Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters and places are the property of MGM, World Gekko Corp and Double Secret Productions. This piece of fan fiction was created for entertainment, not monetary purposes and no infringement on copyrights or trademarks was intended. Previously unrecognized characters and places, and this story, are copyrighted to the author. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author.
Summary: - This story takes place one hundred plus years in the past. Lantash and Justin, his host, meet Martouf, and as events unfold we learn how Lantash and Martouf became a blended pair. It is in Four Parts. I, II, III, & IV...Parts I and II are events leading up to the blending; Part I is Lantash and Justin's POV; Part II is Martouf's POV; Part III is Lantash, Justin, and Martouf - The Blending; and Part IV is Lantash and Martouf's POV - Toward the Future. Those of you that have read Blood of My Heart, Beloved of My Soul may recognize some names or have other flashes of some things that will seem familiar. It is definitely Not necessary to have read Blood of My Heart as the two stories are related but not to the point where either one would not make sense without the other. They can and do stand completely apart from one another.
Story Summary Part I - Lantash and Justin - Lantash and his host, Justin, stop by a world that is about to be attacked by a System Lord. They have known the people of the world for many years and feel that they should warn them. Unfortunately, the Goa'uld in question changed his plans and strikes early, before Justin and Lantash can convince the king that this Will take place and he needs to alert his military. Justin is seriously wounded during the attack and it is unlikely that he will survive. His one wish is to find a new host for Lantash as they have important information for the Tok'Ra.
Amat wyn – My love Coeurawyn – My Heart Cory’esh Mae’tek - Lifemate “Italics” – Symbiote-Host Communications
The ship slipped out of hyperspace and came to a stop, hovering above the world. It was a green and blue ball that appeared to hang in space before them. It looked peaceful enough…for the moment, anyway.
“It does not look as if Arawn moved the date of his invasion, Lantash. We are here in time.”
His symbiote sighed within his mind. “Are we, Justin, or is this a fool’s errand? We have the information that we were sent to gain, and we must return with it to the tunnels. It would have been simpler if we had never heard of this world. Then we might have been able to ignore Arawn’s plans to invade it.”
Lantash sighed again, as Justin smiled. No, they would not have ignored it, even if it had been an unknown world. They would have tried to warn them of the impending attack. Since this was not a world they were unfamiliar with, they really had no choice but to attempt to warn them. Neither of their consciences would allow them to ignore the situation.
“This stopover will not take us long, though, Lantash.” As always, Justin’s calm and melodious voice soothed him somewhat.
Still, he had reservations. “Will it not, Justin? Something tells me that this is not true. I do not have a good feeling about this. In fact, I feel distinctly unsettled, and I feel that we should be at our most observant and on guard at all times, regardless of our welcome.”
“Do you, Lantash? That is unusual. I am the one that usually has good or ill feelings about our undertakings. I do not feel exactly good about it, but neither do I feel anything too ominous. I have had nothing to tell me not to go.”
“Therefore, come, we will find a place to land and cloak the ship well away from the Palace. Then we shall change our clothing, in case there are spies from Arawn’s court about. The last thing that we need is to be seen by one of them while we are in our Tok’Ra uniform. We must hope that none recognize us as being a member of Sobek’s court.”
“We will make our way to the Palace with the information about the impending attack. We shall deliver it, we shall return to our ship, and we will then continue our journey homeward to the tunnels.”
“I must admit that I wish them well, Lantash. I am much afraid of what the eldest of the king’s sons is planning. He believes that the Goa’uld can be bargained with and trusted. He is a fool, and all we can do is hope that the king is not.”
“In a way, it is good that we had to travel with Sobek’s court to the court of Arawn. Otherwise we would have known none of this, we would not now be in possession of the final piece of intelligence that we have been striving to learn, and this world would have had no chance at all of surviving.”
“At least with a few days’ notice, if they listen to what we have to tell them, they can put their military on alert, and perhaps they will have time to evacuate some of their people to other worlds through the Chaappa’ai. It may not matter in the end, but at least they will have attempted to save their world and their people. All we can do is warn them, Tash. What they do after that, we have no control over.”
“You are correct. I must admit that, although I am grumbling about having to stop here, if it is possible to save this world from him, I would like to do so, Justin. We have come here for supplies on and off for many centuries now, since the Goa’uld abandoned it. They have always treated us well and welcomed us gladly.”
