Author: Pammie, Pasta
Content Warnings: romance, sexual situations
Pairings: Jacob Carter/other
Spoilers: Summit, Last Stand, Memento, Frozen, Full Circle
Season: six and before seven
Summary: The SGC is tapped for a special assignment; making sure information from the Tok'ra gets to the operative high in the system lords. Meanwhile, Jacob must deal with his growing feelings for a fellow operative.
Author's notes: This story deals more with Jacob and the Tok'ra than it does SG-1 although Sam and Jack are important to the story.
Disclaimer: These characters do not belong to me. I make no money from them and am just borrowing them from MGM.
Corrine stood next to Hammond as he spoke with a complaining Colonel O'Neill who was calling from a test run of the Prometheus. As soon as he finished, he turned back to Corrine. "This isn't exactly a good idea," he said. "I don't like the idea of sending one of my people somewhere alone."
She walked alongside him as he headed to the briefing room upstairs. "According to the Tok'ra, this operative has information vital to their fight against the Goa'uld. Information that he has been keeping for a long time. Lives are at stake, both human and Tok'ra."
"Why us?" Hammond asked. "Why now?"
"No Tok'ra will be able to get to the planet for several days," Corrine replied. "I can go sir."
"I don't like the idea of sending you by yourself," Hammond replied.
"If it makes you feel any better, wait a few hours after I leave then send SG-2 if I don't return within the allotted time," Corinne said. "Someone needs to go."
"I want someone to go with you…" Hammond began.
"Sir, if more than one person goes through that gate, the Tok'ra will leave," she told him with a gesture to the gate below. "I can take care of myself."
Hammond did not look happy but he nodded. "Six hours," he said.
"I'll be back long before that," Corinne said.
Corinne stepped out on the other side of the wormhole and down the stairs. She was beside the DHD when the gate whooshed closed. "Kree, Tok'ra," she called.
Silence surrounded her until an echoy voice cut through it. "Onak sha kree, shel Goa'uld?"
"Let's see, how am I supposed to answer?" Corinne muttered. She took a quick breath and called back. "Goach sha kree, lo Goa'uld."
A man in Tok'ra clothing stepped from the shadows. "You are Tauri?"
"Yes," Corinne said. "You are the Tok'ra I'm supposed to meet."
"No one came with you?" he asked as he walked toward where she still stood near the DHD.
Corinne shook her head. "As promised."
"I must return with you," he said. "I am called Kelmar. My cover is not safe. There are many Jaffa searching for me. They must not learn what I know."
He was standing no more than two feet in front of her when he spoke. Corinne opened her mouth to speak when a staff blast hit him and Kelmar stumbled forward into Corinne's arms. As she caught him, another staff blast hit him in the back causing her to lose her balance. Corinne stumbled back. Stepping wrong on her right foot, she felt it break and cried out as she fell. Kelmar landed on top of her, knocking the breath out of her. "Be dead," he whispered into her ear.
Corinne tried to catch her breath without moving too much and just in time to lie still as death. The Jaffa came into her line of sight and jabbed his staff weapon into his side. He spoke several words to another Jaffa who was standing out of sight. The other pointed at Corinne's leg as it was bent at an odd angle. The first laughed and jabbed his staff weapon into it, sending spasms of pain through her body. She didn't move a muscle.
The joke at her expense ended and the Jaffa who stood over her bent and grabbed Kelmar's ear. With an exotic looking knife, he sliced it off. Blood oozed from the wound and down Corinne's neck as she fought the urge to gag. She still did not move. More laughter and the Jaffa moved off.
When they were completely gone, Corinne breathed. Carefully, she pushed Kelmar off of her and over onto his back. She pulled herself to a sitting position to assess the damage. Opening her pack, she pulled a field med kit from it and pressed a sterile bandage to his severed ear.
"I cannot be saved," he said.
"Yes, you can," Corinne said. "I just have to get you to the infirmary back at the SGC."
"No," Kelmar said. "This host will not survive. I need a new host or I will die as well."
