The words of Vala Mal Doran echoed in Teal’c thoughts, long after she had ceased her persistent questioning of his experience in the alternate timeline. It was true that he did not wish to unduly alter events by his knowledge of it. The Colonel Carter of that time had been most specific when instructing him and the Colonel Carter of this time had also reiterated that it was best not to know. Teal’c agreed with both Carters, however, it was specifically Vala Mal Doran that caused him to reconsider his opinion on the subject.
After much deliberation Teal’c made the decision to interfere. It was not done lightly. The main event he wished to change was something he could not understand solely with the information gained from his many years lived on the Odyssey, but with his observations of his own team since his return. He did so closely for many months until he came to the conclusion that his desire to interfere would cause no undue harm, but might, in fact, cause good, should his team members make their own decisions wisely.
With that end in view Teal’c approached the office of Daniel Jackson and when bid to enter, closed the door behind him.
“This must be serious,” said Daniel, raising his eyebrows. “What’s the matter, Teal’c?”
“I do not believe there is anything the matter, Daniel Jackson,” said Teal’c, “however, I wish to address you on a matter of some delicacy.”
“Okay,” said Daniel, clearly confused.
Teal’c straightened, if such a thing was possible considering his normal admirable posture, and addressed the man before him with a blunt respect.
“We have been team members and friends for many years now. It has been my honor to fight alongside you in our war against the Goa’uld, the Replicators, the Ori, and many other foes. I am grateful for the numerous times you assisted me, showing your friendship and forgiveness, despite the wrongs I committed against you on the day we met and on the day Sha’re died.” Daniel started to squirm and opened his mouth to speak, but Teal’c held up his hand. “I do not wish to repeat the many words already spoken about those events and I know there can be no true reparation. I do not doubt the bond between us, yet I wish to share with you some knowledge that may help to bring you happiness if you so choose. To that end, I have decided to tell you something from my experience living on board the Odyssey.”
“Uh, are you sure that’s wise?” asked Daniel, who looked almost frightened.
“I have deliberated on the matter for many months,” said Teal’c. “I do not foresee any risk along the lines that Colonel Carter has warned us of. I will not attempt to influence in any way the means, if any, you choose to use my words.”
“Um, okay, well, then, I guess, hit me,” said Daniel, folding his arms around himself.
Teal’c wondered now how to deliver the words without making it seem like he was influencing the outcome. He truly had no desire to do so. In the end there was only the option of simply saying what he had come to say.
“It is my opinion, Daniel Jackson, that it would be safe to entrust your heart to Vala Mal Doran.”
Daniel Jackson stared at him, stunned. Teal’c had to admit to some amusement at the look on his friend’s face. When Teal’c said nothing further, Daniel spoke.
“That’s it?” Daniel asked, gesturing widely. “You’re not going to expand on that, at all? You’re just going to drop something like that on me and expect me to make some kind of informed decision about something as crazy as a relationship with Vala!”
“It is all I can offer you,” said Teal’c. “As I said before, this was not meant to make you take one action or another, but to let you know something I think you needed to know in order to make a decision. My opinion is based on both timelines I have experienced.”
Daniel said down, his eyes wide.
“Teal’c, I never considered the real possibility of anything happening with Vala. She’s so…Vala.”
“She is indeed an interesting woman,” said Teal’c, his lips twitching.
“I’m just a game to her,” said Daniel, more to himself than to Teal’c, so he did not respond. “I have to be.”
“I am sorry if this causes you distress,” said Teal’c. “That was not my intent, but I understand it will be difficult to process.”
“Only a whole lot,” said Daniel. He looked up and forced a smile on his face. “Don’t worry, Teal’c, I think I…I know why you of all people wanted to give me a choice. Thank you.”
The clear sincerity shining from Daniel Jackson’s face amazed Teal’c as it always did.
