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Summary: "I was under the impression that those who serve in the Stargate Program do not have children," Teyla says slowly. Post-series for both shows. Teyla and the rest of her team learn about how Stargate Command is a family.

Categories: Crossovers > General
Characters: Cameron Mitchell, Daniel Jackson, Jack O'Neill, John Sheppard, Richard Woolsey, Ronon Dex, Samantha Carter, Teal'c, Teyla Emmagan, Vala Mal Doran
Genres: Character Study, Friendship, Team
Warnings: None
Chapters: 1 [Table of Contents]
Series: None

Word count: 1913; Completed: Yes
Updated: 15 May 2010; Published: 14 May 2010

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Jack blinks at the small, dark-haired, dusky-skinned toddler seated across the conference table in his mother's lap. Torren grins at him, and Jack crosses his eyes and sticks out his tongue to make the little boy giggle. Ha! Still got the touch.

"Mr. Woolsey, are children often in attendance at your weekly staff meetings?" Hank asks, his tone only mildly sarcastic despite his beetled brows. If it had been an Airman or Marine who'd brought her child, there'd probably be a lot more yelling, but Hank knows how to be politic when dealing with an Earth ally like Teyla Emmagan.

Woolsey clears his throat, not embarrassed exactly, but Jack has to figure the Atlantis personnel were all hoping--vainly--that their guests from the SGC would turn a blind eye to the child currently gumming the corner of his mother's briefing booklet. "Not usually, no," Woolsey replies. "However, Teyla's baby-sitter came down with the flu this morning, and as I plan for this to be a quick, informal meeting, I told her to just bring Torren along."

"Yes, General," says Teyla, giving Hank a pleasant smile--what Jack would've called a 'we're peaceful explorers, so stop pointing weapons at us already' smile had he seen it on his own face in the mirror. "My partner, Kanaan, is due to return soon from an off-world trading mission, and Mr. Woolsey kindly suggested I bring Torren with me so we could meet Kanaan at the gate. I promise, my son will not disturb the meeting."

"Hey, don't sweat it," Jack tells her breezily, before Hank can give a bland, diplomatic answer that still managed to convey his annoyance. "We might not have kids at the SGC twenty-four/seven, but we've made friends with our fair share over the years." Skaara and the other Abydonian boys. Cassie and Rya'c. The other Charlie. Merrin and the other Urrone kids. Ally with her Super Soaker. Shifu and everything he represented. The girls of the Hak'tyl. Orlin, that second time. And, oh yeah--his teenaged clone. "We like kids, don't we, guys?" He looks around at his former team.

Sam, seated on Teyla's right, and who actually met Torren only hours after his birth, looks up from where she's retying the laces of Torren's little shoes. "Oh, sure," she chimes in. "We love kids. I mean--" Her smile turns complicated, a note of sorrow in her voice as she adds, "There's no paperwork that says we're family, and Cassie is turning twenty-three anyway, but yeah, Janet made sure I was always involved in raising her. And now that she's gone, I'm the closest thing Cassie has left to a mother."

"Of course, we're all responsible for Cassie," Daniel reminds her, and the two of them share a warm look. Teal'c nods once, an acknowledgment. Jack doesn't feel like he needs to say a thing, because, well--he doesn't.

Teyla looks at them curiously. "I was under the impression that those who serve in the Stargate Program do not have children," she says slowly, glancing over at Sheppard, who is probably the genius who tried to explain the program to Teyla in the first place. The colonel scratches the back of his neck, like he's not quite sure how to answer.

"Well, I guess it's different for the SGC," Sheppard says, a bit tentatively. "When we came to Atlantis, there was a good chance it'd be a one-way trip. Elizabeth told me that she didn't get any volunteers for the mission who had kids--and I doubt she would have selected them anyway."

"Yes, I remember going through the names with her," says Daniel, jumping in. "The SGC, on the other hand, has many personnel, civilian and military, who have families they go home to after every mission. It's no different than you coming home to Kanaan and Torren." He directs this last to Teyla.

"I see," she replies, sounding thoughtful. "And do your families know about the Ring--the Stargate? I was surprised," and here she sounds more sceptical than surprised, but that's probably due to time and distance, "when Elizabeth told me that most people on your world do not know about the Stargate."

"My father knew," says Sam. "But then he was joined with a Tok'ra symbiote. And obviously Cassie knows--she's an alien herself. We brought her to Earth when she was just eleven years old, when her entire planet was massacred by the Goa'uld."

"My ex-wife knows," says Jack, because he'd thrown an unholy fit and had refused to lie to Sara about the perfect copy of their dead son being an alien. In the end, Hammond had pulled strings to get Sara clearance, his eyes too full of sympathy for Jack to bear.

"My wife knew," says Daniel. "But she was from another planet anyway--Abydos. We lived there together for over a year, before she was taken." He pauses for a moment to let old sorrows pass. "My grandfather knows, too. He's spent the last ten years stationed off-world, doing a cultural exchange. And my stepson is an ascended being, so he knows..." Daniel gives a philosophical shrug. "Quite a lot, actually."

"My daughter knows," says Hank. "But then she works for me. She's the chief medical officer at the SGC." Dr. Keller, who has been following the exchange around the table with big eyes, nods a confirmation at this bit of information.

