Teal’c sat in front of the television set and again tried to understand the culture that he now was immersed in. It seemed almost always on the verge of collapse, The Tau’ri did not really need the Goua’ld to come and destroy them, they looked perfectly capable from the news reports and the even more frivolous fare of Jerry Springer and such, to be quite bent on destroying themselves. There was no order…..and there also seemed to be little concept of honor. His secret heart longed for the peace of Chulak, where although indeed his people were enslaved and often Jaffa had to fight and kill other Jaffa, they did not usually do it on what looked to him as mere whims. He sighed here in the privacy of his own quarters in Cheyenne Mountain and wondered if this planet, outside the shelter of the SGC, would ever feel like HOME to him.
There was a quite knock at the door. Teal’c turned off the television and opened it to find the youngest of SG-1 Daniel Jackson at the entrance. He bowed, turned to allow Daniel in, and the young scholar was attuned to his nature well enough to take the invitation offered and walk into his room. This eased his soul; there were at least some on this planet that did not have to be told to understand the intentions behind these subtle gestures he made. He closed the door and turned, “DanielJackson, is there something I might aid you with at this time?”
“Actually Teal’c, “ the young Tau’ri said, “I think there might be a way in which I might aid you.” The scholar turned around looking at how Teal’c had fashioned his quarters and focused on the Television in the corner. “You have looked a bit weary lately and since I know you well enough to know you would sleep when you needed it I though it…..might not be a weariness of the body.”
“I do not understand.” Teal’c said, he did not yet want to expose his private pain to his teammate, he needed to remain strong to go the Stargate and fight for HIS people as well as the Tau’ri.
Daniel turned and pushed his glasses back up to his eyes where they had slipped down his nose. “I remember…….when I was on Abydos that year. Even though the culture was like living history to me and I love Shau’re so much sometimes.” Daniel lifted his eyes to pierce Teal’c with that cerulean gaze that could sometimes reach into another’s soul, “Sometimes the would do something, or I would, that caused confusion and I would just want to go back to a planet where I was more sure of the ……rules of a culture.” He shrugged, “It would make me tired and I wondered if it might not be the same with you at times.”
Teal’c bowed to acknowledge his young friends wisdom, “The Tau’ri do confuse me greatly at times, DanielJackson.” He allowed.
Daniel smiled and nodded, “But…..” he turned to look towards the television, “You are trying to understand just what you see on that…….isn’t that right?”
“Well, that thing usually only shows what a culture, more specifically the American culture, is NOW. There ARE other ways to understand this planet, a different culture perhaps, one closer to how the Jaffa live.”
“Is there such a culture, DanielJackson.” Teal’c hid his excitement, but if there was a way he could understand these so confusing people, perhaps he would not always long for Chulak and his people.
“Well, I’ve been thinking about it, and I think there IS a culture you might understand better. Or there WAS and it’s……spirit still lives on in the country where they lived. They were known as the Samurai…..and the WORD Samurai means ‘to serve’, but unlike the Jaffa their service was not coerced, they believed it was an honor. And they believed in honor above everything.” Daniel smiled slightly, “I brought a couple of things where you might start to understand.”
Out from under the BDU jacket that Daniel often wore to stay warm in the cold concrete halls of the SGC he pulled two things and handed them to Teal’c. One was a movie….it was called “The Last Samurai” the other seemed to be a comic book of sorts. Teal’c had sometimes seen some members of the SGC reading such things but he did not understand why DanielJackson, who he has sometimes seen take such things away from the younger members of his staff, would hand such a thing to him. The ‘comic’ was too confusing a gesture for now so he studied the DVD instead. “I do not understand how this could aid me, DanielJackson.” He said.
Daniel just smiled slightly and said, “Why don’t we watch and find out?” and since Teal’c had often found DanielJackson’s advice to be sound he did not protest the younger man putting the DVD into the player that had been provided to him when he had requested it.
Teal’c sank down onto the pillows that he usually used to sit on in his quarters and watched. It did not take long for him to see why his young friend had brought this movie to him. The main character was a man of America……..long ago but he recognized the tendencies from the more modern American he saw on the ‘talk shows’ he watched. Then he saw how the American was placed into the ‘alien’ culture of the Japanese……..much as he had placed himself among the Tau’ri. He felt kinship with the man
Then when the army ‘captain’ started to talk about the Samurai that were holding him as a benevolently treated prisoner, he started to understand more. These Samurai sought everyday to perfect themselves for war……much as he had done under master Bra’tac in his youth. But when he saw one of the Samurai kneeling before a cauldron of hot water, he tilted his head, “What is this, DanielJackson?”
Daniel paused the movie immediately, as if he had been waiting for that response. “The Samurai believed to be perfect in the arts of war, one should also be perfect in the arts of piece. That Samurai is performing what the West clumsily refers to as a Tea Ceremony but what is more correctly called chato or ‘The way of Tea’. It’s considered a form of meditation where someone clears their mind of everything but the particular technique or damea most appropriate for the situation in which they are doing it. There are many variations and it requires much skill to even be a ‘guest’. They say it takes a long time to master because as with all the Japanese arts you have to practice and train so much that you not only do it correctly but in a way that looks as effortless as taking your next breath.” Daniel ducked his head, “I know that is a long explanation for something that seems so simple but that is the way Japanese culture is.”
Teal’c nodded, “Let us continue.” He said and he continued to watch the movie to it’s end, where the American had finally become Samurai of his own choice, and knelt before a man he did not truly believe to be a God on Earth. And he offered the sword of his friend and with it his life, not coerced in any way, but for his friend and for honor. And THIS he could understand………the Samurai were what Jaffa COULD be without the whims of the False Gods.
As the end credits played his eyes turned to the ‘comic book’ that his friend had also brought. “This is also about the Samurai.”
Daniel picked up the book and looked thoughtfully at the cover which was on what he had usually saw at the ‘back’ of the book…..at least in this country. “Kind of. Kenshin Himura is called ‘Battosai’ or manslayer by others and ‘Ruroni’ a wanderer by himself……but I believe you will see he could also be called just as much ‘shol’va’.” Daniel placed the book in his hands. “And because it’s a comic book, Jack won’t be thinking I’ve been ‘lecturing’ you and try to distract you. He’ll even think you are ‘having fun’ for a change.”
They shared a look of complete understanding, O’Neill took the concept of ‘having fun’ very seriously. Teal’s bowed slightly, “I thank you, DanielJackson, for your gifts.” Meaning far more than the two items Daniel had brought.
Daniel moved around until he was in the ‘proper’ kneeling position Teal’c had seen in the movie and bowed, “It is the pleasure of this one to help a valuable friend.” He said formally. Then he got to his feet and said more causally. “I hope this helps Teal’c…….we really like having you around.”
Teal’c bowed his head in acknowledgement of this and the young scholar left so that the Jaffa could finally start on his pathway to understanding the people of the “First world”. And for a while at least, his longing for Chulak almost disappeared, and he was at peace.
|Genres:||Challenge, Character Study, Friendship, Vignette|
|Summary:||Daniel leads Teal'c to a new way of understanding the Tau'ri.|
Author's Chapter Notes:
Written for Tejas wonderful prompt of "homesick Teal'c" for the first Fic Call.