Corinne sat for a few minutes, her hand pressed to the bandage where his ear had once been. "I'll be your host," Corinne said finally. "I'm healthy and you won't have to do anything but recuperate."
"What of your leg?"
"It will heal on it's own until you are stronger," Corinne replied. "They told me you were important."
"Not important enough for you to be forced to do this," he replied.
"I'm not being forced," Corinne said. "I made this choice on my own. What do I have to do?"
Kelmar's breathing became labored. "Are you sure?"
"Positive," Corinne answered. "If you change your mind, we can always find you a new host."
Kelmar smiled. "This is a life changing commitment."
"I always wanted to get married," She replied. "Let's get this done. What do I do?"
Kelmar's strength began to fail. "Come closer," he whispered. "And open your mouth."
Corinne did as she was told. Like a flash, the symbiote went from him to her and she fell back to the ground. With a few deep breaths, she pulled herself back up and looked around. She began to crawl to the DHD and dialed home. The wormhole swirled out at her and she reached for her radio.
"This is Corinne Rien," She said slowly. "I need some help."
"What is your situation?" Hammond asked over the radio.
"We were ambushed," she said. "I stepped wrong and broke my leg."
"What about the Tok'ra?"
"He saved my life so I saved his," she replied.
"Explain," Hammond ordered.
"Not now," she replied. "Just come and get me, please. I'm in quite a bit of pain."
"SG-2 has been ready since you left. As soon as we disengage the wormhole, they'll come through," Hammond replied.
Major Samson Johnson, temporary commander of SG-2, helped Corinne through the wormhole. Her leg had been splinted in record time. Behind them, the other members of SG-2 carried the body of the fallen Tok'ra. Dr. Janet Frasier put her on the stretcher.
Noticing blood on her face she inspected her for injury. "What happened here?" she asked.
"The Tok'ra went into me," Corinne reported.
"I told him to," she said. "It was important. I didn't understand why then as much as I do now."
"Oh boy," Janet said.
Pia Corinne Rien stood before General Hammond as he paced the length of the conference room. "Do you know what you've done?"
Corinne nodded. "More than you do."
He stopped. "Sg-1 and the Prometheus have gone missing," he told her.
Corinne's jaw dropped. "I'm sorry."
"I'm not particularly fond of the fact that they are sending…" he was interrupted by an incoming wormhole.
"Unauthorized gate activation," announced a voice over the intercom as both rushed down to the control room.
"That's probably Jacob," Hammond said.
"Carter?" Corinne queried.
Hammond nodded and was going to speak when Sergeant Siler interrupted. "It's not the Tok'ra sir," he said then turned to face his commanding officer. "It's SG-1."
Hammond sighed in relief. "Thank you," Corinne whispered.
"You WHAT?" Jack exclaimed.
Hammond, Corinne and Jack were in Hammond's office. Jack had briefed them on his trip then Hammond had returned the favor about Corinne.
Corinne winced. "I allowed the symbiote to blend with me," she replied.
"Why on Earth would you do such a thing?" Jack asked.
"Because it was a matter of life and death, that's why," Corinne replied. "Not just the Tok'ra's, but of everyone."
"How?" Jack asked. "How could this mean life."
"There is a Tok'ra operative very high up in the system lords," she explained. "Kelmar is the only Tok'ra who knows who it is."
"But you didn't know that then," Jack retorted.
"No," Corinne replied. "I just knew that this specific Tok'ra is important."
"No more or less important than, say Jacob?" Jack asked.
"Actually," came a voice from the doorway. "If we have any chance of winning this war with the Goa'uld, this specific Tok'ra is more important than even the high councilor."
They turned to see Jacob standing in the doorway to General Hammond's office. "Jacob, welcome," Hammond said. "Have you met Corinne?"
"Haven't had the pleasure," Jacob said and he shook her hand. "I hear you rescued a friend of mine."
"It's only fair," Corinne replied. "He saved me first."
"Exactly what are you talking about?" Jack asked. "'Friend'?"
"Selmak's last host and Kelmar's host before the last were very close for a very long time," Jacob explained. "Kelmar blended with a new host several months before I blended with Selmak."
"Ah," Jack said.
