Chapter Four Summary: Gwennetha goes to Avilion and talks to her father about Malek and Devlin. Malek and Devlin wonder if she really cares for them, or if she has gone to Avilion because she no longer wants to spend time with them. When she returns, Malek and Devlin have a slight mishap in the hot tub. Devlin tries to climb Teal'c (and/or die of embarrassment). When things calm down, somehow, Malek finds the words to tell her how they feel about her.
Coeurawyn - My Heart Aima Coeurawyn – Blood of My Heart “Italics” – Symbiote-Host or Telepathic Communications
God he was tired. Malek smiled slightly at Dev’s thoughts. He had picked up many Tau’ri expressions in the two and a half weeks they had been here. It seemed that god this and god that were one of the more frequent ones that he used to express himself. Malek increased the flow of adrenaline to him, so that they could continue in the exercises they were taking part in.
It was not that the Tau’ri training was so very much harder than that which the Tok’Ra routinely took part in, for it was not as hard in many ways. The Tau’ri, after all, did not have symbiotes to aid their strength and endurance. The Tok’Ra had been pleasantly surprised at the amounts of both that the Tau’ri did have considering the lack of the extra strength the symbiote gave. They were beginning to admire and like many things about the humans, but there were also some obvious problems building.
Some of the Tau’ri could not get past the idea that there were symbiotes, which biologically were Goa’uld, within their ranks. The Tau’ri females though, seemed to have fewer problems with it, and that alone was causing tensions between them. Luckily, the Tok’Ra were not as protective of their female counterparts knowing they could take care of themselves.
None of those things were the reasons he and Dev were so tired, though. It was the loss of sleep that was taking its toll on them. Gwennetha was still refusing to mate with them in a physical way, and to make it worse, not only had O’Neill appointed him next in the chain of command after Selmak and Jacob, he also made him the leader of team two. Gwennetha was a part of that team and, although she was neither the link nor the shield because of her status as healer, she was learning to fight as a Tau’ri, just as they all were.
He smiled to himself, remembering the surprise on the faces of both the Tau’ri and Tok'Ra, the first time they came into contact with the physical strength of the Furling warriors, male and female alike. Soldiers who approached them lightly, hoping not to hurt them, found themselves either staring at the ceiling or the floor as the Furling in question kept them pinned with very little effort. The suppleness and catlike qualities to their movements kept their physical strength hidden. Once you came into actual contact, you found very firm muscles where you assumed there had been little.
In addition, they were quick, quiet, and on you before you knew it, for you never heard them. They could match or out do the Tok’Ra for stealthy. O’Neill called them cats, and many agreed with him, for they seemed to be able to sense anyone coming upon them. When anyone mentioned that to them, they smiled and thanked them, for to them, being compared to a cat was a very high compliment. It meant they learned that lesson from their Bondmate very well. They would, they would assure the person complimenting them, be sure to pass the compliment on to their familiar.
He later asked Gwennetha for more information about the cats and their bond with them and found out that, indeed yes, the cats taught them, but it helped that their senses were heightened and very catlike. They were, after all, she reminded him, kindred to the most ferocious and skilled of the five great cats of her world, the Pantherataya and the Lionkatanar. Moreover, part of their training involved working blindfolded against a sighted enemy.
He stopped feeling inferior after that. Their training as Warriors went far beyond anything the Tau’ri or Tok’Ra were accustomed to, and there was no point in worrying about a skill he was never taught.
It was not until later that he realized her mother’s name was a combination of parts of the names of the cats. Since Furlings tended to carry names similar to that of their parents, he wondered about that. Then he realized that neither was Gwennetha named for her parents. When he asked her about it, she told him that in Furling, her name meant Blessing, and that her father had chosen it, as he considered her to be his most precious blessing. Moreover, she reminded him, her Grandmother’s name was Gwynnivar, and her parents honored Artereos and Gwynnivar by naming her after them. Her full name was Gwennetha Artairamynara. Her name honored her Grandparents, but her brother, Merdwain’s name honored their father, Merdwin.
