Chapter Four Summary: Jacob returns from a short mission to find Sam visiting the
tunnels.  It does not take long for him to hear the entire story.  Sam is so upset and worried
about both the situation and leaving Martouf/Lantash that Jacob offers to go to the SGC
and check on them.  He, too, is curious as to why they have not followed her to the Tok'Ra.

"Italics" - Symbiote-Host communication














“Hey, kiddo, how ya doin’, and where are Lantash and Martouf?”  Jacob asked his
daughter, as he entered the room she had been given.  He was on a short recon mission,
so was not in the Tunnels when she arrived on her visit.  He thought she looked pale, and
her smile was not as bright as usual.  He wondered what was up and hoped there was
nothing wrong between her and Lantash, her and Martouf, or both.  

“Hi, Dad, and I am doing fine, thanks.  No more morning sickness, and the food cravings
seem to have leveled off, for the most part other than for chocolate, but that is a constant
anyway.  How have you been?”

“I have been good, Sam.  Ah, where are Lantash and Martouf?”

“Oh, sorry, I forgot you asked.  They had a long mission, and I was bored, so I came by
myself.  Don’t you want to see me without them?”  Sam asked, and something in her voice
warned her father to be careful.

“I want to see you with or without them, kiddo, you know that.  I am just surprised they
let you out of their sight alone that is all.  They must have finally figured out that you
would not fall apart, or have something terrible happen to you if you were left alone for a
few days.  I am glad they finally backed off.  I know they were becoming obsessive about
something happening to you, and I was afraid they were going to drive you crazy.”  Jacob
walked across the room to take a seat, so was surprised when he turned around to see
tears running down his daughter’s face.

He immediately headed back to her and took her in his arms.  “Sam?  Honey, what is
wrong?”

“Oh, Daddy, it has been, they have been, and I cannot—.”  She stopped and gulped,
before blurting out, “I have run away from home.  They don’t know where I am, and I don’
t want them to find me yet, so don’t tell them I am here, and I miss them so much I almost
can’t stand it,” she managed, before she started crying in earnest.  

Jacob led her to the sleeping platform and sat down with her, taking her in his arms, and
rocking her slowly while she cried.  As her crying quieted, he said, “I take it they did
not
get over it.  How bad did it get?”

Sam laughed slightly, shaking her head before answering, “I should have stayed and tried
again to make them understand how I feel.  I knew it would hurt to leave them, but I didn’
t realize it would hurt this much.  I miss them so much; I just want to turn around and go
back to them.  The problem is that I know what will happen if I do return.  I will be
trapped there, and there will never be another chance to get away.  I will start to resent
them, and everyone else, and I am afraid of what the resentment will do to my love for
them.  I do not want to end up losing them, Dad.  I love them both more than I thought it
was possible to love anyone.  As for how bad it got; it was bad enough that I am here
instead of there.  So I guess that is the answer; bad enough.”

“Why don’t you start at the beginning; tell me what happened, sweetheart.  Maybe you
have blown it out of proportion because you did not have anyone to talk to.”

Sam nodded, saying, “I thought of that, too.  I didn’t even have Janet.  She—she
is part of
the problem.  In fact, there is not anyone on the base that is not part of the problem, or if
there is, I have not found them.  Not even,” Sam choked on her tears, as her emotions
tried to get away from her again, but she finally managed to get the words that had so
upset her out at last.  Her voice dropped almost to a whisper as she said, softly, “not even
Daniel, Dad.  Even Daniel was not there for me this time.”  She sighed before beginning to
explain to her father what had been happening.  

It took her quite a while, but she finally came to the end of her story, only to repeat some
parts of it.  It was as if now that she finally had someone who was truly hearing her, she
could not stop talking, “I know it is because they all care for me so much, and they all
want to be sure that nothing happens to me, or the baby.  All the same, I feel smothered
by it.  I can’t breathe, I cannot go anywhere alone, and I cannot leave the base for fear of
being kidnapped.”  