"Look, Jack," Jacob went on. "I know you don't like the idea but this Tok'ra is extremely important. He knows a lot more about the Goa'uld movements than we ever will or ever would want to know. He…"
"She now Jacob," Corinne put in.
"Sorry, she," Jacob corrected himself. "She knew there was a new Goa'uld in town before anyone else. And she's the only one who knows the identity of the Tok'ra high up in the system lords."
"There's a System Lord who's a Tok'ra?" Jack asked.
"Yes," Jacob replied. "Now if you don't mind, I'd like to go talk to me daughter before we leave. I hope you don't mind going by ship."
"Nope," Corinne replied. "But why did you bring a ship instead of coming by Stargate?"
"I was finishing up a task I started a few months ago when I got the call," he replied. "Coming straight here by ship was quicker than going to the Tok'ra base to use the Stargate."
Corinne hugged Sam before following her father into the cargo vessel. Inside, she sat down in the passenger chair and watched as Jacob piloted the cloaked ship out of Earth's atmosphere.
"So," she began by way of making conversation. "How long until we reach the base?"
"A couple of days," Jacob replied.
"Then we can have a chance to get to know each other on the way there," Corinne said.
"I don't think that's such a good idea," Jacob replied.
"Why not?" Corinne returned. "Because of the relationship between our symbiotes previous hosts?"
"That's it exactly," Jacob replied.
Corinne nodded in understanding. "Does losing him still hurt so much?"
"I feel Selmak's pain," Jacob replied. "He doesn't want to feel that way again."
Corinne fell silent. Hours passed, both silent and lost in their own thought when she finally spoke again. "Tell Selmak it's worth it.
"What's worth it?" Jacob asked.
"Love," Corinne replied as she looked at him.
"I'm not so sure he's wrong," Jacob said.
"Because you lost your wife as well?"
"It was my fault," Jacob replied. "I should have been there to pick her up."
"It was an accident," Corinne said as she leaned forward. "That's why they're called that."
"I should have been there to pick her up," Jacob repeated, a knot in his throat.
"She could have called and reminded you that she was waiting before calling the cab," Corinne replied. "Should of's and could of's only cause heartache."
"I lost my son for a very long time," he told her. "Because he blamed me for the accident."
"Yeah, but you reconciled, right?" Jacob nodded. "Then leave it. It's in the past. There's nothing you can do about it."
Jacob blinked away tears and cleared his throat. "What about you? What's your story?"
"My parents died when I was very young," she said. "I had no other family so I was bounced from one foster home to the next. I was granted status as an adult at sixteen and worked my way through the rest of high school and into college. I joined the Air Force six years ago as a way to help pay for my Ph.D. in Archeology. I hoped they would teach me to fly then I could fly myself to whatever dig I wanted to be a part of. I didn't know they would assign me to the greatest assignment an Archeologist could ask for."
"Then you've never been in love?" Jacob asked.
"I was always too busy with my studies and my work," she replied. "I never had a family. Just when people would start to feel like family, I was bounced to the next place so I just kind of kept moving."
"Now you get bounced from the SGC to the Tok'ra," Jacob commented.
"I'm used to it," she replied then stood and went to the cargo area.
Jacob sat alone, simply piloting the ship and thinking about what had been said. Corinne joined him every once in awhile to check on their progress and chat a little then she would retreat back to the cargo area where she said she had a book. After several hours, Jacob noticed a slight deviation from their course and disengaged the hyperdrive.
"What's going on?" Corinne asked as she joined him in the control area.
"We're a little off course," Jacob replied.
"Just like a man," Corinne joked. "Won't use a map, won't stop and ask for directions..."
Jacob turned to her. "What?"
"I think you heard me," Corinne replied. This time there was no mistaking the humor in her tone. "We're lost."
Jacob turned away to smile without her seeing. "There's a small instability in the drive. Probably a crystal slightly out of alignment."
Corinne put her hands on her hips. "I suppose you're just going to try to fix it yourself," she said with an amused but stern look. "When there's probably a service station just up the road."
Jacob turned with an evil look in his eye. "I suppose Sam never told you what I do to back-seat drivers, did she?"
