Chapter Five Summary: Martouf and Daniel are surprised at the "supplies" that Artereos has sent but are very pleased to have them. Merdwin arrives with some equipment they may need.
Amat Wyn – My Love Amates Wyn – My Loves Coeurawyn – My Heart Caruswyn – My Dear, My Dearest Igisadonis – Beloved Aima Coeurawyn – Blood of My Heart "Italics" – Symbiote-Host or Telepathic communications
Daniel and Martouf stopped what they were doing and looked at Malek in surprise. There was definitely a thread of barely suppressed excitement in the Tok’Ra’s voice. They looked at one another and then turned to look at the transport area. Neither of them said anything as they took in the “supplies” that Artereos had sent them and attempted to assimilate the truth of what they were seeing.
“I promised to return as soon as I could, Coeurawyn, and as you can now see, I spoke truth. I have come home to you, Caruswyn,” Gwennetha said softly.
“Are you not glad to see us at last, Beloved?” Kataya asked, quietly. “We are sorry it has taken so long, but we did come as soon as we could, I promise you.”
“Martouf, Lantash, Amates Wyn,” the beautiful blonde standing beside her said, “We really are here. We are not a dream or a delusion. We came as soon as our journey ended.” Although she assured them she was real, she looked as pale and ethereal as an angel would.
Jack and Jacob stood grinning at them, watching, as they stood in stunned silence, unable to believe what they were seeing. At long last, Martouf took a deep breath and stepped forward, toward the three women standing, waiting for their answers. Stopping to stand before Samantha, he reached out slowly and ran his fingers gently down her face. Feeling the softness of her skin beneath his fingertips, he oh-so-slowly, allowed his arms to reach for her, as if afraid to move to quickly, lest she disappear. Groaning her name as he felt the solidness of her body, he wrapped his arms tightly around her. Burying his face in her hair, and breathing in her scent, he clung to her as if he would never again let her go.
As he felt her arms come around him and cling to him just as tightly, he heard her murmuring their names and speaking of her love for them, softly, gently, repeatedly. Feeling the wetness of her tears as they bathed his throat and dampened his shirt, he stroked her hair, cradling her softness and reveling in the feel of her.
Knowing what this moment meant to Lantash, Martouf released control to him, so that he could hold her and say all the things he had not been able to tell her before. They felt her smile softly against their neck as she registered the change, even now able to tell them apart. She gave him the assurances he had needed for so long. She had known, she told him, and her tears fell faster still, at the pain he had been in, then and since. She heard his voice, barely above a whisper, yet hoarse with emotion, as he pleaded with her not to cry, “For your tears are breaking my heart, yet again, my Samantha, Aima Coeurawyn.”
“I am crying because I am back in your arms where I belong, Igisadonis, not because I am sad. I do love you both, so much,” she whispered her reassurance to them, as they softly caressed her hair and back, as if they must constantly make sure that she was truly there and real.
As he caressed her, he realized that she was indeed much thinner than she had been. Always slender, she was beyond that now, and she felt fragile in his arms. His dreams had been real then. Something had happened, and she had been worn and tired to the point of exhaustion. Nevertheless, the fire still glowed in her beautiful blue eyes, and the corded muscles spoke of physical strength that was still there. Even though her body was exhausted, it would heal.
Dear Universe, she had kept her promise. How he had missed this woman, her voice as she talked, her laugh when he said something that amused her, her kisses as they feathered across his flesh and set fire to his body, her body, her warmth, and her love; in short, everything about her. Would he wake up in a minute and find himself alone and cold once again? No, not this time; this time she was real. His hands continued to caress her, to try to imprint onto his mind, that this time she was indeed truly real, not a dream, not an illusion, but soft flesh and warm blood.
Daniel and Kataya stood quietly and gazed at one another, their eyes seeking, speaking, knowing. Kataya brought her arms up and crossed them over her chest, bowing her head in the age-old way of the formal Furling greeting. Raising her head, she looked at him and perhaps realizing his loss of words, she said to him, “I greet thee with love and joy, my Lord Dayillon of Alexandrian, Beloved of My Soul. Long have I yearned to touch thee, hear thy voice, and once again walk by thy side. You are the Blood of My Heart and to be with you once again, fulfils the essence of my spirit, and allows my blood to sing within my heart. Now…I am whole.” As she finished speaking, she extended her hands toward him in the gesture of openness, faith, and trust.
