Chapter Fifteen/Sixteen PG-14: The final "ceremony" is completed and Sam, Daniel, and Martouf/Lantash are free to retire to their "cottage". After getting settled in, a few topics of conversation come up...like rings, legalities of off-world marriages, and Tok'Ra customs. Before they know it, it is time to leave to return to the SGC where Jack explains the chains etc.....well, sort of.
“Italics” – Symbiote-Host communications
Jore spoke quickly to Martouf. “This is the final ceremony. After this, we dance, we sing, you can go whenever you wish. We party until we are tired. Tomorrow will probably be declared a free day in honor of your joining. Too many people will not get up and go to work anyway.”
Martouf frowned. “What kind of ceremony? How much pain is involved in this one, and who has to endure it?”
Jore looked shocked, as he looked from one of them to the other. “There is no pain. You can now eat the cake, and it will give you nothing but pleasure. Truly, I assure you.” He cocked his head, as the group stared at him, then he motioned the attendants over. He told them that, if the chains hurt them, they were to leave them alone. Then he handed Martouf a piece and encouraged him to eat it. Nothing happened. Jore gave one to Sam, and she ate it with the same result. Daniel, also, became convinced. They all sat down and were handed a glass of juice.
Four pieces of the cake were cut and placed in front of each of the grooms and the bride. Then tall slender glasses of juice were brought in. Jore instructed them. In the last ceremony, they must eat a bite of the cake, and follow it with a drink of the juice. There were pitchers of juice. Sam tried it and decided it didn’t taste like the other two juices, or the wine, she had been given today.
So perhaps it was safe to drink. That was not the right thing to think. Every time they thought something was safe, it turned out to be dangerous, in some fashion. Well, not the “dangerous”, kind of dangerous, but in the, not what they expected, kind of dangerous. But, there were no more ceremonies, so this should be all right. They looked at each other, and at Jack, and Teal’c, who had both joined them, and started to eat.
Jack tried a bite and stopped. He looked at them. With his mouth still full, he said, “You didn’t tell me it was the best cake you’d ever had. This is great stuff. Wow. I wonder if I can get the recipe.”
“Jack, even their baker’s can’t make it all the time.” Daniel explained what they had been told about the cake during the ceremony, realizing that Jack wouldn’t have understood what was going on, not realizing that Lantash had enlightened him earlier. He knew they had translated for Sam, but didn’t know if Jack could have heard it.
Jack nodded, “Oh, yeah, Lantash told me that earlier when he was explaining about the joining and the chains melting and stuff. You got those golden imprints on your skin too, Daniel?”
Daniel stared at him, a little stunned that he and Lantash, of all of them, had discussed it, and then replied, “Yeah, Jack, yeah, I do. I’m, uh, sure you’ll see them sometime.”
Jack nodded, and asked the attendant for another piece of cake, losing interest in real golden chains, in favor of Golden Chains cake.
Sam turned, to answer his earlier question, “Sir, there is something about watching your groom doubling over in pain, and not being able to do anything about it, that makes it very hard to notice anything about how something tastes. I can honestly say that this is the first time, out of all of the times I’ve eaten this, that I tasted it. It is very good.” Sam reached out and finished her drink. An attendant promptly refilled her glass and handed it back to her. She took another good sized drink and ate more cake. It was really, really good.
Jack nodded. “Yeah, I can see how that probably put a damper on your taste buds.”
Looking over she saw that Martouf and Lantash had finished both pieces of theirs and were on their second glasses of the drinks. Looking at Daniel she realized that he was on his second piece of cake and his third or fourth glass of juice. She had to admit that the cake was a tad dry, but that didn’t take a thing away from it. In fact the juice seemed to compliment it. Probably why you drank and ate the two together. She finished her juice and was given more.
She asked for more cake. She wouldn’t have thought she would eat one piece, let alone two. Jore and Marta came over to them. Jore wanted to talk to them about the scientific treaty before they left, and set a time for them to return. They would be most happy to share the plant with them. No, there were no special gifts one needed to make it work, unlike some of their medicines. They had many other things that would work without the specialties that only their people could use, and they would be happy to share them, as well.
Close to an hour later, Sam looked down and realized she’d finished a fourth piece of cake and just now felt comfortably full. Not stuffed, but as if she had enough and should stop. She’d had at least six glasses of the juice though. It tasted faintly familiar now. Daniel was staring at his glass, as he moved uncomfortably. She sensed Martouf moving on the other side of her. She wondered why they were suddenly so restless, but Marta was trying to get their attention again.
She turned to her, just as she felt the first wave of heat fill her loins. She recognized the flavor of the drink now. It was that fruit mixed in with some other stuff. They’d had several pitchers of it between the three of them. No wonder the men were shifting. No doubt they were becoming more uncomfortable by the minute.
Daniel turned to Sam, “Marta wants to know how many pieces of cake you ate, Sam?”
