Author notes: Please note that this is an un-beta'd peice of fiction. Meaning there will me mistakes. I am accepting any comments on this story while I'm writing it so I can make it better so all comments and critisims (as long as they are not flames) are welcome.
Disclaimer: I do not own Stargate-SG-1. Or any characters therein and in thier subsequent shows. or Starwars, Farscape or any other television show I may mention.I own only the original characters used for the purpose of this story only. This is for fun and I'm not making any money off it.
“I’m sorry, Nan, but I’m not going to make it. Something came up at work.” Cameron sighed into the phone as his grandmother continued on her rant about him not coming up to see her enough. SG-1 had planned a whole week vacation which he was going to use to visit Nana Mitchell. However, with this mission on the list, it wasn’t likely he have time to visit. Usually she understood, having been married to a military man herself, but for some reason she was arguing with him today.
“You should have some leave coming soon, why don’t you take it now?”
“I told you I couldn’t. I can’t disobey orders.” He could hear her sigh on the other end, finally at the end of the rant.
“Well, call me as soon as you’re done. I have a bad feeling about this.”
“ Nan, you always have a bad feeling when I go on a mission. I’ll be fine.” He could tell she didn’t believe him, but she left it at that. She was still overly protective of him since his parents died but she knew when to push it and when not to. Cameron lived for what he did.
“Don’t worry; I’ll call the second I get back. Love you.”
“Love you too.” They both hanged up, following their tradition of never saying goodbye.
He turned around but stopped startled as he found Vala standing behind him.
“Don’t do that!” She simply smiled. He was glad to see it. Things were relatively back to normal. Maybe prolonged exposure to both him and Daniel at the same time was helping. They hadn’t spent that much time together in a non-work related situation for a long time.
“Grandma sends her love?” Vala’s tone was amused and Cameron just shook his head and smiled. Nana loved Vala, having met her when Cameron had brought her with him for the high-school reunion. The two had bonded over Ben and Jerry’s “Cherry Garcia”, homemade crumb cake and stories about the men in their lives. Cameron could never get the image of Vala covered in flour, an apron with Cookie monster on it from his childhood singing to the radio along with Nana.
“She wants you to visit again. Bring “your boy” with you.” Cameron’s smile got larger. Vala had let it slip that she had been involved with Daniel at the time and Nana had kept asking her to bring him down for her to check him out. He wondered what Daniel would think if he knew he was referred to as Vala’s boy. Probably did already given that fruitcake they had the night before.
“Maybe when we are on leave. I had a good time with her.” Vala’s smile got mischievous. “You were such a cute baby. Sam thinks so too.” Cameron’s eyes got wide. He knew his grandmother had given Vala a few pictures of a young Cameron but he didn’t realize Vala had thought to show anyone. At least it was Sam. But still..
“Oh, but I did. We were looking for similarities between you and Jack.” They began to walk away as Cameron groaned. It was apparently “Tease Cam Day” for Vala. She wrapped her arm through his as they walked down the hall, laughing. He could deal with it if she was happy again. If they were back to being friends like this again.
Sam was organizing her tools when Daniel walked in. She had been briefed separately as to the problems that the Athorians were having with the gate and she was working with a team to determine what tools she would need the most. The rest of the team was out for lunch at the time, but she had decided to stay and start packaging what they had already decided to bring.
“Hey, Daniel.” She paused and stood up, noticing he held a tray of food in his hands. She smiled as he put it in front of her. “The others send you?”
“Some of them, yes,” he respond with a smile. “Mostly just me, because I knew you would be too busy down here to remember something mundane as eating,” he teased. He picked up the second sandwich on the tray. “Besides, I can’t find anyone else to eat with and lunch is always better with someone else.”
“Where is everyone?”
“I think Teal’c and Jack left the base to have lunch. Apparently Jack wanted to ask him a question. Vala and Cameron are helping Siler with our supply lists.”
“What about Carolyn? I’m surprised she isn’t going. Some of the medical equipment mentioned in the mission brief seemed like something she would just love.”
“Apparently, SG-10 came down with a group case of alien chicken pox. She had to figure out how to cure it before someone else gets it.”
“I’m looking forward to this mission. It seems pretty laid back besides the whole gate problem. Vala should be excited. She’ll get to see her home again.”
“I don’t know if she is. I don’t think she’s had a good time with her memory ever since that blow up with Athena. She has a harder time recessing any memories before Qetesh. I think that is what they were looking for, something from her time as the host.” Sam nodded.
