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.
“So what were you two talking about, darling.”
“A multitude of things. Cameron can get more talkative then me when he’s drunk enough.”
“He’s going to hate himself in the morning.”
“Probably. More then just the hangover I suspect. He told me about you two.” Vala looked at him in surprise and then something passed briefly across her face that he hadn’t expected. Pain.
“He did?” She was clearly uncomfortable now and hadn’t made a joke yet. Which told him how seriously she felt she had done wrong. Vala was a joker but she could have her serious moments when it was called for.
“Yeah.” Great. Now he was the monosyllable one.
“I was having a bad time, and so was he. It wasn’t exactly something we expected.”
“I know.” He paused and looked her straight in the eyes. “Are you still attracted to him?”
“Yes. But then he’s a very good looking man and a lot of women find him attractive. If you’re asking if I still want to sleep with him then no. I don’t. I know you have been given the impression that I’m not exactly choosy when it comes to partners…”
“No, it’s not that,” Daniel interrupted. It really wasn’t. He had known for awhile that Vala was very choosy. She just didn’t act like it. “I just don’t want us to start on anything and have either of us feeling we should have waited.”
“There hasn’t been anyone for me but you pretty much from the start.” She said softly bringing his eyes back to her. “Cameron and me…it was an aberration. I’m sorry for it and he’s sorry for it and neither of us wants it to happen again.” She sighed.
“He’s in love with Carolyn.”
“Yeah. It is pretty obvious to everyone except to her apparently. And I think she’s in love with him but resides in denial.” She smiled slightly. “I think they had a fight that night, so I had it easy when it came to convincing him to drink with me. He’s almost as bad as you Daniel. If I wasn’t drunk myself I would have found it amusing. Obviously he doesn’t drink much.” Silence reigned for a few moments before Daniel brought up another subject.
“Did you mean what you said last night?” She looked at him and was quiet for a moment before answering.
“That I cared deeply for you?” Daniel nodded. “Yes, of course I meant it. Why wouldn’t I?” She sounded slightly hurt that he didn’t believe her.
“I just had to make sure I was taking what you said the right way. This whole starting of a relationship is hard for me. I never really had to do anything before. I mean, Sha’re was given to me as a gift, and Sarah made all the moves in that relationship.”
“I think I did make the first move if I recall.” Vala said, finally smiling with a teasing note in her voice.
“Pouncing on me after you hit me with a fire extinguisher and kicked me doesn’t count,” Daniel replied smiling as he remembered. Vala had initiated their first kiss so he supposed she was right. That had been one good part about fighting with her that day.
“You weren’t that bad off, and you got me good too.”
“I did, didn’t I?” Daniel smiled at her.
“Defiantly made an impression.” She looked out at the dance floor and turned back to him with a mischievous look in her eyes. “Lets dance!”
“You are going to hate yourself in the morning, my friend,” Charon said as he helped Cameron through the door. “Perhaps I should not have introduced Ranasha to you.”
“Do you drink like that often?”
“No. Don’t usually drink anything stronger then a beer. That, my friend, was not beer. It tasted like Kool-Aid though. How could something so alcoholic taste like sugar.” They were now to Cameron’s room and Charon helped Cameron to the bed where the Colonel just flopped down and closed his eyes.
“Ask Lorain in the morning and she’ll tell you how it’s made. I believe it affects those who are older and have slower metabolisms more strongly then others.”
“I’m not old.” Charon could barely recognize the murmured words
“Of course not, but your certainly not very young. I’m surprised you even were able to drink three let alone four.” His words fell on deaf ears as Cameron was already sleeping.
Laria was sitting at their table when Vala and Daniel returned. Vala sat down, feeling anxious about meeting this woman who apparently knew her in the past. Daniel sat down with a glance at Vala and then one at Laria. He hoped this meeting would go well.
“You look just like you did when I last saw you so many years ago, Vala.”
“I don’t remember much of my life before Qestesh. I’m sorry.” Laria looked at her puzzled.
“Why should you apologize? You were the victim of your stepmother’s hate. The woman was misguided.”
“I don’t remember you.”
“I didn’t think you would. We did not have a lot of involvement one-on-one with each other but you left an impression on me and my brother.”
“I guess you could say you were our teacher in our younger years. You were much older then we were. You taught us till we were old enough to join the community school.”
