Sam awoke in a sarcophagus. She barely had time to register this fact, as she was pulled out of it the moment she groggily sat up. As she was dragged from the room, she caught a glimpse of Martouf/Lantash being thrown into the sarcophagus.
The Jaffa guards opened the door to the holding cell and threw Sam inside, slamming the door behind her.
"Sam?" Mitchell got up and went to help Sam get up from the ungentle entrance.
"Cam...am I glad to see you! We were worried about you and Teal'c."
"We were captured in a surprise attack. Teal'c managed to get one of them before he was taken. I am sorry to say I was captured almost immediately."
Sam nodded. "Is Teal'c all right?"
"He was when I last saw him - he is being 'interrogated' by Eris. Seems she is very interested in how a Jaffa can live without a symbiote."
"She hasn't heard about Tretonin? Well, I suppose this place is kinda isolated," Sam observed.
"She hasn't heard about anything that's happened in the last 10 years! - or more, probably. She has kept totally to herself, and now she apparently hopes to learn any news about the Galaxy from interrogating us strangers."
"What about the others - did they get away?"
"Daniel and Vala hopefully got back to the Stargate and have now informed the SGC. Martouf and I were both hit by staff blasts. I have been to the sarcophagus, and he's in it right now."
"Yeah. Eris said something about wanting us all alive and in good shape...presumably so we can survive her means of getting information for a longer time."
They both looked up as the door opened and two large Jaffa entered. They grabbed Mitchell and dragged him out of the cell.
"Hey! Where are you taking me? Where's Teal'c?"
"Silence!" The Jaffa hit Mitchell over the head, and then gave him a hard push forward. "Your god is waiting."
The sarcophagus opened, having finished healing Martouf and Lantash. They sat up, feeling slightly groggy. The Jaffa immediately pulled them out.
*I hate that thing...* Lantash remarked.
*I know. I am not fond of it either - nor of the usual reasons why we have been put in it.*
*That too...mostly I worry that...* he swallowed, *...that it will have somehow changed me and that I am now a Goa'uld. Martouf...do I seem different?* He sounded anxious.
*I think the very fact that you worry about being a Goa'uld proves that you are not. Besides, I doubt a Goa'uld's first choice would be to discuss their worries with their host.*
*I suppose you are correct...* Lantash sounded relieved.
They had reached the holding cell and were thrown in by the Jaffa, hitting the wall.
"You just healed me - and now you injure me again? I do not believe your 'Lord' will appreciate this..." Martouf grumbled softly, starting to tire of the Jaffa.
"Quiet, human slave!" The lead Jaffa barked, then slammed the door and left.
"Martouf!" Sam hurried to his side. "Are you and Lantash all right?"
"Yes, we are well. The sarcophagus healed our wounds, and the wall only knocked the air from us for a moment."
Sam let out a breath of relief. "I was so worried...I...I am happy you are all right." She blushed slightly.
Martouf smiled. "We were worried about you as well."
Sam gave them a quick update on what she had been told by Mitchell - that this Goa'uld knew nothing about the events of the last decade or more. After discussing this for a little while, they sat in silence, worried about their friends and unsure about each other and their feelings.
*Martouf. This is ridiculous! We have a chance to tell her that we still love her!*
*This is not the time...besides, what if she is not interested in us?*
*Soon the Jaffa will return, and they will take either us or Samantha to be interrogated. If this is where we all die, then we should at least let her know our feelings first. Maybe...maybe we could then hold each other, comfort each other...instead of sitting here and suffering alone.*
*I thought you...we weren't ready to just forgive her? That we worried she would break our hearts again?*
*I do worry about that, but we need to talk to her if we are to learn if she still is interested. I don't want to die without at least talking to her about this.*
Martouf sighed. Lantash was right, of course. It was just very difficult.
"Samantha. I...we...have missed you much during your absence from the team," Martouf said.
Sam smiled bleakly at him. "I've missed you, too. Very much."
We..." He was quiet for a few moments, then made a decision. "Samantha, we do not know if we will leave this place alive. Lantash and I want you to know that...that we still love you...just as much as we did...as we did when we were your mates..." he looked down, obviously saddened by the use of past tense, "...we will always love you. Please know that." He gave her a shy smile, blushing slightly.
Sam smiled at him, suddenly looking very relieved. "Thank you for telling me. I have been so worried that you hated me...both of you...for what I did. I was such a fool. You have every right to hate me." She looked unhappy again for a moment.
Martouf's head dipped as Lantash took control. "Samantha..." He sighed. "Dear Samantha. We could never hate you. As Martouf said, we love you... however, we were very sad when you left us...and somewhat disappointed." He gave her an unhappy look, but still got up and went over and sat down beside her. "It was very painful."
