Author's Note: It's a Daniel/Vala pairing, or will be eventually. This story takes place after Beachead, I don't think that there are that many spoilers in it, but there might be. This story is also taking place in a "what if" capacity. There is not guarantee that my ideas will actually come to pass, but this is my thoughts in the "what if" game I have been playing with myself. This is my first Stargate: SG-1 Fanfit, so be gentle? Please? Or sugar coat the bad stuff. I don't mind constructive criticism, but flaming is unwelcome, by anyone really. When you review, you encourage me to write more.

Disclaimer: I do not in any way, shape, or form own any kind of rights to anything to do with Stargate: SG-1. The only thing in this story that is mine alone is the idea, kind of.

Rating: The rating is so high because of violence and possible sexual tones that might be perceived in the story. The rating might get even higher as the chapters come up depending on how the story develops.


Chapter One: Obsessions and Dreams

The days, weeks, and months seemed to blend together. Dr. Daniel Jackson has his nose buried in a new report. His glasses were absently sliding down his nose as he read. Every report that came in now found a spot on Daniel's desk before it was shipped to archives. Daniel was obsessed; everyone could see this and no one knew what to do about it. It wasn't really self-destructive; he still managed to get all his work done and reports in on time. But every scrap of information coming back from off-world, from official reports to rumors spread by board nurse, found its way to Daniel to be gathered and analyzed and carefully gone over for any implication that there might be some news of Vala.

Daniel needed to know where she was, if she was alright or not. He could not bring himself to consider the very real possibility that Vala was dead. He would not believe it. Something inside of him, something that was still connected to Vala, told him she was not dead. But more than that, Daniel needed to believe it, because he felt responsible for what had happened. He hadn't listened to her, he'd forced her to develop something that resembled a conscience and had not bothered to hear her out when she tried to get through to him. Because of this, and reasons he was not yet ready to examine even internally and subconsciously, no news could even be whispered about without his eventual knowledge of it. He searched tirelessly, he had to.

He worked himself hard, keeping up with the usual work that he was expected to accomplish, and adding on to this with his search through the reports and physically working himself into a state of exhaustion. He could find no peace or rest in sleep otherwise. And sometimes, even this did not stop the dreams and nightmares from coming to him. Sometimes he would close his eyes and it would swear that she was lying right next to him in bed. He knew that she wasn't there, knew that he would wake up with an overwhelming sense of loss. His obsession had reached a point that Daniel actually longed to wake from one of these dreams to find Vala next to him, ready to make a pass at him.

But there were other dreams… nightmares really. He'd be helplessly watching Vala burning to death and he couldn't do anything to stop the fire. No one came to save her, and Daniel couldn't get close enough to pull her out of the hungry flames. He would wake in a cold sweat from these dreams, Vala's screams still echoing in his mind. He could almost feel the fire burning when he would wake up, his heart pounding against his ribs. Nothing could save him from these dreams, nothing but exhaustion and even then it did not always keep them away.

And so he searched, relentlessly.

The stack of reports had been growing steadily on the corner of Daniel's desk. Samantha Carter was the first to notice. She was leaning against the door jam to Daniel's office with two hot cups of coffee in her hands, watching Daniel. She'd been watching him for the last few minutes, actually. He hadn't flipped a page in the report; in fact he seemed to be off somewhere, lost in his own memories. His vacant blue eyes hadn't moved since she had arrived, and Daniel seemed completely unaware of her presence.

Sam had watched as Daniel seemed to loss heart in his search for Vala. She felt only slightly guilty over the other woman's disappearance, a small voice telling her that she had been part of the reason the woman was lost. But she had only known her briefly and could not really work up a good, solid case of guilt about the event. But she did feel guilty about being part of the reason that Daniel seemed to be bleeding away on the inside. That did bother her a great deal, and she didn't know how to fix the wound that Daniel refused to admit was there.

"Daniel?" she questioned carefully, not really wanting to jar him out of whatever memory he seemed to be reliving. Daniel had avoided her as much as was humanly possible to avoid someone with whom you worked with. She wasn't sure if it was his own need to isolate himself, or because he might blame her for Vala's disappearance. Whatever the reason, Daniel had cut himself off from everyone, but especially her. When he looked up to her she stepped into the room and handed him the cup of coffee she had picked up from the mess for him. "How you holding up?" she ventured.

Accepting the cup of coffee, Daniel took a sip of the still steaming liquid and answered in a clipped tone, "I'm fine, Sam." His attention drifted back to the report he was holding in his other hand, but he wasn't reading it. He was once more lost in thoughts. Sam wasn't sure she wanted to know what those thoughts were and decided she was better off not asking.