“Carolyn did state that her memories of that particular time may be blocked permanently or need a very big trigger to get them.” Vala so far had only had one or two major flashback incidents and all of them had happened within days of her regaining her memory. “Speaking of Vala, though, have you asked her out yet.” Sam knew that Daniel was trying to get back to the way things were, maybe even a little further, but as of yet he hadn’t made the step of just asking her out to dinner or anything of the sort.
“No, not yet. Not sure I want to anymore.” Sam only raised an eyebrow at this, eating her sandwich in silence. “She seems to enjoy me more as a friend anyway and seems interested in Cam.” Sam smiled. Despite her early misgivings about how Vala felt about Daniel, the three months Daniel had been gone had shown her that Vala truly cared for Daniel. Vala and Sam had grown closer and confided in each other now. Sam knew Vala felt guilty about her part in leaving Daniel behind. She’d been put through the ringer so to speak emotionally with being hijacked to the Ori Galaxy, then having a husband and child and suddenly having neither. Daniel had been her one constant and even he wasn’t constant the past year.
“I don’t think she is. She and Cameron got quite close while you were gone but I think they have a sister-brother relationship going right now. I think you just need to show her you still care about her. The events of the last year threw you both up in the air, if you think about it. Just tell her how you feel.”
“Are you sure she hasn’t just moved on?”
“Daniel, she made it very clear when she wanted you. I think she would make it equally clear if she no longer did. Why are you holding back?”
“I don’t know.” Daniel said with a frustrated tone. “Part of me wonders if it is still just a game to her and another part me wonders if she would care for me the way she did after what I did.”
“Daniel, it wasn’t your choice. You were brainwashed. She understands that.”
“Would she really?”
Carolyn was working on paperwork when a pair of arms encircled her. She smiled as she recognized Cameron, remaining silent. They had been going out unofficially for the last month and she did cherish these few moments even if they scared her as well. Cameron was one of the times that went full force at love and any other relationship. He was nice to pretty much everyone, and she knew her own father was found of him. She just didn’t know if she just simply liked him or if she loved him and frankly didn’t want to think about it.
“Hey,” Cameron said, pressing his lips to her temple. “Weren’t you going to come say goodbye?”
“It’s only a two day mission, Cameron. An easy one too. I’ll still be here when you come back and hopefully not to check wounds.” She didn’t mention that while part of her reason was appearance (she didn’t want to appear to have impaired judgment involving him) she didn’t want to encourage him. Their relationship was good as it was, casual with a friendship to back it up. Cameron however kept trying to take it further, make them more then just friends with benefits. He had asked her once if the reason she didn’t want to officially be his significant other was because of what happened with Vala, and she had said no. It was true. While she had felt a little hurt at first, she had no claim on him at the time and didn’t now. Plus she knew that Vala was not a threat, not anymore.
“What do you say about coming to Raleigh with me when I get back?”
“I don’t think that would be such a good idea.” The idea of visiting his family scared her because it meant that she acknowledged their relationship as something more and she was trying desperately to keep it simple like it was.
“Why not?” She didn’t answer right away, just looked at her papers. She had yet to look at him and wasn’t sure she wanted to for what she was about to say. She had to though.
“I think we need to stop this.”
“Stop what? Our relationship.”
“What we are doing. We are friends, Cam, and I’d like to think we are good friends but we aren’t anything more. I think we are just pushing it.” Cameron was expressionless at the moment, just watching her. While they hadn’t actually become lovers, it was clearly heading that way and she had certainly acted like one on occasion.
“Fine, if that is what you want.”
“It is. I’m sorry.” Cameron merely shrugged and walked out of the room. Carolyn’s heart clenched as she saw him walk out of the site of her office windows and down the hall. She got the feeling that was a final goodbye and went back to work trying to shake the bad feeling.
It was just a simple diplomatic mission. He’d be back. They’d still be friends. It had to be.
Cameron was the first in the gate room, having arrived about 10 minutes early, completely prepared to go. Teal’c arrived only a few minutes later, calm as ever. Cameron was slightly nervous, the phone conversation with his grandmother (who had a weird sense of intuition) and Vala’s comments on how she felt something was going to happen hadn’t helped his usual pre-mission fears. Usually he only worried he was going to mess something up (and he usually did) but today he had a weird sense of foreboding since several people had expressed weird feelings about this mission. It also hadn’t helped his mood that he had in an odd way broken up with his girlfriend only an hour before. He looked up to see if Carolyn was there but she wasn’t, just like she had implied. He sighed and went back to making sure he had everything. It was best not to dwell on that particular event now.
