Chapter Four Summary: Sam is brought back to the tunnels and is taken into the medical bay area. Janet is sure now that she has both a latent head injury and PTSD. Martouf/Lantash choose to stay with her there and they have an enlightening conversation. When Martouf/Lantash have to attend a council meeting, Daniel takes their place. During this time, he and Sam have some unexpected but welcome visitors.
“Italics” – Symbiote-Host communications
Janet Fraiser approached the group standing in the hall. She shrugged her shoulders and then rolled them as she rubbed her neck to try to ease the tension. They stopped talking as she walked up to them.
“Well, I was pretty close to calling it right. A latent head injury was causing pressure and that, along with the PTSD and sleep deprivation, caused the bizarre behavior. I think we have pretty much been able to take care of it, at least the physical portion. Your healers were able to lessen the swelling and with sleep and therapy, I think I would give a guarded, but optimistic, prognosis.”
“I am going to recommend a one to two month leave from active duty, followed by light liaison duty here with the Tok’Ra, for up to three additional months, so that they can continue to manage the head injury recovery and the therapy for the PTSD. I am not going to report the incident that happened. If I do, it will go into her record as a psychological episode of the most extreme behavior. I do not want to do that if I can avoid it. I am going to assume that none of you told me about it when I next come to see her, unless it continues. Then, as you know, I will have no choice, but to include it.” Janet looked from one to the other as she made her report.
“She can’t have something like on her record, Janet. You know what would happen. They would assign her to a desk assuming they did not force her into a medical discharge. She doesn’t deserve that.” Daniel spoke up.
“I agree right now, Daniel, which is why I am pretending I don’t know anything about it. But…,”
“That is not going to happen, Janet,” Jacob spoke up belligerently. “I don’t care what you tell them. Tell them she’s P.O.W. for all I care, but she is not going to be forced to leave the air force or take a desk job for no reason. I will keep her here permanently before I let her be forced into a desk job she would hate.”
“I agree for now, but you know as well as I do that if the therapy does not work and Sam can’t work through this, she could be a liability or a danger to her own team. I will not let that happen and neither would you. For now, I am leaving it that she is going into therapy and staying here as I said. I am also stating that in my opinion she and Dr. Jackson will be able to work through her memories of the capture and subsequent torture. I am not going into detail of what all occurred. She is going to have to pass a psychological exam, and we all know that right now she could not. I think my recommendation is the best we can do. I am stressing the head injury and sleep deprivation due to a too heavy workload after returning from captivity as to why I am making this recommendation.”
Giving it some thought, Daniel said, “I think you are right, Janet, and I also think that Sam will work through this. She is a very strong person. I have faith in her, and we will all do everything we can to help her. So you think they will go for me staying with her?”
“Yes, because I am going to put into my report that she is opening up to you, and therefore, I feel it is imperative that you remain and continue to help her through the memories of her ordeal. The nice thing about being the Chief Medical Officer is that I can pretty much assure some things if I am adamant enough, and on this I am going to be since she is here, and you will not allow any other doctor to take care of her.” Janet shrugged as she put the idea into their heads.
“So, basically you are saying you are not going to do anything yet about her episode earlier and depending on how she does you may never mention it at all. I can live with that,” Jacob said.
“Good. Now, one other thing, I know the Tok’Ra are not into pets, but I really think you need to consider leaving Tashmar with her. I know you do not believe it, but she needs him right now. She has bonded with it because it accepted her just as she is. I really think that separating them right now would be a mistake. Not one she would not recover from, by any means, but it would be just one more emotion she would have to cope with, if you know what I mean.”
She grinned at Martouf, “You should be flattered. It is not everyone who gets a three-foot long lizard named after them. And, it seems to like you, too. From what I have observed, it does not like everyone. It seems there are a few people here that it does not want around Sam, so they have graciously agreed to stay out of her room.”
“Now, if you gentlemen would not mind,” she said, looking at Daniel, “Why don’t you and Jacob walk me to the gate while Martouf goes and sits with Sam. They are going to keep her in your infirmary for the next 24 hours, monitor her, and keep her pretty sedated, but she will awaken now and then so one of you might want to be with her when she does. Try not to let her wake up to strangers. I expect her to awaken soon so, Martouf, you and Lantash might want to head on in there. I will get my stuff and be right back,” she said, before she turned to walk back to the infirmary to get her things.
“Jacob, I thought you said those things were nasty tempered,” Daniel said, repeating his earlier statement not having received an answer the first time.
“We thought they were. Every time they see one of us, they hiss. We just assumed they were nasty tempered and aggressive.”
