"I don't get it," Vala said in confusion as she stared at the pendant on Sam's necklace. "It's just a rock." "Now don't get me wrong, its a very pretty rock. But, it's still a rock." Vala peered closer at it, running an assessing eye over it.
Sam turned over the deep azure stone in her hand rubbing it for a moment between her fingers. "It's a scarab," Sam held it out in the palm of her hand so that Vala could see the stone better.
"Oh, now I recognize it. It's a bit crude though." Vala said dismissively.
"That's because it's over 3,500 years old."
"I see. . .So how does this explain your relationship with Daniel."
The year was 1969, and SG-1 was camping in the Pine Barrens with a pair of Hippies. The next day they would be traveling to New York City to meet with Catherine Langford and see if they could get her to reveal the current location of the Stargate. When they had been discussing their plans, Jenny and Michael had overheard them and they had been forced to invent a cover story. Jack and Teal'c had headed back to the van with the couple to tell them more about their home world and their problems with the establishment there. Daniel and Sam were left behind to discuss their plan for their meeting.
"What's that?" Sam asked as she settled down on the log next to Daniel.
"My good luck charm." He unwound the gold chain of a necklace from where he had been winding it around his fingers. He held it out to Sam. She held it carefully in her hand.
"It's beautiful. Lapis Lazuli?" Daniel nodded his head to confirm her observation.
"It's a scarab amulet. Probably dates from the Middle Kingdom."
"These were considered lucky by the Egyptians?"
"This particular variety was. There are other larger ones, generally green, that were interred with mummies."
"When did you find it?"
Daniel raised an eyebrow and half smiled at her, "Right about now actually."
Sam wrinkled her forehead and stared at him questioningly.
"I found it on a dig when I was about four years old. My first big find. My mother strung it on a necklace for me to wear. She said that finding a lucky charm as my first artifact was a good omen." Sam passed the amulet back to Daniel. He stared at it for a long moment. "It's one of the few things I have left." Sam put her arm around his shoulder and hugged him. He placed one of his hands over hers and for a moment their eyes met. Without saying any words the two understood exactly what the other was thinking.
"Sam, I'm going to start thinking you're ignoring me on purpose."
"Oh," Sam had the good grace to blush slightly, "Sorry."
"If you don't want to tell me, you don't have too. I don't mean to pry," Vala said grandly, though it was obvious that she wanted to know indeed. "I understand quite clearly that I haven't been accepted by your Stargating Club."
"It's Daniel's lucky charm. He's had it for a very long time. I found it in my things when I arrived in Nevada." Right on top of her stuffed bear that very few people new she still slept with when at home. It had been wrapped inside a piece of paper with a hastily scribbled note:
'You said that I'm always there to look out for you. I won't be able to do that when I'm literally a galaxy away. Take this instead to keep you safe, and to keep me in your thoughts. I mean every word of it.'
Sam hadn't fully understood the last sentence of the note. It seemed such an odd thing to write on such a straight forward note. One day she had realized that their was an inscription on the back of the amulet. Daniel had told her that the amulet was his lucky charm. At first she assumed that it was a simple spell to gain the god's favor. Until curiosity had gotten the better of her and she had asked one of the linguists on site to translate it.
"Oh?" Vala prompted, still trying to figure out what on Earth Sam was talking about.
"Daniel probably slipped it into my suitcase when he was helping Cassie and I load the car."
"Why would he do such a thing?"
"He knew that I wouldn't take it."
"So you had a night of passion, and then he knew you wouldn't accept jewelry from him. I can understand that. Might be perceived as payment." Vala paused for a moment. "Was it?" she asked wickedly.
Sam just stared at Vala wide eyed. "Oh, what," Vala flounced off of the bed and went to glance at herself in the mirror. "I used to be the goddess of lust, mind you," she experimented with a smoldering glance, " Sexual pleasure. Some times it just needs to happen."
"And some times it doesn't." Sam said with implicit meaning.
"Oh, I see," Vala drawled in a voice that said exactly the opposite.
"I don't even know why I'm telling you any of this." Sam pulled back the cover of her bunk and settled in.
"Because I'm a stranger, darling," Vala said more to the mirror than Sam. "And sometimes you just need someone to talk to."
"It's just complicated," Sam finally let out in a huge sigh.
"Life shouldn't be complicated. Just focus on what you want and go for it. That's what I do."
"What if you don't know what you want."