“It is, or was, off the Goa’uld list of viable worlds, since there is no longer Naquadah to mine in large quantities. It has made a perfect place for us to use, as a safe stop on our way to and from other safe worlds, for the Chaappa’ai is some distance from the city and Palace. We could come and go without anyone being the wiser as there is no possible way that it can be seen or detected from either the city or the Palace when it activates."
“If it is taken, it is one less place that is safe for us, and that many more people enslaved to the Goa’uld. Neither event is pleasant to contemplate.”
Lantash continued, “The Goa’uld lost track of it once it was abandoned, and they have not bothered to return to see how far the world has advanced since they left here. It is a shame that it will be once more brought to their attention because of the son’s greed and stupidity.”
“Per'sus will be saddened as well. His mate’s third host was from this world. She was dying and her family were all gone. It was before the Goa’uld left. They have advanced much since then, and we have helped them to do so.”
Justin agreed with him, saying abruptly, “We should have disposed of him. From the many rumors that we heard of him, Mikelin is almost as bad as the Goa’uld are. We should have seen to it that he met with a fatal accident.”
“I fear that we will not be taken seriously by the family. I am sure that they will discount our informant’s words as idle gossip. The Goa’uld have shown no interest in them since they left here so long ago. I do not feel that we can accuse the son of treason, but that is what it is in reality.”
“Unfortunately, we cannot afford to be thrown into prison for laying accusations against the king’s son, and in all probability, end up being beheaded or whatever they use to dispose of criminals here. Perhaps they do use beheading. It would be ironic, considering that is Arawn’s preferred mode of execution.”
Lantash paused before answering him, “Even though it is unlikely that they will believe us completely, I do not believe that we should divulge our sources of the information. It would be too dangerous for our informants, Justin.”
“It is unfortunate that this is so, for if we could tell them that one of those that passed us the information was a relative of theirs, they might be more likely to believe us. I do not believe it would be wise to do so, however. Should we be overheard by the wrong person when we tell them her name, then I am sure the consequences for her would not be pleasant.”
Justin nodded, agreeing once again, “If Mikelin, or one of his spies, is in the Palace, word could reach back to Arawn’s court, and her life would be forfeit if it was disclosed that she told us that she believed that he was planning an attack in three days’ time.”
“Since we also know from our other source that it is being planned for then, I see no reason to put her life in jeopardy. We have two informants, both of which are telling us the same thing. That should be sufficient, and if it is not, then as unfortunate as it is, they shall perish, and we will have done our best to help them. That is all we can do, Justin. To release her name would be to doom her to torture and death.”
“That is very true, Lantash. If Arawn is planning to kill the King and his family, as she believes, then he must never find out that she is a relative of their house. It could be very bad for her.” He frowned, thinking of the possible consequences. “I believe you are quite correct in this. The mere thought of what would be done to her at Arawn’s hands is enough to turn my stomach.”
He was able to push those vivid images aside, as his mind needed to become engaged in piloting the ship. With his mind now fully occupied with that, he asked, “What do you think, Lantash? Will this spot be acceptable? The ship will be cloaked, and we are quite some distance from the Palace. Should anything happen before time, then we are far enough away that we should be able to return and escape without being detected.”
“Yes, it looks a likely place. It will be a fair distance to walk, but not overlong, my friend. We can use the exercise after being trapped in the useless life of a court sycophant for so very long. I am so relieved and overjoyed to finally be leaving that mission behind. I was beginning to think we would never acquire the information that we needed, and thereby, secure our release from it.”
Justin laughed at Lantash’s comments even while admitting that he felt the same. He, too, had begun to think that their mission would never end. They had not been back to the tunnels in over a year now. During their mission, only rarely had they been able to contact the Tok’Ra, and they both longed for the soft light and muted blues of their crystal home.
After landing the ship, they proceeded to pack a change of clothing that would be much more fitting within a Palace. They would change before they reached there, but not while they could still become covered with woodland debris.
In a very short space of time, they were on their way. For the most part, each of them was immersed in his own thoughts, not interrupting the other. Lantash’s thoughts wandered to the last night that they had spent in a lover’s arms. It had taken many years, but at last, they had buried the pain from the loss of their mate enough that they could have a superficial relationship with a woman.
He had left Daedra with some small regret. He wondered if he would ever feel any deep feelings for another woman after Kataya. They both doubted it, although Justin still maintained that they each had Soulmates somewhere in the universe. While Justin was often right, Lantash believed that this could be one of the rare instances in which he was wrong.
