Chapter Twenty-eight Summary - Lantash “confesses” his “betrayal” and he and Sam have a serious talk. She describes the link with Kataya, telling him some things he needs to hear and understand, so that he can understand why she doesn't consider what happened a “betrayal”.
Sevesh’en Twine Coeuramator - Entwining of the Heartmates Sevesh Lok Twin - Rite of Release of Entwining Aima Coeurawyn - Blood of My Heart Igisadonis Animawyn - Beloved of My Soul Coeurawyn - My Heart “Italics” – Symbiote-Host or Telepathic Communication
Major Samantha Carter sat on a stool in her lab trying to concentrate on the latest gadget brought back from off world. The circlet she still wore glowed softly from time to time, and it was becoming such a part of her, she had forgotten she still had it on. It was easier now for her to draw energy and replenish her reserves. Although extremely tired after the practice session, she felt fine now. In fact, she felt somewhat energized, and her stress seemed to have disappeared. No doubt, she thought, to reappear at some future point, but for now, she felt good.
Looking at the piece of technology in front of her, she wished she had been off world herself, but then she mentally shook her head. That was not true either. No matter the outcome, she would not trade the last couple of days for anything on this world or any other.
She looked up as Martouf entered. No, one look was enough to tell her it was Lantash, not Martouf, and he was upset about something. “Something has upset you. What is it, Lantash?”
He looked at her without responding, and there was no expression on his face. “Lantash? What is wrong?”
“I—I have something I must tell you, Samantha.” Still, he did not elaborate.
“You must tell her, Lantash. All we can hope for is forgiveness,” Martouf urged.
“You have done nothing for her to forgive, Martouf. I am well aware that I alone am at fault in this,” Lantash replied, his voice heavy with regret.
“Regardless of who is at fault, she is waiting for an explanation,” Martouf responded.
“I know.” He approached Samantha, where she sat waiting expectantly, reached out, and softly caressed her face.
He cleared his throat, before saying, “I have talked to Kataya, Samantha, and in so doing, I feel that I have betrayed you.”
Sam’s eyes opened wide as she stared at him. “How did you do that, Lantash? I hardly think talking to her is a betrayal of me,” she responded calmly.
Self-derision was evident, as he said, “If talking was all I had done, it would not have been.” Sam glanced at the clock and frowned. They had all been together an hour ago. Kataya had gone to her and Daniel’s room to rest, while everyone else had gone to the mess hall and had some coffee and snacks. She and Lantash had no private speech at that time, but he could not have talked to Kataya before the sword practice, which left the half hour or so they had been apart since leaving the mess. Somehow, she instinctively knew that he had not truly betrayed her, not in the physical sense. So what did he mean?
“I am afraid you are going to have to be a little more explicit, Lantash. I find it hard to believe you made love to Kataya,” she said bluntly, taking the initiative.
“I did not, but not for lack of trying,” He responded, his self-anger evident. “If Kataya and Martouf had not stopped me, I probably would have done so.” His voice was bitter and his eyes bleak, as he gazed at her.
“You believe I will be angry,” Sam said softly. “You think I will change my mind about us.”
“I will not blame you if you do so, Samantha, but I hope you will not. Martouf is not to blame, and he does not deserve your anger or your denial of him. He tried to stop me, but I would not listen. At least, not at first. I can only promise to allow Martouf to always be the one with you. I will agree to stay quiescent, if you will not hold him responsible,” he offered earnestly.
“Perhaps you should tell me what happened, before we discuss something so drastic.” She hoped that by telling her all of what had occurred it would remove some of the guilt he was so obviously feeling.
She watched him as he struggled to decide where to start. Finally, he brought himself to say, “Selmak explained to me what happened when I was rescued from Bastet’s stronghold. He suggested that I insist Kataya show me what was in her heart. He seemed to think it would convince the part of my soul that is holding back that it should do as she asked and agree to the Sevesh Lok Twin.”
She took his hands in hers and nodded her encouragement as he paused; obviously having trouble saying what he felt he needed to say.
Holding to her tightly, he continued, “I asked her why. I needed to hear from her, that it was a promise to Dominic that kept her from telling me. She told me that she had looked into his mind and heart before agreeing to take his soul, that it might be joined to mine. She told me, also, that if the All had not known it to be his true wish, it would not have allowed her to take it to Avilion and have it joined with mine. I was so relieved when she told me about the All and that she saw in his heart and mind that he wished to become a part of me, Samantha, and yet it filled me with anger and bewilderment. I really do not know what happened. We were talking. I was hurt and angry, not with Kataya, but with Dominic. I was walking around the room and when I came close to her…” his voice became suspended.
