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

Summary: Malek, Daniel, and Anise have a lot of changes taking place in their lives.  One of them is that they are on
their way to Atlantis.  

Characters: Malek/Devlin, Daniel

Pairing: None

Rating: G

"Italics" - Symbiote-Host communications

Malek gazed down the length of the long, gray metal corridor.  He sighed to himself and
Devlin answered,
“Do not be so downhearted, Malek.  We did volunteer for this
assignment.  It is a wonderful opportunity for us.  Atlantis will be completely new and
different.  We will enjoy our time there, you will see.”

“I am beginning to doubt my sanity.  Why in the universe would I volunteer to not only go
and live with the Tau’ri, but be away from Samantha for six months, as well?  Right after
she blended, no less, and so soon after the births?”
 Malek responded, sounding
somewhat testy.

Devlin sent him a warm embrace.  
“I have no idea why we did this considering that we left
Samantha behind.  Perhaps we have lost our minds…but it will still be a totally new
environment, and we will have completely new experiences.”
 He paused for a moment,
before continuing,
“She knew how exciting this would be for us, Malek, and that is why
she encouraged us to come, even though she could not, and also why she backed allowing
us to be one of the few to go.  If this works out, there could very well be a permanent Tok’Ra
contingent based on Atlantis.”  

“The time will go quickly once we are there and actively exploring and researching.  It is
only because we have been on this ship for so long and are missing Samantha that we are
feeling more melancholy today.  She was correct, and it would be foolish to pass up this
chance just because of her and the twins.  As she said, they will not be doing much for the
first few months anyway, and she will keep a “video” record, as well,"
Devlin said,

“I know that you are probably correct.  I cannot help but wish that she was here with us,
though.  Moreover, although, I did not think it would be possible, I find that I am missing
holding them, even…even changing them.  Lantasha is still so tiny, and Martouf is not
much larger.  I am glad that Samantha has Vala staying with her, now, and that when he
returns, Daniel will take care of them, also.  I was worried about that, you know,”
explained to his lifemate.

“Yes, and so was I, however, worrying about them now is foolish.  We should turn our
minds outward, as Samantha would wish us to.  She would not wish us to spend all of our
time worrying about them.  She wants us to enjoy our time in Atlantis.  We should soon be
nearing there, and I, for one, would like to join the others, so that we can see it as we
approach.  The images that they showed us were magnificent.  An entire city built upon the
water!  Furthermore, if they could just find another zpm, they could submerge it to hide it
from the Wraith,”
Devlin's enthusiasm was evident as he responded to Malek.  

Malek snorted, a very derisive sound, even though it was only heard between the two of
“Now, there is an alien species that I am not looking forward to meeting. The images
they showed us of them reminded me of the Unas.   Intelligent beings of great strength, but
with few codes of conduct.   The fact that they feed on human blood does not endear them
to me, either.  At least the Goa’uld did not eat the humans they enslaved.”  

“True, Malek, they just ate their own kind,”
 Devlin retorted.

He felt Malek gag and was surprised by it. Normally, the Tok’Ra did not react in that way,
even to unpleasant events or facts.  
“Did you have to remind me of that?  That is one of the
more disgusting things I can remember hearing about them.”
 He shuddered before
returning to the subject of the Wraith.
“Of course, from the report that we were given, now
that the Wraith are at war with one another because of the scarcity of the food supply,
they are feeding off one another.  That seems, to me, to be a much better scenario than
feeding off our friends and hosts.”  

“I am truly glad to know your feelings on this, Malek.  It makes me feel much better,”
laughed gently, as he “jerked Malek’s chain”, as Samantha would have said.  

Malek grimaced, as he changed the subject, as he confessed,
“So, are we indeed ready to
go forward and watch as Atlantis comes into view?  I must admit to feeling a little excited

“Certainly.  At once, in fact, for as I said, I believe we will be nearing there shortly.”
paused again before asking quietly,
“Do you believe we will find what we seek, Malek?  Do
you really think there will be genetic information here that could help us?  Anise believes
so, and she is so anxious to begin looking through the archives that I am surprised she is
not outside, pushing the ship.  She spent every spare moment she had learning Ancient.  
Much more time than we did.  I am glad that we did learn it though, for it will make looking
for information on the zpms much easier if we can read the information in their language.”  

