beatrice_otter: Sam and Teal'c (Sam and Teal'c)
[personal profile] beatrice_otter
For [ profile] katie_m. Knowing you'd been waiting for a long time, I tried to get it written as quickly as possible without sacrificing quality. Many thanks go to [ profile] drkcherry for the quick beta on very short notice.

Three things you WANT in your story: Pre-series Teal'c, music, mud.
Three things you DO NOT WANT in your story: Explicit sex, um... you know, that's pretty much it.

This fic has been remixed as None But Ourselves (the Redemption Song Remix) by [ profile] cofax7 and as In Battle's Fury, Silence (the Meditations on the Past Remix) by [personal profile] amaresu

Summary: Teal'c goes home after a glorious battle in Apophis' name.

AN: Buccinae were musical instruments used by Roman armies that looked very similar to the horns we’ve seen Jaffa using over the years. Since the horns the Jaffa use are never named in the series, I’ve chosen to use the old Greco-Roman name for them. You can see a picture here.

AN2: While researching what we know of the Jaffa (thanks to the Yahoo transcript group for their wonderful transcripts), I read the episode “Sacrifices” from season eight. I didn’t notice it when I watched the episode, but one of the Jaffa is named Ka’lel. Has someone been reading too many Superman comics?

Italics are flashbacks.

Teal’c slogged through the mud using his staff as a crutch, his men trailing behind him. The stench of battle and of death lingered in his nostrils, along with blood from his own wounds. In the distance, he could hear the desultory sounds of staff blasts as the last resistance in the city was dealt with; he knew sieges well enough to fill in the other sounds of a city being sacked. It was not his custom to dwell on such things; Apophis had decreed the planet and its city be taken from his enemy, and it had been a glorious battle in His name. That the inhabitants had refused to bow down before their new god was predictable, as were the consequences. But it had been a long, hard fight, and his heart was elsewhere.
(A woman lying in the street.) “Teal’c. How goes the battle?”

Teal’c blinked, seeing his master and Apophis’ First Prime for the first time, standing to the side of the trail; truly, he was slipping. “The city is ours, Master Bra’tac,” he replied, noting the older man’s new cloak. The fabric was not so fine as the First Prime was accustomed to wearing—a God’s general must look the part—but it had a hood, which made it far more valuable in the current circumstances. “Fro’tak is leading the domination of the city. It should be ready for Apophis’ entry in a few hours.”

Bra’tac nodded, eyeing Teal’c’s wounds. “That is good. I will make your report to Apophis. You may return to your barracks.” The older man turned and walked briskly through the rain towards the rings.

Teal’c gathered his strength around him and resumed his journey, right arm hanging useless at his side, left leg still bleeding from a deep cut, staff blasts ringing in his ears.

Aboard ship, a Jaffa under Teal’c’s command removed his boots for him, and gave them to a slave to have the mud scraped off, along with his outer garments for cleaning. Teal’c sponged off the worst of the grime before beginning his meditations; although his body yearned for kel’no’reem after several days without it, and his symbiote was restless within him, the chance of Apophis calling for his personal report was too great to stay unclean. The water in the basin was a deep red when he finished.

He returned to full awareness some hours later to find Va’lar standing beside his bunk. “You have done well today, Teal’c,” he said. “Apophis is pleased. Master Bra’tac wishes to see you in his chamber as soon as you awaken.”

“Very well,” Teal’c said, testing his limbs for weakness. “And you, Va’lar? How was your part in the battle?”

“Well,” Va’lar said. “Though it was a poor effort compared to yours. Amaterasu’s best troops were concentrated in your sector; we faced mere boys and slaves, with a leavening of experienced Jaffa. It took little fighting to break their will. Nothing like your great battle in Apophis’ name. But you should not keep the First Prime waiting, Teal’c, even if you are his favorite.”

Teal’c nodded. It would take several days to be fully healed of his wounds, but he could at least use the arm again. If it were necessary. (Triggering a staff blast. Long brown hair flying.) He stood up as slowly as he could without showing weakness; his leg still was not reliable. Deciding that he could, in fact, walk without limping, he set off slowly towards his master’s chamber.

