Teal’c and the Mountain
A/N: Disclaimer, spoilers, notes on the minor AU issues, and relevant backstory points (from the first story in the series) are listed in chapter 1.
Teal’c waited patiently while XanderHarris helped Anise out of the pickup truck. He had seen enough Tau’ri movies to recognize that when the man helped the woman out of the vehicle like that, particularly when she did not need the assistance, it was ‘gallantry’. XanderHarris was courting Anise in some way, even though they had already engaged in strenuous sexual efforts during the night.
This was something he needed to talk to JackO’Neill or DanielJackson about. Tau’ri relationships and sexual customs were most confusing. In some ways, they were far more lax than what he was used to, and yet in some ways they were far more strict and confining. However, he knew enough about Tau’ri sexual customs that he knew not to ask SamanthaCarter unless he wanted her to become very flustered and uncomfortable.
O’Neill would find that most amusing. He might wait until O’Neill was back visiting SamanthaCarter before springing the subject upon them both.
Teal’c watched with interest. He was aware that different levels of Tau’ri ‘dating’ led to different modes of paired walking. Would they walk side by side, or arm in arm, or hand in hand?
Anise wrapped one hand around XanderHarris’s elbow and led him forward. Harris gave her a big smile and let her keep her hand where it was. Therefore, Harris accepted this interpretation of the relationship. Perhaps he was even willing to let Anise define the parameters of the relationship.
Teal’c made an effort not to be detected observing this. In his personal opinion, Anise was too thakh’ta’moor
– too ‘pully’ if he had the idiom correct – for the average American male. Was that too ‘pushy’ or too ‘pully’? He would ask DanielJackson at some later date. The typical American male who was forceful enough to be in the armed forces, or to be a warrior such as XanderHarris, tended to prefer to direct the relationship at his own pace, regardless of the attractiveness of the female. Teal’c had seen much evidence of that within the confines of the SGC. And even DanielJackson preferred to control his relationship with Vala, rather than let the young woman do so. Not that Daniel saw it that way, but Teal’c had seen far more relationships over the decades, and he knew what he saw.
Teal’c strode over to Anise and XanderHarris. He had already decided that a warrior like XanderHarris deserved an appropriate response. And he had also decided that a man who protected hok’tar
like Vi deserved to be treated with respect. Because there was no doubt in his mind that Vi was a hok’tar
, and there was no doubt in his mind that XanderHarris was doing this to protect her. He also suspected that if Xander had one hok’tar
this close at hand, then it was likely he was protecting more than one. How many more? He doubted a warrior like Xander would tell.
He bowed his head slightly. “XanderHarris. If you would accompany me, I will show you how to enter the SGC and deal with the security personnel, of which there are many.”
Xander grinned, “Hey, as long as there aren’t trapdoors that dump you into shark tanks, I’m good.”
Teal’c said, “It would be most inconvenient to accommodate a large tank full of salt-water fish like sharks here.” He waited until XanderHarris smiled. Then he said, “It would be far easier to have a pit full of hungry wolverines.” He managed not to smile when XanderHarris reacted.
DanielJackson intervened. “Actually, you couldn’t have a pit full of wolverines, because they’re a territorial species, and they would fight each other long before the victim got around to falling in it. Then-”
SamanthaCarter stopped him. “Daniel, no one is really going to build a pit trap and put wolverines in it. The wolverines in Colorado? Individual hunters with hunting ranges that go for miles.”
XanderHarris said, “But you could have a pit trap full of rattlesnakes, right?”
SamanthaCarter asked, “Why are we even talking about pit traps? This is the U.S. Air Force, not SPECTRE.”
XanderHarris casually shrugged, “I’ve seen some pretty bizarre booby traps in my day.”
SamanthaCarter insisted, “You won’t find any in here. This is an Air Force base, and we run standard Air Force security.”
“Indeed,” Teal’c reaffirmed SamanthaCarter’s position.
They walked up to the first security post, which was two airmen in uniform, standing with Tau’ri rifles. Teal’c had always been interested in the rifle as a long-distance weapon. The staff weapon was notoriously inaccurate at anything less than close quarters combat, but it didn’t run out of ammunition and it was easy to fire. The rifle could be fired by users of any skill level, but a marksman of O’Neill’s abilities could kill a Jaffa at five or six times the range at which a Jaffa would want to try firing back with a staff weapon. And a sniper of O’Neill’s abilities, with the right weapon and the right ammunition, could fire lethal rounds at distances well over a kilometer. O’Neill had pointed out once, while they were watching a made-for-tv Horatio Hornblower movie, that Jaffa charged in a mass, like soldiers with muskets in the Napoleonic Wars. Accuracy was not as important as main force and overwhelming numbers. There was much to learn from the Tau’ri, but fortunately, the Gou’a’uld could not lower themselves to do so. Having an arrogant and egotistical enemy was far better than having a smart enemy.
The airmen snapped to attention as soon as they saw ColonelCarter. She gave the regulation response, but did not flaunt her authority, as some of the NID officers were wont to do. Teal’c watched as the airmen let his group pass, while maintaining radio contact so that the next checkpoint would be prepared. He was aware that there were also extensive electronic systems for detecting a large number of other types of intrusions.
