The morning's light streamed in through the window.

"Morning, sunshine." His voice called from somewhere near me.

"Gale?" I asked, my eyes roaming the room. I found him in a chair in the corner of my room. To worried to sleep in the same bed as I did. He smiled at me.

"Are you staying around here?" He asked. I knew why.

"Yes. You going into town for the day?" The question wasn't so much a question as it was a statement.

He nodded, and my heart sank a little. "I'll be home before 3, Char." He promised.

"Okay. I'll be swimming my heart away." He grinned at me, stood and planted a kiss on my forehead.

"I will be back. Soon." He promised. Then he straightened up and walked out the door of my bedroom. I lied there for moment longer, listening to the sound of his Wrangler starting up and then fading as he went down the long driveway. I stood up and headed to my closet, some big walk-in thingy my mother had had a thing for.

I skimmed the racks, wondering where I'd put my bathing suit. My eyes fell on it. I rolled my eyes. It was on a shelf my mother had labeled "Bathing Suits". I was remarkable, that's for sure.

Picking it up, I dropped my pj's on the floor and slipped on the bikini I wore only when Gale wasn't here. I pull a robe around me and tied it. Folding my pj's up, I layed them on my bed and made it. One less thing for Mary to do when she got here.

I went out back, past the swimming pool, and down to a small pond, okay, not a small pond, more a medium sized lake... but Gale had no idea it even existed. I grabbed a towel off the pool rack and snuck out through the line of forest to my secret oasis.

Reaching the lake, I placed my towel down and untied the robe, which landed in a silvery white puddle around my feet.

Stepping out of the silver puddle, I walked to the water's edge, and stuck my toe in the water. It was warm. That was nice, I didn't like swimming in cold water.

I wasn't sure how long I'd been out in the water, but I figured it was closer to 11 now. I'd done laps around, and through the lake, and now I was just floating on top of the water.

Something stirred and brushed against the back of my leg. I figured it was the plants, there were a few types in this lake. But no leeches or other living creatures to worry about. I paid it no attention.

A few seconds later, I felt it again, but this time sort of wrapping around my calf. Again, I ignored it. A little bit of plant on me wasn't going to hurt me.

Then it was gone. I assumed the plant had fallen off my leg and back down to the watery depths. Water splashed quietly, and I "stood up" in the water, my head and shoulders above it only.

"Hello?" I asked, assuming someone was there. I got no answer. Looking around, I saw no one and assumed it was a squirrel or rabbit, or some other woodland creature.

"Your losing it, Charlie." I muttered to myself, then I sighed. I was defintely losing it. About to go under water again, I started to take a deep breath.

Then I felt something.

It had gone directly for my mouth. I thought at first it was just some of that damn plant that just kept touching me, but then it let out a tiny screech of some sort. I tried to close my mouth, but when I did, it was already in my mouth, going through the back of my throat.

My throat!

What was this thing, exactly? It wasn't any plant life, I knew that. I screamed almost silently.

Then it attatched itself to me, and suddenly, I knew. It was a tiny creature, kind of snake-looking. But more like something you'd see in an alien movie- it was an alien. I knew. It seemed to be telling me.

It was a species called Gou'ald. It used to be a servant of a System Lord named Nirriti, who was also a Gou'ald. A System Lord was a Gou'ald with a high ranking power, more than the other Gou'alds that served it. It had disbanded from her, Nirriti's, loyalty, and had joined a race of the same species, but different ethics and morals. The Tok'ra. These... symbiotes... took human hosts to be their bodies-

I realised then I didn't really have control of my body. The thing, the Gou'ald, did.

I tried to scream again, but I couldn't make my lips move.

Please, stay calm. A voice in my head was pleading. I do not wish to harm you.

You just did what?! Make me your slave, so you could do what? Get ravished? I thought back to the voice angrily, adding the ravishing part on after I'd seen the memory she had of a man with slightly darker skin than her own.

I do not plan on using your body for sexual pleasures that humans possess. You have seen few of my memories, but you know I am of a race called the Tok'ra. Tok'ra do not take hosts unwillingly.

Well, I was unwilling! But you still made your... what did you call it? Your host?

I had no choice. I would have died any other way.

So what? I have to die to let you live?

No, of course not. Watch. I can give you control of your own body. The voice tried to amend.

And suddenly, I did have control of my body again. I had originally planned to scream the first time I had the chance, but now I didn't want to. I swam back to the shore, which was not so far away.