In the meantime, there were lovers to keep them warm when needed, now that their hearts had healed enough. Daedra had been a pleasant and expert lover. She had helped the time to pass a little more quickly. Without her as a distraction, he might have had more trouble playing his part. As it was, there were times when he wanted to kill the System Lord that he was attending as a satellite and leave, information or no information. There was no doubt that she had saved their sanity by distracting them from their baser urges when it came to wishing to dispose of ‘their Lord’.
He sighed again as he thought of her. As far as he could discern, she had never realized that his host was sometimes the one with her. Never had they disclosed their true identity. She was a lovely woman, and she had also had a very tender heart that she had learned to hide long ago. Being a courtesan, in a Goa’uld court, was not an easy position. However, she was one of the lucky ones, as she was more or less independent, now that he had grown weary of her.
She was lucky that Sorbek did not have his old play-toys destroyed, but instead left them lying around free for whoever else might want to pick them up and play with them. That was how she had described her position to them, and she was quite content to have it thus, until she could someday find a way to disappear from the court. That, she said, would be simple to do now that there was no one to keep watch over her every move.
Now she could choose her own bedmates, and Lantash had been her favorite, of that they had no doubt. Moreover, it was not simply because he was an expert lover, although that he certainly was. It was because he treated her as a person, and she knew that he enjoyed her company outside of bed as much as in it. They had become friends first, and then lovers, and they both greatly enjoyed their relationship.
Since being an expert lover was her only means of support, it had bothered both he and Justin that she refused anything from them. No gold, no jewels, nothing that could be considered ‘payment’. She considered them her friends. They were her friends with the added benefit of being wonderful lovers, and they cared for her, her person, and her responses as much as, or more than, their own.
She, she said, should pay them for the exquisite pleasure that they bestowed on her. She would be insulted if they so much as attempted to pay her again.
They had agreed at the time, but knew that when the time came, they would somehow see to it that she had not lost wages because of them. Not wanting them to pay for time with her was one thing, but if he requested time with her and she turned others away, well, then, it became a different matter all together. She could not afford to do that indefinitely. It was as well that they had finally managed to acquire the last bit of intelligence that they needed.
It had been flattering, for she was much sought after, being still young and beautiful. More than that, she had been intelligent, and she had known a great deal about the court and what went on there. Therefore, not only her body, but also her information had helped them more than she would ever know. They were sure that she suspected that they were not what they professed to be, but she had never questioned them.
She had, however, made it a point to pass on certain bits of information. Their own informant had sworn that she was trustworthy, and that she hated the Goa’uld. They now believed him.
She had asked them to take her with them when they left. They agreed at once and took her to a known safe world where her many talents, above and beyond her expertise in the bedchamber, would be put to good use. She had also told them that, if they ever found or met a Tok’Ra, that she would like to become a host. It seemed that she had a thirst for revenge when it came to the Goa’uld.
They had smiled at her, and then told her that if they ever encountered one that they did not dispose of first, they would tell them. She had laughed, and shook her head, at their refusal to give anything away, even at the end of their relationship.
They would send someone to talk to her to see if she was serious or simply probing for information. Lantash knew that they both believed that she was serious, and they had promised to visit her again the next time that they were near there. He had a feeling that both she and they knew that a Tok’Ra would soon show up on that world. He smiled to himself. Probably the fact that they even knew of a ‘safe world’ gave them away.
Regardless whether she suspected before or only when they took her there, he knew that they would do their best for her. She, too, had risked much by trusting them with certain information. They would help her all they could, and if allowing her to become a Tok’Ra was something that they could do in repayment, then so be it. They needed hosts and she would make an excellent operative.
At least she was something pleasant about which to think. Moreover, the memories of their last night together were worth remembering in detail. If he did not feel that he must stay alert, he would give free reign to those memories, but he did not believe that this was the time or the place. Perhaps later.
Justin grinned to himself as he caught a fleeting glimpse of Lantash’s thoughts. He, too, had enjoyed Daedra, but most of all, he had been glad to see Lantash finally take an interest in a woman, even if it was superficial and due to physical needs. They had both come to like her over the past year, though, and they enjoyed their time with her, including those times that they spent with her out of bed.
