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 person, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author.

Rating: R - rated. Deals with rape and its aftereffects.

Special events: Sam gets a new pet.

Status: complete

Author: Pagan Twylight

Author's Note: This is a love story. It deals with the aftereffects of rape and how it can affect a woman's mental health. It is a story about Martouf/Lantash and Sam and how they cope and build a relationship, but it is also a story of the love between friends, as we see Daniel and Sam's deep caring for one another, and the lengths to which Daniel will go to help Sam. I've tried to add some humor, so that it's not all angst. I hope you enjoy it.

Won Second Place 2005 Isis Award

Won First Place 2005 Stargate Fan Awards in Both Best Romance and Best Angst.

"Italics" – Symbiote-Host communication

When Angels Fall

Chapter One

Seeing the Truth

Narim stood in the shadows of the building and watched the couple walking in the formal gardens. It did not take genius to tell that they were in love. Very much in love. He sighed softly on the evening air. He had been sent to get them, but now he hated to intrude; he did not want to have to disturb them, neither did he want to cause himself more pain by observing the beautiful blond Major and the other man who loved her, up close.

Reaching the end of the garden, the couple turned and headed back toward the building. Martouf looked down at Samantha and suddenly knew he must do as Lantash had been urging for months. He must say something to her, let her know at least of his affection for her. With this thought in mind, he took a deep breath.

"Samantha," he managed to say, before his throat closed up. What was Lantash doing that he was not helping here? "I am just as nervous as you are. Try again and I will pay more attention to your bodily functions, than to what you are saying. Or not saying, as the case seems to be," Lantash assured him.

"Yes?" She turned slightly toward him.

"Samantha, I, that is, Lantash and I, we feel that we must tell you of some of our feelings," he began softly. "I, we, have great feelings of affection for you. We have both come to care for you very much. We know you are still trying to decide if you have any feelings for us other than those given you by Jolinar. I, we, want you to know that we understand and are willing to wait while you sort your feelings out. We only wished to assure you of our growing feelings for you. Moreover, we are sure they do not involve Jolinar in any way. We have become very fond of you, Samantha."

"I don't know what to say. I'm very fond of you, also. And that is Samantha Carter talking, not Jolinar." Sam ducked her head to hide the tears. Fondness and affection were a long way from what she felt for this man.

Hearing the crunch of footsteps coming toward them, she looked up, grateful for both the interruption and the diversion that would allow her to control herself, before Martouf noticed the tears waiting to fall. Turning her head slightly, she quickly brushed her cheeks, as Narim garnered Martouf's attention. She did not see the quick look he shot her way as he engaged the Tok'Ra in conversation.

"I have been sent to let you know that you are wanted in the council chamber. The girl, Taira, has been released from the Goa'uld that took her and she wishes to thank you both. Without you, she would still be in slavery. Her sister, Serata, is undergoing the procedure now, and we should know soon, if it was successful."

"I'm glad," Sam said. "It was a traumatic experience for them. I'm glad the team and the Tok'Ra got all of us out of there."

Sam tried to block the time she had spent as a guest of the minor system lord, Gamtesh, but visions of the week and a half spent in his stronghold kept flashing through her mind. Martouf stared down at her, as she turned pale.

"What is it, Samantha?" He asked anxiously.

"They were all raped, repeatedly. We should go in and see how she's doing. Has she decided what she wishes to do? Her people are not as technologically advanced as some, but neither are they," she looked squarely at Narim, and smiled slightly, "Primitive."

Smiling fully at her, Narim said in his soft, quiet way, "Never will you forgive Omac for calling your people that. He has changed his mind and wording, you know, and adopted the kinder term, young, from the Nox. He truly respects Daniel's, and your, actions in whisking us away. He is aware of the risks you all ran in standing up to your government in such a way, and he has never forgotten." Narim said, as they all walked towards the buildings.

"I'm glad. We tried to do what we could, although Colonel O'Neill and I had to be very careful."

"He knows and, if he had been in the city, he would have been here to tell you himself. It is unfortunate that he has been called away. He would truly like to see all of you," Narim said, as he smiled at her and opened the door to the building that they might go inside.