“I was a teacher?”
“Yes, although not an official one. You were technically apprenticed to a genetic-biologist. You taught us in the morning and helped her in the afternoons. Apparently that was her peak time. Afternoons and evenings.”
“You know so much about me.”
“Not that much at all, Vala. Not much at all. It just seems that way because you know so little of your life and I have had over a century to collect my memories. I do however have some of your sister’s processions, which were once yours. Perhaps you would like to see them. I have heard theories that tactile contact may help memory recovery.” Vala looked stunned for a second. This was very sudden and she turned to Daniel, trying to see what he thought. Once she concluded he was leaving it up to her she agreed, knowing that Daniel would be with her so she would be safe. Laria nodded and stood to lead them to her home, walking slowly with her cane.
When they arrived home that evening, Vala had her hands full of memorabilia that Laria had given to her. Old pictures, movies and other processions that had either once been hers or had belonged to her family. She placed them on the kitchen counter, planning on going through them when she awoke. Daniel went upstairs to take a shower while she checked on Cameron.
He was laying his bed, obviously having fallen asleep as soon as he had fallen upon it. Charon had pulled a blanket off the chair and placed it over him in case it got cold during the night. He had also propped Cameron’s head up on pillows. Vala simply got him a glass of water and some pain medication from her pack. She smoothed the hair on his head. He looked so much younger when he was asleep.
She had always admired how young Cameron could be. He never got tired of experiencing things and never seemed to get overly down by anything. Shit happened to them a lot but Cameron kept going with a smile. Even when they came back to the SGC soaked, caked in mud bone tired, Cameron still had a smile and still loved his job.
“He ok?” Vala looked up to see that Daniel was dressed for bed, hair still wet from the shower.
“Yeah. Sleeping away. I put some Advil beside his bed for him in the morning.” She took one more second to readjust the blanket and met Daniel in the hallway.
“Do you need me to stay with you tonight?” She thought for a second before nodded, knowing she felt better having him there, especially when she had the dreams. She took a quick shower and crawled into bed beside him.
“Night,” he whispered, adjusting the covers so they were comfortable.
Vala was sitting in the dressing room she had been given, staring at herself in the mirror. Today was her wedding day. She wore a white dress. She hated white. It was not very flexible, not like black or blue. The dress had been her mothers, and before that her grandmothers which were one of the few reasons she was wearing it. The dress, like the necklace she wore, had been passed down though the females of her family for generations. It had a higher neckline then she would have preferred but it was far enough down to not feel as if it was choking her and showcase the azure pendent. The skirt fell to the floor, easily hiding her shoes despite the high heels on her shoes. There was no train and for that she was thankful.
“You look beautiful, sis.” Natayla, now twelve years old, stood behind her, beaming as she helped her sister prepare for her wedding. “I hope I look at least half as good as you do now when I get married.”
“I bet you will look twice as good, Nata. You’re the beauty of the family, remember.” The younger girl blushed at her sister’s compliment before returning to Vala’s hair, which was being put into a fancy up-do to fit in the tiara that had been in Gareth’s family. It was tradition to wear it. His family had once been the royal family of the planet before it broke into several smaller areas with democratic government. However they still had the status if not the power and she had to wear the tiara. Her hair had to either be up due to it’s length or it would have looked horrible. Luckily Natayla had figured out a good hair design to use for the occasion.
“Both my daughters are beauties,” said her father, who sat behind them, reading the business paper. “And no bride will ever look as beautiful as my girls on their wedding day.”
“Thank you, Papa,” Vala responded. She was glad that Adria had decided to oversee another part of the wedding. As much as her father and siblings loved her, Vala never had. Adria was overjoyed to finally get her out of the house and married off to someone who will give her social status and a chance to be without the presence of the child of her predecessor. Adria was very sensitive on the subject of Mila Durant-Maldoran.
“It is almost time, V. Are you ready?”
“Her hair is done. I just need the tiara to fix into it,” Natayla added. “Then she will be ready.
However, just as Vala and her father were about to leave the room, two Jaffa burst in followed by another who wore a golden tattoo upon his forehand in the shape of the eye of the god Ra. Vala felt an odd sense that something wasn’t right. She was hardly important enough to gather interest of Ra. Neither was Gareth.
