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3.

"Samantha, why are there small white pieces attached to all the clothes?" Martouf asked curiously.

"It's the price tags. I already explained that," Sam said, picking up another pack of socks.

"Yes, I remember that. These are different tags, made of some type of very finely weaved cloth, with small symbols on."

"Oh! Those, yeah, that's... instructions for how to launder the clothes, and such."

"I see," Martouf said, looking as if he did not.

"Look, in my country we've got a lot of different kinds of synthetic fibers, that we use for clothes, and it's sometimes hard to know what something is made of exactly - or how warm the water you launder it in can be without harming it, okay?"

"Ah. Yes, now I understand. That makes sense." Martouf nodded and picked up a pair of jeans. "These are full of holes and clearly very worn. I was under the impression this place only sold new clothing?"

"They do. Those are new. They're, uh, artificially made to look worn. And no, don't ask me why. I've never understood fashion."

"They are not even cheaper than the other, whole ones. Most puzzling." Martouf shook his head and put the jeans down. "I clearly do not understand the Tau'ri, ah, your people, very well."

"You're not the only one, and I am..." She looked around. "Tau'ri." She smiled and held some jeans out to him. "Could you try some of these on? I think I found the right size, but it's better to be sure."

"Of course," Martouf said, and began unbuttoning his pants.

"No! Stop! Not here!" Sam exclaimed. "Take them to one of the fitting rooms over there." She pointed.

"Ah, yes. The Tau'ri do not approve of nudity. I apologize."

"Not in public, no. At least not in my country. And please try not to say Tau'ri."

"What then?" He frowned. "Earthlings, perhaps? I believe I have heard Jacob say that."

"No, that would just be weird. Worse, actually. Say 'Americans' if you have to. Other countries have different cultures anyway, so Tau'ri is probably not the best, also for that reason," Sam said, keeping her voice down.

"Understood." He nodded.

Sam held the jeans out to him again. He took them, and was about to go to the fitting rooms when Sam stopped him.

"Try these on too. She handed him a couple others. "I'll find a few nicer pairs and bring them to you."

Martouf sighed and took the clothes she handed him. "Yes, Samantha."

He went over to the fitting room to try the clothing on while Sam looked for some nicer clothing he could wear for Christmas and New Year's Eve.

She found what she was looking for and walked over to the fitting rooms. "Martouf?" she called.

"Here, Samantha." Martouf pulled the curtain aside from the nearest room and stepped out, wearing the jeans. "Do you think these fit? They feel more ... constricting than the clothes I usually wear, and in addition the cloth is quite stiff." He turned around before her.

Sam just stood there, looking, for several moments. Then she licked her lips and pulled herself together. "Ah... yes, they look as if they fit perfectly." She smiled. "They look very good on you - and they're supposed to sit pretty tight."

Martouf smiled smugly when he saw Sam's reaction. He nodded. "Thank you. I am pleased you approve."

Sam blushed, and held out the other pants, as well as several shirts. "Um, I do. Yes, absolutely. You will... blend in nicely. Uh, do you mind trying these too?"

"Not at all, Samantha. It will be my pleasure." He smiled widely as he accepted the clothes and returned to the fitting room. "If you want, I can exit the room to show you each time I try on a new shirt or a pair of pants, so you can evaluate it, and tell me if it fits correctly according to Tau'ri fashion... American fashion, I mean."

Sam rolled her eyes. "I'm sure you are able to tell if the clothes fit..." She hesitated. "But sure, I can... stay here and take a look now and then. If you, ah, want a second opinion."


It took them until it was after 5PM, but they found all the clothes they needed for Martouf/Lantash, including warmer winter clothing for when they returned to Colorado Springs. They also got a suitcase, a smaller carry-on bag, and various toiletries.

On the spur of the moment, Sam bought a very nice - and sexy - dress for New Year's Eve. She noticed it in the store while Martouf was trying on some of the many clothes they were getting for him, and she had slipped into another fitting room and tried it on. It had fit perfectly.

She did feel a little foolish buying it, since it was not something she used often, and she did not usually buy new clothes just to use it for a special occasion. However, she had decided she wanted a nice dress for New Year's Eve, now when she had a guest - or maybe several guests, if her teammates and Janet were able to make it too.

Of course, New Year's Eve was usually just a team party, and they had normally done a pretty relaxed one at that. This time she was in charge of it, and she had decided that she would do a full, all-out party, though, to show Martouf/Lantash how it was celebrated in her culture.

"All right, I believe we have everything we need," Sam said, as they placed the many bags in the trunk of her car. Or tried to, since they would not all fit. "Looks like we have to put some on the back seat - we definitely have everything we need!"

"Of that I am certain! I do not own nearly as many clothes as this, home in the tunnels!" He hesitated. "Of course, I mainly wear uniforms, and if I am in need of anything else - for a mission, for instance - then that is available through our... uh, is commissary the right word?"

"Yes, the Tok'ra are mostly communal, right?"

"We are. We share everything."

Sam nodded. "I remember that." She checked her watch. "Listen, we need to hurry. Let's get back to my house so I can pick up some things - and so we can pack your stuff too. We'll grab some food on the way to the airport. There's a Thai restaurant near where I live that has some really great food... I'm sorry, I don't know if you even like that? It's pretty spicy."

"I am sure it is fine. Lantash and I would like to try it."

"Okay, we'll do that, then."


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