Disclaimer: Stargate SG1 and any of it's affiliated characters and locations are not mine. Quotations taken from the transcript for the episode, which also was composed by me, so any inaccuracies I apologise for now, it took me about seven hours do, do it. Coz I had to keep pausing it and then I started watching 'Tangent' and 'The Serpents Venom' on the TV, anyway…

Summary: Vala's thoughts on leaving Daniel behind. Tag for the end of The Quest Part 2.

Genre: Angst

Pairing: Suggested Daniel/Vala with Vala/Cam friendship.

Spoilers: Prometheus Unbound, Avalon 1 & 2, The Powers that Be (very mild) Beachhead, Flesh and Blood (very mild) Memento Mori The Quest Part 2,

Author's Notes: My dad wouldn't let me watch it when it aired, stupid man decided to watch a football match with two teams he hates instead. I think my friend is going to try and tape it for me from Sky+ but for now I managed to watch it in five parts on YouTube, (kjcharmed you rock! Thank you forever!) And decided that I had to write this.

The keys had been awkward and her fingers stiff as he hands shook with a tremor she dare not name. The book was an unwelcome weight in her left hand and the monitor of the computer blurred in and out of focus as her head pounded to the beat of her thundering heart.

Over a hundred and fifty addresses to check, several galaxies to search, hundreds of ships hopping in and out of hyper space and all the while they would never know exactly what was happening to Daniel.

"She'll keep him alive."

Would she? Adria was her own daughter and yet she had no control over her, no chance of knowing how far she would go, what length she would go to. Her own child and she hated her, despised her very existance even as it went against ever raw instinctual feeling to protect and love her with everything she had and everything she could.

His eyes had been a brilliant blue in the semi darkness of Merlin's lab, sparkling when they caught the light, he had looked at her then, seeing her but not, trying to give into the clutches of knowledge he was not supposed to have but having to quash the basic human need to survive in the process.

His hand had cupped her face for a brief moment, and she had felt a lump rise in her throat as he stared straight at her but also right through her "I know you…" confused and lost, so unlike Daniel it was terryifing.

"Well of course you do silly, it's me, Vala," her voice had caught at the end of the sentence, smiling a smile that could not reach her eyes, the tears had started then, stinging and burning her eyes, they hadn't started to fall yet but it would not be long.

Fear like she had never felt it, so unlike that which she had felt when she and Daniel had been taken to the Ori Galaxy, being burned to death… the fear that coursed through her then had been fulfilling, complete and without remorse, twisted together with the sick knowledge that this was it; the end. She had woken in Daniel's arms, his embrace tightening when she had gasped for breath. For the first time in a very long time she felt truly safe.

When he had lunged at that machine again and again, each time closer to falling, each time staggering that little bit more… the fear had started as her stomach twisting, then tendrils of panic formed, and painfully slowly they wormed their way around her lungs and heart, grappling at her throat and making it harder to breathe. Her mind racing and everything aching and silently screaming its protest against Daniel's obstinance and Mitchell's ignorant acts of the noble soldier.

They'd left him behind, after everything he had done for her. And she'd not only watched but she had let them. She'd outmaneouvred bigger men than Cam, stronger men than Teal'c, smarter people than Sam…

She stepped into the elevator as if on autopilot, the artificial-constant-temperature of the air in the mountain making her head spin. Her pulse was racing as images and memories she wished had never occurred rushed through her mind at lightening speed.

"I'm going to go check on Daniel… Daniel?" he'd landed at their feet, flung from the inky darkness of the cave he had resided in for hours with slow and tedious progress being made on a weapon that may not even be of any use.

Adria had stepped outside, regal and confident in her position, arrogance enusciated by powers gifted to her by Ori Gods who had caused so much grief already, who's strength of belief made it worth dying for.

In her ventures across the galaxy she had heard of many religeons, taken part in a few, whether by choice or not was another matter – her time as Quetesh had shown her everything she could ever possible not want to know about the Goau'ld believes but Origin… Origin really took it too far.

Daniel had told her of many religeons, she'd researched a few out of interest, many wars, both on earth and other wise had been caused by religeon, by forcing believes on others and rebellion being roused in the process. At least the fights had been somewhere near half way to fair.

