~ is internal speak between host and symbiote

bold is the symbiotes speaking with the symbiote voice

We have built a fire and made a soft place to lie from some of the grass. We have also helped the half-unconscious Martouf and Lantash to get in here, and to get out of their damp clothing. They are now sitting near the fire, wrapped in a blanket and dosing off.

Jolinar waste no time getting rid of our clothing as well, and then draping a blanket around us before putting the wet clothing out on rocks in the cave, to allow it to dry quickly.

She then finds the healing device and goes to check on Martouf and Lantash.

~A light concussion...a broken rib...multitude of scratches...twisted ankle...~ Jolinar observes as she scans him, then sets out to heal him.

He makes a relieved sound as the pain disappears and the wounds heal even faster than what Lantash was doing.

"Thank you." He looks at her, grateful and tired - but still with a hint of suspicion.

"You still worry? You still don't trust that I am who I told you I am? I am Jolinar of Malkshur, and this is Samantha Carter of the Tau'ri - my...new host.~ Jolinar decides not to go into all the stuff about me not being a willing host, and I suspect it is a good idea. That is for later, when he believes her again. Trusts her. Wordlessly, we take out two food rations and a water canteen from the bag, and give him one of the food rations. He takes it, grateful.

"I don't know." He admits, as he rips open the food ration and begin to eat it. Then he shudders again from the cold. "Maybe later when I am again able to think clearly. Both Lantash and I are still confused...and we are having a hard time getting warm."

Jolinar looks at him, her heart melting. "My poor sweethearts." She opens the water canteen and takes a drink, then hands it to him. He drinks as well, and looks at Jolinar as she sits on the hay and pats the spot beside her. "Come, let us warm each other, then we will talk tomorrow. You do trust me enough for that, do you not?"

Martouf nods slowly. "Yes, I do." He stuffs the last of the food into his mouth and sits down beside us.

Jolinar smile at him and we lie down together, wrapping both blankets around each other. It is strange, but also very nice to lie beside him...them, like this. Strange and very wonderful. Martouf and Lantash are both tired and fall asleep almost immediately. Jolinar and I enjoy having them close and safe with us. We enjoy this feeling for a little while before we slowly drift off to sleep.

I wake up first the next morning - well, first of me and Jolinar, at least. I notice no one is lying beside us, and when I look up I don't see Martouf and Lantash. Worried, I hurry up from the 'bed' and grab my clothes, throwing them on. They really do not qualify much as clothes, being what a female Goa'uld minor Lord wears, but the cave is still nice and warm from the fire, even if it is down to embers now.

Concentrating, I sense the energy signature of Lantash - and I feel a little proud that I managed to do that on my own! I am also very relieved, since it means he hasn't left. I grab the water canteen and two food rations.

I walk around the small corridor/twist in the cave and see Martouf and Lantash are sitting on a rock near the entrance, semingly deep in thought. They seem to be much better today, and look rested. I smile, feeling my heart beat faster. They really are attractive!

A few steps are all I manage to take before they react to my presence and turn towards - or Lantash - I have not yet learned to tell them apart, look at me for a moment, questioning. "I'm sorry...Samantha...Car-ter, that is your name, correct?"

So, it's Lantash. He looks really cute as he is trying to figure out how to address me.

"Yes. Samantha Carter. So you knew I weren't Jolinar?"

Lantash nods. "Yes, she is never uncertain in her steps. You worried how we would react to you - even if she did, she would not show it like that. She is much too proud for that - too proud for her own good, often."

"Uh, okay." I smile at him, a little uncertain. Well, he's right about that! I am feeling nervous. I wish Jolinar would wake up, but I also know she needs to sleep after healing us yesterday, and also spending energy on healing Martouf and Lantash with the healing device. "Um, do you want food?" I hold out a food ration to him.

"Thank you, yes. I am quite hungry." He gives me a warm and charming smile which makes my knees buckle.

I hand him one of the food rations and open the other, sitting down on a rock beside him to eat. It is really nice, sitting here beside him.

We finish out food in silence. Then Lantash turns towards me, looking earnestly at me.

"I am sorry, what do I call you? Samantha or Carter or Samantha Carter?"

I giggle a little, nervously, feeling stupid by my school girl behaviour. Please, self, tell me I am not developing a crush on my symbiote's mate?

"Uh, Carter is my family name, strangers might use both names, or call me 'Miss Carter' - or, given I am a soldier, 'Captain Carter'. Captain is my rank. My superiors will call me Carter or Captain Carter also. Friends and family call me Sam - it's a shortened form of my first name, 'Samantha'." I know I am blabbering, and take a deep breath, hoping Lantash doesn't think I am silly or something.

He nods and does not look as if he thinks I am foolish. "Since you are host to my mate, and would normally also become my mate, I do not believe I can be considered a stranger. I shall use your first name, though I find Samantha to be prettier than Sam. Do you mind if I call you Samantha? You are much too beautiful to be called Sam."

"Ah, of course not. You can call me Samantha. I...I think I might like that." I blush. Why is Jolinar sleeping instead of helping me with this? Then I notice something. "Uh, I would be your...mate because I'm host to Jolinar?"

"Yes." He smiles at me, and runs his gaze over my body. From the look on his face he really appreciates what he sees - and the clothing I wear does not hide much, a fact that is suddenly very obvious to me. "Does this concern you? Do you, perhaps, have another mate at home?"