Corinne started backing away. "I don't like that look," she said with warning in her voice.
"You're not too big for me to take you over my knee you know," Jacob said.
"I'm sorry?" Corinne said by way of apology.
"Too late," Jacob said. He threw her over his shoulder and headed for the cargo area.
Corinne struggled, giggling the whole time, until she knocked them both to the floor before they even got to the door. Jacob landed on top of her, knocking the air from her lungs. Realizing what he had done, he quickly pushed himself off of her.
"You OK?" he asked as he lay beside her on the floor one hand on her hip.
Corinne gasped for air but nodded. Jacob waited until she had regained her composure before asking her if she was OK again. She swallowed and nodded. Before she could push herself off the floor, he leaned in and covered her mouth with his. She closed her eyes and the kiss deepened.
Jacob heard the blood rush in his ears, felt her hand move to the back of his head, tasted the sweetness of the chocolate she obviously had been snacking on, and breathed in the clean, flowery scent of her. The universe did not exist outside of the two of them for several minutes then Corinne pushed him away and stood.
"That was..." she began, still flushed and gasping. "I don't… I think…" Jacob looked up at her. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath before actually speaking a coherent thought. "I'll go in the back and align that crystal for you." Stepping over Jacob, she went into the cargo area.
Jacob pounded his forehead on the floor a few times before slowly getting to his feet. He sat down in the pilot's chair and checked the hyperdrive. Seconds later, the sensor showed the misalignment corrected and he reengaged the hyperdrive. Corinne did not rejoin him immediately.
*Do you know what you are doing?* Selmak asked him.
*No, tell me,* Jacob replied.
*You are falling in love with her,* Selmak answered.
*How do I stop it?*
He could feel Selmak smile. *There is no stopping it.*
Jacob felt like slamming his head into the console in front of him.
It was several hours before Corinne rejoined him, offering an energy bar from the food kit. She didn't say anything when he took it, just sat in the passenger chair and pulled herself into a sitting fetal position.
Jacob cleared his throat. "The misalignment will make us late by only a couple of hours," he told her as a way to break the uncomfortable silence. "I'm sure Kelmar will be happy to rejoin the Tok'ra."
Corinne nodded. "There's still much to do," she replied.
Silence surrounded them once again.
"I'm sorry," Jacob said finally. "That was inappropriate."
Corinne lifted her head to look at him. "What?"
"The kiss," Jacob replied. "It was inappropriate."
Jacob looked at her. "It just was."
She put her feet on the floor. "I liked it."
Jacob nodded. "Why did you push me away?"
"Because I don't want to hurt you they way you've been hurt before," she replied. "Kelmar knows things that could get us killed. I know how much losing your wife must have hurt. Kelmar experienced it when you received Selmak and he lost her."
"But now, Kelmar is in you," Jacob stated.
"Yes, and for awhile we were overjoyed," Corinne replied. "But our work is dangerous. I'm the only one who can shuttle information between the Tok'ra and our operative in the System Lords." She paused. "I saw the pain in your eyes when you spoke of your wife's death and knew I couldn't do that to you."
"You're the one who said love is worth the pain," Jacob pointed out.
Corinne smiled. "Had to throw that one in my face, didn't you?" Jacob smiled back but said nothing. "I'm a wreck, right now," Corinne continued. "My emotions are a jumble and I can't decide which ones are mine and which are Kelmar's."
"I went through a similar transition period," Jacob told her.
"It would be better if we just let things be for now," she said. "Stay away from each other."
"I don't really want to do that," Jacob said. "I'd like to get to know you better."
Corinne smiled. "Me too, but until I can decipher which emotions are mine and which belong to Kelmar, I don't want to do anything which might submarine our relationship later. Whether it's a friendship or we let things go as far as a love affair."
"Believe it or not," Jacob began. "I understand."
Six weeks later
Jacob stepped through the Stargate and into the Gate room of Stargate Command. Sam stood at the bottom of the ramp next to Corinne. He hugged his daughter then turned to Corinne. "Why are you here?"
