Chapter Five Summary: Daniel does some deep thinking about Sam, Martouf, Lantash, and himself.  Teal'c has
his own opinion and thoughts on Sam, Martouf, Lantash, and Daniel.  Meanwhile, Jack's trying to figure out how
to get everyone to go away, so they won't be there when they come to change the leaves.  He knows it will be
painful, and he would rather they not witness his reaction.  When the leaves prove to be working, Sam, Martouf,
and Lantash head back to their cottage.  Once there, they find their robes have arrived, and they proceed to get
dressed in them...or at least the men do.  Sam, however, can't seem to get hers right and finally calls on them to
help her.  Some interesting, and then alarming, incidences occur.

“Italics” – Symbiote-Host communications

The woman he loved.  Oh, yeah, when had that happened?

He remembered the day they met on Abydos.  He had felt an instant connection to her.  
Spontaneous.  A complete meshing of—something.  Soul’s?  Maybe.  Not hearts.  Not then.  
Minds, definitely.

Sha’uri’ held his heart then.  He loved Sha’uri.  He still loved Sha’uri and always would,
but now it was a different love than it had been then.  Once vibrant and strong, sharp
blacks, and pure white, after so many years of her being gone and now dead, it was as if
the edges of the events that made up the time of Sha’uri were blurring and the colors
fading into shades of grey rather than their once bright, stark tones.  

But, there was no doubt, his love for Sha’uri would be there until the day he died.  That
did not mean there was no room for another love; no, it did not mean that at all.  Sha’uri
wouldn’t want that for him.  Hell, he didn’t want that for him.  He hadn’t followed her into
the grave and he still had to live his life.  It would, as she would have chosen for him,
contain joy, happiness, excitement…and love.

So their hearts had not connected, not then, but still their psyches had met.  On some
deep level, he had known that she was important to him.  From that day on, they had
become closer and closer.  Friends, almost siblings.  That was what everyone said, Sam
and Daniel, just like brother and sister.  He even tried to believe it himself, for a while.  
Fooled himself into believing it for months at a time, but something always brought the
other feelings rushing to the forefront.  Just like today.  Where had he run when he had to
escape those girls?  Sam.  He knew where Jack was, too.  But, he went to Sam.  His Sam.  
His Sam that was always there for him, whether it was for a minor gripe over some small
annoyance at work, or a major trauma like Sha’uri’s death.  Whether he needed cookies,
or a warm human touch, he turned to Sam, and she was always there.  Jack was his best
friend.  Teal’c, too, was very close.  Sam was his rock, his anchor, his—his other half.

Martouf and Lantash’s Sam.  He’d realized and accepted that a long time ago, too.  He’d
seen it in her eyes when she looked at them.  They hungered.  Just as Martouf and
Lantash’s did for her.  But, he’d seen something else in her eyes from time to time; a
curiosity, a wondering, when she looked at him.  It was always quickly bundled away by
her conscience, but it was there.  Sometimes, when she’d been relaxed and just lazing
around, he’d seen female appreciation, too.  He’d known she didn’t realize there was a
burning in her eyes when she looked at him upon occasion.  He’d watched her frown,
when it happened, and shake her head, as if admonishing her inner self, and the mood
and look was gone in an instant, buried so deep she didn’t even realize she’d ever felt it.  

Until today.  He’d seen it in her eyes today.  He saw her realize it, know it, feel it, at last,
for what it was, and be shocked by the strength of it.  She wanted, claimed, him Daniel
Jackson.  More than wanted him, she loved him, and had for a long time now.  Oh, how it
had shocked her, to suddenly realize that her Daniel was more than the friend/sibling
everyone had been telling her he was, for so long.  She had covered it well.  But, it was too
late, for all of them.  They all knew, now.  None of them could hide from it any longer.  Not
from each other--and not from themselves.  They all had to decide just what they were
willing—and able--to accept.  

He frowned as he thought of that.  He knew that Martouf and Lantash would probably
have looser mores than the Tau’ri, being Tok’Ra.  He was not hung up on sexual taboos
himself, for the most part; he had lived among too many societies that saw nothing wrong
with the human body and sexuality of all kinds.  He had seen as many happy threesomes
and foursomes as he had seen unhappy twosomes.  He had seen happy women together
and happy men together.  He had never found a man that affected him, or appealed to
him, sexually, so he assumed he simply was not interested in male/male sex, not because
it was taboo, but because he was not wired that way.  

