H is for Hair by Cleo the Muse
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Category: General
Genres: Challenge, Friendship, Vignette
Rated: All Ages
Warnings: None
Series: None
Summary: Part of Fig Newton's "Teal'c Alphabet Soup" compilation; Teal'c contemplates hair.

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Teal'c turned the razor over in his hands, admiring the glint of the fluorescent lighting on the trio of blades. It was a marvelous invention, this razor, being both sharp and flexible. It also had a textured handle which made it easy to grip even with wet fingers, allowing its wielder to shave with little fear the sharp blades might slip.

Such a relatively small example of Tau'ri ingenuity. The Goa'uld didn't believe in using technology to create conveniences, preferring to force a slave to labor for them. A razor such as the Tau'ri used would make it relatively easy for a Goa'uld's personal attendant to shave his "master" without cutting him, but the sadistic Goa'uld had no such razors. Instead, their slaves had to perform the task with a short-bladed knife and risk being flogged if the metal slipped and drew blood.

When he first came to Earth, Teal'c had initially insisted upon using a knife and soap lather to shave his head and face, but then Daniel Jackson had introduced him to the disposable implements favored by the Tau'ri. Along with his first BIC razor, Teal'c had been gifted a can of shaving cream. The loud aerosol spray had surprised him initially, spitting out far more foam than was required and leaving a puddle of white slowly fizzling in the sink. With practice, however, he became more adept at dispensing the lather, more proficient at wielding the single-bladed shaving tool. By the time Ma'chello's body-swapping machine had misplaced O'Neill in his body--and him in O'Neill's--he'd upgraded to shaving gel, a bottle of pleasantly-scented aftershave, and a twin-bladed razor with replaceable heads.

He recalled with a smile how foreign the hair atop O'Neill's head had felt when confined to the Tau'ri's body. Not giving it another thought, he'd moved to bathroom to trim and remove the hair, only to have O'Neill--his consciousness stored in Teal'c's own body--pleading with him to not shave his head.

Shaving his head had been Teal'c's way of declaring his intentions to avenge his father's death at the hands of Cronus, and for nearly a century, he'd dutifully shaved his head to remind himself of his goal. Even after Cronus was slain by Teal'c's android twin, Teal'c had continued the practice out of habit. His need for revenge had been sated, but his desire to overthrow Goa'uld rule had only increased.

Now, with Anubis so recently destroyed in a failed attack on Earth, it seemed that final victory over the Goa'uld might be attained far sooner than anyone had dared dream. Unfortunately, that most-recent victory came at a steep cost to O'Neill, and it was still uncertain if the colonel had paid the ultimate price for the Tau'ri's continued freedom.

No, he decided, he would not think such things. Daniel Jackson was adamant that O'Neill was not dead, not yet, and that it was still possible the Asgard might respond to the requests for assistance sent by Major Carter. O'Neill was merely sleeping, the archaeologist insisted. Perhaps that was true, but for now, the man whose sacrifice had saved the world yet again was locked in a stasis chamber in a cavern beneath the ice of Antarctica.

Turning the taps on the sink so that a pleasantly warm stream of water began to fill the basin, Teal'c set about gathering the rest of the necessary supplies to perform his daily ritual. Once, he'd been convinced to try using an electric razor, but found the noisy contraption to be somehow less satisfying than the smooth stroke of a razor over well-lathered skin. It was yet another thing Teal'c recalled he and O'Neill had shared in common, besides a desire to atone for past mistakes by protecting from future ones: O'Neill had preferred the considerably-slower razors to the electric shavers many of the other men of the SGC utilized. There was something soothing in methodically stripping one's skin of stubble, rather than making short sweeps and circles with a motorized blade.

He set the razor down on the edge of the sink and picked up the can of gel. Dispensing a small amount into his palm, Teal'c spread a foamy layer across his cheeks, jaw, neck, chin, and over his lip. Rinsing his hands, he picked up the triple-bladed razor and began to efficiently remove his facial hair with confident strokes. Once the last of the shaving cream had been smoothed or splashed away, he reached again for the aerosol can.

And stopped.

Cronus was dead, and if not by the hands of Teal'c himself, at least it had been a Teal'c who performed the deed. Apophis was gone, too, as were Ra, Heru'ur, Hathor, Seth, Sokar, Osiris, Nirrti, and dozens of other lesser Goa'uld, all destroyed by the hands of the Tau'ri or through their influence. The victory over Anubis was but the latest jewel in the crown of the Tau'ri's achievements, and Teal'c had had a direct hand in many of those aforementioned triumphs.

What purpose, then, was served by his continuing to shave his head? It had once been a daily reminder that Cronus still lived, and that Teal'c existed to destroy him. After that, it had been nothing but habit, and an occasionally irritating one whenever he found himself in a situation in which shaving was not possible.

He could just hear the comments from O'Neill: "Teal'c, what's with the peach fuzz?" or perhaps "T, my man, I told you not to experiment with that Chia Pet stuff."

Teal'c replaced the razor on its stand and let the water out of the sink. Rubbing a hand over the stubble covering his scalp, he smiled at his reflection. It didn't take much imagination to picture himself with hair, but for some disturbing reason, his mind drifted back to the enormous wig he'd worn during SG-1's "blast to the past" in their early years.

After dressing, he stepped into the hall and nearly collided with Daniel Jackson. The young Tau'ri was in his usual rush, but stopped abruptly upon seeing the pleased expression upon the Jaffa's face. "Um... Teal'c?"

"Yes, Daniel Jackson?" he inquired, not letting the corners of his lips drop for an instant.

"Uh..." The archaeologist's expressive brows raised, lowered, and scrunched together. "Uh, good morning?"

"Good morning to you, as well," Teal'c replied with a small bow. "It looks to be a most pleasant day, does it not?"

Leaving the bewildered man in his wake, he headed for the mess hall. It would be a pleasant day, he decided, as he no longer required a physical reminder of his goal: the eventual defeat of all the Goa'uld.

That day would come soon enough.
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