeem it, just a little. And this was lovely and aching and marvelous.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-02-28 06:41 am (UTC)
jedibuttercup: Notebook and Pen (Default)
From: [personal profile] jedibuttercup
That last line is definitely my favorite.

"Unending" was a huge collection of missed opportunities; I wonder if any fallout from it will appear in the straight-to-DVD movies? It was nice to see Sam and Teal'c speaking to one another again in "Midway", but I couldn't help but wonder if he cringed when she compared him closely to Ronon. Seriously, I have trouble beliving she didn't know better than that before "Unending", but she'd definitely have known him much, much better during all the years they spent together on that ship, and he must miss that.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-02-28 07:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] http://users.livejournal.com/_minxy_/
Oh my God, I *love* Unending tags.

This is lovely, the burn-through of who-she-was and who-she-isn't and what-he-knows and what-she-doesn't. The potential and the loss. The skill and the strength and still this wonderful honesty of blows: that Sam doesn't apologize, and neither does Teal'c.

Lovely. Really lovely.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-02-28 03:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mayogate.livejournal.com
Very good, I like Sam/Teal'c, lovely; even if the idea of them doin' it is a bit squicky on my brain.
I just lowered the tone didn't I? sorry;-)

(no subject)

Date: 2008-02-28 06:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] scarimor.livejournal.com
Superb :)

(no subject)

Date: 2008-03-01 04:41 am (UTC)
ext_2207: (Default)
From: [identity profile] abyssinia4077.livejournal.com
Oh! My prompt!

This whole piece is so lovely. I love the bond Sam and Teal'c formed and the way Teal'c sees her in canon and I love so much how you made that play out here - both caring about her as she is and missing who she was and how close he was to the woman who doesn't quite exist anymore.

And that last line is so sharp and perfect.
*squishes Teal'c*

(no subject)

Date: 2008-03-01 04:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pellucid.livejournal.com
I will never tire of Teal'c tags for "Unending," and this one is just so perfect and poignant. Oh Teal'c!!! And Sam and Teal'c is one of my favorite combos under any circumstances.

And this may be sort of an odd thing to say, but I love the title of this piece, as well!

(no subject)

Date: 2008-03-01 04:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ijemanja.livejournal.com
Oh! *loves* One of the greatest tragedies of SG1 ending its run is that the show cannot do justice to Teal'c post-Unending, with everything he has to deal with. And I think you've captured perfectly some of what he must be experiencing, suddenly finding himself back with these people he loves, but who are strangers. What also strike me here is how the comparison isn't a Sam who grew old, but who grew into a superior fighter. Really nice.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-03-02 05:01 pm (UTC)
ext_1012: (Default)
From: [identity profile] stargazercmc.livejournal.com
This is fantastic. I love the relationship between Sam and Teal'c, and there are too few fics that explore it post-Unending.

Thank you for sharing this.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-03-02 07:31 pm (UTC)
ext_7442: (Default)
From: [identity profile] amathela.livejournal.com
I really loved this - Unending really was made for episode tags (and particularly Teal'c episode tags), wasn't it?

(no subject)

Date: 2008-03-12 11:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] momm2five.livejournal.com
oh, how very bittersweet. To be the only one who remembers 50 years of stuff that never happened . . . I just want to hug Teal'c!
Very well written!

(no subject)

Date: 2008-04-01 06:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] maab-connor.livejournal.com
wow. beautifully done. i love the subtle difference between Colonel Carter and Samantha and how you let us know where Teal'c's mind had wandered by which she was. I have always felt so terrible for Teal'c, the only one who remembers the future that will never happen. :( wibble.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-07-15 02:39 pm (UTC)
ext_1941: (Default)
From: [identity profile] sg-fignewton.livejournal.com
I've just had the immense pleasure of reccing (http://community.livejournal.com/stargateficrec/1123861.html) this. :)

Sorry, messed up the coding first time!

(no subject)

Date: 2008-07-15 03:09 pm (UTC)
ext_2351: (Default)
From: [identity profile] lunabee34.livejournal.com
Oh, man.

*sniffles*

This is perfect.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-07-15 03:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] maychorian.livejournal.com
Great stuff. Oh, you could weep for that man. He's lost so much, and gained not really all that much to make up for it. I mean, yeah, the freedom of his people (freedom to be jackasses, in many cases). But as far as relationships go... He always seems to get the short end of the stick. Sigh. And here's Sam, leaving again...

(no subject)

Date: 2008-07-15 07:50 pm (UTC)
ext_3557: annerb icon with scenes of all team variations, my OTP (Default)
From: [identity profile] aurora-novarum.livejournal.com
Oh! I'm such sucker for Sam & Teal'c post-Unending...or Teal'c post unending...or just Teal'c. :-D

I love how you express the sparring, and the connections Teal'c's making, and his expectations that are so right and yet so wrong.

Poor Teal'c.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-07-28 07:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] butterflykiki.livejournal.com
I really, really liked this one (see remix for proof). I loved the poignancy of Teal'c missing a person who is lost in an alternate-universe, really. But who is also going to appear slowly over time, but in a way he won't get to know in quite the way he did on the Odyssey. I loved his evaluation and understanding of Sam, and then realizing that not only is she leaving the Milky Way Galaxy, but that there's no way to get that other Sam back. *hugs him*

Just, yeah. Love it.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-07-28 06:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] amilyn.livejournal.com
This is gorgeous. I came to read it after reading the remix and this is just...perfectly Teal'c.
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