Justin’s thoughts roamed over the past. He and Lantash had been together for many years now, and he had finally been able to bury his despair over the loss of his mate. Justin, too, had finally come to terms with her loss. It had been difficult on both of them, for they loved her deeply.
They missed her and Lantash’s children still, and they always would, he was sure. Never would Lantash recover from the loss of his Heartmate. Only her return would relieve his sorrow. Justin understood that and felt the loss as keenly as Lantash, but for Justin, being from her people, he understood that there were other lovers for them both in the future.
Lantash did not have the ability to see it as clearly as he did, and he did not believe him when he assured him that it would happen. However, Justin had seen images of the future, and though it was many, many years from now, he knew that Lantash would find a love like no other he had ever known. Furthermore, Kataya would re-enter his life.
He would have both sorrow and joy in the years ahead, as well as a new mate. That mate would not be his Soulmate, but a dear Heartmate. His meeting with his true Soulmate was many more years in the future, and after that occurred, Kataya and his children would once more enter his life.
He also knew that he would not be with him when either event happened. He had not seen the circumstances in which he would leave Lantash behind, but he knew that when his new mate entered, and therefore, in the more distant future when Kataya was once more near, he would no longer be his host.
He wished that he had a clearer picture of Lantash’s new host, but he did not. He was sure only that his new host would be a male. Perhaps he would recognize him when he met him, but he did not know if he would. One’s own death was not always seen clearly.
He did not mind, though, for he also felt the presence of his own Soulmate near the time that Lantash met his. He looked forward to the future, even though his death would occur sometime soon.
That fact he definitely had not shared with Lantash, even though he could have assured him that they would indeed someday meet again. At the time, when they next met, they would become friends and probably brothers of the heart. Now, however, was not the time to tell him of the insights he had been given of the future.
The day would come when they would part, and he knew it would hurt them both to live through it, but he would return in time, and Lantash would go on to fight the Goa’uld and find his Soulmate not long after his next mate passed from him. She would soothe that loss greatly.
It eased him to know that his Tok’Ra Cory’esh Mae’tek would go forward into that love. He would be able to release him when the time came and assure him of their future happiness, both Lantash’s and his own. He had seen a few events from Lantash’s future as well as his own. Events of which he could not yet tell him, but which eased his own heart. He knew that they would ease Lantash’s as well when the time came to part.
Lantash would take with him Justin’s love as he went forward, first to a new Lifemate, and from there, to a new Heartmate, lover, and mate. Long after he met a new Heartmate and spent many, many years with her and her host, he would find the Soulmate of his heart. The Blood of his Heart and the Beloved of his Soul, for all eternity.
Moreover, Justin knew that he would take Lantash’s love of him with him into death to light his way, as he became part of the All before he was once again reborn.
Justin was shielding his thoughts from Lantash, as he thought so deeply about the future, so he was surprised to realize he was talking to him.
“We must find a place to change our clothing as we near the Palace, Justin. Justin? Justin, are you well?”
“Yes, Lantash, I am fine. I was simply deep in thought. I am glad that I have you to keep a steady and watchful eye on me. I could have walked off a cliff in my preoccupied state.”
“What were you thinking about so deeply? Your thoughts were shielded from me.”
Justin smiled at him, before teasing him lightly and distracting him, “I cannot tell you. I saw your own decision not to be distracted by thoughts of Daedra’s hands and lips, so I kept my thoughts to myself.”
“Your body is not reacting as if you were thinking of her, Justin.”
“True, but the reality is that I was thinking about her offer to become Tok’Ra as well as the information that she made sure we had. I believe that she would make a very good operative, Lantash, and we should have her interviewed as soon as we can. I did not feel any intent to deceive in her at any time, and I monitored her for it constantly.”
“In fact, the only time that she lied to us was if she turned away another man because we were there. You were correct in your thoughts. She always put you before the others. I believe that she was very fond of you, Lantash. In her line of work, probably more fond than she should have been. We are both aware that we caused her to lose gold many nights.”
“That is why I gave her the gold before we left her on our safe world, Justin. I, too, believe that she often turned away paying customers for us. I am glad that you did not object to giving it to her. I thought that we would never be able to convince her to take it, though, without insulting her. I am glad that we were finally able to do so. I am also glad that she finally understood that it was not meant as payment for services, but as a gift from one friend to another as they embark on a new life.”
