It had been a long flight, though they had managed to sleep for some time. They were still quite tired when they arrived in Heathrow airport, London, in the United Kingdom. Because of the time difference, it was almost 5PM the next day, when they finally had their luggage and were through customs.
They were on their way to find ground transportation to go to the center of London, when Sam’s cell phone rang. It turned out to be Jacob, who had given them some information about their progress in the investigation into Doctor Flemming’s death. After talking to Sam for some time, Jacob had asked to speak with Martouf as well.
When she heard Martouf assuring Jacob about his honourable intentions, Sam quickly walked far enough away that she could not hear what was being said. She groaned to herself, hoping her dad would not give Martouf too much of a hard time. It was, after all, his own suggestion that she be the one accompanying Martouf and Lantash while they were hiding on Earth!
When the phone call was over, Sam had walked back to Martouf, with an apologetic expression, but he did not seem troubled, and instead informed her Jacob had told her Anise was examining O’Neill and Kanan, and trying to treat O’Neill.
Sam let out a relieved breath - at least her dad had not just wanted to ensure Martouf and Lantash were behaving themselves towards her!
After taking Heathrow Express into the center of London, they made their way to the hotel where Stargate Command had reserved a room for them.
Sam was happy it was already 6PM, as she was tired and was looking forward to sleeping. She unlocked the door, and tiredly stepped into the room, Martouf following her.
“Ah, there’s... only one bed,” Sam said, disbelieving.
Martouf put his suitcase and other stuff down and walked around the room, checking it, and the bed out. “It is more than large enough for us both.”
“Yeah... I know, but...” Sam looked at the papers she had brought from home, with the booking numbers and other information.”They’d reserved a room with two beds for us - the man at the desk must have made an error.”
“Perhaps they were out of that kind of rooms, and did not think we would mind?” Martouf suggested. “Should we go and ask them, if it can be changed?” He looked as if he did not want this, but would do it if that was what Sam wanted.
“No... no, that would probably be a bad idea. If we’re pretending to be on our honeymoon, people would probably think it was suspicious if we didn’t want to share a bed.” Sam shrugged. “It doesn’t matter. We’re all adults.”
Martouf frowned. “Yes? What is the significance of that, when it comes to whether or not a bed can be shared?”
“It just means that we’re old enough to, ah, not be shy or feel embarrassed by sleeping in the same bed.”
“I still do not understand.” Martouf looked even more puzzled.
“Never mind, it’s, ah, an Earth thing, I guess.” Sam sighed. “Let’s get something to eat, and then I think I’m going to go to bed early. Jet-lag, you know.” She saw his expression became even more puzzled, and grinned. “I’ll explain on the way. Come.”
It was not yet 10PM when Sam crawled to bed, wearing her modest sleepwear - consisting of an oversized t-shirt and loose shorts. Martouf still smiled and looked at her with a pleased expression, clearly enjoying the opportunity to see her in less clothing than usual.
He started undressing, and Sam quickly averted her eyes, blushing slightly. She realised he did not share the same modesty many people on Earth did, and had no problem stripping naked in front of her.
“I am sorry, I forgot that nudity is offensive to your people,” Martouf said, looking bashful.
“I guess that’s the case for some, but certainly not everyone. Many are just... more modest, and are only comfortable being naked around their spouse, some not even that. On SG-1 we’re actually used to changing clothes around each other, though we usually... turn our backs.”
“That is good. Otherwise it might become awkward sharing a room for a long time,” Martouf observed, solemnly. On his way out to take a bath, he threw his clothes on a chair, and grabbed the nightwear they had bought in Los Angeles.
Sam threw a guilty look after him, catching a glimpse of his naked butt. She willingly admitted it was a very nice butt, which she would very much like to fondle.
Sighing, she pulled the blankets up around her, and tried to sleep. It was not easy, though, as her thoughts went to the conversation she had with her dad earlier that evening.
Her dad, Teal’c, and Jonas had arrived in Steveston, Oregon, the day before, and they had asked around a little and tried to learn anything about Doctor Flemming.
Apparently, the car had been totalled, but there had been no body found. Doctor Flemming’s lab at the company ImmuniTech Research had been destroyed by a fire the day before - and his coworkers had told the sheriff that Flemming had behaved strangely recently. Amphetamine had been found in the glove compartment of the destroyed car, even if Flemming had no history of drug use.
