Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.2/11/07
Series Summary: Several months ago, the SGC was taken over and many of the personnel captured and tortured. They are freed, but are living with the Tok'Ra, and most are back to taking on missions, even though there are some lingering effects from their captivity. But now, someone is trying to kill Sam. Who? And Why? These are Adult stories that follow Sam as she initially suffers from a case of memory loss, then is the object of several more attacks. Along the way, she collects multiple mates. Most of the stories can be read as stand-alone. Almost all are NC-17. I would call them PWP's but there is a plot and story line that carries forward from one to the next, so I am simply saying they are adult in nature.
Story Eleven Summary: Jacob and Per'sus join Martouf/Lantash, Malek/Devlin, and Daniel to discuss recent events and to make some decisions on the daily running of the base both during this crisis and after things have calmed down. Sam seems to be reaching another level in her healing and is doing much better. Once their visitors leave, Martouf and Lantash stay up in case she needs them, even though her fever appears to be fairly steady. When she wakes and finds them awake and near her, her need for them and them alone leads to some private time for them.
Mae’tek Tari’esk – Mate Brother Mer FyCariadon kea – My Dearest One Ni ma’tae qua – We Love You Et’aevek - Forever, Eternally Mer Cory’esh Mae’tek – Joined Mate, Lifemate Prinekh – Another term for Lifemate, very often used as a Term of Endearment (Thanks to Rosie for this one) Arsyniqar – One of the Few Substances that will put the Symbiote, as well as the Host, to Sleep Kea’Cor – One Heart Kea’Ani’mek – One Soul “Italics” – Symbiote-Host Communication
Lantash stood watching Samantha, feeling his heart swell with love for her—and clench in fear, as other thoughts chased away the loving feelings. It was time to hear the rest of their story. To find out what, exactly, had taken place in the past eight days.
For now, Samantha was sleeping peacefully, and if he had anything to say about it at all, she would be doing so for many years to come. Safe in his and his Mae’tek Tari’esk’s arms.
Suddenly, the enormity of what his new mate-brothers had so far told him crashed into his fragilely held composure. He turned and made his way back to a seat at the small table in the room. He was afraid that, if he did not sit down, he would surely fall down, as the reality of their situation bludgeoned him in the head—and heart. Furthermore, to make matters worse, he and Martouf had greeted their beloved Samantha with anger and coldness.
As he sat down at the table, he found himself staring at nothing, his mind numb and blank. He was surprised, when Daniel reached over and covered his hand with his, squeezing slightly.
“She’s going to be fine, and you have nothing for which to reprove yourselves. Your questions were perfectly legitimate, and Sam understands that. She really did know that neither of you would hold any of this against her, Lantash. I think that, more than anything, her crying and, well, her almost hysterical response was due to the tension she's been under.”
“Once you returned, and she knew you were safe, she no longer felt like she had to hold it all together and be strong. As for her response to your anger, it was just as predictable, as your initial anger was. The release of the tension would have highlighted every emotion for her. Just—don’t worry about it. I don’t think it was significant, coming from her at that time, in those circumstances. Look, she loves you both more than anything or anyone else. You both know that, and you both know that she would do anything she could to keep from hurting you.”
“I suppose that the thing that has bothered and worried her, Malek, and Dev the most is the fact that they all knew there was no way to keep you from being hurt; at least, not until you knew the entire story. We all knew that once you heard what was going on, you would accept what they had done, what had to be done, in order for her to survive, and that you wouldn’t hold any of it against them. They wanted to be able to protect you from that first pain, but they knew that they couldn’t.”
Lantash nodded his acceptance of Daniel’s words, before sighing and then commenting, “They all know us very well, it would seem. I, we, reacted exactly as they suspected we would. I have to admit I was shocked at first, but now—now I am furious at what has been done to her.”
Daniel looked at him closely, for a moment, before speaking softly, “You are also afraid for her. We all are. All that we can do is continue to protect her from him, or them, whichever the case may turn out to be.”
“I will take that remark to mean that you are not sure exactly who we are looking for. However, you keep mentioning him, as if there was one person. Which is it?”
Malek sighed, as he stirred his coffee. “I wish we could give you a definitive answer to that question, Lantash, but we cannot. Up until last night, we believed it was one person that was targeting her. Now, we are of the opinion that there may be a group who used him, and his hatred of the Tau’ri, to cover them, their movements, and their plots. Unfortunately, it looks as if it may reach into the council members if, that is, we find that he was not, as we first believed, working alone.”
“Who has been attempting to kill Samantha, and why did she not tell us? Was she only now made aware of it, when it continued to occur, while she was on the base?”
Malek drew a deep breath and glanced at Daniel. “No. No, she did not just now become aware of what was occurring. She has known for quite some time, or rather, she suspected, but she had no proof. It was her word against his.”
Lantash looked as stunned as if someone had smacked him between the eyes. Malek, Devlin, Daniel, and Brandel all knew what his question, or questions, were going to be. When he finally caught his breath enough to ask, they found they were correct, “Why did she not tell us? We would have backed her up in this. Did she not trust us to believe her? Did she not know that we would defend her? Did she not believe we would help and protect her? We do not understand.” Although they did their best to hide it, hurt at her lack of trust in them still shown through their obvious confusion.
Malek was glad that he could answer all of their questions in the affirmative, as well as explain why she did not tell them. “Yes, to all of your questions, Lantash. She trusted you implicitly to do all of those things.” He continued quickly, before Lantash could interrupt, “What she did not trust you to do was to refrain from killing him outright, once you knew what was happening. She wanted to know why he was doing it, and she wanted proof that he was the one responsible. Do not dare to say you would not have gone after him, Lantash, for I know you too well. He would have been dead by now, if you had known.”
As Lantash opened his mouth to rebut Malek’s statement, Martouf quietly asserted to him, “What he says is true, Lantash. We would have been enraged, and thinking logically would have been the last thing we would have done. We would have gone to him, confronted him, and then killed him. You know it as well as I do.”
Lantash frowned as he considered Martouf’s words. “Yes, I suppose you are correct, Martouf. Evidently, there is every reason not to do so, since they suspect there is more than one person involved. It means that even after we get a name, we will not be able to do anything to him. We might wish it was otherwise, but it is not. We must remain calm and cold. We cannot allow the heat of fury to cloud our thinking. If we allow our emotions to override our judgment, then we will be acting exactly as Samantha feared we would. By doing so, we will be leaving her open to more attempts on her life, if he is not the only one involved. That is something that we will not allow to happen, Martouf.”
“We will help each other to stay in control of ourselves, Lantash. We have used that tactic many times when losing our focus could have resulted in a tragic incident. It will not fail us.”
“No, I know it will not. We can discuss this more later. For now, Daniel and Malek are waiting on us to finish our conversation.”
“We understand what you are telling us, and we are agreed that we cannot allow our emotions to hold sway of us. We will be fine, and we wish to hear all that you know.”
Daniel and Malek exchanged another glance. It was obvious that an unspoken conversation took place between them, and they must have agreed, because Malek turned to Lantash and began, “As you know, Samantha has been captured twice by System Lords in the past three months. Neither time was an accident. They gave her wrong gate addresses twice. One of those times, she ended up in a System Lord’s hands; the other time, the address she was given led to a toxic world.”
“The last attempt to kill her, during a mission, was this past one, where she came into contact with the Evernight. We speculate that they expected her to find it, when she arrived, and then die before she ever returned to you. Because it rained, those plans fell through, but they put a new one into effect when she returned and brought it with her. We believe that the fact that Samantha returned with the plant, and you left on a mission, was purely coincidence. The second poisoning, however, was not. They deliberately applied the Evernight to her skin. Within hours, she was quite ill and again almost died.”
“Until then, she was getting very much better. In fact, she was to the point that she would awaken us, if she needed us. We do not know what woke us from a sound sleep, but we found her almost lifeless in the facilities. She had a raging fever, and she remained unconscious on and off for the next twenty-four hours, as well. I will not go into her sufferings or the hours and hours of sexual stimulation and release, it took to begin to drive the poison back only enough for her to be conscious. Believe us, Lantash, it was necessary, and for that first twenty-four hours, we truly feared for her life, even more than we did the first time, for we did not know if she would live or die.”
“All we could do was continue with her treatment, whether she was conscious or not. Even after that time passed, it became increasingly obvious to Gava and I that we could still lose her very easily. It was on a knife’s edge for many more hours after that first day.”
“The entire situation was not pleasant from the very beginning, once we realized what was occurring. I do not mean that being with Samantha and caring for her was unpleasant, that is not what I am saying. Please do not misunderstand. We were very glad that we were there to care for and love her through the entire ordeal. I mean that we would have given anything if our bonding could have waited instead of beginning in this manner. Though we knew that you would forgive us, still, it was not as we would have wished it to be.”
“Samantha was most distraught, at first, until she realized that she really could die, if she did not respond to her body’s needs. Once she understood that the only way to be waiting for you, when you returned, was to go ahead with our bonding and consummate it now, she readily agreed. Both of us wished it could be otherwise, but it was not, and we both agreed not to allow it to become a problem for us, since we had no choice. We simply accepted that it must be as it was.”
