Hall of Mirrors
"They're Lutherans, Carter," Colonel O'Neill had said when Samantha's anxiety bubbled up to the surface yet again, centered this time on the question of whether Reverend Volk might think something was up and refuse to marry them. She was, Martouf had reflected, not terribly good with problems that could not be solved via either technical brilliance or well-timed explosions. "They think Italians are exotic. Relax, willya?"
Martouf told her fairly early on that he would not parent a child. He thinks that makes her sad, sometimes, but she is not altogether sorry to have him simplify that choice for her, and besides it was not negotiable. He likes the Tau'ri well enough, and is not sorry to give them the forty or fifty years he can expect Samantha's life to last, but he is not interested in being tied to the place beyond that. Besides, he still hopes Samantha can be convinced to take a symbiote. The fewer established emotional attachments the better, when it comes to choosing to become a Tok'ra.
Jolinar refused to leave him.
Martouf had expected that she would, even tried to convince her that he would be safer without her, but she refused, and so they died together at the hands of the ashrak. Jolinar's corpse was brought back as proof, but Martouf's was left to rot where it lay, rolled over on its stomach with a gaping wound on the back of its neck where no scar had ever been.
Her name was Semestin. She joined their little group of refugees their second day out from the city, and if she was less than specific about where exactly she was from, that was more than offset by her usefulness. She saved all of their lives two times, by his count, and would have the last time as well, if only there had been one fewer Jaffa.
Leti and Toor died in that attack, but Martouf was alive, and Taraf and Shin, and Shin's nephew Koras, who had stopped crying for his mother after the first week. Martouf wanted to thank Semestin for that while she was still breathing, even though there was a great deal of blood, and it frightened him. So he sat down next to her on the ground and took her hand, only to be met with a grip much, much stronger than he had expected.
"I'm dying," she said, and Martouf, who preferred not to lie, had to admit that this was so.
"You could take him," she said—gasped, really. "He's good, I swear, we've saved your lives, you've seen it," and then there was a light in her eyes and her voice changed and there was a wave of explanation about symbiotes and partnership and the Go-ah-oold that Martouf didn't really hear. He'd seen the one the Jaffa bowed to, in the very beginning, before the uprising. He remembered her voice, and her eyes. So he cut off Semestin's explanation with a knife, and when he met Taraf and Shin and Koras at the bottom of the hill, all he said to them was that she had died. They asked no questions, and so he never told them any more about her. After all, there was no need to brag.
Jack O'Neill looked very like Misko, who was the only host of Jolinar's Martouf had ever known. It made him smile, a little, though it seemed likely it was only coincidence. It also made him hopeful that Jack would have more sympathy for the Tok'ra as a whole and Martouf in particular due to the experience of blending.
Unfortunately, that part didn't work out so well.
Lantash keeps him bald, at his request. When people ask him why, he affects an expression of mild incomprehension and says, very sweetly, "why not?"
Samantha never gave up on changing his mind. She was very much like Rosha that way, though Martouf thought she was not as naturally ruthless; it took her six months before she tried to use his bed as a way out, and she was never very convincing. After the third time, he had to admit to himself that despite her genuine aptitude for the activity, her enthusiasm was somewhat lacking, and it was his responsibility to head things off at the pass.
"I enjoy sexual intercourse with you a great deal, Samantha," he said. "However, it will not convince me to enable your escape, or the escape of your companions. If that is your only purpose here, I would prefer not to use you in such a way."
She tried once again to convince him with words then, to no avail. It was hard for them, he knew--there had been several escape attempts, one of which had resulted in serious injuries to both Tok'ra and Tau'ri--but secrecy was the first rule. Without secrecy, they would not survive, and the survival of the Tok'ra had to come first.
Martouf always hoped they would come around and accept symbiotes, but sadly, they never did.
Martouf died with President Coyle on the floor of the Gateroom. His last thought was blank incomprehension at why Lantash could possibly have made him do such a thing.
He died on Netu with Lantash and Jacob and Selmak and SG-1; he died saving their lives, and was glad to do it; he died on a thousand undercover missions, died when the Goa'uld first attacked his world, died human and alone in bed at the age of eighty-three, died at four from diphtheria. He took Lantash and loved him, took Lantash and regretted it, took Lantash and discovered he was a Goa'uld in secret. And, of course, he's infinitely alive out there, and unconcerned about the alternatives. He has never been much of a worrier.
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