“Well, evidently they were just saying hello, or maybe the ones you saw were protecting their territory. This one sure seems to like Sam. Did you see it nudge her to pet it?”
“Yeah, I saw it. How the heck are we supposed to know what to feed it?” Jacob asked exasperated.
“I suggest we assign someone it likes to take it to the surface to hunt for itself. It seems fairly intelligent; it will soon learn why it is there if we help it a time or two,” Martouf said hopefully. “If Janet thinks we should keep it for Samantha, then I believe we should attempt to do so.”
“Then you better hope it takes a liking to Garshaw because if it doesn’t, it will no doubt have to find a new home,” Jacob said testily. Daniel grinned and Martouf looked pensive.
All three were startled to hear Garshaw say, “Your hope has been answered, Jacob, for Tashmar and I get along fine. He found and destroyed a rather large bug that transported down into the tunnels during the coming and going while we searched for Samantha. As he seemed to relish it, I imagine that is his primary food source,” She said, in her usual measured tone. “I wished to find out how Samantha is doing.”
“Janet said there was a head injury that went undetected; she thinks the combination of that, and sleep deprivation caused the bizarre behavior. Martouf is going to stay with Sam. Daniel and I are waiting on Janet to return to take her to the gate,” Jacob explained.
“Excellent. I am most happy to hear it. There will be a council meeting this afternoon, Jacob; I would like you and Selmak to attend along with Martouf and Lantash. If Dr. Jackson would sit with Samantha?” She questioned. “We also have given you quarters next to where she will be once she leaves the infirmary. I hope your stay with us will be as pleasant as possible under the circumstances.”
“Thank you, Garshaw, but please, call me Daniel. If I am to be here for quite some time, I would prefer it if we drop the formality.”
“Very well. Do ask for anything you find you need and, if possible, we will provide it.”
Turning to Jacob she asked, “Is there anything special that Samantha requires? We are sending a party for supplies.”
“Not that I know of right now. If I or anyone else thinks of anything, we will tell them. Thank you,” He replied.
“Very well, I will see you and Martouf later,” She said, as she headed down the hall.
“I am going to go to Samantha now,” Martouf said, as he saw Janet Fraiser headed toward them. I will see you later when you come to sit with Samantha, Daniel.”
“I will be there,” Daniel agreed.
Martouf sat beside the sleeping platform and stared at the lizard, as it stared back at him. It blinked slowly at him and he shook his head. The lizard came over to him and laid its head on his lap. Gingerly he lifted his hand and stroked it as he had seen Samantha do in the hole. It turned its head to get the stroking in a place of its liking and made a low silky hissing sound. Martouf pulled his hand back, startled, and watched as the lizard crawled closer and pushed his hand with its nose and then lightly flicked him with its tongue.
“I told you he likes you,” Samantha whispered form the platform. Martouf jerked, startling Tashmar and sending him scurrying a foot or so away. “You startled him. You should reassure him that you did not mean to. Sam spoke in a throaty whisper. “I am thirsty,” She said, and then asked, “Do you think Tashmar is thirsty, too?”
“I do not know, Samantha, but I will see if we can get him some water,” he offered, as he leaned forward to get her a drink of water. Tashmar came back to him and laid next to the sleeping platform.
“Tell me, my heart, how did you manage to make a friend of him? We have only had them hiss at us.”
Sam’s brow furrowed as she tried to remember. “I was thirsty, and I knew I would have to have water before the sun came up. I found some brush and figured there was probably some water close by and after looking for a while, I found a small pool. Unfortunately, Tashmar was there, too. Anyway, he started to hiss and stomp at me like lizards sometimes do, so I stood up really tall and stomped at him, and he moved back from the water.”
“I drank as much as I could because I didn’t know when I would be able to get more or how hot it would get. I washed,” she stopped and swallowed, “washed your blood off me, and I rested for a little bit. He drank some water, too, but when I left to try to find a place to hide, he followed me.”
“When I fell into the hole he,” she stopped speaking, her lips trembling, and Martouf clasped her hand as he sat down next to her on the platform, “he climbed down to me and licked me to wake me up, I think. He would not leave me; he just lay down next to me and rubbed my hand until I started to stroke him. After that, he made that hissing sound and put his head in my lap. And, he killed that bug and brought it to me. I think he decided I needed help, but he did not know what to do. Since I did not hurt him when he threatened me, he decided I could be trusted, I guess. At least, I like to think so. And, he helped me when I fell. I didn’t disgust him because I fell,” she said softly, as she gazed at the lizard that lay on the floor beside her bed. He hissed softly, and Sam smiled even as a tear slowly made its way down her cheek.