“The few times I did leave, you would think I had committed a huge crime, but that is not
what stopped me from doing it.  I realized myself that I really was not safe, and that it was
a foolish thing to have done.  So I did realize, but the thing that actually stopped me was
the fear in their eyes when they found out.”  She looked up into her father’s eyes, her own
full of anguish as she told him, “They are so afraid for me, Dad.  Unfortunately, it is not
just because of the N.I.D. or the Goa’uld; it is everything.  They are frightened for me, just
as they are for the baby.”  

“They want this baby so much.  I think that is what has kept me there longer than
anything else did.  Knowing, that if I left and something happened to me, or to the baby,
they would never forgive me.  It would be the fulfillment of their every nightmare all rolled
into one.”  

Jacob sighed.  He had been afraid of this happening.  It was so rare for a symbiote and
host to father a child, or for that matter, for a female host to have a child, that when it did
happen, well, miraculous
might not be too strong a word to describe how they looked upon
it.  Two hosts never had a child, of course, and so rarely did a host have a non-host mate
that children were rare indeed.  Lantash and Martouf were so worried that something
would go wrong, or happen to Sam, that from the moment they found out that she was
pregnant, they had been in a constant state of anxiety unless they were with her.  

“I was at the point of not knowing what to do.  It did not matter what I said; they did not
hear me.  I told them repeatedly that I wanted to come here, but they just kept saying it
was my hormones, and that I did not really want to come here.  Then if I complained
about everyone hovering over me and running tests and, oh, just all kinds of incidents,
they would tell everyone to be less obvious in their surveillance of me for a day or so.  
Then it would be back to the status quo.  When it got to the point that someone was even
watching me when I went to the restroom, I decided I had to get away.”  Frowning, Sam
paused before she added, “I suspect there is also an airman assigned to the hall outside
my lab, but I only have the impression of one; I have not actually seen one there.”  

“Dad, I came out of the shower,
in our apartment, and found an airman waiting in the
living room to be sure I was okay.  As soon as she saw that I was all right, she said she
would be right outside the door, if I needed anything, during the night.  All I had to do
was call out; she promised she would be there immediately.  I mean, it is crazy, dad.  I
now have my own personal guard outside my door at night, while I sleep, whenever the
team is off world, “
just incase” something happens to me or I need help, as well as an
unobtrusive escort to the restroom.”  

Sam sighed disconsolately, before continuing, “I was becoming afraid that if I did not
escape the base soon, that I would not have a chance to escape the base at all.  I truly
believe that if I had not given the airman assigned to the apartment a direct order to stay
at her post, she would have followed me wherever I went. I told her that I was just going to
the control room to check some diagnostics I was running, and that I would not be more
than a half hour, forty-five minutes tops.  She did not look happy, but at least she did not
follow me when I left.  I had to sneak into the locker room to get my belongings, and if I
had not packed some things a couple of weeks ago and hid them in there in my locker, I
am pretty darn sure that I would have arrived here with nothing but the clothes I was
wearing.”  

She swallowed hard, before telling him, “I feel so guilty for leaving them.  I
know they are
only doing these things because they love me so much, and they want the baby to be born
healthy and me to be healthy, but…” her voice trailed off as she finally wound down to a
stop.

“Sam, honey, are you
sure someone was actually following you to the restroom, or are you
just getting
paranoid because of everything that they definitely have done?”

Sam sighed and asked, “Does it seem logical to you that the same airman is always in the
same hall every time I go to the restroom?  Or that as soon as I leave, they turn their back,
and key their radio to let the next person on my route know that I am on my way?  They
would fail covert ops, and I have to admit, I think this is one of the Colonel’s plans, not
Lantash and Martouf’s.  But it would not surprise me to find out they know about it.”