It was Kelmar who spoke. "Recent events have made it impossible for our operative among the system lords to get the information he needs to fight Anubis."
Jacob's head bowed and Selmak took over. "That does not explain your presence among the Tauri."
"They were able to get information to our operative several months ago," Kelmar replied. "Although they did not know he would be receiving it. The information on where Ba'al had built his fortress sent to Lord Yu several months ago allowed our operative to retain his cover and strike a blow against the system lords alliance. Also, the luck the Tauri have had in repelling Anubis's attacks against their planet may help the operative formulate a strategy for fighting Anubis. If our operative had had this opportunity before the battle at Abydos, Lord Yu may well have done better in that battle."
"I see," Selmak replied. "But why was my presence requested?"
"Your knowledge of Yu's court will be of use to me," Kelmar replied. "Since you have served there before."
"Is that exactly wise?" Sam put in. "I mean, Yu probably knows of Selmak's betrayal before the summit that almost got him killed."
"If he does," Kelmar replied. "I will tell him that Selmak did not really betray him but was working to protect him from a would-be assassin. The Tok'ra sympathizer who had posed as his lotark was using Tok'ra technology to fool him. Selmak was able to catch him before he got away and killed him for his treachery."
Sam looked suddenly upset. Kelmar bowed her head and Corinne emerged. "Sam are you OK?"
Sam nodded. "I'm just a little upset by recent events still."
"I understand," Corinne replied.
Selmak nodded as well and Jacob spoke. "You know I hate seeing you upset," he said with a comforting hand on her arm.
"I know," she said softly. "I'll be fine."
"I hope you took some time off," Corinne said.
Sam shook her head. "Work makes it easier."
Corinne nodded. "We've got to go now," she said with a gestured to the gate. "We'll be coming back here when we finish with this mission so we'll see you in a few days."
Sam turned to signal the control room to dial the address Corinne had given them. "I'll see you when you get back then," she said.
Jacob hugged her as the gate opened. "I'll be back as soon as I can."
Corinne was dressed in fine oriental silk of gold and the dress hugged her body like a second skin. Over the dress however was a large robe made of the same silk only in black and with outlines of dragons embroidered in gold. Her hair fell about her shoulders in soft brown waves, golden highlights helping to illuminate her eyes. Even Lord Yu had to admit that she was a striking woman.
He bowed to her and she returned the gesture of respect. As he rose from the low bow he spied Jacob as he stood behind her. Since Selmak was in control, none of Jacob's nervousness showed, but even the Tok'ra was nervous about this meeting.
"What is this?" Yu asked. "What is this treachery? Why do you bring this traitor into my midst?"
Corinne glanced back at Selmak. "I beg your pardon," Kelmar answered. "But he has not committed any treachery towards you. In fact, he has saved your life."
"Many months ago a man whom you thought was your loyal lotarc came to assassinate you. He failed miserably," Kelmar explained. "The man was a sympathizer of the Tok'ra and used a trick of theirs to get into your court and then to escape. Selmak hunted him down and killed him. I return your loyal servant to you, my Lord."
Yu bowed to her once again then to Jacob. Yu turned back to Kelmar and began to speak in ancient Chinese. He blinked in confusion, as neither Jacob nor Selmak knew the language and both highly doubted that any of the slaves or Jaffa serving Yu would know the obviously Earth language. What surprised them was that Kelmar was speaking it fluently.
Finally, Yu nodded once. He made a gesture to his lotarc, the same lotarc he had had when Jacob was here before. "Jaren will lead you to a room where you may rest and have a meal. I have business to finish with your companion."
Jacob nodded and followed Jaren to a room decorated with fine Chinese linens and furniture. A bed of rich brown wood and four posts was curtained with a sheer red silk. The posts were carved with dragons wrapped around the length in smooth scales.
Jaren left him for several minutes then returned with a tray of fruits and cheeses. Jaren bowed in respect. "Please," he said with a gesture. "Lord Yu wishes for you to relax and enjoy the rewards he offers."
"Lord Yu has believed my companion very easily," Selmak said. "I wonder if he is safe with her."