“I hate this, Martouf. I almost never cry. Why can’t I stop? Janet says it is the trauma, and that as I work through it, it will stop. She said, in the meantime, I am going to be a watering pot. How are you going to stand being around me?” she asked, as her lips continued to tremble.
“Samantha, before the head injury caused you to become so confused, I was lying on the sleeping platform and holding you. May I do so now, please? Lantash and I need very much to hold you in our arms. We love you and we do not care if you cry all the time you are with us, as long as you are here,” he told her softly.
“Lantash has never said he loves me, Martouf. I don’t think you should put words in his mouth. If he loves me, he will tell me when he is ready,” Sam replied.
She watched the change that came over him and marveled at how different they each looked even though they shared the same body. “Samantha, Martouf speaks for both of us.” He looked down at their clasped hands and continued, “I remember our first meeting. We explained that Martouf and I loved as one and mourned as one. That has not changed, beloved. Both of us loved you yesterday before we told you, we share that same love for you today, and when the morrow dawns we will love you more than we do this day. Our love for you will only grow, never falter, this I promise you,” he said gently. Looking up into her blue eyes, that looked almost too large for her pale face, he said, “Now, may we lie with you and hold you, our Samantha? Do you think that Tashmar will allow it?” He asked lightly.
“Yes, oh, yes. Please hold me, Lantash. I want to be in your arms so much,” she said, as she smiled a little at him. Looking down at Tashmar, she said, “If he complains, stomp at him. He seems to understand that."
Carefully lying next to her, he put his arms gently around her and rested his cheek on the top of her head. She felt the deep breath he took before he said, quietly, “Do you think you can ever care for me, Samantha? I know you will come to love Martouf, but will you ever be able to accept me? I am all too aware that you find the idea of having a symbiote within you disgusting. If I could change my physical appearance, I would, but I cannot. Knowing how you feel about our race, I have tried to remain quiescent, so that you were not constantly reminded of what I am, what Martouf is. That is why I have not come forward to tell you of my feelings. I did not want to fill you with disgust.”
Sam gasped, startled by his words. Turning and raising her head slightly she said to him, “No, no don’t think that. I love you both. I don’t feel the same as I did at first. You must understand, Lantash, I had a very bad experience with Jolinar. But, now, looking back, I wish could have known her. I no longer feel that I would not want to be blended either. I know that someday, I probably will choose to do so. I have given it a lot of thought and actually, I feel that it could be very enlightening. I don’t wish you to always allow Martouf to be the one with me. I-I want you both.” Gasping she said quickly, “Oh, that sounds so, so bad.”
Lantash chuckled and pulled her head down to rest against his chest. “No, it sounds very wonderful, my heart,” he said, kissing the top of her head. “If the healers come in and find I am keeping you talking instead of letting you sleep, they will make me leave. So sleep, beloved, and I will keep watch and protect you.” Hearing a hiss, he looked down and rephrased his words, “Tashmar and I will protect you.”
He heard her laugh sleepily and closed his own eyes. He was tired; he would just rest his eyes for a moment. Neither of them felt the lizard climb onto the platform and curl up at their feet. The healer that came to check on her patient grinned and left after a quick look and check of her readouts. All three were sleeping peacefully.
Daniel found the trio in much the same position when he came to relieve Martouf an hour and a half later. Tashmar had moved up and was lying on the other side of Sam, with his head resting on her hip as she was curled on her side with her arm wrapped around Martouf and her head on his chest.
Hearing a sound, he turned and saw Jacob standing nearby. “What do we do? Should we wake him?” Daniel whispered.
Jacob shrugged, “Garshaw was pretty specific that she expected him to be there, so I guess we should,” he whispered back.
“That will not be necessary Jacob,” came a quiet voice from the bed. “I am awake.” Opening his eyes, he looked at Daniel and asked, “Can you slip in as I slip out?”
At Daniel’s nod, they began the exchange process. “So Tash doesn’t bite?” Daniel whispered.
Martouf shook his head, “It does not appear so, at least, he does not seem to threaten those he likes. You must ask Samantha how she made friends with him. It is an interesting story.”
“She awoke shortly after I came in and was awake for perhaps twenty minutes. We fell asleep, and as far as I know, she has only moved into her present position, which she did without awakening. I will return as soon as the meeting is over to relieve you.”
“I took a nap, too. I am all right. You go do whatever you have to do, and don’t worry about Sam. I will not leave her alone, I promise you.”
