"Are you gonna sit there like a lump on a log or are you going to be of some use?" Daniel Jackson asked testily. Vala Mal Doran looked up to see him glaring at her out of the corner of his eye as he worked on something inside the DHD.
"Well, what am I supposed to do?" she shot back. Both of their tempers were currently raw, seeing as that somehow, they weren't exactly sure how, they had gotten separated from the rest of the team and they weren't being able to contact them on their radios. Above all, the Stargate wasn't working. So Daniel had decided to try to do what Samantha Carter usually would've done and it wasn't going to well.
"I don't know!" Daniel barked. "Go…scout the area or something."
"Yes, Your Majesty," Vala growled mockingly, standing up. Daniel whirled around and gave her a death glare. Vala returned it. Then she turned heel and stormed off into the thick woods. Grumbling and muttering angrily to herself, Vala pushed through the forest and didn't even think of going back or stopping until she came to the edge of it. She stumbled to a dead stop, eyes wide and surprised as she look upon the scene front of her. Quickly, she grabbed her radio, praying Daniel would be able to hear her.
Swearing under his breath, Daniel dropped the wires he was clutching only to be showered by painful sparks. He swore louder and hit his radio.
"What, Vala?" he demanded.
"I, uh…found a town."
He frowned. "What sort of a town?"
"Uh…one with people? What kind of a question is that?"
Daniel sighed, closing his eyes wearily. "All right. I'm coming."
"Cute little town," Daniel commented dryly. "Whoop-de-do. Let's go back to the 'gate." He turned to leave but stopped when Vala grabbed his arm, her nails digging deep into his skin. He frowned at her, finally noticing the blank look on her face.
"What's wrong, Vala?" he asked, starting to become a little more gentle.
"I know that town, Daniel," she told him breathlessly. "I don't know why I didn't recognize the planet before now…"
"Should we be sprinting the opposite direction from the mob with pitchforks right now?" Daniel inquired. She shot him a glare before shaking her head.
"They're not farmers, first of all. I mean, look at that!" She waved an arm out at the town. "Looks a lot like Earth, doesn't it?"
Daniel turned his head to look at the town again and shrugged. "Sort of. I guess." He turned back to Vala, his brow furrowing in concern. "What is this place, Vala? How do you know it?"
"It's my home," she finally answered. "This is where I grew up."
Daniel stared at her, shocked, for a few moments, blinking. "Wait—this is where Qe'tesh…?"
Vala nodded. "This is where my father lives. And my sister. And brother. And all my childhood friends. A-a-and…Domus."
"Domus?" Daniel repeated, confused.
"We were to get married…" she whispered. Suddenly, Daniel remembered.
"Oh. Yeah. Him. Uh…do you want--?"
"Yes, Daniel!" Vala burst, her clutch on his arm hardening. "I want to see them again! I want—"
"Whoa, wait, Vala," Daniel cautioned, trying to loosen her grip. "We don't know how they'll react to seeing you again. We might want to go in disguise."
"No buts, Vala. You stay here. I'll go get us some things to change into," he told her gently, leading her to an old tree stump and sitting her down on it. "Promise me you will stay here?"
She stared at him desperately, pleadingly, but after seeing he wasn't going to back down, she nodded, defeated. "All right. I promise."
"Are you sure?" Daniel clarified. Vala glared at him but nodded.
"Okay," he said, reassured. "I'll be right back."
"I see where you picked up your fondness for leather," Daniel muttered as he returned, throwing her a completely leather outfit. "And don't forget to put on the hat. Put your hair up too. Well…hide your face somehow, okay?"
Vala nodded, picking up the clothes and examining them. "What'd you get for yourself?" she asked curiously.
"Basically the same outfit I wore when we were trying to figure out those bracelets and we ended up having to run around half the galaxy," Daniel replied, ducking behind a tree to change. Vala's eyes brightened as she took off her BDUs.
"Oo. I liked that outfit on you," she told him. "The pants showed you off nicely, if you know what I mean."
"Unfortunately, I know quite well what you mean," Daniel muttered. "Luckily these pants are a little bigger."
"Aw. That stinks."
Daniel grunted his reply. "You decent?" he asked.
"For you, dear, always," Vala replied, grinning. Daniel sighed.
"Oh, fine," she grumbled good-naturedly. "Yes, I'm decent."
"Okay." Daniel walked out from behind the tree and stared at Vala. After a moment, he shook his head, smiling. "I guess I've gotten used to seeing you in BDUs."
Vala grinned. "I look that good, do I?"
"I didn't say that!"
"But you were thinking it," she taunted. Daniel frowned.
"Was not," he defended quietly. "Let's go."
Suddenly a familiar sound made both their heads turn towards the sky, past the town. The sight that greeted them made both of their hearts heavy, but Vala's so much as to drop, hard, deep into her stomach. An Ori ship was appearing in the horizon, coming closer to the town.