“No, I did not object, for I agreed with you. I am glad that we gave it, Lantash. It is not as if we do not have more than enough for our needs. Considering the number of lifetimes that you live, I suppose you could eventually use all that we have if you never earned or found anymore, but since that is unlikely, I believe that we have sufficient to take care of you for many, many more lifetimes. We can afford to be generous.”
“Yes, you are correct as usual, Justin. We do have more than enough. Furthermore, I am pleased that we put some of it to good use and were generous with Daedra. We will not worry about her until we can get someone there to talk to her, knowing she has sufficient funds.”
Both of them lapsed into their own thoughts again. Finally, the Palace grounds came into view. They changed quickly and concealed the satchel with their Tok’Ra clothing in it where it could be easily retrieved, though difficult to find, if one did not know exactly where to look.
Soon, they would be making their case to King Martoel and trying to convince him to put his army on alert. They just hoped that he would listen to them. Something told them that he would not, at least, not at first. They both sighed as their thoughts converged onto the same subject.
Justin almost groaned aloud when he realized that they were stretched out facedown on the floor. He bit off his moan, so that he could listen quietly, as he tried to hear and sense what was going on around them. He heard nothing moving or breathing. That was not necessarily a good circumstance. Lantash had been injured and become unconscious before him, so he had used what little energy he had left to heal him and mask him, before he joined him in unconsciousness. Now they were both awakening to the silence.
He turned his senses inward and found that he was very badly injured. Mortally wounded, in fact, though it would take some time for him to pass into the mysts.
So, now he knew when he would die and how. Lantash was attempting to heal him. “You should stop, Coeurawyn, my heart, for you are only wearing yourself out. We must find you a new host. But, first I must decide what has occurred and what will yet happen.”
Lantash answered him, saying, “I have done so to the best of my ability. I believe that we are the only one left alive near us, and had the Jaffa known that I was here, we would not have been left to die.”
“Why they did not sense me, I do not know, unless there were simply too many other Jaffa around for them to tell that I, too, was giving off the vibration. I am also fairly sure that if they had realized we were still alive, we would not have been for long.”
“I agree. They assumed we were dead, and most humans would have been. As for them not detecting you, I masked your presence in my body as soon as they appeared. After we were hit, they had moved on by the time I, too, passed into unconsciousness. I am afraid that my wounds are mortal, but thankfully, not swift.”
“Arawn sent his Jaffa more quickly than I anticipated. I believed that we had longer. Our informants were not as accurate as we had believed them to be, or he was informed. I did not expect them to come for at least two more days. I am sorry, Justin. Had I not misjudged, we would not be dying now.”
“We both misjudged the situation, Lantash. Do not take this blame onto yourself in this way. I, also, believe that Mikelin contacted Arawn last evening, after we had our audience with the King, and told him of the impending attack.”
“Thank the stars that Mikelin believed that we had returned to our home-world. It is well that our arrival had not been announced to them yet this morning, for then he would have known we were still here.”
“Had Arawn known that we were in the Palace, he would have had everyone interrogated until he found someone that recognized us and knew where we were. Although we blend in well in these clothes, there is little doubt, dear Tash, that one of the servants would have recognized us from our first visit here yesterday evening.”
“If I had to speculate on what occurred, then I would say that Mikelin told Arawn that we had arrived, talked to them, and then departed, Justin. That is all that is saving us at the moment.”
“If the Jaffa return, we will be killed, and if it is discovered that we are Tok’Ra, we will be captured and tortured for information instead of outright death. Personally, I prefer the death.”
“I believe that we must get as far away from the Palace and city as we can, as soon as we can, before we perish. If we can manage to accomplish that act, then we will have been dead long enough to be claimed by the mysts, rather than be found too soon by the Jaffa, taken, and revived. Something that I imagine neither of us would welcome.”
“I agree, Lantash, and I am ready to attempt to leave our present location whenever you are ready to try. The wounds will kill us eventually, but it will take quite some time.”
“I will be able to slow our death by continuing to draw energy; nevertheless, unfortunate though it is, the wounds are severe enough that even with the two of us seeking to heal them, they will win in the end.”
“Let us attempt to either turn over or get to our knees, whichever way you believe would be the easiest position from which to stand. I would suggest that we attempt coming up onto our knees first, and if that does not work, we will try the other way.”
“As you wish, Justin. I believe that you are correct.”
Justin felt Lantash’s remorse even before he spoke, “We should not have attempted to return to the Palace to talk to them again. If the youngest son had not believed us, we would not have tried again, but I am sure that he did believe us.”