He was; however, open to a deep bond with a male.  He had seen many of those over his
years of travel and had always envied the men involved.  Their relationships had been
deep and their trust implicit.  He liked Martouf and Lantash.  Whether it could develop
into a deep and lasting friendship only time would tell.  If it had a chance to do so, was
still very much an unknown at this point, too.  

Of course, things had changed.  They didn’t have to stay on Earth anymore with its less
than open mores.  For that matter the SGC itself was coming to accept more and more
diversity in the way its part of the military operated, realizing that the galaxy simply did
not function on the restricted view that most of Earth did.  If we wanted to play ball in the
big leagues, then we had to get with the program, and play with the big league’s rules.  
That meant revising and changing to adapt to the wider view of our expanded world.  It
was slow, but it was happening.  One way it was happening was a less restricted view of
sexual mores.  It had to because many peoples did not have Earth’s restricted and hide-
abound views.  They had left those behind long ago, if they ever existed in the first place.

It wasn’t that we had to change our values.  We didn’t.  People could still believe anyway
they wanted to.  But, they had to be more open to other races and species, their customs
and beliefs.  If they believed that corn was the root of all evil, then you didn’t serve them
corn for a meal, not even if it was Thanksgiving Day and one always had corn.  And you
took down pictures that had corn in it, until they came to understand that to us corn was
just “corn”, neither evil nor good.  It was just food.  Moreover, if they never came to
understand, then you kept corn away from them.

The same thing when we were off world.  When we went to someone else’s world, we were
the ones that tried to follow their customs.  We make the concessions.  Why?  Because it
showed our respect of them.  If there couldn’t be an unaccompanied male, then Sam had
to stay with them all the time.  If it was the other way around, at least one of them claimed
her.  This time it had been Martouf that had claimed Sam, and then him, when they’d
been found in a situation that had not appeared to show them at their best.  It wasn’t the
first time, and it probably wouldn’t be the last.  They’d even had to sleep together before,
to satisfy some local sense of right.  It was no big deal.  It was accepted.  This would be
too.  Assuming everything turned out all right.

That was neither here nor there.  He still had to decide if he would willingly share Sam
with Martouf and Lantash, if and there was that if again, Sam was willing to be shared at
all.  He looked over at her as she traced patterns on the arm of her chair.  He knew from
the look that Martouf, Lantash, and he had received this morning that she wanted all of

The questions were, did she love them both enough to share herself with them, or could
she choose one, or the other?  If she couldn’t choose between them, would she choose both
rather than none?  And if she did choose both, would Martouf and Lantash be willing to
share their mate with him?  He knew in his own heart that he loved Sam enough to share
her, if she would be happy.  He wanted her happy.  

He knew, without a doubt, that if he forced her to choose, and she chose him, he would
never be happy; he would always know that in her heart, she mourned for them, and still
loved them.  How could you say you loved someone, if you did that to them?  No, he loved
her to much to cause her that kind of pain.  He wouldn’t do it.  She meant too much to
him.  He could and would do it, rather than see them all get hurt.

Jack’s voice once again broke into his thoughts, “I really don’t need you guys to sit here,
you know.  You can go do something else for a while.  I think I can manage here on my
own.  It’s not like I’m dying, or anything, and even if I was, there still wouldn’t be anything
that you could do, so go on and do something else.”  

Teal’c looked at O’Neill.  He was definitely wishing they would just go away for some
reason.  He did not believe they would be doing so.  They wanted to see how these leaves
worked, and no doubt, if they weren’t the miracle cure that Martouf claimed, they would
be heading through the gate very quickly.

“That is quite unnecessary, O’Neill.”  As he turned from staring out of a window, Teal’c
added quietly, “There is no rush, we have all day.  We will wait to see how the healing is

Jack sighed and stared morosely at his leaf covered arms and legs.  He really didn’t want
them here when the healers came back and started pulling these things off, and he
started screaming from the pain of skin coming off with them.  He gave up for the
moment.  He’d let them get a little more bored, before he tried again to get them to leave.

Teal’c turned back to stare out the window once again.  He hoped O’Neill’s burns were
healed by this plant as well as Martouf seemed to believe they would be.  They would need
something to distract him from the clash that might be coming when Major Carter finally
completely realized that her heart belonged to not two, but three separate beings.  So
much so that he doubted very much if she would be able to choose between them.  

