I own nothing - just a drabble about Jack and Teal'c
There are no dragons here
It was story hour at the local library and Jack was trying to avoid the herd of knee high sprites that tore through the stacks in the quest to find the best of piece of carpet. He paused for a moment to let the wave pass by him before making his way to the cook book section. For his birthday, the team had given him a home brewing kit, but had forgotten the recipes, and Jack figured the best way to get his hands on some was to make photocopies of library books.
He stood there with the Idiots Guide to Beer Brewing in one hand and Home Brewing for Dummies in the other as the din of tiny voices washed over him. The snatches of overheard conversations about cartoons, icky boys, and gross girls were amusing and familiar, and Jack missed it. Whenever he had been home, it was his job to take Charlie to the local story hour, followed by ice cream and conversations that proved there are very few adults smarter than the wisdom of a child. It took him longer than he cared to admit, but somewhere along the way he had learned to stop avoiding groups of children and now found their sound to be a salve for the soul.
With both books tucked under his arm, Jack made his way to the checkout counter but a voice rising above the din stopped him in his tracks. The voice was low and modulated, and telling the story of handsome prince versus a horrible dragon. Jack stood in the doorway and watched how the dozen or so kids listened with rapt attention. Some were spread out on the brightly colored rug, others tucked into balls with their chins resting on their knees, and still others wrapped around the legs of the storyteller.
The storyteller held no book, but the plot followed a similar vein to the fairytales of Jack's youth with just a few twists. A dragon, large and fearsome, was terrorizing a small village and the villagers were fearful they would have to sacrifice one of their own to save them all. But then a fearsome warrior prince arrived with his band of knights and after many battles – some quite graphic - the heroes defeated the horrible dragon, not only with the might of their swords, but with the might of their brains. The kids shivered in the right places, laughed at the voices of the storyteller made up, and cheered at the victorious end.
"He's good, isn't he?" said a voice from behind Jack. He turned to see one of the librarians standing behind him, arms folded across her chest and eyes focused on the storyteller.
"Yep," agreed Jack. "How long has he been doing this?"
"Just a few weeks. Never tells the same story twice and never from a book, and the kids love him even when the stories get a little dark." The librarian paused, a twinkle in her eyes. "Course the mothers love Murray, too."
"Yeah, that's our Murray. He's quite the ladies' man." Jack resisted the urge to roll his eyes as he watched Teal'c, his fedora pulled low over his forehead, bend low to accept hugs from tiny arms before handing the kids back to their beaming mothers. "Un-freaking-believable," he muttered to himself as he made his way into the children's section just as the last child left.
"Alright, Mr. Rogers, what's the deal here with you scaring little brats with stories of dragons?" Jack rocked back on his heels, already plotting how best to tell the story to Carter and Daniel.
Teal'c turned to look at Jack, inclining his head in greeting before sweeping the remains of the kids' snack time into a trash can. "It is nothing, O'Neill. I was asked to fill in once and have continued to come whenever we are home."
Jack bent down and helped finishing straightening up the room. "I suppose it would be useless to ask how you get here, Mr. Man of Mystery, but need a lift back to the Base?"
"It would be appreciated."
They rode in the truck in comfortable silence for a bit before Jack broke it by saying, "Ya know I'm surprised the library lets you get away with telling such scary fairytales."
"Having read Daniel Jackson's copy of the Grimm Brothers, I am assured that my stories are not outside your norm." Teal'c paused and looked at Jack before continuing in a concerned tone. "I alter the stories so as to not give away information about the Stargate or the truth of battle with the Gao'uld, O'Neill."
"Never doubted you for a second, you just continue to surprise me with your layers."
"On Chulak, stories are used to educate the very young and I find it is true here as well. I missed out on telling them to my own son, so now I tell them to the children at the library," Teal'c told him.
Jack stared out the window as a few stray raindrops hit it. He flipped on the windshield wipers, wincing a bit at the sound they made. He swallowed down the lump that was forming in his throat before softly asking, "So what lessons are you imparting to the youth of Earth?"
"Adults like to pretend that children are unaware of life's dangers, but children know that dragons exist in many forms. I wish to teach them their dragons can be slain and thus, they have no reason to be afraid."
Jack smiled and said, "That sounds like a good lesson." They both watched the steady pattern of rain on the windshield followed by the rhythmic thump of the wipers. "So you base the brave handsome prince on anyone I know?"
"Was it me?"
Fairy Tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten. - G. K. Chesterton