See? You can control your body. The voice answered.

"So?" I said aloud. "Your still in my head."

The voice sighed. I am.

"So can't you just get out?" If somebody saw me, they'd think I was crazy.

Your not crazy. The voice said. And I am not just a voice.

"Then what are you?"

I creature who, in your comparisson, is like a snake. I can't speak without your body. And I am attatched to your brain so I can control your body.

I didn't say anything. Shocked.

And I am alive. The voice has a name.

"Then what's your name?"

My name is Simone.

"It is heard..." I remembered the meaning of it's name. "Simone... is a... girl's name. Are you a girl?"

Gou'ald are asexual. But by my choice, and being in your body, I am female. If you wish to destroy me, I will have to do it myself.

"No!" I shouted. A bird in a near-by tree screeched and flew away. "No, I don't want to destroy you."

But you don't want me here.

"What can I say? I like you, I guess. That isn't your doing, is it?"

No, your emotions are yours entirely.

"Huh. Cool." I said, then realised I knew almost everything about her, but she knew nothing about me. "Can you see my memories like I can see yours?"

Yes, I can. I didn't want to pry into them.

"Well, um, pry away. I know about you, but you don't know about me."

Very well. Simone thought, then started shifting through my memories much faster than I had hers. She reached this morning within five minutes. She paused on Gale's face, a confused and wondering side echoing her thoughts.

Who is this person? She inquired.

"His name is Gale." I answered her.

What is his significance?

"Well..." How did I explain Gale's signficance to her? "He's..."

Is he important?

"Most definetely!" I answered immediately. "I love Gale."

Then there is his significance. She stopped. Does he love you?

How had this conversation turned from what Simone was to if Gale loved me?

"I assume so." I bit my lip.

You shouldn't worry. But it's almost noon. You should be heading back to your home. Mary, was that her name? Mary will be looking for you.

"How do you know what time it is?" I asked. I'd estimated 11. If it was noon, then Mary would be looking for me soon enough.

It's a gift. Simone joked. I laughed.

I picked up my towel a quickly dried off then wrapped it around me. Then I grabbed my robe off the ground and headed for my house.

"So... how did you get control of my body?" I asked curiously.

Well, some Gou'ald enter their hosts through the back of their neck, not wishing to remember the horror on their faces. It is much more painful, I might add. I flinched, but she continued. We attatch ourselves to the base of your skull, attatching to the brain, and wrapping around your spine. If you'd been looking in a mirror when I did so, your eyes would've glowed a eerie yellowish color breifly.

"Creepy." I muttered.

I should warn you, though... if you ever get mad, or if I get mad while in the possession of your body, they will glow again. I also have a different voice than you at times.

"When your angry?"

No, just when I speak with my normal voice. Well, your voice. Just altered. If I hide it, then I will sound like you, like a human.

"Are my eyes going to not be blue anymore?" I asked as I neared the house. If I was going to keep her, I was going to have to stop talking out loud when speaking to her. Someone would probably call the cops on me or something...

No, you will still have blue eyes. And the not talking out loud would probably be a good idea.

I smiled. I walked into the house about half a minute before Mary pulled into my driveway. I quickly changed and wandered out to greet her.

"Hi, Mary." I said, reaching her in the kitchen, where she was putting some food away.

"Hello, Charlie." Mary smiled at me. She was so sweet. "Are you hungry, sweetheart?"

"A little, yes." I answered promptly.

"What would you like?"

I pretended to think about it. Really, I was just asking Simone.

What do you want? I thought.

I have no prior experience with Earth foods. She answered.

Huh. How 'bout a BLT? Bacon, lettuce, tomato?

If that is what you want.

"A BLT, please, Mary." I finally answered her. She smiled at me again and started to make one. She was ridicuously fast at making BLTs. I sat down at the table and she set a plate with a bagel BLT and a glass of milk in front of me.

"Thanks." I said, and started to eat.

"No problem, sweetie." She answered, then she went back to putting things into the fridge and cupboards.

This has an interesting taste. Simone remarked.

One of my favorites. I answered.

Yes, I think I enjoy this.

I stifled a giggle. Mary would think I was crazy.

At least your not talking to yourself anymore. Simone answered.

I smiled fully.

After I'd finished eating, I put my dishes in the dishwasher, something I'd had to explain to Simone, and then started helping Mary with a couple of other things before I retreated to my bedroom. I needed to think.