Jaren smiled. "Lord Yu has known and trusted Kelmar for many years," he told him.
Selmak only bowed to that information. After Jaren had left him, he bowed his head and returned control to Jacob. Jacob stood for a few minutes, thinking and talking to Selmak. Selmak did not know that Kelmar had been so ingrained into Yu's court. Both wondered why she had never mentioned it.
They shrugged it off and Jacob unbuttoned and removed the robe of his costume then slid off the boots he wore. Dressed in the simple silk tunic and slacks that he had been wearing under the robe, he crossed to where Jaren had left the tray of food. As he began to pick at it, Corinne joined him.
"You were probably wondering what that was all about," she said.
"We were wondering," Jacob replied without turning to her. "But it's probably something I'm better off not knowing."
"For now," Corinne replied. She came to stand next to him, leaning up against the post of the bed. Jacob finally looked at her to find that she had gotten rid of the robe and now wore only the silk gown, and his breath caught in his throat. "After we leave tomorrow I will explain things to you."
Jacob swallowed then cleared his throat before he could speak. "I thought we were to stay for several days."
"Yu is concerned that Anubis will take this chance to attack," Corinne explained. "He has decided to move his base of operations elsewhere. His only regret is that he can no longer protect the people here. They have been very faithful in their obedience."
"From what I have seen of Yu, he commands respect," Jacob commented.
"It's because he does not insist he be worshipped as a god," Corinne told him. "He demands respect as an Emperor. In Chinese mythology, Yu was the first great Emperor of China."
"Yu has, however unaware, helped a lot in the fight against the Goa'uld," Jacob replied.
Corinne looked uncomfortable for a few seconds then spoke quickly. "Yeah, right."
Puzzled, Jacob moved closer. "Does this have something to do with what you won't tell me just yet?" he asked softly.
Corinne took a deep breath and nodded. "Are you doing that on purpose?"
Jacob inched a bit closer. "What?"
"Invading my personal space," she replied as she stood up straight.
"Yes," Jacob replied. "Why?"
She put her hand at her neck. "Is it hot in here?"
"Yes," Jacob replied as he took her hand away from her neck. When he kissed her he felt like he had jumped into a pool and was drowning. Selmak was of no help as he had withdrawn to give his host a bit of personal time. Jacob could only thank him for that.
Later, Jacob lay on his side, watching her. Corinne lay on her back, eyes closed as if trying to sleep. Finally, she opened her eyes and looked at Jacob. She smiled crookedly then snuggled up against him. He ran a hand along the bare skin of her shoulder and smiled back. As Jacob opened his mouth to speak, Yu's first prime burst into the room.
Corinne quickly pulled the blankets around her but before Kelmar could admonish the Jaffa, he spoke. "Lord Yu bids you come quickly and follow me to the Chaapa'ai," he said. "Anubis has entered the system."
Jacob quickly slid from the bed and dressed, not in the costume he had been in the day before, but the dark brown clothing that Corinne handed him. Then she dressed herself in the same Tok'ra clothing.
"What of Lord Yu?" Kelmar asked.
"He has a ship hidden in the sun's corona where even Anubis cannot find it," the Jaffa replied. "I am to escort you through the Chaapa'ai then join him there if I can. If not, I will join you on your escape. He will retrieve me when he can."
"He can't..."Jacob whispered to Corinne.
Corinne gave him a stern look that quieted him. "Arak is a member of the Jaffa resistance."
That surprised Jacob. "You're kidding."
"I'm deadly serious," Corinne replied.
They hurried out of the palace and through the town where all hell had broken loose. People rushed about, trying to gather their meager belongings and escape Anubis's wrath.
The ground shook as they made their way to the edge of town. In the clearing leading up to the Stargate, Arak took Corinne's arm and they ran just ahead of Jacob. A blast to the forest behind them caused all three to fall to the ground. As Jacob pulled himself to his feet, another blast from a death glider struck the ground barely two foot behind him, searing his back and head and causing him to fall back to the ground.
Corinne and Arak were a barely safe distance away and she pulled away from his grasp to return to Jacob. "Jacob!" she cried as she turned him onto his side.