She went on to explain that the All derived her mother’s name from those of the great cats, among other things, and then she reminded him of the Prophecy. The name given her mother by the All was Kataya Morna’Catira Drawyn, which meant Pure Strength, Beloved Warrior, and Dragon. Samantha’s name, given her by the All was CsillaBellawyna Morna’Catira Drawyn, which meant Beautiful Star, Beloved Warrior, and Dragon. The truth was that the All named both her mother and Samantha. Although they were born of human parents, the All considered them born of it as well, and therefore they both bore names chosen by the All because of the Prophecy. However, Drawyn was the part of their names recognized and used only by the All, for it was hidden until the Prophecy came to pass. Moreover, in truth, many Furling offspring did not carry their parent’s name. It was not a requisite thing; it was more of an honoring than anything else. Parents could honor anyone by naming their offspring after them.
Even as Gwennetha related the information to him, he remembered Merdwin going over it during their initial briefing, when they learned about Bastet’s threat, as well as the other very major reason they were all now drawn to the Tau’ri world at this time. Morgasha. They were in such shock over Bastet’s threat at that the time, the information about the Dragon’s names might have slipped into his mind, but it also slipped right back, out until she gave him the information again. It made him wonder if there were other details he allowed to slip through unnoticed. If so, he hoped they were nothing important.
Returning to his earlier thoughts, he realized he was mostly tired of the cold showers that Dev felt were the only remedy for what was causing their sleepless nights. No matter how hard Malek tried, he could not overcome the response of their shared body to thoughts of Gwennetha. Not just thoughts either, for they spent every spare moment with her and it usually ended up with them in each other’s arms. Every evening after their meal, they would go to the rec room for a movie or games of some type. They always ended up in either Kataya and Daniel’s room or Malek and Devlin's quarters.
As an officer, Malek had a room of his own, as did each of the other ‘officers’. Since there were both Tau’ri and Tok’Ra in the chain of command, they ended up needing fewer rooms than they originally thought they would. Non-command Tok’Ra stayed in the converted ‘barracks’, and the Tau’ri, simply returned home at night.
The Katteri had refused to take command positions. None of them felt that it was necessary to have Katteri in the command chain, although some of them agreed to take the second command position within a team. Their first responsibility was to the links and the shields, and then it was to manifest and protect their teammates.
The younger Katteri felt that a command position could weaken their abilities to do that. A few of the older Katteri of high rank, more confident in their ability to do both, had simply said that they did not feel it was necessary, as the Tau’ri and Tok’Ra seemed to be capable and able leaders. They would, of course, step in if needed, thus their agreement to be second in command of their teams.
Therefore, their days had passed in going from one training session to another. From weapons practice, first aid, and military tactics to bed making and a class on the structure and military chain of command, so that they would know who they were talking to and what each person’s status and duty was, their days started early and lasted until early evening.
Since the formation of the teams, and the addition of the team training, as well as the normal everyday practice sessions, their days had been busy and long. They had now added additional training so that they would learn the normal formations the Tau’ri soldiers automatically fell into as well as their methods of hand-to-hand combat. They introduced Tok’Ra hand-to-hand maneuvers that worked better, so that everyone knew what everyone else did. It was imperative that they all looked, acted, and fought the same. There could be no mistakes that would give them away as other than what they appeared on the surface; Tau’ri soldiers.
O’Neill called it a crash boot camp. They had looked at him for so long, he finally realized they had no idea what he was talking about, and he explained that when someone entered the service for the Tau’ri, they went through a period where they learned all the things they were now learning, but it was a little bit longer in duration. They needed to absorb it much quicker, and he was glad to say that everyone was doing a ‘bang-up job of it’. This, Jacob had explained, meant they were doing a very good job.
Individually they did seem to have learned what they needed to in a very short space of time. It only fell apart when you put them into teams. They moved people with personality conflicts around. In addition, it had only been a couple of weeks, so he was not as discouraged as he could be. If it did not improve though, things could be bad when it came time for the battle.
“It is time to quit for the day, Devlin. Let us go take a shower, preferably a hot one and then find Gwennetha. She has been gone from the training since noon. I hope nothing is wrong,” Malek said.
Looking at the clock on the far wall, Devlin spoke up, “Okay, people that will be all for today. Be here at 07:00 tomorrow morning. Dismissed.”
“You are becoming quite good at the Tau’ri military language, Dev. And, at least our group seems to listen to you for the most part.”
“Thank you,” Dev said, as he looked around the room. Spying O’Neill talking to Jacob, he headed toward them. They were just finishing their conversation as he came up to them, and Malek was unprepared when Devlin stopped O’Neill saying, “Colonel, do you know where Gwennetha was today? She did not report for duty this afternoon.”
