yvi: Samantha Carter, text: "Carter" (Stargate - Carter)
[personal profile] yvi posting in [community profile] yvi_writes
Title: Symbiosis
Fandom: Stargate: SG-1
Author: Yvi
Rating: PG-13

Summary: When Jolinar doesn't die in the Ashrak attack, Sam is faced with a difficult decision. She can trust Jolinar and go to the Tok'ra base with her, hoping that they will be able find a new host, or she can stay at the SGC and trust the NID not to harm her. Sam decides to flee the base with Jolinar, not realizing that this is only the beginning of an adventure that will change her life.

Category: AU, action/adventure, gen, friendship, episode-related
Characters: Samantha Carter, Jolinar, Martouf, SG-1, Jacob Carter, various others
Pairings: It's complicated? Mostly gen with some *deep breath* Sam/Jolinar/Lantash/Martouf because, well, that's canon and has to be resolved, right? But 97.5% gen.
Word Count: ~65,000
Challenge: [livejournal.com profile] stargate_summer
Timeline: ventures into AU territory during/after "In the Line of Duty". After that, the timeline (most notably The Tok'ra/Secrets) is... a bit warped.
Warnings: some violence (torture)

Art: by [personal profile] gblvr

Author's Notes: Writing this story was... a wild ride, to say the least. In 2007, I participated in the [livejournal.com profile] sg_ep_ficathon and got the following prompt from [livejournal.com profile] medie: Sam/Martouf/Jolinar/Lantesh - "Sam and Jolinar survive the attack and manage to escape/make contact with the Tok'ra and Martouf/Lantesh". I wrote a 10,000 words story for it called 'Mutualism', which is still the backbone of what is now the prologue and the first half of chapter 1, though it has been changed. I submitted it, thinking that I would write two sequels to it. Which I never did. [livejournal.com profile] stargate_summer was the perfect excuse for me to finally get back to it.

This is my first fanfic longer than 10,000 words. It could have happened without the support by everyone who participated in [livejournal.com profile] stargate_summer, especially [personal profile] helens78 my cheerleader [personal profile] samantilles and the wonderful [personal profile] aurora_novarum. Words can't describe how much I owe to her for beta-reading this.

Thank you very much also to [personal profile] gblvr for the lovely art, which is posted behind the cut below. This is posted to Dreamwidth because I am in love with the site. Thank you to [personal profile] synecdochic for making this possible.

And I am starting to sound like an actress getting the Acedemy Award. On to the story...

Click for large version

by Yvi


It was dark. Very dark. There was nothing around her, just blackness, stretching into infinity.

There was no picture before her eyes, no sound in her ears, but Sam could feel she was not alone. Not alone in her own body. And it was black because she could not open her eyes.

*Do not be afraid.*

A voice in her head, belonging to someone not her. The memories came back.

The planet they had been on, the people they had rescued, the sharp pain and then… losing control. Threatening Jack in the gate room, the time in the holding cell, talking to Daniel. And then, someone entering the room. Pain. After that, nothing.

And there were other memories, too. Behind those, like shadows. Of planets Sam had never visited and people she had never met. Of fights and blue crystals forming tunnels and of sitting on sandy beaches looking at water that was colored bright red. She couldn't quite grasp them, it felt like trying to remember dreams. One moment, you thought you could see them and then they were gone. But you knew they were still there, just out of reach.

There was more there. Feelings: anger, pain, love. Feelings not her own about people she didn't know and situations she had never been in.

Stop it, she screamed silently, and the pictures vanished.

*I am sorry. I am having a hard time controlling what you see right now. It will be better soon.*

I'd really prefer you didn't control anything at all.

Sam opened her eyes. The familiar sight of the gray stone walls and ceiling of the infirmary greeted her. She could see a monitor standing beside her bed and someone sitting on a chair next to it. When she turned her head, she could make out that it was Daniel. So she had in fact not been alone. Daniel did not make a sound, though - he was asleep, his head on his chest.

Something else moved in the room. Sam looked into the other direction and could make out two airmen standing beside the door to the infirmary. A third one was just leaving. Maybe he had seen her move.