Attempting to stop some of the guilty feelings that Lantash was having, Justin said, “Yes, we should have left, but we wished to try to save this world. It was pleasant and untouched. The people were industrious, well governed, and happy. To have it brought to the notice of the Goa’uld was unfortunate in the extreme. Why the eldest son thought that he could deal with the Goa’uld is something that we will never know.”
Lantash sighed, “I wonder if Arawn took captives or if he just destroyed everyone he could. Did you manage to see or hear anything before you joined me in the unconscious state, Justin? I apologize for succumbing before you. I should not have allowed myself to do so.”
“You could not have avoided it, Lantash. You were injured in such a way as to make it inevitable. As for whether or not they took captives, from what I heard being said by the Jaffa, yes, I believe they did. Mostly young women from what I deduced, but there were also some young men taken. I suspect they are both for slaves and breeding.”
“However, I do not believe that anyone of the royal family survived. From what I overheard the Jaffa saying, they were all executed, including the two youngest daughters.”
He paused before continuing, “At first, I was surprised that the women of the family were not taken as slaves or hosts, and my first thought was that perhaps Arawn did not know there were female children within the royal house. It is possible that Mikelin never mentioned them. He did not seem the type to care about his family one way or the other, and he would not have considered them interesting enough to discuss.”
“They were many years younger than the other offspring. A late-life, but also a very much welcomed, surprise, I believe, is the way they were described. They were very pretty young women, and about to take mates.”
Lantash ‘nodded’ his acceptance of his comments, but Justin then continued, “As I said, at first I was surprised, but now, after giving it some thought, I realize that it probably had more to do with the idea of any royal offspring surviving to later challenge him as the rightful ruler of the country.”
“Arawn wanted to be sure that no member of the Royal House remained alive to attempt to come back and claim the throne. Not,” he sighed softly, “That there will be many survivors to rule over.”
“I am very relieved that he did not think to take one of the sons as his host, for that would have taken care of any legitimacy concerns. The same could be said had he taken and impregnated one of the daughters. Their offspring could have been used by him as a host and claimed legitimacy. At least he did not think of either of those scenarios.”
Lantash’s voice was cold and bitter with regret. “I wish that we could have saved them. The young women and the youngest son most of all, for I am quite sure that he agreed with us last night. Obviously, his words were not enough to sway his father. It is too bad, for if they had only had their military on alert, they might have had some hope of resisting and repelling the invasion”
“I hope that at least some of the people escaped. Of course, if they do not know how to use the Chaappa’ai, then they are still trapped here, so survival might only end in slavery. It is hard to know what one should wish for in a situation such as this, nor am I sure that it really matters.”
“What happens will happen at this point, Lantash. We cannot change the fate of this world now. In addition, as quickly as he struck, perhaps we never had a chance to begin with. We made many mistakes, the largest one being that we did not disable the traitorous eldest son when we had the opportunity.”
Finally managing to stand, Lantash said quietly, “There. We are on our feet, and now, if we can remain so, perhaps we will make it away from here. If I allow you fore, can you manage to stay on your feet, Justin? I need to be able to do some more healing on you.”
“Yes, I will be all right. We must look for survivors. It is possible that we will find a host for you.”
“Unlikely. From what I can see, they left no survivors, unless they simply missed them as they did us. Even if we found a survivor, the chances are that they, too, would be mortally wounded. We need to leave here as soon as possible. We were unconscious for several hours.”
“We must go into the forest. It will be the shortest way back to the ship. It will also give us some cover.”
“Now I wish that we had landed and cloaked the ship closer to the Palace, Justin. We may very well die before reaching it.”
“Yes, I have to agree with you. Nevertheless, we must look for a host for you as we go, so the extra distance will give us more chance of finding one. That is a priority. I think that we should check the temple. The priestesses may still be there. They probably had a chamber to retreat into, and they might have had time to do so.”
“We must begin the trip back. If there are people fleeing for the mountains, perhaps we will come upon someone in the forest.”
“Perhaps.” Justin sighed. Lantash was too stubborn. He knew that they would both die if they did not find him a new host, and he was not willing to deliberately look for one.
His lips pressed together firmly, showing his own stubbornness. There had to be a host for Lantash. His future showed that he survived after Justin crossed over into the mysts. Somewhere on this world, there was a host for him, he was sure of it. He only had to find him.