“And when you came close to her, you were drawn to her as if the years you were apart never happened,” Samantha finished for him, softly.
Looking startled, he said, “Yes.” Then slowly, “Yes, but how did you know that, my love? How could you possibly know what it was like? Do you also know that I kissed her and would have made love to her, if they had not stopped me?”
Samantha looked at him for a long moment and then gave him a shocking reply, “I didn’t know for sure that you kissed her, but it does not surprise me. Knowing what I now know, I would have been more shocked, if you told me that nothing happened between you.” She paused, as Lantash looked at her dazedly.
“I can’t say I am unmoved by what you have told me. I am not. I am not unmoved or unemotional about it, but I do understand it, and because I understand it so completely, I can forgive it.”
She then said gently, “I made love to Daniel this morning. Several times in fact.” She watched the shock appear on his face before continuing in a steady, clear voice, “I also made love to you and Dominic and Justin. I took part in the love and passion that exists between you and Kataya, Lantash.” She waited for his reaction.
“You are speaking of the link you and Kataya took part in. That is not the same as actually committing the act in reality.”
“It was very real to me at the time, and I knew those emotions just as surely as if I had experienced them all. I might never have made love to Daniel in this living, during this time and space, but I certainly did in my mind, and I know exactly how exquisitely beautiful his lovemaking can be. I know the exquisite beauty of making love to you, Igisadonis Animawyn, both as Kataya and as myself. You are still tied to Kataya, Lantash. I have experienced the emotions that your entwining engenders.”
“God, Lantash, I experienced your ceremony, the rite of the Entwining of the Heartmates, the Sevesh’en Twine Coeuramator. How can you believe that I would fault you for wanting to re-establish the passion you shared? I know what it was like, how strong, how intense it is. That you did not follow through, even though you wanted to, says to me just how much love you have for me. You may say it was only Kataya and Martouf that stopped you, but knowing Kataya’s feelings for you, I believe that had you truly wished to, you could have overcome both her protests and Martouf’s.”
Lantash frowned. “You are serious.”
“Yes, I am,” Sam, said softly.
“But, how can you be so calm about it? I do not think I could be so, if you were telling me that you had tried to make love to Daniel and had only been stopped because he refused, rather than stopping yourself.”
“We have not had a chance to discuss what happened between Kataya and me this morning during the link. I was planning to tell you about it this evening, but since you have brought this up, I suppose we should talk about it now rather than later. Let’s go back to our quarters, and we will discuss all of this, all right?” Sam realized that Lantash truly believed he betrayed her, and it was disturbing him a great deal. She needed to find some way of making him understand that she completely understood the tie that bound him to Kataya, the strength of the pull between their hearts and bodies. She understood it because she had experienced it.
Lantash stopped in the hall as Samantha’s words sank in. “Our quarters? What do you mean, Samantha?”
“I told General Hammond that your quarters were available for use, and that you are staying in my quarters and in my home. It will help ease the space crunch we will have as more people arrive. Kataya moved into Daniel’s early this morning, so that leaves two rooms open for others to use. Unfortunately, Janet doesn’t have rooms on base, other than in the infirmary, so Merdwin will have to keep his.” She added, in a matter of fact way, “I also mentioned to General Hammond that we would like for him to perform the marriage ceremony for us. He said he would be happy to.”
Lantash shook his head in amazement. “I do not understand your attitude, Samantha. But, I am grateful that you feel you can forgive me, and I will keep my word to you, I promise,” he said firmly.
“Are you talking about the nonsense you spoke about staying quiescent, while Martouf took over for both of you?”
“Yes, of course. I realize I am indeed very lucky that you will not hold him responsible for my betrayal.”
As they entered what was now their quarters, Sam sighed. Lantash could be stubborn, as well as passionate. Remembering some of the scenes she had seen this morning, she laughed softly, as she looked at him. “Kataya’s memories of you are not exaggerated then. You are just as stubborn as you ever were. The truth is that I am holding neither of you responsible, nor do I blame either of you. I hope that once I have told you exactly what I experienced you will come to understand how and why that is true.”
Leading the way to the couch, she said, “Now, let’s get comfortable while I tell you about this morning and all that I learned.”
Martouf came forward, and said, “How are you feeling, Samantha? Are you—are you all right? I am afraid no one explained exactly what would happen during the link; only that it would be very draining on you both. All Selmak said was that you were linking your minds, and that it was the first step toward the bonding you must do.”