“I feel that we should discuss it, Lantash, but if you do not mind, I would rather postpone that interview until after the danger to her has been completely exterminated.”
At Lantash’s nod of agreement, he continued, “Gava has been attendant on Samantha, for the entire nightmare, as well. I do not believe she has yet had so much as a nap that we did not interrupt, for one reason or another. Markesh, also, has been a tower of strength. They were the only ones, other than Devlin, Zarest, and I that knew Samantha’s poisoning was not accidental. We also told Daniel, of course, and that added him to those that know, as was Astar, as she is the one that saw him apply it to Sam’s forehead and hand, though, at the time, she was not aware of what she saw. Per'sus was informed several hours ago.”
“The only good to come of this entire situation is that Samantha, Gava, Treea, and Dev and I have managed to gather a great deal of information about Evernight poisoning. Samantha felt that we were in a unique position to study its effects and gauge what does and does not help to overcome it.”
Lantash shook his head and sighed. “Of course, she did, Malek. I suppose that Samantha will be collecting data on something right to the end.”
Daniel grinned at him, as he nodded his agreement. “Yes, that’s Sam. She did a good job of it with the Evernight. We now have a pretty comprehensive picture of what works and what doesn’t. Sam and Gava think they may be able to come up with an antidote. They're hoping that Janet returns soon, because she’s very good at finding answers to that kind of problem.”
Malek took another sip of his coffee, as Daniel made his comments, and then he began again to detail what occurred, while they were gone on their mission. “There was another incident, Lantash. Fortunately, it is one that both Gava and I witnessed. It took place in the pools,” He stopped speaking, and it was obvious that he was trying to find a less stark way to say it.
In the end, he simply stated the facts, “Samantha became unconscious. Just yesterday, she was still going into an unconscious state, when her fever spiked. We had to be sure that one of us was awake with her, once she slept past the safe time. Sometimes as little as twenty or thirty minutes over the time limit would be enough for her to become unconscious.”
“She was becoming so very exhausted that she was no longer awakening every time her fever spiked, and therefore, she would simply go from a sleep state to an unconscious state. If we were not awake, well, the results would have been very bad. Yesterday, she did just that. We were trying to give her as much time asleep as we could, before we woke her, and she slipped into unconsciousness, before we realized it had happened.
“I immediately took her to the pool, and because we caught it so quickly, she did not remain unconscious for long. When she recovers at this point, she appears to come awake and be very alert fairly quickly; it is unlike she did at first, when it could take quite some time for her to become completely alert again.”
“Once she regained consciousness and was alert, I returned to our room to take some drisk’nae. Gava made me a very potent batch of it to help boost my energy level. While I was in our chamber, I heard voices in the pool chamber, and I could tell that Samantha was not happy with whoever had entered the room. Since the tunnel we were in was off limits to all but a very few of us, when I returned, I was very careful to remain hidden in the hall.”
Again, he paused for a sip of his now cooled coffee. “The person within the chamber with her pulled her almost out of the pool by her throat and proceeded to revile her with epithets that belong in a sex guildhall. Then he proceeded to tell her how he had sabotaged each of her missions and would continue to do so.”
“I almost gave myself away by entering the pool chamber, but Samantha and I both saw Gava stealthily making her way up behind him, so I stayed hidden and listened, gathering more information for our case against him.”
“In order to keep his attention completely on her, Samantha—well,” Malek laughed softly and smiled slightly, as he remembered her actions, “she spit in his face.” Sobering once more, as he recalled the remainder of the incident, and its ultimate consequences, he said, “Then, when Gava grabbed him by the throat from behind, Samantha tore herself loose and proceeded to break one of his arms and crack the other.”
“After Gava entered the room, I listened a little longer, but decided that he would not give away anything in front of her. I was wrong. I entered the chamber, and he threatened both you and I, warning us to stay away from the Tau’ri. Needless to say, I had quite a lot to say to him, as well. I told him I would kill him, if I ever saw or heard of him subjecting Samantha to anything like that scene again. Then he took his broken and cracked limbs and left.”
Lantash blinked in stunned surprise, an unusual reaction for him. “He actually accosted her on the base, not just with the Evernight, but with a physical attack as well?”
“Yes, Lantash, he did.” He cleared his throat, before continuing. “Samantha and I had already discussed the possibility that I would not be capable of carrying on much longer, if you did not return quite soon. Devlin was completely exhausted, and I was very near to it, no matter that I continued to put myself into a dormant state, while Dev was awake. However, since Devlin was so exhausted, it would have been very easy for him to slip into sleep, without meaning to, so even in my dormant state, I was on alert to notice, if he did. Looking back, I believe that is why I was not gaining enough rest during my dormancy.”
“Nevertheless, to continue with what I was saying. After considering the men on the bases, we knew that Daniel was the only one that Samantha would feel comfortable mating with other than you and I. We spoke to him, as soon as we could, about becoming Samantha’s third mate. We were very relieved, when he agreed to become her mate, for we believed that we were very near the end of our endurance.”
“After the attack on her in the pool took place, we were aware that she was in danger not only from the Evernight, but from her assailant, as well. We also realized that he was no longer confining the incidents to her missions. Now, he was attempting to kill her, while on the base. As much as I would have liked to deny it and, in fact, did fight giving into it, I knew that I needed rest, if I was to be capable of defending her. I must thank Daniel and Gava for finally convincing me that I could no longer function well enough to be able to care for her or defend her. Between the two of them, they made me see that I was the one endangering her at that point, and after realizing and admitting to that, I found it much easier to relinquish her without feeling guilty for not being able to continue.”
Seeing Daniel grinning at him, he gave a wry smile in return, admitting, “That is not completely true, well, it is mostly true, they did convince me to the point that I finally did realize what I was doing; however, Gava also threatened to sedate me if I refused to allow Daniel to take over for Devlin and me. Daniel finds that amusing, although I have not yet figured out why.” He frowned as he again gave that some thought, while Daniel’s smile grew wider. “To return to what I was saying; they, along with Devlin, did finally manage to convince me that I was endangering her.” He looked Lantash in the eyes, as he confessed, “I am sorry for failing to take better care of Samantha, Lantash. Daniel feels that my actions were predictable because of the second poisoning. I cannot be so forgiving of myself.”
Knowing Malek’s predilection for taking blame onto himself, Lantash shook his head at him. “No, Malek, there is nothing to forgive. You did more than anyone could have expected of you. Moreover, Samantha is alive because of the three of you, Gava, and Treea; for I am sure they kept a very close watch on all of you, as well as taking care of things that came up, so that you would not have to deal with them.”
Malek nodded, “Yes, without Gava and the information she managed to collect from other sources that were more familiar with Evernight and its treatment, matters could have ended up being very different. Treea, too, had quite a bit of information and knew who to go to in order to garner more.” He frowned again, before mumbling, “Even if Gava did tell my guards that I was deranged and to zat me.”
Daniel chuckled, “I don’t believe you’ll ever completely forgive Gava and Sam for that, Malek, but you’ve admitted that they were correct to take the precaution. It could’ve been very bad, if the antidote to the Arsyniqar caused you to do something stupid, which, I believe, it came very close to doing.”
As Malek looked down at the table, he gave a long-suffering sigh, before admitting, “You know very well that I was on the edge of doing something stupid. Thank you for pointing that out, Daniel.”
Laughing softly, Daniel responded politely, “You’re welcome, Malek.”
Realizing that he should take over at this point, since he was awake and Malek and Devlin weren’t, Daniel took up the tale. “As he said, I was supposed to be a back-up, in case Malek couldn’t go on. As it turned out, it was a very good thing that they approached me when they did because, as we said, I had to take his place, before the night was through. With Sam still needing sex as frequently as every two hours,” Daniel shrugged, “it was imperative that her partner be able to awaken before her, and start watching for her fever to begin to rise. It was very likely to spike after the allotted time. It was also imperative that whoever was with her could use a zat at the first sign of trouble. As Malek said, he and Dev really were much too tired at that point, and besides that, the next sequence of the events was about to unfold.”
“You already know that they talked to me, after she was attacked in the pool, and you know pretty much everything about that, so I’ll start with Malek. The pool incident was yesterday, and last night someone put Arsyniqar in Malek’s food. There was no doubt that it was for Malek, as it was put into his favorite food, and there was only one serving of it with their meal. Luckily, Sam only tasted it; she didn’t eat enough of it to affect her at all.”
Daniel stopped his narrative and looked at Lantash very somberly, stressing what he was about to say. “We’ve been incredibly lucky through this, Lantash. Last night, if Sam hadn't awakened and determined to try to exercise the effects of the Evernight away, she wouldn’t have awakened me, and Malek would've been dead by morning. So would she, if her jogging hadn’t awakened me. Once I realized what I was hearing, I suspected that it was Sam, so I got up and checked; it was her.”
