River of Stars Ch 6 bit – masters and students

“Shangri-La saved you, when it could have killed you,” Hakkai went on. “And the fact that it saved you – that it has the kind of people in it who could save you, who would want to… you love this world.” A breath. “And you were hoping they’d love it too.”

“I….” He didn’t know how to tell Hakkai he was wrong, but he had to be. There was no way he’d care enough about these SGC idiots to want-

“After all, they’re where you came from. And it’s hard to give up what you were.” A rueful, sad smile. “Believe me, I know.”

“Hakkai,” Sanzo said quietly.

“I am youkai. Just as you are Sanzo. But inside, we still carry our ghosts. And sometimes, they cry out.” A gentle shrug. “You wanted them to see this world was beautiful. That it was worth fighting for. And all they see is another planet, another mission. An insane planet. Not a refuge. Not home; not someplace that could ever be home. And it hurts.”

One breath. Two. Throttle back the anger; it was pain, not reason, driving him. Own it. Acknowledge it. “Sometimes, I really want to punch you,” Sanzo said bluntly. Looked away. “You’re right.” Hold the cup. Don’t break it. “I can’t do my job if I’m locked in my own head. I… appreciate that.”

“Sometimes I want to punch you, too, Sanzo,” came the healer’s frank admission. “But then I’d have to heal you, and what would be the use of that?”

“No,” Sanzo bit out. “If you ever have to give me a black eye, you can leave it.” He tilted his head, :listening.: “Heads up.” Not that Hakkai wouldn’t have caught the scent of a Jaffa with larva, but what the hell.

“Sanzo.” The Jaffa inclined his head politely. “Cho Hakkai.”

“A quiet watch?” the healer inquired.

“Indeed.” Teal’c frowned slightly. “I have considered our mutual difficulties.”

“Really?” Hakkai smiled.

“As have you,” the Jaffa said matter-of-factly. “The SGC plans to destroy the System Lords. It is fitting; they are false gods, and I have renounced my loyalty to them. Yet Kanzeon Bosatsu has always been spoken of as one who has held to her word, when she could easily have betrayed any number of her fellow Goa’uld and sheltered under the Asgard treaty. Her people here appear content. They fear the youkai, but not their gods. If Kanzeon has also provided her people with protectors such as yourselves, then she is honorable, and perhaps worthy of an alliance with the SGC.” He eyed Sanzo. “She is most certainly worthy of respect.”

“I’m surprised,” Sanzo said neutrally. Teal’c :felt: honest, but he could almost hear the other shoe waiting to drop.

“Had I thought on this difficulty in more detail, I would have asked General Hammond to consider assigning SG-8 to this mission instead,” Teal’c stated. “The general would likely still have sent O’Neill, but we might also have been assigned one of their members. A trained diplomat, rather than those who have been forcibly taken as hosts, or have ties to the Tok’ra, or have been… abused… by Goa’uld Queens.”

:Daniel Jackson,: was the clear flavor of that last. “Damn,” Sanzo swore.

“Indeed,” Teal’c agreed with heavy irony. “You have presented yourself as the servant of a just and noble goddess, beset by forces her vowed word prevents her from destroying utterly. They do not believe you.”

“But you do,” Hakkai said thoughtfully.

“Before I was First Prime of Apophis, I was a student of Master Bra’tac.” Brown met violet, level and unwavering. “His apprentice.”

“I doubt the SGC would say Master Bra’tac messed with your head,” Sanzo said dryly.

“He did not. Not as Koumyou did. But a master always shapes his student’s thoughts – though the best masters further teach one to think freely. The Tau’ri have a similar phenomenon. I believe it is called ‘boot camp’.”

“Er…” Hakkai looked lost.

“Introductory military training,” Sanzo filled in. “Ask Gojyo.”

“Ah. Yes.”

“If Koumyou Sanzo was your master,” Teal’c went on, “it was his duty to instruct you in the skills needed to survive. In any fashion necessary. The master teaches; the student learns. And, if he is wise, survives.” The Jaffa bowed, equal to equal. “That you have succeeded thus far, is clear evidence that Koumyou Sanzo was, in truth, a master. I would have been honored to meet him. And I am certain he and Master Bra’tac would have had much to discuss.”

