They had all ended up spending the rest of the day relaxing - and having more sex.
The next day again, they all met for the large breakfast the village ate together, to celebrate the end of the ‘ Time of the Fire and Lights’.
“This means the Stargate works again?” O’Neill asked.
“The ‘Ring of the Ancestors’,” Daniel said.
Tinnok nodded, smiling. “Yes, it will work again now... but are you really in such a hurry to leave our world? Have you not enjoyed the time here? With your new mates?”
“I... well, yes... I suppose. Though I can’t say I enjoyed you drugging us and forcing us to have sex! That should have been our own choice!” O’Neill exclaimed, unable to stop the words.
“Jack...” Daniel said, trying to avoid him antagonizing these people. “The healing drug...” he added in a low voice.
Tinnok frowned. “It is a traditional part of our joining ceremony. I did not think it would be against your wishes.”
O’Neill took a deep breath, then just shook his head, but did not say anything else.
A man came running up to Tinnok, and whispered something in his ear.
Tinnok looked at him as surprise, then happiness spread across his face. He turned to speak with the high priest, and after some conferring, Tinnok rose. “Friends, I have just learned that the ‘Ring of the Ancestors’ is still not working. We suspected it yesterday, when we saw the strength that was still evident in the lights in the sky, but now it is confirmed. I have talked to Sa’lohk, and we are in agreement; the reason is the presence of our visitors. This is a great sign! The harvest this year will be bountiful!”
The villagers all cheered loudly.
“What?!” O’Neill asked, a look of disbelief on his face.
“You cannot yet leave, my friends, but I assure you, we will continue to treat you as our honoured guests for as long as your presence is blessing us!” Tinnok smiled widely.
“This is wonderful news.” Freya smiled at him. “We have at least one more night to share in this pleasant place.”
O’Neill snorted. “How lucky!”
Freya gave him an unhappy look. “You admitted to having enjoyed mating with me!”
“Yeah...” O’Neill sighed and nodded. “Yes, of course. You’re an attractive woman... and now when I’ve gotten to know you better, I’ll admit that my first impression of you was wrong. You’re a good person - and so is Anise... and I do like you. Both of you.”
Freya smiled. “Coming from you, that is high praise!” She got a distant look for a moment, clearly talking with Anise. “What kind of bed do you have on your base? Anise and I have a large bed, with room for us all, but what about you? From what I saw the one time I was in your room, your bed did not seem large enough for more than two people. Could you perhaps get a larger bed? Since you are now mated?”
“Ahh... Freya... um, you know, this marriage... it’s not going to be accepted as valid on Earth,” O’Neill said, deciding that would be the easiest way to convince her.
“It is not? Why? Did not your people sign a treaty with the Tok’ra recently, which - among other things - accepts as valid off world marriages? I believe it was one of the requirements...”
“We did... and yes, it’s part of that,” Daniel agreed.
“The Tok’ra will acknowledge all the joinings as legitimate,” Aldwin told them. “Though only if those involved wishes it, of course.”
“So it’s invalid if you’re forced?” O’Neill asked.
“Of course.” Freya looked taken aback. “How could you think otherwise?”
“Never mind. So... we’re off the hook.” O’Neill smiled.
“You do not wish to remain the mate of me, Anise, and Daniel?” Freya looked very sad.
"I... listen, Freya, it’s not that I don’t want you. I mean, I like you. It’s just... this wasn’t exactly our own choice!” O’Neill said, a bit desperate. “Besides, it’s polygamous. That’s not going to fly on Earth!”
“Yes, it is. As long as it happened off world, they will have to acknowledge it - according to the treaty,” Daniel told him. He smiled at Freya. “But I agree with Jack. It should be our own choice, not that of the people of this world. However, what do you say we... try dating?”
“Dating?” Freya asked. “What does that mean?”
“It is... a form of courtship, I guess. Where people spend time together and do... various stuff. It is meant to determine if they are well suited to each other,” Daniel explained, trying to keep to terms Freya and Anise would understand.
“That is acceptable - as long as there will be sex involved,” Freya said.
“Uh... yes. Yes, of course.” Daniel blushed.
“Then Anise and I are willing to try this ‘dating’. Of course, you and Jack are welcome in our bed anytime,” Freya told them, smiling. She looked over at O’Neill and winked at him. “Jack? Please. Say that you will be ‘dating’ us also?”
“Are you cra...” O’Neill paused, and looked at Freya. He then looked at Daniel, and then back at Freya... and Anise. He shook his head. “I never thought I’d say this, and I’m sure it means I’m crazy, but yeah, I’ll... date you, Freya... and Anise. And share you with Daniel. Just don’t ever tell anyone at Stargate Command about this!”
“What about you, Samantha?” Martouf asked in a low voice, a guarded look on his face. “Would you prefer to consider our joining invalid?”
Sam looked at him, not sure what to say. “I... don’t know. I mean, I like you a lot. Maybe more than a lot, but I think we should wait and see how it goes?”
“You mean, we should try ‘dating’ as Daniel suggested to Freya and Anise?”
Sam nodded. “Yeah, I think that would be a good idea. I mean, we live on different planets - just to begin listing some of the potential problems.” She took his hand and gave him a half-smile. “That’s not what you wanted to hear, I can see that. It’s just... Jolinar emotions still confuse me. I feel a lot for you two, I just... I don’t know if it’s me - or her. Or both.” She shook her head. “You said the Tok’ra would accept our marriage as valid, but what do you feel? Because that matters a lot to me.”