“As I said, that was only last night, Lantash. He tried to strangle her yesterday. Last night, Sam and I bonded, and Malek was under Gava’s orders and care for his overdose of Arsyniqar. The other shoe dropped this morning.”
Lantash frowned and even Malek looked at him oddly. Seeing their confusion he said, “It means, uh, something else went wrong. The actual saying is 'waiting for the other shoe to drop'. Generally, it’s said when something has already gone wrong, but you have a feeling that the situation isn’t over yet, so you’re waiting for the next thing to go wrong.”
He felt for his notebook, and then realized he didn’t have it in his robe. Oh, well, it could wait.
He continued the story, “Up until today, we thought that it was a personal vendetta against Sam. The next incident has pretty much convinced us that we're wrong. We’re now thinking that it’s a conspiracy against us, meaning the Tau’ri living here with the Tok'Ra.”
“What has happened to cause you to come to this conclusion, Daniel? Even though they drugged Malek, it still points to them trying to kill our Samantha,” Lantash pointed out.
“If that was all that had happened, you'd be correct. However, it's not the only thing that happened last night. You see, Lantash, Per'sus was supposed to meet with Malek this morning, look at the bruises on Sam’s body from the attack on her yesterday, and listen to the rest of the evidence we had.”
“Before that could take place, Sam’s attacker was brought into the med bay, barely alive. Someone had beaten him severely, and used a ribbon device on him to the point of critically injuring the symbiote, as well. Between that, and the injuries he sustained during the beating, it was too much for the symbiote, and both he and the host were going to die, if they didn’t obtain medical assistance. They concealed him in a little-used storage room, no doubt under the assumptions that no one would find him before he died. With such severe injuries, there was little chance that he would be able to even leave the room, let alone make it to the med bay. Luckily, for us, Anise found him, and took him to the med bay. He had blood all over him, and he was clutching a piece of a uniform in his hand. They found the tunic in the trash. It was Malek’s uniform, Lantash. It had the man’s blood all over it. Someone tried to kill him and blame it on Malek.”
“Again, we were fortunate. During the time frame they decided he was beaten, Malek was under the influence of Arsyniqar, and Gava couldn’t even awaken him. Gava had to give him the antidote in order to bring him out of it.”
“Needless to say, while half of the council was calling for Malek’s incarceration, despite several of us testifying that he hadn’t left the tunnel all night, we decided to whisk Malek, Sam, and the attacker to this base, knowing that if we left him there, they could get to him and finish killing him. We sent him through first, and then we followed not more than twenty minutes afterward.”
Daniel paused, taking a drink of his coffee, knowing this next incident would stun Martouf and Lantash yet again. He continued quietly, but intensely, “An ambush was set up at the Chaappa’ai. They took out one of the guards, and while we sprayed the jungle with bullets, Malek took him through the gate.”
“Of the four of us that went through last, it was quite obvious that Sam and I were the targets. So, it’s only today that we figured out that it isn’t just one person that was responsible nor were they after only Sam.”
Lantash sat as if turned to stone. A voice spoke up from the doorway asking to enter, and when invited, Jacob and Per'sus came in. Jacob went first to Sam and checked on her before turning and joining the others in the seating area. Lantash and Martouf simply stared at them, still unable, or unwilling, to say anything.
Finally, Jacob spoke up. “Lantash, are you and Martouf okay? I mean, I know you aren’t okay, okay, but are you, you know, going to be able to keep your temper under control?”
Martouf nodded for them. “Yes, we have already decided that we must remain calm and work toward discovering who is at the bottom of this. It is imperative that we find out if it is more than just prejudice. Our Samantha is no longer safe here; now we find that none of the Tau’ri are safe here, nor are they safe on Earth. Does anyone believe this could be tied to the N.I.D., their takeover of the Chaappa’ai in Cheyenne Mountain, and the capture and torture of the SG teams there?”
Jacob spoke up, “That was my first thought, after I recovered from the shock of finding out that my daughter not only has three husbands, now, but that there’s possibly a deranged killer after her.”
He paused before saying stoically, “I can’t say I approve of either, but I won’t go against tradition, or become estranged from her, so I’ll learn to live with the husbands. I happen to like all three of you very much, and I know that Sam couldn’t have found anyone better to take care of her. I also realize what you went through to keep her alive for the past eight days. I can’t fault you for that, that’s for sure. Of the guy trying to kill her, on the other hand, I’m not inclined to be so accepting.”
Lantash came fore to answer him, “Martouf and I welcome Malek and Devlin, as well as Daniel and Brandel, as Mae’tek Tari’esks, Jacob. I could not be happier with Samantha’s choices of mates, and I will give them the honor and respect they are due and deserve.”
“I get the point, Lantash,” Jacob responded mildly. “Sel’s shown me several times where he was in a multiple household and allowed me to experience the feelings it engenders. I won’t oppose you, nor will I treat Malek, Devlin, Daniel, or Brandel any differently than I ever have.”
“I’ve always hoped that if Sam didn’t choose you and Martouf that she would choose Daniel, instead of Jack. With Jack, it would never have worked. I hadn’t given any thought to Malek, not realizing she knew him that well, but I rate him right up there with the two of you, so I don’t object there, either. I just don’t want details, okay?”
Daniel snorted, “As if we would, Jacob. Sam would string every one of us up by the ba…er, thumbs.”
“No, you were right the first time, Daniel. She'd string you up by the balls.”
The tension they had all been under dissipated quite a bit with the quietly shared laughter, and Jacob’s acceptance of the new situation. “I do thank you both, for all you did to save Sam. From what Per'sus has told me, it couldn’t have been easy, regardless of how many fantasies one might have to the contrary. Constant sexual activity would become exhausting, if it happened the way Per'sus explained it to me.”
“It was quite frequent, for many days, Jacob, and it was as exhausting as you imagine it was. For all of us. That, however, is the most I will say about it.”
Jacob grinned at Malek. “Understood, accepted, and appreciated.”
“I realize that these are all things that must be brought out in the open, confronted, and accepted. However, I believe there is one piece of information that no one has seen fit to tell me. I am also very much aware that it has been a deliberate over-sight. Taking a rather deep breath, he asked, “Who is the person that attacked and tried to kill my mate?” Lantash looked from face to face, and then finally settled on looking into Malek’s eyes. “Well, Malek? I am waiting. I will find out eventually, so you may as well tell me now. I give you my word; I will not kill him, although, from what you have said, at least one person has already attempted to do so.”
There was a short silence, and one word fell into it. “Delek.” Then Malek sighed, tiredly, as he repeated it, “It was Delek, Lantash.”
Lantash nodded. “I suspected it was him, knowing that he has been the one to brief her on so many missions. With everything I have learned tonight, it only made sense that it would be him, as hard as it is and as much as I do not want to believe it. He…has changed in recent years and not for the better.”
He suddenly had an arrested look on his face. His lips firmed as he told them, “We contacted the base our third day of the mission and explained that it would take much longer than anticipated. I understand that Samantha did not get our message. Delek was the one that took it, and he assured us she would be told at once.”
He shrugged, which was an unusual gesture for Lantash, before continuing, “It is irrelevant, at this point in time, but it all fits together. The question now is whether or not there is some connection to the N.I.D. If it is, then the Goa’uld could very well have information about the Tok’Ra that we would very much prefer they did not have.”
“Yes, that’s what we’ve been worried about as well, Lantash. But, you know, the thing is, even if there are Tok’Ra working with the N.I.D., I can’t see them working with the Goa'uld.” As usual, Daniel waved his hands, as he talked, and almost knocked over his coffee cup. It didn't slow him down in the explanation of his thoughts on the subject.
“I’ve thought quite a bit about this, and it seems to me that the only reason they could possibly have is to try to stop, disrupt, and rupture the Tok’Ra-Tau’ri alliance. If we start being killed off, they may believe that it will strain it, but it wouldn’t, since it would appear, for the most part, that it just happened on a mission.”
“The attacks on us while on the bases are of a different character though, and if those had succeeded, then I can see it possibly working. I think that the attack on Delek, and trying to set Malek up to take the blame, was because he is Sam’s mate and in their way, but he is also a very vocal proponent for the Tok’Ra–Tau'ri Alliance. Since Malek was her mate, if Sam died because of the Arsyniqar, or if she died after Malek was in a cell, either way, it got rid of a Tau’ri…, but it also got rid of a pro-alliance member, who was also an important member of the Tok’Ra. A base commander, no less. If they could blame the alliance for his death, which they could, since it was because of a Tau'ri that he tried to kill Delek, then it could drive a spike in the crack that opened. If Sam died because she had no one to care for her and Malek and Dev died with her, well they’ve driven two spikes. No one knew that I was also Sam’s mate, at that point in time,” Daniel stated his opinion firmly.
“So, if there is a connection, I think it is Tok’Ra-N.I.D., not Tok’Ra-Goa’uld. The Tok’Ra involved may not even know that the N.I.D. is affiliated with the Goa’uld in any way, in which case, any information passed on to the Goa’uld from the N.I.D. would only be insignificant stuff.”