“We knew then that you had made your decision to become the Dragon of the Star. It is a great responsibility, Samantha, Aima Coeurawyn, to be the mate of the Dragon. We wish to do all we can to help you in this, and if that means that Lantash must stay quiescent, then so be it.”
“To answer your question, I am fine. It will take time to adjust completely, but I will.” Turning slightly towards him, she asked, “As to the other, are my wishes in this important to you both? Do they mean more than your personal feelings?”
“Of course. As the mate, it is our duty and our desire, to provide the safe haven, love, and comfort that you will need,” Martouf said, softly, but earnestly.
Sam looked at him for a long moment, and then replied, “Good, then you will realize that I do not want Lantash to remain quiescent. It is my wish to have both of you to love me, and to be there for me. I love both of you, not just one of you, and I feel that neither of you betrayed me. As I believe I said before, I hope that after I explain what occurred during our link, you will understand.”
Gazing into her eyes, Martouf could tell that she spoke the truth. “All right, Samantha. I believe you.” His lips quirked in a wry smile, as he said, “Lantash may be a little harder to convince.”
“I hope he is not, Martouf, because it would distress me, and I don’t need more stress right now.” She played her trump card and watched as Lantash came to the forefront.
“I will try to do nothing else to distress you, Coeurawyn, I promise you,” he said softly.
She leaned forward and gave him a soft swift kiss. “Then stop trying to convince me that you betrayed me. You did not, you know.” Sam sighed, and then smiled slightly as she gazed at him. He truly was stubborn, and all she could hope was that he would understand how very deeply the link and everything she learned during it affected her. Her understanding of his tie to Kataya, and hers to him, was clear and deep. She hoped he could understand her feelings for Daniel because in every way, except for the deep sexual tie he had with Kataya, they were very much the same.
He watched the emotions, as they played across her face and in her eyes, before leaning forward and kissing her softly, “Do not think that I am unaware that you are manipulating me to attain your way. I recognize what you have done, and I thank you for loving me enough to do so. Now, tell me about the link you shared with Kataya and what it was like. You appear to have experienced a great deal in a very short time.”
Deciding to ignore his statement of capitulation, Samantha nodded. “I was surprised to find how short a time we were linked when it was over. We did start early this morning, but it only took a couple of hours, three at most. I still don’t understand how I could have lived through so many lifetimes in such a short time. I mean, it didn’t seem as if the scenes from Kat’s life were moving faster than normal, but they must have been. On the other hand, perhaps, it is just that a picture says so much more than words and in reality, thinking back, there were very few actual conversations. In those there were, I was the one participating, talking, moving, and yet I was also watching as events unfolded. It was a very odd sensation.”
She paused, as a new thought entered her mind. Then she said, somewhat slowly, as if still considering the thought. “It must be similar to what you and your host experience, only you know you are still you, whereas I completely became someone else. It was a truly astounding experience, Lantash.”
“It sounds as if it was, my Samantha. You seem truly excited to have participated in it. So tell me all that you experienced.”
As she looked at him speculatively, he grimaced. “Yes, I truly mean everything, Coeurawyn. I can promise you that I will not become jealous of what you tell me. You have begun to teach me that loving sometimes means accepting, have you not?”
“I hope so, because I experienced a great deal today. Leaning forward, she said with obvious excitement, “It was the most amazing, and in some ways terrifying, thing I have ever experienced, Lantash. I learned things about myself by being Kataya that I would never have guessed or known. Terrifying, because I was truly afraid of what I am capable of doing, and yet,” she paused, as she thought about what she’d seen herself do as Kataya, and accepted as herself, “I am also more confident of my ability to do truly hard things that have to be done. I don’t know if I can ever bring you to understand all that I felt and learned, but I want to try.”
“Then do so, my Samantha, and I will listen,” Lantash finally smiled fully at her.
“All right.” She leaned back against the couch and began to tell him about her experience. “As you know, Merdwin was there. I guess you could say he conducted the whole thing. He did the chants and then, as far as I can tell, he actually entered Kataya’s mind with me. The—the tie between us, between Kat and me that is—is very strong. They were both afraid that we would become lost in one another’s minds, so he stayed with me the whole time, and when the time was right, he brought me out and back into my own body.”
“I think he had to retrieve Kataya, too. I am glad he was there, Lantash. If he had not been, the link would not have been as successful because Kataya would have had to stay with me; to be sure, I didn’t go to deeply into her mind and lose myself. She would not have been able to link with me as deeply to experience my lives and feelings either.”