"Go!" he ordered.
"Not without you," Corinne replied.
"I'll only slow you down," he replied. "Just go!"
"Jacob," Corinne protested. "I won't."
Jacob winced in pain. "Arak, take her," he ordered. "Get her to safety."
With that, Arak dragged her away. "Jacob!" she screamed. She nodded and was suddenly compliant as Kelmar took over.
Jacob watched as they reached the Stargate. Kelmar dialed, Earth, he noted and sent the IDC signal to Stargate command. They ran and then leapt through. Jacob did not breathe again until the Stargate had closed. He rested his head on his arm and was losing consciousness when the feet appeared in front of his face.
Looking up, he saw a Jaffa with the symbol of Anubis on his forehead. Giving up, he let himself slide into unconsciousness. Before he slipped away, he heard another blast from a ship and felt the Jaffa fall beside him. Forcing his eyes back open, he saw a ring transporter surround him, retrieving him. On board the small craft, he only saw shadows before slipping all the way into unconsciousness.
"Tok'ra IDC, sir," The sergeant reported.
"Open the iris," Hammond ordered.
Sam stood behind them and headed down to the gate room where she was expecting to greet her father. Instead, the Stargate spit out a Jaffa followed by Corinne. Corinne stood quickly and held out her hand. "Don't shoot!"
The Jaffa willingly gave up his weapon to Teal'c and bowed in respect. "You are Arak," Teal'c said.
"Yes," Arak replied. "I have been working with the Tok'ra for many years."
"We thought it only a rumor," Teal'c replied as Sam came up to Corinne.
"Where's my dad?"
It was Kelmar who answered. "There was an attack and he was hit," she reported. "I do not know if he is alive or dead although he was alive when we left him." She bowed her head and Corinne looked back up at her friend with tears in her eyes. "I'm sorry Sam. I didn't want to leave him but he told me to go. Arak dragged me away then Kelmar took over and I couldn't."
"We've got to go back for him," Jack said.
"We can not," Arak said. "The planet is likely taken by Anubis's forces."
"We can't just leave him there," Jack replied.
Corinne nodded then Kelmar spoke. "It is possible that Lord Yu got him out," she said. "Yu is determined to get as many of his people away as possible before escaping himself. It is this concern for his people which makes him seem weak in the eyes of the other system lords."
Sam blinked away tears. "He's going to be OK," she muttered.
Jack put an arm across her shoulders. "Yeah," he said. "Yeah."
"In the meantime," Kelmar went on. "I must speak with General Hammond and SG-1 about a matter of great importance."
Hammond met them in his office and closed the door behind him. He looked at Corinne. "What is this about?"
"Our operative in Yu's court," Kelmar said. "Is Yu himself."
You could almost cut the silence with a knife.
"You're kidding," Jack said.
"I am deadly serious," Kelmar replied.
"But Yu has been a system lord for centuries," Jonas put in.
"That he has," Kelmar replied. "But he has change hosts several times in that time. He has been fortunate enough to have several generations of the same family dedicate their lives to his cause. This keeps his appearance from changing too much and the other system lords noticing his lack of immortality."
"Does Arak know?" Hammond asked.
Kelmar nodded. "He does. Lord Yu chose him as first prime because of rumors that he wished to leave and join the Jaffa rebellion. Arak has been a worthy ally to Lord Yu."
"He is brave to undertake such a dangerous task," Teal'c commented.
"He would give his life to ensure freedom for all Jaffa," Kelmar said. "He would have given his life to save mine and is eager to return and make sure Yu made it away."
"That probably isn't such a good idea," Jack said.
"As I have told him," Kelmar replied. "Yu will send a message if he is safe. If we do not hear from him within 72 hours we must assume he was not able to escape." She bowed her head and Corinne continued. "I'm sure he will let us know Jacob's fate when he contact's us."
Hammond nodded. "We'll keep an ear out for it," he said. "Dismissed." He looked at Sam and gave an almost imperceptible nod.
Corinne lowered herself into a chair as Sam closed the door behind the others leaving them alone. "You OK?" she asked.