Sam tried sitting up, but found that she couldn't. Her wrists were restrained, and it didn't really come as a surprise. Her last memory was that of being in the holding cell and everybody thinking that she was a Goa'uld, though they did seem to at least start to believe her. Or rather, it. And she was not so sure herself whether she could trust it to be what it had told her.

*Is there any way I can prove to you I am not one of them?*

Well, let's see. You entered my body by force. You keep controlling it. Right now, I am not sure how you can convince me otherwise.

*I am truly sorry for taking your body like that. I will let you have control whenever you desire it from now on.*

Yeah, you already mentioned that you were sorry. Didn't keep you from using my body like that, did it?

*I know. What can I possibly do to make you believe me?*

The voice sounded desperate and genuinely sorry now, but Sam was too mad to let it go or give in now. She had screamed at the being inside of her previously and had received very few replies. She wasn't going to be treated like that.

You could leave me.

There was silence for a moment.

*I do not want to die.*

It sounded afraid. If Sam hadn't already been in an angered state, maybe she would feel more sympathetic now.

And I don’t want you in my body.

*I know. If we can find the others, I will leave you.*

The other Tok’ra?

*Yes. I know how to find them. They can help us.*

Sam took a deep breath and could feel herself calming down. She couldn't do anything right now anyway, so she might as well try to stay civil.

Tell me what happened.

*It was the Ashrak. It had come to kill me. I blocked you out so you would not have to feel the pain. It started to kill me, but they came in time and stopped it. We lost consciousness after that.*

So what you told me was true? You are Jolinar of Malkshur, a Tok’ra? Hunted by the Goa’uld?

*Yes. That is why it tried to kill us. You can trust me, Samantha.*

But Sam wasn't going to just forgive and forget this easily. What Jolinar had done with her body had not really created a sense of trust in her.

You lied to Daniel. And you pretended to be me when you talked to Colonel O'Neill.

*I am sorry, that was a wrong thing to do. I will not control you if you do not wish it anymore. I thought they would let me go if I said I would get you back to them, if I could provide them with information. But it did not work. Maybe talking to you will help.*

Will help with what?

*The Tok’ra can find another host for me, I promise. I will leave you then. Please talk to them so they will help us contact them.*

Jolinar had made promises she didn't keep before, both to Sam and to the Colonel. Sam had not believed him,... or her - Sam remembered seeing previous hosts of Jolinar in her mind, most of them female – when Jolinar told about about the Tok'ra and who she was. So why would she do so now? But now that she had witnessed the Ashrak's attack on her life, she started to question this. Why else would he have come after her but for Jolinar? The Goa'uld feared the Tok'ra, she had learned that much . And Jolinar had tried to save her.

Despite the fact that Jolinar had lied before, that much had been genuine. She had felt Jolinar fight for her own life, but also for that of her host. Getting back to Jolinar's home might be the way to save them both.

"Daniel," Sam said trying to attract his attention, but it had no effect.

"Daniel," she said again, a bit louder and this time he opened his eyes and looked at her. She could also hear the airmen at the door moving at the sound of her voice.

"Jolinar?" Daniel asked.

She shook her head. "No, Daniel, it’s me. Sam."

"They say it’s still in you." He adjusted his glasses, which had slipped a bit while was he had been sleeping.

"They're right," Sam admitted.

"How can I be sure it’s you then?" Daniel took her hand into his and squeezed it lightly , a gesture that comforted Sam a lot.

"You can’t."

The door of the infirmary opened and Jack, Janet and General Hammond entered. Obviously, the airmen had had quite specific orders. The door had almost closed when it swung open again and Teal’c also came in.

"Captain Carter?" the General addressed her as he stood beside her bed. He looked worried.

"Sir," Sam said in reply and looked up at him. Jack, Daniel and Teal’c gathered behind the General, while Janet went to the foot of Sam’s bed to catch her chart. All of them looked down on her with an identical worried expression reflected in their eyes.

"How are you feeling, Captain?"