How many of you are there? I questioned Simone.

On Earth? As far as I know, just me.

Honestly? Shocked. Again.

Yes, the Tok'ra don't reside on planets with a purely human population.

So why are you here?

My previous host had died, and I was put into a cryotank and heading back to the Tok'ra homeworld, but, and I'm not truly sure what happened, somehow we crashed. And I ended up in your lake.

Does that mean the CIA and the FBI will be bursting through the door and taking me into custody to take me, then you, apart piece by piece? Fearing an alien invasion?

I seriously doubt it. I was ejected in my cryotank, and into your lake. The ship I was on, a small cargo vessel, went down somewhere in what you call the Atlantic ocean.

How many casualties?

None. The ship was auto-pilot.

Oh, well, good. If the others are like you, they shouldn't die.

Thank you.

My pleasure.

I grinned. I was simply staring at the chair Gale had been sitting in this morning.


Um, Simone, I think we have a bit of a problem...

The boy, Gale.

Yeah. I don't think he's going to take me having you in my head very well. He probably wouldn't believe me if I told him.

Are you planning on telling him?

No. Definetly not. I love him, but who knows what he'd do if he knew about you?

That's a good point. I wouldn't tell him, not yet, anyways. Maybe later. I doubt he'd believe you had a snake in your head.

Your not a snake!

No, your right. I'm a Tok'ra.

Your human now.

That's very nice of you, Charlotte, but you are human, I am a symbiote.

Charlotte. Since I was a little girl, no one had ever called me Charlotte. Char, Charlie, Lotte, but never Charlotte.

"Bye, Charlie!" Mary called, proving my point.

"Bye, Mary. See you on Thursday!" I called back.

"Take care, dear." She said, then closed and locked the door behind her. I sighed, lying back against my pillows, and glanced at the clock, an old habit of waiting for Gale to come home again. 2:30pm. I blinked, then remembered he was coming home at 3. I jolted up.

"Oh boy!" I cried.

Your not going to start talking out loud again are you?

"Only when it's just us." I answered her. Then I realised, there was an us. Not an us like Mary and I or Gale and I us, but one body, two minds, two people, together, unseperable. Amazing.

You might slip up, say "us" or "we" when referring to you. My last host did that multiple times.

"Stop me if I start." I asked her. I felt her mentally nod. "Thanks."

No problem.

"So, um, what now?" I asked her, more meaning, "How am I going to keep you a secret from Gale?"

I suggest trying not to talk to "yourself", not say "us" or "we"... Human males take something like saying "We're fine" as "I'm pregnant" and it's all a huge mess to sort out.

"Gale knows I'm a virgin. He knows I keep it for him." I froze. "If he does... then you..."

Will be here. She sighed. I can go into hibernation, but I'll still know what happens when I wake up again from your memories.

"You have experience with sex, maybe you would make our first time better..." I trailed off, not quite sure how we'd started talking about sex in the first place. I glanced at the clock again. 2:50pm.

"Jesus, how is it that every day the hours drag on, but now that your here they go by like crazy?"

I'm a distration? She offered.

"Guess so." I stared at the clock, willing it to go back to being 2:30. It didn't happen. A key clicked in the lock. "He's early!" I exclaimed to Simone in a whisper.

Don't worry. Just do what your usually do when he comes home.

I nodded to myself, or to her, I wasn't sure. I stood up and forced myself to smile, and got to the front door, just as Gale was closing it. My fake smile became genuine.

"Gale!" I cried, and he turned to grin at me as I ran towards him. He wrapped his arms around me and pulled me close, kissing the top of my head.

"Hey, Char." He said, reminding me for some reason that Simone called me Charlotte.

Why does he smell like women's perfume? Simone thought distrustfully.

To be honest, I'd never really noticed the scent, but now it was all I could smell on him.

His sister, maybe? She lives in-town. That's were he was all day... I thought with a slight bit of hope. But Hannah didn't wear perfume, she was allergic.

If I knew this than so did Simone.

Why does he smell like women's perfume? Simone repeated, more musing to herself now than really talking to me. Kind of like thinking out loud.

I jerked myself away from him, and took in his startled expression. His eyes were wide, and his arms were half extended towards me, looking like they were going to pull me back to him when he regained his composure. I took a step back from him, and crossed my arms across my chest, and repeated Simone to him.