Slowly, Daniel brought his arms up and across his chest. He bowed his head in the gesture of respect, and on raising his head, he said, his voice husky with emotion, “I welcome and greet thee with love and joy, my Lady, Kataya of Cadwaellon, Blood of My Heart. I, too, have yearned to have you by my side once again, to hear your voice, and feel your touch. You are the Beloved of My Soul, my other half; now that you have returned, my blood once again sings in my heart and my soul whispers of the fulfillment of its essence. Now…I am whole.” Extending his hands, he softly touched his fingertips to hers.
He could feel her, solid, real, soft, and warm. As Daniel felt the trembling of her fingers, and looked into the violet eyes of his mate, the disbelief that had held him since first turning to see her standing there and hearing her voice, suddenly left him. He swept forward to gather her fiercely into his embrace and hold her desperately to his heart. It was as well that he had gone through the Furling greeting on automatic, because it had been too long and too unbearable, to wait even one second more to have her held close and secure in his arms.
Dear god, how fragile she felt, as if a breeze could blow her away. His dreams had been truth. Something had happened to his Kataya. As his arms held her, he was reassured though, for there was still strength in her, and her eyes were clear and glowed with an inner fire, as they always had. She was still the warrior that she had always been, would always be, and she was still his mate, as she had always been, would always be.
Daniel followed in Martouf and Lantash’s steps as he cradled her, caressed her, and murmured her name. He felt the scalding tears run down his neck and soak into his shirt and knew that these were tears of release and thankfulness. They spoke of her fear and sorrow and joy all at the same time. As he buried his face in her hair, much as Martouf and Lantash were doing with Sam, he allowed his tears to fall and felt no shame in them. All the pain, all the loneliness, and now all the joy, were in those tears, and they mingled with hers and helped to ease both of their hearts.
As they stood and absorbed the reality of one another, they became lost to the world around them. The two couples would not have known if the sky had fallen, they were so deeply involved in the enchantment and wonder of the moment. At last, their journey done, the Dragon’s were home and in their lover’s embrace, the safe haven of their hearts.
Gwennetha looked beyond them to the mate of her soul and stepped toward him. At last, Malek was able to move toward her and take her in his arms. Holding her gently, he murmured to her, saying all the things he had wanted to say for so long. She was here at last, as she had said she would be, and even if it was only for an hour, it was a balm to his heart.
Then, looking at the two couples that were still lost to the world around them, he asked quietly, “How long will you remain here? When must you return?”
“We are here for as long as we are needed, Malek. It is over. We will no doubt explain it all this evening, but the short version is that Morgasha’s soul has been bound and my mother’s freed.” Seeing the questions in his eyes, she leaned forward and kissed him gently, shaking her head, “It has been a very long and hard fought battle, Malek, and more than once, we thought we would lose my mother. You will hear all of it later, I promise you. Please, Coeurawyn, for now, all I want is to feel your love surround and soothe me, and to know that my mother and Samantha are truly here with us, free and with their mates, as they should be.”
Turning her head slightly, as it lay nestled on his shoulder; she looked toward her mother and Samantha. She was aware that Malek also watched as the two couples stood quietly within each other’s embrace. She knew that both her mother and Samantha were crying quietly. Not because they were unhappy, but because the nightmare they had been living these past several months was finally ended. They were being held in the arms of the men they loved more than anything else in this or any other world. They were home in their lover’s arms, as she was.
Jack, Jacob, and Jocasta watched for a few moments, and then they left the three couples to reunite in at least comparative privacy. They would soon notify the others that they would be leaving, but not just yet. It would be an early evening for them all, as they were sure that not only would the couples want to spend time with their mates, but there were a lot of questions to be answered. It would be time to head back to their lodgings before long.