"As for Taira and her sister, they have elected to join the people of Argos. The Argosians can use their skills, so it will be a beneficial pairing for both parties. Taira and her sister have never known a land of plenty that does not take a great deal of labor to bring forth its fruits. The Argosians, as their population increases and ages, are going to need more people to teach them how to sow, reap, and generally grow as a people. It will, I believe, be a good match. And the Argosians are a kind people, as are those of the Land of Light."

Holding up his hand to Samantha, he continued, "Omac was in much distress at the time. For us, the people of the Land of Light, would have been a disaster, but for younger races, their world is a paradise and they are indeed kind to take in refugees of the Goa'uld. My point, though, was that the Argosians will do what they can to help the girls to heal after what they have been through, if only by being kind to them and loving them."

"You're right, of course, and they'll do well there I think. The people there are, as you say, very nice and sweet," Sam agreed.

"I do not believe I know these peoples," Martouf said, as they paused to open another door.

"Oh, well, remind me to tell you about them. Or," she grinned, "You could ask the Colonel to tell you about his two week stay there."

As they entered the room, a girl of no more than sixteen, launched herself at Samantha, crying and laughing at the same time. "Oh, Sam, it is gone, it is gone." Sam folded her in her arms and hugged her, "I'm glad, Taira. How are you doing otherwise? Has Daniel been taking care of you?" She asked gently, as she looked over the girl's head to Daniel, who shrugged and shook his head. Evidently, he had accomplished little in getting the girl to accept being around a man without flinching. Sam was having a little trouble with it occasionally herself.

As Martouf caught the look of sympathy on Daniel's face, as it was directed not only at the girl, but also at Sam, he stiffened beside her. They were raped repeatedly, she had said. Only now did he realize she had been speaking of the girls, but could have been speaking of herself. He felt as if a knife had been stuck into his ribs, and he could not breath, thinking about what had to have happened to his beautiful Samantha. No Goa'uld into inflicting that type of torture and pain would have passed up a chance to have her. He closed his eyes for a moment against the nausea he felt at what had happened to her. Opening them, his eyes caught Daniel's, who nodded his head slightly.

Lantash took over to allow Martouf some time to assimilate what he had already realized, the confirmation from Daniel all that had been needed. They had known, of course, that she had been tortured. She still bore the bruises and the chaffing from her bonds. He only wished he had been aware at the time. He would have killed a few more Jaffa and made Gamtesh's death slower and more agonizing.

He must remain calm for Martouf, who had not realized until this second. Lantash sighed, and turned to try to soothe him, while the conversation flowed around them. He felt Daniel come to stand beside him, as Samantha moved to the other side of the room with the young girl.

That it had happened at all had been a fluke. From what they could piece together from Samantha's jumbled memories, she had fallen and been knocked unconscious. She had woken up a prisoner of Gamtesh. Her team had not even realized she was not behind them until it was to late. It had taken a week and a half to mount a rescue mission. The girls and women she had befriended were grateful for the rescue, but these two especially so, as Samantha had insisted they take them and get the Tollan to help them. They had only been hosts for a day or so before the rescue attempt, and Samantha had formed an attachment to them before they were taken.

As if reading his thoughts, Daniel said, "I know. Jack, Teal'c, and I've all felt the guilt, believe me. It was all so simple and so unnecessary. We still find it hard to believe that none of us were aware that she tripped, and we didn't realize she wasn't still bringing up the rear until it was too late. We didn't know she wasn't behind us."

"If Jack had allowed it, I'd have gone back for her then and there and, of course, I'd have been captured and probably be dead by now. It's a shame we couldn't have saved more of the people, but the few we did get out were worth it to me. And these two girls were the only two taken as hosts."

Lantash nodded and then cleared his throat to ask in a near whisper, "Has she spoken of it at all? Do you know how bad for lack of a better word, it was?"

Also speaking in a low quiet tone, so as not to be overheard by those in the group next to them, Daniel said, "She's not had time to talk to anyone, and since she appears, at least outwardly, to be alright, the military is almost ignoring it. She's set to see a psychiatrist when we get back. A woman, not McKenzie," he said, with satisfaction in his voice. Daniel had still not forgotten or forgiven McKenzie for assuming he was nuts, instead of looking for an alien influence, for his own bizarre behavior after a mission once.