“I can’t imagine the Tok’Ra being free with information to the N.I.D., if they don’t want to even tell us,” Daniel made his argument concisely, and the other men around the table each mulled his statements over. What he said made sense.
“Unfortunately, we aren’t going to know anything, unless Delek survives and agrees to spill his guts,” Jacob finally commented. “At the moment, according to the healers, he’s holding his own, and the risk of Amek’tel’ kek’ma’tel is over. His brain tissue is pretty much healed, both his and his host’s. They have almost all of the internal injuries healed, as well. He still has a great many superficial bruises, though. He’s also under heavy guard around the clock.”
Malek sighed, and it was obvious that he was still exhausted, although how much of it was mental, and how much of it was physical was hard to tell. “Good. I need to get dressed, and go make some arrangements for guard duty and set up a roster. Then I suppose I need to talk to Garshaw and explain what has been going on under the council’s nose, to use a Tau’ri expression. We must also consider moving the bases, once we clear this up. Until we have the people responsible, it would do little good, but once we have them, then we should probably move all of the bases.”
“I agree about the bases, but the first part of what you said is not needed, Malek. Garshaw was here and brought Jacob’s belongings. He has officially moved and taken the position of third-commander. I appointed Lantash, Martouf, and Samantha, as Seconds- in-Command. Zarest is thrilled, and he offered to stay on as general support personnel. Particularly, it seems, since a certain operative, named Astar, has moved to this base.”
“He is more than willing to take over the base, at any time, should you all be away at the same time, but he also asked that, either you or I, appoint a fourth in the chain of command, so that it will not fall on him alone.”
“It is not that he feels that he is incompetent and cannot do the job; obviously that is not true; it is that he wishes to take some guard duties and become more pro-active in working on the base rather than running the base. He is a scientist, too, and spends time in the labs, when he has time to do so. It seems that he has been missing working in the lab more and more and truly wishes to return to them. Is there anyone you can think of that you would like to see as fourth in command?”
Malek frowned, as he gave the position thought. “I believe that I would choose Gava and Markesh. Both have proved they are quite competent. I believe they would prove invaluable. In addition, if Jack O’Neill remains blended, I would like to see him moved into a co-command position. He does have a great deal of experience of command.”
Per'sus stared intently at him for a moment and then nodded. “It will be as you wish, Malek.”
Jacob cleared his throat. “You know, I really don’t want to be in a fulltime command position. How would you feel about it if I take Jack on as my co-commander? Would anyone object to that happening?”
Malek smiled. “No, I would have no objection whatsoever, Jacob. Most of the time, it only comes into play if I am absent for some reason. I think that would work out very well.”
He stopped speaking for a few moments, and then he brought forth a subject that had been on his mind ever since Samantha had become so ill. “This is changing the subject, but there is a very serious circumstance of which we must take care.”
He drew a deep breath and said quietly, “If Samantha had been blended; she would never have suffered from the Evernight poisoning. It would have been much harder for someone to harm her. Now that she has her memory back, we should see to it that she blends right away. I meant to talk to you and Martouf, and then send Daimesh for her symbiote, but he did not come in with you, and I forgot about it until now.”
Lantash indicated his agreement saying, “You are correct, Malek. There is no longer any reason that she should not blend.”
Daniel cleared his throat, before saying, “Ah, guys, that may not be exactly true. In all the stress and everything we were under, Sam and I both forgot two tiny little big things.”
They all stared at him until he finally pointed out, “I only became Tok’Ra today. Before that, I was, um, all human, and we can’t, uh, stop our, er, that is we can’t—we can’t control our sperm, okay? Neither Sam, nor I, took that into consideration last night or this morning. I don’t know what time of the month it is for her, or if she’s still on birth control, but I think we should make sure that nothing happened before we think about blending her.” By the time Daniel finished his comment, his face was red, and it was obvious he was extremely uncomfortable.
They continued to stare at him, this time in shock. “I’m sorry. I mean that. I really am sorry. I mean, I know that you guys couldn’t possibly welcome a baby conceived between the two of us, but by the time I remembered, well, it was many, many times too late to worry about it.”
Finally, Lantash was the first to react, saying, “That is not true, Daniel. Martouf and I would certainly welcome a child born of the love, which you and Samantha share. As for whether or not she is using any birth control—no. No, Samantha is taking nothing to prevent pregnancy, since it is not needed now.”
“Devlin and I would also welcome your child, Daniel. Do not worry about it. I suppose that children are something we should consider before we blend Samantha. I mean, as long as she is not Tok’Ra there is no reason she could not have children if she wished to do so.” Malek still looked stunned by the possibility.
Jacob spoke up when no other conversation was forthcoming. “There’s not a lot you can do about it right now. If Sam’s still in danger from the Evernight, then if she isn’t pregnant, the symbiote would be the fastest way to cure her. If it’s dissipating anyway, then it won’t hurt to wait until you find out. As far as helping with the poison, well, there are six of you now, altogether. Surely, you can, you know, take turns or something.”
“As for a possible pregnancy, now if it’s already happened, or if you decide to wait to see if you think you should have one, for myself, as much as I would love to see a child of Sam’s, it would be a very hard decision. It would grow up here in the tunnels. It would have no real childhood. It would spend its life running from the Goa’uld, just as we do because it couldn’t live on Earth.”
“Sam already has the protein marker and the naquadah in her blood. The child could have too many oddities in its blood to allow it into the school system on Earth where someone could begin to ask questions. In other words, there are a great many cons to think about before you make that decision. If she is already pregnant, then it is a moot point. If not—you all need to think long and hard before you make that decision.”
He paused for a moment and then said in a lighter vein, “I have to admit though, that I would love to see how a child born of these two geniuses turned out. It would probably be so smart no one would ever understand it.”
“There is no guarantee that exceptionally intelligent parents will create an exceptionally intelligent child, although I’ll admit it’s possible and more likely. I’ve not studied any of the research done into that to know what the statistics are to tell you the truth. I do know that it’s possible that our children would be average, too.”
Jacob grinned at Daniel as he made his statement and then answered him, “What you say is true, but, you never know and knowing the two of you—well, I think we know it would be exceptional in many, many ways. However, you can discuss this stuff at a later time. Either way, we have time to deal with it, while some of these other things need taken care of a.s.a.p.”
Nodding, Devlin came fore and said quietly, “True, Jacob, and so, even though this is changing the subject, there is another thing we need to think about. We have three Keepers, and yet, all three of them were out on missions.”
“I believe that we should make the effort to see to it that there is always at least one on a base somewhere, so that when a symbiote is needed in an emergency, one can be retrieved. We should also very possibly consider appointing a fourth one. This is the first time we have had less than four, if I am reading Malek’s memories correctly.”
Per'sus nodded. “You are, Devlin, and that is a very good point. I believe that it should be someone that remains on base most of the time, though. We have several scientists that never go on missions. I will consider which of them would be the most likely candidate. If any of you have suggestions, please let me know. I would like to have several names from which to choose.”
“If Zarest is going to be spending more time in the labs, he will be around. We already know that he is dedicated and very capable of command. I believe that he should be one of the first ones to be considered,” Devlin said firmly.
After thinking the suggestion over, all ten of them seemed to feel he would be a good candidate.
Per'sus nodded his agreement and then said to them, “If there are enough viable candidates, perhaps we can bring ourselves back to five or even six. Years ago, we always had six. That we are down to three is really something that I should have considered and taken care of several months ago when we lost Zivek.”
“You have had a great deal on your mind, Per'sus. These past two years have been stressful for the Tok’Ra with infiltrators twice breaching our defenses and all of our comrades we have lost. On the brighter side, we have also disposed of some System Lords both on our own and with help from the Tau’ri, not to mention the ones the Tau’ri have taken out alone,” Lantash assured him solemnly.
Malek came fore to say quietly, “While I worry about the loss of our brethren, I am elated that we have made progress against the Goa’uld. And, do not forget that Anise thinks she is becoming very close to being able to alter one of us and in that way give us a new Queen.” All five of them frowned at the thought that their symbiotes might change to female.
Jacob broke the silence that had descended upon them, saying, “Hell, for all we know there might be a Queen among the lost ones. The next new symbiote could be a Queen. There was never any mention that none of them were, was there?”
“That is true, Jacob. There is nothing that tells us that Egeria did not give birth to a queen. For all we know, there very well could be one in stasis awaiting a host. We can hope so, and in the meantime, we can hope that Anise’s genetics work bears fruit.”
Per'sus turned from Jacob to Devlin, saying, “As far as setting up rosters for the guards, I have done some of it, I believe. There will be two guards on each end of this tunnel and unless someone has rooms in this area, they will not have access to any of the rooms here. If anyone here is needed, they will be com’d by the guards on duty to come to the tunnel entrance.”
“Two of your guards will be stationed outside your doorway at all times. Gava tells me that your sleeping chamber is behind the other rooms, so Samantha should not feel unduly stressed or embarrassed by them being there. All of your guards appear to have a great deal of respect for Samantha, and after talking to each of them individually, I believe that they will go out of their way to set her at ease with them.”
