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.
Vala was walking along the riverbed, watching as her younger brother and sister played around. At eight and seven, Larek and Natalya were extremely close and were never seen without the other. They also seemed to like to play in the muddiest areas as possible, so Vala tried to stay as close as she could without actually going into the mud.
She closed her eyes and listened to the excited laughter of her siblings and the mixture of voices from the other picnickers.
Suddenly a pair of warm arms wrapped around her and she smiled while keeping her eyes closed.
“Hello, Beautiful,” came the expected voice, warm breath on her ear. She turned around and kissed her fiancée.
“I thought you weren’t going to make it here?”
“Well, everyone and awhile, I do need have a little fun without a book involved.”
“I don’t know how you would consider that fun, Gar.” He opened his mouth to reply, but their moment together was shattered as a scream lifted through the air. Vala’s eyes widened and she turned around and rushed towards it, knowing it to be that of her little brother, screaming his name as she went.
Vala awoke, and pushed her sheets away, breathing heavily as the dream replayed in her mind. Tears were falling down her cheeks. The dream had been so good at the start, finally remembering a moment in her life before Qetesh. It had ended so horribly. Larek had fallen into the water and couldn’t swim against the current. He had almost drowned.
Suddenly there was light in her room and another pair of arms wrapped themselves around her. She leaned into Daniel, crying as the memory came back full force. Cameron stood in the doorway, in his boxers and with bed hair. Just standing there in support. Daniel remained next to her, smoothing her hair out. She felt slightly embarrassed. Since they were there they would have had to hear her screams. She quieted down after a few minutes, but held on to Daniel, not wanting him to go. She could feel him motion to Cameron that he could handle it. There was nothing for a moment and then she heard the shuffle of Cameron walking away.
“Care to tell me what the dream was about?” He laid them back on the bed and covered her with a sheet and then went back to holding her. She almost replied that it was the same thing as always, regret over past events before she realized that he didn’t remember the nightmares she used to have. He wasn’t there for the worst of them, after he had died.
“Larek?” She nodded.
“Yes. I think it was a memory, but I’m not sure.” She opened her eyes finally to look into his to find his concern staring at her. She trusted him. Snuggling closer to him, she sighed. “We were at the beach and he wondered into some rough water. I was supposed to be watching him, and I failed and he almost died.”
“But he didn’t.”
“That wasn’t the point. He shouldn’t have even been in the almost category, Daniel. I should have been paying more attention to him and less to…”
“Less to who?”
“Yes. We had a long engagement. I think this memory took place about eight years before I became a host. I don’t think we were engaged yet, not for another couple of years, but I think we had discussed the idea. We did love each other, but it was mostly a business arrangement.”
“You remember that now?”
“Some of it. Not everything. That dream just unlocked a few of them for me.” Daniel didn’t reply. “Its funny how later in life you can see things you would never have noticed at the time.”
“Hindsight is 20/20.”
“I suppose so. I don’t remember thinking about what exactly it would have meant for me to be married. Never thought past the engagement. Almost as if I knew it would never happen. Maybe a part of me already knew I wouldn’t have married him and stayed happy. Neither of us would have been happy. He had his dreams and I had mine and while they sometimes collided it was not that often. We were engaged because it looked good, and we were friends. We didn’t hate each other but I don’t think we truly loved each other. Not like…” Daniel frowned at her pause.
“Not like what?”
It had taken Sam fifteen days to solve SG-12's problem, which took priority since it was clear that SG-1 was not on a hostile planet and could wait. It made her think of that time when they were stranded on a planet that caused a reaction that made them unable to leave for three weeks. Cameron and the others were going to spend what could amount to six months.
Which is why once she had finished with the other problem she immediately went to work on theorizing what could go wrong with a gate. Bill Lee was working on the problem with her and Dr. Radek Zelenka was on loan from Atlantis. He had returned from a two week leave to visit his family and wasn't needed as much in Atlantis as he was in the SGC at the moment. Rodney Mckay would have been a better choice, and Sam was both regretful that he wasn't there and relieved that she didn't have to work with him. While not as knowledgeable in gate technology as Mckay, Zelenka was not far behind and had a better personality in her opinion.