"Lantash...I...I don't know how to explain what I did...how to make it up to you...how..." She was quiet for a little while, her hand unconsciously moving to grab hold of his for support. "It may take me some time to explain."
"Take all the time you need - we don't seem to be going anywhere," Lantash remarked, his voice harder than he actually wanted. He was not willing to just forgive and forget - not yet anyway. He did not move his hand away, though.
She nodded slowly, trying to find a way to explain her reasons. "I guess it was not any one thing which made me leave you...and it was certainly nothing either of you did wrong. I suppose you suspect it had something to do with my confusion over which emotions were mine and which were Jolinar's?"
"Yes. We thought you might still be unsure...but if that was the case, you should have talked to us about it."
"I know...but I realize now that it was mostly an excuse. Yes, for a long time I didn't know which feelings were mine and which were hers, but I did know that some were mine...that some are mine..." She looked up at him. "A lot of them are mine - and I have a lot from Jolinar as well. Together they are...overwhelming...what I feel for the two of you...I could never come close to feeling for anyone else. That was not why I left you."
Lantash smiled a little, looking relieved. "That is very good to know." He frowned. "What then was the reason? If you love us, why would you leave us?"
Sam sighed and was quiet for some time, collecting her thoughts. "There was a time when I thought that what I felt for Jack was more than friendship - more than just physical attraction. I have wondered about it from time to time over the years - since before I knew you, actually. I finally came to a point where I just needed to know, or it would have kept drawing me, tempting me... I know now that what I feel for him is not what I feel for you. Yes, I...like him very much, and he is a very good friend, he always will be...but that is all he is. I don't have any romantic feelings for him. I do not love him. When I think about you, I feel an all-consuming love...when I am near you...an intense attraction, desire..." she blushed, and looked down, afraid to see his expression.
"That is...very nice to know." For a moment Lantash considered pulling her to him, hugging her closely, but Martouf reminded him they should wait...allow her to finish what she needed to say. They still needed to be sure, before - perhaps - seeing if they could resume a relationship with her.
Sam sat quiet for a moment, then continued, "When I became pregnant, Jack wanted to get married - wanted the family life again that he had once had, I guess. I was still unsure of my feelings for him. Actually, I was already realizing I did not feel love for him, but I was unwilling to admit it to myself. I tried to convince myself that I would be happy with him, eventually, if I just got married and had a family." She sighed. "So we got married, and I moved in with him...but we had only lived together a few months when we both knew this would not work. We simply have too little in common - and I also wanted to go back to the SGC. I missed my work, missed going to other planets. In any case...we agreed to stay together until the child was born, and then I would move out. When we divorced, we agreed he would get custody of the child, since I went back to an often dangerous life, with missions which we both knew I might not return from. He, on the other hand, is living permanently on Earth, as you probably know." She looked up. "I should have known it would not work. I am so...so sorry to have left you, to have caused the two of you all this pain. I thought...I thought everything would be easier with him...he is from the same culture as I am...from the same planet...but you still understand me far, far better than he ever can."
"While we are pleased you are telling us this, we are also puzzled. If you still love us, and you immediately knew it was an error to leave us...why did you not just come back?" Lantash wanted to know, looking frustrated.
"Because...because I felt stupid!" Sam exclaimed. "I was scared of what you would say...terrified that you would never be able to forgive me. If you hated me, I knew I would be devastated...and I would have only myself to blame. I had made a terrible error, one that hurt you...hurt you so much...so...so I stayed with Jack, hoping that it would work out." She smiled a weak half-smile. "I know it doesn't make much sense, but that's how it is. I was...afraid."
Lantash nodded slowly, discussing with Martouf what Sam had told them, and considering what to say. "It was foolish, Samantha, but we actually understand. We, too were afraid...afraid to approach you, and to learn you no longer loved us. We feared we would learn that you never had loved us." He sighed. "We were all being foolish, but it is a relief to talk to you about this."
"Of course I love you, Lantash - and Martouf! As I just told you before - I love you, so very much!" Sam wiped a tear from her eye, then squeezed his hand. "That has never changed, and I assure you, knowing what I do now, I would not have behaved as I did. If I got the chance...if you would agree to..." She looked down. "I would never cause you such pain again. Never!"
Lantash closed his eyes for a moment, slowly breathing in deeply, then out. "Thank you for telling us all this. I assure you, we still love you - and we...forgive you. We believe you when you say you will not break our hearts again. So...will you agree to be ours again? Agree to see if we can get what we had back?"
