||For the next four days Sam and Daniel felt they were back on Tynir; shuffled from one place to another, asked countless questions, bandaged and reexamined half a dozen times, and all on the whims of Landry, Dr. Lam, and even sometimes Cam.
A soft knock on the door pulled Sam out of the silent reverie she had fallen into. Turning, placing the book on the desk of the VIP room she was in, she crossed the floor and opened the door.
"Danny!" Sam said, a smile springing to her lips. She slipped her arms around him and they stood for a moment hugging in the doorway. "Oh, come in. I was given a few books to pass the first day we have to ourselves. But you are much better than any book."
Daniel swept a hand through her hair, now cut to the "acceptable military length". He returned the smile and closed the door. "I'm glad." He leaned down and gave her a deep kiss, one of the first since they had come back to Earth on their whirlwind adventure to get back "home." "I've missed you, my Sammy," Daniel mumbled as he once more crushed their lips together and his still rough hands slipped under the issued black t-shirt they now wore.
They were careful to avoid any sore and still healing areas - both knowing where they were by heart - as they moved across the floor and into the small bathroom. Stepping out of her pants, Sam turned the water on and felt the water heat up. She pulled Daniel into the shower, yelping as the colder water hit her back, and quickly adjusted the temperature.
"Let's make the water boil, my dear," Daniel said as he once more dipped down and trailed kisses against her neck, closing his eyes as she exhaled and dragged her fingers up his back and into his much shorter hair.
Daniel unconsciously intertwined his fingers around the thread that was hanging loose off his SGC issued blue jacket and tugged. It snapped and he went back to reading the same line for the forth time.
"Daniel!" a voice said in a sort of celebration of its own.
He looked up and saw a smiling Vala, her hair in a ponytail and jacket left open and loose. "Hi."
"So how was your little trip?" she asked.
"I would not call it a little trip, Vala. It was more like a long, torturous, hell bent, all out..."
"Right, right... I had to sit there for the past four days and listen to it all too," Vala said in dismissal. "So anything really interesting go on? Anything to go back for?"
Daniel sighed and felt the all too familiar pressure come back behind his eyes. "Besides the people who helped Sam and I survive? I kind of miss my pillow actually," he said dryly. "I miss the open air a lot more than I used to."
"Oh well, I heard that Cam was trying to get you two to the topside, or maybe it was after the excursion back to the planet. Does it really matter what order it is all in?" Vala asked. She waved a hand about and continued, Daniel rubbing a hand into his eyes. He glanced up and saw Sam walk swiftly into the doorway and pause.
Their eyes met, sending the silent message of "help me!" and "oh boy, you do need help." Sam smiled and leaned against the doorjamb, thumbing the folder that was hanging between her hands. She looked at Vala, once more perched beside Daniel on the end of his desk, and looked back at her husband. Compassion flooded her eyes as a small smile danced upon her lips. Daniel silently slid his chair back, giving glances toward Vala who was now playing with several expensive pieces of art and animatedly talking - to herself now. He glided between the stacks of books his researchers had piled for him to read, and threw Vala one last glance.
"Lunch?" he asked leaning down to whisper into Sam's ear.
Leaning dangerously close to him she cut her eyes sideways to meet his. She dropped the folder on a nearby table and stole a quick kiss. "Please."
Together, hand in hand, they stole out of Daniel's office, leaving Vala on the desk, talking into the air.
Cam and Carolyn were sitting in the back corner, out of direct sight of the commissary doors. Carolyn was finishing a sentence, puncturing it with her fork. "So then I came back to the house to find the place dark. Paid the electric bill my ass."
"Do Colonel Carter and Jackson seem... different to you?" Cam said, nodding at her and then indicating the couple as they walked down the desolate food line.
"Besides they seem to be able to sustain the lunch menu without tossing their cookies? They were held in captivity for almost four months. I would think they are changed. How much and if they can ever be considered 'normal' are other issues," Carolyn said. "They are lucky to have gone through something together."
Cam nodded thoughtfully, eyes still on his teammates. "But there is something else. I know they were close before, and maybe it's because they were together through the ordeal, but they seem to be even closer."
"They have been through a lot. I know there is a lot they have not told anyone," Carolyn said softly.
Cam snapped his eyes over to hers. "You know something?"
"Cam. I am a doctor, moreover I am a woman. I know that there were things that ... happened. I read the reports; those women were raped by the captors," she said, letting the conclusion hang in the air.
"Oh," Cam said slowly. "Jackson would never stand for that."
"Maybe there was no choice," she said softly. They caught each other's eyes and let the questions and speculations hang in the air. Carolyn turned her eyes back to the couple that was sitting at the far end, holding each other's attention as they talked. "Whatever happened, I'm sure you will learn more on Tynir."