“Vala Durant-Maldoran?” Vala moved forward in acknowledgement and the two Jaffa guards grabbed her by the arms and dragged her out of the room, following the Prime to the main council chamber where Ra was standing. Her father kept asking why they were taking his daughter but he was not answered. Natayla simply watched them in fear.
Adria stood in the room, a smug look on her face. Vala felt her stomach drop at that moment, the feeling that something was about to happen and it wasn’t going to be good growing stronger. As part of an underground movement, Valarek had taught his children that Ra and his people were not gods so she knew that whatever was about to happen was not a divine event. However she knew better then to act as if she thought differently then what Ra wanted. She hoped it was simply the god blessing their union, but she doubted it. It wouldn’t have made Adria that happy.
“So this is the body you claim may suit my queen?” Valarek’s face turned ashen at the words and Adria replayed in the affirmative. Natayla and Larek stood off to the side, in shock at their mothers actions. Adria did not know the leanings of her husband and children but she did realize they were not willing to have their sister sacrificed in Ra’s name. “Bring her closer.” The Jaffa brought her forward and Ra walked around her, inspecting her as if she were something he was planning on purchasing at the market. But she figured he probably saw it that way. After all, if she was to become host to the queen of Ra, she would be his property, his slave for the rest of her life.
Ra nodded his head in approval and she was carried to a long table set in front of the throne where Ra took a seat and laid across it on her stomach, the back of her neck exposed. They tied her arms and legs to the side, and brought in the rest of the party, they were all crying and generally making a scene before Ra silenced them. They would not disobey their god. Vala remained motionless. She would not show fear. They were not gods and didn’t deserve such an emotion.
The Prime brought over the container that held the serpent version of the goddess Qetesh, the mistress of Ra, and Queen. He held it up and Ra nodded his consent. The white alabaster jar was opened and tipped it over her body. The gou’ald symbiote slithered out and hissed at her body, inspecting it. She tried her best not to react, but she was starting to be terrified. She was going to be a host. She could feel it sliding across her skin, a destination in mind. Suddenly the gou’ald lunged at her exposed neck, inserting herself inside the fleshy tissue and borrowing into Vala’s brain stem. She screamed, unable to hold it back with that amount of pain.
The screams stopped as suddenly as they began, as the symbiote took over her host. Vala was gone and where she once was now was Qestesh. The Prime untied her limbs and the Queen stood up and looked around. She was pleased with her new host. Much younger and much more viable then the host she had been using for the previous five hundred years.
She noticed a young man standing, tears coming down his face. From her memories of the host’s life, she gathered this was Gareth, the betrothed of her host. She smiled, a twisted smile that seemed evil to those who saw it and to the women who screamed inside, unable to be heard. She would use the fiancée to prove herself. At this point even Adria was backing away in fear.
“Come forward, Gareth Dela Shan.” The man came forward. She circled him, still not seeming that different then the women that used to control the body in the virgin white dress. “To celebrate my new host, I shall take you as my first sacrifice.” Ra smiled at her declaration and motioned to one of his Jaffa. The Jaffa brought forward a box and opened it. Qetesh took out a ribbon-device and put it on her hand. A perfect fit. “Bow before your goddess.” He looked defiant but did as he was told, not refraining from staring her straight in the eye and letting her know exactly what he thought of her.
How refreshing it was to kill a fighter.
She put out her hand and slowly drew out the mind of Dela Shan, killing him the most torturous way she could with the device while learning all that he had learned over the years. Her host voice still cried inside her but was likewise ignored. She lowered her hand and allowed him to drop on the floor before turning to Adria.
“For your assistance to your god, I will spare your life. You have done well, Adria Maldoran. Ra will reward you greatly. However you have betrayed your daughter. I fear your people will not be so well receiving of you.” She turned and walked up to where Ra stood, joining her husband. She turned back to the crowd and the two of them were lifted out of the room via the rings into their ship.
“Together again at last, my love,” Ra stated once they were alone.
“Yes, together again,” was her only reply.
Vala awoke, this time with a simple gasp. She listened around but couldn’t hear anything but the light breathing of Daniel behind her. She wiped the tears off her face. Sighing she began to think about the dream, now satisfied that she hadn’t woken anyone this time.