Malek grinned at Devlin, replying, “I agree with her, yes.  I also agree with you.  I have
never seen Anise show so much excitement.  She rarely shows emotion, much like the rest
of us, but with this assignment, she is quite elated and anxious to arrive.”

They walked quietly onto the bridge of the ship and walked to the viewing area.  Anise,
Re'neka, and Brialek were already there.  Daniel Jackson soon joined them.  

“Are you looking forward to staying here for the next six months, Malek?”  He asked

“Yes and no, Daniel.  It will be a wonderful experience, and we  foresee much enjoyment
of the adventure, but, as you know, we will miss Samantha and the little ones very much.  
I wish she could also be here.”  

Daniel nodded.  “I know.  She wanted to come, too, but she just couldn’t get away right
now.  She’ll try to come through at least once; you can count on that.  She doesn’t want to
be away from you two, either.  I know that she’ll come if you actually figure out the zpm,
or even a reasonable facsimile of it to the point that the gate can be used both ways.”  

Malek agreed quietly, saying, “It would certainly make the entire process less wearisome.  
This feels as if it has been the longest three weeks of my life and, considering my
longevity, that is saying a great deal.”  

Daniel laughed, while cocking his head, as he threw a sideways look at his companion.  “I
have to agree that it is a long and rather boring trip coming this way.”  

“I’m not so sure that I would agree with your other statements, though.”  Daniel looked at
him quizzically.  “Surely, there were worse three week periods?  Times when you were in
the hands of a system lord, or trapped on a world somewhere?   Or when you were trying
to come to terms with falling in love with Sam, and didn’t know how to approach her?  I
swear, if you hadn’t been attacked on Qyavar, ended up coming through to the SGC, and
landing practically at her feet on the ramp, you never would have said anything to her.  
Even then, she had to tell you first.”  He grinned as Malek frowned and looked stoically
ahead out the viewing window.  He didn't like being reminded of how he had been too
afraid of her response to even attempt to "court" her, for lack of a better word, and so had
spent months loving her and watching her without approaching her.  He was still
embarrassed about how very shy and backward he had been.  Normally, he more
confidence than that.

Keeping a firm hold on the blush that tried to color Devlin’s cheeks, Malek glanced
sideways at Daniel, and finally allowed his visage to soften as he remembered how he had
fallen at Samantha’s feet after leaping into the Chaappa’ai.  She had been so very worried
about him, when he had not come through directly after the others, that he had been

They had declared their love for one another right there on the ramp at the SGC, and he
had yet to live it down.  In fact, he probably never would, but when all was said and done,
he had gained much more than he had lost.  His pride could be wounded, but his heart,
without Samantha, would be dead.  

“You are correct, Daniel.  I suppose, if I give it a great deal of thought, I would be able to
come up with one or two times when there were three week periods that felt longer and

“That’s better,” Daniel commented, as he saw the slight smile on Malek’s lips, and his
voice softened as he continued, “You know that Sam wanted you to get to do this, and she
wants you to enjoy your time here.  You can still communicate; it just won’t be as easy as
a trip through the gate to one another’s base.”  

“There are some things that cannot be done over communications systems,” Malek’s
answer was sotto voce, and Daniel almost missed his words.  When their meaning settled
into his mind, he laughed aloud, causing the others to look over at the two of them.  

Malek was not known for making jokes, although his fellow Tok’Ra knew that he had a
very sharp sense of humor.  It was merely that he rarely allowed anyone outside of the
Tok'/Ra see it.  But then, many things had changed, since the System Lords had been
defeated, and they were coming to know the Tau’ri better.