Sam looked at him blankly for a moment, trying to focus her thoughts on something other than the heat between her legs and in her breasts. “Ah, um, four, I ate four. Why?”
She watched as Marta questioned Daniel, Martouf, and Lantash. After that, she looked thoughtful, before calling over an older woman, not elderly, but still older than Marta. Sam was surprised to find out it was her Aunt. Her name was Martrel. They spoke rapidly, and the Aunt asked to hold Sam’s hand, then she wanted Daniel’s hand added, and finally Martouf, and then as Lantash. She sat with them changing back and forth from Martouf to Lantash twice.
Finally, she let them go and said to Martouf and Daniel, “You will have four children. Two will be Daniel’s a boy and a girl. The boy will be the image of his father, the girl her mother. They will grow up to be much like their parents. Strong, intelligent, and beautiful. The best of each of their parents will meet within them, for they are born of a complete soul.” She smiled at Daniel and Sam, and then turned more toward Martouf and Sam.
“Two will be Martouf’s, also a boy and a girl. Of those, the girl will look much like Martouf. She will have the same blue-grey eyes, the same lovely mouth, as I said; almost the image of you, Martouf, except for her hair, which will catch the sun’s light and shine as her mother’s does. She will be as brilliant as her mother, as well. All four of these children will be exceptionally intelligent.” She smiled at his look of delight and then she became more solemn, although a small smile still hovered on her lips.
“The boy will be different. He will be tall and golden skinned. He will laugh a great deal, for he will find joy in much, and he will love his mother fiercely, as his father teaches him to do. He will love and respect all women. As he matures, the once handsome boy will be considered a handsome man, with sable colored curls, and laughter in his deep blue eyes. He will have a patrician nose and high cheekbones. He will have the dimple in his chin and the beautifully sculpted lips of Martouf,” she paused and looked at him to smile, before saying softly, “and the gentleness of his heart and hands. When he becomes a man full- grown, he will be very dangerous, but only to those that are evil. ”
She had described Lantash as Sam had described him. Was there some essence that he would pass onto a son? There were stranger things. They would all hold judgment until it happened. Four children were a lot. Hopefully they would be twins and gotten over quickly.
Marta turned back to her from where she was talking to her aunt. “She says they will be, Samantha, and fairly soon and close together. You will wish to blend soon, you and Daniel, both. So the sooner your children are born, the better. Now she says you all need one more glass of juice. You have not had enough.” Martouf blushed, as he translated the last part.
“Wait. Tell her Aunt Martrel I have a question.”
Marta’s Aunt Martrel began speaking and Martouf turned back to her, puzzled, “She said to tell you that the boys will be born as twins as will the girls, but it will be quite obvious that one is mine and one is Daniel’s. The boys will be the oldest. The girls will follow within a year. She also says that the timing is in your hands. All you must do is forget one time, and they will be on their way. It can be tonight if you wish it to be.”
“Tell her thank you, please, Martouf.”
“I told her, but what does she mean, Samantha? I believe we know, but just to be sure will you tell us?”
“She says they’ll be twins. The unusual part is that the twins will be from different fathers both times. They’ll be born whenever I forget to take a pill, and the next set will be born within a year after that. We’ll want to have the children quickly, so that Daniel and I can blend. Well, you heard that part.”
“I was not aware that blending had crossed your mind, Samantha. We always assumed that it was distasteful to you.”
“It would be foolish of me to even think of marrying you and not consider blending, Martouf. Why would I marry you and watch you stay young and healthy, while I age and die, when I could possibly have a couple of hundred years with you?”
“More like three hundred. You are still young and I have only been blended for a little over one hundred years. The same will be true for Daniel. In fact, the two of you could outlive me by a hundred years or more.”
“Don’t say that. In three hundred years, we’ll have found a way to extend that. I won’t live without you and Lantash. I won’t.” Sam closed her eyes and released the hand she had grabbed and squeezed. “I’m sorry. It’s just that I’ve just admitted I love you, and you’re talking about dying. I just really would rather not talk about that tonight, if you don’t mind.”
Martouf bowed his head. “No, I am sorry, Samantha. This is our joining night and that was an inappropriate topic for me to dwell on. Please…forgive me.”
“Not your fault, I brought it up first.” She shook her head, saying, “You used that word, almost the same phrase and the exact intonation, the first time we met. Inappropriate. And Please…forgive me. You said that, too, and yet you were the ones that had just found out you’d lost your mates. I’ll always remember how gentle and sweet you were that day, even with all the pain you had to be in, you were still trying to help me to understand the Tok’Ra. However, we were too narrow-minded to understand. Except maybe Daniel and he was the one of us that you would think would be the least tolerant of anything resembling a Goa’uld. But that is Daniel all over. Ever-forgiving.”