Looking at the man now lying in his place, Martouf took a breath and nodded abruptly. It looked strange seeing Daniel holding his Samantha, but it also looked right. It bothered him that it was so. It should not look right, should it? He frowned as he gazed at them, and when Daniel looked up from studying Sam’s face and caught his eye, Martouf flushed, looking guilty, although he had no idea why he should.
They had not heard Jacob leave, but they were alone. He felt uncomfortable, but Daniel said to him, “She is special to me, Martouf, you know that. Stop worrying about it.”
“I am not exactly worrying about it. It is just that the two of you look very right together, as if it is a normal and comfortable thing for you to be lying together. Furthermore, I feel no jealousy, which I find,” he paused, “odd.”
“Well, it probably looks normal because we are comfortable together. We are teammates, and we have slept together before for various reasons. You are not jealous because you know that we don’t care for one another in ‘that’ way. Stop worrying about it, and be glad you are not jealous. If you were, we would have a problem, because Sam and I are very close, and we always will be. Now, go to your meeting and know you do not have to worry about her,” Daniel reassured him.
Martouf nodded and turned to leave, but turned back, “If Tashmar gets restless, and starts to bother her, you can calm him by rubbing the top of his head or under his chin. He appears to be content with either.”
With those instructions, he left the room and so did not see the grin that Daniel sent his way.
Laying his head back, Daniel slowly and gently pushed the hair back off Sam’s face. The healers had healed her skin, and the bruises that had been so livid were gone. He assumed they healed the lash marks that had crisscrossed her back along with those that had covered her stomach and legs. Thinking about what they had found, when they finally found Sam in the stronghold, made Daniel feel nauseated. God, he hoped he never saw anything like it again. Thank god, she had been unconscious and did not know they had seen her like that.
Lantash had already killed Gamtesh and disintegrated him, so that reviving him was no longer an option. If he had not, Daniel was not sure what he would have done to him, but he was sure he would not have left before making sure he suffered.
Lantash did not arrive from dispatching Gamtesh, until after they cut Sam down and put some clothes on her. If he had arrived earlier and seen what they saw, Daniel was sure that one look at her would have been enough for him to know everything without needing to hear a word of explanation.
They should have put Sam in the sarcophagus, but she had revived and when she realized they were truly there, she had insisted on setting the prisoners free and forcibly taking the girls with them. After two days, they had contacted the Tollan and taken the girls to them. They were fitted with the devices to give the girls control, while they awaited the arrival of the Tok’Ra and the healers and equipment they needed to remove the Goa’ uld. They could have taken the girls to them, but they were themselves moving to another new home world in something of a hurry, they deemed it best to wait until they were resettled. The rest, as they say, was history.
Daniel awoke with a start to see Lya and Nafrayu standing over the bed where he was lying with Samantha in his arms. He squinted up at them and reached up to straighten his glasses. “Lya, um, hi.” He watched as Nafrayu moved to pet the lizard that was still on the bed with them. “His, um name is, um, Tashmar,” he murmured, as the boy reached the reptile.
“Where er, um, what are you doing here?” He looked quickly around and decided they were still on the Tok’Ra base.
“The Tollan contacted us and told us what happened to Carter. Although there is little we can do for this type of injury, Nafrayu wished us to come anyway,” she said, as she smiled at Daniel. “I am sorry that we cannot do more for her. I would like to do a healing session, though, and see if it perhaps gives her more physical strength to call upon.”
“Lya,” Daniel gave her his sweetest smile, the one Sam always swore could charm the birds from the trees, or the women from their clothes, if he would just remember to use it. The fact that it was not something he used in that way, but was spontaneous and therefore sincere, made it all the more potent. Lya was no more proof against it than others before her were, and she smiled in return as she realized that Daniel was finally awake enough to see her. “Lya,” he repeated, “It is really great of you and Nafrayu to come, even if it is only to see her.”
Somehow knowing what Daniel was not saying, she said, “What happened to her was not her fault. She should not blame herself. While we cannot heal her mind, with your permission, we can perhaps lessen the effects.”
As Daniel nodded and attempted to ease himself away from Sam, Lya placed her hand on him, “It is not necessary that you get up, Daniel. She is resting peacefully at the moment, do not disturb her.” With another smile, she said, “Come, Nafrayu, we will do what we can.”
A short time later, Nafrayu touched Sam lightly on the cheek, smiled at Daniel, and they were gone. Daniel shook his head. Was ‘he’ hallucinating now or had they actually been there? Looking over at the color in Sam’s cheeks and the slight smile on her lips, he decided they must have been. Suddenly, Lya was back. “We will return in a few of your weeks, Daniel, to check on you.” As she disappeared again, Daniel smiled softly and settled more comfortably on the platform. Maybe he would take another nap.