"A bit shaken, but I'm fine, General." Sam tried to sound confident, but did not know whether she had succeeded. Knowing how worried her team could get, she wanted to give the impression that she really was fine.

Sam’s chart in her hands, Janet came around the bed and helped Sam into a more upright position on the bed. The restraints did not do anything to make that position more comfortable, though.

"I think the question the General here really wants to ask, Carter, is whether he is, in fact, talking to you." It was, of course, Colonel O’Neill who came directly to the point.

"She said she was," Daniel chimed in.

"Well, Daniel, she said that before and you know how much I’d love to believe those snake-things, but there’s just something about them that makes me a bit twitchy," the Colonel retorted.

"Is there any way we can make sure who we are talking to, Doctor?" General Hammond directed the question to Janet, who came up on Sam’s other side.

"We do have a few ideas, General, but we’re not sure whether they actually work." Janet replied, checking something on the monitor on Sam’s other side.

*From what I have seen from their medical instruments, they could be configured to show who of us is in control. I could help them.*

"Jolinar says she can reconfigure your instruments for that," Sam chimed in.

"Why would she do that?" Jack asked, his opinion of that idea clearly audible in his voice.

"She wants to help. And she wants to leave me." Sam looked at the General, silently pleading for him to let her help. She wanted to get out of this situation as fast as possible.

"Doctor Fraiser, do you think this is a good idea?"

Janet shrugged. "I don’t see why we shouldn’t try it. We have run out of ideas on what to try and we can take some precautions"

Sam looked around and noticed that the guards were all armed with zat weapons. If something happened, at least they wouldn't really hurt her.

Janet seemed to be a bit frustrated. Sam knew she didn’t like having armed personnel standing guard in her infirmary when she didn’t see it strictly necessary. And even then, they tended to bother her.

"Then you have my permission. But I will send another guard in," the General concluded.

There was an awkward pause where no one knew what to say.

"What is going to happen now?" Sam finally asked.

"I’m afraid that is almost beyond our control now," General Hammond replied after a few more moments of silence. He didn’t look into her eyes.

Sam was almost sure what that meant, though she really didn’t want to believe it. "The NID, sir?"

"I’m afraid so. The last incident got their attention." He looked at her again, the worry very clear in his face. "I don’t like this any more than you do, Captain."

Sam didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry. "With all due respect sir, but I dare say I like this less than you." The thought of having the NID try to... study her was not in any way comforting, to say the least.

"We won’t let them do anything to you, Carter." Colonel O’Neill’s voice was firm as he said it.

Teal’c stepped forward a bit. "Indeed we will not, Captain Carter. Even if we are not talking to you at the moment, you are still in there."

"Hang in there, Sam," Daniel added.

Sam smiled weakly. "When are they coming?"

"We might have told them a few things to make them think your health status was a bit… more severe and you needed at least until tomorrow evening until you could talk," the colonel said with a wink and Sam could just imagine him and General Hammond having a heated discussion with an NID representative in which a few facts got left out and a few others were exaggerated.

"Thank you. But I am not sure I can wait. There might be more of those Ashrak. " Sam tried to sit up more and move her hands, but it just made her realize that the restraints were pretty tight.

"What makes you think so, Captain Carter?" Teal'c asked.

Sam shrugged. "I'm not sure, it's just a feeling."

"We have severely tightened security here since that incident, as I am sure you can imagine," General Hammond said.

Sam tried to move again. She felt like she couldn't breathe right now on top of not being able to move. The helplessness was getting to her. "Maybe I could contact the Tok'ra, maybe they could help," she said.

The General shook his head. "I’m afraid I really can’t let you leave right now."

"They can help me," Sam repeated, not knowing how to make them understand, how to make them see that she was herself. She hesitated for a moment. "There might be more Ashrak hunting for Jolinar. This base is at risk because of me."

"I am sorry, Captain. We will have to take that risk right now. Base security has been tightened. You will have to stay here." General Hammond looked truly sorry, but she knew he would not back down on this point by the way he looked at her.

They hadn’t even been there for more than a few minutes and yet Sam could feel her strength draining. She closed her eyes briefly, wishing her head would stop hurting so much so that she could think straight. The damage to her body must have been severe if just a bit of talking made her this tired.