“Yes. He is a wonderful person, and I am looking forward to getting to know him better. You will have to tell me the things about him that he will not reveal himself. I have a feeling that they are many and varied. He is a deep and thoughtful person. His mind is so quick that it startles even the Tok’Ra at times.”
“Yes, I will tell you about him. There are too few people who know the real Daniel Jackson. You should be one of those that do.”
She paused for a moment before continuing, “He is brilliant. It’s not just that he’s a genius; it’s that he has this ability to make intuitive leaps of logic. Sometimes it seems like illogic, but it still gets you to where you need to be. He thinks outside of the box, and there are times that I have trouble keeping up with him. I hope the Tok’Ra learn to accept that he is brilliant, and don’t try to, to put a label on him, or decide that he isn’t brilliant, because we won’t stay where he is stifled.” She looked at Martouf seriously. “I won’t have Daniel hurt. He’s had enough pain in his life.”
“Daniel will not be hurt, my Samantha. We will protect him, I promise you.” Lantash was the one that answered her, before moving back and allowing Martouf to once more take control.
Sam looked back to where Daniel was talking quietly with Jore. He was restless. She was restless. She took another drink of the juice without realizing what she was doing. Martouf and Daniel were doing the same. It was time to go. She was ready to get horizontal.
“Let’s see if we can convince Daniel to leave, Martouf. I’m getting more tired by the minute.” She signaled to Teal’c and the Colonel that they were leaving.
As soon as they stood and stepped toward him, Daniel turned to them, a question in his eyes. Sam nodded and Daniel set his glass down. Martouf had turned to Jore to find out if there were any other things they needed to do and if not, to tell him they were going back to their cottage.
“No, you cannot go there. Your things have been moved to the joining cottage. Your attendants will take you there.”
Martouf and Daniel closed their eyes, and Daniel pinched the bridge of his nose. Sam guessed there was more bad news. Seeing the attendants surround them, she knew there was. There was quiet behind them, and then they heard the same lovely music they’d heard as Sam had come to join with them, but this time it was taking them all back up into a bower in the canopy of the trees.
Sam stood quietly as her attendants undressed and redressed her, although why they were bothering, was beyond her. The gown they were putting her in was pretty much not there. Well, in some places it wasn’t there. In a few strategic places it was. They were waiting for her. The thing was the attendants were there as well. They had managed to get here, and they had all used the facilities without the attendants attending. However, as soon as they emerged, they had swarmed like locusts, stripped them of the joining robes, and covered them in their sleeping robes, gowns, whatever one would call these.
Now they expected her to walk out there in this in front of those strange men. She looked down. She was covered she guessed. Drawing in a breath and asking for patience, she stepped out from behind the screen and heard screeching, and flapping, as the female attendants beat on the male attendants, evidently, for not turning around quickly enough. Sam looked over at Daniel and Martouf, and as she had expected, both of them had twitching lips. She quickly glanced away and stepped back behind her screen. One of the attendants came rushing over to her, talking a mile a minute and Sam stared at her, until the young woman flushed, and realized that Sam had no idea what was being said to her. Which was why she had come out before it was time.
Turning to Martouf, she quickly asked him to please tell his queen-mate that she must ask them to bring her the robe they held. Light dawned on them, as to why they had been standing here holding this piece of cloth. They both supposed that a little thought on their part would have told them, but they weren’t thinking very well with anything above their waists just now, the little fruit doing its job quite well. After Sam requested the robe, and they brought it to her, the attendant quickly wrapped her in it, and the mate was instructed to carry her to the center of the bed.
Once she was laid down, the women told the men that they could unwrap their gift, after their own attendants left. No one would return, except to leave food in the holder outside the door, unless they called for someone. Good night.
The male attendants made very short work of stripping both men, quickly, efficiently, and to the skin. There would be no slow sensual unveiling. The veils were gone; hope you aren’t shy. The male attendants, too, bowed and left. That was it. They were alone. Together. In a bed. They could unwrap Samantha. At last.
She watched them as they reached for the wrap and slowly pulled it off her, as if savoring every inch that was revealed. Well, at least they got to unwrap something slowly. She could feel the tremble in their hands. This was different than their quick coupling earlier. This was going to be love making. That had been sex given with love. This would be love given with sex. Sam closed her eyes, but couldn’t keep them closed. She wanted to see them. Both of them, as they watched each inch of her appear. Martouf slid his arms under her, and Daniel pulled the wrap away from her and pitched it somewhere behind him.
The gown was simply two pieces of cloth that tied in several places. Untie the correct one and the prize was yours. It didn’t take them long to figure out which ones needed undoing first. Both pieces went the way of the wrap, and then Martouf dropped her to the bed, as he sat down and looked at her body. Daniel did the same. They each reached at the same time for a delicate little ring, in one of the numerous places they adorned her.
Daniel was the first to speak, as his finger followed one much as he had the sculpture that day. “They’re beautiful, Sam, but why? Why did you allow them to do this? It isn’t like you to allow something like this.”