He watched as XanderHarris glanced around and spotted at least half of the scanners and detection systems. Most interesting. Xander made it appear as if he was looking at Anise, and the security men, while carefully evaluating the electronic security as well. It was just as Teal’c had expected.
He decided to interrupt XanderHarris’ efforts to acquire additional intel about the Cheyenne Mountain security systems. “XanderHarris. You may relax now. We will simply walk through a security checkpoint, obtain a security badge for you and return Anise’s security badge to her, and then pass through yet another security checkpoint. After that, we will move to the elevators and go to a meeting room.”
XanderHarris gave him a raised eyebrow, which no doubt denoted some suspicion and distrust. There was most likely fear and anxiety in there too, because XanderHarris was not a stupid man. Teal’c could still remember the emotions he had masked when he first entered the SGC and met General Hammond.
Then the raised eyebrow and the suspicion were quickly hidden underneath the mask of a clown. XanderHarris grinned, “Hey, are these checkpoints with real checks? Or maybe stripes? Because I got a thing about points that clash with my Hawaiian shirts. Besides, stripes are more slimming.”
Teal’c made sure that he did not even smile. It would not do to laugh out loud and allow XanderHarris to see that he was being successful in his efforts to distract them. This was much like O’Neill, making comments to amuse himself or insult his captors, or perhaps even lessen the anxiety of his fellow prisoners. There were certain comments by O’Neill that – once Teal’c himself understood enough Earth culture to ‘get’ – he was able to make some fellow Jaffa laugh out loud when describing. One particular O’Neill quote sprang to mind, and he had to clench his jaws to keep from smiling.
When they reached the second checkpoint and ColonelCarter went through all the steps to get XanderHarris a visitor’s badge, Teal’c noticed that Xander attempted to introduce levity into the proceedings at multiple points.
Xander glanced his way and carefully said, “Harris. Xander Harris.” in what was a surprisingly good parody of a ‘posh’ British accent.
Teal’c carefully refrained from smiling or snickering. DanielJackson had to hide his laugh with an artificial cough. Teal’c noted as well that ColonelCarter glanced his way to catch his reaction as soon as she saw that Daniel was hiding laughter. He carefully gave her his standard stare that O’Neill had once labeled the We Are Not Amused Stare. DanielJackson had needed to explain about the deceased Queen Victoria of England before Teal’c ‘got’ the joke.
He decided it would be most interesting if XanderHarris became sufficiently involved with Anise that he was a regular visitor to the SGC, so that O’Neill could meet him. It would be most entertaining to watch them make comments at each other, particularly about their jobs and about Anise. He anticipated that XanderHarris would be most protective of Anise, while O’Neill would enjoy teasing Harris on the subject.
And there was always the possibility that regular tal’mik’na
with XanderHarris might make Anise less rigid. He had seen that the amount of ‘sharing’ that a Tok’ra did depended much on the partnership between the human and the symbiote. There were very equal partnerships. There were partnerships where the human seemed to take control more, such as that with JacobCarter. And then there were partnerships such as Anise, where the host seemed to yield to the symbiote so often that it was almost like dealing with a Gou’a’uld. He did not think that he had ever spoken to Freya, or received words from her. And yet, from what XanderHarris had revealed before he was dressed, Freya had been the primary participant for an entire night of activities which Teal’c did not associate with Anise. He found that quite interesting, and he drew several conclusions from it. He did not think that any of them were relevant to the mission of the SGC, so he resolved to keep them private, until such time as they might benefit XanderHarris rather than inconvenience him. If XanderHarris ever came to him for advice in dealing with one of the Tok’ra, then he would consider revealing some of his thoughts on the subject.
Until then, it should be sufficient to let ColonelCarter know that Anise was already taking a proprietary interest in XanderHarris. Teal’c noticed that Anise was very careful to move between Harris and any attractive women who might be in the hallway. This was clearly a waste of effort, given that ColonelCarter was clearly the most attractive woman in the SGC, even when Vala Mal Doran was in residence, and XanderHarris clearly had no interest in the colonel.
Not that Teal’c was in any way biased on the subject.
Still, it was noteworthy that Anise made an effort to distract XanderHarris when JenniferHailey came by to present ColonelCarter with a thick file of some data. Anise was already displaying possessive and jealous behaviors, indicating that at least a part of her was more emotionally involved than Teal’c would have expected after merely one night with too much alcohol. He assumed that he was seeing an interaction between Anise and Freya which he had never seen before. Perhaps he should discuss it in private with Selmak when JacobCarter returned from visiting his grandchildren.
While Vala had a great deal of experience with men and relationships and the Gou’a’uld, he most definitely
was not going to discuss this with her.
A/N: This will be the next-to-last chapter of this story. Right now, I'm not working on any of the possible sequel hooks I placed in "Xander and Yet ANOTHER Demon". I have no idea how long it will be before my muse whaps me upside the head with a plot. Meanwhile, I'm writing other stories.