"Now I am afraid to find out all the stuff that happened on Tynir," Cam responded, letting his fork drop on to the tray and pushing back.
"It still looks the same," Vala said as she bounded out of the Stargate once more. Sam and Daniel silently looked around. Cam and Teal'c held their weapons up, ready to shoot anything that moved, twitched, or looked at them the wrong way.
"Where to?" Cam asked. Daniel held a hand up, finger pointing to the end of the row of stones. "Off that way."
They moved as a well functioning team down the lane of stones, trees and then through the familiar houses. A shiver went down Sam's back and Daniel hugging her close as they neared the main square. It was eerily quiet, only a few faces peering at them from the crowds that walked by the armed five some.
"Greetings!" Cam started. "I came back to inquire - no really to beat the snot out of - Hindil. Any of you kind people - those don't want to die - know where we can reach him?" Cam narrowed his eyes at anyone who dared to look in their direction. "No? Okay. Well I have a map here, so if he comes back just tell him to meet us wherever that arena was. Seemed like a nice place to ... question him."
Sam looked at Daniel who was surveying the homes. "You think they may know who we are?"
"Maybe. But most of these people are women; the crowd was..." Daniel paused and blushed. "It's worth a try." Stepping up to the platform Cam had just stepped down from, Daniel reassured Cam he knew what he was doing. Turning to the small stream of people coming into the square, he cleared his throat and began in Tynirese.
"Brave people of Tynir, I am Dan-iel, one of the traders who came through the Circle of Light. My wife and I were selected to perform the 'Dance of Claim' and I slew the oppressor Din." This last statement caused a few of the men to turn toward Daniel. Satisfied that he had more of their attention, Daniel went on. "My wife and I were held against our will to do Din's, and those who were in power's, bidding. When I slew Din, and my wife went back to the Circle, we became victorious. Now Hindil has claimed the government as his own, oppressing more of you I believe. The time to fight back is now! Help us, please, help yourselves!"
"What if we help?" one of the men asked, spreading his arms. "What does it get us? There will be nothing to stop you from claiming us as your own! Nothing to stop the tribes over the mountains from plundering us!"
Sam sighed and got up on the platform as well. Giving Daniel a small smile, she too faced the crowd. "Brave people of Tynir, what my husband speaks is true. You have ruled your women in fear and as property; these do not honor a nation of people who are great as yourselves. Just as you lord over your woman, so Hindil is lording over you. Tell us where he hides; we will make sure no harm comes to you anymore."
Several men now were talking softly with one another. Others openly eyed Sam with the same hunger she had been surrounded by for the past four months.
Suddenly a figure burst from the crowd, Cam and Teal'c quickly leveling their weapons at the cloaked man. "Nitta! Nitta!"
"What the hell is he saying?" Cam asked as Daniel and Sam jumped down.
"'Friends, friends,'" Daniel said as he brushed past the two. Switching to Tynirese, he said, "Nitta, nitta. Please undo your hood, let these men see who you are. They will not harm you."
"If they come with you and Sam-anth-a, I know they will not harm me," Seth said, moving his hood off. "Please, come. My sister and her husband have been nice enough to provide shelter to me and some of those who," he paused and looked away, "survived. He says it is the least he can do. You and your men are in danger you are out here. Come."
Seth moved back toward the road he came down, Daniel following without hesitation. Sam followed, forcing Cam, Teal'c and Vala to trot after the scientists.
"Lord Hindil fled to the mountains with his council, on all accounts my brother-in-law has heard," Seth said, pausing to tie his wraparound. Daniel, Cam and Teal'c were dressed in similar plain cream and dark brown cotton wraparound tops and loose tie pants. They reminded Cam of the scrubs Carolyn wore. Sam and Vala wore longer wraparound tops, reaching to their knees. Theirs had small blue and green flowers on them over cream pants.
"How reliable is the information?" Cam asked. Daniel nodded as he translated.
"Seth has no reason to doubt his brother-in-law; he has always been a good man," Daniel responded. "Seth says that some within the council's families know where they are hiding; but they too are in fear of their relatives if they come back and find out they told us where to find them."
"It's off to the labor farm for them," Cam said. "I would hesitate too. But they need to know we will protect them."
"Maybe we don't need to," Sam said from the window. "Daniel and I had to love among these people; we know them. Not all of them are happy of the way things have gone, but there are others who will never change. We cannot save those who do not want to be saved, Colonel."
"What are you saying, Carter?"
"Rulers who rule with fear and destruction are sadly not the exception like they are on Earth. Here it seems like it is the rule. Even the females are to be treated as if they are... objects," Sam replied. She took a breath and looked around. "I know it sounds cruel and unkind, but maybe letting those who want that way of life should stay here. Maybe we should take those who want to come, come back with us."