“I don’t know,” Sanzo shrugged. “Did Master Bra’tac make paper airplanes?”

Humor glinted in Teal’c’s gaze. “I will suggest the practice, when next we meet.”


17 thoughts on “River of Stars Ch 6 bit – masters and students

  1. 1. The Fanalis will LOVE Teal’c. Even if he does smell funny.

    2. Sanzo wants to inform you that he WAS NOT using those feels for his master and is totally not sniffling somewhere deep, deeeep inside. And if you ever say different, he’ll shoot you.

    3. Koumyou + Master Bra’tac together would be far too much awesome, even with Koumyou’s brilliant idiot mannerisms. (Kanzeon would be humming and tormenting them just because they could take it. I’d be almost as good as her favorite idiots.)

    4. Sanzo already said his inner acolyte who still desperately misses his master isn’t crying, damnit.


    1. Right. Definitely not crying. *Ducks bullets.*

      (In chapter 8, you’ll see that Sanzo has a lot more history with Koumyou than he currently remembers… and there are good reasons the wound cuts so deep.)

      And I have to admit I can’t think about Bra’tac without remembering that scene where they’re trying to take out a ha’tak from the inside, and Bra’tac is outlining how they’ll have to fight their way down all these levels to take out the reactor….

      Jack: Primes grenade. Drops it down the shaft.

      ….My bunnies still giggle over that one. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Good Sanzo and Hakkai – dealing with uncomfortable truths is never easy, both for the person saying it and the person hearing it.

    Teal’c raised some very good points. It’s so easy for people to forget that he’s not just muscle. On one hand, that probably does get annoying. But on the other hand, it can be useful to be underestimated.

    Dealing with those points and Hakkai’s is probably going to be some of the least comfortable talking sessions that either group has ever had to deal with. Because talking about past painful stuff is never easy. And trying to explain needed culture and history stuff so that Earth humans understand it in-between the assassination attempts . . .


    1. I, um, have to admit I almost feel sorry for what happens to Jack at the end of this chapter. Almost. Painful truths spoken, indeed.

      …Think I’ll be posting the whole thing on AO3 in a few days. It is a whoof.

      (And probably has a lot to do with this image I have of Hammond signing Sanzo up as an SGC chaplain. Whether he likes it or not.)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I do see him actually being awesome at it. Hating that he’s so good at it, but being an acual stabilizing force to the SGC. (Also, after Sanzo in a bad mood- or worse HAKKAI- what’s this “scary” thing? Like on a scale of “out of cigarettes” to “out of booze, cigs, tea, and a week long mission without sleep” most things come out “meh.”)


  3. The Sanzo Party TALK about FEEELINGS? What wichery is this? There will be barely tolerated poking at soft spots so the other knows of the existence of said soft spots, then massive amounts of repression and displaced violence for their next assassins while the others offer encouragement by letting Sanzo kill more things than usual- because he’s the most stressed.

    All while SG1 looks on and begins to find the edges and bits of sky on the puzzle that is Sanzo and Shangri-La. And if they accidentally sort-of-on-purpose hit one on Sanzo’s… well, it’s the empaths that can hurt you the worst.

    (Well adjusted is… not what Sanzo and the Idiots are about. Balls of hurt/rage/depression that sit in your stomach constantly and are used to fuel you with shear wrathful SPITE when anyone else would either die or give up utterly and allow you to save yourself/the pack, yes. Well adjusted, socialized, and “sane”… not so much.)


    1. *Halo* Ah, but recall who is talking about feelings.

      AKA, Hakkai: “Sanzo, these poor benighted idiots have just insulted your kind and generous attempt to share our wonderfully deadly world with them properly. I will, of course, have to do something about that.”


      Liked by 3 people

      1. I am reminded that in a Manga Bonus the boys enter a Strongest Man contest with Sanzo vs Hakkai as the final two. Then they look at each other and simultaneously forefit.

        …Just saying. Those two are about equally horrifying in very different ways. And, worse, they KNOW IT.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Meguimuse: Of course, there’s a very, very good reason they forfeit. They asked what the prize was.

        *snrks at the memory of reading that*

        Liked by 2 people

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