The Ori's battle was not a war; a war is when to opposing sides have a vilent clash of opinion and believes leading to the loss of life and destruction of land and property. The Ori were instigating a intergalatic massacre, and not a town, nor city, man woman or child would be anything more than ashes should they not comply to the ways of Origin.

"Why do I bother?" Mitchell's bullets had been deflected by Adria's shield and she had never felt more opposed to her daughter as she had then, fear for Mitchell's safety and life had, had her getting to her feet and standing in front of him, useless really, she was tiny compared to his superior height but it was more the symbolism of it.

"Adria… I want you to stop this, right now." Who was she kidding? Scolding-mother-tone doesn't work with a demon spawned by those who considered themselves Gods.

"I'm sorry it has to be this way mother." She couldn't be sorry. If she was sorry she would stop this, everything, order the troops back to their galaxy, give freedom to the followers of Origin, there was nothing harmful about a religeon where choice was an option. All thoughts of Adria maybe not wanting hurt her had been lost lost when Adria had formed fiery lights in her hands, aiming them directly at Vala.

Danel had scrambled to his feet, launching himself in front of his team and pushing Vala aside, intercepting Adria's attack with a defence of his own; another little trick he had inherited from Merlin's device.

"Get to the 'gate now." His voice had been so strained…

"We're not leaving you here!" Sam, Sam hadn't wanted to. None of them had but she had fought for it, even weakly but he was still gone, still left behind. She'd still abandoned him.

"I'll be right behind you," lying on the floor, barely capable of moving, each word beginning to slur into the next as the effect of Merlin's knowledge took it's toll on a human body too defiant to accept defeat.

Liar.

Right behind her… he always had her back, ready to catch her when she fell, and ready to run when she did, to follow wherever she stepped. For the first time in her life she knew what it was like to watch someone you cared about so much that you would do anything for them without hesitation do something so stupid, so reckless and so selflessly that it would undoubtedly cost them more than they had…

"Now you know the hard part about being part of this team is not risking your own life it's watching your friends risk theirs. Congratulations, now you really are one of us,"

Is this what it would cost her? Did she want to be one of them if it cost her what it did?

Mitchell was right.

But only partially so… his hands on her arms had been a sharp reality check; it hadn't been the time to get emotional, to cry, to scream, to beg and plead for a mercy she would not receive.

For the feeling to be reciprocated it required someone to care if she died, no one cared about that, she was the tag along, the fifth wheel, the extra, the one who wasn't needed.

Her fingers carded through her hair and caught on the ties of the pigtails she sported, tugging them out and throwing them to the ground she felt the tears she'd been fighting overflow even as she tried to stop them, creating silvery tracks down her cheeks and tickling her chin.

Her eyes squeezed shut and her hands gripped the back of her neck for a moment before moving swiftly to cover her mouth as she choked on a sob.

"Morgan La Fae!" terror had barely had time to register before Daniel's presence beside her dissipated it as quickly as it had came.

"Gennos Lal!" She didn't hear what he said very clearly. The dragon's wings drumming a leathery beat as it flapped them indignantly before it's attack halted as according to myth.

The elevator rumbled but she could barely hear it over the rush of blood to her ears, and the screaming in her head.

She wanted to go to Daniel's office but that would just hurt more. To stand in the middle of the room, masks on the walls, statues on the floor and shelves, a sanctuary, a comfortable place that was just so Daniel it was untrue, so much to learn, to discover yet so much hidden. Like the texts in the books that lined the walls, he hid the pieces of himself he did not want people to see.

She liked to think that she had managed to get beneath some of the shields he had erected, not the ones he protected things such as his family or his past; she wasn't interested in those yet. But ones that stopped him doing things every 'normal' person described as 'fun'.

In those precious little moments where she could challenge his ideas, his theories, his interpretation of an ancient image depicted by a townsman's child and he would then stop, take her opinion into account and see whether or not it fitted. Where a biting remark could be responded to with a cheeky grin and the frown would fade before disappearing completely.

It was neither warm nor cold in the elevator, a constant temperature; unchanging and still so familiar it made her stomach churn; as artificial as the air-conditioning.

It was fake, not real, pretend… a nightmare?