Turing back to the viewing area, he nodded his head as they dropped down, “There it is.”  
Daniel’s voice was calm, but you could feel the undercurrent of some strong emotion.  
Daniel had discovered Atlantis for the Tau’ri, just as he had opened the Chaappa’ai for
them, several years ago.  Was it ten or eleven?  He did not know for sure, but he knew
when they had met the Tau’ri.  

He had heard all about it from Lantash.  Then Lantash and Martouf had died, and he had
blamed Samantha for a long time, until he read Per'sus’s report on the incident and
realized that they would have blown themselves up, if she had not shot them.  Now, of
course, he realized how very hard that must have been for her to do.  He and Samantha
both missed them very much, hence their decision to name their children after them.   

He met her after reading that report.  Now, four years later, they were mates, and though
she still cared for Martouf and Lantash and never stopped missing them, he knew that he
now held the center of her heart.  In the end, that was what really mattered.  

Now he was here at Atlantis to experience the home of the Ancients, and to see if he could
help this Dr. McKay figure out more about the zpm, and discover how it was built.  
Perhaps even help him learn how to build one or something that would work just as well.  
He believed that if he could study it, he might be able to adapt it for use with Naquadah to
form a power source.  He and Sam had talked of it over and over again, and he had spent
a great deal of time looking over a depleted one that they had recalled from Area Fifty-One
for him to study.  

He sighed to himself as his mind again went back to Samantha and all they had left
behind.  She had so wanted to come, and he truly wished she could have.  The symbiote
she had taken was as much a brilliant scientist as Sam was.  However, she had only
blended a few weeks ago, and she was still breast-feeding the twins that she had given
birth to not long ago.  He smiled slightly, thinking of the two babies, now two months old
and growing quickly.  They would change in six months.  Samantha had promised to come
to Atlantis and bring them with her at least once.   

Beyond that, there were the Ori that they were now concerned about, and rightfully so.  
Every time he thought of them, he truly felt worried for his family.   On the brighter side,
as Samantha would tell him, he could return from Atlantis quickly if something
happened, and he was needed at home.  He simply could not get here, to Atlantis,

The ship hovered over the city, and their group was beamed directly to the foyer of
Atlantis, below the control room.  Their belongings would be beamed directly into their
quarters.  The five of them turned, and Daniel smiled at a lovely young woman, as she
approached them, greeting her by name.  “Teyla, it’s nice to see you again.  How have you

“We have been quite well, Dr. Jackson.  Welcome back to Atlantis.”  She turned to the
group with him.  All of the Atlanteans had been briefed on the Tok’Ra.  Daniel hoped
there would be no tension.  Most of these people weren’t that aware of the Goa’uld, other
than in a cerebral way, so he was really hoping that things would go well.  

“Teyla, this is Malek, Anise, Re’neka, and Brialek of the Tok’Ra.  This is Teyla.  She is
from Athos, a world here in the Pegasus Galaxy, and she has stayed on in Atlantis to help
because of her knowledge of the many worlds and peoples.”  

Malek held out his hand and Teyla took it, smiling at all of them.  She nodded.  “We have
all been looking forward to your arrival, and Dr. Weir is waiting to greet you.  If you will
come with me, I will take you to her.”   

The group headed for Dr. Weir’s office.  As they arrived and entered the room, Elizabeth
Weir stood and smiled at them.  “Elizabeth, it is very good to see you again,” Daniel smiled
at her and holding out his hand, clasped hers.

“It’s wonderful to see you here again, Daniel, even though we didn’t expect you to be
coming back so soon.”  

Daniel’s smile was sheepish.  “Well, someone that was familiar with both the Atlanteans
and the Tok’Ra was needed, and since Sam couldn’t come, they finally agreed on me.  So,
here I am delivering my Tok’Ra friends to my Atlantean friends.”  Three of the four Tok’Ra
looked at Daniel in surprise.  Friends?  Daniel considered them friends?  