“Teal’c, come in,” Master Bra’tac said, handing the reports he held to his scribe, who bowed and left. “We are to return to Chulak within the week; Fro’tac will command the garrison for now.”

Teal’c nodded, suppressing his relief.

“I imagine you are eager to see Drey’auc,” Bra’tac said with a smile. “Apophis is pleased with your prowess in battle, and his first thought was to give you the garrison. When I informed him of your upcoming Right of Everlasting Union, he decided to give you a house of your own to keep your new wife in, instead.”

“A house?” Teal’c said. He had vague memories of separate family dwellings on the world of his birth, and had seen peasants and slaves in wretched huts on many planets. “Drey’auc will be pleased.” (Falling.)

“I believe she will,” Bra’tac said with a small smile. “And it pleases Apophis to keep you near him on Chulak. Where you may continue training with me and where you will be readily available for Apophis’ next campaign.”

“I thank you, Master Bra’tac,” Teal’c said with a smile. “It is a great honor.”

“It is a fitting reward for your courage and abilities,” Bra’tac shot back. “But take care lest your pride overtake your reason. Now, leave me. I have much work to ensure that Apophis’ armies are ready to depart when Apophis wills it. And you will better recover to serve his needs if you take time to rest and kel’no’reem.”

Teal’c bowed and left.

“Teal’c! You honor us with your presence,” said the girl who opened the door of Drey’auc’s family’s residence eight days later. He did not know her name; he believed she was some cousin of Drey’auc’s, come from the Cord’ai Plains to serve in Apophis’ household. She bowed as he entered. “I will fetch your sim’ka.” A boy, Drey’auc’s youngest brother, darted out past them into the corridor, practice-staff in hand.

“Greetings, honored son,” Ri’kan, Drey’auc’s mother, said as she entered the room through the open arch that led to the rest of the residence, sewing basket in hand. “The battle went well?” She seated herself on a low couch, pulling out a garment to mend.

“In Apophis’ name we destroyed His enemies,” Teal’c replied.

“As if our God would allow anything different.”

Teal’c bowed his head to acknowledge her point, though he had seen many battles in his sixty years which did not go according to Apophis’ plans, or the plans of those who fought in his name. (Ka’lem, his newest trainee, falling at his side.) No small number of those had been defeats.

“At last you have returned!” Drey’auc strode through the doorway, reaching to clasp arms with him. Mindful of her mother’s watchful presence, his hands did not stray from her arms. “And have you won honor for yourself in this battle?” Her eyes shone brightly, and she did not retreat to a demure distance after their greeting despite Ri’kan’s frown and the certainty that others were listening through the open doors.

“Apophis himself has chosen to give me a house.”

Drey’auc’s eyes widened and her jaw dropped open. “A house? Of our own?”

Ri’kan stood, all pretense of work abandoned.

Drey’auc smiled. “Teal’c, this is wonderful news!”

“He has shown you great favor,” Ri’kan said. “Perhaps the wedding might be held sooner than planned.”

“Of course, Mother!” Drey’auc said. “If that is what Teal’c wishes.”

“It is.” His voice rumbled deep in his chest.

“Then it shall be as soon as can be arranged!”

Drey’auc sidled closer to him, smirking at her mother’s renewed eagerness to join the hero to her family. But her eyes were bright with happiness.

Members of the extended family entered the room, drawn by the commotion. Teal’c paid them no attention, basking in Drey’auc’s enthusiasm.

Drums sounded as Teal’c and Drey’auc danced in the circle. The wedding itself was a blur of words and faces, but here, with the drum’s pounding heartbeat, he felt anchored. He and his wife swung around each other, clasping hands, arms, waists, feet flying. Drey’auc’s face was flushed with dancing, and her teeth were bright as she smiled at him; her hair was only loosely bound by the circle of fidelity, and it shone in the firelight as it flew. Truly, even the God’s own queen Amaunet was not as beautiful as Drey’auc was tonight, though it was heresy to think it.

