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    "Listen to what? There's nothing to..."

"Listen to what I have to say so that you can stop asking what there is to listen to."

Janet dropped her purse to the ground, her hands dropping to her side before Jack's wince made her remember who was sticking out her side and she lifted her arms, crossing them tightly against any convincing argument he might have.

She was sick and tired of the emotional rollercoaster she'd been riding ever since Sam died.

She needed a break and she wasn't the only one.

"I don't want to hear this."

"I'm not going to bring it up again."

That froze Janet mid-turn and she faced him again, this time wary.

"Why not?"

"Because I made a mistake and instead of trying to help me at least find some way to salvage something, a friendship, anything, you're ready to just toss it away and I'm beginning to wonder what in the world I was thinking in the first place."

Janet's jaw gaped slightly and she stepped forward until she was nose to nose with him.

"First off, Colonel, you didn't just make one mistake, you made a series of mistakes. Second, you didn't seem to have any problem blowing me off to spend time with Dr. Corvores and third, you haven't given me one reason why it would work between us, now."

He was silent for a moment and then, his voice tired, he answered her.

"First off, Doctor, I did make mistakes, but I didn't realize I was on a time limit, life-wise. I have reasons for what I did and if I hadn't died, it would have worked. Second, I didn't blow you off. I was hurt you didn't trust me. Third, even if I'm not in a body, I can still be here for you and four, the thought of you being with anyone else makes a small homicidal part of me wake up and plot with the amazingly romantic part of me. Trust me, between the two of them, you'll be better off with me instead of some...other guy."

Janet closed her eyes, trying not to dwell on the massive holes in his argument.

"Janet, if you still love me, we can make this work."

The sentence hung between them and as her eyes opened, she half expected him to kiss her.

Instead, he took a step back.

"I know you don't like this whole...body-swapping thing so I'm gonna let you set the pace. When you're ready, I'm here. Literally forever."

She opened her mouth, but couldn't speak and after a moment, the silence grew too heavy for either of them and their steps echoed in time as they began walking side by side down the road.

"What if I'm never ready?"

"Never's a long time."

"You'll give me space to figure myself out now?"

"I won't like a second of it, but yes. Just don't figure yourself out by dating anyone else. Losing yourself in a guy isn't how you find yourself and what you want."

"Yes, Dr. O'Neill."

His familiar cocky smile, albeit a bit worn, curved the boy's mouth and her heart twisted.

A slow melting began inside her and she immediately stamped her foot, making it stop. was good.

Janet walked faster and this time, Jack trailed behind.

*She didn't hit us.*

*Nope. I don't know about you, but I think she's gonna come back to me.*

*I think you're an idiot. You should've kissed her. That's how it goes in the movies.*

*If I'd kissed her, it would've messed it all up. One, she expected it since that's how I used to shut her up and two, she doesn't like that I'm in you so it would've ruined the whole effect when the kiss ended and she saw your face instead of mine. Nope...kissing her would've definitely gotten us hurt.*

*Are you sure she's worth it?*

*You went through my memories and you can still ask me that?*

*Well, yes, I saw them, but I think you should be thinking more about what to do about Sara than Janet.*


*Jack, you'll be reported to her as dead. Again. This time it'll be a bit hard to get fixed and get back to her.*

*I'm not going back to Sara.*

*You love her.*

*Yes, but I'm not in love with her anymore and I don't think she would be able to get past the whole 'ghost' thing.*

*She wouldn't hit you.*

Jack cut off the conversation, annoyed at the repetitiveness.

He didn't need doubts and bad memories fed to him.

He could eat them on his own whenever he wanted to.

Catching up to Janet, he walked a step behind her and continued calling out for Amber, hoping for a response.


* * * * * *


Qesir fingered a corduroy skirt, smiling at the fashion rules her host was outlining for her to be "in-style."

She had found it quite easy to ignore the female guard nearby.

As long as she did not speak aloud, Amy was more than content to allow her to retain priority and be able to actually touch each different fabric.

*Your world is blessed in many ways. Such a rich diversity...I think I would like to stay here for a short time.*

*Great. Oh look at those shoes...I hadn't seen those type before. They must've come out after I went into the hospital. I love shoes.*

*Clothing that will not wear out easily, but is comfortable and appealing is what we are here for. Not trends that Tok'ra will have no use for and will dismiss as frivolous and wasteful. We carry what we own. There is no extra space. The heels on much of that footwear is far too impractical.*

Amy was thinking it over and Qesir lightly leapt onto the escalator, pausing to ensure the itchy rag of artificial hair on her head had not slipped.