Zelenka and Lee had left hours ago, planning on getting a few hours of sleep before returning to the task at hand, but Sam had stayed behind, hoping something would come to mind. She would go home soon, she would have to, but she really wanted to solve this problem.
“Colonel Carter, should you not be resting?” She looked up to see Teal’c entering her lab with Jack not far behind. The General had decided to stay around past his week off to help handle the situation, as was his call as the secretary of Homeworld Defense. Colonel Davis, the deputy secretary, would handle anything that arrived in Washington, which allowed Jack to come to Colorado.
“I know, but I can’t help but think if I work just a little bit more, an answer will come to me.”
“Well it’s not if your brain’s fried,” Jack commented. “Plus I figure that Vala would kick your butt if she knew you were exhausting yourself.” Jack knew that Sam had told Vala about the baby and she knew he was right. Vala would have kicked her butt if she had found her down here. It wasn’t a life-or-death emergency, the others were safe. She didn’t have to do 24 hour days.
“Fine, I’ll get some sleep,” she replied though there was still a part of her that wished to continue working.
“Perhaps you would like to accompany General O’Neill and myself to eat a meal before you retire.”
“Besides, sometimes if you don’t think about it, the idea will just come,” Jack added with a smile, pulling her out of her chair and leading her out the door. “And they have jello!”
Vala wondered if she should feel guilty for feeling so happy here on Athoria. After all, technically she was a married women and the man who slept beside her was not her husband. At least not according to any law or religion. But she wasn’t going to dwell on Tomin and how she never felt guilty leaving him, at least not in the sense of being his wife. Leaving him behind with the Ori was another thing entirely.
But she didn’t want to think of Tomin, or Gareth or any other man but the one with her now, the man who currently owned her heart. She ran a hand through his hair, slightly longer then usual. He’d been growing it out a bit, maybe the whole anniversary deal coming up in a few months was getting to and making him wonder why he choose to cut his hair so short. To be honest she liked it like this, short but enough to play with. She had seen pictures of him from the start of the SGC and while she found him cute, she definitely approved of the haircut. And the scruffy look he had last year. She really had liked that.
He had fallen asleep only a few minutes ago. She still couldn’t go to sleep, despite her feeling of contentment on having him there. She didn’t want to chance another dream. She sighed. Why did it have to be a nightmare that she was given first? Why not good memories…like taking him to a fair or something. Plus it hadn’t really given her any clue as to her brother, only opened memories of her fiancée.
She had admitted to Daniel that she felt something for him, much stronger then anything she felt for Gareth or Tomin. It was probably the first time she had been reluctant to tell him what she felt. She had never had that problem when it was just attraction. However love was a much stronger, much scarier emotion. To be honest, while she had felt some of it for Gareth, she had never felt it while she was Qetesh and not during her marriage to Tomin. Daniel had been the strongest connection she had had.
She had heard stories of his wife and how much he had loved her, so she had always felt a little apprehensive about letting him know she liked him that way. She always played around with it, annoying him, making it look like a game. She didn’t want to take the chance that he wasn’t able to love a second time. She had explained this once to Sam and Carolyn during a girl’s night about four months ago. It was right after the Odyssey had been taken over by the Lucian Alliance and both Sam and herself needed a fun night. Somehow the other two had managed to get out of her what her true feelings towards their friend were and Sam had simply said she thought Daniel could.
Maybe he could. He hadn’t made any statements to dissuade her when she had finally told him. Or perhaps he didn’t believe her. But he hadn’t said anything when she whispered that her feelings for Gareth were nothing compared to what she felt for him. He hadn’t said another word in fact, just stayed there, trying to help her go to asleep. It was kind of ironic that it was him who fell asleep first.
“Vala, stop thinking and sleep,” came a muffled voice. “You keep moving around.” She smiled and settled down in the bed, allowing him to wrap his arm around her and trap her there, which limited how much she could toss. She could feel his breath on the back of her neck, and just knowing he was there had calmed her down considerably from just a few minutes earlier when she had awoken. She closed her eyes and finally fell asleep again.
“Daniel!” Daniel woke slowly, hearing Cameron try to wake him with whispers that weren’t all that quiet. He lifted his head and looked over at the door where the now dressed and bed-hair-less Cameron Mitchell stood. Looking Cheerful at what had to be 6 in the morning. No one should look cheerful this early in the morning. “Good, you’re awake. Lorain is downstairs, she brought that lady here.”