He had seen it happen before.  The Tau’ri were not as open with it, but occasionally one
saw it.  It surprised him that it was more often two women sharing one man, but now and
again, he had seen one woman with two men.  In this case, one would also need to count
the symbiote.  He had seen the shock on Major Carter’s face earlier when she had faced
them and realized her desire.  It would not take long for her heart to speak up, as well.  

Teal’c smiled to himself.  He had known for a very long time that the love between her and
Daniel Jackson would not remain as brother and sister, no matter how often it was
repeated.  They were much to drawn to one another.  He had seen it at once, even though
Daniel Jackson was mated already.  

Then Martouf and Lantash had come along and much as she had tried to tell herself that
it was Jolinar that cared for them, in her heart, she had known differently.  The love for
these two beings had grown from her heart, not that of the symbiote Jolinar, though that
love lived there as well.  No, what she felt for them was as real as the love she felt for
Daniel Jackson, and it would hurt just as badly, if she made the wrong choice and
determined that she could not love both.  

Yes, he hoped this plant lived up to its “PR” because O’Neill would need something to keep
him occupied, if things became somewhat overheated between the two men and the
symbiote.  He would keep an eye on developments, in case Major Carter needed
assistance.  He hoped she would be able to come to the right decision on her own,

The healer making her way in their direction brought everyone’s attention back to the

Looking up, Jack was surprised to realize they were now all looking at him, instead of
whatever they had been doing before.  “What?  So, how much longer until we eat?  I’m
getting hungry.”  Jack said, disgruntled and dismayed at how intensely they were
watching him.  

“I don’t know, sir, but I imagine they’ll bring you something.  Here comes your healer,
now, though.”  Sam moved her chair back farther and let her get to work.  

It had been an hour and a half since they had first put the leaves on him.  Knowing how
very badly burned his legs were he dreaded her taking these things off.  

She hummed as she worked.  Jack kept waiting for the pulling and the pain to return as
she took the leaves off.  He felt nothing but the leaves being removed and looked down.  
There were no white patches with leathery skin, there were no blisters.  His legs were very
red, but there was no skin falling off.  He stared at them with his mouth open.  

He heard Martouf call Sam over and heard her gasp.  He heard the healer and Martouf
talking rapidly.  He saw Daniel’s astonishment.  He looked up and his eyes met Martouf’s.  
Damn, the Tok’Ra had been right.  He was going to have to start listening to him.  Crap.  
But it couldn’t have been a better way to find out that the guy knew what he was talking
about.  He groaned. He wouldn't even get to gripe about the thing that Martouf had been
right about, at all.

He watched as his pink arms and hands were exposed.  They were all checked over
diligently.  Then they were rewrapped in the same leaves.  Evidently, you didn’t even have
to have new ones.  Cool.  The leaf was removed from his cheek and was not returned to it.  
Evidently it didn’t need any more help to heal.

“She says you are healing very quickly, Colonel, and she expects you to be well enough to
enjoy the middle-time meal.  She says that they usually have a morning-time snack about
now and that if you would like something to eat they will bring it and she will unwrap
your hands enough so that you may eat.  She does not believe it will set you back to do

Jack realized he really was hungry.  “Yeah, I’d like something to snack on to get me
through to lunch.  Thanks.”  

“I will tell her, and if you still wish to be left alone, now that we know you are indeed going
to heal well, we will leave you,” Martouf said quietly, no smugness, or triumph, in his

“How much longer am I going to be here, did she say?”  Jack asked.

“About another hour, perhaps a little more, depending on how well the remainder heals.  
The healer was quite impressed with the quickness of your healing.”  

“In that case, you guys go ahead.  I think I can entertain myself, for an hour, or so.  It’s
not the end of the world, if I spend a few minutes on my own and I’ll be able to eat as
well.  I’ll be fine.”  

“I will remain with you, O’Neill.  I would prefer that to being escorted by the young women
who are waiting outside, lovely as they are.”  Teal’c said quietly.  

Daniel, Sam, and Martouf stood.  “I will tell her on our way out that you wish something to
eat and ensure that it is something you would consider edible.  We will see you during the
dinner, then,” Martouf bowed his head slightly, and stepped back so that Sam could
precede him.  

“See you there, sir,” Sam smiled cheerfully and stepped out in front of Martouf.

“Later, Jack,” Daniel, too, seemed quite happy to be on his way, now that they knew Jack
was well on his way to recovery.    

