Chapter 2

"Vala, take these things off of me," Daniel said, following Vala to…wherever it was she was going. He'd found out more about those command cuffs. If Vala said "Follow," then they followed her, taking Daniel with them.

"I like them on you," Vala said, stopping and giving him a grin. "You're so much more obedient. That's nice."

"For you," Daniel countered. "I feel ridiculous. Take these off."

"No."

"Vala!"

By that time, they'd reached a room that looked like a galley. Vala began opening storage compartments, taking out what had to be food and making preparations for cooking a meal. Daniel stood there, unable to leave the room and unable to stop following her around. When she noticed that he was being pulled every which way as she dashed about making whatever-it-was, she led him to a chair and said "Remain," to the cuffs. Once she'd said that, Daniel wasn't able to lift his hands from the chair's arms, leaving him trapped in the chair. Fabulous.

During the next half-hour, Vala sang to herself and mixed up something that smelled incredibly appetizing. Daniel felt his mouth water and his stomach growled. How long had it been since his last meal? It felt like a while, and he was becoming very aware that part of his grouchiness had been due to being hungry. One other thing was occupying his mind: Vala could cook? Who knew? It didn't seem possible that this woman could cook. After all, she was…what was it? A space pirate? Could space pirates cook? Apparently, she could. Interesting.

"Hope you're hungry," Vala said, dishing up what looked like stew and carrying it over to the table. She positioned a chair in front of Daniel and holding a full bowl of stew in one hand, she scooped some up in a spoon and blew on it before presenting it to Daniel.

"What are you doing?" Daniel asked, annoyed.

Vala gave him a little smile. "Feeding you. What did you think I was doing?"

"I can feed myself," Daniel snapped, tired of her games. "Free my hands."

Vala smiled. "Nope. I don't think I will."

"Dare I ask why?" Daniel demanded, "Or do you just enjoy torturing me?"

Vala looked at him very carefully, placed the spoon in the bowl, set the bowl aside, and moved to Daniel's lap, surprising him. Then, she gave him a kiss that left him too shocked to speak and gasping for air. As he leaned back in his chair, he stared at her, his head spinning, not sure what to say or do. Vala merely smiled at him. "Torture enough?"

"Get off!" Daniel growled, tossing his feet up to knock her off. "Don't do that again!"

Smirking, Vala re-took her seat across from him and picked up the bowl of food. "Well, while you're in that chair, you can do one of two things. You can sit back and relax while we kiss each other silly, or you can let me give you your supper. It's your choice."

Daniel glared at her. "What's so wrong with freeing my hands? I won't even ask you to take off the cuffs right now. Just…free my hands so I can eat."

"But you can eat with my help just as well," Vala pointed out. She scooped up another spoonful and held it out in front of him. "Take your pick. This or kisses."

Daniel glared at her again, but he leaned forward and opened his mouth, allowing her to feed him. While he was chewing his third spoonful she chuckled. "I don't know whether I'm insulted or gratified."

Daniel swallowed what was in his mouth. "How's that?"

"Well, you chose food over being kissed by yours truly," Vala said, offering another spoonful. "I don't know if that's a compliment to my cooking or a comment on my kissing."

"Actually, I think it's a compliment to food," Daniel said, chewing slowly. "I've been hungry since I woke up."

"Didn't that naughty boy Aris feed you?" Vala asked as Daniel swallowed and she offered another spoonful.

Daniel shook his head. "He gave me some drugged water. He said he wanted to keep me out of trouble."

"Smart of him."

Daniel didn't say anything more as she continued offering spoonfuls of stew and he took them. With her help, he finished off two large bowls of stew and some bread and cold water.

"Feel better?" Vala asked as she cleaned up after the meal and put the leftovers away.

"Yes, much, thank you," Daniel said, tugging against the cuffs. "You know, I could help you with the washing up if you let me out of this chair."

"Oh, that's okay, I don't mind," Vala told him. "Besides, I'm almost finished anyways." With that, she wiped down the counters, closed cupboards, and placed her sponge on the edge of the sink with an air that denoted a job well done.

"So, where are we going?" Daniel asked. "You laid in a course."

"Oh, you're going to love it," Vala said, heading for the door. "Follow," she added, which finally allowed Daniel to get up from the chair.

"I'm going to love it," Daniel said, following her through hallways. "What am I going to love?"

Vala simply smiled over her shoulder at him. "Our little honeymoon spot," she explained. "It's simply gorgeous, and there's plenty of old ruins for you to poke about in."

If he'd been capable, Daniel would have stopped in shock. How did she know he liked old ruins? "How did you know I like ruins?"

"Well, you told me you studied ancient cultures," Vala reminded him.

"Yeah, but how did you know I liked ruins? For all you knew, I only studied those cultures out of books."

"I asked Aris," she told him. "He knows all about you, and when I asked him for more in-depth info, he was able to find it out and he told me. You like old cultures and exploring old buildings, you know many languages, you've worked in the Stargate program for years now, and you were the one who deciphered the Stargate that was discovered on your planet. Very impressive. Who knew I was marrying such a clever man?"

"Woah, who said you and I were getting married?" Daniel demanded as they turned a corner.

"I do."

"Yeah, well, here's a news flash. Never in a million years."

Vala laughed. "Give it time. You'll get used to the idea."

"Not even if I had infinity to work with," Daniel insisted as they entered another room. "Where are we?"

"Your quarters," Vala said, motioning with her hands to include the whole room. "Aren't they nice? I figured that since we're not married yet you'd like your own space."