“The guys were going to take turns staying on base, while the others went out on missions,
until they hit on the idea of Nyan staying with me while they were gone.  And, I could not
hurt Nyan’s feelings by telling him I would rather be alone.  He is too nice a young man to
do that to, and it is not his fault; I am sure it is the council of SG-1 plus Janet that
decided it for him.  Teal’c is the only one that does not treat me like I might break at any
minute, but he does not say much; I do not want to catch him in the middle, so I just don’t
say anything to him about what is happening.  I will not divide his loyalties.”

Sam swallowed hard, and then looking up at her father, her eyes swimming with tears,
she whispered, “The worst part of this is that I feel so culpable, so in the wrong, for giving
up and leaving like this.  I have hurt them so much by doing this that now I wonder if
they will ever forgive me.  They should have been here by now.  Their mission should
have been over two days ago.  What if something happened to them?  What if they are
hurt and need me and I have left them, and they feel they have nothing to live for?  What
if I have killed their love for me by leaving them like that?  I am scared of what I may have
done to our bond, our marriage.  I do not know what to do next.  Now that I have been
away from it for a while, I can see it for what it was; it was overwhelming love of me and
our baby.”

“Sam, the only reason you can see it now is because you are finally away from that
atmosphere.  If they had only let you come here and visit, it would probably have kept you
enough on an even keel that you would have taken all of the other stuff with a grain of
salt and a shrug of your shoulders.  Now that you are away and have a bit of space to
breathe in, you feel better.  I will tell you what, how about I go to the SGC and see how
things are going?  Make sure they are all right, that nothing terrible happened to them on
their mission, and they are still in love with you, missing you, and looking for you.”  Jacob
frowned, and asked, “What makes you think they should have been here?  I thought you
did not tell them where you were.”

“I told them that once they began to believe that I knew what I was saying, and I meant
what I was saying, they would know where to look for me, and to come for me as soon as
they could hear me, hear what I was saying to them.  I also told them if they really could
not figure it out to ask Daniel because he is very astute, and he would be able to help
them figure out where I was.  I practically spelled it out for them, Dad.”

“Well, they still may not have figured out where you are.  On the other hand, they may be
trying to come to terms with the fact that they cannot continue to smother you.  It is
possible that they realize they are being overprotective, but don’t trust themselves to be
able to let you live without being watched over constantly.”  

“Sam, to them, this baby is a miracle.  It is such a rare thing to have occurred, that to
Martouf and Lantash, it is simply extraordinary.  It is something they never expected to
have happen, and now that it has, they are scared to death; they are truly almost petrified
by the fear that something will happen to one or both of you.  I do not know what they
would do if something happened to you or that baby.  Lose their minds, probably.”

“I know,” Sam whispered, sadly.  “I better go back.  I have already caused them too much
pain.  I can’t do this to them, Dad.  I will just have to learn to live in a fishbowl, and stop
worrying about making my own decisions.”  

She smiled slightly, saying, “I told them I wanted to move back here to the Tunnels, but
they could not survive that, could they?  At least on Earth, they feel like we are half-way
safe.  If we were here, they would constantly be terrified that the Goa’uld would capture
the baby and me.  That is the real reason they did not want me to come here.  They know
that the System Lords are constantly looking for your bases, and they are afraid we will be
here during an evacuation and be killed.  At least Earth is in the protected planets treaty,
so they feel better when we are there.”  She sighed again, “I will go get my stuff.”  

“Jacob, tell Samantha no.  Although I know how much of a miracle this is to them, and how
terrified they are that something will happen to her and the baby, this is not healthy.  They
must come to terms with their fear and they will not do so as long as Samantha is there
where they can see her and push the fear aside,”
Selmak gave Jacob his opinion of the
situation.
 “I feel for their pain, but it will be much worse if they end up alienating their
mate, believe me.  And unfortunately, it sounds as if they are well on their way to doing so.  
We must stop it now.”  

“All right, Sel.  I have to agree.  I do not think this is healthy either.  I can understand their
fear, but they need to learn to control it and the sooner they do the better for all of them.”
 