Teal'c and Vala don't bother answering--for obvious reasons. They simply stare at the last member of SG-1, eyebrows raised expectantly. Mitchell holds up his hands in front of his chest.

"Hey, I haven't told my parents a damn thing," he says defensively. "No security clearance, remember?" But then he smirks. "Of course, last I heard, the SGC's trying to recruit my kid cousins. Bet you it won't be long before the place is overrun by a passel of Mitchells."

"Scary thought," Sheppard quips, grinning at him.

"And you have a son who is... ascended?" Teyla asks Daniel, having caught the mention. It sounds like news to her, which is a surprise for Jack. He would have assumed Sheppard shared every scrap of information related to Ancients and ascension with his allies, especially considering how the Pegasus humans generally feel about their Ancestors.

"Shifu is the son of my wife, Sha're," Daniel says quietly, "and he is the son of my heart, though I'm not the biological father. I gave him up to be raised by an ascended Ancient named Oma Desala, since she had the power to prevent the genetic memories of his Goa'uld father from overwhelming him."

"My daughter is also an ascended being," Vala bursts out suddenly, as though the words had been torn from her. Teyla and the rest of her team look at her with varying levels of sympathy and discomfort, and Jack knows that this story, at least, has been passed around Atlantis. "Not quite so benevolent though," she adds, summoning a brilliant and artificial smile. "Thankfully, she's too occupied with Morgan le Fay to bother with us lower beings for the next, oh, let's say--infinity."

Jack blames the white-knuckled grip Vala has on the arms of her chair, so much like the guilt and horror and tearing grief he'd felt when Charlie died, because the next thing he knows, he's opening his mouth and words are tumbling out.

"I had a son."

A silence falls in the room, except for Torren's baby prattling. He focuses on that happy little face. They are painfully off-topic at this point, and Jack could pretty much kick himself in the ass, if his knees could bend that far, for starting this whole mess. He can't even blame Woolsey, though the man's shifting awkwardly in his chair, staring down at his briefing booklet like it's the most fascinating thing in the room.

Well, Jack might as well finish this. It's not like he can't talk about it. "His name was Charlie," he says, every word an effort to get past his lips. "But he died... a long time ago. It's pretty much why I agreed to lead that first mission through the Stargate." He looks up and meets Daniel's gaze. "Anyway." He coughs, taking a steadying breath. "Hey--Teal'c has a son, too. Rya'c. Great kid--warrior." He turns to Teal'c, and his brother bows, accepting the compliment, the simple and elegant gesture drawing the eyes of everyone in the room to him, away from Jack, away from Vala.

Good man, Teal'c.

"My son is indeed a mighty warrior," he informs the room, though his proud smile, hovering at the corners of his mouth, is directed more at Teyla and the child she holds in her arms. "My decision to rebel against the Goa'uld and join the SGC meant that I was often separated from him. But his mother was a strong and wise woman who taught him well, and Rya'c has grown into a man who does her memory great honour."

"That must bring you comfort," says Teyla, and this time her smile is open and sincere. She smoothes one hand over Torren's hair. "Does he live with you now that your war with the Goa'uld is over?"

Teal'c shakes his head. "He is married, and lives on another world with his wife's people, the Hak'tyl."

"Boy, that was one craaaazy wedding," Sam mutters under her breath, and Jack snorts, able to laugh about it now, almost nostalgic for the insanity of kids and goats and horses stampeding around the SGC for over a week. Washington is so. damn. boring.

"How are the lovebirds, anyway?" he asks. It's been a while since he last saw Rya'c.

Teal'c turns to Jack, his smile broad and brimming with satisfaction. "Kar'yn is expecting a child in three months' time," he says, simply, and suddenly everyone is talking, Sam's eyes wide and delighted, Vala clapping her hands in excitement. Daniel and Mitchell exchange huge grins.

"Ya could have told me sooner, T," Jack grumbles, but he grabs the other man in a bear hug. "Congrats, man." He steps back so Hank can shake Teal'c's hand.

Ronon leans over McKay to clap Teal'c on the shoulder, hard enough that a lesser man would have fallen over. "Hey, congratulations, old man," Ronon grins. "We'll have to drink some of that whisky later to celebrate."

With her son in the crook of one arm and a heartfelt smile on her lips, Teyla comes up to Teal'c and places her free hand on his shoulder. "I offer my congratulations as well, Teal'c," she says, warmth in her eyes and in her voice. "May the Ancestors bless your grandchild with peace and prosperity and many years of joy."

"And may the Ancients who guide my path and yours--" says Teal'c, and it's true, Jack realises, the Jaffa claimed Dakara for a reason, the Ancients belong to the Jaffa as well as to the people of Pegasus. "--bring strength and wisdom to your son, and to those who would raise him to manhood and teach him the ways of your people."

Teal'c bows, at once regal and humble, and Teyla bows as well, their foreheads touching gently, a gesture of friendship and of mutual respect between two warriors so much alike--alike in experience and understanding, alike in hope and faith. Their words are the words of parents, a solemn oath to give their children a future worth having, a future without war and bloodshed. A future free of tyranny.

"Indeed," says Jack, and gives Torren his finger to chew on.