Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters and places are the property of MGM, World Gekko Corp and Double Secret
Productions.  This piece of fan fiction was created for entertainment, not monetary purposes and no infringement on copyrights
or trademarks was intended.  Previously unrecognized characters and places, and this story, are copyrighted to the author.  
Any similarity to real person, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author.

Story Summary: Sam's carrying something very special and the SGC, and SG-1 in particular, are going nuts over her and
her oh-so-precious cargo.  Soon, it becomes too much, so she leaves. She's safe... but not for long! As the Tok’Ra scramble for
their very lives, relationships are tested, threatened, and strengthened. Tensions mount, puzzles appear, and it looks like they
may lose their race against time…it is quickly running out! Special Guest Appearance by: Tashmar, the Tok'Ra Komodo-

Chapter Summary: Lantash and Martouf are leaving on an off-world mission and Sam puts some plans she made
previously into effect.  She hates to do it; Lantash and Martouf will be bereft, but she can’t stand the way they, and everyone
else is treating her.  Lantash and Martouf are devastated when they return from their mission and realize what they have

Characters: Sam, Lantash/Martouf, Daniel, Jack, Teal’c, Janet, and General Hammond, Malek, Anise/Freya,
Jacob/Selmak, Tashmar, the Tok'Ra Komodo Dragon   

Pairings: Sam/Martouf/Lantash, Jacob/Selmak/Janet, Daniel/Anise/Freya

Rating: This chapter: NC-17  

Martouf watched Samantha as she slept.  He never tired of doing so.  The last four months
here on Earth had been his idea of heaven, if such a thing existed.  He reached out and
lightly rubbed the swelling of her stomach feeling the fluttering movements and little
kicks of the new life that grew there.  

“It is an event beyond anything we ever thought possible, is it not, beloved?”  Lantash
asked him quietly.  
“To feel our seed move within our mate is something we never thought
to know.  It is a profound thing,”
as he spoke to his other mate it was easy to hear the
emotion, so near to awe, as it colored the tones and timbres of his voice.

“It is,” Martouf, agreed quietly, his own awe plainly apparent.  “I do miss her when we go
on missions, though, and I believe it is worse because of the coming child.  We worry about
her more than we might because of it.  However, she is doing well according to Janet,”

Martouf continued, doubt coloring his voice.

“True, and that is something to be thankful for, indeed.  We should not worry so; she is
well taken care of, and Janet would take immediate action at the first sign of a problem,”

Lantash agreed, though it was obvious that he, too, was not absolutely convinced.

Martouf sighed, not answering right away.  
“I know, but still, the fear remains,” he
eventually confessed, anxiety lacing his words, as he considered their upcoming mission.

“This mission will keep us away from the SGC for several days, Martouf.  Bring her into our
arms and cradle her against us, Mer Prinekh.  I need to feel her warmth closely one more
time before we begin our day,”
Lantash requested swiftly, attempting to divert Martouf's
mind from concentrating on their fears, as that was not only unproductive, but also
counterproductive.  Since they still had not found a foolproof way to calm their
apprehension, there was no point in allowing it to overwhelm them by dwelling on it.

After complying with his request and feeling her smile sleepily against his neck, Martouf
kissed her forehead and released control to Lantash so that they could both enjoy the
embrace fully.  It was a routine they never missed when they were on world and sleeping
with their mate.  

Lantash smiled as Sam slid her arms around him and murmured his name.  No matter
how they varied it, whether they started out with him and switched to Martouf, or vice
versa, she always knew, even half asleep, who was actually holding her.  It never ceased
to amaze them.

“Is Martouf holding you, too, Lantash?”  She asked softly.  

Lantash smiled, and then laughed softly, “Yes, of course he is, my love.  As he always
does; as do I when the situation is reversed, as you so well know.”

“I am looking forward to blending.  Although, I can see how the genetic memory is a great
help in some ways, it is a detriment when it comes to having children.”