Jacob’s hand on her arm kept Sam sitting while he discussed the problem with Selmak.  
“No, Sam, don’t.  I was talking to Sel, and he feels that their fear has moved into the realm
of unhealthy.  They have to get it under control, and we both agree that you returning to
the SGC will not help, but hurt.  They will never come to terms with their fear as long as
they can be near you.  I will go to earth, and see how things stand.  I honestly believe and
agree with Sel that they are going to have to come to terms with this fear of theirs.  I know
what you are saying is true, but you, and they, cannot live your entire lives in the halls of
the SGC, either.”  

“At the very least, you need to spend time in both places.  This baby has three parents
and three cultures.  It is part Tok’Ra, Sam.  While it is true that Lantash is asexual, and
did not contribute sperm as such, we really don’t know that much about the affect the
symbiote has on the host’s body and reproductive system.  For all we know, there may be
some subtle change in the sperm that we don’t know about.  This is no doubt another
reason that the N.I.D. would love to get their hands on you.”  

“Lantash is very much aware of all of the ramifications of this situation.  No, of course the
baby is not going to be a symbiote.  We know that; we do not know if any part of Martouf’s
DNA is altered by having a symbiote controlling all of his body systems.  Furthermore, if it
is altered, then how is it altered?  What is it going to affect?  Children of a host and a non-
blended human are so rare that basically there is no information on any of those
questions.  The one thing they are sure of is that a child born in those circumstances will
not be a harcesis.  But, Sam, you were blended with Jolinar as well as Martouf being a
present host.  While they are sure it
will not be harcesis, they are not sure just how much
your DNA changed by hosting and surviving the death of Jolinar. You do not have the
genetic memory of the symbiote, so they know a harcesis cannot come into being, but that
is all they know.  Also, unfortunately, there are those who will believe that it is harcesis
because you hosted Jolinar.  Their ignorance is a danger to you and the child.”  

It was Jacob’s turn to sigh deeply before continuing, “Our own ignorance on what changes
Lantash may have caused in Martouf’s DNA and what affect, if any, it will have in the
making of a new life is abysmal.  I guess that is something they should look into.  And this
baby, whether you like it or not, should be studied to see what traits, if any at all, are
passed on because of some subtle changes that come about because of the symbiote.”  

Sam closed her eyes, and then opened them to look at her father, as his words sank in.  
What he said was true.  They would need to do some studies on this child.  Nevertheless,
she still would
not have it turned into a lab rat.  There was a limit to what she would
allow.  “I agree up to a point, but I will never allow either the Tok’Ra, or the doctors on
Earth, to make this baby, or the next one, into a lab rat.  I agree it probably should have
tests run, so that we do begin to understand whether the symbiote has any affect at all on
the child, but I
will not allow them to study it excessively.”

“Neither will I, Sam, but just like they study exceptional children on earth to understand
them, this child will be studied to try to understand it.”

Sam nodded.  Of course, it would have to be.  It would be up to her, Martouf and Lantash
to see to it that it had all the love and acceptance that was possible though.  It would no
doubt blend someday.  It only made sense.  She found herself wondering if it would be a
better candidate for blending because one of its parents was a symbiote. It was an
interesting question and an intriguing possibility.  

Abandoning that topic of conversation, Jacob slapped his hands down onto his thighs,
saying, “So, if I go to Earth and check on everyone, will you be okay until I get back?  Have
you spent any time with Tashmar, Jacarta, and the brood?  Did they tell you that
Tashmar swiped all of Martouf’s desert hats to make a nest for Jacarta’s eggs?”

Glad of the change of subject, Sam laughed shakily, saying, “Yes, I have seen them, and I
had planned on spending some more time with them.  Tashmar still likes to put his head
in my lap for a rubbing.  He helped me so much, Dad; I am glad you have kept him,
Jacarta, and the babies.  As for the hats, he used to hiss every time Martouf wore one.  I
told Martouf it was his fashion sense making a statement, and that he obviously
did not
like them.
 Jacarta did though.  She would follow him around when he wore them.  I
always figured Tashmar was jealous.  No wonder they used them for a nest.  Between the
two of them, there was no better choice.”