“I have doubled the guards on the ring transporters as well. There are also now guards on duty in the tunnels where our Tau’ri operatives live, and again, only those who have rooms there will have access to it. Jacob and I talked to Jack and he, too, is posting guards. I felt he should have the information that we believe the Tau’ri may be a target, but I did not go into all of the details of why we feel that. I felt I should discuss it with you first. I think he should be told the entire story, so that he will be as aware as we all are.”
“I have kept the guards on the gate doubled, although I doubt that anyone will come through. I have also arranged to keep someone on the surveillance for cloaked ships, but I moved them closer to the tunnels. Have I missed anything?”
He paused before exclaiming, “Oh, yes, I also made arrangements for Zarest to be relieved by Markesh. Markesh was able to get several hours sleep, after he arrived, and he his aware of the situation. He should have enough experience to be able to keep things running smoothly, and if you plan to advance him to a commander position, it will be good experience for him, so that will work out well. He has instructions to awaken you, myself, or Zarest, at the first hint of trouble, and barring one of us, then Selmak and Jacob or Lantash and Martouf.”
Malek nodded his agreement to the arrangements that Per'sus had made for him, then said, “Thank you, Per'sus. I appreciate greatly all that you have done to help today.”
“You are most welcome, Malek. You would do the same for me,” Per'sus answered, and it was very apparent that he was completely confident that his answer was very true.
“I would indeed, Per’sus.” Malek smiled briefly and slightly.
Turning to Jacob, he added, “As for Colonel O’Neill, I believe he should be completely briefed. Would you mind doing that when you talk to him about taking a command position?”
“I’ll be glad to fill Jack in, Malek. Don’t worry about it. While I believe that Jack wouldn't be a good choice for my daughter, I do believe that he's an excellent soldier, and much more than simply competent to take over command of a base. Actually, I know for a fact that when George Hammond retires, they're hoping to promote Jack into his position."
“Thank you, Jacob. I would appreciate it very much, and, so that you know, I agree about Colonel O'Neill's abilities to command. I, too, respect him as both a soldier and a commander.”
Malek then addressed his remarks to all of them, “Does anyone have any more questions or comments? If not, then perhaps we should begin to make plans to discover what has been and still is going on.”
“I still have more questions, Malek,” Lantash said, quietly. “First, how often do we need to check on Samantha?”
Daniel looked at his watch, and frowned. “It’s been two and a half hours. That was about what she was able to tolerate, before this last time, when it was four hours or so. That may very well have been a fluke, though, since she was injured, and we don’t know exactly what chemicals it is that push the poison back.”
“We can hope that she’s moving into a new pattern, but I’m not holding my breath, and I think we should begin to check her quite often starting now.” He put his words into actions, and after getting up; he took the sensor and swept it over her.
After reading it, he sighed, “It’s going up. In fact, it’s up to one hundred one and a half. It was almost normal after her last, er, treatment, so it’s gone up almost three degrees, since then. The shooting and injuries could have caused her to relapse. God, for her sake, I hope not,” Daniel moaned the last part of his statement, hating to think that they would soon have to awaken her. She still needed rest so very badly.
Malek looked grim, and his lips firmed, as he pressed them together. “We will watch it very closely now to see how quickly it is rising.”
Daniel nodded, as he sat down on the side of the sleeping platform. His vigil would begin now, but he looked up and into Lantash’s eyes. Eyes that spoke of fears endured, even though they were not voiced. Wanting to distract him, Daniel asked, “What other questions did you have, Lantash?”
Lantash shook his head, as if to clear it. “I almost forgot. Per'sus you said you talked to Garshaw. What were her comments?”
Per'sus leaned forward and rested his arms on the table. “I told her about the other attempts on Samantha’s life and what they were. She was in complete and absolute shock, and then she became tremendously furious.”
He gave the equivalent of a shrug, and continued, “She asked why Samantha had not come to her with her suspicions. I pointed out to her that, no doubt, at least part of the council, which she would have informed, a very bad move on her part, would have insisted that Delek, not Samantha, was telling the truth.”
“I also pointed out that because Samantha had no proof, she knew that she would not be believed, and, in fact, when she accused Delek of giving her the wrong co-ordinates, her statements were dismissed in favor of Delek’s words on the matter.”
“Needless to say, once she was brought to understand just how little faith Samantha had in getting an unprejudiced hearing, she realized that what I was saying was true. She has assured me that she will do all in her power to find out who is responsible, since she, also, now believes it is a conspiracy against the Tau’ri. I should also mention that she was distraught when she realized that Samantha did not get the support and help from her that she needed. I believe that she, and all of us for that matter, will be more open- minded in the future when it comes to whose words we should believe. No longer will simply the fact that someone is Tok’Ra be enough to be automatically believed.”
“I cautioned her not to arouse suspicion. She suggested that she slowly begin to change her attitude to be slightly anti-Tau’ri and to begin to appear more willing to listen to some of the more preposterous suggestions that some of her council members have put forth. We decided, after discussing it at length, that she should wait, and do so only if we cannot find out the truth any other way.”
“She also gave me the names of all those she felt could be implicated in this conspiracy. Not that she believes they are all involved. She does not; however, she does believe that there are several that very well could be. The others she feels simply have the wrong friends at the wrong time.”
He smiled somewhat sardonically before saying, “She wishes me to assure Samantha that we will find out who is responsible for the attempts on not only her life, but now Daniel’s and Malek’s, as well. We did agree to keep our information to ourselves, and I told her the list of people who are aware of what is going on and can be trusted as far as we know.”
“I included those in our immediate circle here, of course, and then Gava, Markesh, Zarest, and Torvar, although Torvar does not know everything. However, if something occurred and all she could contact was a guard, I would prefer it to be him, since he is already aware that something is not as it should be. Being shot at the Chaappa’ai was a big clue, even if there had been nothing else to raise his suspicions.”
Lantash nodded and added, “If for some reason others need to be told, perhaps to keep someone under surveillance, or whatever else might appear, I believe that both Arwanna and Daimesh are completely trustworthy.”
“I agree. We will keep them in reserve in case we do need some covert surveillance accomplished. Did you have any more questions, Lantash? Or does anyone else for that matter?” Per'sus looked at them all again.
“Yes, I still have one more. Which of the council members wished to see Malek incarcerated?”
“Garshaw said that it was Stekesh, Corlock, and Parist. Stekesh wished to have Malek removed from Devlin and put into indefinite stasis. She gave him to understand that would never happen, even if it was proven that Malek did beat Delek. Delek attempted to kill Malek’s mate. It was his right to take revenge, if he so desired.”
“She would have preferred it be done in another manner, and she was open to sanctions should it ever be proven, but separation and stasis was out of the question. I also understand that there is a lot of discontent about their attitude within the other Tok’Ra. Their stand was not popular with many. It seems that, as we were already aware, Lantash, Martouf, Devlin, and Malek are very highly regarded by the majority of the Tok'Ra. Moreover, so is Samantha. She is looked upon as one of us, thus the general consensus is that Delek attacked one of us, with no provocation, and while she was still unblended and quite ill. I believe we might actually have seen a revolt against the council had one of them attempted to take and incarcerate Malek or part him from Samantha, while she still needed him.”
“I believe that Garshaw is planning on starting her investigation, as soon as possible, and it will start with her digging into their activities. It also seems that they were always the ones that sided with Delek over the missions on which they sent Samantha. They were also the most vocal during the meetings. I believe that we will find that all three of them are involved in this to some level.”
“I hate to interrupt this discussion, but Sam’s temperature is just over one hundred and two. We should probably wrap this up until later, and put off the discussion of what we’re going to do, until after we, um, take care of Sam. I know we need a plan in place tonight, but it will just have to wait a while, since I believe we should all be in on planning whatever we decide to do.”
Jacob stood, and Per'sus joined him, although first finishing his answer to Lantash, “That is all I can tell you about the council, at this point, anyway, Lantash. It is unfortunate, but at the moment, we know little more than we did before I talked to Garshaw. The names she gave to us will be useful however, for if one on them show up here, we can be fairly certain it is not for any good or innocent reason. Those council members are now under surveillance.” Then turning to Daniel, he acknowledged and answered his comments, “I agree that we must still meet tonight, Daniel. I am staying here tonight, and both Jacob and I have a com unit, so you will be able to reach both of us when you wish us to return. I will not suggest that you come to us, as I am sure you would not wish to leave Samantha completely alone, nor do I believe that you should.”
“I am not going to insist we talk to Delek tonight, if he awakens. I would rather we make some plans first. We are guarding him for his protection, as well as any Tau’ri’s protection. We do not want someone getting to him before we have a chance to interrogate him. Absolutely no one, other than those designated as allowed and the healers, are to be permitted anywhere near him. Once he is well, we will place him in a holding cell under very heavy guard. We want to be absolutely sure that they do not get to him. Therefore, since I have nothing more to add, I will say good-bye for now.” Per'sus headed toward the door.