The rhythm changed as the dance moved to its second, more complex pattern; horns blew. (Buccinae sounding orders. A dark-skinned woman in front of a house, refusing to retreat before Apophis’ host, snarling, staff in hand, firing at him—missing by inches.) Teal’c stiffened, losing the rhythm of the dance.

“Teal’c, what is it?” Drey’auc asked, slowing with him.

“It is nothing,” Teal’c replied.

“Perhaps the old married man is feeing his age!” someone called with a laugh.

“And if Teal’c is an old man, what am I?” Master Bra’tac returned, to more laughter.

“Teal’c was severely wounded in battle only a few days ago,” Va’lar called, a smile on his usually solemn face. “Perhaps he should save his strength for the shim’owa! I think he will need it!”

“Is that so, Teal’c?” Drey’auc asked.

“No,” Teal’c replied, forcing himself into the rhythm of the dance once more. “It was nothing.”

Title is taken from a sonnet by Charles Hamilton Sorley, one of the soldier-poets of World War I.

“When you see millions of the mouthless dead”

When you see millions of the mouthless dead
Across your dreams in pale battalions go,
Say not soft things as other men have said,
That you'll remember. For you need not so.
Give them not praise. For, deaf, how should they know
It is not curses heaped on each gashed head?
Nor tears. Their blind eyes see not your tears flow.
Nor honour. It is easy to be dead.
Say only this, "They are dead." Then add thereto,
"Yet many a better one has died before."
Then, scanning all the o'ercrowded mass, should you
Perceive one face that you loved heretofore,
It is a spook. None wears the face you knew.
Great death has made all his for evermore.

x-posted to [ profile] tealc_ficathon and [ profile] stargatefic

(no subject)

Date: 2006-08-19 02:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thank you! I really like this--the way that Teal'c is affected, yes, but he isn't there yet, you let him still be a believer. Poor Drey'auc. She just has no idea what she's getting into, does she?

(no subject)

Date: 2006-08-21 01:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh, that scene with him and Bra'tac just kills me. Teal'c is so proud!

(no subject)

Date: 2007-07-02 10:37 am (UTC)
siljamus: (Default)
From: [personal profile] siljamus
I found this via [ profile] gateverse_remix. I hope it is okay to comment on it now (At the time you wrote this I was not participating or even reading in the fandom, so I missed it back then).

This is stunning. The work on Jaffa society is very believable and adds so much to your beautiful imagining of Teal'c at this point in his life. The things not said, not shown and not spelled out and the very stark contrast to what you do chose to say, show and spell out creates such a vibrant and painful story.

Oh, shutting up now. (I'll have to look around and read some more of your stuff at some point).

(no subject)

Date: 2007-07-03 05:42 pm (UTC)
siljamus: (Default)
From: [personal profile] siljamus
I've taken a looong vacation from SG1 fandom, and only recently returned. One of the joys of coming back is discovering some of the really good fic that came out while I wasn't around. But actually finding what I consider 'the good stuff' can take time :)

Really good Teal'c has never been on the top of the list in the fandom, and especially not fic that delve into his back story, which in my book is so much more interesting than that of any of the other protagonists. He is such a complex character and yet most fic writers are completely at ease with the very little that canon gives us of the back story. You can tell such amazing and interesting stories about Teal'c because he has decades of life, love and loss behind him at the time we meet him. And the themes that his character lends itself to rarely gets a good work out in this fandom - entitlement, faith and belief, redemption, rebellion and obedience to name but a few.

[/ramble] This story is going to stay with me for a long time, so thank you for writing it. I'll have to check out more of your work. Is it all here in your journal or do you post it to archives?

(no subject)

Date: 2007-07-04 10:23 pm (UTC)
ext_1246: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
I've not ever been a great reader of SG1 stories, but stumbled upon this gem as a result of the gateverse_remix. It's so interesting to see Tea'lc before COG, and how the threads of his life tangle together, and the things that make him see how things really are.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-01-27 03:49 pm (UTC)
ext_1941: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
I just had the great pleasure of reccing ( this. :)


beatrice_otter: Me in red--face not shown (Default)

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