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Sam slowly woke up, and for a moment or so she just lay there, enjoying the comfortable warmth. She yawned softly and stretched, then froze as she felt warm, naked skin.

"Mmph... Samantha?" Martouf said, sleepily.

"Yes..." Sam answered, now remembering what had happened, and where they were. She had been sleeping, curled up against Martouf's back. "How are you feeling?" She moved away from him a little.

"We are both well, and pleasantly warm."

"What about your concussion and other injuries?" Sam asked. She now felt self-conscious about both of them being naked, and lying so close together. Talking helped taking her attention away from that fact.

Martouf moved a little, stretching. "Except for a slight soreness where my right arm was broken, I am fully healed, and Lantash assures me my arm will feel normal in another hour, at most."

"That's... incredible! Give my regards to Lantash for his great healing skills!" Sam said, amazed. "No risk of pneumonia or anything? You were pretty cold and wet last night, and you coughed up a lot of water!"

"No, I assure you, I am fine." He smiled. "There are many advantages to having a symbiote."

"Obviously," Sam said. Moving, she again became acutely aware of the fact that she was naked, and very close to an equally naked Martouf. She had to admit it felt very nice.

"Samantha. Lantash reminds me that I should thank you. We were cold, wet, and injured, and would almost certainly have died if you had not helped us. You saved our lives. Thank you." He gave Lantash control.

Lantash immediately turned over, so he was facing Sam. "I remember being very cold and wet, lying in the mud - and being in significant pain. I talked to you, briefly, I believe?"

Sam nodded. "Yes, we talked for a very short time. You gave me quite a scare when you passed out again - mid-sentence - and both of you remained unresponsive for a long time."

"When I woke up next, you had carried me to this nice and warm shelter - and were lying beside me, sharing your body heat with me." He smiled. "Thank you. For all of it."

"Um, you're very welcome. I'm glad you and Martouf are fine. Aren't you tired from healing?"

"No, not any longer. When I had healed the most critical injuries, I was quite exhausted, and fell asleep, and only awoke again now. Most basic healing is instinctual, and will continue at an accelerated speed even if I am asleep." He grinned wryly. "However, Martouf and I are both quite hungry now."

"I should have some energy bars, and a few MREs in my backpack," Sam said. "I'm feeling pretty famished too. Um, I should go and get the food - and we should get our clothes..."

"Yes," Lantash agreed. "That would probably be a good idea."

"Okay. If you'll just turn... ah, you know..."

Lantash suddenly pushed down the blanket and got up. Sam blushed and quickly averted her eyes, pulling the blanket back up to cover herself.

He smiled at her, a mischievous glint in his eyes. "I apologize, Samantha. I forgot the Tau'ri consider nudity offensive. However, since you have already seen me naked, when you undressed me, I assumed it would not be a problem?"

Sam almost rolled her eyes at him, more than suspecting him of doing it on purpose. She then decided it did not matter if he saw her naked too. They had, after all, been sleeping beside each other naked. She threw off the blanket and sat up.

She wrinkled her brow, suddenly realizing it was much warmer in the cave than expected. "The fire has almost burned out, but it's still quite warm in here - and there's enough light to see by, even back here. How odd." She looked around, then up. "Part of the roof seems to be made out of crystal... maybe some sort of quartz. Daylight is shining through it." She got up.

Lantash did not seem to hear what she was talking about, and was just staring at her, taking his time letting his gaze slide from her feet to her head, paying special attention to the place where her legs met, her stomach, and her breasts. Finally, he seemed to shake himself from his daze, and spoke, "You are beautiful, Samantha."

"Thanks." She felt her cheeks redden under his scrutiny, but still took the opportunity to look at him in return. "You're not so bad yourself."

When she had taken off his wet clothes the evening before, she had only thought about his injuries, and about getting him warm. Now there was nothing to take her attention away from the fact that he was very attractive. Gorgeous, in fact...

He smiled widely, clearly enjoying the fact that she admired his body. "Thank you, I am pleased you approve."

Recalling a few choice memories from Jolinar, her mind went off in a decidedly erotic direction, and took her body along for the ride. She snuck another look, confirming that his thoughts were going in the same directions, if his body's reaction was anything to go by.

She managed to pull her focus back to their current situation. Clothes. Food. Water. Then see if her radio still worked, and if they could contact the others. She sighed, picking up her clothes, which were by now mostly dry. "We better get dressed." She began throwing on her clothing. "The food is in my backpack. I'll go see if I can contact the others. They're probably worried for us."

Lantash nodded, and with some regret, he started dressing as well.


Sam stared with disbelief at the rubble. This part of the cave was almost completely dark, only very dimly lit from the light that streamed through the roof in the other section of it. She turned on her flashlight, shining it along the walls, and then towards where she was certain the entrance had been the evening before.

Martouf joined her. "This was where we entered yesterday?"

Sam nodded. "Yes."

He kneeled, examining the rubble. "It must have been a cave-in of some sort."

"Of course!" Sam groaned. "I was awakened by a loud crash or something, tonight. I was very tired, and it didn't really register at that time, but now I think about it, I think it might have been a lightning bolt that hit the cave entrance. I heard thunder and a huge crash... but I was so tired I just fell back asleep."

"Understandably. You were exhausted from your ordeal yesterday, as well as from carrying me to safety." Martouf sighed. "I do not believe we will be able to get through this easily. I lost my backpack, and all my weapons in the river. Do you still have your zat'nik'tel? We might use that to vaporize this." He indicated the debris.

Sam shook her head. "No, it's gone. It was strapped to my leg. Probably washed away by the river." She turned on the radio. "They radio should be able to transmit through it. I don't think it's that thick a layer."

"It may contain materials which interferes with radio waves, but it is worth trying."

"Hello. This is Major Carter calling. Come in. Is anyone picking this up?"


"It's no use. Either the signal is not coming through, or there's no one out there to pick it up," Sam said, despondently.

"The others probably made it safely to the chaapa'ai. They will return to search for us when the weather has calmed down."

Sam nodded. "I think I did see the others make it across the bridge before it collapsed, so I agree with you. They are probably safe. We'll just have to wait and hope they find us before we starve to death - or die of thirst."

"If this cave is indeed completely blocked, it is more likely we will die of suffocation first. We should not light the fire again."

"Thanks for the cheer-up!" Sam complained.

"Sorry. We should search the cave and see if there is something which can be used to dig in this rubble."

"I agree - but we should eat first. I'm starving!"


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