Jacob slapped Jack on the back. “I told Selmak and Jocasta that Sam and Kataya would return to us,” he smiled at Jack for a moment longer before slowing his pace and saying in a quieter tone of voice, “They look kinda tired and thin. As if they have been ill. At least, Kataya looks like she has been ill. Seriously, ill, and that is weird. I don’t think of a Furling as being sick. Sam just looks tired, as if she is all but exhausted and hasn’t been eating or sleeping much.” Frowning now, he added, “They are both awfully damn thin, actually. I hope they tell us what happened after they were taken.”
“Yeah, you’re right. And I agree that Kat looks like she has been sick or something. Dammit, I hope she is not. I don’t know if Daniel could stand to lose her again.”
Sobering completely at that thought, Jacob looked at Jack before saying quietly, “I don’t think Artereos would have sent them, if that was likely to happen, Jack. He would have just let Daniel think she had died at the time and left it at that. He wouldn’t put him through that again, and I imagine that whatever happened to Sam and Kataya is why he didn’t tell us that they weren’t dead.” He frowned before saying, “If they weren’t, that is. From what little I understand of the Furling life cycle, I suppose they could have been dead, huh?”
“Yeah, that is kind of the way I get it too, Jacob. They were probably dead for all intents and purposes. I had Sam in my arms, and she was not breathing. I think we all know that. So maybe they came back, or maybe they were only in a coma like state or something, but whatever it was, the sooner we get everyone gathered and get back to camp, the faster we’ll find out.”
“Right. We have left them alone for a while now. Call the others and we’ll go back,” Jacob said, cheering up and beginning to grin again. “I want to hug my daughter, too, y’know?”
Jack grinned, “Yeah, I know, me too, Jacob. Me, too.” Keying the radio, he called Teal’c.
“Teal’c here. Is there a problem, O’Neill?”
“Nope, not a thing wrong. Gather Stevenson and Brialek, and come back to the temple. We have a surprise for you. Hurry up, we’re heading back to base camp.”
“Have Daniel Jackson and Martouf found something significant, O’Neill?”
“You could say that, Teal’c. Yup, you could say that, but it doesn’t have anything to do with the little Queens.”
Shutting down the radio, he turned back to Jacob and Jocasta as the reality set in and he grinned even wider. His arm pumped the air as he shouted, “Yes! Carter’s back! Woo- who!"
Entering the temple, they were taken aback somewhat, to see all three couples on the floor, the men leaning against the walls and cradling the sleeping forms of the women in their arms. Merdwin was standing and looking at them with a worried frown upon his face. He turned as Jack, Jacob, and Jocasta entered the room.
“Mer, somehow I’m not surprised to see you here,” Jack said softly, so as not to awaken the sleeping women. “I hope you’ve come to tell us what’s been going on or help with the translations.”
Merdwin shook his head and laughed softly, before saying, “I have come only to check on these two stubborn, recalcitrant, women, and confer with Valynara on what must be done for Kataya and Samantha to enable them to heal quickly. They should have remained longer in the All to gather strength, but they did not choose to, and keeping Kataya from Daniel and Samantha from Martouf and Lantash is like trying to stop a raging river.”
“They spent only the minimum amount of time needed to sever their ties. They should have remained to gather strength, as I said, but since they would not consider that option, I am doing the next best thing and leaving instructions on their care. Behind their backs, of course,” his smile was completely unrepentant.
“Merdwin, Amat Wyn, your misplaced confidence in your abilities when it comes to hiding things from me never ceases to amuse me. You should know by now that you cannot do things like that without me finding out,” Kataya said softly, as she opened bright violet eyes and looked at him in amusement. “By all means, leave instructions with Valynara on our care and feeding, for it will allow you to feel better, but also know that I am very much aware of my own weaknesses and the need to do nothing to aggravate them. Please trust me to get sufficient rest and meditation. Samantha, also, will take care of both of us, as she has been doing, and we will take extra care to see that she regains her strength and abilities, also.”
Sighing, she indicated she wished to stand, and Daniel released her so that they could both come to their feet and join the group standing, watching them. Continuing her comments to Merdwin, she said, “Remember that we have Gwennetha now, and soon we might have Lanwin and Taesha. All of them are capable of doing healing on us, which will help our recovery. Moreover, we have the strength to manifest and begin to draw energy that way should the need arise. There are, in fact, numerous avenues open to us, and we will use any of them that we feel we need to, I promise you.”