"And, since I am here in the capacity of a liaison between the Tok'Ra and the Atlanteans, I
should begin the introductions.  As you know, these four were chosen for their scientific
abilities, as well as their abilities as operatives.  Re’neka and Brialek are both assistants
to Malek and Anise, but they are also hoping to do some exploring with one of your teams.  
Brialek is also a Tok’Ra healer.  Re’neka is one of their best operatives and an excellent
soldier, as well as a scientist.”  

“Anise,” he indicated by his next nod which one she was, “Is here to do research into the
possibility that there could be some information on genetics that might help them in their
quest to find a way to change one of the Tok’Ra symbiotes into a Queen.  There are other
questions, as well, that they hope to find answers to.”  

“Although we found Goa’uld symbiotes that appeared to have evolved in our galaxy, we
later decided, after studying them with the Tok’Ra, that they were brought there, many
millennia ago, probably by whichever Goa’ulds were the first to enter our galaxy.  At that
time, they didn’t have naquadah in their systems, as they do today, but I imagine that
once they discovered that the naquadah enhanced their lifespan almost indefinitely, they
then began to birth their young into lakes where it was an element in the water.  There’s
more, but I’m sure you would rather not get a complete lesson in symbiote history.”  

“Yes, I understood General Landry to say that they are hoping to run down some genetic
information, or find an offshoot of their ancestors.”  

Anise nodded, saying, “Yes, we are.  Our queen was different from most Goa’uld, and we
believe that our differences are from something in the evolution of our species before the
Goa’uld became corrupted by the use of the sarcophagus and their own genetic
memories.  Although we are physically the same as the Goa’uld, we are much different in
our thought processes and beliefs.”  

“I understand.  I hope that you find what you are looking for, and we will be glad to help
in any way we can.  Have you overcome the problem with the Ancient technology and
whatever it is that it senses in you?”  

Anise again nodded.  “Yes, we simply used the gene therapy that your own Dr. Beckett
perfected.  We thought that we might possibly have to do more, but it seems to override
everything.  Because of our own abilities, we can assure one hundred percent acceptance
of the therapy, so nothing more needs to be done, as far as we know.  I did bring a serum
we have refined that masks the presence of a symbiote, in case more effort is required, but
each of us tried the equipment at the Ancient’s outpost in the Antarctic, and we activated
it without any trouble.”  

Elizabeth smiled at her, and Freya took control and smiled back.  “It is very kind of you to
welcome us, Dr. Weir.  I am Freya, Anise’s host.  No doubt, we will be talking to you often
as both Anise and I are scientists.”  

After Elizabeth murmured her acknowledgement, Daniel turned to Malek, saying, “This is
Malek.  He’s one of the Tok’Ra’s top scientists, and he’s the one that will be working with
Dr. McKay on the zpm.”  

Malek, almost always grave and stern looking, bowed slightly, and also offered a slight
smile as well.  It was the one that lightened his face and gave it a charming, appealing
look, “It is a pleasure to meet you, Dr. Weir.”  He said exactly what Samantha had told
him to say upon meeting a new Tau’ri.  

Elizabeth smiled back, liking both his grave, calm demeanor and his almost hesitant
smile.  It looked as if it wasn’t sure if it was supposed to come out and play, but it would
chance it.  “I’ve looked forward to meeting all of you, as well.  The SGC didn’t tell us which
physicist to expect, except that it was “one of the best there is,” and that you were coming
to us from the SGC.  Even though they didn’t give us a name, I think that many of us
thought it might be…”

She didn’t get to finish as both Colonel Sheppard and Dr. Rodney McKay swept into her
office, Rodney rubbing his hands and talking a mile a minute.  “So, Elizabeth, is
Samantha Carter here?  That is who they sent, isn’t it?  She is, after all, as brilliant as I
am, and we could make beautiful physics together.”  

He turned to the group standing and watching him, eyes sweeping over and through
them, looking for Samantha.  Malek, sensing that no one wished to break the news and
explain to this man who the physicist that had been sent was, spoke up, asking, “I must
assume you are Dr. McKay?”  

Rodney frowned at him.  “Yes, I am, if it’s any of your business.”  

