Characters: SG-1, Martouf/Lantash, Jolinar, various Tok'ra both OC and canon, others
Category: Angst, Hurt/Comfort, Romance. Did I mention angst?
Summary: What if they only thought Jolinar was dead, and the Tok'ra found she could be healed? Would Sam agree when the catch is that she would probably have to remain her host? What about Martouf and Lantash?
Notes 1: ~ is internal speech. Bold is symbiote speaking with symbiote voice. Story is from Sam's POV.
Notes 2: Slight AU. Jolinar survived the ashrak attack, but the SGC didn't know at first. She is badly injured, unconscious, and healing slowly. The SGC and Sam only know that Jolinar's body is still inside Sam. All else happened as on the show, up until the time when they go to search out the Tok'ra. I am using some dialogue from Tok'ra I. We start with Sam and Martouf/Lantash in the desert, talking.
Notes 3: Was meant to have been for Porn Battle, but due to porn fail (no smut yet), way way too long plot, and me not having it finished in time...well, you get it!
"Jolinar's host, Rosha, was very beautiful. She had eyes like the oceans of Marloon, hair was the colour of the sand Abydos, and her smile was, was as infectious as laughter. In fact, Rosha looked very much like you Captain Carter. You are very beautiful. You'd make a lovely new host for Selmak."
I turn away, the thought of becoming a host again...difficult to handle. Besides, can I even be a host again, if the...corpse of a symbiote is still in me? Should I tell him? Would it freak him out? Jolinar was his mate!
"I'm sorry, I…I've said something to offend you." Martouf says.
"No. Yes! It's difficult enough with just the remnants of Jolinar in here. The last thing I need is another person…symbiote…whatever." I tell him, going to sit some distance away.
"I didn't mean to upset you so." He comes to me, sitting down beside me. I again feel the odd tingling that I sense whenever a symbiote is nearby. It's disconcerting - and oddly comforting at the same time.
"It's just the thought of going through that again." I hesitate. "Besides, I don't think I can be a host again...not with the...body in there."
"Don't give it another moment's thought. It was an inappropriate suggestion. Please understand that it came...from an honest, deep desire to have Jolinar back in my life in some form."
I sigh and shake my head. I am feeling...strong emotions for him. Very strong - and confusing. "It feels like...like I'm two people. I mean, there's me, Samantha Carter, and then there's this leftover part of Jolinar that feels things like…"
"Like some pretty deep feelings for you." I admit.
"Jolinar's left this imprint on your mind?"
"I'm sorry if it makes you uncomfortable, but…" He suddenly frowns. "What do you mean...is Jolinar's body still in you? How long ago did she die?"
"I...um, a little over 3 months ago."
Martouf holds his hand over my forehead, wrinkling his brow. He bows his head and gives Lantash control again.
"If she has been dead for 3 months, she would have been mostly absorbed by your body by now. The naquadah in her would have spread evenly out in your body. I feel it mostly here, concentrated where a symbiote would be." He indicates my neck and back of head. "The signal is weak, but feels like a normal symbiote, and I can sense the signal like normally...are you certain she is dead?"
"Ye...yes..." I stammer. "Of course I'm sure!"
Lantash looks closely at me, sternly, but then he sighs and his expression becomes less hostile. "Of course...I do believe you...your people could not know...but perhaps it is not...quite so. Would you object to letting the healers examiner you?" his expression is desperate, pleading...hopeful.
I don't know if I hope Jolinar is dead or not. I must be crazy! Why would I want the sna...symbiote back? But Lantash and Martouf looks really heartbroken their mate is dead, and part of me want nothing but to make them happy. This must be some of those damn emotions from Jolinar, but they sure feel like they are mine. Confused, I shake my head, and Lantash looks stricken. I immediately realize he thinks I am denying him this last hope that his mate may be alive, thinking I am saying I will not let the healers looks at me.
"No, Lantash, that's not what I meant. Of course...I will let the healers check it out. See if...Jolinar might still be alive."
He looks immensely relieved, and takes my hand. "Thank you, Samantha. I understand that all of this is confusing and unpleasant for you, but I assure you that Martouf and I will do everything we can to help you."
I nod. "Thanks."
He is eager to know if his mate is still alive, and I cannot blame him. We get up, and return to the tunnels.
The healers have scanned me, first with what I recognize as a healing device, and then with several different devices that I have no idea what are. They also take some blood samples and other tests, and then leave to discuss the data.
Nervous, I look up as the healers, followed by Martouf/Lantash come into the room I am in. I wonder where the rest of my team is, and what the Tok'ra have told them. Why are they not here with me?
"Captain Samantha Carter..." Martouf begin.
