YAY! Thank Cleo for helping me figure out how to upload with ffn being annoying ;) I've been having problems for days, that's why I haven't posted anything since I finished "Arrows of Fire" last week. So now, here's a little short story that I typed up because the plot bunny wouldn't go away. I hope you enjoy it and please let me know what ya think. :) Hopefully in the next couple of days I'll start posting on "2019: Blessing in Triplicate" again, so be looking for that--and for whump. ;) Now, enjoy!
Together in the End
Only the light of the stars in space on the other side of the window lit their room, as Daniel stood in front of it facing the woman he loved--the woman he had been with for almost fifty years, the woman who had given him happiness even while stuck on this horrible ship. He really had liked the Odyssey at first. Only after so long being trapped on it had he learned to hate the hunk of metal.
"Do you think we'll know?" Vala asked quietly, breaking the silence that had hung comfortably between them for several moments, until now.
"We know we can't keep the memories…but I hope we'll know something," Daniel admitted.
"But you did tell Teal'c not to tell us, right? It worked out on its own this time. We wouldn't want it to be for the wrong reasons…"
"I know; I did," he assured her.
Vala smiled and nodded. "Good," she said as she took his hands. "You were a bright boy, way back when. I'm sure you'll figure it out."
Daniel smiled. "I'm not so sure about you though."
She laughed, and Daniel watched her, savoring every second of it. It was amazing how, even now, in her mid eighties, she could captivate him so completely. Vala was still beautiful to him. He was sure that at almost ninety-three, he didn't look half as good.
Vala's laugh faded, and she turned her head to look out at the stars. They were on the opposite side of the ship from the frozen Ori beam, so the stars outside the window gave the illusion of tranquil space. Daniel studied her profile, heart aching to know that he--his younger self--would know none of what had happened here, of the love they had shared. Life really was too short.
The silence was interrupted by the comm system coming on, and Cameron's voice.
"Daniel, Vala? We're ready up here, uhm…five minute warning," the colonel supplied.
Vala turned back toward Daniel again, and they exchanged glances. She nodded just slightly. "Thanks. We're…we're ready when you are," Daniel replied.
"Okay; cross your fingers."
The comm system shut off again.
"Are we?" Vala asked.
"Are we what?"
"Ready," she answered, squeezing his hands.
Daniel squeezed back. "Not really…I don't want to forget." Almost involuntarily, they came closer together until their foreheads touched.
"Me either," Vala whispered. There was another short silence.
"We still have to die first," Daniel reminded her. "And if the time reversal doesn't work…well, I guess we'll stay that way…"
Vala smiled just a bit. "I don't mind that as much. It's kind of romantic, actually, the whole dying together thing..." She trailed off for a moment. "Will it hurt?"
Daniel shrugged and squeezed her hands more tightly. "I'm not sure. I've never exactly been blown to bits before."
She frowned. "Oh, thank you for that comforting thought."
"Sorry," he smiled, before leaning down a bit more to kiss her. Vala wrapped her arms around Daniel's neck tightly, and his went around her just as firmly.
A moment later the comm system came back on briefly, interrupting them, and they heard Cameron give Sam the order before it went off again.
Daniel pulled Vala closer, holding on.
"I love you, Daniel," she whispered fiercely in his ear.
"I love you, too," Daniel answered in all honesty, gulping.
Only seconds later, there was a high-pitched whine, and the ship shook. It never stopped shaking, and there were resounding low booms and roars as the explosion drew closer. Lamps and furniture fell and shattered around them.
"Daniel!" Vala cried in terror, and hid her face in his chest. Her arms were still around his neck, almost cutting off his air. Daniel didn't mind that. His arms were holding her just as tightly as they struggled to stay upright. His eyes closed and his face pushed into her hair.
"It'll be all right…"
And the explosion took them.
Vala MalDoran was bored. It had been several weeks since the escape from the Ori ships that had been after the Odyssey and its newly acquired Asgard technology. Sam and Cameron were off at different places this weekend, and Teal'c was locked in his room kel'no'riming--which was kind of strange since he no longer had a symbiote, but whatever. With all those extra memories, he probably had a lot to meditate about. But now she couldn't even pester the jaffa to give her details on their alternate older selves' fifty-year stay on the ship. Teal'c still hadn't told them squat, and it was getting awesomely annoying.