*It's called a wig. Why can't you call it that?*

*It smells like your infirmary, feels like a rash, and looks like a dead morntik.*

*Morntik? Oh...ewww...*


*Well at least I'm not bald, even if I'm getting a different wig as soon as we get back...*

*Why do you feel the need to cover your head? It is lovely even without more than a small amount of hair.*

*Vanity. I miss having hair.*

*I see.*

*'Sides, I'd be recognized if I walked around with no hair and the whole point of the wig and stuff was to make it where I won't be easily noticed.*

*Garshaw should not be in there.*

*Uh...she's not actually gonna put that stuff on, is she?*

*Her taste has always been...different.*

*Oh. Oh! Can you hit her on the head or something? Where is her guard?*

*I do not see her. We will join Garshaw and correct her path.*

*Feathers...She has feathers? I thought you said practical.*

*Garshaw collects the skins of different animals she hunts. It has always been her way. The past thirty of your years, she has included different feathers worked into her clothing, though only during ceremonies, never when we might need to evacuate.*

Qesir slipped to Garshaw's side, just as the seemingly invisible guard stepped up, her voice low.

"Ma'ams, we only have an hour left before the General wants you back on base so if you'll narrow your selections to the items you'll actually purchase, we'll get going."

Garshaw allowed Yousef control after turning a cool eye on the woman.

Yousef carefully folded the soft chenille bell bottoms with marabou'd seams and embroidered dragonflies that she and her symbiote had both chosen simultaneously, making sure Garshaw knew she still had full say in what clothing they wore.

Smiling slightly, she draped the pants over the guard's arm before picking up the selection of simple cotton tops they had found that would coordinate with the pants and skirts they had chosen in previous stores.

"We wish to purchase these as well as the matching footwear in that area."

The guard followed her gaze and walked over, picking up the dark orange quadruple-strapped sandals with slip guard, wincing at the little dragonflies on small springs that hopped around inside the darker orange marabou puffs.

"Do you know your size, ma'am?"

"Yes. According to that man, we are a lovely eight and a half wide."

"Yes, ma'am."

Qesir could not stop snickering as Yousef ran her fingers over a leather jacket near her, startling the girl wearing it.

"We wish to possess this. How much will you accept in return for it?"

"Uh...three hundred and it's yours."

"Very well."

Yousef turned to the wide-eyed guard, holding her hand out for the appropriate currency.

Swallowing, the guard could hear the General's request for them to guide the alien dignitaries through the store and not let them get gypped.

The man had to be insane or else just didn't realize how immovable the Tok'ra leader here was.

"Yes, ma'am."

The girl shed her jacket, handing it over as three hundred dollars, in cash, slid into her hand.

Garshaw slipped the dark brown jacket on, her eyes flashing with power as she turned to face the three-way mirror, admiring the contrast of the jewels her mate had made into a necklace for her years before against the soft skin of her new attire.


Yousef took control, leading her guard away as Qesir watched them, aware her own guard was only a few feet away.

"Hey, Tomi! Some chick bought your brother's jacket for three hundred bucks."



Qesir cocked her head as the two young humans chuckled as they walked away.

Whatever the story behind it, Garshaw had a lovely coat.

*Can we borrow it?*

*If we do not, it will be worn with those...pants. We will no longer need signaling torches. We will simply aim beams of light at Garshaw and her clothing will brighten the skies themselves.*

*It could be worse. She could've gone fluorescent.*



* * * * * *


*Your anger is unexpected.*

*I'm not angry, just...trapped. I'm ready to get on with it and I don't seem to be able to.*

Daniel leaned against the double doors of Janet's office in the hospital, trying to regret leaving Jack and Janet to walk alone, but thoroughly unable to.

*I understand.*

*How could you?*

Jolinar took control, ignoring the startled looks from those around her.


*You are not scolding me for this.*

*Not like there's any point to it. You don't care. Why should I repeat myself.*

*You are depressed.*

*I'm tired...*

*You feel sorry for yourself and wish to be valuable.*

*Thanks Dr. Jolinar...any other pearls of wisdom?*

*When I was first among you...*

*I thought we agreed not to talk about this.*

*I believe it is necessary. I was trapped as well. I needed to get to the Tok'ra and tell them of what I'd found as well as avoid the Ashrak in case he'd managed to follow me. Your people would not let me go. None of you would.*

*You were in Sam. Of course, we wouldn't let you go. We had no reason to trust you.*

Jolinar's memories began to blend with Daniel's and she pulled back, her control becoming more concrete with each passing day.