Jack leaned back against the couch like bed they had put him on.  This had certainly
been one heck of a day so far.  About twenty minutes later, he felt someone nudging his
arm and looked down to see the little boy standing there grinning at him.  He was pink
where he’d been burned, but it was obvious that he was quite well, and that the pinkness
would fade to perfectly smooth beautiful skin.  Jack smiled at him, and the boy smiled
back, before he clambered up, threw his arms around Jack’s neck and gave him a kiss.  
Waving bye to the man that had water in his eyes, the boy left with his grateful parents, to
go home.  Maybe it hadn’t been such a bad day after all.  Then he shook his head and
sighed, but it wasn’t over yet, either.  

One or two snacks and ninety minutes later give or take a few, his healer came over and
unwrapped his leaves.  Jack looked down at the new pink skin that covered his legs and
arms.  He touched it and found it to feel normal, perhaps a bit sensitive, but not extremely
so.  She smiled at him, nodded, and indicated he should remove himself from the room.  
He was, in her estimation, cured and ready to return to his quarters.  

He thanked her.  She walked with him to the door, and then stopped him, pointed to the
sun and then to his arms and legs, and then held up all of her fingers three times.  
Obviously, she wanted him to stay out of the sun for thirty days. Hopefully it was days and
not weeks or months.  He’d have to ask Martouf to find out.  If that was the only
precaution, he could live with it.  

He smiled at her, indicated that he understood, and thanked her again, even though she
didn’t understand.  She smiled, bowed, and returned to the inside of her cottage.  Teal’c
and Jack started down the steps of the tree.  

“I believe that plant will be of great interest to Dr. Fraiser and the remainder of the
medical community.  While the water you and the child were in was not boiling, it was still
quite hot, your burns were fairly large, and some were quite serious.”  

“Tell me about it, Teal’c.  Let’s just hope nothing out of the ordinary happens to screw
something up, before we get a treaty signed.  Or after, for that matter,” Jack said gruffly.  


Jack and Teal’c returned to their allotted cottage and found robes waiting for them along
with people to explain that they could put them on over their regular clothes, or wear
them alone, whichever they chose.  Martouf had told them while they were in the bathing
pool that they would probably turn up before long, so translation was easier than it might
have been.  So the robes they received at the bathing pool were exchanged for the clean

They figured out that someone would come for them for the evening-meal, when it was
ready, a middle-meal would be delivered, they weren’t sure, but they thought there might
be another meal in there somewhere, and in the meantime, they were free to do whatever
they wanted.  Everyone bowed repeatedly, until the door closed.  

Jack looked around and found that their uniforms had somehow been cleaned and
pressed, which impressed him.  He wondered how they got the crease in his BDU’s.  Then
he noticed his underwear and he looked at Teal’c.  “They pressed my boxers, Teal’c.  Why
would they do that?”  He continued to stare at them in fascination for a while, before
shaking his head and deciding that some things were not meant to be explained in this
lifetime and turned back to Teal’c.  

He looked at him, the two rooms, the beds, noticed the nice cool breeze and the shades on
the window.  “T, old buddy, I believe, that I am going to take a nap.  The days here are
really long and since I have no idea how long the nights are going to be, I’m going to take
some snooze time, while we have the chance.  What about you?”

“Indeed, O’Neill.  I believe a little bit of meditation would be very beneficial, therefore, I
will join you in your rest.”

“Great.  Which room do you want?  I don’t care myself, as long as it’s cool and quiet.”  

“Teal’c walked to the door of the other room.  “Then I shall leave you in here and find my
rest in there.”  

Jack grinned, flopped onto the bed, and stretched out.  Nothing to worry about now.  The
plant was everything Martouf said it was.  They should have no trouble.  It looked like the
three members of his team were just going to ignore what had passed between them
earlier and go on.  Another problem solved.  Yes, siree.  Nap time.  

Martouf, Daniel, and Sam returned to their cottage and were taking turns in the other
room dressing in the rather ornate robes.  Daniel and Martouf, having worn similar robes
before, had no problems.  

Sam, on the other hand, was not so lucky.  It seemed that no matter what she tried, it
didn’t work.  

I am an astrophysicist.  Surely, I can figure out how to wrap one rather long length of
material around my body and come up with something at least minimally resembling
what the women here wear, can’t I?  This is ridiculous.  It should not be this hard.  

She took it off for what felt like the one hundredth time and looked it over again.  She still
didn’t see exactly where she was going wrong as she mentally wrapped it around her
body.  Well, that seemed to work in her head.  Another try and something was still wrong.  