"And this psychiatrist, she will be able to help her?" Lantash asked almost harshly, as he remembered the mental trauma their own agents had been through on many assignments. Their healers had become quite adept at helping them with the aftereffects of it.

"I don't know. Sam's pretty self-contained. She may not let the woman get close enough to help her. Only time will tell. We'll just have to watch her for signs of depression, you know, not sleeping, not eating, all of that," Daniel said, his voice matter of fact.

"That is unacceptable," Lantash hissed, furiously. "She must not be allowed to become this way before something is done." The visual image Daniel's words brought to mind did nothing to reassure him that she would be properly taken care of.

"Hey, I don't like it any better than you do, but if Sam won't cooperate with the Doc. there isn't much we can do. She has to be willing to get help before we can help her, and sometimes, that takes time after something like this. Especially, for someone as self sufficient as Sam. She's going to be dealing with feelings of inadequacy because being a soldier, she'll feel she failed, that she shouldn't have been taken prisoner. There may even be some feelings that she deserves what happened because she got captured. It's a very complex situation, Lantash. We can't force her to tell us what happened or tell us how she feels. Unless and until she does, our hands are kind of tied. Once she starts to show symptoms that make her unfit for duty, then we can force her into some heavy-duty therapy. Not before," Daniel said, defensively.

"Is Jacob aware of what occurred?" Lantash asked, tersely.

"I don't know; I just know that other than confirming it happened, Sam has refused to talk about it, and asked us not to either. If you hadn't realized it yourself, I wouldn't have said anything to you," Daniel replied.

"She did not request that I not speak of it, Dr. Jackson, and I feel I must at least inform Jacob. The Tok'Ra have seen this in our own agents when they are captured and tortured. Our healers are quite adept at managing the aftereffects. If you do not think your own people will be of much help to her, until she has suffered for weeks or months, it might be wise to accept our help." Lantash looked directly at Daniel.

"Jack would fight you," Daniel said softly. "But, if Jacob is in favor, I'll support the suggestion; I'll even help to convince him, but Sam herself will probably fight it."

"I am sorry, but standing here I could not help, but hear your conversation." Both men looked startled at Narim's sudden statement; they had forgotten he was still standing with them. "Could you not simply have her father request her company, a break after her ordeal, and once with the Tok'Ra; perhaps, it could be worked around too gently and tactfully."

They looked at him for a moment, before looking at each other. They nodded in unison. It would work if Jacob would go along with the plan, and Daniel couldn't see him not agreeing with something so important. Sam might just go for it, as she hated being around when she knew people were talking about her and what she had experienced. He could work on her, he knew how to convince her of some things and this, he was suddenly determined, would be one of them.

"That's an excellent idea, Narim. I'm kinda surprised you'd go for anything the least underhanded, but I'm glad you did."

"I do not believe it is underhanded, Daniel, simply expedient. No doubt, her father would enjoy her company, and she could use the break from people talking about her, as they will no doubt do. If she happens to be soothed and healed while she is there, so much the better." He explained quietly.

Narim was well aware that he had just delivered his Sher'mau, his angel, into the hands of his rival. Looking at her sadly from across the room, he realized that his angel had fallen. When Angels fall, they can be injured, and it was more important that she be healed, than that his heart not be broken. Bowing to the two men, he made his way to Samantha and the girl, Taira. Speaking softly, as he always did, he soon had her smiling shyly.

As the door opened, the sister, Serata, came slowly into the room accompanied by one of the Tok'Ra women. Seeing her sister, she came towards them a smile on her face for her sister. Seeing the man standing there, her steps faltered, but she approached anyway. She was a beautiful girl; Black hair and green eyes were paired with white skin to make an arresting picture. Perhaps in her middle twenties, she was much older than her sister was.

As she joined the group, she turned to Narim, "I must thank you and your people for all you have done for us. We will always be grateful that such as you are here and able to help such as us." Her voice was quiet and soft, in the manner of Narim's. She turned to her sister, who made room for her to sit next to her and Samantha.

"I also wish to thank you, Samantha, for without you, we would not have escaped. I have told your Colonel already, how grateful I am that you insisted we be rescued, also. He is a good man, I think."

