Title: The Gift
Notes: written for the monthly challenge between windandthestars — and I. Picture prompt below.
Disclaimer: Stargate belongs to Stargate.
The Tau’ri were confusing to the Asgard. They travelled the galaxy and yet had not solved fundamental problems on their home planet which affected millions. They had intelligence and technology which dwarfed many, if not most, of the human civilisations about the galaxy, and yet they knew nothing of the founding principles that governed Asgard development. They treasured their women and children above all else, and yet routinely allowed them to carry arms.
It was this concept that was most foreign to Thor. It had been generations – many generations – since the Asgard has been a gendered society, and the Tau’ri handling of such a society both intrigued and frustrated him.
As it was with all of Tau’ri culture, it was through Jack O’Neill that he was first introduced to the world of Tau’ri women. And as was with nearly all things Jack O’Neill, it was Daniel Jackson who set the poor alien straight, introducing him to Samantha Carter for the first time.
Samantha Carter had been an ongoing mystery for the alien for many years. Though she was a soldier, she lacked the military single-mindedness possessed by O’Neill or his Jaffa brother, Teal’c. And though a scientist, a thinker, she lacked the dreamy, quixotic idealism that so defined Daniel Jackson. She was mate to no one, though the affections of her teammates often made this unclear. Her intelligence and ingenuity made her a resource beyond compare and yet her people, her commander, allowed her to habitually throw herself into dangerous and life-threatening situations. Her life and existence was a confusion to Thor.
Until. Until she wasn’t anymore. Somewhere between the third mutual save and the hundredth apologetic, wincing smile made over O’Neill’s shoulder she just made sense. Her faith and persistence, the ability to get up and continue the fight with intellect and good grace, never giving up when everyone and everything around her screamed to do so. She held within her person the heart and strength of the Tau’ri, the rash determination that the Asgard has ‘outgrown’ centuries ago.
Standing on the deck of the Odyssey, the metal box that represented the best of Earth’s technology, Thor said his goodbyes to Samantha Carter. Watching her eyes fill with tears she refused to shed, Thor silently revelled in the feel of her arms enclosing his small body. She was the only person who had ever hugged him, but it was something he was going to introduce to his people.
He had gifted her with all he had: the knowledge gleamed from all the Asgard’s combined experience ran through the ship’s circuitry. But she had given him so much more. She had given him a belief in his own people, a belief that they can survive, that they should survive.
Feeling the tingle of the beam out fall over his body, he watched the vision of her fade into the landscape of his ship. His new ship was not the fastest ship he’d ever commanded, nor the most heavily fortified. It was not the most advanced or even the most celebrated. But it was the most important. Within its bulkheads existed the entirety of the Asgard people.
The Asgard was leaving, but they would not die. They would not give up.
The ‘Samantha Carter’ would carry them to their new life.