Chapter 3: Jolinar - Tok'ra

A little confused, Sam opened her eyes. "Martouf?"

"Samantha?" He had a very cautious expression. "Is it you?"

"Yes. But I realize you can't know that." She sighed, and tried to sit up. The feeling of dizziness increased and she laid down again.

"Are you okay?" Martouf looked very concerned.

"Yeah... mostly. It's aftereffects of the 'blood of Sokar'. At least that's what Jolinar says... she's here with me, though you probably know that. She would very much like to talk to you... though she thinks you may not want to talk to her."

"Of course I want to talk to her! How can she think I would not? She knows I love her, and I have missed her terribly!" Martouf exclaimed, grabbing Sam's hand and squeezing it.

Sam nodded, giving him a bleak smile. "Then I'll let her have control. For a little while. I'm sorry, I'm not completely comfortable with this... yet" She bowed her head, letting Jolinar come fore.

"Jolinar?" Martouf asked.

"Yes." She smiled at him, an expression of equal parts love and worry on her face. He was still holding her hand, and she entwined her fingers with his, before speaking in a low voice, not wanting the others on the ship to hear her. "I love you so much, Martouf and Lantash. I am so sorry for everything that happened. Rosha... Netu... Samantha... I... I do not know..."

"Shhh. We will talk about all that later. Not now. You need to relax. You both do." Martouf leaned down and gave her a soft kiss, before pulling back, sighing. "I am sorry, but Lantash does not feel... certain you are truly our Jolinar, returned to us."

Jolinar gave him a bleak smile. "I would expect nothing less from him. I hope that soon I will have proven who I am, beyond any doubt."

Martouf nodded. "I look forward to that. More than you can imagine."

"Samantha wishes to have control again. She is not yet comfortable with me having control for longer periods of time," Jolinar said. She bowed her head, giving Sam control again.

"Yet? What did the snake mean by 'yet'?" O'Neill asked, walking up to them. He looked at Martouf. "You can't really believe it's Jolinar? Just like that?"

"Physically, it can only be Jolinar. There is no way any other symbiote could have gotten into Samantha. The rest... personality, behaviour... she appears to be Jolinar. I must admit I very much hope she is, but I am no fool. The Tok'ra healers will ascertain if she is telling the truth," Martouf said.

"And then they'll get her out of Carter, right?"

"If Samantha wishes it, then Jolinar will leave her, of course." Martouf looked stubbornly at O'Neill.

"It's not so simple... Jolinar and I are fully blended," Sam said.

"What?! What does that mean... and why would you do that? Besides, she can still leave you, right?" O'Neill asked.

"It will make it... difficult, emotionally, for Samantha. Also, I do not know how the memories from Jolinar, memories that Samantha has in her own mind, will affect it, especially if Jolinar actually accessed all of them." Martouf frowned, looking very worried.

"I've got all of Jolinar's memories in my mind, and she accessed them during blending. We think it happened automatically after she was... regrown, I suppose. If she left me - aside from the normal problems Jolinar says a former host would have, with loneliness and such - I would be able to access all the memories she left in my mind."

"Meaning you would be completely unable to tell who you are, or which memories belong to who," Martouf concluded.

"Yeah, that's more or less what Jolinar and I think too."

"This means... what?" O'Neill asked.

"Jolinar can't leave me. I'm staying her host," Sam said.

When they had returned to Vorash, the others escorted Sam/Jolinar to the Tok'ra tunnels, where she would be examined, and where the Tok'ra would determine if she was truly Jolinar, not just in body, but in mind as well.

It took several hours, and when they were finished, Sam was exhausted. Jolinar was still unconscious after the last test, where they had been given a drug that kept a symbiote unconscious while the host could be questioned without risk of interference.

Sam knew that both her team mates, her dad, and especially Martouf and Lantash, were all very eager to hear the results. Therefore, when the healer told her they were waiting for her, she just smiled and said she would talk to them, despite how tired she felt. Afterwards, she would probably go directly to the bed the Tok'ra had prepared for her in a guest room.

She smiled at her team-mates, Martouf/Lantash, and Jacob/Selmak, who stood just outside the doorway to the healers's chambers, waiting for her.

"Samantha, are you all right?" Martouf asked, seeing how tired she looked.

Sam nodded. "Yes, I'm just tired, and Jolinar is still unconscious."

He looked very worriedly at her. "What did you learn?"

Sam smiled reassuringly. "Jolinar is herself - in every way."

"That is so," one of the Tok'ra healers confirmed. "As strange as all this is, the result is that Jolinar is back with us, alive and well - and herself. Tok'ra."

Martouf looked extremely relieved, and took Sam's hands. "And you will remain her host?"

"Yes. I mean... I don't have a choice, not really..." She shrugged. "We're getting along fairly well, and the truth is, well, I've missed her so..."

O'Neill snorted. "How lucky for you, Marty! Not only is your wife alive and well again, but Carter is her host, and has to stay that way. I'm sure Jolinar will even make Carter want you!"

Martouf's eyes flashed as Lantash came fore. "How dare you insinuate that Jolinar would force Samantha into become our mate?"

"Well, isn't that how it works? The whole 'we love as one' thing?" Daniel asked.

"Stop it! All of you! Jolinar isn't forcing anything on me, and as for my feelings towards Martouf and Lantash? They are not something I will discuss here, with all of you. It's personal, and I'd prefer to talk to Martouf and Lantash in private about that, thank you very much!" Sam said, starting to get angry at all of them.

Lantash squeezed her hands. "Of course, Samantha. If you wish, we could go to my quarters now and talk?"

Sam nodded "I think I would like that, but first I want something to eat... and a bath." She smiled wryly. "I only got a quick shower when we came back, and I still feel like the dirt and smell of Netu is clinging to me."

"I understand. The rest of us have gotten some time to cleanse and relax, while Jolinar and you had to suffer at the hands of the healers and interrogators. I am truly sorry you had to go through this, Samantha," Lantash said, looking intently at her.

O'Neill made a disgusted sound, and turned away, rolling his eyes. "Come, Daniel, Teal'c - let's go see what they've got in the Tok'ra mess hall. You wanna come too, Jacob?"

"No, I'm afraid I have a date with the healers again, and then I'm going to hit the sack early." Jacob sighed.

"Good night, dad." Sam smiled at him. "I'll be staying here for a couple days, at least, so we'll see each other tomorrow?"

"Sounds great, Sammie." He gave Lantash a stern look. "Just remember... if you or Martouf do anything that hurts my little girl, I swear I'll rip out both your spines and beat you to death with them!" His expression softened, taking some of the harshness out of his words.

"Don't worry, Jacob. We would never hurt Samantha!" Lantash said, with conviction. "Sleep well. I promise I will help Samantha find what she needs here in the tunnels, and get used to things here - not that Jolinar can't do that just as well, of course, but she will likely be unconscious for at least another hour, or so."

Chapter 4