He would attempt to pull more energy. Enough to keep them both going for a while, even if it was not enough to heal him and keep them both alive.
They made their way slowly from the Palace, stopping whenever they found a hiding place to rest. Between the two of them, Justin was able to function, but he was slowly losing strength, and they were both aware of it. It was dusk now, but the Temple was near. They would talk to the priestesses if they were there.
The people that had survived were on their way to a Temple in the mountains. One that would supposedly protect them. It was hard to find, if you did not know the way, but the young priestesses had done their best to direct him to it. Several hours’ walk away; they both doubted that they would make it.
However, they must try and, evidently, an elderly couple had started out not long before them. They had set them on the same path that they would have taken, so that perhaps they could come up with them, and they could guide him and Lantash to the temple. So far, they had found neither them nor any sign that they had passed this way.
The priestess had assured them that they would be covering their trail to ensure that they did not lead the Jaffa to the Temple. Therefore, they would continue to follow her advice and remain on this pathway, obscure though it seemed.
They had retrieved their satchel so that their Tok’Ra clothes would not be found, at least, not unless they died before they could get to the ship. Thankfully, the ship appeared to be in the same direction as the Temple.
If worse came to worse, they would zat their clothing out of existence. No sign of the Tok’ Ra would be allowed to be found here, for the people that were left would bear the brunt of any suspicion. That would not happen, for they would have to endure too much as it was.
They had given the priestesses the directions to the ship and the hiding place of the controls, along with directions on how to uncloak it if there was anyone there that could pilot it. If not, they were to leave it concealed until they could somehow leave the world and get word to the Tok’Ra of where it was, and why it was there.
“Justin, you must stop and rest again before we fall down. It is taking too much energy to cover our tracks and continue at this pace without resting you.” It was obvious that Lantash was worried about his Lifemate.
“I will rest, soon, Lantash. Do not worry. I am using a constant draw at the moment, so, though we are tired, we are still able to function. Please, do not worry so.”
Justin paused before continuing, softly, “We both know that unless I can make it to the temple, you and I will die together, and that must not happen. You must survive and return to the Tok’Ra and your future.”
Lantash did not answer. He knew as well as Justin did that they would not make it as far as the Temple. They would die together, and he found that he was not averse to doing so. He would be content to pass into the mysts with his soul’s present Lifemate, for he did love Justin very much. Perhaps he would even choose to be reborn.
He knew that he could not have found a host any more in tune with him than Justin. They rarely disagreed on anything, and they always settled what few disputes they had easily and quickly. Justin was both fair and logical, and they both managed to see each other’s point of view on most things.
Considering the strained circumstances when they first blended, he had been surprised at how quickly they had come to care for and depend on one another. They worked in almost perfect harmony on almost everything.
Not only that, but if he died, perhaps he would see his Dominic. He still missed him, for he had been blended with him for four hundred years.
Dominic had been a gentle, loving soul who should have been crushed by the life they led, but it had been proven on many occasions that he had a core of steel, an unknown strength of character that was found under the softness of his tender, loving heart.
True, he was easily hurt, but that strength of character and his forgiving nature had proven to be a blessing in many ways. It had kept them sane during torture and hardship.
It had soothed and supported Lantash’s soul and heart after the loss of comrades and friends, and calmed him after night-terrors. It had helped to put his heart back together almost as many times as he had done the same for Dominic’s tender heart.
The two of them had become so closely entwined that Lantash was surprised that he had survived without him. Only Kataya and his love of her had allowed him to survive Dominic’s death. Dear Goddess, how he missed her as well as Dominic.
There were times that he felt as if Dominic lived within him. A silly imagining, and he often chided himself when he had it, but that feeling always made him feel closer to Dominic. Sometimes, he felt that they would be a part of one another for eternity.
He smiled to himself at his whimsical thoughts. If he did see Dominic again, it would be a joyous event.
For now, though, there was Justin. Dear, wonderful Justin who had volunteered to take Lantash as his Lifemate, even knowing how deeply he was mourning Dominic. Moreover, he had been patience itself as Lantash had gone from the depths of despair to reckless abandon for months after Dominic had died. Lantash could not help but come to love him. Moreover, he loved Lantash in return. In addition, they had both been completely devoted to and in love with Kataya.