Sam struggled for thirty minutes before finally giving up.  “Daniel?  Can you come here for
a minute?  I think I need some help.”  

“Sure Sam.  What’s up?”  

“Well, you and Martouf obviously didn’t have any trouble getting into your clothing, so
evidently you know how they go on.  I am incredibly stupid about it, though, because I can’
t seem to figure it out.”  

“Okay, well, let me see what I can do.”

In the other room, Martouf held his breath.  Daniel was dressing Samantha.  He closed
his eyes and forced himself to breathe slowly.  She was asking as one friend might ask
another friend for help, there was nothing wrong with that.  None of them had any claim
on the others, despite the feelings raging through them.  

He was just sorry she had not felt comfortable enough to ask him, that was all.  She had
known Daniel for a long time.  Learn to live with it, and go slowly.  That was all he had to
do.  Why, then, were his hands clenched in white knuckled fists?  Slowly, he forced
himself to release them.  It was ironic really, because he was not white knuckled because
Daniel was with her, but because it was not the three of them together working on the
problem.  That at least was good.  So, he was not so much jealous of Daniel, as feeling left
out.  Though uncomfortable, those emotions were by far better than the other option in
the present circumstances.

“Unwrap that part, too, Sam, you’ve done something wrong from the very beginning from
the looks of it,” Daniel frowned at the piece of cloth in his hands.  There was something
different about this piece of cloth.  He looked back at Sam to see her standing and staring
at him with wide eyes.  She hadn’t moved.  “Hurry up, Sam. This may take a while, it’s
very different than ours are.”  

Still she didn’t move.  “Sam?”  

“Um, Daniel, I can’t.”

You’re going to ask me why not, aren’t you, Daniel?  Why not?  Because I am naked under
this, and I just realized that I’m in love with you a little while ago? And I know that you
know that I just found out that I want you a little while ago?  And I want to kiss you.  No,
can’t do that.   Would that do as a legitimate reason?  Ah, no, better not give that one.  At
least, not the reasons.  Maybe, just the naked part.

“What do you mean, you can’t?  I’ve seen you in your underwear before Sam, good grief.  
Now, come on.  What’s got into you all of a sudden?”  

“Daniel,” Sam re-iterated, this time with more emphasis, “I can’t.”  Taking a deep breath,
she finally continued, as he stared at her.  “I can’t find my underwear.  As in I’m not
wearing any because I can’t find my underwear.  They took it, and I don’t know where
they put it.  I can’t let go of the material.  You are going to have to work with what you
already have.”  

Daniel didn’t move for a minute, he just stared at her.  Oh, this is not good, this is so not
good.  Sam is naked, and she is standing there in front of me.  She just realized she wants
me.  Furthermore, she knows that I know that she knows that she wants me.  I want to
kiss her.  No, can’t do that.  I came in here to do something. Right.  The robe.  She wants
help with the robe.  I can do this.  I can.

Then seeming to come out of his daze, he said, “All right, that’s all right, we can work
around the problem.”  He glanced around the room.  One window, but he knew that
whatever covered it kept people outside from seeing in.  There were no mirrors in this
room although there was something that looked very like one in the other one.  Still, to
make her more comfortable he turned her back kind of sideways to the door and away
from the window.  

“All right.  Now, Sam, look in my eyes.  Right, now there are no mirrors behind you, and
you have the material in front of you.  Let go of the material that is behind you.  I’ll stay in
front of you and so will the material, but I have to see how it is cut, before I can figure out
how it drapes.  Really, Sam.  I’ve seen more than one style over the years, and each one is
cut a little different.  They aren’t all just one long piece of material.”  

“All right.  You’ll stay in front of me, right in front of me, and, and, you’ll look at the
material.  Not anything else.  Just the material.”  

“Yes, I promise.  And, I’m sorry I didn’t think about the underwear thing.  They took ours,
too.  It just didn’t register that they would have taken yours.  Martouf said they would be
washing and pressing them.  They always do that for visitors.”

Daniel and Martouf don’t have underwear on.  Oh, god, they are naked under those
robes.  Daniel, why did you tell me that they took your underwear, too?  “That’s very nice
of them, but where are our packs with our changes of clothes?  They press your
underwear?”  Something finally distracted her from the desire to kiss Daniel.