“I know, but it will not be long now, Samantha.  Two and a half more months only,”
Lantash reminded her that they did not have long until the child arrived.

“If,” she reminded him, “We decide we only want one child.  I know this one was an
accident, but it is a welcome one, and I am very glad it happened.  However, since this
baby reminds you that I do not have control of my own fertility and, therefore, you must
remember to take care of Martouf’s, or I need to take precautions myself, if we have more
than one, then it must be a conscious decision on our part.  I have to admit, I believe if we
want two, we should have another one almost immediately.  I know it would be difficult,
but once I blend, my symbiote would be able to help me get back in shape.”

“Do you want two children, Samantha?”  Lantash asked.  He knew she was considering it
and thought of it often; however, they rarely spoke of it.  That she brought it up indicated
that she might be close to making a decision.  

“I do not know.  Sometimes I do; then I really think about it, and I realize what a
responsibility it will be, just the one.  More than that, with our lives so disrupted, I wonder
if it is fair to the child.  On the other hand, if I only have one, it will be a very lonely child
because there are no other children in the tunnels,” she sighed softly after she explained
what she was considering and weighing in her mind.  

“What are you saying, Samantha?”  Lantash asked, as he tensed.  Was she once again
going to request they take the time to go with her to the Tunnels?  So far, they managed to
refuse her without telling her that he was acceding to Dr. Fraiser’s fears about the
Chaappa’ai, even though he knew her to be incorrect.  

“I have thought and thought about this, and I believe we will have to move to the tunnels,
perhaps soon.  This baby is going to have all kinds of odd chemicals and DNA.  We both
know that we cannot allow the information into the general public.  The next thing to take
into consideration is school, an accident, an illness, anything that occurred away from the
base, if we ever leave the base, would be a potential disaster just waiting to happen.  We
cannot allow any of those situations to happen, not away from the base; you can do a great
many things, Lantash, but keeping accidents from happening is not one of them.”  

“What is more, although we rarely mention it, we both know that we would not be living
on base, if kidnapping was not a very real threat to me, and when it is born, to this child.  
Consequently, whether we are here on Earth, or in the Tunnels, it will not have a normal
childhood.  I see no recourse, but to move to the Tunnels, Lantash.  

“I know you thought I wanted to be here, among my people, and at the time, I thought so,
too, but the truth is, that even with Janet, I feel as if I am a scientific oddity to be
measured and scrutinized under a microscope.  I know that the Tok’Ra healers would look
on me somewhat in that light, too, but I doubt if they would be as obsessive over it.  Here,
someone is constantly running tests and doing blood work and,” her voice broke as tears,
always close to the surface recently, threatened.  

Drawing in a deep, shuddering breath, she was finally capable of saying, “I want to go
home to the tunnels, Lantash.  Janet is being too overprotective of the baby and me.  She
does not want me to go through the gate, or go on missions.  And it is not just Janet;
everyone is being overprotective, even the cafeteria people are driving me crazy!” she
exclaimed, obviously not only exasperated, but aggravated, as well.  Her voice was holding
some other emotion Lantash did not remember hearing in it before, but he was not sure
exactly what it was.  “I ask for spaghetti, and they give me salad, chicken, and potatoes,
because I need to eat a balanced meal.  I do not even get to eat the food I want to eat,
unless I tell them it is a craving.  Then they add it to the other food, as a treat.”  

“The other day, someone changed the channel I was watching on the TV in the rec room,
because I should not be watching anything scary; it might affect the baby.”  She looked at
him, her distress palpable, as she tried yet one more time, to explain her feelings, “The
baby was asleep; it was not watching it.  I was.  Lantash, just the fact that I would make
such a ridiculous statement should tell you how badly everyone is getting to me.  The
baby does not watch TV at all!”  She exclaimed believing she was telling him something
that was all too apparent.

