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[ Chapter 1: Escape | Chapter 2: Stranded | Chapter 3: Where are we? | Chapter 4: Discoveries | Chapter 5: Finding Shelter | Chapter 6: Daily Life | Chapter 7: Strange Discoveries | Chapter 8: An Unpleasant Surprise | Chapter 9: Developments | Chapter 10: An Attack With Long-lasting Consequences | Chapter 11: Myth and Reality | Chapter 12: Breaking and Entering | Chapter 13: Rest and Results | Chapter 14: A Meeting | Chapter 15: Captives | Chapter 16: Revelations | Chapter 17: Some Explanations - and an Alliance | Chapter 18: Some Information | Chapter 19: A Dangerous Mission | Chapter 20: Prisoners | Chapter 21: A Fight - and an Escape | Chapter 22: Guests | Chapter 23: A Motel | Chapter 24: Next Day - and Travel | Chapter 25: A Pleasant Night, Followed by an Unpleasant Morning | Chapter 26: Meeting Ba'al | Chapter 27: Escape - and a Confrontation | Chapter 28: A Surprising Turn of Events | Chapter 29: Some Measure of Success ]


Sam and Martouf lifted the crate up and placed it on top of another crate, before going to pick up the next. This was the day's harvest of oranges, that were being prepared to be shipped out the next morning.

Daniel and O'Neill carried another crate over to the ones needing to be stacked. O'Neill yawned and stretched. "That was all of them. Do you guys think you can stack the last ones, or do you want help?"

"No, we're fine, sir. Go help Dad and Teal'c put away the ladders and stuff, so we can go to dinner soon," Sam said.

"Dinner!" O'Neill patted his growling stomach. "This work sure makes you hungry!"

"It does indeed," Martouf agreed.

"Okay, see you." Daniel waved and left with O'Neill.

Sam and Martouf continued stacking crates for a little longer, but soon finished the job.

"Finally!" Sam said, stretching her back. She walked over to the sink by the wall, and started washing the dirt from the day's work off her hands and face.

"This work does remind you of the existence of a great many muscle-groups you do not normally pay attention to," Martouf observed.

Sam grinned. "Yeah, my back and shoulders hurt too." She stepped aside so Martouf could wash his hands.

Martouf nodded. "Fortunately for me, Lantash will quickly repair the damage and take care of the soreness. Of course, he can start right over again tomorrow."

"I'm still envious!" Sam smiled, and went to pick up an orange, which she started to peel.

"Are you sure we are allowed to take some of the fruit?"

"Yes, O'Reilly said so. 'Eat all you want' - that's what he said." She ate a couple slices. "It's very sweet and juicy."

"It does look very appealing." Martouf looked hungrily at the orange.

"Do you want some?" She held the remaining half orange out to him.

"In a moment." He held up his soapy hands.

"Of course." Sam grinned. "Or... I could feed you." She held out a slice of orange. "Here?"

"Thank you." Martouf smiled, and let her put the piece of orange in his mouth. He chewed and swallowed. "You are correct. It is very good." He finished cleaning his hands.

"More?" Sam teasingly held out another slice.

"With pleasure!" He leaned forward with a glint in his eyes, and took the offered fruit with his mouth.

"Here, then!" Sam laughed, and fed him the rest of the orange, one slice at a time.

"Thank you - that was very... refreshing." He smiled his cute, charming smile, and took her hands. "Samantha." His expression became serious, and he sighed. "I am grateful we managed to overpower those attackers yesterday. When they indicated a wish to abduct you... Lantash and I felt both anger and fear..."

"Well, I can't say I liked the idea either!" Sam told him, then smiled. "Though I assure you they would have regretted it, had they kidnapped me!"

"Of that I have no doubt. You are a skillful warrior, and very intelligent," Martouf said. "Still, we felt... fear. The thought that someone would harm you was not a pleasant one." He entwined his fingers with hers, and pulled her a little closer. "Samantha... Lantash and I have become very fond of you."

"Ah... um, thanks." She smiled, a little unsure how to take that. "I'm very fond of you too... and I always enjoy your company. I consider you... well, a good friend, I guess. There are some things I can talk to you about, which no one else would understand."

He nodded. "I am pleased." He looked down for a moment, then up at her again, a shy expression on his face. "Lantash and I also consider you a friend, Samantha." He took a deep breath. "We must admit, though, that our feelings for you have become stronger than that."

"Because of what I carry from Jolinar," Sam said.

Martouf shook his head. "No. It is true that was what called to us in the beginning, but that is no longer the reason. Samantha, what we feel... it is for you. You are kind, intelligent, and forgiving - both a warrior and a scientist on your world. You are also very beautiful. How can we not fall for you?"

"I... I am flattered. Really, I am."

"But you do not feel for us, like we do for you." Martouf looked hurt. He let go of her hands and started to walk away. "I am a fool. I should not have..."

