as a timorous lepus

Title: as a timorous lepus

Author: Christina A

Fandom: Stargate SG-1/Farscape

Pairing: Teal’c/Aeryn Sun

Characters: Teal’c, Aeryn Sun, Zhaan

Category: Crossover, Drama, Angst, Alternate Universe

Warning: None

Rating: PG-13

Disclaimer: I do not own Teal’c. MGM and Cooper et al own him. Aeryn and Zhaan are own by O’Bannon and the Hensons.

Author’s Note: This was written for the Multiverse 2006 challenge.

Summary: There is a war waging between the Goa’uld and the Peacekeepers for supremacy over the universe. Teal’c finds himself an escaped prison on Moya and he must help Aeryn face the fact that she is no longer a Peacekeeper and that her home is now on Moya.


as a timorous lepus

by Christina A.

Teal’c did not turn from his position on the observation deck. Not even the sound of Pilot’s voice could make him turn away. His eyes, and his full attention, were fixed on a point in space. AerynSun’s prowler had gone in this direction when she left on maneuvers. That is what she had told them all anyway, but there was something that told him she had been lying. She had not met his eyes when she told him what she was doing. Her posture spoke of determination, but she could not look at him. Her eyes had spoken of doubt and confusion. He knew she was not just going to keep her piloting skills honed, but there was little he could do to stop her from leaving.

He did not even turn when he heard Zhaan enter. Her footsteps were lighter than the others. The Delvian had a grace about her that no other creature had. “Teal’c,” she said softly, “Pilot is needing to speak with you. He has intercepted a transmission from Crais.”

He bowed his head, a small sigh of disappointment was the only visible indicator he would allow to display his disappointment.

“You think she has returned, do you not?” Zhaan asked.

“I do not have to think,” Teal’c said. “She has felt herself changing since her arrival here. All of her life she has been a Peacekeeper. That was stolen from her, and now she will do anything to have it once again.”

Zhaan smiled lightly and moved silently to stand beside him. “Perhaps a trait that you can comprehend? Would you not have done anything to return to favor of your god?”

Teal’c lifted his head and his eyes met Zhaan’s. “Apophis is no god. The defeat of Ra by the Tauri is the only reason he is the supreme power among the Goa’uld. Zhaan, I could not stay and continue to watch Apophis continually enslave beings against their will. Fighting, trying to free my people, is my only course of action.”

Zhaan’s immediate response was a soft chuckle. However, it was the look of aggravation in his eyes that led her to explain, “I do believe that is the most you have said at one time since I have known you.” She reached out and touched a hand to his face. “I do apologize, but I also believe there is more between you and Aeryn than you believe. The fact that she has returned to Crais upsets you.”

Teal’c’s eyes narrowed into small slits. “She has returned to Crais to attempt to become a Peacekeeper once again. What do you believe she will offer in return for her reinstatement, Zhaan?” Of course, he knew the answer, but he wanted to hear it from her.

“You,” she responded. Her eyes were full of regret and pain. “You, as former First Prime of Apophis would be a great prize for the Peacekeepers. You could be offered up to Apophis in exchange for territories, unless you cooperated and told them everything they wanted to know about Apophis.”

“I would not. I would not be responsible for more of my brethren’s deaths. I would divulge nothing.”

“Exactly. It would not devalue your worth to the Peacekeepers, though. This could be her means to reinstatement.”

He could tell that Zhaan detested admitting that. She had so wanted to believe that AerynSun would eventually accept her new life on Moya. It was Zhaan who had encouraged Teal’c to spend time with her. At first, he had done so only at her encouragement. AerynSun was obstinate. She deliberately kept herself separate from everyone, but Teal’c had learned from the best and was determined to be more stubborn than she. Master Bra’tac had taught him well. AerynSun was an excellent warrior, but she was lost emotionally. She had never allowed herself to feel before, and he knew that had scared her. He had been in her place once. It was that knowledge that made him determined to show her that there was life beyond the Peacekeepers.

And somewhere in all of that, he had started to care for her. He had to admit that her betrayal cut him deeply. He had thought she was making the turn from the Peacekeepers, that she was accepting life on Moya. He never guessed that she would turn all of them in to return to that life. She had lied, and he could not stand aside and do nothing. This knowledge caused a slow rage to build within the former First Prime.

“Excuse me,” Pilot’s voice cut through Teal’c’s thoughts. “But Aeryn Sun has returned.”

Teal’c said nothing, merely walked passed Zhaan and toward the landing bay. She had returned so that they would not become suspicious. Once again, they underestimated Teal’c. Even without Pilot’s report and Zhaan’s conversation, he knew what AerynSun had done.

*-*-*

Aeryn did not get out of her prowler right away, instead she simply sat inside it and looked at the Death Glider that belonged to Teal’c. There was a small part of her that could not believe she had done it. She had gone to Crais, made the bargain, and allowed the homing sensor to be put on her ship. In return for giving Teal’c and the others to the Peacekeepers, she would be reinstated. She would no longer be considered ‘contaminated’. She could put this whole, terrible nightmare behind her.

Except the truth of the matter was she could not put this behind her. When she closed her eyes, she would still hear Teal’c’s voice in her head, telling her that beings should not be subservient to other beings. He would tell her that the Jaffa and Peacekeepers deserved the right to be free, to live beyond the shadow of their gods or their duty.

His words terrified her because there was a part of her that believed him. There was a part of her that was starting to understand what he was saying. If she gave into that, if she allowed herself to accept him, then she really did lose everything. All she had ever known was being a Peacekeeper.