O’Neill looked at him wide-eyed for a moment before becoming uneasy. “I should have told you earlier. She asked for the afternoon off to do something. She said something about her inner balance and needing to spend some time in a sanctuary, or at the very least, alone in meditation. Then she came to me about two, said it wasn’t working, and asked if it would be all right if she went to Avilion. She seemed as serene as ever, but there was an unusual edge to her voice, so I let her go. She expected to be back by this evening,” he finished.
“I see,” Dev, answered, although it was obvious he did not. “In that case, I will probably see her later. Thank you, Colonel,” Dev had continued politely, before leaving him there.
Jacob fell into step with him as they headed for the elevators that would take them up from the bowels of the mountain to the occupied areas of the base. “So, Gwennetha didn’t tell you she was leaving for the day? I am surprised. You two seem to be getting very, ah, friendly.”
“No, she did not. No, we have not argued. No, I have no idea why she did not tell me, and No, I do not want to discuss it,” Devlin answered testily, then sighed. “I am sorry, Jacob. Malek and I are just tired,” he smiled slightly at his friend, one of the few Tok’Ra that shared his sense of humor.
“Not sleeping well, hm? Well, love will do that to you. Stop taking so many cold showers, they aren’t conducive to sleep, either,” Jacob said, not looking at them.
“How did you…? Never mind, I do not want to know how you knew,” Dev replied.
Jacob laughed gently, and said, “It doesn’t take a genius to read the signs, Dev. You and Malek are so tied up in knots, you don’t know which way is up. You should just tell her, and get it out in the open. The worst she can do is tell you she doesn’t return your feelings. The best is she will fall in your arms. Anything in between and you will feel better.”
Sighing, Devlin looked over at Jacob, and asked sheepishly, “Is it that obvious? I mean, I know we spend every evening together, but I did not think we were being obvious about our feelings for her other than that we simply found her a pleasant companion.”
“I suppose every male in the universe thinks the same thing when it comes to the woman he loves. We don’t realize that we give ourselves away in a hundred little ways. The look in our eyes, the extra care we take to be sure they are comfortable, the small unobtrusive touches, the softening of our voices when we speak to them, the softening of our features when we think of them, and the way our faces light up when they enter the room. They are all there, and then we wonder how the woman knew before we told her that we love her. And, make no mistake, unless they are afraid that we don’t care for them, in which case they don’t see any of those signs, they always know. And, even if they don’t, everyone else does.”
“I see,” Dev, sighed again, as they stepped out of the elevator and headed for the locker room for a shower. A hot shower. “Well, I have a feeling that she is very aware of my feelings. I thought I knew how she felt, also, but now I am beginning to wonder. I keep thinking she will tell me, but she has said very little about caring for me other than that she wishes to get to know me, and that she thinks I will become important to her.”
“Why would she go to Avilion? Unless she has decided she does not wish to become involved with me and wants to be replaced,” Devlin said morosely, as the worst-case scenario forced its way into his mind.
“Stop thinking the worst. Take a hot shower, eat some dinner, and go relax. I’m sure she will explain when she returns,” Jacob tried to reassure him.
Nodding as he went to his locker, Dev said, “You are correct, of course. I will attempt to take your advice. Thank you, Jacob.”
“No problem. Come on let’s get this done and get something to eat, I’m starving.” Jacob grinned at him, as he headed for a shower.
“Jacob is correct, Dev. Stop worrying, and take our shower. Moreover, be sure to turn your back to the water this time since it is a hot shower. Oh, god, yes,” Malek moaned to him, as the hot water massaged him through the skin on his back, not realizing he had borrowed Dev’s exclamation. He missed the bathing pools on the Tok’Ra base, and on several occasions, they had gone to the hot whirlpool spa or hot tub area, which connected to the exercise area. It was the most wonderful thing he had discovered since they came here. He did not understand the insistence on the wearing of clothing into it, but went along with it anyway.
In fact, the Tau’ri had issued them all ‘bathing suits’, after the first time several of them had gone into the pool in their normal manner. He grinned remembering the look of shock on the officer’s face as he joined them and realized the women were unclothed. Poor Lieutenant Simmons had not recovered yet, even though Jacob had apologized for them, and explained that he forgot to warn them that they would need to wear clothing into the pool. The Lieutenant had arranged for the issuing of the bathing clothes. “Devlin, I wish to go to the hot tubs later this evening before we go to bed, if you do not mind. I think I need the relaxation it seems to bring to me and to you, for that matter,” He told his host.