Sam arrived with a smile on her face as usual, trying her usual way to reassure him that he wasn’t going to screw up this time. She was soon followed by Vala who leaned up against the wall, her hair done up in pigtails. Somehow her mood made Cameron remember the mission to the supergate, where she had stood there and pouted while the rest stood and talked with Sam. He frowned and turned away, not exactly proud of how he excluded her that day. This day just wasn’t turning out right.
Daniel was the last to arrive, and just as he walked through the doors, Walter began the dialing sequence. Cameron’s smile returned. He’d never get tired of the words “Chevron Seven Locked” or the site of the big whoosh of…whatever that was. Never. As soon as the wormhole was concluded to be stable, Landry gave them permission to leave and the group filed through the gate.
The team was greeted by an escort upon arriving though the gate. They were led into town towards the assembly hall located near the center of the village, the local people watching as they walked by. By now even Cameron was used to this, having seen in on several of their more peaceful missions. However, the people weren’t the main attraction. The construction of the buildings was incredible considering the outwardly appearance of being from an earlier time and a less advanced civilization. Sam seemed excited and eagerly started to discuss the materials used to build with one of the escorts who happened to be an engineer. Cameron just smiled when she began talking, not really listening. He loved Sam, but he still could only understand about a fifth of what she said to him when she was in full tech mode. Vala stood only a few feet behind Sam but was much quieter despite acting like her normal cheerful self. The simple fact she wasn’t as talkative as usual gave away her worry to those who knew her the best. Daniel stood next to her, close enough to be there if she needed someone, but far away enough that it didn’t seem that way. Vala seemed grateful for this, once reaching out and squeezing his hand in thanks. Cameron had caught that act with a smile before turning his attention to the final member of SG-1. Teal’c seemed unaffected by the village and simply observed it, leading the group through the main street. Cameron bit back a laugh as the sudden image of Teal’c as a tour guide came to his mind. However, he was back in focus when they started to near the building.
“Ah! Welcome, my friends, to Athoria,” exclaimed a heavy-set man walking down the stairs of the assembly hall. The group stopped and met him at the bottom of the stairs. “My name is Helon Feleni. Follow me to the council chambers.” He led them up the stairs and into a large lobby and continued though a long hallway till Cameron was starting to wonder if they were just going to go back outside again. However, just before they reached the back door of the building, he turned and ushered them into a room that held a long table. On the side facing the door sat four more Athorian. Six seats remained empty, obviously for Helon and SG-1.
They all sat down, and Sam and Vala were surprised when Helon pulled out their chairs for them. Vala looked at him strangely before smiling a thanks and sitting down, and Sam only reacted for a second. Neither was exactly used to someone going out of their way to act chivalrous. Although on the other hand, Cameron was pretty sure if he had tried such a thing in the briefing room, they would have just walked around him and sat in another chair completely ignoring him. Although there was a part of him that he should anyway.
“Greetings.” A tall woman seated in the middle of the Athorians stood up. “My name is Getha Moring, and I am the President of our world’s government. The four with me are representatives from the four major villages. You have of course met Helon, who is the leader of this city where the world government resides, Kathora. Between him and myself is Yeona Moring, my sister-in-law and head of the government in Froth. To the right of me is Xhen Phili, head of Carpathia and Elvis Priestley, head of Morthington.” Cameron blinked at the last one and almost missed his cue to introduce the team. Somehow he got picked to be the unofficial leader today so he stood and started his end of introductions.
“I’m Lieutenant Colonel Cameron Mitchell; beside me is Lt Colonel Samantha Carter who is the head of our Technology Research and Development department, Teal’c who is our local ambassador to the Jaffa Free Nation, Dr. Daniel Jackson, head of the Archeology department and Vala Mal Doran, intelligence officer for SG-1.” Well, she was even if it was more of an unofficial title then a real one. Getha bowed her head and both of them sat down.
“Thank you for coming, SG-1. It is our hope that the relationship between our two worlds will be a friendly and beneficial one.” And with that the negotiations began.
Lorian Maldoran was nervous. She had heard that Vala was coming and that most likely as a relation she would be called on to host the visitors while they did the first steps in the creation of the treaty. It was only to be two days, with a team of delegates from Earth to arrive then to decide on details. However that was still one night and this was her husband’s great-grand Aunt. Charon was not quite as nervous as she, having actually met the group as an escort earlier that day.
“They are just like us, Lori. Nothing spectacular.”