Sam looked at him, straight into his eyes, as she answered, “No, it’s not. It’s not like me to allow something like this at all, is it Daniel?”
His finger stopped moving, and he fell over on the bed, his face next to hers. Kissing her nose, he said gruffly, “It was a great revenge, you know. I don’t think that even Jack could have come up with a better one.”
As soon as the words left Daniel’s mouth, Martouf stretched out beside his mate, not touching her, taking his cues from Daniel, his mate-brother, who had so much more experience with her, and her moods, than they did. He, too, kissed her gently, on the temple, before pulling back.
“I believe, that if I understand this correctly, you did not ask to be pierced, Samantha? Why did you not simply stop them? Surely, even though they do not speak our language, they would have understood a simple head shake.”
“I am sure they would have, if they had asked, or told me, Martouf. They didn’t tell me. Do you remember in the bathroom when I said I had to go because I had been given a lot to drink?” Martouf closed his eyes, now realizing what was coming. “Well, they just did it. I found out what they’d done, after they redressed me, and gave me the other drink to reverse the anesthetic one. No one asked me if I wanted them. No one asked my opinion. And no one asked my permission.”
“I don’t remember exactly why now, but at the time, I blamed you two. I probably wasn’t thinking too clearly. I remember thinking that, if I hadn’t been trying so hard to play nice and be sociable, even though I can’t speak the language, I would have been more suspicious. And I felt bad about being such a hard-ass about going along with stuff, so when they wanted to do what I thought was a massage, because you mentioned that, Martouf, or maybe it was Lantash, I just let them, and that was when they did it. I was too out of it to notice.”
“So, after the sex lecture, I asked Marta if you guys could have a ring, and I showed her where I wanted it.” She reached down and flipped the little gold hoops, and they both gave her an, as if I couldn’t have guessed that one look, before she finished her story. “I think she asked if I wanted you to have nipple rings, too, and at the time I thought, why not? I was not aware of all the other stuff. The challenge and the cake and all that stuff. Or the bellybutton ring.”
“Well it was certainly perfect, Sam, and you didn’t even have to do anything yourself.” Daniel and Martouf both looked at her solemnly and Daniel continued talking to her, “We are sorry, Sam, we really didn’t know about it. I love them, so I can’t really say I’m sorry they are there, but I am sorry they did this without giving you a choice in the matter.”
“As am I, Samantha. Much as I find them a joy to look at and touch, I would rather it had been a conscious choice on your part,” Martouf added.
Lantash came forward and smiled slightly, “I cannot be sorry, my Samantha. They are very erotic, and I have to admit that I like them very much. It is worth getting our adornments to have these on your delectable body.” Coming up on his elbow he leaned over, kissed her, and then laughed lazily. “I have been told that it enhances certain sensations. Perhaps, we will find out if that is true or not.”
“I have to agree, Sam. If this is what it took to get these beautiful rings on you, then I’ll wear mine in the showers with the marines, and drive them crazy, when I just drop hints about matching ones and smile. You know how erotic I’ve always found them. In fact, you’ ve known that for a long time.” Leaning down, he gave her a long slow kiss before pulling back. “I love them, Sam.”
Sam smiled at him. “To tell you the truth, Daniel, the only thing that kept me from coming completely unglued was the look on your face that day when we were talking about those statuettes. You kept running your fingers over them again and again as if they fascinated you. I found myself wishing I was that statue that day. It was the first time I had sexual thoughts about you, and it scared me. Today it kept me from doing something hasty. I decided that I knew you would like them, and that chances were very good that Martouf and Lantash would as well. So I figured, why not? Forced erotica. No guilt. They made me do it.”
“Anyway, the point is that if they hadn’t done it without my knowledge, I would never have let them, so it’s just as well it was done this way. Otherwise, it wouldn’t have been done and I wouldn’t have had them. And I’m glad now that they’re there because I know it pleases both of you.”
The two men stretched out on either side of her played softly with the rings and kissed her gently. She returned the caresses and they became more comfortable with each other. Outside their little world, the world at large finally began to compose itself for some rest. Tomorrow would come, when it would come. It was late and the sun was rising. There would be a rain storm later in the day and it would be a pleasant day, neither too hot nor too cold. And the couples in the joining cottage would probably not even notice.
Sam awoke to the feel of lips on the back of her neck. They nuzzled her gently and she smiled softly. She could smell Daniel’s scent in front of her, so it was his chest near her nose. That meant that Martouf was the one kissing the back of her neck. She opened her eyes, and in the dim light of the room, she could see that it was, indeed, Daniel in front of her, and he was still asleep. She rolled backward toward Martouf and whispered in a romantic sultry voice, “Where are the controls? I need to go to the bathroom, and I don’t want to wake Daniel.”