Sam colored and nodded to her, "You're very welcome, Serata. I'm just really glad it worked out for you, and I'm sorry it ever happened to you."

Serata smiled and said, "I do believe you, for you have proven that your heart is good and that you will do without thought or regret that which most would shun."

Talk amongst them soon became general. Narim had placed himself between Samantha and the room and he proceeded to talk of Argos and the Argosian people to the girl, the young woman, and Samantha. Across the room, Lantash and Daniel stood watching, to make sure Narim managed to stay and talk to them. While he placed himself between the room and Samantha, they approached Sam's dad. Before they reached him, Daniel said, "That's taking a lot of courage."

Frowning at him, Lantash asked, "Of what do you speak, Dr. Jackson?"

"Do you think you could, maybe, after all this time, make it Daniel? And I was speaking of Narim. He just handed Sam to you. A pretty generous gesture, if you ask me," Daniel said.

Lantash stopped walking and touched Daniel's arm, "What exactly do you mean, Daniel?" He asked, as he acquiesced to Daniel's request.

Daniel too stopped and turned back to Lantash, "I mean that he's in love with her, and has been since the first time he laid eyes on her."

"Why would he suggest this plan if that is true?" Lantash asked.

"Because he loves her enough to want her to be happy and healthy, mentally and physically. I just hope you love her as much." After dropping his bombshell, Daniel turned and walked quickly to the group in which Sam's dad stood. They wouldn't have much more time as the sister had been brought in. Soon, they would all be leaving.

"Jacob, we need to have a discussion about Samantha's well-being." Lantash said quietly, so as not to be overheard, as Daniel talked to the Tollans who were in the group. Looking swiftly at him, and seeing the grimness, as well as the fact that it was Lantash who was speaking, he glanced at Daniel, and agreed.

Daniel excused them all on some pretext or other, and walked a few feet away, but not so far that Narim was no longer between them and Sam.

Lantash cleared his throat and looked at Daniel, who said, "You know, Jacob, Sam said the sisters and some of the others were raped repeatedly."

"Yeah, I know. I'm sure she did everything she could to help them. Is it bothering her a lot?" Jacob asked, curiously.

"Jacob," Lantash said, quietly, "Samantha is one of the others.

Jacob stood as if turned to stone, and Selmak came forward, "I was not going to bring it to his attention just yet, Lantash. Why have you done so?"

"Because the Tau'ri do not have the ability to deal with the consequences that we do," Lantash replied, bluntly.

"Um, it's not that we don't have the ability to deal with it, so much as it's; will Sam allow anyone on base to help her cope? I don't think she will, because she's already fighting having to speak to the psychiatrist about it. I don't think she'll really cooperate, and by the time we realize how badly it's affecting her, she'll have suffered alone, perhaps, for weeks or longer. The trauma of being held prisoner and tortured will be bad enough. This will be an added burden for her already burdened system to cope with. Yeah, I know she appears to be coping fine, until you look close and see that she's very pale, she lost weight while she was held and you can tell she hasn't been sleeping well, if at all."

As Jacob took control, he swore sharply and asked, "So what do you want to do about it? You both obviously have a plan or you wouldn't be here like this with someone shielding Sam from seeing us talking. Yeah, I figured that out real quick, I know. Thank Sel. It's a shame I was dead to the rest of what she must be going through."

"Do not blame yourself, Jacob, Samantha is hiding it very well. It was only a chance remark she made that led me to realize what had occurred," Lantash said.

"Okay, fine. I won't. But, that doesn't answer my question. What's the plan?" Jacob asked tersely.

"Well, um, you know, Sam hates it when she's being talked about and we thought that, since you haven't had much time with Sam lately, you could, maybe, ask her to come with you to the Tok'Ra for a while. You know, father-daughter time. Once she's there, perhaps someone with some tact can begin to get her to talk, or whatever it is your people do for them," Daniel murmured quickly. "We'd need to get the General's okay, but somehow, I don't think he'd protest. He knows what could happen."

"She hasn't talked to anyone about this? Not even Janet?" Jacob asked.

"Not that I know of, Jacob. Janet said that all Sam had done was confirm it, ask not to talk about it, and be relieved there weren't consequences."

