Disclaimer: Stargate SG1 isn't mine.

Summary: He knew now why the Air Force called it 'simple'. Daniel/Vala.

Pairing: Daniel/Vala

Genre: Angst

Author's Notes: I haven't a freakin' clue where this came from! I've just gotten my Supernatural Season 1 DVDs (yay!) and as I spent all night on Wednesday at my mates introducing her to the Wonderful World of the Winchesters – someone shoot me now! There is no excuse for alliteration like that! – And know I'm gonna end up watching them all as soon as I get the opportunity I decided to go on the computer. I wasn't in the mood to write anything that required great deal of thinking to sway events so I just opened Word and typed and… well this is what came out…

Warnings: There's a warning, I give you that, and if you know what I write then you know what happens when I put warnings. :P

It was ridiculous.
Three hours ago she'd been teasing him as he changed for the upcoming mission.
Two hours ago the ruins had collapsed.
An hour and twenty five minutes ago he'd carried her through the 'gate.
Ninety minutes ago she'd been taken into surgery.
Fifty-five minutes ago her heart had stopped.

It only took a moment, a second, a tiny fraction of time in which every thing he had ever come to establish as part of his some what dysfunctional life had fallen like shattered glass to the floor.

It's not fair. Life isn't fair. Nothing is ever fair because if it was fair then it would last longer.

Life is like a storybook, a novel that is written with every single mistake or success you make; you remember phrases, sayings, proverbs easily. The lyrics to the song on this morning's radio get stuck in your head and no matter what you do you cannot get them out. You can remember things like that, silly things, useless things.

You can remember your first day at high school, your graduation; all fundamental areas of your life that shaped who you are and who you have the potential to become. But then you remember the first time you went over to the little girl on the other side of the big orange sandbox, handed her the little plastic truck and told her you liked her pigtails.

He'd never done that, not when he was five and not now.

He'd never told her he liked her pigtails.

They'd been ridiculous; a permanent mocking of her personality. Innocence was portrayed by pigtails; ignorance. She was graced with neither of those traits. She'd been so many things, but ignorant or naïve he would never had described as.

It was clichéd and sickening in way that was nothing to do with the fact his uniform was stained with her blood, or when he'd watched her fall; it had nothing to do with the fact it he could have stopped it. It was sickening because that's what she'd become.

He'd known her for too long yet at the same time not long enough. Two years and yet it felt like longer than that. He knew she was hurting before she cried; that she was scared before she screamed; dead before they said it.

And still after all of that, it hadn't been enough time. There would never be enough time; life was cruel like that. Like hanging a treat in front of starving dog and sitting back to laugh.

Even so, they'd known before him, before her. Said it was obvious to everyone but those directly involved; his actions so transparent it was embarrassing to think about.

They were like magnets only not. Polar opposites and yet attracted beyond every rational thought in his head, she made him dizzy, she fogged everything up, made everything so unclear it was like driving in a snowstorm.

He didn't feel sick, and it didn't hurt like he'd expected to. When Sha're had died it had hurt so bad he had cried himself to sleep for weeks, half the time he had never been aware of it; a sleep filled haze that bore no grasp of real life; a shadow of the reality he had not wanted to face. It didn't hurt now.

Sure his shoulders ached steadily from the hard back of the wheelchair Doctor Lam had released him briefly into, and his head was spinning but it didn't hurt. None of it hurt.

Sam had cried. Mitchell had walked out and Teal'c had clasped his shoulder tightly before releasing it, he and Sam had been hovering since Doctor Lam had admitted weary defeat.

Simple Recon. That's what General Landry had called it; Mitchell had made some joke about how nothing about walking through an inter-stellar transportation device was simple, much less when it meant SG1 were the ones doing the walking. They'd laughed it off.

Landry had asked what happened in the 'gate room when they had rushed back through and Mitchell had told him that the United States Air Force should issue their own dictionary and the word 'simple' should be scrapped. Daniel hadn't bothered to tell him that he was wrong, not even when the man had come to speak to him after they had taken her away; the Colonel had stood stiffly and told Carolyn that he thought Doctor Jackson needed to see her 'one last time'.

Nothing about that mission had been complicated. From the moment he stepped through the event horizon it had been the least complicated three hours of his life.

She didn't taste like 'sugar and spice and everything nice'. She hadn't tasted like chocolate and he would never run the comparison between her and coffee. She had tasted like her.

It hadn't been lust filled and passionate. It hadn't lead them to have sex on the temple floor. And it hadn't lead to anything stupid like regrets or raking of thoughts to calm a shaking libido. It hadn't been premeditated but neither had it been a violent clash of lips and a war of tongues.

He couldn't pin point the second where the barrier he had created between friend and 'something more' had been broken and he couldn't say exactly when the urge to kiss her had been something he could accept. He had kissed her and it had lasted for little more than thirty seconds but she had smiled and so had he. She'd wanted to take it further, and for a split second so had he but logic won out and she had known that in an off-world temple was not somewhere he wanted to bed her.

They had worked together amicably for… it felt like minutes but it turned out it was nearly an hour before she'd gotten to her feet and pointed down the passage that led on from the main room.