"Colonel, have you lost your mind?" Cam hissed. He noticed Seth draw up and step toward Sam slightly. He held up his hands and stepped back. "I would much rather think of something else than that. Consider that plan Z." He turned around and sat on the low couch, squeezing his eyes shut.
Doors opening and woman laughing came from one of the rooms below them, and slowly floated up to them. Cam opened a weary eye as the door at the far corner opened and he watched two women enter the room. He was surprised how fast Sam leaped up and tore across the room, hugging the two women at once.
"Mara! Lynnita! What are you two doing here?" Sam asked.
"We can ask you the same," Mara said, gazing in wonder at Sam's shortened hair. "Has your long hair displeased your husband?"
Sam caught Daniel's astonished look and blushed. "No, he liked it very much, it's those on my world who did not approve of it so long. But you did not answer my question."
Lynnita grinned. "You are staying at my house. Seth is my brother. He was sent to the labor camp when he defended our sister. She was murdered not long after they arrived to the camp." She shook her head, shaking the bad thoughts with her long, flowing brown hair. "Come, you all must be hungry. We have much better food here than at the camp. My brother told me of your game; I hope you will do no such thing in my house."
Sam smiled and laughed. "I don't think I we would ever do that." She once more gave Lynnita and Mara a hug, watching them leave down a hall to the kitchen. Seth told her she could join them, but Sam merely shook her head. "Daniel is well fed, but it has not been my doing. He would starve if I had to cook for him."
Seth also laughed as Daniel nodded slightly. Cam, Teal'c and Vala stood watching the three of them, lost to what they were saying.
Seth, Lynnita, her husband Jin, Mara, and SG-1sat around several tables as they passed the food bowls around. In them was food, a far cry from the slop Sam and Daniel had described to Cam. Instead were fruit looking objects, slices of meat, several kinds of vegetables he gathered and a sweet roll of bread that he happily took chunks out of.
"You came back to bring us to your world?" Jin asked as he swallowed. "You risked your lives to save my wife's brother, and now you risk your men's to come back for us. Why?"
"We do not believe in rulers who abuse their people. The people of Tynir have lived in fear too long; they deserve to know what freedom means," Daniel said, handing the water jug over to Teal'c. "We can offer you some place - another planet - to live on. It would be with peaceful people, helping you all see that there is more to people than wickedness."
"Sam-anth-a told me that she is of equal rank as any man," Lynnita said, speaking for the first time. "Is it true on other worlds?"
"Most of the planets we have come to have their problems, but they also recognize their women are valuable," Sam said. "We would help locate another race that also believes in respecting females."
Lynnita and Jin nodded. Jin smiled at Daniel and the rest of SG-1. "We found out that Lynnita is expecting our first born. She is more concerned than ever with the treatment of women. I am too. The prospect of having my son or daughter come into such cruelness is unbearable."
Daniel and Sam congratulated them, Sam telling the rest of the bewildered group what had been said. They talked for several more hours, discussing who they could talk to, hoping to find Hindil and his council members, several planets that they could be moved too, and if separating those who wanted to stay and those who wanted to leave was in the SGC's best intentions.
Finally they gathered the bowls and plates, placing any leftovers in the icebox, and headed up the stairs to the sleeping quarters. Mara headed out to her own home which she shared with her daughter, Kendra.
"We have several rooms," Lynnita said, linking arms with Sam as they walked up the stairs. "You and Dan-iel can have Jin and our room - do not protest! We will be fine. Besides I do not need the night coverings anymore," she said eyes sparkling as she placed a hand on her still flat abdomen. "Your companions can share the three other rooms."
"Thank you," Sam said, standing outside the door to room Lynnita had indicated. She smiled as Jin, Seth and Lynnita wished them good night and went back down to the common rooms. "Well I am pretty tired; it was an interesting day to say the least."
Cam and Teal'c headed into on of the other rooms, leaving Vala outside in the hall for a moment longer. "Well, good night then," she said as she turned to the still open door and closed it.
Daniel silently followed Sam into their given bedroom. He untied the top and sat on the edge of the bed, his head in his hands. Blinking, he raked them through his hair and fell back on to the soft mattress. "Much nicer than our place," he said softly, moving his hands against the soft covers.
"At least we don't have to make our own fire," Sam said, coming toward the bed. She smiled and held up the night gown that had been placed over one of screens. "But we may need to talk about their night coverings."
Daniel, smiling, sat back up. "Oh, I don't know about that."
"Danny! We are on a mission, behave!" Sam said in hushed tones, all the while smiling and come closer to her husband. "There are rules you know."
"Just don't make a sound," Daniel said as he once more fell on the mattress, pulling Sam down on top of him. "Welcome to my world, Sammy Carter-Jackson."