Then Kataya was recalled by her father to lead their forces in the Pegacian System against the Goa’uld that were gaining victories there. She had taken their son and daughter, and left him and Justin behind. Once again, Justin had lived through Lantash’s death wishes.
The fact that they had survived was solely due to Justin’s determination to save him, and Malek’s constant surveillance of his actions. Between the two of them, he had been kept alive for several years until now; at last, he had learned to live with his pain by burying it so deeply, only a truly traumatic happening would ever uncover it.
He had never hated her for ‘deserting him’ for he had never felt as if she had done so. She had responsibilities to her people, just as he had. He could have gone with her, but he, too, had felt that his people needed him.
That was why, though they did not formally break their Heartmate binding, they agreed that if she was unable to return to them and one, or both, of them found love again, then they would take it and enjoy it to the fullest with no regrets or guilt.
For the three of them agreed that life without love was a barren wasteland to each of them, though few knew it of Lantash. Even among the Tok’Ra, only a very few would know. Malek would know it to be true, if he ever thought about it. Selmak and Saroosh would know, as well.
Now, at last, the time had come for him to leave the physical world behind him. He would enter the mysts of the All with Justin. There was no reason, other than the war with the Goa’uld that would be enough to keep him here. He had no other deep ties, except perhaps to Malek, Selmak, and Saroosh. He would also miss Brialek for they were close, as well.
His thoughts were interrupted abruptly. “You will not miss them because you will not be leaving with me, Lantash. We must find you a new Lifemate. It is imperative that you return to the Tok’Ra with the information that we have finally uncovered. You must not give up now.”
“If the priestesses were correct, then the old couple are carrying a young man whom they believe could be healed if they can arrive at the Temple before he passes into the mysts. They seemed to believe that the problem was blood loss, not the seriousness of his injuries. If that is so, then he could very well be within your abilities to heal.”
“I doubt very much that he will be willing to take me, Justin. You know as well as I that hosts are not easy to come by. I am not planning on leaving you, but on dying with you. Besides, we have yet to come upon them, and I believe we should have by now.”
Lantash felt the loving caress that Justin sent to him. “They are just ahead of us now, Lantash. You were deep in thought, so I did not bother you before, but I heard them talking a moment ago.”
“They have stopped and are talking to the person that they are taking to the priestesses, though I cannot yet make out what they are saying. I believe we will come up with them very soon now. Perhaps after we work our way around these bushes. Yes, they are getting ready to leave.”
“Justin, be careful. You must not try to walk too quickly—or you will trip and fall—as you just did. Are you all right?”
“I did a little additional damage to myself. I will be all right for some time yet. Although, I must confess, it will not be overlong now.”
“Then we should rest here. They can go on without us. You must rest and let me work a little harder to ease and heal you.”
“No, Lantash, you must save your strength for your new Lifemate. Please, Lantash, if not for yourself and the Tok’Ra—then do so for me and my desires. Grant me this last request, Amat Wyn. Allow me to give you unto another heart, so that they may love and care for you after I am gone. Please, do this for me.”
Lantash said nothing simply because he could not bring himself to. Why had Justin made this a dying request? The hardest kind to disregard. In fact, he could not disregard it. He would not hurt Justin more at this time by defying his wishes. He sighed. “All right, I will refrain for the moment, but I will not promise not to work on your injuries some more later.”
“I can ask little more of you at this time. Now help me to stand for the old couple are concerned because they have no way to help us and help their other burden, as well. It is disturbing them that they have no way to carry both of us. We must reassure them that we can travel on, using our own strength.”
Justin moaned and then rolled over, pushing himself first to his knees and then to his feet. “I will walk, thank you. I appreciate the thought, however. Where are you headed? Are there others?”
“Yes, my Lord. They will be in the mountains. We are going there.”
He nodded. “I am sorry that I cannot help you to carry your burden, but I will not add more to your already-heavy load. I will walk, I assure you. Until I can go no farther, anyway.”
“Sir, you are badly wounded. It is coming on for night, the twilight almost gone.”
“Nonetheless, I will manage on my own, I assure you.”
“There is an old shepherd’s cottage not far from here. Perhaps a half hour’s walk as slowly as we go. We were hoping to get to that place for the night.”
Justin nodded. “Then, let us not tarry longer. Please, lead the way for…me.”
Nodding their acquiescence, the old couple turned back, lifted their burden, and began once again to walk forward into the deepening dusk.
TBC in Take With You My Love – Martouf’s POV Part II