Jacob murmured his good-byes as well, adding, “Take care of our girl, and when she wakes up tell her I love her and I understand. I don’t want her worrying that I won’t approve. She has to make her own choices and in the circumstances, I think she did a damn fine job. Just—make sure she knows all of that, okay? Getting Sam well and up and around again is the important thing here. Now, we’ll talk again later. See you.”
The three men nodded their assent and murmured their good-bye’s, as well. They would meet later and lay their plans. Although a great deal happened to them today, it was actually only very early evening. If they were very lucky, by morning, Delek would be awake and not only well enough—but also willing enough—to talk.
Once Per'sus and Jacob were gone, the other two men turned to Daniel. “How is she, now, Daniel?”
“She's holding her own, Lantash. Her fever was beginning to go up a little faster, but it seems to have slowed, and I'm beginning to think that we can afford to wait and see if she wakes up on her own. If it starts up too fast again, then we’ll wake her.”
Lantash nodded. “All right. I am going to take a quick bath, if you will stay with her. Although, we were with her in the pool earlier, we only truly cared for her. I will return shortly.”
“I will accompany you, Lantash. I feel as if I could use one, as well. We will take over for you when we return, Daniel.”
Daniel smiled at him, as he pointed out, “Having a pool in here is really going to be handy. I think Sam will enjoy having the privacy, too. Go on. I’ll move Sam to the new platform, while you both shower or bathe, whichever you’re going to do.”
Both men nodded, as they headed for the room that now housed the pool. It was very true that Samantha would enjoy the privacy this accorded them. She would also appreciate the other smaller extra bedchamber that Gava had added. With Malek’s old bedchamber, and the two new ones, as well as the pool, kitchenette, and facilities area, they now had something similar to how an apartment back on earth would appear. It was obvious that the hours Gava had spent talking to Sam had allowed her some insight into the Tau’ri and their needs for privacy.
Neither of them had noticed the showers in the far corner, when they had bathed Sam earlier. There was no doubt that showers would be quicker. They both headed for them.
Daniel turned back to Sam watching her sleep. Running the sensor over her once again, he was pleased to see that her temperature was holding steady at just over one hundred and two. It had not, to his knowledge, done this before. Usually it continued to rise, once it started moving up. Perhaps, this was a change for the better. He would ask Malek, as soon as he returned, and in the meantime, he would move her to the other, er, main, sleeping area.
As he picked her up, Sam snuggled into his arms, and Daniel smiled, softly kissing her forehead, before walking into the other room and placing her upon the sleeping platform. When he drew his arms away, she made a soft, obviously negative sound. Her hand moved, as if looking for something, so Daniel grasped it firmly. She immediately quieted and stopped moving. No doubt, Daniel thought, even in sleep, she knew that she was safer now.
Daniel checked her fever again, only to find that it had dropped a few tenths of a degree. He was glad as that indicated there had been a significant breakthrough, and they were gaining ground much more rapidly. As far as he knew, it had never gone down without a treatment first.
He looked up as Malek and Martouf entered the room; both of them had their bath, well, blankets actually, draped around their hips. Daniel smiled at them, as they each took them from there and began to dry their hair better.
Never would he have believed he would feel so completely comfortable in such an intimate situation, but he did. He felt no embarrassment at being here with these two men, naked and preparing to all climb into bed together. It helped that they were so casual about it, though, of that he was sure.
Malek was the first to throw his bath blanket into a pile on the floor, and then make his way to the sleeping platform. Daniel grinned at the typical male habit. He would pick them up later, as he had the ones they had discarded earlier.
“How is she, Daniel? Should we awaken her now?” Malek asked, his voice soft and low, so as not to disturb her if there was no need.
“I’m hoping you can tell me, Malek,” Daniel responded. “Her fever is no longer climbing. In fact, it fell about four tenths of a degree, and it’s holding steady at a little under one hundred and two.” He ran the sensor over her one more time to be sure, and again it came up the same. Then he ran it over himself, just to be sure that the sensor itself hadn’ t suddenly failed. It hadn’t.
He looked at Malek, asking, “What do you think that means? Do we wait to see if it starts going up again? She moved around some and kind of moaned when I moved her into here, but she stopped as soon as I took hold of her hand, so I’m confident she’s not unconscious.”
“That is excellent news, Daniel. It appears that she is finally beginning to overcome the poison better, or that it is finally beginning to dissipate,” Malek replied, obviously happy with the change in her. Then he frowned. “I wonder if we should consult with Gava purely to be sure that this is how it should be acting, if it is that the poison is finally diminishing within her. I believe that this is how she reacted the first time; however, to be quite honest, some of those first memories are somewhat disjointed. I do trust that she should awaken on her own when she needs us now, though.”
Martouf realized that his clothing was in one of the new storage areas and began dressing, “If we need for Gava to check on her, I will see if she is available.”
Malek pulled his robe on, as he shook his head and reached for his com. “That will be unnecessary, Martouf. I can com her instead. Hopefully, she will be available, and it will take very little time for her to arrive, if she feels that she needs to come and check on Samantha.”
He followed his words with action, and it was quickly determined that, in Gava’s opinion, they had reached a turning point. “I believe we are now at the point we were the first time, Malek. She is definitely better than she has been, since this entire situation began.”
“I do not consider it necessary that I see her. Treea agrees. She said to tell you that she will still need you, but now her fever should become almost non-existent afterwards, and it will vary during the time in between. She also says that at this point she should no longer become unconscious. I believe it would be prudent for someone to stay awake with her, though, so that if there is some unforeseen complication, you will be aware of it immediately.”
The relief in the room was palatable. “Thank you, Gava. Should something unexpected occur, we will com you, but at this time, we will presume we will not need to do so, and will, instead, plan to see you in the morning. Rest well.”
“I am sure I will. I will see you in the morning. Goodnight.”
“Yes, we will. Thank you. Goodnight.”
Malek set the com down and look at his friends. “You all heard her. She believes that Samantha is now beginning the next stage, and that this should soon be over. We can all rest better tonight knowing that. Daniel was up most of the night with her. He should get rest first. We slept until this morning so we have had a good rest, as well. How has your rest been, Martouf? When did you and Lantash last sleep?”
“We slept on the trip back. I slept longer than Lantash, but we have had little else to do but rest for the last several days, as we awaited the return of Arwanna. I believe that we should remain up with Samantha, for now. You and Devlin need rest more than we do. Daniel, also, after his lack of sleep last night and his injuries today, needs to rest. I believe we should stay awake to check on her.”
Daniel looked at Malek and, as he did, he realized just how tired Malek and Devlin appeared. He expected that he looked the same. Martouf was right. They should take the first watch, at least, and perhaps the second as well, considering that Martouf could sleep while Lantash remained awake.
He surprised them by saying, “I agree, Martouf; I think that you and Lantash should be the ones to check on her, at least for several hours, maybe even both the first and second shift. If Malek or I wake up and can’t go back to sleep, we can take over, if you become tired, but I believe that you’re the most rested and should stay up with Sam.”
Malek realized that Daniel was correct. In addition, Martouf and Lantash had been gone a long time. No doubt, they would feel better if they could stay up with her. He nodded his head in agreement with Daniel. “I agree with Daniel, Martouf. We are both very tired, and you are in much better condition to guard her tonight than we are. You will awaken us, if you need us, and if you do not, then you can wake us when you feel you need to sleep. Perhaps in four to six hours?” He asked.
Martouf nodded. “Yes, we would like to do that. I believe that Lantash and I will feel better, if we stay up with her.”
“I'm going to take a quick shower and, since we aren’t going to wake Sam, you need to call Per’sus and Jacob to return in a while. You guys decide who'll take the third shift.” He looked at Martouf and his intentions were writ plainly on his face. “I know you want to stay up all night with her, Martouf, but you really shouldn’t. Tomorrow could be both busy and stressful for all of us. Not only will Sam still need us, but we’ll start our investigation tomorrow, too. So we all need to get at least a little rest tonight.”
“This entire ordeal is almost over. We have Delek in our hands, under guard. We have a good idea that at least three council members are involved, and I have a feeling that seeing as someone tried to take Delek out, he’s going to be singing a very different song for us now than he would have even a day ago. We can’t relax completely, yet, but I don’t think it will be much longer. Then we can think about more pleasant things instead of him and his cohorts.”
Malek nodded. “I agree, Daniel. I think Delek will be more than happy to tell us what we want to know. Whoever is behind this made a very large mistake in wanting Delek to suffer, before he died. Otherwise, he would not have fallen into our hands.” Then smiling, he also commented, “I also believe that Samantha is very near to being over this. Soon, we will be planning our joining ceremony. That will be something much more enjoyable to think about.”
Martouf smiled at Malek’s comment. “Yes, we will need rings, necklets, and bracelets. Lantash and I agree. We, also, trust that soon this will be over and finished. Then we can begin to work once again on our missions. I want to tell you both that we are very grateful, for all you have done to save Samantha. Please, believe that. Lantash and I both are more thankful than we will ever be able to tell you, and we welcome you as our brothers.”