“All right, Malek, all you have to do is ask you know, or take control for that matter, you know I do not mind just going along for the ride.”
“I know. I think the Tau’ri are surprised at how often the host is in control. At least that has been my impression, and I do not understand why they would be. They know we have a symbiotic relationship and share the body,” Malek said, frowning over the thought.
“I believe I understand it, Malek. I have given it some thought because I, also, have noticed the surprised looks we have received. The Tau’ri have been exposed to us only when we have been on Tok’Ra business, or when they are on the Tok’Ra base, which means that the symbiote is almost always in control. They have rarely seen us relaxing or away from our duties. Therefore, they believed that the ‘symbiotic relationship’ is simply lip service. They have rarely seen the host in control except for Jacob or Martouf, so to them they expected the symbiote to be in control now, for all they knew, actually suppressing the host. It actually explains some of their attitudes towards us, if you think about it,” Devlin stated thoughtfully.
“You are correct. I never thought of it in that way. They have almost never seen anything, but one of us in control. No wonder they are skeptical of our claims that we share the body,” Malek sighed. “Although this mission is important for its final goal, I believe that perhaps it is also important from the standpoint that it is giving us each a different view of one another. I know that the number of people that are willing to get to know us and seem to enjoy talking to us has pleasantly surprised me. Some of them seem truly interested in the relationship we have with one another and in our culture.”
“I have noticed the same thing, and I believe that this joint mission will help in the understanding and acceptance between our two races,” Devlin agreed.
“Hey, are you about ready to go get something to eat?” Jacob called to them.
“Yes, we are finished, Jacob. Give us a moment to get dressed,” Devlin, answered him, as he shut off the water to a groan from Malek. “I promise you the hot tub, later, dear one,” Devlin teased, yet reassured him.
“Thank you. Do you think they will have chocolate pudding tonight?” Malek wondered, beginning to look forward to a meal.
Dev chuckled, as he said, “If not pudding, then perhaps cake. They are sure to have something chocolate."
“Then hurry and dress. Jacob is waiting,” Malek responded.
Soon the two men were making their way to the commissary.
“I do not know why I came home for the day. I just needed to spend some time in the sanctuary, my father,” Gwennetha said, as she sat with Merdwin in the cloister garden.
“Did you find your answers, Gwennetha?” Merdwin asked her gently. He had a special bond with his daughter. She was one of the lights of his life, as Kataya was one of Artereos’. He had not understood their bond until he had a daughter of his own. He wanted to protect her, and yet, at the same time, he wished her to experience every wonder in the universe.
She smiled at him as she shook her head, “Had I found the answer I sought, I would not still be here and talking to you, my dear Papa.” The use of her childhood name for him brought a pain to his chest, as well as a smile to his lips.
“Have you talked to your mother?” He asked her next.
“No, I wanted your opinion first. I will seek her if I need to, but I know she is preoccupied. I, too, have looked into the mirror. I have seen the darkness and the blood surrounding her and Samantha. I will not add to her burdens if I can help it, and besides I usually come to you first,” she added with the smile she kept especially for her father.
“I know you do. So what is the problem that the sanctuary and the cloister cannot help you with?” He asked quietly.
“I think that Malek and Devlin may be my mates. Perhaps more than a Heartmate,” she whispered, raising eyes that were almost frightened to his. “I have never felt this way about a man before, and I am unsure of what to do. It is making me angry at myself, and I am afraid that anger is about to bleed over into my relationship with them,” she said, her eyes, no longer frightened, were suddenly snapping with an inner fire and frustration.
“I have nothing to measure my feelings by. I have never had a serious Heartmate. How do I know, Papa? How can I tell if he is a Heartmate or perhaps even more?” She asked, as the fire left as suddenly as it had come, leaving behind a young woman who was unsure of herself and her feelings. “I thought I would know immediately if he was the one. When I first met him, I felt drawn to him in so many ways, on so many different levels, but now all I want when I am near him is to take him to my bed. Surely there is more to a Soulmate than that,” she said, her voice full of sorrow.
Merdwin smiled at her, and said softly, “So, you have not taken him to your bed yet, and because you cannot get passed that feeling, you are doubting the original feelings you had about him.”
“Yes,” she nodded her agreement.