“For me, it was as if I was Kataya. I lost myself in her mind. I relived everything of importance that ever happened to her. Her first joining, entwining, and mating with Daniel was one of the most beautiful things I have ever experienced. So was our entwining, Lantash. Yours, Dominic’s, and mine. I have never felt anything as profound as those two events.”
“You actually felt it, Samantha? The emotions, the blood, everything?” He asked.
“Yes. I felt the birth of Taesha and Lanwin. I also knew the joy of my first-born kits.” She looked at him as she said this, knowing he would realize she had known Merdwin, as well. She saw the realization come into his eyes, but he said nothing.
“Lantash, did Kataya talk to you of Daniel when you were entwined?”
“Yes, we discussed the concept of Soulmates, and she told me of her Dayillon, but we never went deeply into the subject.” As he looked into the past, he said quietly, “She searched for him always, I think, even when we were so happy together.”
Sam nodded. “Yes, she did. Her love for him, is as ours is for one another. She was devastated at their last parting. So very lost and alone. She allowed herself to die.” She sat remembering the emotions, and when she looked at Lantash, he was surprised to see the tears in her eyes.
“Samantha, are you all right?” He asked her swiftly, as concern colored his voice.
“Yes, I am fine, it is just that the emotions were so very intense and real,” Samantha whispered, as she relived the scenes again, and tears choked her voice. Lantash took her into his arms and cradled her against his chest, as he gently rocked her.
“Hush, my love, it was a long time ago, and they are once again together,” he murmured softly, trying to give her what comfort he could.
Pulling herself back from that particular memory, she smiled slightly at him and nodded, but didn’t pull out of his arms.
“The next memory is worse for me,” she continued, her voice still husky with unshed tears. “I killed Dominic. I listened to his last words, looked into his mind and heart, whispered my eternal love for him, and then—I killed him. I took his soul, brought it into myself, and sheltered it there. Then, I took you out of his body, and I cradled you in my arms. I was willing to die rather than allow you to die. I would have died with you, as I did with Daniel the last time.”
Sam seemed to have drifted into a reverie as she murmured her words. “I felt it as if it was happening again. It was so hard—so really, really hard to do that to Dominic. I loved him so much, and I love you even more. I think it literally broke my heart, Lantash. The love I felt for Dominic—was deep, so very deep. He was such an honorable, beautiful, gentle man, so unfailingly kind and sweetly loving, yet passionate.”
Her voice, already low and soft, dropped to a whisper. “I have mourned for him ever since, so much. I have never stopped loving, longing, and mourning for you, either. When I heard about your new mate, I cried for months afterward, even though I was happy for you.”
Lantash frowned. It was as if Samantha had once again become Kataya, for her words were no longer about what she saw, or what she felt as Kataya, but how she felt, as if it had actually happened to her, and she had been the one to do those things.
She appeared to rouse from her trance-like state, as he was about to try to get her attention. She turned to look at him, instead of staring at a vision he could not see. Then she spoke very quietly, saying, “I understood those emotions completely, Lantash, because they mirrored my own, and yet they are a lesser imitation of what I feel for you and Martouf. My joining with Kataya allowed me to see that.”
She looked at him, and he saw the flame burning in her heart for him. “I know the depths of her love for you, Lantash, and I am aware of the pull that still exists between you, so I can’t feel the anger or sense of betrayal that you thought I would. A pang of jealousy? Maybe, but if so, then it wasn't very intense. Hurt? Yes, sort of, but then, no, not exactly, not—not really. Definitely not unloved and not betrayed. I hope you can come to understand.”
“I believe I am beginning to. I should tell you, also, that after talking to Kataya, I believe for the first time that I can go through the Sevesh Lok Twin. It may take a day or so before I can go into it with no doubts whatsoever, but I now know that I will be able to do it.”
“I am glad for everyone’s sake, Lantash. I think it only fair to tell you that, while I can accept and understand what happened today, there is something that I would find much harder to either accept or understand. In fact, I imagine it would cause a serious rift between us.”
“And that is, Samantha?” Lantash asked, when Sam paused in her explanation.
Taking a deep breath, she looked at him squarely, and said, “I understand that you have to come to terms with it. However, I will find it very difficult to accept, or understand, if you continue to refuse to do, or if you continue to put off for very long, agreeing to the Sevesh Lok Twin; going through it, I mean. That is one reason I am so relieved to hear you say you are willing. The other is that, if you looked into her heart, you know what is happening. It will continue to worsen until the rite is done.”
“I understand, my Samantha, and I promise you that the minute I feel I can do it with no guilt, I will do so. Moreover, if it will truly cause a rift between us, then I will agree to it now and learn to live with the guilt. I do not believe I will have to live with it for long,” he offered. He would much rather live with the guilt of broken vows than live without his Samantha.