Smiling gently, as she placed her hand on his arm, she said softly, but firmly, “The ordeal is ended, Amat Wyn. Please, let it go, and do not worry so. It is finally over for all of us, and you must learn to believe that, and stop blaming yourself. You could not stop what happened, and you were there to care for us and see to it that she did not succeed. We are very glad you were there for us, Coeurawyn. Stop beating yourself up over this.”
Looking at him with her emotions plainly written on her face, she said quietly, “I promise you, that should either Samantha, or I, feel the need to return to the All, we will do so. Now that Daniel, Martouf, and Lantash have the proof that we will return as soon as we can, they will not feel the deep sense of loss they lived through before. I do not believe we will need to, but I give you my solemn word that should we truly need the healing that can only come from within the All, we will go.”
Those listening could tell this topic was not new. It was easy to see that Merdwin was reluctant to leave the two of them, but it was also apparent he realized he must. They were adults, and as such, they were the ones that made the final decisions about their welfare.
He nodded slowly and then smiled somewhat wryly, “I am aware of those things, Coeurawyn, and I will agree to let you manage on your own. I know you will do what you need to do to get well, and I will attempt to put the last six months behind me. That I will promise you.”
“Well, Mer, once you are back at the SGC and with your mate, perhaps you will have more important things to think about and do, than to worry over us,” Sam said quietly, from where she now stood wrapped in Martouf’s arms, letting them know that she, too, had awakened and was aware of the conversation going on around her.
Seeing her father standing next to the Colonel, she gently loosened Martouf’s hold on her and rushed to him. In her eagerness, she almost knocked him off his feet, as she flew into his arms. “Dad, it’s great to see you. I’ve missed you, so much,” she said, as she buried her face in his neck. The familiar scent that was Jacob reached her, and she hugged him close.
“God, I’ve missed you, too, Sam. So much. Even though I suspected you’d be back someday, still, it was so hard, knowing you were gone from us. I missed my little girl,” he said, his voice husky with suppressed tears.
“I know, Dad, and I’m sorry. There was no other way. You know that, don’t you? If there had been another way, we would have taken it.”
“I know, Sweetheart, we all understood that; we really did. We may not have liked it, but we did understand it.”
Releasing her father from the tightness of her hug, she asked, “So when did you and Jocasta become mates? I told you to do it before the Battle. I’m very happy for you, for both of you,” she added, as she smiled at Jocasta. Seeing the shock on their faces, she said, “I, um, can still pick up stray thoughts and stuff, emotions, you know. I, um, picked up a little bit of apprehension from Jocasta about your relationship, so I figured you had gone ahead and joined. I’m right, aren’t I? You did finally become joined, didn’t you?” Sam asked, eagerly.
Seeing her father flush slightly, she laughed lightly, saying, “I’m really glad, Dad. I told you before the Battle that I thought you should; I meant it then, and I mean it now. I’m happy for you.”
After hugging Jacob again, she was surprised when he kissed her gently, and said, “Thanks, kid. We’re very happy, and Daur’rin and Jocasta take excellent care of us. In fact, they spoil us rotten, if the truth is told.” Seeing the love that passed between them, Sam smiled at them, glad that her dad had found a mate that brought him happiness. He deserved it.
“How are Daur’rin and Selmak?” She asked Jacob. “I guess they really haven’t had time yet to say hello. We probably shouldn’t have sprung it on you all like this, but we didn’t want to wait any longer. We just wanted to come home to our families,” she said softly, as she stepped forward to welcome Jocasta and let her know she was happy for them.
“Daur’rin and Selmak are fine, Samantha, and we will all talk later, I am sure, but for now, she says just to tell you how very glad she is that you have returned. I am quite sure that Selmak feels the same. He was very upset over your…your death. However, he agreed with Jacob that you would return, and I know he thought of you often, for he spoke of you often,” Jocasta told her, as she returned her embrace.
“Thank you, Jocasta. I’m very glad about you and Daur’rin and my father and Selmak, I really am,” Sam assured her again, before turning to look at Jack O’Neill.
Stepping forward to him, they shared a brief hug that said more than words could have. He was her commanding officer, but he was also family. All of these people were her family.