"Why do you smell like women's perfume?"


Char's sudden movement had me shocked. Why was she pulling away from me? Usually she was trying to get closer. My arms were half out to her, wanting her back in them.

She eyed my arms then took a step back and crossed her small arms across her larger-than-most chest.

"Why do you smell like women's perfume?" She asked, her eyes narrowed.

Oh. I still smelled like women's perfume... I guess she never noticed before, but for some reason today was different.

"I was visiting a friend on the way home." I lied. I didn't want to lie to her, but I couldn't tell her I was out with a sexy alien female, who I was taking a liking to. She wasn't cleared for knowledge about what I was doing while I was "in town".

Natasha was from a species who chose their own names at the age of 18. I'd gone their three days prior to her birthday, and we had immediately bonded. We had freed them from the Gou'ald. She was so happy that we'd saved her, that she asked for an Earth name. I'd told her Natasha; it was my favorite cousin's name. She was a red head just like my alien.

But I couldn't tell Char any of this. To protect her.

Her eyes glazed over, like she was focusing on something inside her head. She frowned and shook her head.

"No, you weren't. Cameron doesn't like perfume, Monica wears a different scent, and your sister is allergic." Char announced.

I sighed, she was pretty damn observent when she wanted to be. All of that true, every last word.

"Well?" She asked. "Are you going to tell me?"

I shook my head, and half turned to the door.

"I'll give you time to think, Char."

"What makes you think I need time to think?" She retorted.

"You have that crease in your forehead." I muttered, and opened the door. "I'll come back tomorrow around this time. That's a whole 24 hours." Then I walked out the door and closed it, locking it, because I knew she wouldn't remember.

I simply couldn't figure out why I had smelt like Natasha's perfume for at least 6 months now, and she only noticed to today. The way her eyes had glazed over, it wasn't her. She didn't do that.

So what was that? The only time I'd seen that was on the Tok'ra. There aren't any Tok'ra on Earth, but if there were, they were on Cheyenne Mountain, restricted there. And if one had gotten off the base, though why would they?, why would a symbiote want Char? She was just some girl who lived on Earth. What good would she be to them, what intelligence could she give? Where the best places to swim were?

I dismissed that thought. Humans did that, too, just not Char. Maybe it was a habit she picked up somewhere.

I would go back tomorrow, and then she would be better, less... agitated.

I would go back for her.


That man had some nerve. Pretending to love Charlotte, my Charlotte now, and then go do the same, and more, with some other woman?

Shh... I murmured to her. Don't worry, go to sleep.

Charlotte had been crying for at least three hours now. My last host ignored me when she was upset, but Charlotte seemed to play a lot of attention to me.

"D-do you t-thi-ink..." She trailed off. Do you think there are more than one? She thought. Thinking her words were easier than saying them. They came out coherent.

Don't think about that, Charlotte, just relax. She forced herself to. And try to sleep. Isn't there a human saying? That it's always sun in the morning?

She smiled. I think you mean "It's always better in the morning".

Well, it's always better in the morning. A new, brighter day.

She leaned back into the cousins of her couch, pulling at the blanket around her. She seemed to tense to sleep, so I scanned her memories for ways to help her sleep.

I found a memory of when she was 8, and she couldn't sleep because her grandfather had died. Her mother had hummed something to her.

I repeated the melody to her. Hmm, hm, hmm, hm, hmmm, mhmm, hmm... She relaxed noticably. I continued. Hmm, hm, hmm, hm, hmm, mhmm, hmm... Her eyes fluttered shut, exhausted from all the worrying and crying. Hmm, hm, hmm, hm, hmm, mhmm, hmm... I felt her loose conciousness. Good-night, my sweet Charlotte. I whispered, and then went to sleep myself.

I awoke before Charlotte did. I guessed it was not dawn yet, as the insides of her eyelids were black, not orange or pinkish.

She was sleeping on the couch. She should move.

Charlotte? I murmured in her mind quietly. Charlotte, you have to wake up.

She stirred and mumbled my name.

Yes, Charlotte, I'm here. You have to move. You need to sleep in your bed.

She sighed, but stood up- taking the blanket with her, she looked like she had no intent of giving it up without a fight- and walked down the long hallway to her bedroom, crawled in and glanced quickly at the clock.


You can go back to sleep now. I soothed her, and she made herself comfortable, and quickly fell back asleep. I joined her again.