"No…" Vala whispered. Daniel glanced at her worriedly.
"Maybe we can stop them, Vala," he whispered, grabbing her hand and clutching it reassuringly. She looked up at him gratefully.
"You think so?"
He smiled and shrugged. "It's worth a try, isn't it?"
Vala nodded enthusiastically. Daniel grinned at her. "Then let's go."
"We have been enslaved by false gods before! Why should we believe you are any different?"
"That's Domus," Vala whispered to Daniel as they approached the back of the crowd. Daniel frowned thoughtfully and nodded, turning to watch Vala's ex-fiancé. He couldn't tell much about him from the back, but he stood tall and had cropped, brown hair, about the same shade as Daniel's.
"Adria herself showed up for this one," Daniel muttered, narrowing his eyes at the Orici. "I wonder if Domus will notice the resemblance."
Vala gave him a sideways glance before turning back to watch.
"The Ori are far different from the false gods you speak of, the Goa'uld," Adria told Domus calmly. "The Goa'uld would manipulate and deceive, whilst we only wish to show you the path to eternal salvation. They would steal away your loved ones, whilst we encourage such happiness and would never interfere in such relationships. You, yourself, Domus, lost a loved one to Goa'uld, haven't you? Many years ago, your fiancé…" She drifted off; a look of mild surprise coming across her features and her eyes swept the crowd. Daniel winced when they rested on the woman standing next to him. "Vala Mal Doran," Adria continued, an amused smile growing on her lips. "She was taken by the Goa'uld, Qe'tesh, a long time ago. You didn't understand at first, why she suddenly changed so much. Then she disappeared. You never saw her again."
Domus stared at Adria, open-mouthed. "How--?"
Adria smiled at him. "Such is the power of the Ori," she answered simply.
Suddenly a firm hand clapped down on Vala's shoulder.
Vala and Daniel whirled around to see Tomin, a wistful smile resting on his lips. "Vala, I've missed you."
Vala stared at him, taken off guard, for a moment before he suddenly drew her into an embrace. Daniel stood off to the side, awkwardly. Tomin caught sight of the archeologist and his smile vanished. He backed away from Vala, his eyes fixed on Daniel's face. Daniel met his gaze uneasily.
"Uh…Tomin, I believe you've met Daniel before," Vala said awkwardly. Tomin gaze didn't waver.
"Yes," he replied shortly. "I have."
"Daniel, you know Tomin. My husband."
"Yeah. I do."
"Mother," Adria greeted. The three turned quickly, not having heard her approach. "It is good to see you again." She turned to Tomin. "Come, Tomin. We must let the people think about their options for now." She took Tomin by the arm and led him away.
"You know…your daughter is quite smart," Daniel mumbled.
Vala turned on her heel to see Domus standing directly in front of her. "Domus!" she exclaimed. "I-I-I…"
Silence consumed the area as the rest of the townspeople gathered around to examine Vala, a person they once knew. Daniel almost felt cornered, though he knew no one was paying any attention to him at all. It was at this time that he took the opportunity to observe Domus more thoroughly.
He was tall, around six feet, short brown hair, and sky blue eyes. Crinkles around the edges of his eyes revealed his aging and long gone laughter. His thin, pink lips were curved down into a frown, like he had been grieving for too long. And Daniel supposed that he had. Suddenly he could observe the man no longer for Vala was in the way, embracing him in a hug that couldn't possibly show how much she had missed him. Though she certainly tried. After she drew away, she looked around at the rest of her old friends.
"Dad…" she whispered, giving a white haired man an enormous hug. "Jaine…Rix…" On and on she went, reuniting with all her family and friends. There was only one woman she didn't embrace, and Daniel understood why when he heard Vala whisper her name. "Adria…"
"Finally decided to show up again, d'ja, Vala?" the old woman asked angrily. Vala gritted her teeth and didn't answer.
"Adria," Vala's father said warningly. "We should rejoice!"
Vala's stepmother glared at her husband before putting on a toothy and extremely false smile. "Of course. This calls for a celebration. But first," she said, finally noticing Daniel, "introduce us to this man here."
Vala followed her stepmother's gaze and almost seemed surprised when her eyes met Daniel's. "Oh! Yes. Um. Adria, Dad. Domus. This is Doctor Daniel Jackson. He's one of my best friends."
Daniel waved shortly, an awkward smile on his face. Adria's eyes swept over him judgingly.
"Doctor?" she repeated.
"Uh…yeah. He's an archeologist. And linguist," Vala explained.
"Wonderful!" Vala's father exclaimed, with a worried glance at his wife. "Now, about that celebration…"
A/N: I love reviewers and live for constructive criticism!