Malek’s eyes flared, and Rodney took a step back, catching his breath.  “You—you’re Goa’
uld.  Sheppard, shoot him, he’s a Goa’uld.  Why are you all standing here?  Do

“Rodney.  Calm down,” Elizabeth spoke sharply.  “This is the physicist that the SGC sent
to help you, and he is Tok’Ra, not Goa’uld.  If you will remember, during the briefing, we
went over the fact that Tok’Ra were coming to Atlantis. This is Malek.”  She turned back to
him, saying, “I’m sorry, but I don’t know your last name.”  

Malek smiled slightly at her again.  “We do not use last names, as such.  If we need to
designate, then we take the name of the lake in which we were spawned.”  He paused,
then added, “My host’s name is Devlin.  Neither of us use a “last name”, but if necessary,
he would use the name of his homeworld.”

She nodded, acknowledging his comment, as if that was a perfectly logical answer to be
given by a man, and turned back to answer Rodney, who appeared to be working himself
up into a tizzy and would no doubt cause a scene, or insult their newest colleagues, if he
was not curbed.  Immediately.  

Malek beat her to it.  “I am most sorry to disappoint you, Dr. McKay, but Samantha could
not come at this time.  I am afraid that you must make do with my host and myself.  
Although we talked of it, and seriously considered her coming with us, it was decided that
it was too soon after the births, and that she should not attempt to come with them at this
time.  Moreover, she is needed at the SGC at the moment.  She may come later for a short

His eyes bored holes into Rodney’s.  “Hm, that’s right, I forgot about the Tok’Ra coming,
but…” He stopped and his eyes widened as his mind swung from Elizabeth’s reminder to
Malek’s comments.  “Births?  What births?”  It was obvious that he was totally confused.  
“The last time I saw Sam, she didn’t mention babies.”  

“It’s been a long time since you saw her, Rodney,” Daniel pointed out.  

“What do you mean?  You were just here six months ago.”  

“Yes, and she was already pregnant with Lantasha and Martouf.  With everything that was
going on, I guess we never got around to telling you about the changes in Sam’s life and
even though it was twins, it wasn't until a few weeks later that she suddenly, er, enlarged
to the point that it became obvious.”  

“What exactly are you saying, Dr. Jackson?  Well?  Furthermore, what does it have to do
with him?”  

Malek gazed at him stoically, and answered, as Daniel was trying to come up with the
words to tell him how the woman of his fantasies had changed, “Samantha is my mate.  
The children are ours.  Twins.”   His clipped voice would have told a normal person to
leave it alone.  

Since they all caught that except Rodney, who they all knew was not a normal person,
Sheppard grabbed him and pushed him through the door before he could open his mouth
again.  He stuck his head back in saying, “Nice to meet you folks.  I’ll, uh, talk to you later
after I shove some sense into “the brilliant brain” that has no sense.  Bye for now.”  

Elizabeth’s lips twitched, but she was afraid to smile in front of the Tok’Ra, so she was
surprised to look up into Malek’s eyes and see amusement lurking there.  “We are not
without a sense of humor, Dr. Weir.  We just rarely show it.”  

“I see.”  She started smiling then.  “Well, we all knew that Colonel Carter had married and
had children.  At least, I thought that we all knew.  It doesn’t surprise me that Rodney
didn’t know, however.  He sometimes seems to be wrapped up in a world of his own.”  

“Many brilliant people are that way.   Furthermore, Samantha assured me that he was
indeed brilliant; therefore, once he gets over being afraid that I am going to decide to
change hosts and accost his mind, and the news that Samantha is lost to him, we shall be
fine.  I believe that Dr. McKay is more aware of the Goa’uld than some of you might be, so
he may have more of a fear of the Tok’Ra than is warranted.  I doubt very much if he has
given much thought to the differences in the two of us.”  

“Oh, I don’t know, Malek, the thought of you in my head boggles the mind.”  