To have to become something else was more horrific than anything Aeryn Sun had ever faced. And Aeryn did not like being afraid. To get over that fear, she did the only thing she could do. She stuck a bargain to get her life back.

She did finally move when she saw him enter the landing bay. She pretended not to see the look of rage on his face. If she looked beyond him, she would not have to hide the expression on hers. It panicked her for a moment to think that he knew. How could he?

“Did you enjoy your flight, AerynSun?”

If she kept walking, she could avoid this conversation all-together. “It was functional,” she said. She kept her eyes on the door and headed straight for it.

Of course, if she had looked at him then, she would have seen the arm that reached out for her. She could have blocked his grasp or prevented him from slamming her against the wall. She could have stopped him from moving in and pressing her against it, holding her firmly in place with his large form.

“Where were you, AerynSun?”

“I told you,” she said through clenched teeth, still unable to look at him. “I was flying maneuvers.”

He did not say anything for a long moment. She was used to Teal’c’s silences and had learned that he said much when he said nothing. But this one time was different. Again, there was the fear that he knew what she had done. It was a fear that was validated when he said, “Do. Not. Lie.”

His hand pressed on her lower abdomen, holding her in place in a move that confused Aeryn. She wanted to fight and yet, it was strangely arousing as well. “Why would I? I have no cause.”

“You went to him. To them.”

She shivered at that. In a microt, all of her righteous anger and confusion left her. It slipped away with those six words. Teal’c knew. He knew, and she knew it was taking every ounce of control he had not to kill her. Why did he refuse to do it? She probably would never know the answer to that, but what she did know was this, she could not lie to him. She was no coward. “I did. There is a homing device on my prowler. In exchange for you and the others, I get my life back.”

“Fair exchange. Our lives for yours.”

He was inscrutable. Right now, Aeryn had no feel on what he was thinking. He was a blank map fiber and she had no direction. “What would you have me do? I do not belong here!”

“And you believe that you belong there, even after everything you have seen and done? AerynSun, do you honestly believe Crais will welcome you back as a Peacekeeper?” She did not respond, merely looked ahead at the portal and out into space. When he spoke again, his words shocked her. “Take me, then. I will go willingly. You can take the First Prime of Apophis to Crais and I will tell him all he wants to know.”

She looked at him then. Her eyes locked onto his and in a microt, she saw it. He was disappointed, and saddened, because of her. He cared? It was almost too much for her to take and for the first time, she struggled to get free. “Why?” she hissed at him. “Why would you give yourself to the Peacekeepers?”

“To protect Zhaan, Rygel, Chiana, Pilot, and Moya, I would willingly sacrifice myself.”

She did not think. She did nothing but react. With a speed and strength that belied her small frame, she hit the former First Prime and would have dropped him to his knees and escaped had he not been just a touch quicker. In a heartbeat, he had her on the floor and was looming over her.

“I would have sacrificed myself for you as well, AerynSun. I will still do so. I only ask that you look inside yourself and see if this is really what you wish to do. Do you really want to return to the Peacekeepers or take the chance on who you will become once you exercise your free will?”

Her eyes locked on him for a long moment. His face was almost touching hers. She could feel his hot breath on her cheek. She squirmed, but it was not in an attempt to get free. She was suddenly uncomfortable in places she was not accustomed to having such sensations. “I do not know,” she whispered, and it was the first truly honest answer she had given him, or herself, in a very long time.

*-*-*

Teal’c had just settled in for his Kel’nor’eem when he heard the faint knock at the entrance to his quarters. Honestly, he was surprised that she had come so soon, although it was rather typical for her to make a decision quickly. “You may enter,” he said softly, not moving from his seated position.

He did sense her hesitation as she moved into the room and sat across from him. They had done this before. She had wondered into here before and sought his counsel on many a night. This night would be no different.

“I ejected the homing device into space, and Pilot is going to have Moya starburst toward the Uncharted Territories.”

He nodded only once and said, “Very good.” He had closed his eyes so that he could focus, and although he could not see her, he knew she was uncomfortable with his curt reaction.

“That is it?” she asked, the anger rising in her voice. “I, once again, throw away the life I know and to which I am accustomed, and all you can say is ‘Very good’.”

“What do you wish me to say, AerynSun?” He finally opened his eyes to look at her. He knew she was afraid. He knew how desperately she wanted to conceal that fact. He knew, even now, she was at war with the decision she made. Bra’tac had often told him that there were times he was too difficult on his pupils. It was true that in many ways she was already an equal, but in others, she would look to him for guidance. Again, that was something she would never admit. For once, though, he took Master Bra’tac’s words to heart. “I am pleased that you have decided to stay with us. I admire the courage that runs through your veins. It is a new and strange path you have chose, AerynSun, and I will admit that I am honored to have you among us.”

He kept his eyes on her as she absorbed everything he said. He did not say much, so when he spoke in more than a sentence, he knew it caught her off guard. It was good for her, though. Aeryn needed to experience as much as possible to make up for everything that had been denied her.

“You are honored?” she queried.

He gave her a small smile. He was honored, and he was extremely glad that she had decided to stay. There was a long haul ahead for her. She would be tempted again to return to her people, and Teal’c knew that each time her decision would be more difficult. Eventually, she would let go of her life as a Peacekeeper and come to view this life, her life on Moya, as where she belonged.

Until that time, he would be here for her. It was a solemn vow he made to himself. She would not have to face it alone.

She would never be alone again.

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