He inclined his head and made his departure, leaving Daniel Jackson’s advanced mind clearly thinking very hard about what he had just heard. Teal’c did not doubt that eventually he would come to the same conclusion Teal’c had.
However, he had a bigger plan in mind in order to make his decision to tell Daniel Jackson a worthy one. It did not feel fair to his sense of justice that Daniel Jackson be the only one to whom he shared knowledge, even though that was his primary goal. With that end in mind, at the end of their next debriefing he asked General Landry if he might speak.
He stood and faced his team members after the General acquiesced to his request.
“I have recently decided to relent on my reluctance to speak about the alternate timeline I experienced. Therefore, I will tell each of you one thing regarding yourselves about that time.”
Teal’c ignored Daniel Jackson’s suddenly alarmed and panicked face.
“Ooh, me,” said Vala, her hand shooting up. “Do me first!”
“Teal’c, no,” said Sam. “That’s not a good idea.”
“Vala Mal Doran,” said Teal’c, nodding to Colonel Carter and inwardly enjoying Daniel Jackson’s visible terror, “I believe roller skating would be a hobby you would enjoy.”
Vala Mal Doran sat back, slightly deflated, and Daniel Jackson looked like he’d just recovered from a heart attack. He shot Teal’c a glare and Teal’c looked back smugly.
“That’s not anything important,” protested Vala. “Where’s the juicy stuff, Muscles?”
Colonel Carter rolled her eyes and subsided from making any further protests.
“Colonel Carter,” said Teal’c, “I recommend that you take the time to learn the instrument known as the cello.”
She looked startled but smiled at him graciously.
“Thank you, Teal’c,” Sam said.
Teal’c turned to Colonel Mitchell.
“Colonel Mitchell, it will take approximately five years of consistent practice for your grip to become correct on the staff weapon.”
“Hey, mine’s less fun than theirs,” said Cameron, but his tone indicated his acceptance of the actual encouragement Teal’c meant to communicate.
“General Landry,” said Teal’c. “The Kentia Palm would be a most beneficial plant to add to your collection.”
General Landry looked puzzled for a second.
“I’ll take it under advisement,” he said, his face showing his amusement at the whole affair.
Teal’c inclined his head to them all.
“Thank you for your time,” he said.
“What about Daniel?” asked Vala, pointing to the man who had hastily gotten up and was already halfway to the door.
Daniel Jackson froze and slowly turned to face everyone, his face red.
“I have nothing to say about Daniel Jackson,” said Teal’c, curious if she would let the matter go but confident that she would not.
“I’m good with that,” said Daniel, turning to leave again.
“That’s not fair,” said Vala, “he can’t be the only one without a bonafide Jaffa fortune.”
“Honestly, it’s fine,” said Daniel. “Just leave it, Vala.”
“I think she’s right,” said Sam, leaning forward and studying Daniel’s face too closely.
It would appear she had caught on to Teal’c’s ruse and he brought out his fall back plan.
“Daniel Jackson,” said Teal’c. Daniel Jackson stiffened and faced Teal’c resolutely. “It will take you approximately fifty years to understand five percent of the Asgard database. I advise dividing the work.”
“Good advice,” said Daniel. “Makes sense. I’ll go do that. Right now.”
He bolted out of the door, leaving everyone staring after him.
“There’s something screwy about that man,” said Vala. She smiled cheekily. “It’s so intriguing.”
“Yes, very,” said Sam, looking from Vala Mal Doran to Teal’c and smiling before shaking her head and getting up to follow Daniel Jackson.
Colonel Mitchell got up to follow her, winking at Teal’c as he left.
“Nice work,” said General Landry, before going into his office.
At which point Teal’c wondered if Daniel Jackson and Vala Mal Doran were the only two who did not understand the potential of their interaction and, apparently, it did not take a trip to the future to see it.
“Come on,” said Vala, getting up and grabbing Teal’c arm. “Let’s go and make Daniel embarrassed some more.”