“But, you are beyond brilliant, Daniel, and therefore your imagination is much more
vivid.  I assure you that we would get along quite well.”  His lips twitched, but his visage
remained sober.  “If nothing else, you would enjoy Samantha’s…” Daniel gasped, looking
at him quickly, “Mind.   What did you believe I was about to say, Daniel?”  

“Mind.  I knew you would say mind.”  

“You would enjoy her body, as well.”  

“Damn it, Malek, stop that.  Sheesh.”   

“Samantha instructed me to jerk your chain as often as I could for her.  Now, you will be
able to assure her that I did.”

Choking on her laughter, Elizabeth attempted to keep her face straight as she said,
“Daniel, I think that it’s time to show the newest members of our expedition to their
quarters and then, whenever they are ready, we’ll give them a tour of Atlantis and a
chance to have something to eat.”  

Anise turned to her, “That would be quite helpful, Dr. Weir.  Thank you.”  

“You’re welcome.  We’re a fairly informal group of people, for the most part.  It’s hard not
to be when there are so few of us, and we’re all so far from home, so, please, call me
Elizabeth.  Besides, you all have only first names; I think it only fair that you use ours, as

“Thank you.  We will be pleased to do so.”  Malek thanked Samantha’s coaching on “polite
phrases and answers in assorted situations” for allowing them all too, perhaps, fit in a
little better with those around them.  Possibly, these new Tau’ri might forget that they
were Tok’Ra given time…if they could remember not to allow their eyes to glow, or at least,
to shut them when they did so.   

Walking down the hallway with these new acquaintances, he ruminated on the changes in
their lives since the defeat of the System Lords.  He would never have expected, a few
years ago, that he would someday be living mostly on Earth with a mate and a family.  
Anise was seeing Dr. Jackson.  Per'sus, oddly enough, had been drawn to Vala, and they
were beginning to see one another, as well.  A few years ago, he would have said that he
would be unlikely to be alive in four years.  It was odd how things had worked out for
them all.  

Once they defeated the Ori, life would go on in a much calmer way.  He and Samantha
might or might not have more children.  Her symbiote would leave her for the term of the
pregnancy if they chose to do so, but he did not think that they would.  The twins
completed them.  Well, at least, for now.  Although they had been something of an
accident, they were both happy that it had happened.  

He smiled at the memory of the night that they had been conceived.  The only serious
argument that they had ever had led to mind-blowing sex, and he had forgotten to control
Devlin’s sperm.  He could not say that he was sorry in the least.  

If they could only find the genetic answer to their problem of no queen, or even find a
queen that was not corrupted by the Goa’uld’s millennia of using the sarcophagus, it
would save them as a race.  For although they were no longer dying in the fighting, still
there were so few of them left now.  No more than a few thousand, spread throughout the
galaxy.  He sighed, thinking of it and how much hope Anise had for their trip here.  

The Asgard were also working on the Tok’Ra’s problem along with their own genetics
difficulties.  They were making progress, but it was slow.  He had no doubt that one way or
another they would survive as a race.  There were too many beings working on it to fail.  
Moreover, as Thor had suggested, in the meantime, they could do some cloning for them.  
They were working on a process to form completely new beings by genetically crossing two
symbiotes, and they were testing their theory now.  So far, the results had been

If they found no other information in their search here, the experiments that the Asgard
were conducting might be the only way that they could survive until they did find their
predecessors.  Or until they found the others that Egeria had given birth to.  In their
genetic memory, they had the information that Egeria had given birth to many clutches.  
Only four had ever been found, as far as they knew and there had been no queens among
them.  There was a very good possibility that a queen could have been born into one of the
other clutches.  Perhaps they would find them someday.  

There were no records of Goa’uld finding and destroying any symbiotes, and it would
surely have been noted if it had happened.  Therefore, Anise could very well find
something here in Atlantis.  He hoped so.  They all hoped so.  

He came back to his surroundings as John Sheppard walked up to them.  “Well, I think
that I’ve finally made some headway into trying to get Rodney to accept the fact that being
rude to Malek might cost him his life, the one threat that always works on him.  So, in the
interests of keeping himself in one living, breathing piece of humanity, he’s agreed that
the two of them will become very good friends and working partners.”  