“The one that claims to know Vala. I figured you’d want to see her before subjecting Vala to it.” Daniel nodded once and slowly got out of bed, trying his best to make sure he didn’t wake up Vala. She was sleeping soundly though and while she did move to the center of the bed, she didn’t wake up. He stood there smiling at her for a second before Cameron cleared his throat to let him know he was still there. He hurried back to his own room and dressed and followed Cameron downstairs, knowing that as soon as this business was done; he was in for some teasing.
Sam awoke the next morning to the smell of coffee and pancakes. Looking at the clock she realized she had slept in and quickly got out of bed and showered, arriving dressed in the kitchen by the time Jack had finished making breakfast.
“You should have woken me up hours ago!” she exclaimed. She sat down to eat because she was really hungry and knew she would be even later if she argued with Jack about it.
“You needed it. Hank was about to order you off base just to get to stop working for a hour and get some sleep. You worked for almost thirty hours straight. That isn’t good for you, especially now.” Sam sighed.
“You still should have woken me up.”
Daniel was surprised to come downstairs and find Lorian looking worried and an angry older women ranting for all she was about proper respect for the wiser and older people of society. The older women looked like she was in her mid-seventies, yet still youthful despite the needed cane. Her hair was completely white, but long and held up in a loose bun.
“Daniel Jackson, please met Laria Fars. Mrs Fars, Dr. Daniel Jackson. He’s a friend of Vala’s.” The women had been introduced to Cameron earlier.
“Ah, so they send a scout out before the real thing do they? Well, I suppose I’d do the same thing given’ the circumstance.” The old women hit the sit across from her at the counter. “Sit down, both of you. No need to stand when you have seats!” The group sat down. Cameron and Daniel watched the women and Lorain started to straighten up the kitchen that was clean anyway. She was obviously not fond of the idea of Laria being in the house.
“I suppose you want to know who I am and how I know Vala Maldoran.”
“That would be a start, certainly.”
“As I was introduced, I am Laria Fars, formerly of the house of Merkat. We were one of the more wealthy families of this planet and continue to be so even now. My grandnephews are quite efficient when it comes to money. But that is not the point of this story. While I was growing up, my family dealt with the Maldorans in business quite a lot, especially since the Maldoran family owned a large shipping company and we needed our products shipped around the planet. I was friends with Vala’s brother Larek and her younger sister Natalya married my brother Marek. So our families were well intertwined.
“Vala was the oldest child since she came from her father Valarek’s first marriage, instead of his second, and often was in charge of the younger children, myself included. I did not know her well, but I did know her, and I sensed that one day she would free from the curse of the gods and come back. I’m a seer you know, I have good instincts.”
“So you “saw” Vala be purged of the Gou’ald?” Cameron responded with skepticism in his tone. He had never been a believer of fortune tellers and psychics.
“Goodness, no. I said I sensed she would gain her freedom, not that I saw her do it. I have good instincts, occasionally forbearing, but hardly full on visions of the future, child. It’s much too fluid to get a true vision of it.” She paused for a few moments, tilting her head while watching Cameron.
“I can see that you are hurting, young man and I know it’s not a physical injury, though you have those often enough.” Cameron rolled his eyes. “I’m not finished yet!” she stated, noticing his expression. She wanted to show him what she could do, how she could sense him. “You hurt because you have been rejected, not because you lack anything though you wonder if you did, but because of her fears of appearing to lack judgment.” She had walked over and stood in front of him as she continued, and he stared back, looking as if it wasn’t affecting him that she was so close to the truth. “You love her, don’t you, child? Yet you have not told her because you understand how it could look bad for her if you stayed together and because you were afraid of her response, afraid she wouldn’t feel the same for you. But you were close to telling her you loved her, in fact you wanted to take her to see your grandmother, the one remaining member of your family.” Cameron wasn’t looking straight into her eyes anymore. “I think this time away will be good for you Cameron Phillip Mitchell,” she said as she moved his face to look at hers again. “You are a strong soul. You are stronger then you think.” She moved towards Daniel, who had been watching in silence. He wasn’t sure he wanted to know what the women “saw” when she looked at him.