“Thank you,” Malek and Daniel spoke in perfect unity and suddenly they all laughed, a little embarrassed, but a lot relieved.
Martouf picked Sam up to carry her back into the other room, even though they had just moved her. Well, they could do nothing about that. They did not know when her fever was on its way up that it would then level off before beginning to fall some indicating that she would no longer become unconscious. Now she would wake and be able to tell them what she needed.
Later, after they completed their plans, they would all lie down together to get some very much needed sleep. He and Lantash would take the first watches, though, and they would lie or sit next to Sam to keep a watch on her fever. Malek already com’d Per’sus and Jacob and they would return shortly. He placed her on the sleeping platform. Now, it was time for business; pleasure would follow their discussion and subsequent planning meeting. He looked up, as Per’sus and Jacob entered the room. Turning, he walked toward the table. It was time to make plans that would permanently protect their mate from whoever was behind these attacks.
Three hours later, Samantha rolled over and snuggled into Lantash and Martouf’s arms, breathing deeply to bring their scent into her. She smiled against their skin, and then her eyes popped open, as recent events came rushing back to her. This was not a dream. They were really here beside her, holding, and loving her.
She pressed her cheek against their chest and allowed her lips to caress their skin; something she had dreamed of doing for the last eight days, both while she was awake and while she was asleep. She felt the response in their manhood, as it jerked against her thigh. She smiled. What a wonderful gift to find upon awakening. Slowly her hand made its way down their body, and she felt the change in their breathing, and the warmth of their hands as they tightened where they held her. It was time to make some of her dreams come true.
“Samantha,” Martouf whispered softly, “are you in need of us? Do not feel you must make love to us if you can safely go back to sleep. Your fever does not appear to be spiking this time.”
She pressed her lips to his chest once more and then finding a nipple close by, she used her tongue to flick it gently. “Perhaps we should remove to the other room, so we don’t wake up Malek and Daniel, Martouf. I don’t believe this is the Evernight needing you; this is your mate needing you and wanting you. Very much. I’m so very glad that you’ve returned to me safe and unharmed. I’ve been so worried.”
Martouf slipped easily from the bed and swept Sam up and into his arms, heading quietly for the other small chamber that Gava had thoughtfully added on, so that any of them wanting privacy could have it. He laid her gently down on the bed, worshipping her with his eyes, as he did so. “Dear Goddess, Samantha, we have missed you so very much. I must admit that, in a way, I am thankful that we did not know what was occurring here. We would have been frantic and could very well have jeopardized our mission. Still, in some other ways I wish we had known, and we do not wish something like this (heaven forbid it should ever occur again) to be kept from us. Promise us that you will never take these kinds of chances or keep information from us again.”
Sam shook her head and smiled softly. “I can promise to do my best to never be in a situation like this again, and therefore, never need to keep information from you. I love you both so much, Martouf. So very much. All I want right now is to hold you as close as I possibly can and keep you next to me, close and safe.” Her breath caught in her throat, and tears came to her eyes, a sign, in her opinion, of how very weak she still was. “I was so worried when we didn’t hear anything, but I knew that it could just be that you couldn’t safely contact us. It’s probably just as well that I didn’t know Delek was keeping things from me. I would probably have killed him myself if that had happened.”
Martouf nodded. “I understand, my love. Samantha, if anything had happened to you, I do not know if Lantash and I could have survived. We love you so very much; you have become such an integral part of our lives that without you in it, there would be nothing to live for.
Sam smiled softly and reaching out her hand, she tenderly allowed her fingertips to trace the shape of his brow, the line of his nose, the strength of his jaw, before her smile slipped and she became solemn. Looking at him searchingly for a long moment, she finally said quietly, “I know we say these things to one another. I couldn’t live without you; I can’t live if you’re not here with me. All of those things that lovers say to one another.”
Drawing in a deep breath, she continued, “The truth is that, if something happened to me, you and Lantash would be devastated, perhaps for a long time, but you would go on without me. It would be hard, and you would be in a lot of emotional pain, but your life wouldn’t end because mine did. The same holds true for me. I would continue to exist if you—or—and, Lantash, were no longer in my world. Nevertheless, my world would be hard, cold, and dark. So very dark without the light that you both shine on my life. We’ve never talked about this before, but maybe we should because this is something that either of us could face at any time. We both know that the other could be killed at any given moment. The past six months culminating in these past eight days has brought that home more than ever.”
“Martouf, if something should happen to me, then I truly don’t want you and Lantash to spend years mourning for me. Yes, I know that mourning is inevitable, but it doesn’t have to last for years. You know, as well as I do that, sometimes we humans extend our own suffering by refusing to let go of “what might have been”. Love does fade with time once a mate passes. It never truly dies, but it softens and becomes something to remember with joy.”
She frowned as she obviously thought of something that disturbed her. The Tok’Ra had tactile memories. It was possible that their emotions didn’t fade in the same way because of that. Looking back up at Martouf, from where she was watching her fingers outline the pattern in the bedcoverings, she started to ask, when he smiled slightly, before answering her thoughts, “Yes, Samantha, the tactile memories also fade somewhat. We never lose the ability to recall how it felt when the loved one caressed, held, and kissed us, or the joy we felt at their laughter, and the heartache we felt at their tears, but just as with your memories, the anguish that goes along with those sensations does fade with time.”
Feeling the tension the thought had brought ease, she smiled at him before reaching for his hand and beginning to caress it instead of the covers. She accepted his words “I’m relieved to hear that. Even though I’m sure the tactile memories can be a wonderful thing, if they never became less intense, it would be a terrible burden, as well as a joy. I do have some of Jolinar’s tactile memories, but not very many, so I wasn’t sure if they worked the same or not. I don’t have enough of them to really tell. A few remain fairly sharp, but some of the others not so much; however, since they came to me this way, I didn’t know if they were always that way. It’s a good thing to know…” She shrugged as she left those thoughts and returned to the previous discussion.
Martouf was quiet beside her, sensing that she had more to say and that she considered it important to them. Therefore, he was not surprised when she returned to her previous thoughts, and reminded him, “We’ve both lost enough people we love to know that it does pass. There's always an empty space where that person lived, but later rather than sooner, it dulls from an open wound to a healed one. I want you both to know, that I would rather you allowed it to heal quickly. I don’t want you mourning for me to the point that you allow love to pass you by. It can and should come to you again. It’s probable that you have many years ahead of you and I wouldn’t like to think of you being alone during those years. Please—I want you to go forward with your lives as soon as you can. Don’t waste whatever is left of your lives. If I die, then I’m the one that’s dead. Don’t die with me. Live life to the very fullest you can. For me.”
She watched the glow of Martouf’s eyes and heard the deeper tones of Lantash. “I understand what you are saying to us, Samantha. In many ways, I agree with you, for we feel much the same when we think of leaving you behind should something happen to us. We, also, would wish for you to return to the living and not merely exist, waiting for your life to end. Knowing that you feel this way relieves our minds and lessens our worry over you. We understand exactly what you mean, and what you are saying, for as you mentioned, we have lost many loved ones over the years, and we know that eventually the pain lessens; it is true that it becomes a dull ache, a melancholy longing, a more gentle sadness. We will agree to do as you ask of us, only if you will return that promise to us for yourself.”
Leaning forward, she brushed her lips against his. “In time, I would be able to do that for you, just as you would ultimately do it for me. Thank you for that.”
She sighed softly, then, and releasing their hand from where she had clasped it as they talked, she moved closer to them. She trailed her fingers from their jaw, the area she had stopped at when they began talking, over to their lips, to the cleft in their chin and thus ever downward over their throat and then to their chest. “At the moment none of us have left the other, and we're here—alone—in this room, all by ourselves. We all appear to be wide-awake with nothing to do, since it’s the middle of the night. Can you think of anything we could do to pass the time, until the remainder of our household awakens or we get sleepy, Lantash?”
His smile became almost predatory as he clasped her wandering fingers in his hand. “I can think of many things that we could do, Samantha. We could work on a duty roster to help Malek out, so that he would have less of that type of thing burdening him. We could go and have a cup of coffee or something to eat. Are you hungry, my love?”
Sam laughed quietly. “Oh, yes, Lantash, I’m very hungry, but somehow I don’t think that any food we have here will ease these hunger pangs.” She began to use her other hand to stroke him intimately. He was hard before she began, but with the first touch of her hand, he became completely inflexible.
“Tell me, Samantha, is there anything that I can do to help these pangs to abate? Can I give you anything that will help you to feel better?” His hand reached out and he lazily flicked her nipple, before lightly caressing her more fully.
Sam moaned, as a jolt of desire screamed through her. She was not up to playing this game for very long. She needed them too much. “I think you have everything I could ever need or want, Lantash. Feed me. Fill me with your body and your love.”
Her words were all he needed to snap the leash he was holding on his passion. All of the fear, tension, and anger he had known as his Mae’tek Tari’esks told him of the attacks on his mate roared to life, but he transformed all of the emotion and channeled it into his love of his wife, and now he would use it to feed and enhance his passion.