Martouf laughed quietly, and reached out for the control by the bed, quickly unlocking her from the two of them. She slid from his arms and padded to the other room. After finishing in there and seeing the bathing pool so close, she slipped out the door and quickly lowered herself into the wonderful warm water. She soaked for only a moment or two, before moving into the bathing section and quickly washing and rinsing herself.
She felt much better, and after using the local’s version of a blow-dryer, she returned to the room and slipped quietly into bed. Martouf opened his eyes, and then they widened as he realized that she had bathed. She smiled at him and taking the control undid his side as well. He grimaced and agreed going quickly to follow her footsteps.
Sam waited a few minutes and followed him. She was just in time to see him slip into the first pool. She followed him in and ran her arms around his waist. “Hi. How are you and Lantash this morning? I think we all just kind of passed out last night.”
He turned to face her and pulled her closer. “Yes, we did. Even Lantash took the time to become dormant and rest. It was a very long and eventful day.”
“Yes, and it seems silly to have gone to all that trouble just to get a plant. I suppose bogus marriages are performed everyday though.” Sam sighed as the pain of that thought hit her squarely in the heart.
“Samantha, make-love to me, and do no worry about our joining for now. We will work everything out later. For now, we want only to hold you in our arms and love you. One long kiss led to another until soon the only thing in their world was each other.
They came down cradled in each others arms.
Lantash was back, for a moment anyway. “So you have discovered the secret the Tok’Ra do not speak of, my Samantha. Are you pleased that you can now bring me to my knees?”
She cocked her head studying him for a long moment, “Is that really how the Tok’Ra view that? As a weakness?”
Lantash laughed. “It makes us very vulnerable. How should we feel about it, but somewhat ambivalent?” He shook his head. “No, my Samantha, we do not look on it as a weakness, we consider it a pleasure point. I was simply surprised you found it so quickly this time when you did not find it the last time. I should not be, I know, for you are very observant—even in the throes of passion.”
“You can be sure that I will use it to give you sexual pleasure. I’m thrilled to find out about it. As for finding it before,” she paused, “If you mean in the gazebo yesterday, I think I was too strung out to notice anything and last night I don’t even remember touching your neck. Does Martouf feel it too, or does it just affect you?”
“It affects both of us. A great deal. Martouf would have come to you before he did had you not begun to ah, pleasure us so, ah determinedly. He knew that he would not be able to hold back for you, so he stayed back until you were almost there. It does not really matter, you know. We both experience whatever happens if the one in control allows it. The only things we usually try not to share are unpleasant events. Otherwise we share all things. Sexual pleasure being one of the more involved experiences that we share. There are times during the sexual act that we are as close to being in dual control as we ever are. It is a unique sensation, and one that we seek. I will tell you one other thing that the symbiote does tend to do after exquisite sexual fulfillment. We go into torpor for a short time. We are not completely inactive, it is simply an effort to be active for a short time. So if you do not mind, my Samantha, I will return to the passenger seat and allow Martouf to drive. You see, we are beginning to understand Earth phrases better all the time.”
Sam laughed. “Yes, you are. That was used completely in context and quite well.”
Martouf leaned down and kissed her before sighing, “I believe I will bathe, and then we should return to Daniel, for we should see if our other-mate is awake yet.”
Sam’s breath caught and her eyes widened. She looked at him with stricken eyes. “Oh, Lantash, Martouf, what have we done?”
“Well, you gave me a very nice show, so don’t screw it up now by getting all guilty, Sam. I can already see the wheels turning in that brilliant, but sometimes misguided, mind of yours,” Daniel groused from the doorway to the cottage where he had been sitting. Standing, he walked over to them. He had his robe on, but it was wrapped as he usually wore them, not as they were wrapped yesterday.
He knelt beside the pool and reached out to Sam, brushing her hair back. “You know, just because we are all four bonded that doesn’t mean we each have to be together every time. It means we can be together when we want to be. It’s a choice, not a law, Sam, so don’t look like you’ve just committed a crime.” He looked over at Martouf and addressed both he and Lantash. “I hope neither of you see it the way Sam is heading?”
Lantash came forward and shook his head, saying, “You would be correct in your assumption, Daniel. We consider it a choice, as well. However, I suspected that my Samantha might not realize, or look on it, in that way. I wanted to see neither regret, nor guilt, later, if it could be dealt with before it raised its head. I had hoped that it would be brought out in this way.”
Daniel grinned. “That sounds like you. I’ll accept it as a true statement.”
Leaning in he gave Sam a very soft, lingering kiss. “Sam, I am very serious about this. There will be times that one of us may be gone on a mission, to a meeting, or just out doing something. We can’t set limits like this on our sex life, our love life. There are going to be times that I’m going to want to go to bed, and go to sleep. There may be times that Martouf does. What then? Lantash and I can’t make love to you because Martouf is sleeping? Or Martouf and Lantash can’t because I’m sleeping?”