“And you are also in love with someone, yet afraid to talk about it because of what has happened to your loved ones in the past. I have one piece of advice for you young man. Not admitting something will not change the fact that it is there. And should something happen, it will hurt all the same. Many a fool believes that emotion clouds judgment so ignore emotions. They do not leave simply because you want them to, regardless of wither or not you deny them. Don’t hold back because you think it will accelerate something. It will just cause you both pain in the end.” She paused and smiled. “I see she has already told you her true feelings. Good. Tell her your side as well. I sense a good future for the both of you.”
“At least you got a happy message.” Cameron muttered under his breath, ignored by both Daniel and Laria.
“I’m going to leave now, and I shall see you when you come to the celebrations this afternoon in town center.” She said turning towards the door. “And Lorian, I would avoid the Ranasha.”
“Ranasha?” Cameron asked, after the women had left.
“One of our traditional drinks. Extremely alcoholic, although the aftereffects only last about an hour or so if you only drink one. Usually its consumed by the younger set only, in a way to get around getting drunk and not get caught for it. However, during the celebration most drink it to honor our history. I wonder why she told me to avoid it.”
“Well, I’ll go wake Vala up so we can get something done before the party tonight. We’ll be down soon.”
“Sure you will.” Cameron teased as Daniel walked upstairs.
As soon as Vala heard the word “Celebration” she was all for it. In fact she dragged Cameron and Daniel along with her as soon as six o’clock hit to make sure they would go. When they arrived at the town center, they separated to go to separate venues. Cameron and Charon went towards a display of old fashioned altaks and a section of parts dealers while Lorian joined a few friends at one of the food vender stands. Vala decided to drag Daniel to the rides.
The first ride they went on was what appeared to be the Athorian equivalent of a Ferris wheel. It was followed by a couple small coasters. Daniel personally hadn’t really wanted to go a temporary roller coaster but Vala had insisted. He had ended up enjoying it despite the fact he had been afraid it would fall apart just as he was at the highest part. Vala’s enthusiasm for them was contagious. They rejoined Cameron at the center of the carnival where a dance area was set up with tables about two hours later. He had ordered them all a Ranasha of the blue variety. Apparently the drink was served in various colors, the blue being the weakest as far as alcoholic quantity went. The red ones were the most alcoholic followed by the orange and green. Vala took a few sips of the drink, and then proceeded to get lost on the dance floor.
Daniel wasn’t a big dancer. Never had been. He wasn’t a wallflower, but usually only a few dances before he was through. However, Vala had the personality that would get everyone on the dance floor. It was just the way she was and he doubted that would ever change. He no doubt would have to dance at least once during the night, but for now he was just sitting and watching Cameron and Vala as they danced the night away.
Right now she was ‘dancing the night away’ in the middle of the dance area while he and Cameron sat at a table around the outside. Cameron had another drink in his hand. Daniel was pretty sure it was the Ranasha and he was pretty sure it was Cameron’s second but it could be his third since Daniel wasn’t really paying that much attention to the younger man. Cameron was still moving to the beat, despite being seated. The music being played sounded like a mixture of techno, rock and roll and a bit of country.
“You know, this stuff has nothing against Tequila. Faster punch, but not as hard. Not even close,” Cameron commented, as if he could sense Daniel’s question about the drink. “But considering my history with that stuff, I probably shouldn’t have another one.”
“Probably.” He kept his eyes on Vala though, even though she kept getting swallowed up by the crowd. Cameron decided on another Ranasha anyway, this time orange, and when it arrived began the conversation again.
“So what did you and Vala get up to today?” Cameron asked.
“Researched a little while Vala went on and on about how this planet knew how to throw a proper party. Apparently that was her research topic for the day.”
“Well, that’s our Val. Never could resist a party.”
“She told me you took her to your reunion.” Daniel had asked only because Vala had mentioned it that morning as the last real party she had been to.