"Listen, why don't we make it Sam? Or Samantha?" I tell him, not able to handle hearing title and whole name every time. Doesn't the Tok'ra know about nicknames? Or is that disrespectful?
"Samantha is a beautiful name. I would be honoured to call you that." Martouf says, giving me a charming smile.
"Then...do that." I say, smiling a little back.
He nods. "Samantha. The healers have told me that Jolinar still lives, but that she is very weak." He looks pained.
One of the healers speak up. From the voice I can tell it is the symbiote in control. "Captain Samantha Carter..." So he doesn't think the permission goes for him. Fine! He can call me with full name and title if he wants. "Our tests show that Jolinar survived the attack by the ashrak, but only barely. She has been very slowly healing since then."
"Do you mean she'd have eventually woken up?" I ask.
The healers looks uncertain. "We cannot know for certain if that will happen, or when. Her injuries are great, and she is still far from a conscious state, where she can do more than just basic, instinctual healing. We have never observed a symbiote in this situation before, however, it is our belief that she will eventually heal to the point where she regains consciousness, yes. If and when that happens, she will be able to repair the rest of the damage to her body, and survive."
I don't know what to think of this! "So...what do I do? Can you, um, remove her? I mean, I didn't exactly volunteer for this!" I see Martouf gets a pained expression, whether because I ask to have Jolinar removed, or because I just reminded him of what his...beloved did to me. It must be hard. I feel an unwelcome stab of pain in my heart - I feel sorry for him.
The healer hesitates. "Yes...we can remove her. However, doing so will kill her with certainty."
I can't do that to Martouf! "What if we wait, then? Until she heals up on her own?"
"It will be a long time, years, perhaps. During that time, if a Goa'uld captures you, he or she will sense the symbiote, and punish you as if you were Tok'ra - without the assistance of a Tok'ra to protect you. Even after Jolinar regains consciousness, it will be months or a year before she can leave you, without both of your deaths being certain. When a symbiote stays that long in a host, it has to blend or suppress the host, or both will suffer greatly, probably die. If you blend, you are unlikely to survive the psychological problems - the loneliness - if she were to leave."
"So that's it!?" I exclaim. "I'm damned if I do, and damned if I don't? No other solution?"
"We can use our healing devices to heal Jolinar. It will still take some time, since her condition requires us to work slowly, and in stages."
"Well, do that, then!"
The healer sighs. "Healing her in this way, when she is as damaged as this, will mean her tissues and yours will likely merge. It will take time for them to separate, which is necessary, if she is to leave you without killing you. Or both of you. By the time it is possible, you will have had to blend...if you are not already. There are certain signs of a beginning blending, even at this point, and Jolinar is not conscious to stop it."
"And then we're back to square one!" I feel like beating someone over their head!
"We will of course do our best to avoid or minimize any merging, but there is a 69% probability we will be unsuccessful."
"That's not good odds!" What do I do? I really don't want to be a host. I'm still angry at Jolinar, even though I guess I am starting to understand her a little, but to become her host, permanently? Forget it!
"No, and I do apologize." The healer say.
Martouf has apparently given Lantash control while I did not look. Probably because the symbiote is somewhat better at controlling their emotions. Well, for a while at least. Lantash is very passionate and can be quite volatile, I know, but right now he is the one in control. I just know it, and when they speak I get confirmation.
"Samantha, I cannot hide what Martouf and I wish. You know we would want our mate back, if there was any possibility of it. We would also very much welcome you as our mate, if you chose to remain Jolinar's host, do not be concerned about that. You are beautiful, and from what we have learned by talking to you, both kind and intelligent. You are clearly also a strong warrior of your people. A very worthy and attractive mate." He sighed. "However, the choice must be yours. No matter how much we want it, we cannot ask you to remain Jolinar's host, the way she took you. If you wish her removed, we will understand."
He looks heartbroken, but like he really means it when he says it. Wait, he finds me beautiful? I almost smile. Why does it matter to me what he feels? "Thanks, Lantash." I tell him. "I...think I need to think. I promise you I will not make my decision lightly."
"Thank you, Samantha. That is all we can ask. Do you wish to have your team brought to you?"
I almost say yes, but I know they will not understand. At all. They will tell me I am crazy to even consider this, and maybe I am, but I must admit that no matter how crazy it is, there is a part of me that is actually considering it! I don't know if it's because I am fascinated by things I could learn from Jolinar and the Tok'ra, if I feel bad about condemning a fellow sentient lifeform to death, or if I just secretly want Martouf and Lantash as my mates. God I don't hope it's the latter - that would be incredibly shallow, and I pride myself on my intellect.