Was she really lying asleep in her quarters, quaking beneath the comforter as she desperately tried to wake herself from a mindless evil created by her own mind? Or was everything a dream? Was she slumbering in the back of a stolen cargo ship?

No, no this couldn't be a dream because that meant that everything, everything wasn't real, Mitchell and Sam, Teal'c, General Landry, Doctor Lam, the guy down in the control room who always said hello to her in the commissary, Daniel. That would mean that Daniel wasn't real.

Her stomach was twisting tighter and tighter, this was her fault, she should have stopped him, no, she shouldn't have come back, shouldn't have bound them together by the bracelets, shouldn't have listened to the drifting thoughts and desires she could not place.

Because if she hadn't she wouldn't have been so weak as to stay with them, she wouldn't have ended up in the Ori Galaxy. She wouldn't have had Adria and then… but if she hadn't have destroyed the first Supergate… no.

Sam would have been able to stop them, prolong an attack that was already beginning; all because she and Daniel had used the communications device… was she really any good at anything? Everything she touched, everything she went near went up in flames. No wonder she had been offered up as a host for Quetesh.

The wall of the elevator was lukewarm and she hated it, how it was neither hot enough to sear her skin, or cold enough to make these tremors have an excuse. It was…

The sobs came then, harsh and unabated, unhidden and painful, tearing at her chest and ripping at her throat. Tears burned her eyes until she let them fall. Her legs buckled and she hit the floor so hard it felt like she'd smashed the end of her spine but she ignored the spirals of inconsequential pain. Her hands over her face as all the events of the past year came crashing down on her with no sense of decency.

Never before had she stayed in one place long enough for the fallout of her actions to crash down upon her, but now…

The fateful meeting aboard the Prometheus, the bracelets, the Ori, the Supergate, Tomin, Priors, plagues, Adria, and now a quest for a thing that had not existed for a millennium, Daniel.

The date, no dinner, who was she kidding? No wonder he pushed away her advance with a fear for his life, the well being of what little he had that she hadn't destroyed, had been so perfect, then her memory being lost.

Her legs were bent in front of her and she hugged them to her chest, pressing her knees into her closed eyes, the nauseating ache something different from the clawing at her chest.

The thought, the tickling sensation at the back of her mind of a person she knew she should remember more than anything else but could not was always there. Then in the warehouse he had saved her from herself, hugged her, whispered 'it's okays' and 'I'm here's' into her ear and let her just cry her heart out into his shoulder.

She did not notice when the elevator grounded to a halt only halfway to the surface, yet miles from where she wanted to be.

"Vala," a soft voice had her looking up, face streaked with tears, hair mussed up but it didn't matter not if…

"Cameron," she wiped her eyes, but her chest still heaved with sobs and she lost the battle far to quickly, turning to look at the man in the door way, she pressed the back of her hand to her mouth and just looked at him.

He sank down beside her "we'll find him," he said "Adria won't kill him, she needs him," he repeated what he had said earlier although with less emotionless intensity, and more heartfelt sorrow.

A passing airman gave them a concerned look but Cam stared at him for a second and he got the message, leaving quickly.

"I'm sorry," she breathed "I… I shouldn't have… Oh God I'm sorry," she turned her hand and cupped it over her mouth, crying into it desperately as her eyes slid closed, not wanting to see the disappointment and blame of the Lieutenant Colonel blazing in his eyes "I should… Adria… Mitchell I-"

His arms encircled her shoulders and she leant into an embrace she had not expected but was unable to deny herself.

Why was she crying like this? She shouldn't be crying, she should be stood up, fighting for him, she shouldn't be this wounded by one man's setback, not sobbing into Mitchell's chest like a despairing child.

"We'll find him," he whispered into her hair, shocked that he not only initiated the comfort but that she was taking it, "he'll be fine… shh… it's not your fault… Daniel's good at playing hero,"

A laugh broke through the sobbing, make it crack and sound choked. Daniel, her Daniel, a saviour, a man, a soldier to his own believes and a hero, her hero. They would find him. They had too.

Author's Notes: Complete sap, and Vala-emotional-torment but I just had to write it because the way that episode ended was just cruel. :P Review if you like, don't bother flaming if you don't, I'd prefer not to waste my time reading 'I hate this' and 'what the hell were you thinking?' emails. XD