"Perhaps, we should go back to the Tau'ri world so that you may talk to General Hammond," Lantash suggested.

"Yeah, I think I will," Jacob agreed.

"I will accompany you," Lantash stated, firmly.

"All right. But, how are we gonna explain our sudden decision to visit earth?" Jacob asked.

"Couldn't you say you wish to see your son?" Daniel asked. "I know it would mean a day or so away from Sam, but perhaps we could have Lantash and Martouf decide they want to see more of earth. Just a thought. A day or two and then the General can let Sam go with you back to your base."

"It might work, it has been a while since I've seen my grandkids. Okay, and I'll say Martouf wished to see more of earth culture, he's been bugging me, so while I'm visiting Marc, he can be shown around by Daniel and you can ask Sam to go along, or get suddenly busy or something. Or for that matter just keep him occupied on the base 'til I get back." Jacob was making plans as he went along.

"We'll think of something, Jacob, but right now, Narim is throwing looks our way, so he must be wanting us to hurry up," Daniel said. "I'm going to go find Jack and Teal'c and see if we are ready to go yet. I think Sam wants to take the girls to the Argosians before we go home though."

"In that case, Lantash and I'll go to Earth while you're doing that. It will give me a chance to talk to George alone, too."

"Okay, we'll see you there," Daniel agreed, as he started to move away.

Narim watched as the three men parted company, and then he turned back and smiled at Samantha, as he said, "I believe the ladies should gather their belongings, for it will not be long now and it will be time for you to leave.

"Narim's right," Sam said, as she rose from her seat. "Why don't you gather your things, and we'll meet back here. If I haven't found the Colonel and the rest of my team, just wait here until we come back, Okay?"

The young women nodded and went in search of their few belongings. They had very little to call their own, but the clothes they had been given to wear and the clothing, what little of it there was, that they had been wearing in the Goa'uld's harem. A place Samantha hoped never to see again. She wasn't sure which had been worse, the stinking prison and the torture or the opulent concubines quarters and the torture plus rapes. Either way, she shuddered whenever either one came to mind.

Pushing the thoughts away, she turned to Narim, "I want to thank you again, for what you've done." As she looked up at him, she wondered, not for the first time, why she couldn't have loved someone like him. Maybe she should just forget Martouf and Lantash, and concentrate on seeing if she could bring herself to love Narim.

"Walk with me, Samantha?" He asked her gently.

"All right."

"Let us go out onto the balcony. It overlooks the courtyard gardens and has a very nice view," he said, as he led her toward the doorway.

Once outside she took a breath and turned back to him, as she leaned her hip against the balustrade.

Before she could say anything, Narim spoke, "Please do not, Samantha. You have never been other than honest with me, so do not be less so with yourself. He loves you very much, as you love him. I do not know what the problem between you is, but it will work out."

Sam gasped, as his words hit her, and she turned to look out into the courtyard as she said, "Narim, he doesn't care for me that way, although you're correct and I believe I do care for him," she paused, and then whispered, "In that way."

"Samantha, I watched how he was with you in the gardens. He loves you very much. Give him some encouragement and you will see."

Sam shook her head, as she again faced him. "They are fond of me and have much affection for me," She told him.

Narim smiled, sadly, "Is that what he said? He is hiding his feelings to keep from being hurt. I do not know what has occurred between you; I only know what I saw. He is in love with you. Reaching out a hand, he brushed a tear from her cheek.

She laughed shortly, and said, "I don't know what's the matter with me. I cry at everything." She wiped at her cheeks.

"Perhaps your recent ordeal is to blame. Tears are not something to be ashamed of," He said, gently.

"No, but hurting someone is," she whispered.

"Samantha, you did not promise me anything, and I will always remember you, for you are my Sher'mau. My angel." He paused, and then taking a breath he said, "Just remember, my Sher'mau, that sometimes when angels fall, they, too, need help to get back up. Do not close out those who love you, and wish only to help, protect, and heal you. Let them help, so that my Sher'mau, can once again soar."

Hearing a slight sound, they turned toward the door to see Daniel and Martouf standing there. Narim did not know how long they had been standing there, nor did he particularly care. With a slow polite bow to them, and then another to Samantha Carter, Narim turned and walked away.