Author's note: I'm going to break up this next into three short parts covering roughly the same time period.
"What do you mean there is something hidden?" Sam asked after being told Anise's Zatarc detector picked something up.
"There is something that goes contrary to the way you normally think," Anise said plainly enough the roll of the eyes of Ma'chello behind her. The Tok'ra delegation was larger than it seemed necessary. Then again just about everyone at the SGC thought it had been a good thing with Ma'chello and Linea had come along last time when Anise wanted to test the Atoneek armbands.
Of course Sam didn't object to two of the extra visitors. Her father was very welcome, but even more so she found was Martouf. Not that she admitted that to herself right then, just hugged her father, though her eyes seem to seek out Martouf in the aftermath of that embrace. She wished he could stay, but the Tok'ra needed him elsewhere. Still Martouf stayed and that seem to take the pang of regret of her father's departure away.
Now even that small pleasure vanished in the light of this accusation of Samantha being a Zatarc. She didn't mind being in the company of Karen Astor, the fact that her 'self-destruct' was aborted by K-9's entrance and stunning her meant she was around for Samantha to help support and in turn help Samantha through.
"It's scary Major, I wish I could tell you different," Astor said as Carter paced in the room they were given to wait things out. "Whatever the trigger at first I just knew I had to do something, but then I realized what I was doing and couldn't stop myself. I guess that's how you felt with the symbiote you had in your head last year."
Sam guessed she was talking to say something of her own freewill. She had felt something like that after Jolinar had left. To talk because she could talk, not because she was forced to talk.
"It was tough after Jolinar died," Sam was going to add 'lieutenant' with an edge to send the message she didn't appreciate having Jolinar lumped together with other symbiotes, Goa'uld symbiotes at that, from her tone, but how could she know what it was like to be with Jolinar? To have the memories, to know Martouf and Lantash.
Karen waited, there seemed to be more that Major Carter had to say, "But?"
"No buts Astor, just it was tough. I threw myself into work to show I could do it. It was partly the lack of control, the horror of it," and now Sam did shudder, thinking of Martouf was the upswing, the downside was recalling how she, Jolinar, threatened Cassie at the hospital. How she held a grenade threatening to blow everyone up if they didn't let her, let Jolinar, go.
Closing her eyes she remembered snapping at Daniel, and knocking the Colonel across the Gateroom.
"Major?" Astor's voice drew Carter out of her own trip done a very dark memory lane.
"Sorry Lieutenant, I guess I do know what you mean after all," Sam said as she pulled from those particular memories.
"Pardon me, am I interrupting anything," came the softest, sweetest and most welcome voice on this planet to Sam right then, Martouf stood at the doorway.
"General Hammond said I could come in and visit," Martouf said by way of explaining his presence.
Karen picked up a laptop they were given, "I'll go start my report." Not that she had one, but as SG-15's last living member she certainly had words she wanted to say, maybe something she could send to the families of the rest of her late teammates.
They sat at the table provided and for a while just looked at each other. "Ask," Lantash urged, "Or do you want me to do so?"
"No, I will ask," Martouf replied with growing resolve.
"Samantha...do we 'freak' you out?" he said and Sam could hear Karen briefly stopped typing, then resumed, halting once more to pick up her laptop and move even further away.
"Martouf...what brought that on?"
"You did not answer the question," Martouf pointed out, feeling his heart in his throat. Fear worse than death gripped him, however dreading what he imagined her answer was, he knew it was better to find out than keep guessing.
Inwardly he smiled, that certain way she was insistent was adorable, and somewhat like Jolinar. It was an observation that neither host nor symbiote intended to share.
"We had been talking with the other you, the other Samantha," Martouf began and knew Sam made the leap of logic to mean her robotic duplicate, "And she did not seem comfortable around me. Selmak mentioned..."
"Selmak? You mean my dad see me, her I mean?" she did know that intellectually, but it still stirred up a twinge of jealousy as if her father wasn't all hers. It was irrational, she knew it, yet it didn't stop the feeling from persisting.
"Samantha does that bother you?" Lantash asked since Martouf had his own difficult problem to bring up.
"Don't change the subject," Samantha warned, more willing to tackle the former subject than this one, "So I, so she, said you freaked her out?"
"Yes, but it was only when we...pushed," Martouf said the last word very quietly.
"We did not push, we merely forgot," Lantash defended them before Sam jumped too far into the obvious conclusion, "Since she is you for all intents and purposes, we simply forgot to separate our experiences and found ourselves standing too close to her."
"That is when she asked us politly to not stand so close, and in that same moment of confusion I asked why, what was bothering her," Martouf now said and Sam could guess what her duplicate might have said and even how she said it.
She was both irritated that the other Sam did so and moved that Martouf and Lantash were drawn to her, the one who hadn't had Jolinar inside her. Maybe they did love actually her instead of what remained of Jolinar, it was something to consider.
"Perhaps I should wear a bell and collar," Sam muttered humorously, and quickly went to head off what she knew would be an opening for a snark by either the Colonel or Daniel, "Not that you're ever going to see that happen."
Instead she ran into the cultural divide where the two Tok'ra had no frame of reference to understand the humor as Martouf asked, "Why would a bell have helped?"
"Never mind," all of a sudden, none of that was important, "Martouf, Lantash, I hope you won't hurt by her?" She actually took his hand in hers, "You don't 'freak me out,' and before you bring up she is me, she's me before Jolinar. I couldn't have understood what it was like."
"And the you before Jolinar would only see it as a Goa'uld possession, not the willing one a Tok'ra has," Lantash spoke for the three of them this time, slowly he nodded, "I think we do understand Samantha."
Then she saw that shy, yet bright smile of theirs, Martouf clearly saying, "We are glad we don't freak you out Samantha."
It was a smile she couldn't help but return.