“All I do is sit in my lab doing almost nothing day after day, and going out of my mind
from idleness and boredom.  Even there, they are restricting me, saying they don’t know
what this or that will do to the baby.  Since they assigned that new assistant to help me, I
rarely get to do anything in my own lab.  And Daniel assigned Nyan to help me, too,
whenever you are all off world, and all I get to do is sit at a desk and watch the two of

“I cannot stand this any longer and besides, I really miss everyone in the Tunnels.  
Especially Arwanna.  Plus Tashmar and his new mate.  I have not even seen their new
family yet.  I think the Tok’Ra healers can handle anything that happens.  Please,
Lantash, please, take me home,” Sam pleaded softly, her voice breaking in her misery.

“Oh, Samantha, why did you not tell me they were bothering you again?  I will speak to
Janet, I promise,” Lantash assured her quickly.  “I will see to it that they allow you to do
some things in your lab and that Janet does not continue to run tests so often,” he
concluded by giving her a swift kiss, hoping she would not continue with the subject.  
They simply could not have her in such a dangerous environment as the Tunnels.  Just
the thought of it made him shudder in distress…and fear for her.    


“No, Samantha, I do not believe you are thinking clearly about this situation.  It can be
resolved without our removal to the Tunnels.  As I promised, I will talk to Janet and tell
her to run fewer tests, and I will see if I cannot arrange for your lab assistant to spend less
time there.  In addition, I will tell Daniel to give Nyan something to keep him busy so that
he will be away from you this time while we are gone.  We simply thought that, as we
know you like him so well, he would be an acceptable replacement for us, while we are
gone.”  He smiled slightly before continuing, gently, “He takes it very seriously, I am
afraid, and he is quite proud of being entrusted with your care while we are away.  I think
it makes him feel special.”

He frowned suddenly, as he thought of something else.  Then his brow cleared and he
nodded as if satisfied with his conclusion, before stating decisively, “Although, perhaps
you are correct and one of us should stay behind with you.  We did discuss it, and that
was when we decided that Nyan would work as well, but one of us could stay behind
instead.  In addition, if we take the assistant away, then you will have some time alone in
your lab”

Sam sighed.  She was thinking clearly.  This was part of the entire problem.  Even
Lantash would not believe she knew her own mind.  It was as if pregnant, stupid,
irrational and unstable were synonyms.  They were the ones being irrational, not her.  
Now, he was telling her they had discussed one of them remaining behind instead of going
on missions.  Perhaps they would draw straws to see if it would be Teal’c, Daniel, or
Lantash that stayed behind.  To add to her discomfort, if she refused Nyan, then he would
feel as if he had failed.  She had known he seemed to take being with her very seriously;
she had not realized Daniel’s choice of him made him feel special.  She sighed to herself.  
Nyan was too nice a person for her to be comfortable hurting him.  

Well, she had tried and again no one would listen.  It would change for a day or so, and
then it would be back to; “Sam, you have to eat now.  Sam, it is time for your nap.  Sam,
you cannot be staying up all hours, even if Martouf is gone.  Here is your milk, Sam.  Do
not touch that, Sam.  We really should check xyz level in your blood just to be sure it is
not changing.  No, you cannot run those tests; we do not know what those types of EM
pulses would do to the baby.  No, you absolutely cannot go through the gate; we do not
know what affect it could have, and you have already taken chances by going through
several times.  

Dear God, it was driving her crazy, and it had to stop before she became so angry she said
things that would hurt everyone.  Of course, they would probably just smile and write it
off to her hormones, so maybe it would not matter.  Except to her; it would matter very
much to her.

She smiled at Lantash, and kissed his chin, apparently giving in to him yet again, before
saying, “All right, for now.  Do not worry about changing things with Nyan.  He is very
nice, and we do get along well.  What time do you leave on your mission?”  She changed
the subject and began to caress Lantash hoping it would distract him enough that he
would forget about their discussion of a moment ago.  

