A/N: Spoilers for Unending

She stopped at the commissary's threshold. Sam sat alone inside, face buried in her hands, shoulders shaking.

Until recently, Vala wouldn't have had the insight to interpret what she was seeing. Now, to her surprise, having found some measure of happiness herself, she understood. She couldn't imagine the older woman's pain.

But one doesn't cry alone in a darkened room because one wants company. So she waited until Sam raised her head, drying her eyes on a crumpled napkin. Only then did Vala step forward to offer help. And, looking up through eyes red from tears, Sam smiled and understood.