*I am doing my best to repair your body, Samantha. But it will take a few more hours.*

"General, I think Captain Carter needs more rest. Her condition is still very severe," Janet said, noting down some of Sam’s stats on her chart.

"I am just a bit tired," Sam protested, but she knew her voice did not make her sound believable. For one second, everything got a bit blurry. She blinked, and her vision was normal again. Maybe her condition really was as severe as Janet said and they were not just putting on an act for the NID. If so, it might take them one or two days even to get to her.

"We can talk again when you have rested a bit more, Captain," General Hammond cut her off. "You can also help Doctor Fraiser then, but for now it would be best if you rested."

"Yes, sir." Sam got drowsier by the second. She’d had no idea that her condition was that bad. Jolinar had done a pretty good job hiding it from her, just silently repairing her body in the background. She was almost asleep even before everyone had left the room, except for Janet and Colonel O’Neill who stayed behind to watch over her. Calmed down by the knowledge that they would watch over her, she fell asleep.

When Sam woke up, not a long time afterwards, she was still in control of her body. She did not move, though. She had to talk to Jolinar, and she did not want anyone interrupting them.


*Yes, Samantha?*

The reply was prompt. Sam wondered whether symbiotes slept just like humans.

*Yes, we do sometimes. I was awake, though.*

While I find you reading my thoughts like that disturbing and would rather you didn't, I’ll just ignore it this time. We need to do something. We need to get out of here before the NID comes to pay me a sick visit. Because that will not end well for either of us.

*So you agree that we have to contact the Tok’ra?*

I think it is the best chance you and I have.

*Thank you, Samantha. I regret that this is necessary and that you think so as well means a lot to me. I wished I had acted differently now...*

Yes, you kind of mentioned that already. Listen, getting out of here is not easy. They don’t seem very willing to let me go anywhere or consider other options and there are dozens of safety mechanisms in place here.

*I know. I have spent the time you used to sleep to think of a way for us to get out by ourselves.*

Been picking my mind, haven’t you?

*It was necessary. Be assured that I did not invade your private memories.*

Can I do that, too? Looking at your knowledge?

Sam was intrigued by that idea. Being derived from the Goa'uld, the Tok'ra probably shared the physiological feature of the genetic memory.

*Within limits, yes. You already did so briefly. But I do possess the genetic memory of my ancestors before me and that is a lot for a human to take in at once, so I am limiting your access to that section. And you cannot hear me think the way I can hear you.*


Sam was less than thrilled by discovering that there were several one-way streets in this 'relationship'. She could not take control when she wanted, and Jolinar could hear her every thought, but hide her own.

* We are not yet fully blended. I can keep myself from listening, if you wish to. Then you can think of how to get rid of me without me listening to it.*

I’d feel a lot more comfortable knowing that.

*Consider it done. You need to think of speaking to me now when you want me to hear you.*

Sam was at least mildly pleased with this development.

Thank you. So, you came up with a plan?

*I believe so.*

There was a moment’s silence. Sam wondered why Jolinar wasn't continuing.


*Obviously, your people do not know what to do with us next. They seem to believe us, at least partially, and they started to believe me even before the Ashrak attacked, especially Daniel Jackson. But they do not have enough trust to actually listen to our suggestions. I am getting the impression that the arrival of this NID would circumvent any plan we could come up with to leave this base. My understanding is that once the further medical tests are over, we will be locked in a cell again until further decisions are made. Decisions not to our advantage. Therefore, we need to act quickly, before we are removed from the infirmary, preferably tonight. If we can get someone to untie us and get past the guards at the door, I am fairly certain that I can get us to the control room and dial the address of a planet where a Tok'ra operative can help us.*

Sam could see several large problems with that plan already.

And how exactly do you plan to get past the guards?