It did.  “We leave in five hours and seventeen minutes, which is more than enough time
for me to make slow and wonderful love to you, Beloved,” Lantash said, as his lips made
their way to the sweetness of hers.  He would tell everyone to step back, and be more
unobtrusive in their surveillance of her and what she was doing.  Furthermore, he would
be sure to tell the cafeteria to let her eat what she wanted once in a while.

“I would like that very much,” Sam said softly.  After all, if her plans went off, as they
should, it could be a while before they were together again.  She had to get away from this
smothering they were inflicting on her.  She felt as if she was suffocating, as if she could
not breathe.  When would she lose even their intimacy because they decided she was too
far along, and it was no longer safe, even though it still was?  It would not be a joint
decision, she knew.  They would simply decide that they should no longer have sex, and
that would be that.  The arbitrary decisions they made were beginning to irritate her more
and more.  She could not live like this any longer; it had to stop.  It
had to stop one way or
the other and before the price became her marriage.

Feeling his mouth latch onto a nipple, she returned to the present with a vengeance, but a
pleasant one.  As he took her into his mouth, and laved first one nipple and then the
other, she gasped and clasped his head to her, encouraging him by arching her back and
thrusting her breast forward, moaning as she did so.  

At the same time, she began to stroke Lantash more firmly through Martouf's skin.  She
loved to feel him quiver under her fingers as she varied the rhythm and pressure she
used on him.  It still amazed her that he responded in this way, causing Martouf's
manhood to become even harder, when she pleasured Lantash.  They had assured her
that Martouf felt it as an extremely enjoyable and stimulating gesture, and the
obviousness of his response allowed her to know they were telling the truth.  She moaned
as Lantash raised the sleep-shirt that she wore over her head to dispense with it entirely.  

His lips left trails of fire as he moved from her breast, for the moment, to enjoy her throat,
and after marking her gently, to travel on to her lips.  He feathered kisses across her
cheeks, teasing her by kissing the corner of her mouth, and then retreating without
tasting of her lips fully.  

He would reduce her to a body throbbing with need, her desire raging out of control.  He
was a skillful lover; of that, there was no doubt.  The memories left by Jolinar had not
lied, for he was everything she remembered and more, just as Martouf was.  

Burying her face in his neck, she nipped him lightly.  She did not want to turn the tables
yet, but if he continued his erotic torture, she would do so.  Over the past months she had
learned, and remembered, a few moves of her own that could reduce them to a body
without thought, and she would not hesitate to do it to them today.  Besides, it was almost
time to do so, or she would not be able to.  

Lantash had proved to be intensely passionate, physically sensitive, and skilled in the art
of love.  She knew exactly where to touch him to bring him to the edge and leave him
hanging there, panting for release.  In return, he knew exactly the right combinations to
do the same to her.      

Martouf, on the other hand, was sweetly sensitive, intensely passionate, and gentle in his
loving.  They could switch seamlessly, but their touch was different enough she always
knew.  Lantash almost inevitably took over when they needed better control, but as she
had learned their body, she had also learned the things against which he had no defense.  
She would love them both very well this morning.  They would dream of this and tell her
of it later, when they finally forgave her, or perhaps, if they looked for her, and found her.  
And, if they truly understood, then all three would happen soon.  She hoped.

He trailed his fingers up the inside of her thigh until he found her center and the nub
that would give her exquisite pleasure.  Moving against those wonderful fingers, she
brought her own hands to the hardness of the sculpted muscles of his chest.  Finding a
nipple, she leaned forward and took it into her mouth, pleased at the gasp of pleasure it
always brought from him.  Suckling his nipples brought Lantash more quickly to the point
of mindless need.  It did not work as quickly as some other things, but it was a pleasant
place to start him on his journey to their joining place.  She loved both of these beings
more than anything in the world, and she enjoyed loving them and hearing their need
spiral upward for her.  She would miss this.  