He sighed, before saying, “Sometimes we know immediately that we have met that certain someone. At other times, it only comes to us slowly. I think that your first feelings were pointing toward your being at the least a Heartmate. Tell me, Gwennetha, do you feel as if his very essence is a fire in your soul? Does his very name burn in your blood?”
“Yes,” she gasped, “how did you know that is how I feel about him?”
“Do you know the words a Furling Soulmate would say to you if he was asking you to be his mate, my daughter?”
She frowned, thinking, “I am not sure I ever heard them. Are there certain words that they would use? I cannot believe I would not know this,” she said, once again frustrated.
“Yes there are certain words that are used, and most do not know them, for they seem to come without prior knowledge of them when the one being asked is a Soulmate. If Malek is your Soulmate, then when he declares himself he will say the words in some form, although they may not exactly match. Then again, they may match perfectly. My personal opinion is that the all sends the words at the right time, if you are truly mates. Just as your response will be sent to you if you are his Soulmate.”
“What are they? How will I know if he is the one?”
Smiling, Merdwin said to her, “He will say this or a variation of it if he is indeed your Soulmate… my love, my blood burns in my veins with a fire and passion for you that I cannot deny. My heart and my soul are incomplete without you. You are the woman, the mate. It is my wish that you become mine for eternity. My most ardent desire is for our souls and hearts to entwine and join and for you to become my eternal mate. I have such love for thee, Blood of my Heart. Come to me, join me, and walk with me into eternity.”
“As I said, Gwennetha, it may not be exactly those words, but it will be some variation of them, and your answer will be in kind if he is indeed your Soulmate. Trust in the All to give you the answer you need when the time comes,” Merdwin told his daughter softly. “And, you will no longer feel the need to wait to join with him physically once you know for sure. It will be the most natural thing in the world and a wondrous happening, unlike any other mating you have ever experienced.”
Feeling the peace she had been seeking begin to enter and balance her, she leaned forward and gave her father a kiss and a smile. “Thank you. I think I understand now. As you said the words, I felt a tug of recognition, and an answer formed in my mind. I think that perhaps I will be bringing my mate home before long. At least, I will once the mission is completed, and our tasks are finished,” she said, confidence in her voice.
“I agree, my daughter. Now that you have come to the recognition yourself, I can tell you that I have seen the portends leaning in this direction, as has your mother. She will be happy for you, and I will tell her if you wish me to. Go back to the Tau’ri world, and spend an evening with your mate, Gwennetha.”
“Yes. You may tell her. I know she will be happy for me. Moreover, I believe I will go now, instead of waiting for dinner. Tell Grandfather I had to get back please, but assure him of my love.”
Laughing softly at her eagerness to return he agreed, “I will tell them both, Coeurawyn.”
Smiling she nodded, kissed his cheek again murmuring, “Thank you, Papa,” and turned, hurrying toward the gate. She had the men she loved to return too.
Seeing Jacob in the hall as she headed for her room, she stopped him to ask, “Have you seen Devlin? Has he eaten yet?”
“Yes, we ate quite some time ago, and he was heading for the hot tubs in the gym. He just left though, so he will be there for a while yet. Have you eaten?”
“No, I just returned from Avilion. I will go get something and then join him, thank you.”
“Is everything all right, Gwennetha?” Jacob asked.
Seeing the brilliance of the smile she turned on him, he believed her when she said, “Oh, yes, I am fine now, thank you. I feel much better after spending the afternoon in Avilion.”
“Good,” he said. “I’ll see you tomorrow in the training room then.”
“Yes, I will be there. Goodnight, Jacob,” she said, as she turned and headed for the commissary. She had to eat something, even if it was just a snack of some kind, and then she had to find Dev.
He had his back to the door, and for once, he was in the pool alone. Several people were using the gym equipment, but no one else was using the hot tub. She walked quietly to him and stood watching him. He was immersed in the water as far as he could without being under it. Malek was reveling in the feel of the warm water, she knew. His eyes were closed, and he had a look of bliss on his face. She lowered herself and sat quietly behind him, watching him as he enjoyed the feel of the water.
Soon he sighed, and sat up straighter. Reaching out, she touched him lightly on the shoulder. Startled by the unexpected touch, he jerked, and his feet slid on the bottom of the pool allowing his head to fall backward. The back of his neck and head hit the edge of the pool with a distinct crack, and he sank under the waters edge, just as Teal’c came into the room that housed the hot tub. He and Gwennetha both reached for him, and between them pulled him free of the water. He opened his eyes as he gasped, and then sputtered as the water still ran down his face.