“And your Aunt? What was she like?”
“I didn’t spend much time with her. She was hanging back with a man called Dr. Jackson. I spent most of my time explaining our engineering techniques with Dr. Carter. She has some fascinating things to say. Do you know on Earth they haven’t been able to create fornit rods? They have something called steel and concrete which from the sounds of it is much more stable but less flexible if you wanted to change it later.” Lorian sighed. Her husband’s first love was engineering and she had learned to live with that fact, even if she did come home to hear hours of commentary on building. She herself was the owner of a bakery that was just beginning to show a boom.
Perhaps she should have a dish of some cookies for the visitors to eat after dinner?
“I have three rooms prepared for them,” Lorian commented absently, thinking over her checklist. Charon had inherited the home from his father and so forth and it was quite large as to accommodate a large family. They themselves had no children yet, having only recently been married. Charon’s father had moved to live with his daughter and her husband in the seaport town of Brinea and given the house to them as a wedding present. This had left her with about seven guest bedrooms with nothing to fill them. Charon had changed one into his office and another had been opened up to be a test kitchen for her but that still left five. Which she thought, should mean each member of SG-1 got their own room. She sighed and walked to the other two bedrooms and checked them over to make sure they could be used. A quick change of sheets and the rooms were deemed ready.
She wondered what they would be like. She hadn’t met any foreigners before, not before moving here with Charon. These would be the first she had direct contact with. Charon had told her that they were human, like him and her, but had some subtle cultural differences. Like the lack of fornit rods. But they also seemed to have a lot of advances over their own. Especially when it came to medicine. While the Athorian’s had a method that was more effective in releasing medication and inoculations, the Tauri had solved some of Athoria’s worst medical mysteries and now considered them common place diseases. They also seemed to have a more effective research method. A combination of their two worlds on that matter would be an improvement to them both. The Athorians would have many cures for diseases and the Tauri would be able to hand out medication at a faster and least costly rate.
As a businesswomen, she was apart of the local council and had been told the original SG team’s story and information and had voted to start negations. That is when she had found out about Vala’s existence. An older woman had come in, as an elder of the village, and had questioned the team of Tauri soldiers. When the topic of the goa’uld were mentioned the women had declared her hatred of them, how they had taken Vala. The men had seemed surprised and mentioned how they had a former host named Vala Maldoran on their planet. That had caused quite the stir.
For the last fifty years, Athoria had been one of planets leading a rebellion against the goa’uld, but it had not always been that way. One of its more shameful secrets came from the many years before that where they had worshiped the god Ra and supplied him with hosts, one of which had been Vala Maldoran. And while the whole world felt ashamed for putting her and two others up as hosts for the goa’uld, the Maldoran family had felt more shame since it was their fault she was a host in the first place. Lorian didn’t know much about it, but apparently Charon’s great grandmother had been Vala’s stepmother. Adria had sacrificed her to the goa’uld due to the fact that Vala was a remnant of her husband’s late wife and she wanted none of those and it became more apparent as Vala got older. In the journals that Charon’s grandfather had left behind it appeared that after Lorak Maldoran had found out what his wife had done for such a pity reason he was quite angry and since Athoria at the time had no divorce, they were forced to remain together despite the anger and mistrust they shared. Charon’s grandfather had only been 13 when his half-sister was chosen as a host for Qetesh but he never quite forgave his mother for that.
“Do you think Vala remembers?” It had been over a hundred years. In fact, she believed it was a 102 years exactly coming up in four months. Luckily Athorians who lived through the illnesses had long lives and often had children in later years now, as hopefully pass on more immunities and such. Charon was the youngest of his siblings, much younger in fact and as such was only three generations behind Vala. From what she had learned, the humans reproduced much earlier in their life cycle and therefore more generations.
“Her life here. Before Qetesh. It has been a long time.” Charon’s face showed that it was unlikely before he even answered.
“From what I gathered from Dr. Carter who was not that forthcoming, no doubt because she is a friend, Vala has trouble remembering anything past the last seven years. She was in an accident almost a year ago that caused her to loose her memory and she has trouble getting all her memories from the time back.”
“I couldn’t even imagine what it would be like not to remember anything.” Lorian had known that Vala’s life had not been kind, but that it had continued to be harsh even without the symbiotic had surprised her. “How did she regain her memory?”
“I didn’t ask. I felt I was prying already. I think her friends care for her deeply. They are her true family. While she will be accepted by me as a family member, I’m not sure I will be accepted by her as one. After all she doesn’t know me; I’m just the grandchild of her brother.”