"I feel like I've been on an emotional roller coaster," she said.
"I know what you mean," she said as she looked through the window to where Jack was talking with Hammond. She looked back to Corinne. "Do you really think that dad's OK?"
Corinne sighed. "To be honest, I don't know. I feel like if I keep telling myself that he's OK, things will turn out fine."
Sam sat on the arm of the chair. "If we both keep telling ourselves that, maybe he will be."
Jacob was alive. He couldn't believe it but he was alive. He was groggy and Selmak was exhausted but somehow he found the strength to open his eyes. Yu stood over him with a hand device glowing over his wounded back. Seeing that Jacob was awake, he deactivated it and let the still clasped hands hang in front of him.
"How are you feeling?" Yu asked.
"Alive," Jacob replied. "They made it away?"
"They are safely back on Earth," Yu replied.
Jacob jerked, causing himself considerable pain. He moaned.
"Do not move so quickly, Jacob," Yu said as he helped him to a sitting position. "You will re-injure yourself." He paused as Jacob took a few deep breaths to get himself through the pain. "Kelmar told me how you came to be a Tok'ra."
Yu nodded. "I am Tok'ra."
"You're the operative," Jacob said with a realization. He leaned his head in his hand.
"I am," he replied. "Kelmar has fed information to me for centuries. She has become very important to me." He paused to pace the room. "I need you to return to Earth. They will be waiting for a message from me saying that I survived the attack."
"Where from?" Jacob asked.
He gestured to the window. "There," he gestured out the window at the planet below.
"I recognize this planet," Jacob said. "It used to be one held by Apophis."
"I secretly took it when Apophis died," Yu said. "Since then, I have been building it up to use as a backup home." He turned back to Jacob. "If you are well enough, I will escort you to the Stargate."
Jacob nodded. "Selmak can heal the rest of my injuries once I get there."
Sam sat across from Corinne, watching as she picked at her food. "You are going to eat that," Sam ordered.
Corinne gave her a look and shoved a forkful of mashed potatoes in her mouth. "Happy?" she asked with her mouth full.
"Happier than I was a minute ago," Sam replied. She shook her head and turned back to her own meal. The next several minutes were spent in silence until alarms began to blare. Both were up and running to the control room before Siler's voice announced the unauthorized off-world activation.
"IDC coming through, sir," Siler was saying when they got to the control room. "Tok'ra signal, sir."
Sam ran again to reach the gate room. Corinne followed closely almost running into Sam when she stopped suddenly at the base of the ramp. Both looked up at the wormhole to watch as Jacob, still visibly injured, hobbled through. Behind him the wormhole disappeared and Sam called for medical personnel.
Jacob hobbled down and into his daughter's waiting arms. He stopped in front of Corinne. "You made it?"
She smiled and nodded. "Arak is here as well," she said as the Jaffa in question stepped up behind her.
"Yu is waiting at his new base for you," Jacob told him as Dr. Frasier rushed in and helped Jacob to a stretcher.
Corinne stood frozen. The room cleared and she finally took a deep breath and followed.
Jacob hugged Sam as they stood at the base of the ramp in the gate room. After several weeks of recuperation, including a visit to his son and grandchildren, Jacob was leaving to join the Tok'ra. Mark had seemed to like Corinne, thankfully, and had approved of their relationship. Sam was another matter. She hadn't seemed to like Corinne. She had definitely liked Corinne from the start.
"Keep in touch," she told the other woman in her dad's life.
"I have to," Corinne replied. "You are my link to Yu. Things are much more dangerous for him now."
"I know," Sam nodded. "Now that he has convinced the other system lords to go against Anubis, his position would be compromised if they hear he is sympathetic to the Tok'ra."
Corinne nodded once and took Jacob's hand. "We'll be back whenever we are needed here."
"And if you need any down time," Sam put in. "I have that extra bedroom."
Corinne smiled at her subtle hint. "We'll take you up on that offer as soon as we can," she said then gave her one last hug and a kiss on the cheek.
Jacob hugged her once again and gave her a kiss as well, then he and Corinne disappeared through the wormhole.