Pushing those thoughts aside, she left his nipple as she felt Martouf take control.  Leaning
over, she took his lips in a long, gently teasing kiss before moving down his throat,
nipping lightly in all his most sensitive places, then stopping for a moment to swirl her
tongue around a nipple, she moved from there to the hard muscles of his abdomen.  
However, all of those spots were just that, spots on her journey as she headed farther
down and took him in her mouth.  Soon she heard him moan deeply, “Samantha, you
know I have no defense against this, why do you do this to me?  You almost never do it to
Lantash,” Martouf complained, but it was obvious that he would not stop her even if he
could.  The sensation was too delicious.

Looking up at him, and for a moment leaving her task, Sam laughed lightly, as she said,
“That is true, but then, there are other things that I do to Lantash that I do not often do to
you.  He can resist this longer than you can, so it is more fun to do it to you.  You, on the
other hand, can resist longer when I tease and love your nipples as you do mine, but he
cannot,” she explained between kisses and licks.  Then she turned back to the job she
had started, and gave his shaft the attention it so badly needed, with hands that worked
wonders on his body and a mouth that drove him near the edge.  

He reached down in desperation to remove her before he exploded, but she evaded him.  
“No more, please.  I cannot take anymore, and Lantash is refusing to stop me,” he gasped.  
“I need you, my Samantha, I need you very much.”

“Not yet, I haven’t finished what I was doing,” she said, as she left his throbbing shaft
completely alone, now, and proceeded to kiss the insides of his thighs.  Moving slowly up
his body, she left soft kisses and little nips in all the right places to have him moaning in
desperate need.  Finding his nipples again, she loved them and laved them as he gasped
and panted, his hips attempting to find something that was not there.  

Once he was at this point, his nipples became more sensitive to him than they had been
earlier.  Lantash was no doubt moaning to Martouf to stop her, or take her, but either
way, to do something to stop this unbearable torment and torture, for he was always
sensitive to this, and by now, they would be driving him wild.

“Dear Universe, Samantha, I am almost undone.  You must allow me to rest, or I will
explode before I even touch you,” Martouf complained, as his hips again tried to thrust
into something that was not there.  

Finally moving away from his hardened nipples, she moved up to his throat, only to roll
him away from her, onto his stomach.  “Samantha, no, please do not,” he gasped, as he
clenched the sheets tightly, right before she began to kiss, and then lave, the back of his
neck, nipping lightly, and then sucking, at first gently, and then more firmly as she
moved up and down his spine.  She could feel Lantash first quiver, and then shiver a little
harder.  Soon, it turned into almost constant trembling.  She could hear Martouf gasping
for breath, as the exquisitely intensified sensations sent shocks of almost painful pleasure
through them.  

She was not, of course, actually touching Lantash, but the arousal of their shared body,
had made him very sensitive to any stimulation.  As she touched the skin and flesh
nearest to him, it sent that stimulation directly into his body, or it felt as if it did.  In his
highly sensitized state, it felt as if she was touching him directly, and the depth of the
physical response surged through them both.  Martouf could not control his reaction, as
his hips ground into the bed.  

Pulling his hips back toward her and away from the bed, she took his shaft in her hand
and held it firmly at the base, but did not stimulate him.  She held him and allowed him
to thrust, but now there was nothing against which to thrust.  She continued her
pleasuring of Lantash, for a while longer, until they were moaning in near desperation,
before she turned them back to her and swooped on their manhood.  She teased it with
her lips, breath, and tongue, not taking him fully into her mouth, as she knew he wanted
and needed her to do.  

It would not take much more now, and they would become the aggressor and take
control.  Sometime, she would make them completely helpless, just to see how long it
would take before they could cum, without being touched, but not today.

“Samantha, I can no longer endure this torment,” Martouf finally panted, as he reached to
pull her down beside him.  He could take no more of her erotic torture and had taken
control from her.  Lying back, she looked up at him through eyes made heavy with

“Then you must take me, Martouf, so that we can both have what we need.”  She felt his
mouth, hot and moist as it latched onto a breast and laved the nipple with his tongue
before beginning to suckle gently.  She moaned as he nipped her lightly, then drew in a
hissing breath as she felt his fingers find her center once again and begin a rhythmic
motion that forced her to climb toward her own climax.  Moving against those fingers and
moaning softly, she then panted, “You see what you do to me, Martouf, you and Lantash.  
You drive me to the edge of reason.  You must join me there, so that we can leap over the
edge together.  Now, my love, now,” she pleaded softly.

