Category: Drama, Romance
Rating/Warnings: NC-17. Sex, a little violence. No real spoilers, though perhaps slight ones for Jolinar's Memories/The Devil You Know, In the Line of Duty, Tok'ra I & II
Summary: During an undercover mission to Bastet's court, Jolinar's and Lantash's hosts are mortally wounded. They each get a new host - Rosha and Martouf. What happens then? How do these two new hosts react to suddenly being part of a long-term relationship?
Author's notes: Takes place about 20 years before Tok'ra I & II. ~ is host/symbiote talking internally, and bold is symbiote speaking
Written for Het Big Bang
Chapter 1: Preparations
I get out of bed at the first strike of the morning bell. I have slept badly tonight, knowing they will come for me in about an hour. Today I turn 20, and it is my turn to get married, like my sister, Noska was last year.
She tells me it is not so bad. Usually. She claims it only took a couple of weeks to get used to giving what her husband has the right to take. She is lucky, and her husband is relatively kind, and not bad looking. Not like some of my friends, who seems to have been beaten every time I see them.
My mother tells me it is because they are bad wives, who try to deny their husband his right. It doesn't exactly reassure me.
Not all is bad about this, though. Noska now has a small child, a son, which she gave birth to about a month ago. Her husband was happy, and gave her a month off from work. It seems to have done her good. She is happier.
I sigh and put on my normal dress, then go to the kitchen to eat with my parents and my younger siblings.
There are still some time before I am taken to be bathed, dressed, prepared. Making me look as good as possible. Not for my sake, but for the sake of my family and my future husband. I feel like I am being sold like a piece of chattel - which I guess is not a bad comparison.
I again very much hope my parents have found me a kind husband!
"Rosha, it is time to go to the bath house and prepare for your wedding. The priestesses are here."
"Yes, mother." So, the time has come, then. Nervous, but not wanting to appear weak - not wanting to alarm my younger siblings - I get up and give my family a bleak smile. Bowing lightly to my parents, I step out the door, saying goodbye to the life there.
I follow the priestesses to the large temple to Ishkur. They take me through a long corridor to the back chambers. I have never been in here, and I would have found it interesting if I hadn't been so nervous.
Eventually we reach our destination - a large room with a big pool in the floor. The air is thick with steam and the scent of the flowers and perfumes in the water.
The head priestess turns to me, removing her veil. She has hard, piercing eyes, without any kindness in them. "Undress, girl."
Too afraid to do or say anything else, I obey and soon stand naked. The head priestess slowly circle me, looking at me with a sharp look.
"A bit too thin, but otherwise well proportioned. Good breasts and behind. Her hips are somewhat narrow - but she should still be able to give her husband many children. Her hair and eyes are of an unusual colour, so that should make him appreciate her more. Wash her, and make sure to check she is still untouched - we do not want any unpleasant surprises at the conclusion of the ceremony."
She leaves me in the hands of the younger priestesses, who bathe me - and examine me in most embarrassing ways, touching me places no one else has. I do not like this, but except for the youngest, none of the priestesses seems to feel any compassion for me. Perhaps I deserve none. This happens to all women - who am I to complain?
When they have finished bathing, perfuming, and clothing me, the head priestess returns. They tell her I am ready - and that they have checked and found me untouched. She nods and goes to a nearby table, picking up a heavy headpiece for me.
I am wearing several layers of clothing, the outer dress a shining blue colour. It is very long, hanging to just above the floor. On my feet I wear shoes - the first time ever, since I have never worn anything but sandals or boots before. They are the same colour as my outer dress, but they are completely hidden by it. The blue dress is decorated with a wealth of embroidery. They have also put a necklace on me, and over it all, a veil almost too thick to see through.
All of this is paid for by my husband, who must be quite rich. Is this a good sign? Normally, the bride only wears the thin under dress, which only her husband will see her in - and the priestesses, of course - and an outer dress, normally less decorated than this.
I think I'm happy I was born in early spring! It is still relatively cool outside - wearing this in the height of summer would have been unpleasant to say the least!
The head priestess puts the heavy headdress on me - it is made of thick wool, but decorated with a kind of metal crown - from the tops of it, flower wreaths are handing. It is supposed to symbolize fertility and loyalty to my future husband and to our god Ishkur, and it belongs to the temple - every bride must wear it, for good luck.
Finally I am ready to go to the ceremony. I am taken to a small chamber where I am told to wait. Unable to sit in all the clothing, I stand against the wall, trying to calm myself. I keep panicking.
The door opens, and for a moment I think they have come for me, but it is instead the youngest of the priestesses, the one with the kind smile. She slips into the room, putting a finger to her mouth, telling me to be quiet.
"Rosha..." she whispers. "They will be her in a moment. Take this." She hands me a small bottle. "It contains a drug which will help you when your husband makes you his. Take it just after they give you the ritual fruitwine."
"Thank you." I look at the bottle. "What will it do? Make me unconscious?"
"No, that will not do. It will make the experience...less painful. Hopefully pleasurable- if you are fortunate."
I nod and thank her again, hiding the small bottle among my clothes.
The ceremony is just about to start. I make a side-ways glance at my future husband. He is tall and strong looking, and not unattractive, in a savage way. However, he hasn't smiled once that I have seen, except for a lecherous grin at one of his friends, who said something I didn't hear - about me, I fear.
Suddenly there is a whining noise from above. We all look up to see deathgliders. Why has Ishkur sent these?
"It must be a sign my betrothed will bring bad luck!" My husband-to-be exclaims, snarling. "She is a wicked woman and she will not be my wife." He turns to my parents to complain - and likely demand they pay him back the money he has given them for me.
He doesn't have time to say anything, though, as one of those flying machines starts firing at us, and everyone scatters, screaming.
We run, hide in the temple, hoping Ishkur will see our dedication to him and protect us. Everywhere people are crying and shaking from fear. We all know the Jaffa will come soon.
Actually, part of me is grateful this happened, as I will not get married to that evil man who obviously would not care for me. I immediately feel ashamed. Several were wounded in the attack, and we can hear the deathglidersfiring still. There will be much death and devastation.
I wonder why we are being punished? I do not believe the claim that it is myfault - though I realise I may well be held accountable. Such is the rules of our world.
Suddenly, I almost wish the Jaffa will come and take me away. Perhaps our god just needs servants to work for him on one of his other worlds. It would be better to be taken there.
But what if they have not come for slaves? What if they have come for... hosts? Or just to kill, as punishment for unknown crimes? Death is preferable to being a host. We all know that. The stories...I shudder just thinking of them.
Suddenly there is an explosion of some kind. A blinding light and then all is black.