It was six weeks since Jacob brought Sam to the Tok’Ra base on Corlatt, and he had to admit; he was worried about her. She would appear to do well for a few days, only to start having nightmares again.
She had talked to Arwanna, one of the Tok’Ra healers who at one time had been an operative, and gone through a similar, although less vicious, captivity. What they talked about no one knew, for Sam still refused to discuss it with anyone, but her. They had become friends and often walked on the surface at night, taking Tashmar for a hunt, and talking. Many times on those nights, Martouf and Lantash would awaken to the sound of Sam’s screams, and they then held her as she sobbed out her fear and pain.
All three of the men to whom she meant so much were worried. This was why they were all waiting to see Arwanna. When she entered the room and saw them there, she sighed. She could not tell them anything. She had promised Samantha she would reveal nothing of what passed between them. She would not break that confidence.
Smiling pleasantly anyway, she approached them saying, “What can I do for you? None of you look injured or unwell,” she said, almost cheerfully, hoping to put off the inevitable.
“We wish to speak to you of Samantha,” Lantash came bluntly and quickly to the point. “She is waking up with nightmares every night you go for a walk.”
Looking surprised, she asked, interested, “Does she never have them otherwise?”
“Occasionally, but it is random. When she has talked to you she always has one,” Lantash answered. “It seems to disturb her greatly. I am wondering if you should perhaps not discuss it at night.”
Arwanna looked thoughtful, and then said, “Perhaps, but I cannot get her to speak of it in the light of day, Lantash. The darkness allows her to talk more freely. We are doing quite well actually. She is remembering more all the time. Things she buried as too painful to remember are coming to the surface. I hope that soon she will be able to recall everything and then begin to come to terms with it. She has not yet had an angry response. I am waiting for it to happen, and I would appreciate knowing about it, in case she does not think to tell me.”
“Why?” Daniel asked, frowning.
“Until she becomes angry and places the blame on the perpetrator, she will continue to feel herself to blame in some way. Intellectually, I believe she knows she is not to blame; emotionally, she has not yet arrived at that conclusion.”
“What can we do to help her?” Jacob asked.
“Exactly what you are doing; although, I believe that she needs to talk to Daniel. I believe she has some unresolved feelings about…being left behind. Perhaps you should walk with her some night, Daniel, in my place. I know the two of you are close, and she depends on you during the day to keep her occupied and busy. Perhaps,” she said slowly, “too busy. She is using things to keep from confronting what has happened to her. As long as she is busy she does not have to think, you see.”
“I can hardly blame her for being upset about that,” Daniel replied, his own sense of guilt making his voice harsh. “I will go with her tonight, Arwanna, if you have no objection,” he added.
Bowing her head in agreement, she said, “All right, Daniel, I believe she would like that. Have you and Selmak attempted to talk to her, Jacob?”
“No. I know I should, but it is a subject I find myself unable to broach to her. Unfortunately, sexual things are not as easy to discuss on earth as they are in other cultures,” Jacob told her, as Selmak allowed him to color slightly making his embarrassment obvious to all of them.
“But, this is not a sexual matter, Jacob; it is a matter of violence that used her sex to inflict pain and degradation on her. I believe they are two different things. I will not insist, though, because if you have these feelings, then chances are good that, as your daughter, Samantha, also has them.” She was frowning, obviously, in very deep thought.
She nodded suddenly, and then turned back to Jacob, saying, “I believe you should not approach that subject with her; however, the torture and captivity are matters you could broach. I do not want you all to decide to talk to her at once; nevertheless, if the opportunity arises, I do not want any of you to avoid it.”
As they each nodded, Daniel said, “Okay, so I will make an effort to walk with her tonight. You always go about the same time every evening?”
“Samantha takes Tash out each night at the same time. I do not always go. Moreover, having thought about it, I would prefer that you did not go with her tonight, Daniel, if you would not mind waiting. There is something else I think I need to assess first.” Then she surprised the all by saying, “If you have no more questions, I wish to talk to Lantash and Martouf alone, please.”
“I don’t have anything else except to ask when you want me to go with her and try to talk to her?”
“Wait until tomorrow evening, please, Daniel.”
“Okay, no problem,” he said, as he turned to Jacob. “I am hungry, you want to go see if we can find anything to eat and maybe some of that stuff they try to pretend is like coffee?”
“Sure, Daniel, come on, and I will get you something for those cravings. See you tomorrow, Lantash.”
As the two men left the room, Arwanna turned to Martouf and Lantash, “I have a very important question to ask you. Have you mated with or attempted to mate with, Samantha?” She asked bluntly.