She felt his fingers leave her and his shaft take their place.  He felt so very good.  How she
wanted and needed them.  Feeling the spiraling begin to tighten before the spring threw
her forward into the abyss of the little death, she gasped out, “harder, oh, god, faster.”

Obeying blindly, Martouf gave her everything she asked for, and then a little more,
holding onto his own climax as long as he could, until he felt hers begin, before joining
her and leaping with her into the abyss, as she had asked him to.  He came back from
there slowly, trying to find his breath and feeling Lantash holding him from within and
Samantha from without.  

Usually, he turned that part over to Lantash due to his better control, but Lantash had
refused, feeling Martouf should experience it from that position again, as it had been
several days.  Although they both shared the feelings, it
was different and he appreciated
the change.  However, he also enjoyed just reveling in the feelings that were generated, so
he really was not sure which was better; being an active participant, or the one that could
enjoy the feeling without the physical exercise.  Both positions had good reasons to take
them.  Bottom line, he enjoyed either immensely.  

Sliding over to lie beside her, he wrapped her in his arms and smiled as he felt their child
move between them.  They never tired of feeling that, it was such a miracle for them.  
Their activity had set the little one to moving around too.  He placed his hand over the
child and rubbed gently, soothingly.  Only two and a half months to go.  

Soon they would have to stop having sexual relations, but not quite yet.  Janet had
assured them that there was no problem as long as Sam’s health stayed as excellent as it
was.  They would miss it, but good health or not, they would not endanger their Samantha
by continuing to have relations with her, if it began to cause her discomfort, or if it
appeared to disturb the child too much.  So far, it only caused it to be a little active and it
soon settled.  Moreover, one could never be sure that it would cause no problems.  He and
Lantash had discussed it, and they had decided that in a week or so they should probably
refrain.  It would be hard, but much as they enjoyed it, the joy would be gone if they
caused problems to arise that would not have appeared at all if they had just controlled
their physical appetites.  He sighed and cuddled them as closely as he could.  They would
tell Samantha of their decision soon.  No doubt, she would protest, but she was not
thinking clearly, and it was up to them to make logical, sane decisions.

Sam held them tightly.  Damn, she was going to miss them.

“What do you mean Samantha is gone?  Gone where?”  Lantash demanded furiously.  
“How could this happen?  How could she simply leave without anyone knowing?  I find it
incomprehensible that she could leave by the Chaappa’ai, and not one person noticed that
she was planning to do so.  This is unacceptable,” he said forcefully.

Janet Fraiser sighed.  She had known this interview was going to be bad, but she had not
realized how bad.  It was not only Lantash and Martouf that were stunned and angry, but
Jack O’Neill as well.  He, too, did not understand how Sam could just walk out of the SGC
with no one knowing she was going.  Daniel was stunned, but unlike the other two, he
was not angry.  Teal’c appeared to be neither stunned nor angry.  He simply seemed
accepting of Sam’s disappearance, as if he was not even surprised.  She wondered briefly
if he knew she was going and where but quickly discarded that thought.  It was highly
unlikely, as Sam would not have put him in such an awkward situation with his team and
the General.  

She sighed to herself once more.  At least, Sam had left a letter telling them she was
okay.  That was not appeasing Lantash though.  Janet really thought he could literally
bite through a nail right now if given one.  She had never seen him in a rage and fervently
hoped that Martouf could control him, or one furious dangerous Tok’Ra might single-
handedly destroy the entire base.  At this moment, she believed he was capable of
searching the entire universe for Sam, and heaven help her when he found her.  Dear
God, he was almost beyond rage.  No one in the room was making any movement at all.  
No one wanted to be the spark that burned that last bit of fuse and allowed the keg of
gunpowder to blow.