Sam shook her head, “No, Lantash, that is not necessary. I told you I understood that you need time, and I am willing to give it to you for now, because I believe it will not be much longer before you feel comfortable with it. I will let it be for now.” After he nodded his agreement to her statement, she asked, “Lantash, have you been having any pain in your chest?”
“Yes, I have. How did you know, Samantha?”
“Another thing I learned during the link was that you will begin to feel pain near your heart, but it will get worse much more slowly than Kataya’s. Lantash, Kataya never doubted that you would eventually agree to the rite. She would not let anyone speak to you about it, and I know that she didn’t want you to ever know the pain it was causing her. She does still love you very much, you know.”
“Samantha, how are you being so accepting of all of this? I do not think I could be so, if the positions were reversed.”
She sighed, and then said, “My acceptance is from what I learned about the tie that is between you still, but there is more. More that I learned. A lesson I hope I never ever forget, because it is probably the most important thing I have ever been taught.”
She paused for a moment, before continuing, “Are you aware that Kataya and I have the same soul mother? Not only that, but my soul also contains threads of Kataya’s soul. We are spirit twins as well as half-sisters.”
He looked at her blankly for a moment and then nodded, “Of course. I had forgotten that part, and it did not register from what Selmak said until now, but he did mention that both of the Dragon Slayers were born of Gwynnivar of Wiccadia. Nevertheless, what does that have to do with your acceptance of the situation? I do not see how my loving your sister makes it any better.” He was obviously bewildered.
“When they were last on Earth, they thought Artereos was killed in battle. It was necessary that everyone believed that to be true, so that this could happen. The All saw to everything that happened, and Artereos gave the All his consent. When several years passed, and he didn’t return, Gwynnivar, our mother, entwined with her Heartmate, Llancellon.”
“From that mating, I was born along with a brother who is now a Soul-spinner at Avilion.” She smiled a little, as she said; “He may even have been one of the spinners that worked on the fabric of your soul when the threads of Dominic’s were added.”
“That, however, is not important now. So, to continue with what I was saying. Artereos understood, and he tried to make my mother see that he was aware of how she could have loved her Heartmate, while he was thought dead, but she felt she had betrayed him, and so, they have been parted ever since then. He waits for her still. It seems such a waste for them to be apart because she could not accept that he loved her, and didn’t feel that she had betrayed him at all. Because it was only in her mind that it was a lapse, not his.”
She slowly caressed his hand with her thumb. “I lived through that as Kataya, and I learned from Artereos how important each love in our lives is. Whether they are a Heartmate or a Soulmate, a mother, a father, a child, or a friend, the important thing is that we love them completely, and find joy in each and every day that we are given to be with them. She should have believed him. It was his decision to make, and if he did not see himself as betrayed, then she should have accepted that, instead of wasting all these years.”
“I learned that the heart is a vast place with room for many kinds of loves and capacity to love each truly and fully. I understand how much you and Kataya mean to each other, and I know how much Daniel and I mean to each other. I hope you are not jealous of him, because I can no more stop loving Daniel, than you can stop loving Kataya.” She paused, before asking, “Are you jealous of him, Lantash?”
Lantash sat staring into space for a long time before finally returning to the present and saying, “No, oddly enough, I am not and neither is Martouf. The love I have for Kataya is very deep, as you know. My love for you is deeper yet. Even Kataya told me that my love for you surpasses the love she and I have together. I do believe her. I know it myself by searching my own heart.”
“Moreover, I am beginning to understand what you are trying to tell me. I promise you, Samantha, that I will not betray the faith you and Kataya have in me. I truly believe that my soul and heart will soon accept what must be done.”
His voice dropped to a husky whisper, as he continued, “I am awed by you, my heart. You are truly beautiful in all ways. Just now, it came to me how deep the love you have for me is. I will strive to deserve your love, Samantha. I swear to you that I also have a deep and boundless love for you, although I sometimes fail to act as if that is true.”
He paused for a moment. “How much more did you learn? What else do you have to teach me? I thought I had experienced and knew all about loving a woman more than life, but you are teaching me that I have not even begun to know the depths and heights a love of the soul can take one to.”
Sam shook her head, as she answered, “What I told you is probably the most important thing I learned.”
She thought for a moment before continuing, “I did learn what it means to be a Katteri- enti Warrior, though, and I believe it is a great responsibility. A Katteri must have great strength of character, so as not to abuse their abilities, and they have to have strength of purpose to be able to do the things they do. I hope I can live up to it.”