*That is what you need to do. Is there anyone who you could convince to help you with that?*

Sam wasn’t sure. Colonel O’Neill had been very vocal about his disbelief about the Tok’ra and even if he did believe, she was sure he wouldn’t trust them enough. And while he hated the NID, she did not know for sure he would go against direct orders like this for her. Teal’c had heard of the Tok’ra and seemed to believe that the Tok’ra existed, but she could not see him going against orders like that, either. It was one thing to do it in order to save the planet and another to potentially unleash a Goa'uld. Which left Daniel, who had lost so much to the Goa’uld. But he also appeared to believe in the Tok’ra movement, so maybe he was their best bet.

I might be able to talk to Daniel.

*Thank you, Samantha.*

Sam opened her eyes. The room looked exactly as it had when she had last woken, only that this time it was Teal’c who was sitting next to her, and he was not asleep, but looking directly at her.

"Captain Carter," he greeted her with a small nod of his head.

"Hey, Teal’c," she said and smiled.

"How are you feeling?"

"Good," she answered friendly, "Listen, Teal’c, could you get Daniel for me? I want to ask him something."

"Of course, Captain Carter." Teal’c bowed his head and stood up. He quietly left the room.

Sam wasn’t alone in the infirmary for very long. Daniel must have been somewhere near to make it to the infirmary that quickly. He came alone, Teal’c didn’t return with him and Sam was very grateful for that – as much as she liked Teal’c, talking to Daniel alone would be easier. Not that she thought it would be easy. She didn’t have much time.

"Hey, Sam." Daniel sat down on the chair that Teal’c had left. "How are you?"

"Pretty good, Daniel," she said, turning her head enough so that she could look at him. She had to shuffle her whole body a bit to do it and only now did Sam notice that her legs were no longer tied to the bed. Her arms were still restrained, though.

"What can I do for you?" Daniel asked, keeping a safe distance to her.

There was no point, or indeed time, for small talk. "I need your help, Daniel."

"In what way?"

She knew she had to whisper from now on. The door was rather far away and no one else seemed to be in the infirmary right now, but she had to be careful. "I really need to leave."

"I am sorry, Sam, I can’t do that." Daniel shook his head.

Sam had to try a different approach. "Jolinar is sorry for what she said about Sha're."

Daniel didn't answer.

"Do you trust me, Daniel? Do you trust that you are actually talking to me?"

He sighed. "I want to. I have done some research, and I think I found something on the Tok’ra…" He trailed off.

"That’s good. It’s good, right?" Sam asked.

Daniel nodded. "Yes, I think it is. But really, Sam, I can’t help you. I wish I could." He looked genuinely sorry, but Sam couldn’t let him get away like that. Not now.

At that moment, one of the guards got a radio transmission, which distracted Sam. She couldn't hear what was being said, but it sounded urgent. He left the room.

"What's going on," Sam said directed at the remaining guard, but got no reply. She sent a pleading look at Daniel, who got up.

"I'll check it out, okay?"


Daniel hurried to the door and spoke to the guard, getting more and more agitated throughout the conversation. Still Sam could not hear anything specific, though, so she had to wait until Daniel finally came back. He looked quite angry.

"Daniel, what's happening?"

"It's Maybourne. He's on his way," Daniel replied, clearly angry at that development.

Sam couldn't believe it. "Already?" This wasn't supposed to happen for several days, or at the very least not now. The guard that had received the radio transmission entered the room again, but she barely noticed.

Daniel nodded. "Somehow he must have gotten the information that you are doing better. He's still on the surface, waiting for General Hammond, but he'll be down here soon."

"Help me get out of here, Daniel, please," Sam pleaded again.

"I don't even know how," Daniel said, hesitating.

"I only need to get out of these restraints, a zat and the guards to turn their back for a couple of minutes, nothing else. I will try to get out on my own."

Daniel shook his head. "Sam... maybe if you talked to Jack and General Hammond again, maybe they can help."

"Maybourne is on his way, Daniel. You know how the NID is – there will be no discussion once they are down here. I really don't have a lot of time left." Sam hoped that the guards couldn't hear her, as she had no idea what they thought of this whole situation, but she also couldn't be very careful right now. Several minutes had already passed since the airman had spoken to someone on the surface. They could be on their way down to her already.

