"Vala?" Daniel opened the door cautiously, closing it quietly behind him. The former space pirate was sitting on the floor, their newborn baby girl in her arms. The lights in their room were off, but some unknown source of light revealed gleaming tears on Vala's cheeks.

"There was nothing I could do…" she whispered, chocking over her tears. Understanding hit Daniel like a tidal wave and he rushed to her side, sliding down to sit beside her and wrap his arms around her shaking figure.

They had all known something was wrong with the little child as soon as she was born. Her cry had been gasping and weak, enough to have made Vala cry as well. Sam had quickly done some tests and had come back, sleeping baby in her arms, with the news that her lungs hadn't fully developed. They would support her for a little while, but eventually they would collapse from effort and Daniel and Vala's child would die. And there was nothing anyone could do about it.

"I could hear her gasping again, worse than before," Vala told him, trying to explain herself, "and…I picked her up, I tried to calm her…I-I-I…there was nothing I could do, Daniel!"

Daniel brushed his fingers through her black curls soothingly. "Shh…shh…I know, Vala. I don't blame you. It's okay…it's okay…"

He was giving himself a headache with his efforts not to cry along with Vala. He had to be strong. For Vala's sake. If he broke down as well…

Vala reached up to press a hand against his cheek. "Life's too short," she said with a heart-breaking smile. "Especially for her."

Daniel couldn't keep the tears at bay any longer. A sob bubbled from his lips as Vala lowered her head to brush at their child's hair again and he buried his face in her hair.

"Oh, Vala…"

A/N: I love reviewers and live for constructive criticism!