As the pain in his head increased, Dev moaned and closed his eyes, only to open them almost immediately. Malek was not responding to him. He looked at Gwennetha, and panic edged his voice, as he gasped, “Malek is not answering me. What is wrong with him?”
Placing her hands on the lower part of his head, she felt the lump the crack on his head had caused to form, but more importantly, she felt beyond that to the life force of Malek. It was there, but faint.
“He is alive, Dev, but please, you must stay quiet. Teal’c, can you carry him to my mother’ s room?”
“Indeed. I will be happy to do so, but do you not think we should take him to the infirmary?”
“I will use my ribbon on him, Teal’c. I am a high priestess, a skilled healer for my people.”
Bowing his head as he lifted Devlin and looked to her, he said, “I had forgotten. I will take him there at once.”
It took little time to reach the room, and she indicated that Teal’c should stand him on his feet. As he did so, she reached out and stripped the wet bathing trunks from Devlin’s body, causing him to emit a high-toned squeak as his eyes flew open. Seeing the woman he loved kneeling at his feet, while he half-stood, half-reclined, naked, before her, he suddenly came to life, turned to Teal’c, and tried to climb him as if he was a place of refuge or escape. Realizing what he was doing, he jerked away from him, and looking into the startled gazes of the two people he was standing between, he closed his eyes again, moaned, and jerked free from Teal’c’s suddenly slackened hold. As he sank to the floor, he leaned forward and put his head in his hands, as he emitted another moan.
“He is obviously disoriented, Teal’c,” he heard Gwennetha murmur. “If you can, get him into bed, and cover him so he does not become chilled. I will get my ribbon. Please lay him on his stomach so I will have better access to Malek.”
“Yes, please cover us quickly, Teal'c,” he heard Malek say faintly, in a slurred tone, “Before he kills us both with his embarrassment.”
“I am so sorry, Malek. I am also relieved to hear you. Are you all right?” Devlin asked him, at once more concerned for his friend than his own predicament.
“No, I am not all right. I am, in fact, seriously injured, and though I hate to be the one to tell you, I do not know if I can heal my injuries for they truly are severe, Devlin. I am not sure that even Brialek could do anything, for I think my spine snapped. I am losing all feeling, I am afraid. I am sorry, but I believe I am dying, Dev.”
“No. No, you cannot leave me, Malek. Malek!”
“Gwennetha, Malek regained consciousness for a moment, and he tells me he has snapped his spine, and he is dying,” Devlin said hoarsely. He felt her lay her hand on his neck, and then he felt the warmth of the ribbon as she activated it.
“He is unconscious again, Devlin. He did not snap his spine; however, he did bruise it quite severely, and that is no doubt causing him to lose feeling. Sensation will return shortly, and he will regain consciousness. I will not allow him to remain injured, I promise you,” she said firmly.
Teal’c watched as she focused her energy upon Devlin’s neck, and he realized that she was expending great amounts of energy. He could see it draining her. “Where is your circlet, Gwennetha?” Teal’c asked her quietly.
“Dresser,” she replied briefly.
Seeing it where she had left it laying when she had gone to the gym, he picked it up, and placed it on her head. The stones immediately began to glow, at least partially replacing the energy she was expending. He could see the relief she felt, as the energy entered and sustained her. Teal’c remembered Daniel Jackson telling him how Lantash had explained that the Furling did not usually heal completely unless it was a battle situation. They simply sustained until the injured could begin to heal themselves. Unless he was mistaken, Gwennetha was healing Malek, not sustaining him. He would keep watch to make sure she did not overextend herself.
Teal’c looked at the clock. She had been working now for over thirty minutes without pause, and unless he was mistaken, she had yet to lessen the amount of energy she was using. The beams of light coming from the ribbon changed from one color to another occasionally, but they spent the most time in the golden hues. She appeared to be all right, but he did not that she could continue this level of energy output for long periods. Malek’s injury must have been very serious for her to need to continue for this long and at this level. No doubt, the blow had caught him just right for it to do the amount of damage it obviously had. Glancing at the clock again, he frowned. It had now been fifty minutes. Moreover, it appeared to be draining her again. The circlet was not keeping up with the amount of energy she was expending to heal Malek.