“Or one or the other of us has to abstain because of an off-world trip the other is taking? I don’t think that’s right, and I certainly don’t want us bound by those kinds of chains. The chains of gold are one thing. But those would be an entirely different kind, and I don’t think any of us would be truly happy in a relationship like that. I know that I wouldn’t be.
“We are all going to need those times when it is just the two of us, too, you know. It’s inevitable. Not because we’re jealous, or don’t care about the other, but because something has happened that affects us in someway, and we need you. I can’t explain it, but we’ll know it when it happens.”
Standing, he looked down on them and grinned, “Now. I’m sorry, but I’m hungry, and I need a bath as well. So, if you two don’t mind, I’m going to go have breakfast and then a bath, or maybe the bath and then the breakfast. Then, believe it, or not, I’ll probably go back to sleep. I debated getting up at all, and if nature hadn’t been so insistent I probably wouldn’t have. I assumed you were, ah finished, but if I’m intruding I’ll go have breakfast first and…” Daniel stopped as Sam threw water at him.
“We’re bathing and then eating. Come in with us Daniel, please?” Sam tried the wheedling tone that usually worked on Daniel, but he shook his head, as he started back toward the cottage.
“I’ll be out in a bit, Sam. I’ve got a couple of things I want to do first.”
Sam frowned, “What could Daniel possibly have to do?”
“Well, he might wish to shave. That is a Tau’ri ritual in the morning is it not?” Martouf had come back and answered her question.
“Yes, it is and you’re probably right.”
Sam looked at Martouf where he stood leaning against the side of the pool. He raised an eyebrow at her and she looked down, not sure what to say. She cleared her throat and asked, somewhat haltingly, “Do—do you think he—he meant it? That it won’t upset him? Is he right about you—and Lantash? You won’t be upset if we aren’t always all…together?”
“Yes. Yes, I believe him. He is telling the truth. I have no trouble believing him because he said nothing that Lantash and I do not feel ourselves. We, too, have felt that. Samantha, although, we are Ketra’kesh’cor, we will not always be together. It is the way of the pairings. I suppose we should have discussed this before the ceremony. It is the way of it. When one mate is absent the other is still there. If one mate is tired, still the other one is there. It is simply part of the joining of this many hearts. We are not jealous of one another; we depend and rely on one another as trusted friends and lovers.”
She watched as Lantash again threw off his tiredness to come forward to reassure her and add his feelings on the subject. “Martouf is correct. We do rely on one another as trusted friends and lovers. We have given our loved one into the hands of another man, one whom we trust and care for as a brother. That is why he is called the mate-brother. But, there is a different reason other than that of lovers and friends. It is the idea that if something happens to one of us, the other will still be there to care for the mate. It is the peace that comes from knowing that if we are captured or killed that our mate, that one thing that we cherish above all other things will be loved, honored and cared for. It is the reassurance that no matter what happens to us, there is still a place for her heart to find the peace and love, and support it needs to carry on without us by her side. That, to us is the greatest gift of the Ketra’kesh’cor.”
He paused for a long time, looking downward at the water in the pool, before raising his eyes to hers. “You must understand, my Samantha, that there will never, from yesterday forward, be anything in this life that we will cherish more than we do you. You have all of our devotion and love for when we love, we love totally. We do not actively seek out a multiple bonding, but once the first shock of one wears off we once again recognize it for what it is.” He smiled at her. “A Ketra’kesh’cor to us is one of the most wonderful things we could do. Now there are not two but three of us to love and care for you. So, yes, I believe that Daniel meant what he said, for I can understand exactly how he feels.”
She went into his arms. Resting there, she wondered what they would all do when this dream ended. She knew she didn’t want it to end, but what else could it do? She sighed and heard a faint splash followed by another pair of hands.
“I thought you two were going to bathe? I’ve shaved and changed the bed coverings already. Ah, and removed the other half of that chain. I have to agree that six feet apart is a little too close together for the three of us, unless in public here.”
Martouf came back to laugh at him. “Yes, I agree, Daniel. I did not awaken one time last night to check to see if I was strangling Samantha. This entire idea is not safe.”
“Yeah, I have to agree. We both talked about that remember? While we were both trying to, uh, yeah, well, never mind that.”
Daniel forced himself to pull away from Sam, get out and go into the actual bathing rather than the soaking and relaxing pool. She heard Martouf sigh, and then watched as he climbed out and followed him. They talked and laughed together enough that it brought a smile to her face. In a perfect world she would have them both. Seeing them both get out, she took her turn to go through the entire process again. It made her wonder why she had bothered the first time, but then she remembered that she was the one that had interrupted Martouf, not the other way around.