"Lantash...and Martouf. I love you so much. Want you so much..." She looked down. "I want nothing more than to become your mate again, but I feel you deserve so much better than me...and..." She looked at them again. "...and in 60-70 years, at most, I will be dead. Martouf will still be alive 400-500 years from now, and you, Lantash...you will live for another 9000-10000 years!" She shook her head. "As much as I want us to be together, I'm not sure it would be fair to you. No matter how much I would want to avoid causing you pain again, that is what I would do if I became your mate!"
"Samantha. Being with you makes me happy, makes both of us happy, even if it is only for a short time, compared to what I would like...and what it could be...forgive me, but have you reconsidered blending? I know you said you did not want to go through that again, but..." Lantash looked at her. His eyes had an almost pleading expression. "We have lost two years we could have spent with you. Please, do you think you could ever agree to blend?"
Sam was just about to say that she was still sure she would never do that, then she stopped herself. Was that really true? Being host to Jolinar was something that happened a long time ago, and she had long since forgiven her...long since come to terms with it, she realized.
From time to time she had actually thought about blending. She had considered it when she was together with Martouf and Lantash before, but now she thought about it again - and this time she gave it real thought. If she wanted to have a relationship with them - and she did want that very much - then she wanted that relationship to last for as long as possible. She was certain that she would be happy with them for the rest of her life - indeed, they were quite possibly the only ones she truly could be happy with.
She looked at Lantash. He was waiting patiently, but obviously anxiously, for her to think this through. "You know, I think I might consider it now. It no longer scares me...it may even be...nice. To be honest, I do sometimes miss Jolinar...so, yes, I think I could...would blend...also because I really do want us to be together, and not just for 60 years, when it could be for centuries. Provided that we survive this place, of course..." she smiled wryly.
Lantash smiled reassuringly. "We will survive, and get safely away from this place. We have, after all, been imprisoned in far worse places, and I refuse to die when you have just said you will be ours again."
He put an arm around her and pulled her to him. She did not resist for a moment.
Sam smiled and put her head on his shoulder, snuggling even closer. They sat like that for a little while, before he kissed her lightly on the forehead, then slowly began to trail light kisses down to her ear. He sucked on an earlobe, and was rewarded with a small gasp from Sam. He then continued to her neck, and Sam gasped again, then moaned softly and closed her eyes as he put more force behind his licks and kisses. She wondered briefly why she had ever left them, but soon all thoughts about anything but Martouf and Lantash fled.
Moving a little, she gently put her hands to the sides of his head and pulled him up to look at her. She gazed at him for a moment, then bent in and caught his mouth in a soft kiss. They embraced each other and the kiss quickly became very passionate.
Lantash continued kissing her for a little while, then gave control to Martouf, letting him enjoy being the one holding and kissing their beloved again.
Totally focused on each other and forgetting where they were, they jumped a little as the door to the cell was suddenly slammed open and Mitchell and Teal'c were thrown in, looking rather worse for wear.
As he picked himself up from the floor, Mitchell looked over at Sam and Martouf/Lantash, who were still holding on to each other and looking rather shocked. "Well, I'm happy to see there's at least some of us who seems to be enjoying this imprisonment!"
The Jaffa left and locked the door. Martouf quickly got up and helped Sam do the same. They hurried to their friends.
"Are you all right?" Sam asked worriedly, attempting to help Teal'c stand. He waved her off and managed on his own, supporting himself against the wall.
"I will be 'all right'...this is not the first time I have had the misfortune of being captured and tortured by a Goa'uld."
"No, but you no longer have a symbiote..." She pointed out.
Meanwhile, Martouf had helped Mitchell sit up against the wall.
"We had expected them to come and take either Samantha, or Lantash and myself, when you were returned."
"Oh, don't worry. The day is still young. I'm sure she'll remember to have a chat with you, as well," Mitchell said bitterly. "I don't think she feels she got enough information. She seemed to be interested in everything...don't worry, I only told her what everyone in the rest of the Galaxy knows all ready, about the Ori and such. I think it scared her a little." He grinned.
Everyone sat down again, as Mitchell and Teal'c started to tell what little new they had learned about this Goa'uld. Afterwards, they all settled down to try to relax and conserve their strength. Mitchell really needed to get to the infirmary, but that was not going to happen anytime soon. He relaxed against the wall as best he could, and half-slept. Teal'c decided to meditate. It always calmed him, and he felt it made him feel better, despite it no longer being necessary. Sam and Martouf/Lantash sat in the corner and whispered together in low voices, trying not to disturb Mitchell and Teal'c.