“You know, I never thought of our packs.  And I wouldn’t think so.  Why would they press
underwear?”  As Daniel began to gather the cloth into his hands, he found his eyes going
back to Sam’s.  He continued to pull them away, but he saw the same thing in hers that
he knew was in his.  She wanted to kiss him, wanted him to kiss her.  He gathered the
last of the long length of material into his hands and began to examine the cut of the
cloth.  Standing so closely in front of her, he could smell the very feminine scent of her.  
He heard her shift slightly, as if she was uncomfortable, and part of a whimper escaped
her, before she managed to swallow it.  

He swung around to look at her, to see what the problem was, only to be caught in the
heated look in her eyes, before she could look away.  Turning to face her more fully, he
brought her into his arms and angled his lips just so onto hers.  At the first touch, he was
lost.  Soft and sweet, everything he’d ever thought they would be, he drank from them,
until reality and sanity forced their way into his mind, and rapped him sharply. If they
didn’t move apart soon, they would suffocate.  Reality check.

Pulling slowly away, he looked down into eyes that were so deeply drugged with passion
(and lack of oxygen) it was all he could do to step back from her.  But he did.  Placing his
forehead against hers, he moaned her name softly, “Sam.  Can’t.”  Then, once he could
make more than one word sentences, “Sam, I can’t, we can’t, do this.  Not here, not now.  I
will be more than happy to remember our place, but we have to stop and put a bookmark
on it for now.”  

Her withdrawal didn’t surprise him, but her words did, “You’re right, this is not the time,
or the place.  I need to get this robe thing figured out before the meal.”  Her voice shook
slightly, but she sounded remarkably in control and rational.  Only by looking in her eyes
could he see that she was not as calm as she appeared on the surface.  

He nodded and forcing himself back to normality, he picked up the length of material that
he had dropped.  As he continued to examine the changes in width and shape down the
length of it, he handed the excess to Sam.  Unthinking of what he was doing he called out,
“Hey Martouf?”, before picking up the next length and handing the finished one off to

Hearing nothing more, Martouf assumed he was wanted, and that was a summons, so he
opened the door, “Yes, Daniel, what did you…?”  Martouf’s voice ended as he took in the
sight of three quarters of Samantha’s lovely back side, and all of her right side, including
the fullness of one ripe breast, as she reached for the material that Daniel was handing
her, and she allowed what material she was holding to slip.  As his eyes followed the
sculptured lines of her body, they took in the lushness of the curve where her hip and
buttock met her long and very shapely leg. They looked their fill before moving leisurely
back up, to again take in the breast, her shoulder, the long firmly muscled back and
beautiful shoulders.  They stopped at her face and the shock written there.  

Realizing at once that Daniel had not been calling him into the room, and the Tau’ri were
not as open with their bodies as the Tok’Ra were, he turned his back to her, as Daniel
sprang around her with the excess material, as fiercely protective of her nakedness as a
Karatas Teshek Dragon with one fledging.  “I apologize.  I thought you called out to me,
Daniel, and hearing nothing more, I thought you wished me to attend you here.”  

Daniel moaned and threw his head back, “No, it’s not your fault, I did call out to you, and
then I got distracted by the cloth and didn’t finish my sentence.  It’s my fault, not yours.”

Once the shiver of having Martouf’s eyes on her settled down, Sam started to smile.  It
really was ridiculous.  It wasn’t as if they hadn’t all seen a naked body of the opposite sex’
s before.  Why was she being so stupid about it?  Her body wasn’t bad, they were all
adults, and they all knew that she wanted both of them.  Evidently, they both wanted her
as well, and the solution she had reached in the bath was so much detritus.  She
straightened her spine, tossed her head in a “what the hell” gesture, and took the cloth
from Daniel’s hands.  

“It’s all right, Martouf, maybe you can help, too.  Come on, Daniel, I’m finished playing
shrieking, shrinking, fainting Victorian maiden.  Let’s figure out how this thing goes on, so
I can get dressed in time to eat.  I’m tired of messing around.  We are all adults here, you
know.  It’s not like we’re a bunch of high school kids.  I don’t know about you, but I’ve
been around the block too many times to act the idiot.  And Lantash must have worn ruts
in the cement; he’s been around it so many times.  Let’s just do it.  

“You sure, Sam?  I don’t mind going on as we were.  I wouldn’t make you feel
uncomfortable for the world.”