Finally finished, she entered the cottage to find a breakfast of pastries, more hearty fare if you preferred it, and juice. She sniffed it before she drank it, but did not detect that little aphrodisiac fruit. She watched as Martouf and Daniel did the same. Not that the fruit was all that bad. The affect didn’t seem to last overly long any way. They sat in companionable silence. Sam, opting for a couple of pastries, was finished first and got up to wander around the rooms and when she found the bed with the fresh coverings on it she couldn’t resist. She stretched out and relaxed. The day before and all of the stress had taken a toll and before she realized what has happening she had fallen asleep.
Her two new mates after finishing their breakfast, putting the dirty containers outside and keeping leftover pastries and juice inside, they had decided to see where Sam had disappeared. They were surprised to find her in the bed and asleep. It looked good to them. As they quietly joined her she snuggled up to them as naturally as if she had been doing it for a very long time. They watched her sleep for a while before they each followed her, but they were dozing lightly, not truly sleeping, both keeping watch over her.
If I could purr, I would purr, you know that don’t you? I don’t think I’ve ever been that contented in my life. You guys are for real, right? I’m not going to wake up to the best dream I’ve ever had, am I?”
“If you do Sam, I hope you’re in the sleeping bag next to mine because I’m grabbing you and Martouf as soon as I wake up and hauling you both off into the bushes someplace.”
Martouf came forward saying solemnly, “I will go willingly. No, I will help you.” They all chuckled lightly, but Martouf sobered at once.
“There is something we need to discuss before we return to earth tomorrow. Lantash has just reminded me that we should do so now so that we will have time to work out any problems that may arise.
Sam sighed and sat up, getting comfortable against the head board, or what passed as a headboard. “All right, what’s the problem, Daniel?”
“I’ll let Martouf and Lantash go first. Theirs is a little more straight forward than ours is.” Sam blinked at him and then turned her attention to Martouf.
Lantash came to the forefront. “Martouf and I have discussed this and he feels that I should be the one to tell you, since it is Tok’Ra policy. He is Tok’Ra as well, however, that is neither here nor there. The fact is that the joining ceremony we went through together yesterday will be seen as legitimate by the Tok’Ra. As of last night, you are our mate. Legally, by our laws, we are now bonded to you, as these bracelets attest. Daniel, too, of course, in the way of Ketra’kesh’cor.”
Sam looked at him for a moment and then said, “We’re legally mated. You and me.”
“You and me and Martouf.”
Again Lantash nodded.
“You and me and Martouf and Daniel. We are all mated. Together.
Once more Lantash nodded.
“You, Martouf, me, and Daniel. We are all mated. Together. Forever, the until we die, kind of bonded, joined, mated. Like married. ”
Lantash nodded once again.
“Do you think that you could possibly do something besides nod your head at me? I know you have more intelligence than a horse, and horses always nod their heads at you when you talk to them, too.”
Lantash blinked and cleared his throat. He looked to Daniel for some kind of support only to see him pinching the bridge of his nose, never a good sign. He was on his own, “What would you like for me to say, my Samantha? I have answered your questions. I can add an affirmative to them if you wish. Yes. Yes. Yes. And yes. Is that what you wished me to say?” He heard Daniel groan and knew he was in trouble. For the first time in a long time, Lantash was not sure of how to handle a woman. Nor did he have any idea what she expected from him.
“Well if I have to tell you, forget it. Go away.” The anger and pain pierced him and also threw light on what she was waiting to hear.
“There is one other thing you should know.”
“The only way the Tok’Ra will “not” acknowledge the bonding is if we repudiate it, claiming it was done under duress. We cannot and will not, ever do that. I meant my vows to you, my Samantha, as did Martouf. I will never give you a divorce, Tok’Ra or otherwise, so do not think it. Neither will Martouf.” He saw the relief enter her eyes, but then her lids shaded her eyes.
“Then there’s nothing else to say. We’re bonded according to Tok’Ra law. In the Tok’Ra’s eyes Daniel and I are your mates. That doesn’t mean we are by our laws.”
Daniel cleared his throat, “Actually, Sam, it does.”
“There were some new presidential orders sent down not long ago dealing with off-world policies. One of them, Presidential Order #6996, states that all marriages performed off world are to be deemed legal and sanctioned. So, um, they will recognize not only your marriage to Lantash and Martouf, but, um, also ours. That is yours and mine. As in, we’ll be considered married when we go home tomorrow.”
Sam stared back and forth between the two of them.
“You’re sure? Absolutely, positively, sure. No loopholes, no last minute reprieve because it’ s polygamous, nothing is going to change it. The four of us are married, bonded, joined, tied, shackled, mated, paired, and entwined, no way out, together forever.”
“Yeah, that’s the way it is.” Daniel cleared his throat, and said gruffly, “I have no intention of attempting to stop it in any way either. I mean, I’m not going to go looking for a way out of it. Not ever. As far as I’m concerned, we’re married. All of us.”
“I hear a “but” in there, Daniel.”