“It’s about time you got back, Carter,” O’Neill said. “Do you have any idea what they’ve saddled me with for the last six months? If it hadn’t been for Teal’c, Daniel, Martouf, and Lantash, I’d have strangled them all.”
Malek and Gwennetha joined the group in time to hear Daniel chide Jack gently, “They haven’t been bad, Jack. You just have no tolerance.”
“I don’t like scientists, Daniel. They’ve given me nothing but geeks until this time. Lieutenant Stevenson is the first one that has had a brain for anything other than science.”
“Ellen Stevenson? She’s very bright,” Sam said, as she remembered the young Lieutenant they had rescued. She followed up on her at the time and found that she was indeed extremely bright. Sam had thought she had an excellent chance of a good career at Stargate Command. “She’d make a great addition to the team, but is she Second in Command?”
Jack stared at her in consternation, “Ah, no, that would be Major Lantash of the USAF. I believe you knew him when he was just a Tok’Ra,” Jack said with a wry smile, as he watched Sam’s look of disbelief change to one of pride.
She turned to give Martouf another hug and a swift kiss before saying, “I knew you were with them still, but I had no idea you had become a Major. We only saw you in your dream states, so I had no way of knowing,” she murmured quietly, as the conversation continued around them. She frowned as she saw the pain her words had caused to surface. Moving back to stand within his arms, she said softly, “We will explain everything later, I promise.”
Martouf nodded his agreement, saying, “I know you will and perhaps after we are all back at the house where we are lodging, have had our evening meal, and are relaxing would be a good time.”
“Merdwin, what are your plans for now?” Kataya’s question attracted their attention.
“I am on my way to the SGC to be with Janet and help their new warriors settle in. Most of them were with us during the Great Battle and so are familiar with the SGC systems, but a couple of them are new. You will be able to help Daniel with the translations here almost as well as I could, and if they run into problems, you can link Daniel and confer with Artereos.”
“The books of legends and history that Daniel desired will be delivered to your lodgings. Since he wrote many of them, once he sees them, he may remember more than enough without having to look many things up. Lanwin and Taesha will be here later on, but for the moment, they are helping at the SGC with the new warriors.”
Searching his pockets, he found what he had been looking for and handed them to Malek. “I have brought two memory recall devices, if you still wish to use them. A screen will be delivered along with the books in case you wish to use it.”
“Alanna was kind enough to visit with Garshaw and, ah, request a copy of all the history files they had available. It seems that Alanna has decided to write a definitive “history of the Tok’Ra as handed down in their legends and songs” and Per’sus gave instructions that she was to have unlimited access to all files that could be pertinent to her research.” Merdwin’s look was innocence itself. Anyone that knew Alanna well would find her sudden desire to write a history of the Tok’Ra odd, to say the least. The amusement on Kataya’s face indicated that she, at least, was quite cognizant of the absurdness of the idea.
Thank the universe, she had not been a Tok’Ra long enough for anyone there to know her well. Moreover, evidently, her symbiote was well known for taking new and unusual projects on, only to abandon them when they could no longer hold her interest. It fit in perfectly with what they needed.
Merdwin handed two crystals, some readers and data pads to Daniel. “She also sent what records they had on her home base, which is actually probably everything, including what she received from Garshaw, but she took their information, too, just to be sure. All of the information should be on those two crystals. We included the data pads thinking you probably would need something to keep your records on. They are very similar to your laptop computers, but with more memory available, and they will interface with the crystals and the readers. You will have no problems using them, and we included enough that everyone could have one. They can each be locked, so that no one else can access them. A precaution you will want to use if you return to the SGC, which as I am sure you know, would probably not be a good idea. General Hammond is aware of the situation and does not expect your return anytime soon.”
“Thank you, Merdwin, that is much appreciated. I was wondering how I was going to keep everything straight and had decided I’d have to contact the General to get some of our computers sent through,” Daniel said. “These crystals sound like exactly what we needed to get from the Tok’Ra base; we just couldn’t come up with a good reason for asking for them.”