"No, I don't have a mate, no - nor anyone I'm seeing or anything. I'm...I'm, available. Don't get me wrong...you're very attractive...and from what I know about you, I think I'd like you. A lot. And Martouf as well. You're both kind, intelligent, wonderful...people. It's just..." I don't know what to say. Jolinar did not want me to tell them about me not wanting to remain her host, not yet. "It's just that I don't know you very well yet. I mean, in person, and my people like to get to know each other before becoming ...mates."

"I understand." Lantash nods. "Martouf and I are mourning Rosha, and we would like some time to do that before we are ready to be your mates completely. However, I think we should start to get to know each other." He gently puts an arm around me, then leans in to kiss me. He stopps, just before doing so. "Will you permit this?"

"Ye...yes!" I manage to get out, swallowing.

Our lips meet, and I close my eyes, focusing on the kiss. It is sweet and gentle, without any urgency, but very full of emotion. I have never experienced so wonderful a kiss. I feel myself react to him and I return the kiss. After a few moments more, he pulls back. Opening her eyes, Sam looked into his, seeing they were dark with desire. So he obviously wanted her. Sam sighed, admitting to herself she wanted him too.

"So, Samantha...please tell me about yourself, and how you came to be Jolinar's host."

We have talked for some time, Martouf and Lantash taking turns to be in control. I tell them many things about myself, my life, and my planet, and they are genuinly interested. They are easy to talk to, and I find myself relaxing and having fun with them.

I know they want to know how I came to be Jolinar's host, but I don't know what to say. Then, the more I ask questions about them and their life, the more they seem to wonder. I realise much of this is stuff I would know, had Jolinar and I blended.

"Samantha...forgive me, but have you and Jolinar lost some memories, or...have you not blended yet? If not, then why are she not sharing with you?" Lantash sounds like he is worried - and beginning to become angry at Jolinar. He is clearly suspecting something is not as it should be.

"Uh, we have only been together for, um, about ten days. Much of that time we were weak, as an ashrak almost killed us."

"An ashrak! Why didn't you tell us about that? Are you all right? You should not have risked coming here if you are still weak! And Jolinar used energy to heal us also!" Lantash looks horrified.

"She's okay, though I guess it will be some time before she is completely herself. at least, as far as I understand. She's still sleeping, recuperating."

"Good. Let her sleep!" He looks somewhat relieved.

Martouf takes over. "She must be tired then, for our Jolinar will not agree to rest so much, unless she is exhausted." He frowns. "Still, even if you were wounded by the ashrak, and are still tired, I would have thought Jolinar would have blended with you? It is easier on the symbiote - less stressful - to be blended, and she can easier draw strength from her host. You must not allow her to be heroic like that - this way she is also keeping you less than fully informed about everything you should know. It is not strange you do not know much about us."

"Ah, I...kinda...is probably at fault for that." I blush. "I didn't want to blend. Uh, my people are very private, and the thought of sharing my thoughts with someone else like that is scaring me a little. Or a lot."

"I see." Martouf looks as if he is not comprehending. "You should know then, that you will not long consider Jolinar a stranger, and you will not mind sharing all with her. It goes both ways, you know, and she will share much with you. It is also stressful not to be blended, and in time, dangerous. For both of you."

"We didn't mean for this to be permanent - well, I mean, not at first anyway."

"You do know it is potentially very dangerous for Jolinar to leave you, especially when she's as weak as now?" Martouf looks a bit accusatory and sad at me. "Why did you not tell us immediately?"

"We didn't know how to tell you, and Jolinar thought we should wait. And I agreed. Uh, and the thing about me being her host? It, ah, you know, it just, ah, kinda happened." I confess. "I mean, we didn't even know about the Tok'ra and I thought she was a Goa'uld at first and fought her and all, but I wouldn't do that now. I think we are beginning to get along."

Lantash takes over again, his eyes flashing. He looks really angry now. "Do you mean to say Jolinar took you? Without asking? You are an unwilling host?"

I am suddenly very afraid I have messed up everything. Why didn't we think through what to say?

"At first I was. I mean, she didn't mean to - she did think I was offering myself as her host, but I didn't know she was there, and I then I panicked when she jumped into me." I blabber. "The Council wanted to punish her, but we couldn't let you die. They wouldn't send out anyone to rescue you, so we decided to go..."

"The Council wants to punish Jolinar, and she then ran off with an unwilling host, putting that host in further danger? Please repeat the whole story from the beginning!" Lantash looks angrier than I have ever seen anyone be - and so very disappointed in his mate. It hurts to see that pain.

I take a deep breath and start from the beginning, making sure to explain that I was giving mouth-to-mouth on the man that Jolinar was in, and that there was a lot of confusion, meaning she thought I was offering even though I couldn't know she was there. I then panicked and she had to keep control - also because she needed to get back to the Tok'ra with the information about Cordesh being a spy. I realise I no longer want Jolinar punished, and I also do not want Martouf and Lantash to be angry at her. I want to protect her.

I have told them everything, repeating several things and going into detail, when there were something they wanted clarified. I have assured them repeatedly that I am no longer angry at Jolinar, and that I do sincerely believe she thought I was offering. They are still angry, and clearly still hurting, but not as badly as before.

They are now sitting by themselves on a rock near the entrance, thinking - or talking together.

~So they know.~ Jolinar observes.

~Jolinar! You are awake?~


~Are you feeling better?~

~Physically, yes, but not if my loved ones hate me. Of course, I would still have done what I did, as I think it was the only way to save them.~

~I'm sorry, Jolinar. I did try to explain, but it may not have come out as well as I tried to.~

~May I go through your memories of the discussion?~

~Yes.~ I answer, after only thinking about it for a moment.