Sam had just woken up. She lay with closed eyes for a few moments, listening to the sounds around her. They were familiar ones - she realised she was in the infirmary. She felt a little confused. Why was she here? She tried to focus, but the memory of what had happened was just out of reach.
She opened her eyes and tried to move a little, something which she immediately regretted. Her head felt like it was going to explode and she quickly closed her eyes against the strong light and laid back down again.
Ah, yes. Now she remembered. The...ashrak had caused her head to hurt horribly, when he used his...she searched for the word....hara'kesh, yes, that was it. He had been trying to kill her...no, that was not right. Sam tried to remember. Someone had attempted to protect her from the worst of the pain...that was the one the ashrak had been trying to kill. Yes...he had been trying to kill Jolinar, and Sam was just collateral damage to him. Damn Goa'uld. Wait! Jolinar! Was he still in her?
"Jolinar?" Sam whispered, a little afraid to get an answer.
*Yes. I am here. I woke up when you insisted on moving around.* The symbiote answered, sounding tired and in pain. "And please, you do not have to speak out loud. Just think the words to me...and one more thing. I am not a he - I am a she.*
*What does it matter if I think to you - you can read my thoughts anyway, obviously!* Sam angrily thought to Jolinar.
Jolinar sighed. *Yes, I can, but I would usually not do it, unless it was absolutely necessary. The reason I heard you before, was because you were thinking very loudly. I will teach you to hide your thoughts, so I do not accidentally overhear them.*
*You don't need to teach me anything. You said you'd leave - and so you will. As soon as possible. Unless that was a lie.* Sam spat.
*I gave you my word and I intend to keep it.* The symbiote sounded annoyed and hurt. *This...* She indicated their current situation and physical condition. *...will delay it somewhat. Leaving a host without killing it is hard, dangerous - even under the best of circumstances. I may die. That would be very unfortunate for you as well, if I am too weak to protect you against the effects. I have already changed hosts twice this year - normally it should not be done more often than once every few years - at most. After the ashrak's attack it will be months before I am strong enough to attempt to leave you. I am sorry, Samantha.*
Sam could hear the sincerity, but it did not stop her from being furious.
*It's your fault I'm in this situation, damn snake! If you hadn't bored your way into my brain - totally uninvited, then none of this would have happened!*
Jolinar flinched under Sam's words, and was quiet for a long time.
*You are correct. I apologize for my behaviour. I panicked. I have vital information for my people, yes, but the truth is that I did not want to die...and I believed...or wanted to believe...that you were offering, as you pressed your mouth to mine, when my host was dying. It is how we change hosts...however, I realise there is no way you could have known I was even there. Be that as it may. There is no excuse for taking an involuntary host, and I will leave you as soon as it is possible - and take my punishment when I return to my people.
*Glad we agree on that.* Sam snorted. She was more than a little surprised at the symbiotes reaction, though, and a little while later her curiosity won. *You will be punished? Why?*
*I have broken one of our highest laws by taking an unwilling host.* Jolinar sounded remorseful.
*I'm sorry...but don't all Goa'uld do that?* Sam felt very confused. This snake was strange! She no longer believed he..she was trying to trick her, though.
*Yes, but as I tried to tell you - several times - before the ashrak attacked us, I am a Tok'ra, not a Goa'uld!*
*You could have fooled me...* Sam, despite her sarcasm, was beginning to feel uncertain. Jolinar sounded very sincere. She was behaving extremely odd - and she had vehemently denied being a Goa'uld from the very beginning. Sam remembered that now. She kept saying she was a Tok'ra - whatever that was. No Goa'uld had done that before - and what would be the point for them to deny it? Especially not to their own host. For that matter, why was she even talking to Sam? Perhaps she was speaking the truth? *Well, whatever the case, I doubt you need to worry about being punished. It's highly unlikely they'll ever let you go!*
*That is unfortunate - for both of us.*
Sam snorted. *You could say that!* She did not look forward to their likely future. Prison - certainly. Interrogation? That too, and a lot of it. Medical experimentation? Very likely. Sam sighed deeply. What a mess she had ended up in.
They were both quiet for a long time, before Sam decided to try to talk with Jolinar again. If they were going to spend the rest of their lives together - which was very likely unless they could somehow escape from the SGC - then Jolinar would probably be the only one Sam would have to talk to - that would believe her. Ironical as it sounded. Thus, they could not afford to continue this hostility towards one another.
*So...you're female? Why did you have a male host, then?* Sam attempted to change the direction to what she hoped would be a neutral subject.
*One cannot always chose - and since I have always been in female hosts before, it was a good hiding place from the ashrak.* Jolinar explained. *However, strictly speaking I am not female. Only queens are female. Ordinary symbiotes does not have a gender, though many have a preference.*
Sam nodded, suddenly finding herself enjoying the casual talk. The constant hostility was tiring and, truth be told, she was beginning to trust Jolinar a little - and even hate her less, to her own surprise. She had done her best to protect Sam against the ashrak's attack. It was not her fault she would have to wait some time before she could take another host...and it was unlikely she would get a chance to do that anyway. Also not her fault. Sam took a deep breath.
*So, you left the host you had before the Nasyan man in order to better be able to hide?*
*No! I would never do that!* Jolinar answered with surprising passion. *No Tok'ra - and usually no Goa'uld either, though for other reasons - would leave their host as long as he or she was still alive. Among Tok'ra, host and symbiote become very close, closer than the closest friends. We have a truly symbiotic relationship, and in many ways host and symbiote are truly as one, though we do retain our individual identities. Loosing a host is like loosing a part of yourself. I loved Rosha dearly and I still mourn her now. I also grieve for Sennok - the Nasyan man I was in before you. He was only my host for a few months, but he was a good man. It saddens me deeply that he is dead.*
Sam was surprised at the intensity of Jolinar's words, the strong emotions that accompanied them, and she did not doubt for a minute that they were true. Suddenly she felt as if she, too, was mourning these people...former hosts.
*I apologize...my emotions are bleeding through. I must be more tired than I thought.* Jolinar quickly blocked off her feelings. It was a strange sensation.
*I'm sorry, Jolinar...really.* Sam suddenly felt guilty for treating Jolinar the way she had done. It was no wonder the symbiote was a little emotionally on edge - when she had just lost two hosts recently. Sam shook her head - carefully - at the oddity of that thought.
They were silent again, resting. This time there was no hostility in the air, though. Some cautiousness, perhaps, but also an emerging trust. Whatever the future might bring they had each other - and they would get through it together.