Jacob agreed, and then repeated the question Sam had not yet answered, asking her, “So,
if I go to earth for you and talk to Martouf and Lantash, you will be okay till I get back?”

“Yeah, I think so.  I feel a little better.  Tell them I am sorry, please.  And tell them I am
ready to come home, if they still want me.”

Jacob sighed, hearing the quaver in her voice that said tears were not far from the
surface.  “They will want you, Sam.  Trust me on this.  They love you too much to turn
away from you over this.  I think they will understand why you did it, and as I said, I
believe that is the reason they have not come after you.  They want to be very sure they
can be with you without driving you crazy.  Sam, honey, once they realize they really are
hurting you by being this way, they will do whatever they have to do to overcome it.  I am
sure of it.”

“I hope so, because I don’t think I want to live without them.  I never realized how hard it
was for you when mom was killed.  I understand now, Dad, and I am sorry for everything.  
I missed my mom.  But you lost your mate, and there is nothing that can match that
pain.”  She paused for a moment before saying, “I never gave it much thought before, but
moms been gone a long time.  If you ever meet someone, you know, with the Tok’Ra, or on
earth, that you could love, please do not hold back.  Take what love is offered.  You
deserve to be loved, Dad.  You are a wonderful man, and some woman would be very
lucky to have you.”

Jacob smiled at his daughter.  He had not really given much thought to taking a mate,
although he was not exactly celibate.  There was someone he found attractive, but he
doubted she would look at him, as she was much to young for him.  Those thoughts ran
swiftly through his mind before he answered her, saying, “Thanks, Sam, I appreciate you
saying that, and I can promise you that if I ever find a woman that would live up to what I
had with your mom, I would not hesitate.  I do not mean I want someone like your mom,
just that what we had together leaves a pretty high standard for someone to live up to.  If
it ever happens, you will be the first to know though, okay?”

“And speaking of the other, Sam, I think there might be a loss that would be just as
painful as losing a mate.  I have never lost a child, but I think that pain would be as bad.  
You are not supposed to outlive your children.”

Sam nodded.  That was true.  Moreover, Lantash and Martouf were afraid of losing both.  
She let the feeling of losing them and this baby enter her and felt what they had been
feeling.  She would return to them soon now, or they would come to her.  It was time to
acknowledge this fear and talk about it.  Maybe then, they could move forward.





The klaxons were going off as the General walked into the control room.  “Do we have a
code, Sergeant?”

“Yes, sir.  It is the Tok’Ra.”

“Open the iris, Sergeant”

“Yes, sir.”

The general headed for the gate room and arrived at the end of the ramp, as Jacob
stepped through the event horizon and walked toward him.  Seeing no one but George
waiting there, he frowned.  “Where is everyone, George?”

“Daniel took Martouf and Lantash off world on an archeology expedition yesterday
morning, very, very, early.  Jack and Teal’c are probably in the gym, or the cafeteria.  
Those seem to be their favorite places.  I am afraid I can’t tell you where Sam is.  She has
taken a vacation, but she did not tell us where she was going,” the General said, hoping
his friend was here because he did know where Major Carter was, and if he was not, and
did not, he hoped not to alarm him.  He almost expected an outburst, but it did not come.

“Let’s go to your office,” Jacob stated bluntly.  If, as he suspected, the base was already rife
with gossip, he did not want to fan it any farther.  He wanted privacy.

George nodded, and they headed for the office.  As soon as the door was shut, Jacob
turned to the General, and said, “She is fine, but she is missing them badly and
wondering why they have not followed her.  I am assuming Daniel’s field trip is to occupy
them, so they will not go running after her before they can come to terms with
everything?  At least, I am hoping it is because they were afraid they could not do as she
asked, since that is the reason I gave to her as what logic dictated was the cause of their
non appearance.”  