"I've never had that problem. I always know what I want." Vala popped her sleeping mask over her eyes, "And right now that's my beauty rest."
"Night, Sam," Vala hung over the side of the bed so she could peer into the bunk below. Her hair hung down until it was almost brushing the floor. "Sometimes you just have to stop thinking about all the things that could go wrong, and instead, focus on what will go right. Sweet dreams."
Sam and Vala didn't have the opportunity to return to the conversation of the evening before. As soon as they awoke, they were wrapped up in the details of their mission. When it was over the Ori beachhead had been destroyed, but at the loss of Vala MalDoran. There was a possibility that she had somehow survived, transported to the Ori galaxy. Of course there was no way of them knowing for sure. The team had joined Daniel in the infirmary to share the news. The male members present seemed amused by the idea that Vala might be their message to the Ori.
The group had made small talk for a little while until Mitchell's stomach growled loudly. Sam had volunteered to take 'first watch' so that Mitchell and Teal'c could get something to eat. Mitchell had raised an eyebrow at the comment, but made his farewells. AS he turned to leave the infirmary he turned to Teal'c and asked, "First watch?"
"It is tradition, ColonelMitchell." The rest of Teal'c's explanation was lost as the pair exited into the hallway.
"I suppose it is a bit of a tradition," Sam said siting down on the edge of Daniel's infirmary bed, resting her hand in an overly casual fashion barely an inch from Daniel's.
"My ending up in the infirmary, or you taking turns watching over me." Daniel slid his hand over so it covered hers.
"Both I guess." There was a long pause. "I'm glad you're okay," she said quietly, gently touching his cheek with her free hand. Daniel entwined his fingers in hers with the hand he held. She raised her voice back to a normal speaking tone for benefit of the infirmary staff that was watching them curiously. Many of the Prometheus' crew was new and having the former SG-1 on board was a bit exciting for them. Sam had realized during her first few days at Area 51 that she and her former teammates were regarded as living legends by some. "I heard you were taking far more than your share of turns in the infirmary."
"Ah, I was trying to get away from Mitchell. He keeps trying to get me to rejoin SG-1."
Sam laughed, "Yeah, he was trying to do the same thing with me on the way here. He is persistent."
"That he is."
"You missed the Daedalus." Sam observed, conscious of the audience. "Are you considering rejoining SG-1?" she asked casually.
"I would need a very good reason," Daniel searched her face intently willing her to understand the underlying meaning of his words.
"Well, Cassie is returning to university in Colorado this semester. . ." Sam trailed off in a meaningful fashion returning his gaze steadily..
"And it would be better for Cassie if you were able to be there for her still," Daniel said slowly. "Nevada is a long way away." 'and I missed you' was the unspoken tag to that statement.
"I suppose I could talk to General O'Neill about reassignment. With the Ori threat, I think I might be better off serving on a field team again." Sam answered slowly
"With my knowledge of the Ancients and now the Ori, I might say the same." The two eyed each other, understanding fully the hidden subtext of their conversation. The CMO stopped by to check Daniel's vitals, making a few notes on her chart. With a smile she waved to one of the orderlies to bring over a chair, indicating that Sam might be more comfortable there than perched on the edge of the bed. With a final admonishment not to tire Daniel out she strolled into her office, dimming the lights as she exited.
"I guess that is her way of saying I should be sleeping."
"I'll go if you want," Sam started to stand up. Daniel grasped her wrist firmly.
"Stay," he said simply. Not a request, but not a command, either. He reached up his other hand to caress the nape of her neck. "I see my gift met with your approval?" he said softly as he fingered the gold chain that was hanging around her neck beside the thicker metal chain of her dog tags.
"You really shouldn't have."
"I know. I wanted to."
"Did you really mean it?"
"Every word, Sam."
"Though the path may twist and go astray, no choice have I but to follow it to where it leads." Sam said quietly. "My hope is that my friend, my heart, will share it with me." Daniel finished for her.
"I can't make any promises, Sam. We both have more than our quota of emotional baggage. But I'm willing to make the journey, and see where it leads."
Sam leaned towards Daniel in order to hug him, which was awkward since he was still lying in the hospital bed. With a grin he pulled her down to him, wrapping his arms around her, so they were awkwardly entwined together. Neither seemed to concerned about the preposterous position they were in. "So now what do we do?" Sam asked.
"I guess we see what happens."