Chapter 4: Together

Sam had gone to take a bath in the public bathing pools, while Martouf and Lantash fetched some food from the Tok'ra version of a mess hall.

She took a very quick bath, since she really did not feel like meeting anyone there right now. She would have liked to relax in a bathtub or a private Tok'ra pool, somewhere she could be completely alone, but unfortunately her guest quarters did not have a pool. She knew Martouf and Lantash had one in their quarters - or, at least they had one when they shared them with Rosha and Jolinar. They probably did not have a pool now. If she and Jolinar ended up living with them, maybe they would get a private pool again?

And larger quarters, Sam decided, as she entered Martouf and Lantash's private rooms. Their quarters were much smaller than the shared ones she remembered had been.

"Hi." Sam gave Martouf/Lantash a slightly awkward smile. She knew they needed to talk, but she did not really feel like it. She did love them, and while she had neither felt sure of herself or ready to admit her feelings before Jolinar had been brought back, she had accepted them now... and admitted them to Jolinar.

Of course, Jolinar loved Martouf and Lantash, and wanted nothing more than to resume her relationship with them, but Sam did not feel certain they actually wanted that. Yes, they loved Jolinar, but what did they feel for her, Sam? For all these reasons, she felt uncomfortable.

"Hello, Samantha." Martouf smiled at her. "I have fetched some food for you. I hope it is acceptable." He indicated the tray of food and drink standing on the small table in the room.

"It looks nice." Sam smiled back. "Thank you. What about you? Don't you want anything to eat?"

"I already ate earlier, but I think I will drink a cup of tea with you." He took two mugs from a cupboard, and walked over to the table and began pouring tea from the pot standing there, then sat down on the low divan. "Will you sit here with me while we talk?"

Sam nodded. "Yes, of course." She looked around the room. "I've never actually been to your quarters before, but I can access Jolinar's memories of them - this is different."

"You mean smaller." He gave her a somewhat sad smile. "We attempted to make our quarters look as similar to what they were before as we could, but only mated Tok'ra usually have large quarters."

She smiled at him, feeling sorry for him. It was obvious he had not enjoyed this extra reminder that his mates were dead. Of course, Jolinar no longer was, and she and Sam hoped Martouf and Lantash would be their mates... which was one of the things they needed to talk about.

"Martouf... and Lantash..." She took their hand, and squeezed it, thinking about how to say what she wanted to say. She sighed, and decided to start with something else, instead of her emotions. "I don't know if you were told, but Jolinar is not going to get punished for, ah, taking an unwilling host."

"Because you will remain her host, and the Tok'ra would never want to punish the victim," Martouf observed, matter of factly.

"Yes, that too, but that is not the only reason... it is also because I told the Council that I am not angry at Jolinar, and that I consider what she did... a mistake. An act of panic. I don't blame her. Not anymore."

Martouf looked relieved. "Thank you." He bowed his head, giving Lantash control.

"What she did was very much against what we Tok'ra believe in, and Jolinar should not have done it, regardless of the situation." He sighed. "However, if you can forgive her, then so can we. I am certain she will blame herself more for that than anyone else ever could."

Sam gave him a half-smile. "She does blame herself a lot, and fear you will never forgive her, and that you no longer love her."

"We could never stop loving her. I hope you can make her realize that."

Sam nodded. "I already told her, but I'm sure it will help if you tell her yourself." She frowned. "Another thing... Netu. Jolinar had never wanted you to know about what happened there, and... what she had to do. That's just one more thing that causes her to worry that you don't love her anymore. Lantash... as I told you and Martouf on Netu, she loves you. Very, very much."

"She did what she had to do - however much I wish she had not had to do it. We are not angry at her for that. However, we are... saddened she trusted us so little, that she would not tell us about it. That is what hurts, that she would not tell us what she did, what she had to do... how can we trust her completely, when she would not trust us? When she would not want our help?"

Sam thought about how to explain. "Part of it is... that she simply didn't want to even think about it. The whole experience on Netu was something she wanted to forget. Another reason was that she really didn't want to risk you getting angry at her - if nothing else, then for doing this to Rosha. Yes, thinking clearly, she does know you would have understood, but sometimes your heart does not listen you your mind, and all she really wanted, needed was your love, and to forget all about Netu."

Lantash was quiet for a long time, then he nodded. "Then we will not talk about it. Please assure Jolinar that we love her, and that there is nothing to forgive. For anything. All we want are to have you and Jolinar as our mates, Samantha. We realize you may not be ready to move here to the tunnels, and we accept that..."

"Lantash..." Sam interrupted him. "Jolinar isn't the only one who loves you... I do too... and I... I actually did, even before her... resurrection, and our... unexpected blending. I just hadn't really admitted it to myself."

"You love us?" Lantash got an expression of disbelief, then suddenly smiled. "You have no idea how happy it makes us to hear that!" He pulled her closer, and leaned in to kiss her. "Very, very happy." He kissed her, slowly moving his lips against hers.

Sam embraced him tightly and returned the kiss, then pressed her tongue against his lips. He parted them for her and she pushed her tongue inside, deepening the kiss. Lantash pulled her onto his lap, and began caressing her, running one hand down her back, and the other up her side.

After some minutes, Sam felt his kisses and caresses change subtly, and she knew Martouf now held her. He pulled at her clothing, and slid a hand under her shirt, and up to cup her right breast.

When she pulled back a minute or so later, Martouf looked at her, concern mixing with lust. "I... I apologize, I did not mean to..."

Sam smiled reassuringly at him. "Don't worry, Martouf, you didn't overstep your bounds, or anything, it's just that Jolinar has just woken up... and she would very much like to talk to you."

"Of course."

She bowed her head, and Jolinar came fore.

"Martouf? Beloved?" She gave him an uncertain smile. "I... have looked through the most recent memories of Samantha's... you forgive me? For... Netu... Samantha..."

"Jolinar." He smiled softly at her. "Yes. I know you did some... regrettable things... like taking Samantha as your host without asking. However, she has forgiven you, and if she can do that, then so can Lantash and I. As for Netu... there is nothing to forgive. We will not talk of it again... just remember, if you need to talk - about this or anything else - you can always come to us, we will always be there for you."

Jolinar nodded, then hugged him hard to her. "I love you so much. Both of you... as does Samantha!"

"As we love you both." Martouf held her to him, happier than he could remember being in a very long time. He and Lantash had their Jolinar back - and Samantha had agreed to be their mate as well.

Life was good.