Instead she looked at the growing stack of reports and decided to be the friend he needed her to be at the moment. "Do you want some help getting through some of these?" she asked, offering the olive branch of peace, hoping that he would take it. His anti-social behavior of late was bothering her more than the small nagging guilt she felt about Vala. Daniel did not deserve to be hurt again, not by losing someone he apparently cared for, even if he could not admit it to himself. The verbal sparing that she had witnessed and heard stories about, attested to the fact that she was Daniel's match, and possible someone he actually might need in his life. Daniel needed someone to put him off balance and keep him like that.

Daniel once more looked up to Sam before he answered her. "Yeah," was his eventual reply. Sam let out a breath she hadn't known she was holding until then. Taking a seat across from Daniel she picked up a report off the top of the stack. It was almost two weeks old. She began to wonder how long Daniel had been 'reading' the one in his hand, but didn't have the heart to check the date.

She really did not want to know how close they were coming to losing him completely to this obsession no one could find a solution for. At least she did not want to know just yet, not when it was possible she might be able to at least get him back on the somewhat productive track his obsession had first taken shape in.

Daniel fell fully dressed into bed that night. His eyes felt like they might be bleeding and his brain felt like mush. Physically, his body was just one big ache. Absently he managed to toss his glasses onto the nightstand next to his bed before he was sucked under by sleep. He was fitfully dreaming in moments, not even having taken off his boots before dropping into his bed.

He was dreaming - he had to be dreaming. But it felt so real, so very real. He could feel her hands on his face, those soft hands with their calluses moving along his jaw. The light touch shock Daniel down to his center. It was so gentle, so tender, so much what he needed right then. He needed to feel her next to him. He needed to hear her voice. He wanted to hear her say that she was alight, that everything was going to be alright. But it would be a hollow comfort since it was only a dream. It wasn't real.

Closing his eyes, Daniel could feel Vala's hand on his jaw, so soft and callused all at once. It was such a light touch, so gentle and tender, that it shook him right to the center. She lied, she cheated, and she stole, and annoyed him beyond reason. But even her lightest touch could still make him want her. He wanted to turn his face into her hand, but didn't dare. Not even in these dreams could he just give in. But he wanted to.

Reaching out, Daniel pulled Vala closer to him. Wrapping his arms around her, he brought her lithe body against his, holding her closely. She wrapped herself around him, tucking her head under his chin. "Why did you never hold me before, Daniel?" she asked in a small voice.

Drawing in a deep breath Daniel didn't answer right away. He just wanted to hold her for the moment. He wanted so badly to believe that she was alright. "I don't know," he answered, holding her more tightly.

"Then why are you holding me now?"

Again, Daniel didn't answer right away. He didn't know why she was asking all these questions. Even subconsciously he did not want to analyze the reasons behind this new need. So why would a figment of his subconscious being asking the very questions that he did not want to answer? "Because I need to," he finally answered, leaving off his doubts and questions. "I need to know that you are alright."

"I am alright Daniel. But you have to keep looking like you were before." He felt her nails digging into his back, clutching him to her. "You've stopped looking for me Daniel. If you don't look for me like you were before then I won't be alright." This shocked Daniel. He tried to move back from her, but her hold on him prevented this, instead he lifted his hand to look down at her. Her grey eyes turned up to his when she added, "You'll find me tomorrow Daniel, if you just look hard enough."

Daniel frowned and tried again to pull away from her. She wouldn't let him go so Daniel stopped trying to move away from her. "What do you mean I'll find you tomorrow, Vala? You're just a part of my subconscious mind. You aren't real. None of this is real." Having said, almost out loud, that this was just a dream, Daniel's arms tightened around Vala's body.

"Then why are you holding me so tightly, Daniel?" She asked. She didn't try to loosen his hold on her, only moved in closer.

"Because I want this to be real," Daniel answered.

The room was warm and dark and filled with the exotic smoke of insents. In the center of the room was a large, sunk in, pit filled with many pillows and furs. A lithe body was laid across the blankets, curled up on her side as though she were holding onto someone not there. A soft sound came from the sleeping figure, a hand outstretched, before silence came back to the room.

But the silence was not complete. There was a soft sound of feet falling on the stone floor, bodies moving around the room, tending to the sleeper. A hand reached out to touch the sleeper's forehead and a soft light came to life in the room. It was emanating from a jewel like item on the forehead. The soft, bluish light caressed the sleepers face and the hand that was next to it, but little else.

"She dreams," a soft, sandy voice spoke into the quiet of the room. "She will bring her kadra here to collect her soon."

The silence settled in again until another sandy voice spoke, "I hope her kadra arrives before it is too late."

Author's Note: Read and Review... Reviews encourage me to continue writing. After all it means that someone is actually ready the stuff that my mind comes up with. That and your reviews will help me edits the other three chapters I already have written for this story. I think that all the characters might be a little OOC, but I am working on "getting into them" as I go on. Let me know what you think!