*You would not have let me go even if you had believed me.*

*Maybe. You commanded us just like a Goold and you held a slightly lethal weapon on Jack. Not to mention the grenade.*

*I was desperate and I would have sent Samantha back.*

*I, but I didn't then.*

*I even allowed Samantha to take control to prove she was there, intact, but still, I was not believed.*

*You only let her out once and since we've had experience with the Goold talking like the host, there was no reason for us to believe it was really Sam. You should've told us everything from the beginning.*

*How could I know you were not an Ashrak? He could have infiltrated any of you and I would not have sensed his presence until he was close enough to kill me. Ra changed the physiology of the first Ashraks and other System Lords have followed his lead. They are skilled and they do not stop until they or their prey is dead.*

*You really want to rejoin the Tok'ra.*

*I do. Even if it is only for a short time. I believe it would help to give you purpose again, as well.*

*Yeah, maybe.*

*You are considering it.*

*Yes. SG-1 isn't the same. I'm not sure what to do about it.*

*Teal'c would be most welcome to come as well and if we can help Samantha to leave Janet's body, then she and O'Neill will be able to accompany us.*

*Jack's in...*

*Only until the symbiote takes back her body. This will occur when she gains tactile control over her environment.*

*It'll be awhile.*

*There is no way for you to know this. O'Neill had immediate control, Samantha had very little.*

*If you were to leave me, you'd be like...Peri, wouldn't you? A symbiote floating around.*

*I have thought on this while you were meditating. I think that perhaps your appearance is solely based on your perception of yourself. I have not had a symbiotic body in some time and while inside both Samantha and Janet's minds I chose Rosha's appearance and held it easily. There is a chance that I would have a bipedal form such as yours...should I be strong enough to see myself that way.*

*Interesting thought...*

*I agree.*

"You left Dr. Fraiser and Col. O'Neill behind? Or are they already inside?"

"Jacob, Daniel did not wish to wait. They are undoubtedly still on their way."

"Jolinar, you should not be in control. We are in public."

Jolinar looked up and Daniel mentally backed away, thinking about the different consequences joining the Tok'ra would have for him.

Maybe just a visit...that wouldn't be so bad.

Jolinar listened to, but refrained from interrupting her host's thoughts.

He was slowly agreeing to join them and she would take no more chances that might change that.

"Daniel has allowed me priority. If you do not speak to me, I will not answer."

The small, but wary smile touching her mate's mouth was enough and she hugged him gently before pulling away to avoid further antagonizing those around her.

"I wish to speak with Daniel."

"He is meditating and does not wish to be disturbed."

*Thank you.*

*I will not allow your train of thought to be broken.*

Daniel's small snort at her consideration now that he was thinking the way she wanted him to be thinking barely phased Jolinar as she tried to imitate the way Jacob walked down the hospital corridor toward them after O'Neill's earlier comment on the plane that Daniel walked like a girl when Jolinar was in charge.

"What are you doing?"

"You persist in asking me questions after verbally disciplining me for speaking aloud. I do not appreciate your hypocrisy."

"I am not a hypocrite. Lantash is not allowed to take control. I will, however, accept that your host has decided this is a safe enough venue for you to be allowed free reign and I will take advantage of it while I can."

*I'll do it.*

*Are you certain?*

*Yeah...who knows, maybe I'll have a better chance of rescuing Sha're out there with the Tok'ra than here.*

*I agree.*

Martouf's mental battle with Lantash, mostly consisting of variations on 'She can do it so why can I not do it also' was halted abruptly when Jolinar's eyes blazed brightly, heralding the first truly happy grin to grace her host's mouth in hours.

Not amused, but happiness from deep within.


"I am coming home. Daniel has agreed to join the Tok'ra."

Excitement washed through Martouf as Lantash took over, his smile matching hers easily.

"Truly? You will return with us?"

"Yes. It may not be permanent. He does not approve of many things we do and I will not take assignments he is against, but I will be accompanying you to take my place back on the High Council."

"High Council?"

Amber stood near Teal'c, her hand behind her back still clasped in Cassandra's.

Both ignored the slight sweat building up, unwilling to relinquish the contact and everyone else had followed their lead in not mentioning it.

Her question sparked surprise in the three happy Tok'ra and her initial impression that they just might break into a jig faded as they faced her.

"You didn't know Jolinar was a member of the Tok'ra High Council?"

"No, but I probably just wasn't listening when that was talked about. Jonathan doesn't know, least he didn't..."

"I assume you just informed him."

"Yes, what does he have to say about..."

"I can't hear him."

Amber's voice choked a bit and Teal'c instinctively moved closer, alarm touching his dark eyes.

"He umm...disappeared from my mind and I don't feel him at all."

"Why didn't you say something?"

"I kept hoping it was just interference or something."

Cassie's hand tightened and silence fell, dampening the high spirits previously in the room.

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