“The other possibility, I did not mention to her; the one where they are too angry to go to
her for fear of saying something that would be unforgivable.  I am hoping you will tell me
that is not even in the running,” He was again blunt in his statements.  He and George
Hammond went back a long way.  They could cut to the chase with one another.  He saw
the surprise on George’s face at his last statement.  So, evidently anger had not been the
uppermost of their emotions.  That, at least, was a very distinct relief.

“They were both so angry at us, for not recalling them at once and starting an immediate
search, that they spent all their anger on that, Jacob.  After they read her letter, they
began to understand what had caused her to leave in such a way, and they were terrified
that she was somewhere unsafe.  I have never seen either of them so strung out.  They
were so brittle, that,  for a while, I was afraid they would shatter into a thousand pieces,”
George answered his questions both asked and unasked.  “They admitted before they left
that right now, the fear they have for Sam and the child is simply stronger than they are.  
They are hurting badly, Jacob, both because Sam is gone and because they blame
themselves for both her leaving and for her having no other choice but to do so.  They are
just...I cannot even explain the pain they are in, it goes so deep, Jake.  I have to admit
that I am surprised to see you here; I never would have expected her to go to the Tok’Ra.  I
assumed she would expect them to look there for her, so she would not go there.”

Jacob nodded, replying, “And yet, they did not look there, George.  They, like you,
assumed she would not go there, for that very reason, and yet she practically spelled it out
in the letter.  It looks like she was correct in one of the things she said.  It is as if they can’
t hear what she is saying to them.  She told them she wanted to go to the Tunnels quite
plainly, and she told them in the letter that when they learned to believe her and trust
her, they would know where she was.  Should I assume by what you have said that none
of you figured it out?”  He asked, incredulous.

“They don’t know where she is, and as far as I know none of the rest of us figured it out,
either.  However, I did get the impression from what Martouf said, before they left, that he
believes that Daniel knows where she is.  He told me that Daniel feels that when they
come to terms with everything, they will realize where she is, and that when that
happens, they will be ready to go get her and either bring her home here, or take her to
the Tunnels, if that is truly her wish.  He said that Daniel thinks that they will stop
hovering quite so much.  Perhaps never completely, but at least they will not smother
her.  Hopefully, the rest of us will learn the same lesson,” he sighed.

Jacob nodded his agreement.  “I understand their feelings, their fear, and their panic,
George.  I have to admit that without Selmak’s input I might not have.  It is such a fact of
life for us.  You grow up, you get married, you have babies, or you adopt.  Most of us,
anyway, although not everyone wants or should have children, and I have no problem
with that.  My point though, is that this is
not the normal life cycle for the Tok’Ra.  For
them, mates are usually both blended, so there are no children.  This is so rare that to
Lantash and Martouf this truly is almost a miracle, something they never thought would
happen.  Add to the rarity of it happening, the fact that both the System Lords, and the N.
I.D., would love to get a hold of Sam and this baby, and you have a recipe for out and out
panic.”  

He paused before continuing, “They love Sam so much that I don’t know what they would
do if something happened to her, but the truth is that they have to come to terms with it.  
Because Sam is in a line of work, just as they are, where any or all of them could be killed
at any time.  Sooner or later, they are gonna have to face that fact and come to terms with
it, George.  I hope it is sooner for everyone’s sake.”

George nodded, saying, “I know, Jacob, and we probably have not helped matters any.  
We have all been as overprotective as they have.  I can’t take the blame for any of the
things they have done, but when she tried to talk to me, I brushed her off with a bunch of
rot about enjoying being coddled while it lasted, which makes me just as guilty.”

“Not quite, George.  You could not know how bad it really was becoming.  Did you know
they had someone following her to the restroom, waiting in her room while she bathed,
and standing guard outside their quarters at night when they were off world?”