"Wait! Martouf... I didn't say that..." She grabbed his hands again and squeezed them. "To be honest... I don't really know what I feel... or rather if it's really me who feels it." She shook her head. "I'm sorry. Jolinar's feelings and memories are confusing me. I do feel for you. Very strongly in fact... I'm just not sure if it's really my feelings. Or even if I'll ever be able to tell!"

"I understand, but if you cannot tell if these emotions are your own or not, does it truly matter?"

"Well..." Sam hesitated. "How would you feel if your feelings for Jolinar had been forced upon you from someone else?" She shook her head. "Sorry, forced is maybe not the right word... I don't think Jolinar really meant for this to happen, but still?"

"Actually, when I became Lantash's host, he had already been in a relationship with Jolinar for many years. After blending, our emotions synchronized, and when I met Jolinar months later, I already loved her."

"You... um, sort of inherited your feelings for her?"

"I suppose you could say that, though 'came to share Lantash's feelings' would probably be a better description. It is quite common amongst the Tok'ra."

Sam nodded. "Now you mention it... I think I remember that. So... in a way, it was the same for you. Well, partly, at least - you have Lantash to help you with those feelings." She sighed. "Anyway, I think I do need to figure out how I feel. Maybe... maybe spending more time with you, like we are now, will help." She gave him a small smile.

"Then that is what Lantash and I shall hope for." He smiled at her, getting a hopeful expression. "Do you think, perhaps, a kiss would help you with this confusion?"

Sam laughed. "Yeah - it will probably make me more confused! Sneaky bastard!" She gave him a small, playful push, then shook her head. "It's probably not a good idea, but to be honest... I'd like that!" She put a hand on his shoulder, and stepped closer, licking her lips a little nervously. "I'd like that a lot." She looked at his lips, then into his pale blue-grey eyes, which had first widened in surprise, then quickly became half-lidded.

Martouf gently brushed his fingers over her cheek, then softly touched his lips to hers. Sam closed her eyes for a moment and smiled, just enjoying the sensation, before leaning into him and returning the kiss. Martouf put his arms around her and slowly moved his lips against hers, savoring the feeling of kissing her.

Sam made a small sound and had just leaned in to deepen the kiss, when someone spoke. They let go of each other and turned, to see Daniel standing in the door.

"Um, I... they sent me to see what was keeping you. Uh, dinner's ready."


The next couple of days passed without incident, and they began to relax. Apparently, the police had either not been informed that the people that had attacked Sam and the others had been killed, or they did not feel like investigating, for one reason or another.

Sam, O'Neill, and Martouf/Lantash had carried a few baskets of oranges into the house, since O'Reilly's wife, Jane, wanted to make marmalade.

On the way out, they threw a look through the open door, at the television that was currently showing some sort of news program. Hoping they would learn something useful about how the world had changed, they stayed for a little while, following the program.

Martouf suddenly gasped, when the next news item came up on the screen. "That's Ba'al!" he exclaimed.

"Ba'al?" Sam asked. "Do you mean the..."

Before Sam could finish her question, or Martouf could answer anything, O'Reilly spoke up, "Yeah, that's the guy I told you about the other night, O'Neill."

"The businessman that wants to be president?" O'Neill wondered.

"Yep."

"You've seen him before?" O'Neill asked Martouf in a low voice, surprised.

"Yes... I'll explain later," Martouf said, keeping his voice down as well.

O'Neill nodded, realizing it was something he could not mention in front of O'Reilly. "Okay. Let's watch this before we go anywhere."


"Okay," O'Neill said, when they were back in the barn. "Let's hear it, Martouf. How come you think you know who some Earth businessman is?"

"Unless that businessman looks exactly like Ba'al, then he is not from your world" Martouf explained.

"Wait... you mean the one that we found out has become the new Supreme System Lord?" O'Neill asked.

"Yes," Martouf confirmed.

O'Neill groaned. "A Goa'uld System Lord! On Earth!"

"And not just anyone! The Supreme System Lord." Jacob looked unhappy. "This is bad."

"That... might explain the Goa'uld technology someone's been selling," Sam said.

"But what would he want to do here? And more importantly, how did he get here!" Daniel asked. "If he really is Ba'al, the System Lord."

"Since he even calls himself Ba'al, I think we can assume he is," Martouf said.

Jacob nodded. "I agree."

"He could have come on a spaceship," Teal'c suggested.

"Or through the Stargate," Jacob added.

"You really think this Ba'al has infiltrated Stargate Command?" Sam wondered, disbelieving.

"I realize it's a stretch, but it might have happened. Seeing as if things are not as they should be there, we shouldn't discount the possibility," Jacob said.

"As much as I hate the idea, I'm afraid I'll have to agree with Jacob." O'Neill sighed. "In any case, we'll have to be extra careful if there's a Goa'uld loose on Earth!"


Chapter 10: An Attack With Long-lasting Consequences