“I believe you have the strength, Samantha. Martouf and I are very proud of you and all of your many abilities and accomplishments.”
“Thank you. That means a lot to me.” Sam leaned forward to press her lips to his. As always, passion soon exploded between them. She moaned as she pulled back from him. “You see what you do to me. I can no more deny the love and passion I feel for you, than I can deny that the Earth circles the sun. I have no wish to deny it, and I can’t believe I ever did. I know that I never will again.”
Lantash held her in his arms, as he thought of all she had told him and taught him. His love truly amazed him with her ability to see and understand so much. More than he, it seemed, even though he had lived longer and therefore, should have been wiser.
Sam sighed as she sat up and away from him. Martouf came forward and said, “Is something wrong, my mate? Why do you sigh?”
“Nothing is wrong; I just know that I need to do a few more things before we can leave for home. I would rather just head straight there, but I need to ask Daniel a couple of things, and see if he can figure out some of the inscriptions on that piece of technology, I was working on. I would rather stay here wrapped in your arms, but I know I can’t do that, so I sighed.”
“I understand. It is very hard for me to have nothing to do myself,” Martouf replied. “We are used to being busy. This waiting is difficult for me. I am looking forward to the time when the Katteri and the other Tok’Ra arrive, and we can begin training.”
Suddenly, Sam turned to him. “Your children, that is Lantash’s children, will be here soon. How wonderful for you. Once they arrive, you will wish that you had more free time to spend with them. I hope they come soon; I am really looking forward to meeting them in person.”
“It has been over a hundred years, Samantha, and the truth is that Lantash is a little worried that they will not accept him. When Kataya and Lantash parted, it was difficult. She had to go, and he,” Martouf sighed, “he had no choice, but to remain with the Tok’Ra, as he was badly needed. He has often wondered if his children felt he abandoned them because he did not accompany their mother. He has often thought that they could well dislike him because he stayed behind.”
Sam looked at Martouf blankly for a moment, and then she exploded, “You tell him to stop thinking such nonsense. Does he have no idea how much they love him? Kataya has done everything she can to keep his memory alive. They practically think he walks on water. They consider him a strong and able warrior, a father of which to be proud. Not accept him?” Sam snorted, none to delicately. “They will be more likely to hang on his every word and not let him out of their sight. We can only hope that won’t last very long.”
Martouf frowned, as he said, “How could they possibly expect him to be capable of walking on water? He is a symbiote inside of a human host, and we would sink. Surely, they are aware of this? They cannot truly expect him to be capable of such feats?” It was obvious that Martouf’s mind had latched onto the most outrageous of Sam’s comments and was dwelling on it to the exclusion of all else. He would quickly bring himself, and Lantash, to the point of panic at having to develop a skill; they had no knowledge of, if she didn’t intervene soon. Concealing her ready laughter, she took his hand and tugged on it to get his attention fully back to her and away from the water’s edge.
“Martouf, it is a figure of speech. No one expects you to actually be able to do it. No one,” She emphasized.
“I told you not to get worked up, Martouf. It made no sense, and usually, for the Tau’ri, that means it is senseless.” Lantash continued in his efforts to attempt to calm Martouf, “Listen to Samantha. Calm yourself.”
“We will have to take them home with us at least part of the time. They deserve time with you both. Lantash because it has been so long since they last saw him; you because you now share their father’s love for them. They need to get to know you as a person, as their father.”
Sam watched the stunned expression return to Martouf’s face. “Samantha, I do not know how to be a father. Moreover, they are adults, not small children. I…” his voice trailed off as he looked at her, helplessly.
Grinning evilly, Sam said, “Well, you can always ask my dad for advice.” Then taking pity on him, she said, “Martouf, stop stressing over this. From what I learned in my link with Kat, they are great people, and they love Lantash to pieces. They will love you for yourself, and for the fact that you are part of their father. They really will accept you, and I don’t think you will have to do much of anything. From what I saw, they can be extremely friendly. They also take after their mother in that they are excellent Warriors. I believe you will both be proud to know and to claim them. As I said, I am looking forward to meeting them. They will be my son and daughter, too, remember.”
As neither Martouf, nor Lantash, seemed able to get beyond their thoughts to speech, Sam tried again, speaking to Lantash this time, “Lantash, they are Furling. They are the offspring of you and Kataya, and that alone probably gave them a great sense of the importance of doing what you perceive as your duty. To them, it would have been very out of character for you to leave with their mother. You had a job, a mission, to accomplish. They have followed that way also, the way of the Warrior. They are more aware than most of what you and their mother gave up to do what you had to do. They know you had no choice, and neither did their mother. Please believe me, for I saw it. They often talk of you, and they are very anxious to see you.”