She shook her head and walked to a couch-like piece of furniture, dropped the robe, sat
down, and grabbed a couple of pillows to retain some modesty.  Smiling at them, she
teased, “I don’t want to distract the two of you, while you figure that thing out.”  

Daniel grinned back, trying to match her attitude and actually succeeding.  She was right
to go this route; the other was way too dangerous for them right now.  

Martouf tried to remember how to breathe.  What were he, Lantash, and Daniel doing?  
Not looking at a naked Samantha.  Right.  Not.  Looking.  

“Speak for yourself, dear one, I looked.”  

“Lantash attempt to control these urges.  At once.  She is attempting to keep the entire
situation from getting out of hand, and you will assist her.”  Martouf was insistent.  

“Very well.  I intended to, Martouf.  Calm yourself.  She is a wonderful woman, full of the
fire, of which we are so fond.  She has herself well in hand, and she will not falter again
for some time, if at all.”  

“I am glad to see that you are so confident.”

“Pay attention to Daniel, Martouf.  He needs our help now.  Later we can discuss this

Martouf sighed and forced himself to listen as Daniel pointed out the differences between
their robes and hers.  Daniel had not yet figured out what the very large cut out areas
were for, or how to wrap the material using them.  Finally, something his mind could latch
onto besides breast and hips and…robes, they were discussing how to wrap robes.  How
could Daniel sit there so calmly with a naked Samantha in the room?  Was he dead, or
did he truly look on her as a teammate and nothing more?  No, he had seen the stark
hunger in him.  He did not think of her as a teammate.  So?

“Martouf!  Daniel is focusing on something other than Samantha and forcing his attention
to remain away from her and her body, an exercise you seem immensely inept at.”  

“I am sorry, I will focus as you say.”  

“Thank you.  It will certainly make my job easier.”

Martouf finally managed to force his mind, with some help from Lantash, to focus on the
problem facing them.  He could see what Daniel pointed out, but he could see no other
way to wrap them than the way theirs was either.  However, the women’s robes looked
nothing like the men’s, when they were worn.  Daniel was correct, and there was
something different in the wrapping.  

He and Daniel tried once again to wrap him in the cloth so that it would hang correctly,
and once again, they did not gain the desired effect.  A light tapping on the door sent
Daniel to answer it, as Martouf unwrapped himself and folded the material.  He sat down
next to Samantha to wait for Daniel to return, careful to keep his eyes on her face, but he
picked up her hand where it lay on the pillows.  

“I am truly sorry for coming in upon you, Samantha, it was not intentional, I assure you.  I
would never have done so had I not truly believed that Daniel had called to me to come
and assist him with something.”  

Sam smiled at him slightly, and shook her head.  “The Tau’ri are more inhibited than
many races.  We just aren’t as comfortable showing our bodies.  The Tok’Ra aren’t as
reserved as we are.  If Daniel and I hadn’t reacted so ridiculously, you wouldn’t have
thought a thing about it.  And really, don’t worry about it.  Obviously, Daniel wouldn’t
have figured this thing out on his own either.”

He started to answer her, when Jore’s wife entered the room, scolding Daniel, and talking
a mile a minute.  Finishing with him, after pulling solidly on both of his ears twice, she
turned her ire on Martouf.  Sticking her finger in his face, she proceeded to scold at an
alarming rate and an increasing volume.  

Jore and several others, who happened to be wandering by the open door, entered the
room just as she slapped Martouf soundly, once on each side of his face, and turned her
back on him. Seeing her mate, she went tearfully to him pouring her injured feelings onto
his chest, lamenting loudly and repeatedly, sending resentful, vengeful, and disappointed
looks at Martouf and Daniel, while sending forlorn, desolate, and sad looks at Sam.   

Daniel looked confused, Martouf looked aghast, and Sam was embarrassed to be caught
naked in a room on a couch, while an apparently hostile crowd gathered.  In fact, she didn’
t believe she had ever been this embarrassed.  And that was making her angry.  It was
their fault that a small crowd was now seeing her covered in nothing, but some large
ornate pillows.  If their joining robes came with instructions, this would not have
happened.  She frowned, not liking this turn of events at all.   

She looked at Daniel.  He shrugged slightly and sent a few unobtrusive hand signals.  
What she thought they said didn’t make her any happier, but she would simply watch for
now.  Until there was something that she could definitely put her finger on, as to what
exactly was happening, or there were any more hostile moves made toward her or the two
men, that is.  The two men these people supposedly considered her mates.


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Chains of Gold

Chapter Five