She had retained that memory. It was seared into her mind. How could someone forget seeing their own hands kill someone they care for yet have the action independent of themselves. Gareth had died simply for loving her. He was the victim of the goa’uld’s way to prove to the host that Qetesh was the one controlling the body, not Vala. She could only hope that wherever he was, he had forgiven her for that.
Tears continued to fall down her face and she could feel Daniel tighten his grip around her, drawing her close and offering support silently. Obviously he had noticed the tension in her shoulders change as she had awoken. She settled back into him and sighed, allowing him to comfort her. She was glad he had offered to stay with her tonight. Although she really wished she would stop having nightmares. A good dream would be nice for a change.
“Another bad dream?” Daniel was careful not to mention that they were memories but he was well aware that since she had started to research into her past, she had been having her memories on repeat during the night. Most of the time the bad ones made it out more often the good ones. That one had lasted longer then the other one, but it was also more powerful and not a memory she had really forgotten. She really didn’t want to tell Daniel she had dreamt about Gareth again, about how he had died. She had a similar nightmare occur right after her memories had been returned and Daniel had helped her through that as well.
“Yeah, don’t want to talk about it though. Not now anyway. Perhaps in the morning.”
“That’s fine,” he answered, understanding. “Whenever you feel up to it.” She turned around and touched her nose to his, seeing his eyes still closed as he tried to fall back to sleep.
“Thank you, for understanding.”
“No problem,” he murmured sleepily. She leaned in and kissed him briefly on the lips before settling back into her normal sleeping arrangement, ignoring his shocked reaction. They hadn’t kissed since before he was changed into a prior. She didn’t think about it though. She would sleep with him curled around her, his breath on her left shoulder blade as they both tried to sleep. Soothing, relaxing. Like before it helped her feel better about the dream. While he didn’t keep the nightmares away, he made it easier to deal with them. Plus it generally felt good to have him there for any reason.
She couldn’t go back to sleep right away, her thoughts varying all over the place. Some were on Gareth and how she had watched him die, some on Daniel and how she had watched him die and how in a way they were eerily similar. Both had died in a way connected to her.
She really really hated that. Gareth had died by her hand, if not her mind and she had to watch Daniel die in her arms because of her daughter. She grimaced at the thought of Adria. The girl was dead now, and while the mother in her mourned there was another part of her that rejoiced although she was ashamed to even admit it to herself. Adria had done so much damage, in barely a year of existence. There were times where Vala allowed herself to wonder what it would have been like if Adria had not been meant for a stupid Ori purpose. If she had been left alone to raise her daughter in the way she saw fit.
The worst moment of regret involving her daughter was when she had hallucinated a whole life different then the one she had while infected with a alien virus. She imagined a life where she had never been sent through the singularity and Adria had been born into a family. Not just her and a man she pretended to love so she wouldn’t die. A true and honest family. She imagined Sam babysitting her in her lab, cooing at the baby, telling her physics even though she knew Adria would not understand. Teal’c teaching an older version some self-defensive techniques. Mitchell teaching her basketball. She had even imagined Adria sitting around with Jack watching a hockey game, asking questions about the goalie and Jack answering humorously.
Sam had been a big part of the hallucination, having been infected as well. It was something they really had never talked about, both coming out of it crying because in the dream-reality they had been happy. Not that they weren’t happy with their real lives but they felt the grief of loss all the same. They had written down what they experienced and Landry gave them a reprieve on actually saying it.
Sam and Jack had been married in this reality, as usual. Sam had once joked about it later which is how Vala found out about the previous alternative universes they had seen. They had a daughter, a few years younger then Adria named Gracie. She could still remember being called Aunt Vala and playing around with Gracie and Adria. It had felt so real and yet as she knew now it wasn’t.
She had been pulled into a singularity, had been forced to marry Tomin to hide a pregnancy that she hadn’t expected and had given birth to her daughter only to have her taken away to be the leader of a hostile set of beings intent on enslaving the galaxy to the belief that they were gods. Her daughter was now dead, the only way they could stop the Ori from taking over. There were no happy endings there, just broken dreams and the hope that perhaps things would change now.
She turned over with a sigh. Her life would have made a great soap opera. She had seen a few of the soaps thanks to Teal’c and had felt her life would have made an interesting plot.