“You are all most welcome. It was Artereos’s idea for Alanna to decide to write the history. It worked well, and we got the information very quickly. I suspect that Garshaw is aware that the information is not for Alanna, and Artereos, or I, will soon have a meeting with her to explain what is happening, as we did with Per’sus. They are the only two people outside of those of us here, who will know. Ah, and George. I told him yesterday, right after we refused your code. I decided it would be better if this was not talked of aloud, so I took it upon myself to inform him of what is happening.”
Grinning as he thought of what else he had to tell them, he said, amusement plain in his voice, “General Hammond will make the announcement of the return of Kataya and Samantha, along with the information that SG-1 will be spending an extended period of time away, possibly at Avilion or Cadwaellon, while Kataya and Samantha recover. It is being explained as an extended period of relaxation as a reward from Artereos for a job well done or some such thing.”
Seeing the stunned look on Jack’s face, he continued, “Unlikely, I know, but George is letting it be known that Artereos is somewhat eccentric and Kataya is, after all, his only daughter, so he wants her and her mate and team to be together. It will make as much sense as anything else we could come up with as to why you will all be gone for a while. I do not believe he will put a time frame on the length of time you will be gone, since we don’ t know how long the translation work will take.”
Becoming solemn once again, he explained, “Once you have what you need, although you could return to the SGC to work on it, I do not believe that you will find that it would be best. Keeping this secret on the base would be much harder to accomplish than if you simply stay here, which Valynara is more than happy for you to do. If you remain here after your time with Artereos, then we will come up with a reason. Perhaps an off-world base with Tau’ri, Tok’Ra, and Furling doing missions together. We shall see as events unfold what would be best to do. As for the Tok’Ra, as I said, Artereos or I will speak to Garshaw privately about what is happening. I imagine we will set up a link that will include George and they will come up with a reason for the Tok’Ra involved to remain away with the Tau’ri and Furling. If the off-world base does not seem to meet the need then I suspect there will be an ‘exchange program’ of some sort worked out. The truth, of course, is that we do not know how things will work out, and we will have to adjust our thinking as circumstances change.”
“If we decide on the exchange program scenario, then some SGC personnel may find themselves temporarily assigned to the Tok’Ra. This should actually work in your favors, as far as better relations between the two races. A very good start was made during the weeks before the Great Battle. Now, we will try to further the accord that was formed, and try to deepen the ties that were forged.”
Frowning, he looked around at the group who were about to become the guardians of the secrets of this world, and said, “What you have found here will not be discussed at the SGC. George is the only one that knows why you are here, and what you are doing. I am glad you had the foresight not to inform the Tok’Ra council. I believe there may still be a leak somewhere there and that possibility exists at the SGC as well. It is not a thought that should be discounted as untrue or unlikely, at any rate. I do not really believe even the N.I.D. would be foolish enough to deal with the Goa’uld, but we cannot be sure.”
“You seem well versed in our business, Mer. What do you know about the N.I.D.?” Jack asked, his eyes narrowing.
“Enough to know that they are dangerous to us. It is my business to know, Jack. We may have to work on cleaning that little mess up at some point, but now is not the time. And, we will find the leak at the Tok’Ra base as well. Artereos feels it is time we helped in a more material way. Neither of us is convinced that the leaks are necessarily even deliberate, but in any event, they must be looked into.”
Seeing the look on Jacks face, Merdwin grinned at him again. “Do not look so apprehensive, Jack. We will not cause any undue trouble, I promise you. And for now the most imperative thing is to find the queens before the System Lords, or anyone else, finds out about them.”
Jack nodded, “I have to agree. I just know what you can lead us into, Mer. It’s enough to make a guy nervous.”
“This time you are leading us, Jack. You have found this, not us, for even Artereos knew nothing of the secrets hidden here so long ago,” Merdwin reminded Jack softly.
“Minor detail, Mer. I firmly believe that when the Furling, the Tok’Ra, and SG-1 get involved in something together, all hell breaks loose eventually. Now all I’ve gotta do is wait for the other shoe to drop.”
“As Thor would tell us, O’Neill, we must hope there will be no more falling footwear,” Teal’c’ s deep rumble reached him from the doorway of the temple.