Well, that only left one more person to bother--Daniel. That was all right, though. There were questions she'd had for a while that she'd been meaning to ask him, and now seemed as good a time as any. Vala found him in his office--of course--translating something or other, and he didn't notice her until she sat down across the desk from him.
"Hm? Oh. Vala, what are you doing in here?"
She shrugged. "Bored," she answered honestly.
Daniel just sighed and looked back down at the tablet on his table as if to continue working. "I'm so sorry you're bored," he said without emotion, but something made her frown anyway. Something about the words themselves…A shiver shot up her spine, but she chose to ignore it.
"I won't bother you," she protested. "But I need human company."
Daniel glanced up again. "Look, I really am sorry, but I'd rather you go be bored somewhere else. If you need people around, go watch Walter dial the 'gate, or something, but it's hard to work with someone looking over your shoulder."
Vala smirked. "But you're a professional darling, you're supposed to be able to work under harsh conditions."
He stared at her for a moment, then sort of halfway rolled his eyes and started to work again. She watched him for several minutes, and saw him purposefully making himself not look up at her anymore, trying to forget she was there or ignoring her, or both. Maybe he thought he was proving a point. To Vala it was just amusing.
It hadn't been loud, but he jumped anyway. "Whoa! What??"
"Can I ask you a question?"
"It's 'may' I, and fine. What is it?"
Vala started absentmindedly picking at the pages on the edge of book that was sitting open on the desk in front of her.
"All right, a few weeks ago in the 'gate room, after we got back from the Asgard planet, and the rest of you were exchanging those little Tau'ri clichés, I added one…what was it? Something about life? Oh that's right, it was 'Life is too short'."
Vala was watching Daniel at that moment, and saw an almost imperceptible shiver run up his spine--one that seemed like it was identical to the one she'd felt a moment ago. He blinked at her in slightly startled confusion.
She sighed and looked at the metal desktop. "Well, you looked over at me like…I don't know, like you knew something, or you felt something. And if that's true, it's kind of funny, because I was feeling something then too. I have no clue what it was, but it was there…does this sound crazy?"
Daniel studied her for a moment. "No…" he said finally, slowly. "Because I know what you're talking about. I felt it too."
He shook his head. "No."
Vala crossed her arms and leaned forward, resting them on the table. "You know, I was telling muscles that with fifty years or so stuck on that ship, I couldn't have not hooked up with someone," she said, smiling mischievously.
Daniel went a bit red. "Whether you did or not doesn't matter. It's not going to happen anymore."
"That's what I told Teal'c, but he still wouldn't tell me."
"Good for him."
"Maybe, but then again I also happened to mention every male name but yours while I was guessing, and got no different reaction to any of them. Now what do you think that means?"
Daniel shook his head. "Vala, why is any of this relevant? We're not there, we're here, so it's the here and now that matters."
Vala grinned. "Oh, I'm not arguing with that."
Daniel sighed and stood up. "Okay, I can see I'm not getting anymore work done now, and I'm hungry anyway."
"Going for lunch?" Vala asked, standing as well while he came around his desk. He stopped and turned to look at her when he was beside her.
"Yes, and you're welcome to come along if you promise to let me get some work done after we eat."
She thought about that for two seconds. "All right," she agreed. Daniel nodded and headed for the door, and she followed, locking one of her arms around his. He stopped again just short of the corridor and looked at it.
"What are you doing?"
"It's just an arm, Daniel; it won't kill you," Vala teased.
He rolled his eyes again and kept going. He didn't hold onto her arm in return, but he let hers stay where it was--which was unusual for him. Vala grinned to herself.
She and Daniel came upon Teal'c--obviously done kel'no'riming--in the corridor. Vala had expected Daniel to pull his arm away from hers immediately in the presence of their other teammate, but for once he left it where it was. Vala only caught a glimpse of Teal'c's grin before they passed him.