Daniel looked around, surprised. He'd expected to have to share a room with Vala and continually fight off her advances, but this was...very nice. Very thoughtful as well. "It's...very nice. I didn't think that...these kind of accomodations were possible on a ship." He'd quickly sensored what he'd been about to say.

"And you didn't expect your own room," Vala said, stating what he'd been thinking. "Not to worry, I'm not offended. Besides, putting this place together was fun."

"What are you, a budding interior decorator?" Daniel asked, amused in spite of himself. Vala looked like a kid who was proudly showing off something she'd drawn.

She smiled. "Maybe. Let me show you around."

Show him around she did. She showed him the bed, done in blue and red (and was large enough for two, she pointed out) the bookshelves full of books, the desk full of writing materials and a brand-new writing tablet unit. That little gizmo was like a very thin computer screen held in the hand, about the size of a sheet of notebook paper. You could write on it and store files within it, which saved space in the room. No need for a cabinet to keep files in. Finally, she showed him the wardrobe and dresser. Both were packed with clothes, all of which were very close to what he would have chosen for himself. What was even more surprising (or worrisome) was that aside from casual clothing there were also outfits that were just a little more fancy. "For when we go out," Vala explained. "I have to say, it was a treat shopping for you. Do you know how many shirts I found that were the perfect shade to bring out those gorgeous eyes of yours? And now for the best part!"

She opened a door which led to a bathroom. It was equipped with a necessary in its own closet-sized room and door, a sink, a shelf full of toiletries, bath accessories, and towels and washcloths, a shower stall, and a separate tub that was large enough for him to lie down in if he wished. He'd known that some ships were capable of some pretty advanced accomodations, but this was great. Every ache and pain he had were making themselves felt, and a long soak would be perfect.

"Hot bath?" Vala asked. "You seem like you're pretty banged up."

"Yeah," Daniel admitted, feeling a twinge in his back complaining. "A hot bath would be nice."

Vala, seeming far too eager, pressed buttons on the wall beside the tub and the faucet over it came to life, streaming hot water. "You use these to set the temperature, and the display shows you the temperature you're asking for. Yellow is as hot as it can go and green is icy cold. Pretty simple. There are also controls for things like bubble bath, bath salts, and herbs. I've added a little chamomile to your water, it'll help you sleep." Having explained that she went back into the other room and began opening drawers. "I'll just find you something to wear once you're done."

The bathroom warmed up, making Daniel feel sleepy and relaxed. He knew he should keep his guard up with this woman, but he was too tired to think, let alone be deeply suspcious. He gathered towels, a wash cloth, soap, and shampoo and carried them all over to the tub, placing them on a shelf close to the tub where they would be within easy reach. That was when Vala came back in, carrying pajamas and a robe.

"Here you are," she said, placing them on the shelf beside the things he'd picked out.

"Thanks," he said, slipping his feet out of his shoes and peeling off his socks. As he stood up straight, he got a big suprise when Vala pulled his BDU shirt off and started to tug at the hem of his t-shirt. "What are you doing?" he yelped.

"Helping you," Vala said, matter-of-factly before tugging off the t-shirt. "Undo your belt, would you?"

"No!" Daniel snapped, waking up a little. "I don't need help to undress!"

"Well, it would be pretty silly to get into the tub with your pants on, wouldn't it? Besides, how would I get your legs clean, not to mention other parts of you?"

Daniel gaped at her, unable to speak for a moment. "You...you...you're not serious."

"Don't I sound serious?" Vala countered, folding her arms.

"You are not giving me a bath!" Daniel said, feeling himself turning nasty.

"What, are you going to deprive me of a little fun?" Vala teased, winking.

"Out. Now. I can wash myself."

"Mmm...no." With that, she grabbed his hands and put them behind his back, saying, "Hands together."

"I am going to KILL you!" Daniel shouted, furious. "Don't you dare..."

Vala smirked and undid his belt and and pants, making him step out of them. Standing there in his boxers was the most mortifying experience he'd ever had besides being "married" that first night to Sha're. Being on an alien planet and expected to have a "wedding night" with a woman you'd just met (albeit a very beautiful one) was unnerving, but this was just plain embarrassing.

"Oh, I hate you so much right now," Daniel growled.

"I love you, too, sweetheart," Vala said as she left the room and closed the door behind her. Once it was closed, she called out "Release!" and Daniel's hands sprang apart. As quickly as he could he rushed to the door and turned the lock, making certain that he would have this bath in peace. Thankfully, he slipped out of the last bit of his clothing and into the water with a deeply grateful sigh. He leaned his head back against the rim of the tub and closed his eyes, luxuriating in the hot water.

"Oh, what a pretty picture," Vala said, standing beside the tub.

"How the heck did you get in here?" Daniel yelped, sitting up in a hurry and making certain specific parts were hidden.

"Oh, did you think you'd locked the door? It doesn't have a lock."

"But--"

"That's just a little knob you turn to show that you're in here," Vala explained.

"Get. Out," Daniel demanded, face burning. "Please." He gripped the sides of the tub in the most acute embarrassment he'd ever faced.

"Remain," Vala said, smiling, and the cuffs locked themselves to the sides of the tub.

"You rigged them to work here, too?" Daniel groaned in disbelief. "Vala!"

She smiled and picked up the soap and washcloth. "Oh, it's not that bad," she told him, sitting on the edge of the tub. "Now lean forward so I can wash your back."