“Listen, Sam, I’m sorry, I mean, I knew, Lantash and Martouf knew. Hell, even Jack knew. We should have told you, so you could make an informed decision. In fact, there is…”
“Shut up, Daniel! Just. Shut. Up! If there are loopholes, I do not want to hear them, do you understand? Do not tell me, for my own good, because you feel guilty, or any other crazy reason you talk yourself into.”
She pointed at Lantash, “You! Lantash! Under no circumstances are you to allow him to open his mouth to me on ways to annul, set aside, tear asunder, rip apart, or destroy our bonds. I don’t care how, short of killing him, you have to stop him, just do it.”
“Sam, does this mean you don’t want out? That—that you’re glad we didn’t tell you?”
“As long as you can assure me that it’s what you want, Daniel, then yes, I am very glad. In fact, I couldn’t be happier. This is the most perfect arrangement I could have envisioned. We’re friends and we’re lovers. What more could a woman want? Three of the most wonderful men in the Galaxy in her bed and her life, and you think I’d throw it away? I am not a dumb blond, Daniel.”
Daniel smiled. “No, and you are a true blond, too. Speaking of blond. I haven’t had lunch yet; do you think I could get a Samwich?”
“That is not nice, Daniel. That is really, really bad.” The two fell on the bed, wrestling and tickling one another, as Martouf and Lantash looked on.
“Will you not join in, dear one?”
“In a moment, Lantash. I am still feeling the relief of knowing she is willing to stay with us.”
“Yes. Yes, so am I.” The sudden cessation of movement on the bed drew their attention.
“I believe that this Tau’ri ritual may have a different ending now that we can play it unclothed in bed,” Martouf noted smugly.
“Yes, I may even be convinced to join into this “play”. It looks very similar to one of my favorite forms of fun called “sex”.
“Lantash, what am I to do with you? Why do you allow all of my blood to go there at one time? Have I not told you it makes me lightheaded?”
“You will survive, Martouf. Come. Let us join the “fun”.”
“If you insist.”
“I don’t see myself exactly twisting your arm.”
“No, no you won’t have to do that, Lantash.”
“What is Daniel doing? That is one of the moves that Jore was explaining, is it not?”
“It is time to join, Daniel. I believe I remember a few of those as well.”
“Yes. It is, but I do not know how you could possibly remember anything. You turned to stone the minute you realized on which Jore was going to talk. If you had frozen in any other position, I would have been unable to see and catalog the entire lecture.”
“You did? The entire lecture? Even the…the nose part?”
“Yes, yes, let us join our mates, Martouf, before they leave without us.”
“Oh! Of course.”
Lantash sighed. He liked when all he had to do was sit back and enjoy the ride. And it looked like he was in for a wild one. Maybe he should consider putting in seat belts. And a good stereo. More subtle lighting. Maybe a wet bar… He chuckled to himself, stopped trying to use distraction to ignore the sensations, and then gave his senses over to the tide of passion Samantha was building within them.
The SGC was moderately busy. Two teams had already returned with minor scrapes, cuts and bruises. Just nice minor things. SG-2 would have had a few cuts, but Malek had his healing device and took care of them. He healed everything except for extreme injuries, in the field. Those he could sometimes help until they could get medical care. Sometimes it worked, and sometimes it didn’t, but they all knew they had tried.
General Hammond entered the control room as an expected wormhole was established. Good, nothing out of the ordinary.
“General Hammond, sir, we have a code, it’s SG-1, sir.”
General Hammond nodded and answered, “Open the iris.” He made his way down to the gate room, always happy to see his premier team return in one piece, with no problems, and with all members accounted for. As he reached the end of the ramp, three backpacks sailed through. The general was startled and started to call for security teams when Jack and Teal’c came through, walking very straight and stopped about three-quarters of the way down the ramp.
“Sorry about that General, but the bags spoiled the lines of the robes, so the locals didn’t like it; they felt it detracted from their dignity. It’s no big deal. Really. It's fine. Everything's fine. We're all good. Don’t worry. Everything’s under control. Really.”
“Colonel, where’s the rest of your team?” What’s ha-happened…?” His voice trailed off, as General Hammond looked up the ramp to see his normally very professional looking Major Samantha Carter, looking quite lovely in a robe of some kind. Around her neck was a jeweled blue and gold collar. Attached to it were two chains. At the ends of the chains one could find Dr. Jackson on one side and Martouf of the Tok’ra at the other. There was no doubt that they were chained. To her. Not only that, but they both had what appeared to be nipple rings and chains on their chests. Major Carter smiled brightly at him, obviously not the least disturbed or concerned to have two men chained to her.
The event horizon within the Stargate dissipated and the gate room was completely silent. General Hammond decided to try one more time, “Colonel O’Neill, what ha-happened…?” he made the mistake of looking up at them, again, and his words trailed off.
Jack O’Neill answered, “Well, you see, General, there’s this plant…”