It all smelled of a set-up. The company ImmuniTech Research was owned by Adrian Conrad’s company, Zetatron Industries, so Sam felt fairly certain they had been doing something suspicious.
When her dad and the others had arrived at Flemming’s house, in order to search it, a delivery man had arrived with a package Flemming had sent to himself. It had turned out to contain a syringe with an unknown liquid, which Anise and Janet were currently examining.
She knew her dad, Teal’c, and Jonas were perfectly capable of handling this, and take care of themselves, but she still hated not being able to be there to help them.
Pushing those thoughts aside, she turned to smile at Martouf - or Lantash, she suddenly suspected - who just stepped out from the bathroom, wearing his sleepwear. Despite her earlier reaction, she wished he was naked. He was very handsome, and she readily admitted to herself she was very attracted to him. Fortunately, the sleepwear was covering much less than what he usually wore, so she could got a nice look anyway.
“You are not asleep yet, Samantha?” Lantash asked, confirming her guess.
“No, I was thinking about the mission my dad and the others are on.”
“You have no reason to worry. We talked to Jacob as well, as you know, and I am certain they will be successful.”
“I know. I can still worry.” She smiled at him again. “It’s nice to talk to you, Lantash. It’s not that I don’t enjoy talking to Martouf, but I like having both of you with me.”
“You do have both of us with you. Regardless of who is in control, the other is fully aware of what is going on, and experiencing it all, except if he is asleep. The only exception would be if we were captured and I was protecting Martouf against torture, or something like that.” He smiled at her, looking so very charming that he took her breath away. “But I realise that was not what you meant. Since I cannot be in control very often when we are among others, Martouf and I have agreed that I will be in control much of the time when we are in private.”
“That sounds fair.”
He walked up to her side of the bed, and sat down on it. “Samantha... while we realise this could turn out to be a dangerous mission, Martouf and I find ourselves... very pleased to be sharing this with you.”
“I’m enjoying the time off too - and it’s very nice to be spending it with you. I have long wished for some time to get to know you better, to be able to separate what I know about you, from what you were to Jolinar... and just to learn more about you.” She sat up, and took a deep breath. “I have missed you very much. When I thought you were dead...” her voice quivered, and she swallowed. “It was very hard.”
Lantash took her hand, caressing it gently. “I know, and we really are very sorry it had to be this way. That you could not be told of our survival.” He sighed. “Had I known, I would have insisted you be told.”
Sam nodded. “I believe you... but I guess I can understand them. I could have been brainwashed.” She shook her head. “To think that so many have been compromised - both among the Tok’ra, and at the SGC. I really hope we manage to capture them all.” She suddenly gasped. “The Colonel - he’s been brainwashed too!”
“Yes... Samantha, Anise believes she has learned enough that she will be able to cure many of those affected, or at least mitigate the programming to a point where they will neither become self-destructive, nor actively work for the enemy. Programming, such as what O’Neill seems to have received, is somewhat harder to undo, apparently, and he may have to work to get over it himself. It may take time for him, as it has magnified his already existing distrust of the Tok’ra into hatred.”
“But Anise can stop him from trying to commit suicide?”
“According to Jacob, Kanan was already doing that. Or trying to. Apparently, that and the intense hatred of the Tok’ra, which O’Neill feels, almost made Kanan insane, or, at least, ah, temporarily mentally unstable.”
“I don’t want to think about what would have happened if you hadn’t brought the attention to the conspiracy. Then Anise probably wouldn’t have been watching the Tok’ra for weird behaviour, and the Goa’uld might have caused even more death and destruction to them - and to us.”
“Kanan would presumably also have escaped, with O’Neill suppressed, had Anise not been aware of this type of programming. There is no knowing what might have happened then, or where he would have gone.” He squeezed her hand. “We should not think of these things now. You are tired, and so are Martouf and I. We should sleep.”
“You’re right.” She looked at him, giving him a smile.
“Samantha... may we kiss you goodnight?”
“Eh, sure.” Her smile widened. “I’d like that.”
Lantash leaned in and kissed her softly, putting a hand lightly on her back. Sam returned the kiss, which was short and sweet. Lantash smiled at her, and got up, walking to his own side of the bed.
Sam found herself wishing he had deepened the kiss, or that she had had the courage to do so herself. She vowed that she would, the next time an opportunity presented itself.