* * * * * *
*Jolinar left with them.*
*Yes. We cannot expect to regulate her
activities any more now than we could when she was in Rosha.*
Lantash's amusement seemed endless now that Jolinar was back.
*I wish you would allow me to tease the Tau'ri. His unease with this arrangement...*
*His name is Daniel. Call him by name.*
Martouf's annoyance set up a slight wall between them.
He turned to Jacob who had been strangely silent through most of what had happened.
Selmac hadn't, but Jacob had.
"What is it?"
That's when he noticed the fear in the older man's eyes.
"I'm not going back with you...at least, not yet."
Lantash took over.
"I have reason to stay as well, but we both know we must go."
Jacob shook his head.
"I've decided. I'm staying for now. I pushed her away for so long, then I left her, and then I lost her. She's here, now, but there's no telling whether that will change or not. She's not even in
the same body she was in when I left last time."
"You can not stay. If you are not leaving, I will remain as well."
*Incredibly mature of you.*
Lantash shot indignant annoyance at Martouf.
*You wish to leave? Perhaps your feelings were for Rosha alone rather than for Jol...*
*That is enough!*
Lantash retreated, allowing Martouf control.
*I apologize. I fear we will lose her again. I had no right.*
Martouf instantly forgave him, even though anger at the accusation remained.
*I know. You must calm down.*
Lantash just sighed.
Martouf looked at Jacob, regret lacing his expression.
"I know you wish to stay, but we are needed. When
we see what is happening and pass on whatever information Jolinar can give us, we will then see if we can return."
"And if she's dead or worse when we return?"
Martouf couldn't hide his own fear.
"If we stay
and the information we did not take was needed, causing some of our own to die? Can you handle that knowledge? You know what we are up against and how delicate the balance in this war has become."
"I know. I'm a soldier. I've been a soldier for as long as I can remember. This time, though, I just can't do it. I
can't leave. Not yet."
Martouf almost wavered.
His desire to stay was as great as Lantash's, but the thought of how many lives were depending on him to think of them
before his own desires weighed heavily as well.
Lantash's rebelliousness rose immediately even as the thought formed in Martouf's mind
Martouf tried to project calm, but Lantash was having none of it.
*I am not leaving Jolinar again. Not if he is staying
with his daughter. How is his daughter more important than my wife?*
*Our wife, Lantash, and she is not more important.*
*You have heard the different Tau'ri around here speaking of Daniel's "infirmary track record." I think there is a much higher chance of harm coming to Jolinar than to
*Was that so bad?*
*Are you going to release this topic?*
Martouf smiled, earning an odd look from Hammond.
*No, I refuse to see him as simply the vessel for my wife. His wife was turned into a vessel for Apophis'
queen. How dare we even try to mentally project that indignity on him? It implies Jolinar is violating him rather than sharing...*
Lantash roiled in disgust, his physical body
quivering a bit causing massive amounts of nausea to swish through Martouf.
cannot help it. I had not even thought of that comparison. Jolinar would never use him that way even if she could.*
*We both know that if Jolinar believed the
consequences worth it, she would go further than many Tok'ra would in that direction.*
Anger lanced through Martouf and he realized he'd opened yet another argument with
Lantash and set about calming him down again.
Hammond stepped to the side as Dr. Warren stepped up to the infirmary bed to check on Dr. Fraiser.
He wasn't sure what to call her.
He supposed it would just be whoever he had last talked to.
That or Dr. Fraiser simply because it was her he associated that face with.
He also had no idea what to do about SG-1.
He didn't want to remove Capt. Carter
from the team, knowing what they'd gone through without her, but he needed Dr. Fraiser in the infirmary.
What was really annoying was that Dr. Fraiser was usually the one he'd consult with on matters of where personnel would
be best able to do their job.
He looked over where Jacob was lost in thought...or talking to Selmac...both left the same expression on his face.
Martouf looked the same although odd expressions would appear showing he was
definitely in conversation with his symbiote.
The last person any of them needed nosing around here and he really didn't like even the thought of Maybourne becoming involved with an SGC member.
He had enough information in-roads into the base.
"We will go and if it is safe, we will return. If not, then we will try to send a message to let you know
and if possible, join us."
Jacob broke off his conversation...argument, really...with Selmac and stared at Martouf for a moment.
"Are you sure?"
*Do you have any idea how brave he is? He is as needed as we are, perhaps more since he is younger and a
very good diplomat when Lantash does not butt in...*
*Can it. I'm not leaving.*
*You are a stubborn fool, Jacob, and while I understand...*
*Shush. I swear you talk as much as any woman I've ever...*
*Is not it just a grand shame you cannot simply tune me out? I will just follow you, you know. You are making an emotional decision and you know...*
Jacob bristled at the seemingly endless amusement Selmac had at his mental image of her as an old woman with white hair, carrying around a rolling pin and nagging him while wagging her finger.
had taken her awhile to go through enough of his memories to understand exactly why that's how he thought of her, but it amused her no end now that she knew.
*Oh for a mental pair of earplugs. If I could send you shopping until you'd spent my last dime, I would.*
*That would be a short trip. Then you would be broke
and still have a conscience.*
*I'm not leaving. I'm thrilled and proud of Martouf for having the courage to go, but I'm not leaving Sam to go off to who knows
where to fight who knows what again until I'm good and ready. Too much of my life has been spent away from the one I say I'm protecting.*
Selmac sighed, no way to truly argue with that.
*Martouf should not go alone.*
*So why don't
we send Jolinar with him? They can't stay, of course, but Dr. Jackson really should have a chance to see his choices. He is a Tok'ra, after all.*
sincerely doubt your friend will allow them to go. He is most protective of SG-1.*
*Maybe if the Colonel and Teal'c accompanied him? Sam can't go,
*Why not? Then, you would go and I would shut up for awhile.*
Jacob turned to George who was obviously still trying to get his mind around the situation, too.
Sending an apologetic glance to Martouf, he motioned George over.
"George, what if SG-1 accompanied Martouf and me back to the Tok'ra?"
"No. Sorry, but I can't allow that."
Martouf looked at Jacob, a bit confused.
"They have not even grown used to their new bodies and the way their teammates are now
arranged. Would it be fair to take them straight into what could be a dangerous situation? We do not know what has happened in the time we have been gone."
Jacob planted his feet and put his best military presence on.
"They need to get used to how they are and see what they're best equipped to do now. Also,
the team dynamic has changed and they need to see that. Right now, everyone's just so glad they're in a body and not floating around somewhere, that they haven't thought about what body who is in and how it's affecting
everything. George, I know you don't like this, but the fact is that your doctor and my daughter are in the same situation Dr. Jackson and Jolinar are in, except that while Sam has experience being a host, she's never been a
symbiote. Time with the Tok'ra could be beneficial for them and help them come to a better understanding of what they can do."
George was still shaking his head, but
Jacob could tell some of that had gotten through.
"I'll think about it and I'll talk it over with them, but it's more than likely going to be a no go. I
know I need to decide soon so you can make your decisions, so I'll talk to Col. O'Neill as soon as he and Dr. Jackson return."
Jacob and Martouf sighed, glancing at each
other in commiseration, neither one happy about what a negative decision would mean for Martouf.
* * * * * *
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