Surprised, she looked up at Martouf, who she in her distraction and hurry had almost collided with.
“Martouf...what are you doing here? I just said goodbye to you and Dad a few hours ago! You were going on a diplomatic mission to...Sai’hvana, right?”
“Yes, I was. Unfortunately, they were attacked by the Goa’uld, so the mission has been postponed - most likely indefinitely.”
He looked sad. Having a previously free world succumb to the Goa’uld were never pleasant. Sam knew it was particularly hard on Martouf, having experienced the same thing with his home world.
“I’m sorry.” She gave him a reassuring smile and patted his arm, a little awkwardly. “Is Dad back here too?”
“No, he had some matters to attend to. I do not currently have anything requiring my attention. Earlier, you mentioned you had problems determining the nature of the artifact found on...P3X-...492...I think...” He shook his head. “Why do you not give the planets proper names?” He looked a little annoyed. “In any case, I offer my assistance.”
Sam tried to hide her smile at his irritation. “The system is actually quite logical...anyway, I didn’t know you were a scientist?”
“I am, actually. I was trained as a scientist, but I rarely have the opportunity to indulge in scientific work. I sometimes help Anise and her group, but usually I spend my time on diplomatic work or assisting with the archiving and cross-referencing of the intelligence reports from our operatives.”
“Well, I can certainly use the help. The artifact gives off high energy readings, and Daniel claims the writing on the sides of it is hinting to it being some kind of weapon - perhaps made to fight the Goa’uld. However, he said the text is very elusive and in a strange dialect of Latin. Too bad, I could use some more instructions - I’ve been completely unable to determine how it might work.” Sam said, frustrated. “There just doesn’t seem to be any controls anywhere on it at all!”
“Together we will solve the problem, I am sure.” Martouf smiled at her.
Sam nodded, happy for both the help and the company. “I just need to get some coffee first. Do you want some?”
“Jacob introduced us to that particular beverage several months ago. Lantash shares Selmak’s opinion of it, and I must admit I am not too fond of it myself.”
“OK, why don’t you get started...” She opened the door to the laboratory, “...and then I’ll join you in ten.”
Sam returned shortly after, carrying one mug of steaming hot coffee and one mug of herb tea.
“Here.” She put the tea down. “I suddenly remembered you drinking something like this.”
Martouf took the cup and sniffed. “This will be quite satisfactorily. Thank you.” He sent her a warm smile. “I have studied the artifact while you were gone...”
“While I have not been able to ascertain its function with absolute certainty, I have a reasonable idea. Also, Lantash can read the inscriptions.”
“That’s great! That should help us to figure this out!” Sam smiled happily and sat down on the chair beside him. So, what does it say?” She looked expectantly at him.
Martouf looked a bit apologetic. “It’s not a weapon. The text on the sides are...I believe you would call them spells or enchantments. It was presumably the hope of the people on...P3X-492, that this... artifact would kill Goa’uld: Apparently by them merely being in its presence - through magic, most likely.” He looked faintly condescending at this concept.
“Oh.” Sam felt a little stupid at them having spent so much time studying it. Then she thought of something. “Well, how do you know it doesn’t work? It seems fairly advanced and it does have that strong power signature. If it was all superstition from their side, I’d think they wouldn’t have known how to build this...device. Perhaps they just use different words for it than we do.”
Martouf bowed his head, giving Lantash control.
“I admit that is always a possibility. However, I assure you, Samantha, in this case it does not work. While philosophically the Tok’ra are not Goa’uld, I’m afraid I cannot claim any difference from them biologically”
Sam flushed as she realised her mistake, then suddenly got a worried expression.
“You’re sure you’re okay, Lantash?”
He nodded. “Yes, the artifact does not emit anything of any danger to either of us.” He held out a scanner.
Sam nervously grabbed it from him and looked at the display. Relieved, she let out a breath she had not even noticed she was holding.
“Good. We need to be more careful in the future.”
“You need not concern yourself. There are very few things that will adversely affect a symbiote - especially that would not also affect a human to a much greater degree.” He smiled, obviously pleased with her concern for him. “I believe the artifact is much older than the inscriptions, and made by a different civilization. I have seen something similar to it before. I believe they were used as power sources by a people called the Thilgrarians. They were sapient avians, killed off by the Goa’uld many centuries before I was born. They were complete pacifists, and chose to die as a race instead of fighting their attackers - or surrendering and thus in some way perhaps aiding them in future conquests.”
“That’s really sad.” Sam sighed. “Oh, well. So, not a weapon against the Goa’uld. Maybe we’ll have more luck next time.” She stretched and winced slightly. “Typical.”