Sam paused for a moment, and then added, “You do know that she allowed no one to use your given name to her? It was a way for her to distance herself from the pain your parting caused her. She always referred to you as Dominic’s symbiote when she talked of you. It is why I had no idea that her lover and you were one and the same. They used your name when they talked to others of you. It was only with Kataya that you were called Dominic’s symbiote.”
Finally, Lantash came forward, and said, “I understand why she would do that. It was a way to lock the pain away.”
He then smiled his sweetest smile, as he continued, “As usual, you are correct about our responses, Samantha. I am sorry I allowed Martouf and myself to become so anxious. It was foolish. It has been a very long time, and I am looking forward to seeing them very much. It is good to know that Kataya did not let them forget me.” He smiled at her.
“What I said was true, Lantash. She made very sure that they remembered you and the wonderful being you are. You really do mean a lot to them. Never doubt that.”
He was solemn and earnest, as he said, “I must thank you once again, my love, for knowing me well enough to know what I need to hear and when I need to hear it.” He gently pressed the hand she held, and then said, “Martouf wishes to come back to you.” He bowed his head, and it was obvious that Martouf had resumed control, as he smiled shyly.
“I, too, wish to thank you for being so patient with my misunderstandings, Samantha. Soon, I hope I will understand your use of phrases that mean other than what they appear to say.”
“It will probably take a lifetime, Martouf, but I will enjoy every minute of the explaining. It is truly a joy to see our language through your eyes.”
“And, as for you and Lantash needing something to do while we wait for the training to begin, you might be able to help me in the lab. I can always use another pair of hands.”
“I will be glad to try, although I am afraid that my hands will want to wander from the work onto you, my love.”
Grinning at him, she said, “That is not the way to convince me to keep you out of my lab. Starting tomorrow, I will make sure you are the one helping me.” She glanced at her watch, and said, “But, for now, take a break and relax while I go have a chat with Daniel. When I get back, we will head for home. I am looking forward to another evening alone with you.”
Martouf smiled and sat back to dream of the evening ahead, as Samantha left to find and talk to Daniel.
“Hey, Daniel,” Sam greeted him, as she breezed into his office.
“Hey, Sam. What is up? You need something?” Daniel replied, with a smile at her happy tone.
“Yep. I do. Do you remember the things that SG-10 brought back along with your latest manuscripts?” She sent a questioning look his way, as she slid magazines off a chair and sat down.
“Yeah, what did you find out, Sam?” Daniel asked, as his interest was immediately piqued.
“I have not spent much time with the stuff, but I have looked them over. There are some inscriptions that I would like for you to look at before I try to do too much to them. Would you mind?” She looked up from leafing through one of the magazines she had discarded, and then retrieved. She returned to it with a frown, to look at the picture of a naked native woman with what looked to be plates in her lips. “Do they really do this? Kissing must not be part of their culture. I can’t see a way it could be considering what they do to their lips.” She commented to him.
“Not at all, Sam. I will take a quick look this evening before I leave for home. Yes, they do, and if you are interested, take it with you to read. As to the kissing, it does look like it might preclude that. Maybe they do something else instead,” he answered all of her questions in order and then, sending her a wistful smile, he said, “I think I am finally going to get to take Kataya home with me tonight. I am really looking forward to having her there, Sam. I need to have her there. You know?” He asked, as he ducked his head in his Daniel way.
“Yes, Daniel,” Sam said to him softly, “I really do know because I feel the same. It is as if I want the scent and sound of him impressed on my home. I want his essence there.”
Daniel nodded. “Exactly, Sam. I want to know that she laid her head on that pillow, and she curled up and napped in that chair. I want to smell her scent when I walk into the bedroom, and I need to feel her presence in the kitchen when I look at the cup she used. I think you used the right word. I need her essence to permeate our home, so that she will always be there with me.” He cleared his throat.
“You know, I hadn’t even thought about it until I saw the ring that Martouf gave you, but I would like to give her something that would mean as much to her as that obviously does to you. I just don’t know what to do because I don’t remember if they give a ring or anything.” He sighed, “There is so much I remember, and yet, so much is still lost to me.”
“Daniel, I know what you gave her when you joined,” Sam whispered.
“You do? How?”
Sam blushed. “It, uh, I, um saw it, during the link.” As Sam turned redder, Daniel’s agile mind made the leap to the truth.
“You experienced our joining and mating didn’t you, Sam?” He questioned gently.