“He is back with me, Gwennetha,” Devlin said, suddenly. “He sounds quite strong, and he tells me he will be able to finish healing himself.” When she did not stop, he said suddenly, “Gwennetha, he says you must stop; you are expending too much energy.”
“I am fine, Devlin, tell Malek to hush, and let me finish, please,” she said, smiling slightly. She moved the beams of light slightly to one side and held it there for several minutes. Evidently, Devlin had also had a head injury. The ribbon stopped for a moment, and then began again on the scrape that ran down Devlin’s back from where they had pulled him from the pool. It took very little time to heal it, too.
As the ribbon shut off the second time, Teal’c stood before saying, “I believe you will be able to handle things from here without me. If you should need me, though, do not hesitate to call me.”
“I will certainly do so if I need you, and thank you for your help, Teal’c. It was much appreciated,” she said, as she followed him to the door.
Bowing his head silently in acknowledgment, he smiled softly and left.
Gwennetha reached out her hand and locked the door, then turned back toward the man still lying on his stomach on the bed. She had caught the waves of embarrassment that had come from him when she had stripped the trunks from his body. The Tok’Ra were so casual about their bodies, it had never occurred to her that he would feel that way. Of course, in normal circumstances, he probably would not have been embarrassed at all.
She sighed to herself. This could take some time, and she might as well get started. She was really tired though. Contrary to what she had told Devlin, Malek had been hurt badly, although he had not snapped his spine. It had been cracked and badly bruised though, and it had taken a great deal of energy to heal him. She should have thought of her circlet herself, which just showed her how much her love for this man could send her wits a begging. Drawing energy without meditation was slower, but it would keep her going for now.
Walking slowly back to the bed, she slipped into it beside him, still saying nothing, but slowly rubbing circles on his back. He still refused to face her, and at last, she sighed and said, “Devlin, I am sorry. It never occurred to me that it would bother you so much if, I removed your clothing. I just did not want to leave you in the wet clothes, and I needed to start to work on Malek as quickly as possible. While his spine did not snap, it was injured badly, and I needed to work on it right away. I am truly sorry, please do not be angry with me,” she said softly.
“Devlin, if you do not answer the woman we love and who just saved my life, I will take control and answer for you,” Malek threatened firmly.
Grabbing the sheet, Devlin rolled over and faced her at last. Looking into her concerned eyes, he could not stop himself from reaching for her. As he brought her lips to his, he sighed as they softly touched and clung. “I am not angry with you, my love,” he said softly. “It was a silly reaction, and I do not even know why I reacted that way.”
“You do not suppose the blow to the head you suffered had anything to do with it? You also had a slight concussion, you know. I healed it after I finished Malek. I was frightened half to death when I heard your head hit and then saw you sinking.” Suddenly, her eyes were brimming with tears.
Her vision was so blurred she did not see Malek come forward. As first one and then another tear found its way down her face, he sat up and took her into his arms. “I am fine, my love, I promise you,” Malek assured her, realizing that even though she knew he was healed, still she needed to hear his voice and know he was functioning and well.
Relaxing against him for a moment, she enjoyed being in his arms, pulling free of him, and wiping her cheeks. “Lie down and rest, I have a few things to do, and then I will be back,” she said, as she got up and walked to the door. “I mean it, Malek, lie down, and rest, and I will return in a few minutes. I promise you.”
Nodding, he realized that he was indeed somewhat tired; he lay back down and closed his eyes.
“I am glad you are all right, Malek. I was very upset when you did not answer me. I am glad that Gwennetha could sense your life-force, for I could not feel you at all.”
“I am sorry I frightened you, but I believe I was unconscious for a few minutes right after it happened. I came to as you were attempting to climb Teal’c.” Hearing Dev’s moan of embarrassment, he continued, “I am sorry; I should not have reminded you.”
“That is all right. I will never forget opening my eyes and seeing her kneeling at my feet, while I was lying so awkwardly in front of her. Naked.”
“Devlin, I do not think she even noticed that. She was focused on getting you into the bed and using the ribbon on us, not looking at our body, naked or not,” Malek said softly.
“I suppose you are correct. I can always pretend that it was so anyway.”
“She was frightened for us, Dev. I truly do not believe she was aware of anything, but getting us healed.”
“Thank you, Malek.”
“You are welcome. Do you want to resume control?”