“Are you sure, Jacob?  That does not sound like something Martouf and Lantash would
do.  I mean, yes, they were instrumental in being sure she ate well, and slept when they
thought she should, things like that.  They did agree that Nyan should spend time with
her when they were off world, and they did not argue with Dr. Fraiser about her going
through the Stargate, which, looking back in hindsight, was probably not a good idea.  I
am also aware that they were making most of the decisions for all three of them, which
probably was not wise, either…but I just can’t believe they would have someone following
her to the restroom.”  George Hammond was obviously surprised.

“Well, Sam did say it seemed more like something Jack would do.  Regardless, I really
would like to find out whose brainchild it was because it was the last straw.  When she
came out of the shower, found the airman in her room, and then realized there was a
guard on her door at night, she knew that if she did not leave soon, she would never get
the chance.  She was feeling more and more trapped.  I would like to find out if Lantash
and Martouf knew about it at least.”

George Hammond picked up the phone, “Have Colonel O’Neill come to my office.  ASAP.”  
Turning to Jacob, he said, “I think we will have an answer to that question shortly.”

“I just hope Sam was right, and it was Jack, and not Martouf or Lantash,” Jacob
responded as he shook his head at what they, whoever “they” might turn out to be, had
done.

“It sounds to me like it has Jack’s signature all over it, Jacob,” George said sardonically.

They looked up as Jack knocked lightly on the door and the General told him to enter.

“Jacob?  Was that you earlier?  I thought it was probably Daniel and Martouf coming
back,” Jack said, as he came into the room.  He suddenly looked uncomfortable, as he
realized that Jacob might not know that Carter was missing.  He did not look particularly
upset, so it kind of looked like he might not.  Jack glanced at General Hammond.  Surely,
he had told him his daughter was missing.

“Jack, come on in, I have a couple of questions for you.  It seems that someone was
assigned to Major Carter as a bath attendant.  Do you know anything about that?  In
addition, it seems that an airman was assigned to stand guard on her at night?  I do not
remember issuing those orders, so do you know who might have made those
assignments?”  George asked, every inch the General.

Jack looked like his shirt was suddenly too tight around his neck, but since it was
unbuttoned at the collar, it could not have been that.  Uncomfortable would have
described his expression.  “I suppose I might know a little about that, General.”

George Hammond sighed deeply and shook his head, “Jack, what were you thinking?  Do
you have any idea of the damage you may have done to Martouf, Lantash, and Sam’s
relationship?  I should allow him to tear you limb from limb when he returns.  I am
assuming he was not aware of these extra, er, precautions you decided to take?”

“Well, we discussed it, but at the time, we shelved it as not being needed.  That was a
couple of months ago.  With her getting so far along in her pregnancy, I was afraid she
might slip in the shower or something.  If she had an attendant, they would know when
she took a shower and could be sure she was okay.  And, since we were gone off world
during the nights sometimes, I just thought that if something happened and she went into
labor early or she fell or something, then if there was someone outside the door, they
would be there if she needed anything.”

“So Martouf and Lantash did not know anything about it?” the General reiterated.

Jack shook his head.  No, this had been done solely by him, he admitted.

Jacob crossed his arms, leaned back in his chair, and looked at the man standing before
him.  “You might be interested to know that the reason Sam left, was because she got tired
of having people following her to the restroom, being in her room while she bathed, and
guarding her at night.  It was the last straw, Jack.”  He shook his head at the appalled
look on Jack’s face, before relenting.  “In all probability, the way things were going, she
would have left eventually, anyway, Jack, so don’t look so appalled, but you should not
have interfered.  
I will not stop Martouf and Lantash from tearing you apart, if they end up
blaming you.  I do not think they will, as I am sure they know that they are to blame as
well, so consider yourself lucky that they are fairly reasonable, and that Lantash can
control Martouf.”

It finally dawned on Jack what Jacob had said.  “You know where Carter is?  Is she
home?  She is back?  Where is she, I am gonna
kill her myself for scaring us like that,” he
said suddenly.  His face first paled and then flushed as he allowed all the emotions he
had kept firmly penned up to come bursting forth.