Coming to stand beside the Colonel, he said quietly, “I see that Major Carter and Kataya the Warrior have returned to us, at last. As you said, O’Neill, a most significant find. This is indeed good news.” Bowing to Merdwin, he continued, “It is a pleasure to once again meet with you, Lord Merdwin. We have long looked forward to your return. I am sure that Dr. Fraiser is also quite pleased.”
Merdwin grinned at him before replying, “It is good to see you also, my friend, and yes, she was extremely happy at the news I was able to bring her.”
“Teal’c,” Sam said, softly, her affection for the large quiet man evident in her voice. Going to him, she reached up, kissed his cheek, and felt herself taken into a firm, warm embrace.
“Indeed, Major Carter, I find myself at a loss for words to truly describe the feelings in my heart,” and with those words surprising them all, he bowed his head in solemn acknowledgement of the emotion they were both feeling. Sam wiped the tears from her cheeks and smiled at him, holding his hand in a tight grip, before turning aside to allow Kataya to also greet the large Warrior.
Using the formal Furling greetings, Teal’c and Kataya managed to express the deep thread of caring and friendship the existed between them. Their family, their team was now complete. The touching of the fingertips revealed the trembling of one to the other. The bowing of their heads spoke of their respect. The smiles they shared; their joy at being reunited. The embrace spoke from one heart to the other of the deep emotion that they shared.
Kataya greeted each of the others in turn, as she had been incapable of seeing anyone, but her Daniel, when they arrived. As she turned at last to O’Neill, and assumed the formal stance, she was surprised to be taken into a brief hard hug. Clearing his throat, Jack looked at them all, and said, “Well, shouldn’t we go back to base camp? You know, get some food, have a little nice conversation, drink some port and mead. Hey, an early night…You joining us for a meal, Mer?” he asked, as he turned to face his friend, striving for nonchalance and almost making it, except for the brightness of his eyes.
“Not tonight, thank you, Jack. I must talk to Valynara, and then I am heading back to the SGC. I will return in a few days to check on you. Kataya, this planet is now shielded. Even if, by some odd chance, a Goa’uld mothership should find its way into this sector of space they would see nothing.”
“I would give a lot to know how Artereos managed to convince the Nox to do that, but I will not tease you for an answer. Now, at any rate.”
“It is no secret. He simply pointed out that they would be preventing an act of destruction by hiding it. They always prefer non-combat situations, as you know. If they can prevent bloodshed on both sides, they will do so.”
After giving it some thought, she agreed but said, “It is a difficult thing to shield an entire planet, Merdwin. I assume this is a temporary fix?”
“Yes, it is temporary until we can spare a battle cruiser, which should actually be very soon now. With Valynara’s own ships, there will be more than enough to protect the planet once the cruiser gets here.”
“Good. Now you should go and talk to Val, and tell her how to tend to Samantha and I. We will go back to our ‘base camp’, have a meal and a relaxing evening with our family. I wonder how Val will feel about her home being described as a camp? Knowing her, she will find it amusing.”
Merdwin nodded, as he stepped to the transport area. “Yes, I am quite sure she will. Next, Jack will be calling our home on Avilion, a cabin,” he said, as he disappeared.
Jack snorted in derision, “Yeah right, like I’m gonna call that castle-like thing a cabin. I don’t think so. Well, lets go back to our ca-err.” He stopped, now not sure exactly what to call it.
“I believe camp will be sufficient. Come, Colonel, let us go. Merdwin and I were just teasing you. Val will not care what you call it, as long as you are comfortable.”
Jack grunted his acceptance of her statement, and turned to Daniel, “At least with Kat here to run the transporter thingy, we won’t have to worry about where we might end up.”
“Hey, I got us here okay this morning, didn’t I?” Daniel demanded.
“Yeah, that time. But how do we know where we’d go next time? Your mind could wander, and we could end up anywhere. Hell, if you drive, we could end up in your bedroom, now. Just let her drive, okay?”
“Sure, Jack,” Daniel blushed, agreed, and then grinned, as he said, “But don’t be surprised if you end up in our bedroom instead of the family room with her driving now that you’ve put it into her head.”
“I will be very careful not to do that, Colonel O’Neill.” Stepping to the transport area the group soon disappeared, leaving the temple once again quiet and serene in the sweetly scented air.