“Only if you need to rest and wish me to,” Devlin told him.
“I am quite fine, thank you. She did a very thorough job of healing us.” Hearing the door open, he looked up to see her entering with some clothing in her hands. He watched as she turned and locked the door, before approaching the bed.
“I have brought your sweats for you to sleep in. I will go into the bathroom so that you may get dressed in privacy,” she said softly, as she laid the clothes on the bed and then left for the bathroom.
Scrambling up from the bed, he found the sweat bottoms and slipped them on; followed by the t-shirt she brought to wear with them.
“Are you dressed?” she asked.
She opened the door and walked into the room, and Malek thought he was losing consciousness again. She was in a gown that was unlike any in which he had ever seen her. It floated around her and was almost, but not quite, transparent. It hinted, but gave no secrets away.
“Get back into bed, Malek,” she said to him quietly.
Without even thinking about it, he did as she bade him, and then again forgot to breathe, as she joined him and turned out the light, leaving on only a small light in the bathroom.
“Gwennetha?” he asked, not understanding.
“Lie down, and go to sleep, Malek. I wish to be with you tonight to reassure myself that you are truly all right. Please, humor me.”
Still afraid to believe this was happening, he moved down in the bed and lay stiffly beside her. He heard her sigh, and then he listened to her soft, placid voice as she said, “What is wrong, Malek? Do you not wish to sleep with me?”
How was he to answer that he wondered? “I suggest the truth,” Devlin suggested, glad it was Malek in control and not himself.
“Thank you,” came the sardonic reply.
“I have wanted to be in your bed since the day I met you, Gwennetha. However, I never expected to be here as a patient. I wanted to be here as a lover, not an object of your sympathy,” he finally said, tersely.
“And, I have wanted you in my bed since the day we met, also as a lover, not a patient. Moreover, I am not now looking on you as a patient, Malek. I am keeping you here as much for myself, as for you. I told you what happened frightened me. I am not yet ready to let you out of my sight; I need to know that you are here beside me, alive. I need to feel the warmth of you next to me. I need to hear your heartbeat and the sound of you breathing. I need you, Malek, you, and Devlin,” she whispered softly, in the darkness.
Malek reached for her blindly, finding her unerringly. “Do not fear that we will leave you, my heart. Dear universe, Gwennetha, the feelings you engender in us are unlike any we have known before. Our dearest love, our blood burns in our veins with a fire and passion for you that we cannot deny. Our hearts and our souls are incomplete without you. You are the woman, the mate. It is our wish that you become ours for eternity. Our most ardent desire is for our souls and hearts to entwine and join and for you to become our eternal mate. We have such love for thee, Blood of our Heart. Come to us, join us, and walk with us into eternity.” Taking a shaking breath, he added, “We know that we cannot truly be your eternal mate. I have no idea why I said that. We are not Furling, and we have only one life to give to you, but if you would accept it, we would join with you gladly, Aima Coeurawyn.”
Waiting for her response, he began to get nervous when she continued to say nothing. “Gwennetha? What is wrong?” he asked, as he reached over and turned on the bedside lamp. Looking at her in the lamplight, he realized she looked completely stunned. “Gwennetha?” he asked again, shaking her slightly.
“Where did you learn those words?” She asked, her voice barely above a whisper.
“What words? What is the matter? Surely, you know that I, that we, love you,” he said quietly.
“I – yes, I know you do, or at least, I believed you did, although you had not yet told me so in words, only that you thought you were falling in love with me that one time. Where did the words you spoke come from, Malek? Please tell me,” she said again.
Thinking about it for a moment, he said in a bewildered way, “I do not know. They just came to me. It is the way Dev and I feel about you, Gwennetha. You are a fire in our blood. You make us feel completed. It is as if something we did not even know we were missing has come to us, and you are that something. Why?”
Taking a deep breath, she looked into his eyes as she answered him. “The words you used are the words a Soulmate uses to ask his chosen mate to join with him for eternity. Be you sure that is what you meant to do, Malek, you and Devlin, for once I answer, if it is yes, we will be bound for all time,” she said quietly, and watched as the shock entered his eyes, only to be replaced by joy. He smiled at her, and then shook his head, saying, “Well, perhaps not for all time, but for our lifetime, at least. I meant it, Gwennetha. And, Devlin loves you as much as I do. We both are waiting for you to tell us your answer, Aima Coeurawyn.”