Getting to Know You – Chapter 1
Disclaimer in Index
Martouf blinked his eyes open sleepily as he awoke. Rubbing at them and yawning, he stretched languidly in his bed as he took a moment to lie there and go over what he had planned for today.
<Nothing. You have nothing planned today, Martouf.> Lantash replied.
Martouf frowned thoughtfully and realized that Lantash was right. He did have nothing on his agenda for the day. Martouf had just returned from a covert mission where he was assigned to sabotage a fleet of advanced death gliders the system lord Baal had developed; the mission took over a week and he had come home just the day before. He’d already filed a report with the High Council and Martouf had planned to do nothing but relax today.
<Of course, I am right. You have nothing to do, lazy oaf.>
Raising an eyebrow at Lantash’s remark, Martouf contemplated staying in his warm bed for awhile, but prodding from Lantash prompted him to get up and get dressed. Walking over to a crystal cabinet, he viewed his choices of clothing. Tan, tan, tan, and…tan. There were a few formal uniforms of different color, but Martouf decided to go with his tan uniform.
<Good choice.> Lantash ‘snickered’.
After dressing and smoothing his hair down, Martouf took a leisurely walk in the Tok’ra tunnels, nodding and smiling greetings to his fellow Tok’ra. Hands clasped behind his back, Martouf wandered into a large chamber where the Tok’ra ate their sustenance. Selecting a few fruits and some water, Martouf moved to sit along one of empty tables.
Nibbling on a piece of red fruit, Martouf thought about what he could do for the rest of the day. He was trying to avoid doing any work at all, but as he tried to think of something else, he came up blank. The Tok’ra never stopped working; there was always something that needed to be done. Taking a sip of his water, Martouf wondered if he could take a walk along the surface, but knew it was too risky. Part of being Tok’ra meant staying underground for most of your life.
“Hello Martouf. May I join you?” A male voice interrupted Martouf’s reverie. Looking up, he saw his friend, Caldwen, standing in front of him.
Martouf gestured to the seat in front of him. “Of course, Caldwen.” Martouf finished his fruit and decided to forgo eating the rest of his early morning food. Turning to his friend, he asked, “Has there been any new developments since I have been gone?”
Caldwen thought for a moment before shaking his head. “None except that Jacob returned briefly to the Tau’ri to collect some of his belongings he wished to bring back here and that since Baal has been weakened at the moment, due to your efforts, the High Council is considering contacting our spies within Baal’s service to begin planting rumors that the system lord Hecate is planning to attack him.”
Martouf nodded and fiddled with his water. So nothing new happened; not that it ever did. Even Tok’ra evacuation had become routine, Martouf thought.
<Are you saying that the last few days spent pandering around Baal’s palace was not exciting to you?> Lantash asked incredulously.
(I meant good excitement, Lantash, you know that, not the there’s-a-good-possibility-I-may-die-at-any-moment excitement.) Martouf replied, lifting his water to drink it.
A mischievous gleam entered Caldwen’s green eyes and he added slyly, “Did I also mention that Durien and Mala got into another fight yesterday? As of yet, they have not spoken to each other since.”
Martouf choked on his water, almost spitting it out as he jerked his head to stare at his smirking friend. After a few moments of coughing, Martouf gazed with frightened eyes at Caldwen.
“Is this true?” Martouf held his breath.
Caldwen’s smirk grew as he nodded. “Oh yes, in fact, I passed both Mala and Anise this morning on my way here. Mala, of course, was complaining, but Anise interrupted to inform her that you had returned from your mission. Mala seemed quite...pleased.”
Martouf listened to Caldwen with growing fear and to Lantash’s blistering remarks about that interfering Anise.
<We must hide now Martouf. Now would be a good time to leave.> Lantash added quickly after his tirade of insults to the Tok’ra spice.
Mala. That one name prompted Martouf to rise quickly from his seat, abandoning his water and fruits, and to say hurriedly to his amused friend, “Excuse me, Caldwen. There are some things I must do.” Like hide, he mentally added. Bowing his head and giving a quick smile, Martouf hastened his departure, looking furtively around.
<Caldwen is laughing at us; can you hear him?> Lantash noted irritably. <No, you probably can’t,> Lantash added. <Since your heartbeat has quickened in the last few minutes.>
Martouf scowled as he ducked into an empty chamber to calm himself down. Leaning against the crystal wall, he ran a hand through his brownish-blonde hair.
Mala and Durien. A mated couple who loved each other with a passion, but could be extremely volatile, especially with each other. A couple both famously known to have ‘wandering eyes’. When they weren’t fixated on each other, they were fighting with a passion. Both Mala and Durien tended playfully to pursue other people, but would never actually act on it. Martouf was unfortunately, Mala’s favorite pursuit and tended to seek him out whenever she had gotten into a fight with Durien. Martouf had recognized what she was doing and had asked her repeatedly to stop, but she did not.
<That is because she is a-> Lantash began only to be interrupted by Martouf.
(Yes, yes.) Martouf shook his head, the edges of his mouth quirked up as he heard Lantash’s opinions on Mala and Anise. Passionate opinions that he would never voice.
<There’s one passionate opinion that I would not mind voicing.> Lantash shot back.
Martouf sighed, knowing exactly what opinion that might be and to whom. Caldwen mentioning the Tau’ri only reinforced Lantash’s thoughts on a certain someone.
(Yes, well, she is not here at the moment and there’s no use in wishing she was...) Martouf retorted, his mind drifting for a moment to envision the woman that both he and his symbiote had become infatuated with.
<It is more than just infatuation, Martouf, and you know that.> Lantash testily shot back. <But let us not talk about her now, we must continue to hide from...Mala and stay away from Durien. He knows how Mala seeks you out when they fight...it doesn’t help that he’s extremely jealous. We should put him in his place.> Lantash ‘laughed’ evilly.
Martouf rolled his eyes at Lantash’s behavior and then peered cautiously out of the room. Listening carefully for sounds of anyone approaching, Martouf kept his head averted as he turned in the opposite direction, only to bump into someone.
“Hiding again, Martouf?” Anise drawled, amused.