Getting to Know You – Chapter 2
Martouf scowled as he straightened up and he glared at Anise. “It appears so, Anise. Why do you find amusement in my predicament?”
Smirking, Anise said, “It is amusing to see you running away as if you do not have the courage to stand your ground from Mala.”
Martouf’s eyes flashed as Lantash took over. “This has nothing to do with courage Anise, Martouf and I have proved that we can stand on our own in every possible situation...unlike you. Being nothing but an uncaring ‘scientist’ who stays *sheltered* in her lab all day, working on failed experiments and persisting in pursuing useless endeavors. It is no wonder the High Council refuses to listen to you anymore; nobody likes a continual failure.”
Anise clenched her jaw in anger as Lantash insulted her. Her eyes flashed and her fists curled up into balls. Lantash observed her reaction to his words with a raised eyebrow and he deliberately placed a smirk on his face.
“Unable to think of anything to say, Anise? It would not be the first time; you have proven time and time again that you cannot follow through, not with your confrontations with others nor with your experiments. I am beginning to see a pattern and further proof that you *are* a failure. You know very well Mala constantly pursuing us is partly your doing.” Lantash lowered his voice to a drawl as he made to pass her. “But at least there is someone showing an interest in me, no matter how much I dislike her; I cannot say the same for you, now can I? Your reputation is well-known throughout the Tok’ra *male* community. No one would wish to be mated with a cold-blooded, butchering, promiscuous woman, Tok’ra or no.” With that last whisper, Lantash brushed by Anise, leaving her shaking from anger and hurt.
(That was harsh, even for you, Lantash.) Martouf observed as they walked along the tunnel.
<She deserved to be put in her place. Suddenly I am no longer in a generous mood to deal nicely with Anise, Mala, or Durien should they come up against me today.> Lantash declared.
Martouf ‘shook’ his head. Lantash slowed his pace and rubbed the back of his neck. <Today is turning out not to be such an enjoyable day, Martouf.>
(We must remain optimistic, Lantash. The day has only begun. Perhaps something will happen to lift our disposition.)
Lantash snorted. <Right.>
Passing a chamber, Lantash heard grumbling and he stopped to peek his head curiously around the crystal partition that separated the room from view. His eyes lit up as he saw Jacob sitting on his bed, rummaging through a box constructed of brown material. He was surrounded by other smaller boxes and other assorted tokens that no doubt held sentimental value to him.
Lantash cleared his throat and as Jacob looked up in his direction, frown on his face, Lantash asked, “Am I disturbing you Jacob? I will leave if you wish me to do so.”
The frown immediately vanished as Jacob shook his head, his hands still in the box in front of him. “No, no, please come in Lantash. I was just sorting through some stuff that I brought from home. Come in, come in, take a seat.”
Lantash cocked his head in puzzlement. “’Take a seat’? Take it where, Jacob?” He moved further into Jacob’s quarters.
Jacob smiled a bit and rubbed his head. “I meant, sit down, Lantash.” As Jacob shoved some stuff out of the way to make room for Lantash to sit down, he continued, “I keep forgetting that you guys don’t understand what I’m saying half the time. Didn’t realize how much I used slang, figure of speeches that only people on Earth would understand.” He chuckled.
Lantash relinquished control to Martouf, sensing his curiosity about some of the items they saw on Jacob’s bed and was content just to be in a friend’s presence. Jacob was the one of the only people whose company Lantash found extremely enjoyable, although like he had just said, Lantash and Martouf didn’t understand half of the things he said.
His eyes still roving over the collected objects of Jacob, Martouf asked, “Was there something bothering you earlier Jacob? You sounded displeased.”
“Oh that,” Jacob waved a hand dismissively. “I was just thinking to myself that maybe I brought too much stuff from home. In case of an evacuation, Selmak was telling me that it would be hard to pack it all up in such a short time, but I just couldn’t leave them behind.” Jacob picked up a small, ragged brown teddy bear that had definitely seen better days and looked at fondly. “For instance, this is a teddy bear. It’s a toy that we usually give to our children when they’re young to play with.” Running a hand over the gnarled fake fur, Jacob continued. “I got this the day Sam was born. Gave it to her the day her mom and I took her home from the hospital. Sam loved it to death. Cried when she couldn’t find it and never went anywhere without it being with her.”