Cameron winced slightly when he had mentioned it. Not a particularly good memory for him. He had just been on the verge of reconnecting with his high school girlfriend when the bounty hunter showed up. He still felt like an idiot every time he thought of that night. Vala had managed to solve the problem, get the rest of the team in there, kept the national secret a secret and managed to do all that in high heels and a really tight dress without looking like she had done anything at all. Not even a smudge in her make-up or a scuff on her shoe. He on the other hand had pretty much ruined any chance at a romantic relationship with Amy and he was pretty sure the Air Force had been forced to pay for damages to the gym where the reunion had taken place. Plus he had ended up with the punch all over his uniform.
“Didn’t really end well, that.”
“So I heard.”
“Vala had a kick-ass dress though. Black and strapless with a slit up to her knee. And strappy black heels.” Cameron was apparently very talkative after two Ranashas. Daniel didn’t mention this out loud though, just listened in amusement at Cameron’s recount. Though he wished Cameron hadn’t started out with what Vala looked like.
“And she beat the bounty hunter up. I bet that got her some admirers.” Daniel had read the file, so he knew some of the facts.
“Sure did. She had no interest in them, though. She’s kind of hooked on you ya’ know.” Daniel frowned before turning his attention back to where Vala was dancing.
“That’s what people tell me. She seems interested in you though.”
“Heh. We tried that. All we ended up with was regret, guilt and the realization that we are not compatible as far as an emotional relationship goes. She’s into you, and I’m into... never mind.” Well, he wasn’t quite that talkative to go into that right now.
“You two were together?” Daniel turned to look at him in confusion. Cameron was now obviously feeling the effect of the Ranasha and letting out a lot more then usual. His friends had been pretty quiet about what had gone on during his absence. He wasn’t sure he wanted to know, especially since it was implied that Vala and Cameron had been together.
“I wouldn’t exactly say we were. It was one night caused by her mourning over you and both of us drinking way to much tequila. Followed by a screaming match the next morning and not speaking to each other for another four days. Luckily Sam kinda put her down and made us talk to each other and we managed to correct things as much as we could at the time.”
“How long ago was this?”
“Four months ago, about three weeks before you came back. If you thought things were stressed between us the last couple months, you should have seen us before you got back. Vala felt like she had betrayed you twice and I….I just felt like a betrayed a couple of people.”
“Were you with Carolyn then?”
“No. I told her though. Thought she should know. She didn’t seem to mind.” Cameron paused. “Do you think that says something? The fact that she didn’t care that I had made that mistake. It’s a pretty big mistake don’t you think?”
“I suppose so.” Daniel himself was slightly bothered. Obviously neither Cameron or Vala were exactly proud of the moment. If Vala had been unbothered by it, she would have told him immediately, probably even bragged about it. She often did anyway, although he was pretty sure she made half the stuff up to go with her image. And then there was tone of voice the drunken Cameron was using that told him that he wasn’t proud of himself.
“Yeah, it is. I took advantage of her, of her fragile mental state.”
“Fragile mental state?”
“Yeah. Do you know what she told me when we had a fight the next morning? The only reason why she slept with me was because if she was really drunk or squinted really hard and I didn’t say anything, she could pretend I was you.” Cameron laughed as he remembered something. “She was in love with you and for some reason thought I could fill in. And I couldn’t. So there you go. Carolyn wouldn’t have me because I’m her father’s employee and I’m not worth the fight. Vala won’t have me because I’m not you. Hell, Amy probably won’t even look at me now.” The third Ranasha was gone now and Daniel motioned to the waiter to cut him off when Cameron was ordering another.
“Is Carolyn the women Laria was talking about this morning?” Daniel asked, trying to steer the conversation away from what was clearly still a sensitive subject for Cameron and one he wasn’t sure he could deal with now.
“You love her.”
“Yeah.” Apparently Carolyn was an even more sensitive subject and turned overly talkative Cameron into a less then enthused talker.
“Who does Cammie love?” Vala asked, walking up to the table and leaning on Daniel.
“Why do you have to call me Cammie?” Cameron asked, looking over at her, annoyance clear on his face.
“Because it’s cute. And you’re cute. Especially when you’re half out of your mind drunk. You should probably stop it with the Ranashas. I’ve seen you drink one of almost all the varieties now.”
“I feel like getting drunk. But you are right.” Cameron stood up and stumbled away, apparently not a coordinated drunk. Charon smiled sadly as he saw his friend and signaled to the others that he would take care of him.