He moaned her name and swiftly pulled her into his arms, hard against his body. “You feel so wonderful to us, my Samantha. I do not know if I can control my body long enough to pleasure you; I want you so much.”
Realizing what was happening to him, Sam pulled him to her as tightly as she could, whispering, “I don’t think that either of us will take long to reach the heights this first time, Lantash. I want you to take me. Take me hard. Take me, as if you can’t ever get enough of me. Take me—as if you will never let me go.”
“We can do that, our Samantha, our love.” They proceeded to prove to her just how much they had missed her. Lantash’s hands trembled with his need of her and, as they stroked down her body, they felt the silkiness and shuddered as another wave of desire rocked them. Their lips found hers, and they kissed her deeply, crushing her to them, whispering words of love, passion, desire—longing.
Sam wrapped her leg over theirs urging them to her. She wanted them within her, loving her, allowing her to love them and reassure them of all the love she felt for them. Her hands left trails of fire down their back and side, as she caressed them, silent arguments, encouraging them to come to her, closer, and closer still.
“You are burning us alive, Samantha,” Martouf came forward and caught her hands, stopping her as he groaned. “What Lantash told you was true. We are barely holding onto our release as it is.”
Sam rolled from her side to her back and pulled him over her. “I know, Martouf, and I'm so close myself that I can’t wait any longer either. I need you and Lantash now, my loves.”
As he found himself cradled in her thighs, he looked into her eyes, his questioning, hers shining back her answer. “Dear Goddess, Samantha, I cannot wait.” Feeling her hands start to guide him, he finally gave in to his overwhelming need to have her. In a long smooth glide, he moaned as he entered her, hearing her answering moan as she bucked up to meet him.
“I want you, now, Martouf. Give your body to me; make me whole. I want to feel you, to love you, to know that you are with me again, solid, warm, and alive. The reality, not the dream. I dreamed of you so often, my loves,” she whispered, as he drew back only to enter her again.
Knowing now exactly what she needed and wanted, he smiled down at her, knowing what to do. It was exactly what they wanted and needed. They needed the heat of their bodies as they joined; the sound of their skin as it made contact and slapped against the others in their frenzy. They needed the feel of the sweat and the rasping of their nails as they urged each other to greater heights—and met each other with harder thrusts. She wanted, needed, just as they did. They needed most of all, to feel each other’s bodies as they came together and mated.
He stopped holding back, and Lantash came forward to help prolong this beautiful and important joining because it was important to them all. This was their time together, the three of them, giving and taking, knowing they were at last together again in each other’s arms, only them, reveling in the wonder of being held close by this mate they had been so afraid of losing.
Lantash’s thrusts became harder and quicker, but still, Samantha urged him on, pleaded for more of him, all of him, “I’m ready, now, Lantash. Don’t wait. I—I can’t. I can’t wait.”
“Now, Samantha, we are ready and we are with you, now. Come for us, Mer FyCariadon kea. Ni ma’tae qua. Et’aevek.”
Panting with desire and passion, Sam gasped to them, “Ah! I love you both, so much. Forever, I promise you; yes, Lantash, oh, goddess, yes. I love you.” Sam fell into her climax as she felt them stiffen with theirs. They had joined one another once more, and it was as it had been with them from the start—a little piece of heaven. Kea’cor, Kea’ani’ mek.
Their breathing slowed and their bodies cooled. Martouf came forward and reached for the light covering, pulling it over the two of them. He was so replete, and Samantha had already closed her eyes in slumber.
It was plain to see that she truly was exhausted. He looked at her and frowned as they noticed all of the things they had ignored as they made love to her. She had lost weight, and her skin had lost its usual luminous quality. Her cheeks were pale; her eyes looked bruised, with large shadows under them from a lack of sleep. Then they smiled for she had a tiny smile curving her lips, something they were quite sure had not been there for many days.
Furthermore, she looked extremely relaxed, as if she was no longer worried about anything. Watching her now, they realized that even earlier after their first lovemaking she had still been tense, even in sleep. That tension was now gone. They felt their hearts swell in love and, yes, and relief. They were her first-mate; there was no doubt in their minds, now. Only after she realized that they were back with her, safe and unharmed, did she feel completely safe. His brothers had done their best, but they could not stop her fear for them. She loved Malek, Dev, and Daniel of that there was no doubt in their minds or hearts, but she loved them more; she loved them as her Kea’kesh Mae’tek, her first mates. Their hearts healed completely, and they both relaxed releasing a tension they had not realized was still there.
“I am truly thankful to our new Mae’tek Tari’esks, Martouf. Without them, our Samantha would have died. We are very lucky to have them, but I must confess that I was anxious that perhaps she had replaced us in her heart. I do not believe it to be so, though.”
“No, we have not been replaced, and I, also, felt the same qualms that you did, Mer Cory’ esh Mae’tek. I will admit it to you, now. I no longer believe it to be so, either. Our Samantha wanted to be only with us and to know that we were truly here with her, alive and well. She has feared much for us, Lantash. I believe that is what has caused her much heartache, during her ordeal. Had she known that we were well and safe, I believe that her illness would not have been so severe. Perhaps I am wrong, but I do believe that it is so.”
“I agree, Mer Prinekh. Her worry, on top of the effects of the poison, no doubt caused it to affect her more deeply. I wish to kill Delek, and I am sorry that we will not be allowed to do so.”
“No, but he will not go unpunished, Lantash. We will see to that. He must be made to pay for his perfidy.”
“I cannot believe that we ever called him brother, and the very thought of it now sickens me, much as it did Garshaw, when it was believed that Cordesh was a spy. I was relieved to find that it was not Cordesh, but the Goa’uld that took over his host’s body. This time, I do not judge that we will be so lucky. I think that the symbiote is Delek, not an imposter. He should and will pay for his treachery.”
“I am afraid that I agree, Lantash.” Martouf yawned suddenly. “I am very tired suddenly. I should return Samantha to our joining bed. If our brother’s awaken and we are gone, they might become alarmed, although I trust they would look for us before beginning to panic. Although, since Malek found Samantha gone twice from his bed, and both times preceded another bout with the poison, it would not be unreasonable to think that it could cause him some significant unease.”
Lantash nodded. “You are correct. Come, we will return her to our joining bed, now.”
“Daniel seems to be adjusting well to his new circumstances, Lantash. I am glad, for Samantha loves him dearly, and it would cause her heartache, if Daniel was uncomfortable.”
Lantash agreed, saying, “I suppose that perhaps having to simply take over for Malek and become Samantha’s mate, without being able to think deeply about it helped, and now he has Brandel to help him, as well. He seemed quite comfortable earlier, before he and Malek went to bed, and I know that he was thinking about the situation. I could tell that by the way he looked at us, as we stood naked before him after our shower. He was surprised that he did not feel more uncomfortable.”
Thinking more about it, Lantash laughed gently. “He will perhaps feel a little uncomfortable if he awakens, and finds himself cradled in Malek’s arms, or us cradled in his, but he will become accustomed to it, and realize that there is nothing sexual in it. At that point, he will become completely accepting of his new family unit. I believe that Daniel Jackson has never been part of a family, as his parents died, when he was quite young, and his grandfather was too busy to take him to live with him. They often shunted him from foster family to foster family. This will be good for him, and I truly believe that he will soon be very comfortable and quite happy.”
Martouf grinned, as they laid Samantha down, and she rolled over and snuggled into Malek’s other side, clasping Daniel’s side, as he lay with his head on Malek’s other shoulder. It was a cute image, and they both smiled at the three of them. They were looking forward to spending time with their new enlarged family. He went for the holo- maker and captured their images forever. Daniel had moved his hand to Sam’s breast. Malek was frowning slightly, as he tried to move and could not, because he was so surrounded by them. He would awaken soon, and probably ease himself from under them. The image would be proof that it had happened.
“How long has it been, Lantash? Should we awaken Daniel and try to sleep or are there still several hours until morning?” Martouf asked, unsure of exactly how long they had been in the other room with Samantha. It did not feel as if it had been very long, but time could sometimes fool one.
“Go to sleep, Martouf. I will stay awake with her for another few hours and then awaken Daniel. It is still several hours until morning, and I was dormant for several hours today, if you will remember. I will not become tired for many hours to come, but I will heed Daniel’s reminder of all that will possibly take place during the upcoming day. I will rest for a few hours later, after he has slept for a while longer."
Martouf yawned again. “Thank you, Lantash, I will. Wake me if we are needed.”
“I will, dear one. Rest now. Goodnight.”
Lantash settled in to continue his vigil. He would watch over his mate and his new brothers. It was good to have them here helping to protect and care for their Samantha.
Delek should regain consciousness tomorrow, if the healers were correct. Once he awoke, they would have their answers, and they could then bring this nightmare to a close. Soon, very, very soon. They all believed that this would end before much more time passed. Moreover, when it did, they would all bond in the joining ceremony. They would all be together, care for, and love one another. Most important of all, though, their mate would be well and safe, within their arms and their hearts, exactly where she belonged, now and forever.