“You are in pain?” Lantash asked, concerned.
“I’ve just sat here studying that thing for too long! My shoulders hurt. I wish we’d thought to ask you guys before. We ought to cooperate on things like this.”
“I agree completely.” Lantash nodded, then dipped his head, letting Martouf fore. He looked distant for a moment.
“Lantash and I would be agreeable to help you in the future, unless we are needed by the Tok’ra.”
“Thanks.” Sam smiled warmly. She started to get up, when Martouf stopped her.
“Wait. Samantha...please allow me to do something about the pain in your shoulders. Unfortunately, we didn’t bring a healing device, but I have some experience in massage, if you will allow me to show you?” He stood, looking at her expectantly.
“Eh...” Sam considered it, looking up at him. Her shoulders and neck really did hurt a lot and she was very tempted. Well, why not, she thought. A massage was completely innocent. “I think I would like that.” She smiled at him.
Martouf began to massage her neck and shoulders, gently kneading. Sam closed her eyes and relaxed as he worked on her sore muscles. He really was very good at this!
As he continued working at the knots of tension in her shoulders, until she felt her muscles relax and the stress of the day melt away.
His hands suddenly dipped inside the neck of her jacket, and Sam gasped as she felt his fingers graze against her naked skin.
“I apologize for startling you, Samantha. You have some muscle infiltrations in your neck which I can better treat if I am able to touch your skin directly, instead of through the clothing. If you open the jacket some, it would be easier.”
“Of course.” Sam said, a little embarrassed at how quickly she agreed, but she realised she would do anything to feel his hands on her again. She unbuttoned the jacket of her blue BDU, shrugging it off. “It’s warm enough just with the t-shirt anyway.”
Martouf’s strong, warm hands began to gently probe the muscles in her neck. Sam enjoyed his talented work, marvelling at his ability to find and massage away every small knot of tension.
However, as the pain disappeared, she could not help but respond to his ministrations in other ways. She felt her body react to his touch, warmth spreading through her as he continued his work. By the time he stopped, she was relaxed, but also quite aroused.
She was confused at her own response. It was not as if he had touched her in any sexual way, really, and only on her neck and shoulders. Why was she reacting so strongly? She readily admitted she already missed the feeling of his fingers on her skin.
Sam turned to look at him, hoping he would not see the arousal she feared was obvious on her face. She looked into his eyes, seeing her desire mirrored. She swallowed.
“Thank you...I’m feeling much better.”
“The tension is gone?” He asked, his gaze intense on her.
“Yes...” Sam said, blushing slightly and not wanting to admit it had been traded for another kind of tension.
Martouf studied her expression for a moment, then got a look on his face as if he was deep in thought. She knew he was likely talking with Lantash.
Sam got up. “I guess we should go inform Hammond of our findings. That this isn’t a weapon.” She indicated the artifact on the table before she turned to the door.
“Wait...Samantha!” Martouf took her hand, entwining his fingers with hers, pulling her closer. “I hope I am not overstepping my bounds...” He smiled shyly before he leaned in and gently brushed his lips against hers.
Sam closed her eyes and swayed towards him, capturing his mouth with hers again. She slowly moved her lips against his, then ran her tongue along them before pushing against them.
He immediately allowed her entrance, tangling his tongue with hers. Sam moaned softly into his mouth as his hands began stroking her back. He pulled at her t-shirt, sliding one hand under it and up along her spine, marvelling at the softness of her skin. He found her bra, exploring it with his fingers, tracing it to the front.
Sam shuddered a little as he grazed one of her nipples through the material. She opened her eyes and looked at him. He had a sensual expression on his face, and looked back at her with a mischievous glint in his eyes.
He pressed himself against her, and she felt his hardness between them. For several minutes she forgot all but his kisses and touches. She was caressing him now too - as well as she could through the thick material of his Tok’ra uniform.
Her thoughts clouding with desire, she considered ripping the clothes off him, but at the last moment managed to bring her mind back to the present. Someone might come and see them - and they had duties to do.
With difficulty, she stopped kissing him, pulling back a little.
“We really should go and inform General Hammond of our findings.” Sam said, a little shakily and not really wanting to let go of him.
“I guess we should.” Martouf agreed, hoarsely. He made no move to remove his hands from where he was fondling her.
Sam sighed and gave him a quick kiss, then disentangled herself. “If you want, we could continue this later...somewhere else?” She looked at him, hopeful.
“I would like that.” He smiled. “So would Lantash.”
“My quarters, perhaps?” She suggested, hoping it was not too forward.
“A very good idea.”