“Lantash, perhaps Martouf should…” Janet began softly, only to have Lantash interrupt
her before she even finished her sentence.

rarely destroy things when I am angry, Dr. Fraiser,” Lantash said, his voice arctic.  
“Martouf, on the other hand, tends to break things.  Contrary to your assumptions, it is I
who am controlling him, not the other way around,” he bit out caustically and somewhat
bitterly.  It was only too obvious to him what they thought of him.

“I’m sorry; I had no right to make that assumption,” Janet apologized, as she realized
what she, and no doubt the rest of them, had automatically assumed.  Because they had
never seen Martouf really angry was no reason to assume that he was the calmer of the
two of them.  Looking at the bleakness in Lantash’s eyes, she ached to comfort him.  Since
she could not do that, she did the only thing she could.  “I mean that, Lantash.  I had no
right to make unwarranted assumptions.  You have never given me any reason to assume
that you would be violent when you were angry, and, in fact, the opposite is true.  I have
seen you very disturbed and under stress and, while you were passionate in what you
said, you were very much in control of yourself.  Again, I apologize,” she reiterated softly.

Drawing a breath and obviously controlling himself even more than he had been, he
answered her, “I accept your apology, Janet.  Moreover, you do not know me, or the Tok’
Ra, well, so your assumption was an understandable mistake.  No offense is taken.”   

Turning from her to the General, he said, “I am waiting for an explanation, as well as any
other information you have managed to accumulate since she left.  I assume,” he said, his
voice once again frigid, “that there have been inquiries made?  You have contacted the
Tok'Ra, your other allies, and the Asgard?  You are aware that the fact that she is carrying
our child makes her a prime target for capture, not only by the System Lords, but also by
your own N.I.D?  Why else would we be living on this base instead of in Samantha’s
home?  Did not you all point these things out when you convinced us to stay on base and
went to the trouble to construct a suitable habitation here for us?  Those realities have not
changed since we moved in and took up residence here.”  

Janet paled as those thoughts, while nebulously in the back of her mind, had not been
allowed to take root.  General Hammond shook his head.  “She left letters, Lantash.  There
was one for me, and one for you.  I suggest you read yours as it might hold more
information than mine did.  I am afraid mine was a request for an extended leave with an
enclosed letter of resignation should I refuse the leave.  She also explained how she
planned her, ah, escape.  That is her word, not mine.  She did not want the technicians
blamed and, in fact, they could not stop her.  She made sure there was only one on duty
and sent him to the cafeteria while she watched the control room.  Unfortunately, the tech
arrived back as the wormhole shut down.  She overrode the computer so there is no
record of where she went.  We were hoping your letter had more information.”

“You did not open it to ascertain where she went?  Surely if she left information, you
looked into it?”  Lantash asked, surprised they had not read her letter to him.

“From what she said in my letter, it was obvious that she had planned this for quite some
time.  Therefore, we knew that no kidnapping had taken place, no abduction, no capture.  
Under the circumstances, since we had no reason to assume foul play, and your letter was
sealed, it was decided that what she wrote to you was of a private nature and not for us to
see,” General Hammond said quietly.  

Lantash sighed.  The Tau’ri need for privacy.  Furthermore, the General was correct, of
course.  With every indication that this was Samantha’s choice, they had no reason to
invade that privacy, and she would have been very upset if anyone had opened a letter
meant for their eyes alone.

“How can you say that?  They should have begun to search at once and recalled us
immediately.  By now, the trail is very cold.  She has been gone for several days.  Lantash,
we must do something,”
Martouf bit out, his anger and his fear warring with one another
to be the uppermost emotion.  He felt as if he could personally tear the universe apart
looking for her.  He also felt as if his entire world was crashing around him.  He was on
the edge of panic, and only Lantash and their need for information was holding him

“Please calm down, Martouf.  I believe that once we read our letter, we will discover that it
is our…my…fault she left so abruptly.”