The negotiations went on for some time, with Sam and Daniel stepping in for the side of Earth for the most part. While trained for such situations, it was not Cameron’s strong point and Teal’c usually didn’t deal with it either. Vala was simply watching. Getha called for an end of the day’s discussions and asked that they rejoin tomorrow morning before the group left for home. Much had been accomplished, but much still needed to be.
To be honest, Daniel was tired, hungry and really wanted to just be in one of those specialized tubs they had just installed in the locker rooms with the massagers. He slumped down in his chair and laid his head on his hands. At least he could count this as one of his more successful attempts. He could count more unsuccessful ones then successful ones. He jumped slightly when a pair of hands touched his shoulders but nearly groaned with relief as the person started to massage his back, releasing the tension hours of talking had built up. He could tell it was a female because the hands were smaller and he was pretty sure neither Teal’c nor Cameron would have given him a back rub. And given the scent he could barely smell, he could tell it was Vala. She had stolen his shampoo again. He nearly fell asleep when the Vala stopped and leaned down to talk to him.
“You should go get something to eat and some rest. You are going to have a long day tomorrow, darling.” Daniel smiled to himself at the nickname Vala had given him. He nodded and stood up, Vala’s hands sliding down his back along the way. It felt good to be so close to her. While he could still remember a time when it annoyed him, he had long ago decided to forget it. She smiled up at him as he turned around. He took her hand and kissed it, clearly surprising her. How is that for letting her know. She looked confused but didn’t comment when he continued to hold that hand and take her towards the area where some food had been prepared for them.
Cameron just smirked at him and held up a thumb up before going back to his food. Daniel decided not to dwell on how the Lt Colonel knew or rather what he thought he knew about Daniel’s plan to get Vala back.
They each got a bowl of a think vegetable soup and walked over to where the rest of the team was sitting. They were joined by the family that was hosting them for the night and group was soon in friendly conversation.
Later that night, after Charon and Lorian had shown them their rooms, Sam had snuck into Vala’s room to do a night-time activity they had started to do while on missions. At night, when she wasn’t on watch, Sam would braid Vala’s long hair for her. It was a calming activity for Sam and it allowed the two to talk.
“So how are you doing?” Sam asked as she walked into the room. Vala closed the door behind her, already dressed in the pair of pj’s she had swiped from Jack and Daniel. Sam found it a little funny how she had taken one clothing item from each of the SG-1 team members. She had a pair of Jack’s pj bottoms, one of Daniel’s old oxford shirts, a jean jacket of Cameron’s and one of Teal’c’s hats. Sam wasn’t quite sure what Vala had of hers, but she was pretty sure Vala had taken something. It was kind of an inside joke between the group that she had a piece of all of them (and had once worn all at once making Sam laugh and take pictures for future blackmail purposes).
“All right. I’m still not remembering anything of this planet.” Sam sat on the bed while Vala sank to the floor below her and took her hair out of the bun she had been wearing earlier. “I wish I did. The people hear seem nice.” They aren’t blaming me for what I did, at least not yet. Sam murmured her agreement. “So how about you? You didn’t look so good after we got through the gate.”
“Can you keep a secret?” Vala didn’t respond, just turned herself around and gave Sam a look. “Alright,” Sam said laughing while moving Vala back to her former position and picking up the hairbrush to start brushing. “There is a good chance I’m pregnant. Since my body’s a little off, gate travel is going to be a little rougher for me till it settles down.”
“Did you tell Jack yet?” Vala asked, obviously excited at the prospect of Sam having a child. She didn’t turn around though, as she knew all that would accomplish would be a tangle in her hair and another hour spent trying to get the hairbrush out.
“Yes. He was reluctant to let me go on the mission by Carolyn has cleared me for another month of gate travel baring any incidents. After that I’m going to be on restricted duty, probably research only, no field work.”
“I am going to assume no one else knows about this then you three. Daniel would have asked you to stay behind if he had known.”
“True. Teal’c knows, Jack went to him and asked him this morning about wither or not it was safe for me and the baby. He confirmed Carolyn’s decision to continue to let me go through the gate. I was going to tell Daniel and Cameron as soon as we got back. No need in getting their protective brother status built up.”
“They’d be happy for you though. You’d be giving them something else to spoil now that Cassie is all grown up.” The two continued to talk for another hour before Sam snuck back to her own room.
However, all were woken up when a radio signal was reached from the gate, and General Landry’s voice boomed through.