“Still having trouble sleeping?” Vala opened her eyes to see Daniel watching her, eyes half closed. He wasn’t a heavy sleeper. Years on field missions gone wrong had made it habit to sleep only lightly.
“Sorry, did I wake you again?”
“No, I was still awake. What are you thinking about?” He pushed a piece of hair out of her face as he looked at her. She paused and decided to let him know. Now was as good as any.
“That time where Sam and I hallucinated another reality for ourselves. Among other things.” She sighed. “I had a dream about how I became Qetesh and how she killed Gareth as her first sacrifice in her new body. Its one of the few memories I never could get rid of when I wanted to. That line of thinking led me to when you died and how both cases had a connection to me.”
“You’re not responsible for either.”
“But I feel like I should be. Maybe I could have been a little more accommodating to Adria. If I hadn’t been so against her from the start perhaps she would never have felt the need to supply me to Ra for Qetesh. This would have solved your case too, if you think about it. If I had never been Qetesh we would never had met, and this galaxy would still be hidden from the Ori.” And she wouldn’t have had to watch him die in her arms and be unable to do a single thing. She wouldn’t have to leave him behind in order to live herself.
“Not necessarily. One day we would have found that hidden chamber and someone would have used the communication device.”
“Yeah, but maybe at a point where we had been able to hold off the Ori. Perhaps after the Jaffa nation had formed and taken strong roots and the SGC wasn’t just an American institution but the whole world knew of it.”
“Perhaps. But a lot of things would have changed here too if we hadn’t met. Good things.”
“Well, if you hadn’t stolen the ship and get it damaged we would never have returned to earth and I would never have found out that there was a ZPM. Atlantis would be overcome by the Wraith and if we were lucky stuck there. But there would be a greater chance they would come to Earth and from Earth spread through out the gate system.”
“Dismal possibility there, Darling.”
“It’s true. The repairs on Prometheus and the finishing touches of Daedalus kept me on Earth long enough to be there when Catherine died. It was through one of her books I found the ZPM. Well, find out when it existed on Earth.” Vala nodded her understanding. That particular mission she had read during her stay the first time around.
“Catherine is the women who brought you into the Stargate program right?”
“Yeah, I had a lot to thank her for.”
“I’m glad you were brought in. It would have been a lot different without you.”
“I suppose it would have to be. Just like it would be with you. You have affected a lot of lives, and a lot of it is positive, you know.”
“Sorry I’m being so down tonight. These dreams are just not allowing me to get out of this depressive mood.”
“I know. I can’t imagine what it would be like to be a host. I’m glad I never had to know.”
“I am too. Although, I’m pretty sure if you had become a gou’ald host, we would have met because Qetesh thought you looked nice,” she joked, trying to lighten the mood.
“Qetesh thought I looked nice?” Vala murmured an affirmative, smiling as she did so. “When did Qetesh see me?”
“Chulak. She was there to choose a host for her new lover, as she had really enjoyed your appearance. She was thinking of choosing you before you started begging to become one.” Vala paused, her teasing mood gone again as she thought about that night. “I can’t remember more then a few things about that time, but I do remember you and Jack being there, and a boy. I can’t even remember the name of Qetesh’s new lover. I do remember though that in the end she didn’t choose you because she thought you weren’t a fighter. She was wrong.”
“Thank you.” She looked up in confusion.
“For what? Telling you this?”
“Yes, and for having faith in my ability to fight. I was a lot different then.” Daniel smiled. “Probably wouldn’t been able to handle you,” he added after a pause.
“You can handle me now?” Vala asked with a laugh. His smile got bigger at the sound of her laugh and he joined in a little.
“Sure I can. Look at the Prometheus. It wasn’t me who was tied up in the end.”
“It wasn’t either of us. Oh, I have no doubts about you, Darling. But your soldier boys that day weren’t exactly holding up well.”
“You didn’t give them much choice.”
“Didn’t give you much choice either. Had you tied to a chair even. But you managed to subdue me.”
“Used your own technique against you,” he said laughing slightly at the memory.
“That keeps coming up with us, doesn’t it?”
“Think that means something?”
“Maybe we should try it again,” she responded, leaning slightly in his direction. He smiled softly as he leaned forward and met her.