“Yes, the Tok’ra will accept us as mates.” Martouf smiled. “I assure you, there is nothing Lantash and I would want more than to claim you as our mate - but only if that is what you want as well.” He bowed his head, and gave Lantash control.
“Our desire to be your mates... to remain your mates, is sincere. Our deepest wish.”
“Wait... remain my mates... you mean because we got married here?”
He shook his head. “Because you were Jolinar’s last host. According to Tok’ra tradition, the new host - or symbiote - joins an existing relationship, unless the mates do not want it. I do not know of that ever happening. Regardless, when we were asked by the Council, Martouf and I said that we had no wish to repudiate the relationship. However, as you are not Tok’ra, no one expected you to know - or want to - uphold this tradition.”
“That’s... uh, I don’t know what to say...” Sam frowned. “I mean, it’s sweet, I guess, but what would have happened if you found out later you didn’t like me? I mean, you didn’t know anything about me when we just met!”
“I did know something. Despite what you had been through because of Jolinar, you sought us out, and you offered your father as a host. We also spent some time with you, and it was clear that you are kind, intelligent, and courageous. Aside from the obvious - that you are very beautiful.” Lantash sighed. “But you are correct, I suppose it could have been possible we would have changed our mind about you later, but then we would just have notified the Council. When we informed them we wanted the relationship to continue, it was a... declaration of intent, I guess. It was not a promise of eternal devotion.”
Sam smiled and shook her head. “Sorry. Of course. It’s just that I don’t know enough about the Tok’ra, and then there’s you and Jolinar being together for a hundred years... but you’re right. I understand what you mean, and I don’t have a problem with it.” She moved a little closer to him. “So, you still feel the same as you did then?”
“No, my feelings for you have grown very much stronger since then - but if you mean about being your mate, then the answer is yes, Samantha.” Lantash smiled at her. “As both Martouf and I just told you, we want you. We love you.”
“Oh.” Sam gave him a warm smile. “Thank you. I... I do...”
“Shh, you don’t need to say anything. We understand that Jolinar’s feelings confuse you. Perhaps we can help you sort them out? While... ‘dating’, as you call it.”
Sam wrapped her arms around him and kissed him. “I would love that. I really look forward to showing you Earth - my house, taking you to the movies, out to restaurants... and so on!”
“That sounds interesting - especially your house...” Lantash smiled naughtily at her. “And your bed, I hope?”
Sam grinned and shook her head at them. “Yes, that too.” She kissed him. “Especially that!”
“Teal’c? Will you be returning with your friends tomorrow?” Nissa asked, looking unhappy.
He nodded. “Yes, as was the intention from the beginning.” He smiled at her. “I have enjoyed our time together, and I will miss you.”
“I will miss you terribly!” Nissa said.
“You have Rian, your... other mate. I am certain you will be happy together.”
“Yes... I am sure we will, but he is not you!”
Teal’c looked closely at her. “Perhaps I could visit, from time to time. Would you enjoy that?”
“Oh, I would love it!” Nissa smiled.
“You are certain Rian would not feel betrayed?”
“No, such is not our way. He knows I chose you both. If anything, he will be pleased he has me to himself most of the time.”
Teal’c nodded. “In that case I shall visit you.” He smiled at her. “I will look forward to it.”
“Not as much as me!” Nissa took his hands in hers, and smiled happily.
“But if you leave with the others tomorrow, what about us?” Jian asked.
“Can you not stay? Have you not enjoyed being here?” Miera wondered.
“I have enjoyed this visit greatly, and the time with the two of you even more,” Aldwin assured them. “I would not mind spending much more time here, were it not for the fact that as a Tok’ra, I have responsibilities I cannot ignore.”
“Can you visit, then?” Jina asked, hopefully. “As you mentioned before?”
“Often?” Miera added.
Aldwin smiled wryly, then took one hand of each of the women in his hands. “Yes, sure, I will visit. As often as my duties will allow. I cannot say how frequent, but I will visit you.” He got a serious expression. “You must promise me, though, that you will not abstain from the pleasures of others while I am gone. There are many young men here who would be happy to keep your bed warm, and you should enjoy any you want to. Will you promise me that?”
Jina and Miera both nodded, slowly.
“We will do as you suggest,” Miera said.
“Then we also get the opportunity to practise - so we can be very talented when you return!” Jina added. “I hope to be most skilled at sucking your shaft, Aldwin.”
“I... uhm, that is most kind of you,” Aldwin managed, blushing.
Next day they ate breakfast together with the locals, just as the other days. While the celebration was officially over, the unprecedented event of the still strong polar lights had encouraged the villagers to extend the celebrations with one extra day.
“You are certain we cannot convince you to stay another day?” Tinnok asked, when they had all made their goodbyes and stood at the Stargate, ready to go.
“No, we have to return to our duties,” O’Neill said.
“But we have enjoyed our stay here, thank you,” Daniel quickly added. “Oh, and by the way, the healing drug we mentioned when we first met you...”
“Do not be concerned. I have ordered several bottles prepared for you, as well as a list of the ingredients.” Tinnok smiled. “I have also included the drug against day-after-drinking problems, as well as some of our other, ah, interesting drugs. They are all in that basket.” He pointed at a young girl who was coming towards them, carrying a large basket.
“Uh, thanks. I’m sure everyone will be happy,” Daniel said.
“I tested the chaapa’ai earlier, and it again functions properly,” Martouf told them.
“Great, well, then it’s time to leave,” O’Neill said.
Teal’c bowed his head to Tinnok. “Goodbye.”
O’Neill smiled. “Daniel - dial us home!”