“Samantha loves us.  Why would she leave us?  That makes no sense,”
Martouf now
sounded bewildered.

“We shall see, but I believe we will find that our…my…refusal to so much as consider her
wish to return to the tunnels is the reason she has left.  That and our being, perhaps,
somewhat overprotective.  Therefore, since I was the one to refuse her last request to return
to the tunnels so unequivocally, this can be laid directly at my feet,”
Lantash replied


“No, Martouf,”
he said firmly, “We shall read our letter before we speculate further.”

Martouf sighed.  Lantash was right.  Only Samantha knew why she had done this.  He
watched as the General handed him the letter.  Aware of the eyes of everyone in the room
on them, he was not surprised when Lantash did not at once open the letter.  However, he
was surprised when he simply turned and walked out of the room without so much as a
word.  He headed for their quarters with the letter clutched convulsively in his hand.  
Upon entering their rooms, the scent that was Samantha surrounded, enveloped, and
assaulted them.

“Lantash!  Lantash, please, do not grieve so.  We will find her.  Lantash!”  Martouf tried
desperately to get his attention.  He was immediately distracted from his own anger and
fear by Lantash’s reaction.  Never, in all of their years together, had he known his
symbiote to react in such a way to anything or any situation.

Closing the door and locking it, Lantash had turned, leaned his back against it for a
moment, and then holding his breath, he had slowly sunk down, until he was almost to
the floor.  He fell the rest of the way and was on his knees, his pain, fear, and desolation
so raw, intense, and wild, that Martouf was frightened for both of them.  Never had
Lantash released such waves of anguish into their shared consciousness.  It was nearly
unbearable and, so intensely painful that, for several moments, it actually stole their
breath away.

“Please, Lantash, please do not do this to us.  We must think; we must read her letter, and
we must find her.  You cannot let your feelings affect us this way.  We need your abilities
and your knowledge to help us find her.  We need your personal inner strength, that same
strength that helped us survive the loss of Rosha and Jolinar.  I love you, and I need you.  
Please, Lantash, please do not grieve so, dear one.  We will find her, and she will be well.  
We must believe that.  We will find her, I promise you.  Please, come back to me,”
spoke softly to Lantash, sending him waves of love and caring, soothing him and
comforting him, his own anger now almost completely gone in this need to care for his
other mate.   

Holding him from within, he continued to soothe and caress him, kissing him softly, and
bathing him in comfort and love.  He released a feeling of relief, when Lantash drew in a
deep shuddering breath, and wiping his face on his sleeve, stood and walked to the bed.  
His shaking began to abate, and he sat stiffly, forcing himself to become calm once again.

“I am sorry, Martouf.  I should not have allowed myself to react in such a way.  There is no
excuse for frightening you in that manner,”
Lantash apologized quietly.

“You do not need to apologize, Lantash.  You have as much right to react with despair and
sorrow, anger and shock, or any other emotion you wish to express, as I do.  So long as I
can call you back from that edge, I do not mind.  After all, you have been swamped by my
feelings since we were informed that Samantha has - has, left us,”
as Martouf said the
words the accompanying pain was so great it felt as if his heart was torn in two.  

Riding out that pain, he allowed other emotions to come forward and his anger and fear
began to build, but this time he forcibly tamped it down.  Remembering how the negative
emotions that had rampaged through Lantash had frightened him, he realized that he
was responsible for helping to control their joined emotions; he could not leave it all to
Lantash.  If Lantash’s emotions had affected him so badly, then no doubt, his emotions
were impacting Lantash almost as much.  They must both be careful and strong for the

“We should read what Samantha had to say, Lantash,” he finally urged him gently.

“Yes.”  Lantash looked at the envelope that had both his and Martouf's names written on
the front.  Slowly, he opened the sealed envelope and pulled out the letter.


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Breathing Space

Chapter One

The Fear Remains