Shaking his head, as he contemplated both the Tok’Ra and Rodney, he continued, “He
should be joining us all for our meal a little later, so you’ll all get to know him.  Just, try to
remember that he talks before he thinks and, if at all possible, ignore any insults he
throws your way.  We do, but then again, we are used to him.  And, too, we realized a long
time ago that most of the time, he doesn’t even realize that he’s been rude.  So, since
fearing for his life is the only way to get full cooperation from him, I think that he’ll be a
little more alert about allowing his mouth to override his brain, at least, for a few days.  
Hopefully, you’ll all be used to him by then.”   

“I’m delighted to hear that, John,” Elizabeth said, as she tried to read his face to see if he
was being truthful.  It appeared that he was.  He really must have put the fear of death –
or furious Tok’Ra - into Rodney.  She shook her head.

“You didn’t get to be introduced did you?”  

“No, Elizabeth, I didn’t, but I would like to meet everyone.  Daniel, I know already.”  

Elizabeth nodded, saying briefly, “Anise, Re’neka, Brialek, and Malek.  I understand that
both Re’neka and Brialek are excellent operatives and are looking forward to going out
with some teams while they are here.”  

John’s ears seemed to perk up.  “Really?  You guys have like acute hearing and eyesight
and extra strength, right?  Great, I’ll let you know when our next off-world mission is
going to be, and if you’d like to, you can join us.”  

“Thank you.  We would enjoy joining you off-world,” Brialek answered in the polite,
measured speech of the Tok’Ra, but he smiled slightly, and Re’neka nodded and smiled at
Sheppard, as well.  

They had again turned and started walking down a hall and Malek’s mind was wandering
when he realized that Elizabeth was telling him and Daniel that she would see them later,
in the cafeteria.  It seemed that they had arrived, and the two of them were in adjoining
rooms, with the others close by them.  

That was fine with him, for he and Daniel had become good friends and got along very
well.  Both respected the other’s space and privacy.  So much so that they had actually
talked more about themselves to each other than he could ever remember doing before,
except with Lantash and Martouf.  It was as if that respect and obvious willingness to
allow each other space, had encouraged them to share with one another.  He shrugged.  It
was just one more change that had come to him through loving Samantha.   

Their rooms overlooked the water, and he stood gazing at the sun as it began its descent.  
The day here was almost done, and tomorrow and all it held in store would be upon them
before they realized it.  He felt Daniel’s hand clasp his shoulder and turned to him with a
smile.  It was good being part of a family.  He felt the warm embrace from his soul’s mate
as he agreed with him.  Their thoughts mingled, neither of them taking precedence, both
equally responsible for both their thoughts and their feelings.

Turning back, he watched as the sun made its way on toward the horizon.  Nothing stood
still, all seasons passed one after another.  Night followed the day, and the young grew
old.  One event followed another.  It was just the way life was.  

Only one thing would never change.  His love of Samantha, his children, and his new
extended family.  Even O’Neill and he managed to be able to get along.

Changes brought him here to Atlantis and changes would take him home again.  For now,
he would enjoy the latest of the changes and learn as much as he could from them.  He
was going to like Atlantis, and it appeared, at least from the initial introductions, that,
perhaps, Atlantis was going to like the Tok’Ra.  Time would tell, and starting tomorrow, he
would use that time wisely.  There was much to learn here and he looked forward to
absorbing everything he could about Atlantis. In turn, Atlantis would be learning about
them.  He looked forward to tomorrow and all the tomorrows to come after it.  

Changes.  They were the events life was made from, and he would embrace each new
one.  There was much to live for in his life.  

He and Daniel stood quietly and comfortably together on the balcony watching the next
inevitable change take place.  The sun sank into the water, shimmering one last time,
burnishing Atlantis with gold and making promises of the future, before slowly sinking out
of sight and calling forth a night strewn in stars.     

The End.  

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