He vaguely recalled arguing with her. Not hard enough obviously as she managed to coerce him into following her. The passage alternated between getting narrower and wider and every step had landed loud against the sandy floor but never once did it actually echo, much to his surprise; it was almost as if it had been muffled.

There had been writing scrawled randomly onto the walls, he'd tried to establish a pattern but it had not come to much. It seemed that even on that planet graffiti was not a unusual. Aside from the notes the walls were smooth and the only lines were the sudden fractures, that had he been looking harder he probably would have noticed sooner, forming when the hall had started to collapse.

The Air Force called it simple because that's exactly what it was. Never once had that mission felt complicated, layered or even anything deeper than that which glazed the surface. The planet's long-gone inhabitants had not been spectacular; being who he was of course they were intriguing, but now it was ridiculous how much he had looked forward to something normal. Something where the Ori weren't breathing down their necks, where he could just do what he'd spent years studying to do. It could have been any planet, any mission, SG1 had, to some extent, 'pick of the list'. And he'd chosen that one.

Vala had been maybe four steps ahead of him, could have been five he supposed but it didn't matter; she'd been to far away from him, that's what mattered. It had happened suddenly, but with every surprise there is always a warning A shift in oxygen levels, the direction sound travelled, disturbances in the general atmosphere, something should have alerted him…She hadn't even screamed.

He had.

Instinctively he'd jumped back, shielding his head with his arms as the stone from above fell with a rumble loud enough for it to call the rest of the team to his aid. Her name had become a mantra as he muttered it again and again, scrabbling at the rocks like a dog would for a bone, with much less success. It took ten minutes to get her out and in that time Sam, Mitchell and Teal'c had arrived and begun moving the debris; they'd been shaking as much as he had.

Mitchell had yelled for a med team before the 'gate had even shut down, and it had taken barely five minutes for Doctor Lam to diagnose Vala's injuries and have her both prepped for and in surgery.

It was called simple because everything is. It's overcomplicated with unnecessary words, responsibility and self recrimination. It's your head that causes the problems, not your heart. Almost amusing in it's absurdity; the military had figured that out long before any civilian.

He'd been standing in the room above the operating theatre, watching through the glass as the alarm was sounded, orders were shouted and the panels charged with such efficiency he couldn't put it at fault.

The window had misted as his warm breath met with the cool glass and he had only shrugged discreetly when Landry had reached over and squeezed his shoulder in what he guess was supposed to be a comforting way.

Even before Doctor Lam had declared time of death or even considered stopping her attempts at restarting her patient's heart he had left the observation room, moved like a ghost through the hallways and avoided every person who passed, every smile offered to him and stared right through Siler when he'd asked him if he was okay.

Teal'c had found him curled up against the wall of his office, knees hugged to his chest in a grip so tight the jaffa had apparently been concerned about causing him pain. He didn't remember being carried to the infirmary, he didn't remember the examination he'd been given or the questions the doctor had asked. It was as if it were someone else's memory he had of changing almost mechanically behind the flimsy cubicle curtains into the scrubs he'd been provided with.

Sam had sat with him for a while, her tears had created clean streaks through the dirt and grime adorning her face and her eyes were red rimmed. She'd shuddered with every breath as if that in itself was a mammoth task she would not usually undertake. Doctor Lam had taken her elbow and pulled her out, saying she wanted to talk to her. He hadn't seen Sam since.

Mitchell had been pale, even beneath the dust and sweat that clung to his skin, ill fashioned attempts at wiping away the mess with his sleeve had just made the streaks darker as his jacket was dirtier than he was. The usually quick tongued Colonel had, had little to say, every sentence had been cut short, and interspersed with a silence that had obviously made him uncomfortable; it hadn't been long before he'd excused himself.

The morgue wasn't cold, not really, the same stable temperature as the rest of the mountain, she had been covered with a sheet but he'd pulled it back to her shoulders, and at the foot of the bed was a bag holding all her clothes and what little jewellery she'd been wearing.

Her eyes were closed only because one of the nurses had brushed a gentle hand over her lids. Carolyn had said it had been painless. How can being crushed to death be painless? Because that's what had done it. Not a gun, or a zat, a knife, a drug, torture, no. It had been a rock. Lots of really big, really heavy rocks.

He hadn't been listening completely when she'd explained that only a few of the rocks had made direct contact with Vala's body. The rest had created a kind of air pocket in which she'd been trapped, if they hadn't there'd have been nothing left to take home.

When Sam had spoken to him she'd mentioned his parents, only briefly, and only for long enough for him to make the only response he had made since Vala had been laid on the gurney and rushed to surgery, which had been to turn his head and fix her with a gaze that had obviously made her uncomfortable. In all honesty, the thought had never occurred to him, and in all honesty, it didn't matter. Nothing did.

Four hours ago she'd been teasing him as he changed for the upcoming mission.
Three hours ago the ruins had collapsed.
Two hours and twenty five minutes ago he'd carried her through the 'gate.
Two and a half hours ago she'd been taken into surgery.
An hour and fifty-five minutes ago her heart had stopped.
An hour and fifty-five minutes ago his had too.

What was left to matter?

Author's Notes: Hmm… well yeah… review if you… don't flame 'kay:)