She swallowed. “Yes.” Seeing the look in his eyes, she continued, “It was truly beautiful. Exquisite actually. I have never felt anything so profound before. Every time, Daniel, not just the first time.” She was glad she had told him, as she saw the joy come into his eyes.
She decided to finish telling him what he wanted to know. “Her love for you has never faltered, Daniel. Never. Even during her entwining with Lantash and Dominic, she searched for you. She searched for you, always.” She watched as he controlled his emotions.
“Thank you, Sam,” he whispered.
“You are welcome, Daniel. And as for what you gave her?”
He cleared his throat. “Yes? What was it?”
“She wears them still, Daniel. You had that beautiful circlet that she wears made, along with the unicorn pendant and the amethyst and diamond ring she wears. The pendant was the gift of your promise to join. The ring was the symbol of your heart’s eternal love, and the Circlet was to symbolize your entwining and joining with each other for all eternity. When you gave it during the ceremony, you said to her; “for as the gold twists and winds around the stones, in never ending circles, with neither beginnings nor endings, so our hearts and souls do the same. Forever and always together, eternally joined.” She gave you one, and she said the same things when she presented it to you. She has it still.” Sam swallowed and whispered, “I told you it was beautiful.” She watched as his fists clenched, he swallowed convulsively, and then relaxed.
“Yes, you did, and I don’t think I could do any better than that, do you?”
“No, I don’t. She has kept them all these years. I don’t think anything could mean more to her.”
Daniel frowned. “They should have worn out by now.”
Sam laughed. “Oh, Daniel, only you would realize that. She had them reworked as they became worn, of course. But, the meaning was not so much in the piece itself, as what each piece stood for. As long as she had it, whether renewed or original, it was what they symbolized, and what was said when they were given that mattered.”
Daniel said, “You are right, of course. Thanks, Sam.” Trying to bring the conversation on to less emotional ground, he said, “And, I will check that stuff before I leave, I promise.”
Daniel paused for a moment, and then said, “Sam, I haven’t really had a chance today to ask you; how are you doing with everything? Are you okay? Do you need to talk or anything? You know I am still there for you, don’t you? Always.”
Sam looked at Daniel, and reading the caring in his face, she smiled softly, “I know, Daniel, and I am fine. Well, I am better, and you know I will be fine. I know it is a lot of weird stuff to take in, but I have you and Janet, Kat and Merdwin, Jack, and Teal’c.” Her smile becoming brighter, she said, “I have my dad, and I have Martouf and Lantash. I will be okay. It may take a while, but I will be fine.”
Getting up she went to him, gave him a hug, and then she asked, “How is Kat, Daniel? Is she okay? She was really tired after the sword practice.”
She hesitated, and Daniel said, “As far as I know she is okay. I didn’t want to disturb her, since she agreed to rest. Why, Sam?”
“Well, I know this has to be taking a toll on her physically. I mean, I know it is; I experienced it myself. Those practice sessions were intense, so I have been wondering if it had, you know, made it worse.”
“She told me that if it was getting bad that she would know. She said we didn’t need to worry unless her tears were blood.”
Sam gasped. “What, Sam? What is it?” Daniel asked urgently.
“Do you remember the vision I saw in the mirror? She had blood on her face. I had forgotten. I wish I knew more about what happened.” She sighed. “I should look in the mirror again. We usually check it often, but the last few days we haven’t had time.”
“But, you said they don’t always happen, right? That something could happen to change it? I wish you knew more, too, Sam. I practically panic every time I think something could have happened that would bring it on, and she is lying somewhere bleeding to death.”
“Yes. That is what she said. That nothing was written in stone, that things don’t always happen exactly as they are shown; sometimes they change. Daniel, she would tell you if she needed something, to go somewhere, right?”
“I hope so, Sam.” He paused, and then breathed quietly, as if the walls might have ears, “She manifested earlier today.”
“As the Dragon?” Sam whispered back. “Why?”
“Yes,” Daniel said, still equally as quiet. “She said she was safe to do it here at least once, and she needed the energy so that Merdwin would have a lot of extra to use during the healing. I don’t mind telling you, Sam, I am worried about her. If Lantash doesn’t do the Sevesh Lok Twin soon, I don’t know what will happen, but I do not think it will be good.”
“Lantash,” she said, with a small sound of distress. “Daniel, you haven’t talked to her since the sword practice?”
“Lantash talked to her about Dominic and the Sevesh Lok Twin. That would not have had a detrimental affect on her, would it?” However, Sam was talking to air, as Daniel sprinted down the hall toward his quarters.