“No, she is not here, and no, I am not telling you where she is.  That is not your concern.  
And I am telling you that if she does return here, you are to allow them to manage their
own lives, and you will not confine my daughter in anyway.”  He frowned before adding,
“Except to keep her from leaving the base.  I am very much aware that the N.I.D. is not to
be trusted, and if she was kidnapped, I would tear this place apart myself.”

General Hammond nodded his agreement.  “You will keep this information to yourself,
Jack.  I do not want one word to leak out that Jacob knows anything about Major Carter, if
Martouf and Lantash come back.  We will tell them in our own way and time.  Dismissed.”

“Yes, sir.  General Carter.”  Jack acknowledged them and his orders.

“Later, Jack.  Maybe I will calm down by tomorrow,” Jacob said quietly, by way of a
dismissal.

Turning to George after Jack left, he raised an eyebrow and then grinned.  “It seems Sam
knows Jack pretty well.  She did not think it was Martouf and Lantash; she just was not
sure they had not gone along with it like they seemed to do with everything else.”

George shook his head, as he said, “Well, I find it hard to believe that even Jack would do
something so very over the top, but he admitted it, and I can’t dispute his own word.  I
knew the guys, excepting perhaps Teal’c, were obsessing about this, but I did not realize
they were as bad as Martouf and Lantash.  I am beginning to think perhaps there is not a
thing to choose between them.”  

Standing, he said, “What do you say we go get something to eat, Jacob?  I do not have any
idea when to expect Martouf and Lantash back.  Daniel and I agreed that he would keep
them there as long as necessary.  He thought it could take a few days for them to realize
they could function not knowing where she was or what she was doing.  Once they
realized they were capable of allowing her that space, they would realize they could allow
her what she needed, and it would dawn on them where she went.  Are you going to stay
until they come back?”

“I am not sure.  If they come back sometime within the next couple of days then I probably
will, yeah.  I need to send a message to Sam to let her know they are not angry, and they
do understand.  She needs to know that they are trying to come to terms with her needs
and theirs, and that they are all right and with Daniel.  That alone will make her feel
better.  She trusts Daniel to take care of them.  You would think it would be the other way
around, and that she would expect them to take care of Daniel.  I suppose she does in a
physical way, but in an emotional way, she knows that Daniel will help them.  So it will
relieve her mind to know they are with him.”

“No problem, Jacob, let’s go by the control room first and get your message sent.  Then we
will eat.  You want to stay on base tonight, or go home with me?”  George asked him.

“Do you think they would come back tonight?  Is the world they went to on the same
day/night schedule as earth, or is it coming on morning there where they might suddenly
turn up tonight?”

“I think it is similar to what we have on earth.  Off set by several hours ahead though, I
think.  Seems to me it is already fairly late evening there.  I know they left here very early
in the morning hours, and Daniel said it was already after sunup there.”

“Then I can safely go home with you this evening.  I would like to leave instructions to call
me at once if they return early though.”

“Not a problem, Jacob.  I will tell you what.  Let me leave the message with the tech and
turn the base over to Jack, and we will leave now, go out for a good meal and head home.  
How does that sound?  Good food, good scotch, and good company?”

“That is one of the best propositions I have had in a long time.  I accept,” Jacob agreed.  
George watched as color washed Jacob’s face.

“Selmak reminding you of another proposition you have had lately, Jacob?”  He smirked.

“Yeah, you know sometimes having a permanent house guest can be annoying as hell.  
Especially when said house guest has an exceptionally excellent memory.”  He smiled and
said, his voice taking on a softer more gentle tone, “But other things outweigh the
drawbacks.”

“Yes, so I understand.  Remind me after we eat, and I will tell you about a conversation I
had with a symbiote and host recently that was a revelation to me.”

“You are on, George.  I will hold you to that.”

TBC





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Breathing Space

Chapter Four

Room to Breathe