Although some words that Jacob used were unfamiliar to Martouf, he understood what Jacob was saying. Both he and Lantash were secretly delighted that they had come upon Jacob when he was in such a mood to talk about Samantha. Perhaps he would be able to tell them a little more about the woman that held their attention for most of the day and for most nights.
Martouf pointed to a medium-sized book and asked Jacob, still holding the teddy bear, “What is this, Jacob?”
Placing the teddy bear on his lap, Jacob replied, “Oh, that’s what’s called a ‘picture album’. On earth, there’s this device called a camera. We use it to take visual pictures of our loved ones, scenic views, to record special days, etc. Just to remind ourselves of those we love and happy times in our life. You can look at it if you want.” Jacob turned his attention to continue to poke through the box.
Martouf gently took the book and opened it. With a delighted smile, he saw colorful still pictures of Jacob and he recognized Samantha as a young child. Also present was a young man, a bit older than Samantha and an older woman who by the looks of appeared to be Jacob’s mate and Samantha’s mother. He presumed the young man to be Jacob’s son and Samantha’s brother, Mark. Jacob had mentioned him before. Samantha looked so happy as the pictures caught her smiling, laughing, and enjoying herself on a lake and on the sand.
Flipping the pictures, Martouf watched in contented silence as Samantha grew and matured into the woman she was now. He noticed also, that pictures containing Samantha’s mother lessened, as did pictures of Jacob’s son. Martouf began to recognize pictures of Samantha, as she was now, a bit older and matured than the previous pictures and he was blown away by her spark.
<Spark?> Lantash snorted teasingly. <Are you starting to get sentimental, Martouf?>
Disregarding Lantash’s mocking, Martouf murmured, (She is so beautiful, Lantash.) His eyes flitted from one picture to the next, fixated on the captured expressions of Samantha. (She appears so full of happiness and joy; I can feel her delight just by looking at these pictures.)
Turning the page, Martouf sucked in his breath as he saw an enlarged picture of Samantha wearing the most provocative and stunning outfit he’d ever seen her in, although he’d only seen her wearing one outfit every time he visited. She was wearing a short red dress that bared her shoulders, tightly-fitted her body, showing every curve imaginable, and revealed the most beautiful legs he’d ever seen. Her hair was pulled back by what looked like sparkling white gems that twinkled with the tiniest of color. She was posed looking directly at the camera, smiling widely and caught in mid-wave. Besides the enticing outfit that she was wearing, Martouf was blown away by the intensity of her blue eyes that, in conjunction with the red dress, made her eyes look slightly violet. She was beyond beautiful; she was amazing.
Without thinking, Martouf moved his hand lightly to caress Samantha’s smiling face. He could almost believe she was smiling at him and only at him. Martouf was hit with a sudden need to see her again.
Unbeknownst to him, Jacob had paused in his sorting and was smirking a tiny bit at the almost reverent expression on Martouf’s face as he continued to get lost in the picture of his daughter. Martouf’s mouth was slightly agape and his eyes were transfixed on the picture of Sam; his hand lightly tracing her face.
An evil plan began to formulate in his mind as both he and Selmak were thinking the same thoughts. Martouf was a nice guy, his Sammy wasn’t seeing anybody at the moment, and even if she was, Jacob had no problem telling them to take a hike. Sam needed someone nice, someone who could take care of her and protect her, love her and cherish her. Looking sneakily at Martouf, Jacob knew that Martouf was all of those things and more. He’d take care of Sam.
“She looks beautiful there, doesn’t she?” Jacob piped up, losing his smirk and steeling it into a fond smile as he looked at the picture that Martouf was practically drooling over. Continuing as Martouf mindlessly nodded his head, not glancing up, “That was taken at a party held by the personnel at the SGC when Sam was promoted to the rank of Major.” Pausing deliberately, he said, “Do you want it?”