Vala couldn't sleep. No matter how much she tossed and turned, trying desperately to get comfortable, the image of Daniel's white, wrinkled face wouldn't leave her alone. He had seemed so impassive, so angry, so…dark. So not Daniel. Eyes half-closed and squinting, face so stoic.
And, even now when he was back to normal at least in his looks, Vala wasn't sure she completely trusted him. She had trusted his information, assembling the sangraal exactly as he had said to, but now, in the quiet and darkness of her own room, she had doubts. She heard the door open and a voice called her name.
"Vala?" Daniel whispered cautiously. Vala sprung into a sitting position guiltily, afraid that she would see a white man with no feeling. Instead, she saw regular old Daniel with a worried crinkle in his brow. She looked away, hiding her face. Daniel walked to the side of her bed and sat on the edge. He reached out to nudge her face towards his but Vala pushed his hand away.
"No," she said forcefully, voice cracking. "Just…don't."
"You're crying!" Daniel exclaimed softly, surprised. Vala brushed the back of her hand against her cheek and realized he was right.
"Vala, what's wrong?"
Vala glanced at him for a brief moment before burying her head between her knees. In that split second Daniel could see into her heart. He knew her anger, her heartbreak, her disbelief. And he knew why. Quietly, he looked away as well.
After a moment of thought, he stood up and walked to the door. Vala whipped her head around at the click of it opening.
"Daniel…" she whispered in a desperate, pleading tone. He turned his head to meet her eyes silently.
"I--…I'm sorry," she choked. Daniel shook his head.
"Don't be. I'm the one who should be sorry," he told her with the slightest bit of volume. "And…I am. And I understand. Don't be sorry." With that, he turned to walk out her room but was suddenly stopped by a tug on his arm.
"Wait, " Vala pleaded, the tears starting afresh. "Don't leave me…again. I need some answers too."
Daniel frowned, eyes searching hers. Finally, he nodded shortly, walking back in and shutting the door.
"What sort of answers?"
Vala pulled him to the bed again, sitting with her legs crossed, before answering.
"Well…first, you…I don't know, you seemed really angry or stoic while…you were…"
"A Prior?" Daniel finished. "Yeah, I guess I did."
"Why?" Vala asked growing in confidence now that she could see Daniel wasn't going to get angry. "I mean, I understand that you were frustrated with us cuz we wouldn't believe you…but you seemed sincerely…I don't know, pissed. Most of the time. Either that or dead pan."
Daniel sighed. "I think…well, the power of Merlin and the Ori combined had gotten to my head. And I think just the fact I had been spending all of the past few weeks with Adria and trying to hide the fact I wasn't really on her side…I think I got a little too good at it, maybe. I was kind of being an ass, wasn't I?" he finished with a wry smile. Vala smiled back.
"Yes. Yes you were." She paused, thinking. "Also…well, how did you, exactly…get Adria to trust you? Or…Merlin, I mean."
Daniel's shoulders went rigid and he met Vala's questioning arc of the eyebrows like a deer caught in headlights. Vala frowned.
Daniel shook his head, closing his eyes. "I don't…I don't know."
Vala's frown deepened. "Yes you do."
"Vala…" He tried another tactic. "You just want to know so you can try it out."
Vala growled. "Maybe so. But either way."
Daniel shook his head again. "Vala…I…can we not get into that?"
"Daniel," Vala said forcefully. He shook his head once more.
"No, Vala. That's one question I won't answer. Not yet anyway."
"Why?" Vala tried. Daniel stayed silent. Vala sighed, shoulders slumping. "Fine."
"I have a question for you," Daniel said suddenly. "You told me not to leave you…again. What…what did you mean?"
Vala felt her cheeks burn slightly. "I…we all missed you. It just…it's not the same without you. Totally ignoring the fact I was scared for you. The whole Prior thing didn't help."
Daniel smiled. "You took a chance on me, though."
Vala returned his smile. "Only cuz you did the same for me."
Daniel reached out to brush his fingers lightly against Vala's jaw line.
They stayed there for a while, silently gazing into one another's eyes before Daniel suddenly stood up, looking to his feet.
"Uh…I should probably let you get some sleep," he said awkwardly. Vala frowned at him.
"What about you?"
"I've…got a lot of work to catch up on…"
"Daniel," Vala said in a reprimanding tone. Daniel gave her his best innocent look.
"What? I do!"
"You need sleep," she told him.
"Yeah, and how are you going to enforce that?" he shot back. Vala quieted.
"I'd only need your word."
Daniel looked surprised. "I thought…"
Vala smiled wryly. "I've got to start somewhere, don't I?"
Daniel stared at her blankly. "I…what would you do if I went back on my word?"
Vala shrugged slightly. "I don't know. But it'd take longer for me to completely trust you again." She looked back up at him. "So? Do I have your word?"
Daniel continued staring at her for a few moments before nodding slowly. "Yeah. Yeah, you have my word."
Vala grinned. "Good. Good night, Daniel!"
Daniel smiled, shaking his head and turning to open the door. "Good night, Vala."
A/N: I love reviewers and live for constructive criticism!