"It’s a lot to ask, Sam."

She was so close.

"I know. But I want to be me again. The Tok'ra might help with that. And I am scared of what the NID do to me. The chance to study a live Goa'uld – they won't even try to understand what the difference to a Tok'ra is, much less help me." Sam hoped he understood the things she wasn't saying out loud – whatever they would do to her, they would also do to Sha're if... when Daniel brought her home.

Sam knew she had him at that point. She felt sorry for what she was doing – helping her would not go down well with the NID – but not enough to not do it.

"I hope you know what you are doing, Sam. Gosh, I hope that you are Sam."

Daniel got up and went over to the guards. They were just out of hearing range for Sam, but she could see them shaking their heads at first, then handing Daniel a zat gun and leaving the room. One of the guards raised his hand and indicated with two fingers just how many minutes they were giving Daniel before they would return. Daniel came over to Sam’s bed again and after a look back at the closed door started to take off her restraints.

"Thank you," she just said when he was done and handed her the zat gun. Sam went to one of the infirmary lockers to get herself some of the green standard BDUs that were worn by SGC personnel. Daniel looked at her quizzically at first, but then turned around. Sam thought she saw him blush a bit. There was no time for embarrassment, the guards wouldn’t be waiting forever.

Okay, let’s do this.

Sam could feel her control over her body slipping away and it only took moments until Jolinar made a move in shooting Daniel with the zat gun. She mentally thanked Jolinar for that; it would give Daniel some way to cover up his role in this. She didn't know how Daniel would explain sending the guards away and how he would explain her having the gun to shoot him with after being restrained, but he would think of something.

Jolinar also lost no time with the guards that had just left the infirmary and shot them before they realized what was happening.

The actual escape from the base was surprisingly easy. The infirmary was very close to the gate room and therefore the control room and it was apparently still the middle of the night. The corridors leading to the control room were empty and even the control room was only staffed by two people.

Sam had a suspicion that gate travel had been suspended, but she couldn’t exactly ask anyone. Jolinar was very fast at handling the control computer, probably also because she could access Sam's memories of using it, and the gate started to dial mere minutes after they had left the infirmary.

There will be a base-wide alarm any second now. You need to hurry.

Jolinar hurried down the steps, shot an airman that stood in the way and opened the door to the gate room with a security card she had swiped from one of the gate technicians.

The alarm went off the moment they arrived in the gate room and seconds before the Stargate connected to its counterpart on the other end of the wormhole. Jolinar looked up to the gate room and there were definitely people moving in there.

"Captain Carter, stand down immediately."

But she was already almost at the event horizon. They wouldn't be able to close the iris fast enough. Sam knew they would shut down the gate immediately and was sure they wouldn’t make it, but they did. They had fled from Stargate Command.

Chapters One & Two

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-13 03:17 pm (UTC)
gblvr: screencap of Teal'c (SG1 -- Teal'c)
From: [personal profile] gblvr
You are very welcome -- congrats on finishing!

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-13 03:24 pm (UTC)
gblvr: crop of 'The Morning Star' by Alphonse Mucha; woman in flowing gown with hand to forehead in greens and golds (Default)
From: [personal profile] gblvr
I thought so too! I know the hair isn't exactly right, but her eyes are so gorgeous....

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-17 03:34 am (UTC)
purrfus: (Default)
From: [personal profile] purrfus
The artwork is haunting, mostly because of the eyes.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-13 07:21 pm (UTC)
cesy: "Cesy" - An old-fashioned quill and ink (Default)
From: [personal profile] cesy
Oh, definitely very interesting. I look forward to reading the rest of this.

I spotted one typo - airmen instead of airman just near the end.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-17 03:40 am (UTC)
purrfus: (Default)
From: [personal profile] purrfus
I've only recently started actively looking for and reading SG1 stories, so I began reading without expectations. Now I will reading with high expectations.

I remember watching SG1 intermittently and not liking how Jolinar and the later introduction and relationships with the Tok'ra were written. I am confident that what ever you have chosen for all of them will be an improvement.


Fanfic/Art by Yvi

March 2010

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