Title: Heart to Heart
Disclaimer: I do not, and will not ever, own Stargate Unfortunately. Neither do I own Cameron Mitchell or Vala Mal Doran or the other members of SG-1. I own, though, episodes of SG-1. Haha. But I have pretty pictures of them. If I was SciFi, Ben Browder's character would have more to say.
Pairing: Cameron/ Carolyn & Cameron/ Vala friendship
Spoilers: after 1015, Bounty
A/N: This is what happens when one writes a dissertation on the German Kaiserreich...
Feedback: I'd love to hear what you think of them...
Part 1- A Kiss is but a Kiss
Cameron looks at the rear view mirror, seeing his parents and Amy disappearing gradually, then shifts his gaze quickly over to the dark- haired woman sitting on the passenger seat.
"How many times have you been married, anyway?"
Vala takes a short moment to think about that.
"Legally? Hmmm, well, it's hard to keep track. Let's see. The first one was a part of a band of traveling entertainers. He was a good cook, too. Couldn't make pie though."
Cameron suppresses a snicker. He knows his mother's cakes are delicious and notorious in the family, but never would he have figured that Vala would get that addicted to them. She even tried to weasel the receipe of the cake out of Mrs Mitchell, even though she can't cook to save her life, and besides, the cakes are a family secret, and if someone will ever know them, it'll be Cameron. He likes to cook, though baking isn't his fortune, if the macaroons were any indication.
In the meanwhile, Vala has been rambling on, and since Cameron hasn't paid attention and he is not really interested anyways, he might as well just stop her now.
"You know, forget it. Forget I asked."
Vala takes another bite of the cake.
"What about you?"
Cameron doesn't take his eyes off the road.
"What do you mean? I've never been married."
A jaw- breaking clenching is her answer.
"You two had a fight?"
"But something happened, right?"
"You want to talk to me about it?"
"Not particularly, no."
Silence reigns for the next mile, only interrupted by Vala loudly chewing.
"I can't stand this silence. So either you tell me what is going on or…"
"Give me a moment, I have to think of a suitable punishment?"
"Like you talking me to death?"
"Something like that sounds right."
Silence. Vala waits for Cameron to start talking but realizes after another mile that she would have to beat it out of him. Well, she is good at that, and as much as she likes Cameron, she is more interested at the moment what has had him on edge for not only the weekend, but the last two weeks.
Since the heads on approach obviously is not working the way she wanted it to, she has to get to him in a different way.
"So. Two weeks ago. You and Carolyn still liked each other."
Starting to think of it, this was not very subtle or different.
"Are you going to let off?"
"No. You have been grumpy for the last couple of weeks. I'm not saying it is affecting your work performance, but your mood… But your work suffers, too. If you don't become a little less moody soon, or keep sulking around the infirmary, General Landry might catch up on what has been going on between you and Dr Lam."
He mumbles something into his non- existent beard.
"What was that? Cameron, really. If you want to talk to me-"
"I said it might be of advantage if he found out about us."
"Did you want to tell him?"
"No. Her mother. Carolyn gets together whenever she is in town, and during the last dinner she had, she let slip she has been seeing someone."
"And that is bad because?"
"So I suggested to her that next time, she just takes me with her."
"We had a fight. She broke up with me."
"Just like that?"
Vala would smack Cameron very hard if he wasn't driving on the highway right now. She has done it before, and the result was a slight veering of the street.
"I thought her parents were estranged?"
"I don't get it."
"The only people who know about the two of us is SG-1. Not even her best friend outside of work knows about me. Not that they see each other often anyways. But still. It's like she's trying to keep me a secret."
"Did she say why?"
"No. I asked her, and she said she couldn't do it anymore. That she couldn't take the pressure anymore."
"What pressure? Of keeping your relationship a secret?"
"Not really. She feels pressured by me."
"Did you try to get her to accompany you to Kansas?"
"Meet the parents?"
"Do they know about her?"
Cameron only slightly shakes his head.
"You met my mother. Nothing gets by her. She smells stuff like that from a mile away."
"So they thought that I was her?"
The car is silent for one more mile. Vala feeds Cameron another piece of cake.
"Why did you kiss Amy Vanderburg?"
If she thought that the red that Cam turned when he fell off the chair was impressive, then the shade his face has taken on now, is worthy an entry in some history tome. She makes a mental note to tell Daniel about it. Surely he can make a note and then historians will pick it up and the world will know about the day in the car that Cameron Ryan Benjamin Mitchell turned purple.
But he still hasn't answered her, so she pokes him.
"I kissed her because…"
"She's a nice woman? And you like her?"
Vala yawns, a gesture of boredom that she caught on the tv.
"One more time. Why did you kiss her?"
"I don't know. She was there. She was willing. She was… Therapy?"
"Did it work? The therapy?"
"Nope, absolutely not. I kept thinking of Carolyn."
"Who's the better kisser?"
A wistful smile plays upon his lips.
"Hah. You didn't even have to think about it."
"There's nothing to think about it. She is the best kisser in the world."
"Better than me?"
"I wouldn't know. We never kissed."
"Did you ever fantasize about it?"
The look he sends her way is appropriately scandalized.
"Don't sound so shocked. Really? Never?"
That bears contemplation. Vala is not used to being rejected like that. Men all over the galaxy trip over their feet to be with her. All the men except for Cameron Mitchell it appears, since he is too much in love with Carolyn Lam, it appears.
"Do you love her?"
"Does she love you?"
"I thought so."
"Do you want her back?"
"Then fight for her."
He thumps the steering wheel in frustration.
"You know her. She's stubborn like Hell. Once she's made up her mind, she doesn't change it."
"Have you seen her lately?"
"Not really. She didn't even do my post- mission check- ups. Usually, even when we were fighting… But now, nothing."
Vala likes to think that she knows Cameron fairly well by now, and she has seen him in a lot of moods, but this is new, this dejected hopelessness, as though there really is no way of getting Dr Lam to take him back, or come back to him.
"Do you think there is anything I can do?"
"You could let it rest."
"So you can mope in solitude?"
"I am not moping. I am over her."
"Oh sure you are."
She snorts, a very un- Vala- like sound that makes him turn his head towards her. She gives him the evil eye; unfortunately she has given it to him too much because now he doesn't even react, but simply sighs, turns back to the road and keeps driving.
"You do remember that you said that you still loved her."
"So how can you even try to get over her?"
"Because I was hoping to get you to shut up."
"Did not work."
"Okay. Next try. Corner her. Talk to her."
"Every time she sees me even coming close, like miles away, she's off to nowhere. Just vanishes. Tries to avoid me at all cost."
"Believe me, I've tried to find her, talk to her. But short of going to the General and demand that I can talk to his daughter, I don't think there is anything I can do."
"We could create a-"
"Nope. No ruse. That would start the conversation on the wrong foot and defeat the whole purpose, wouldn't it?"
He is right, as much as it hurts Vala to admit. After all, he also knows Carolyn the best of all of them, probably better than her father. But she has seen Carolyn in the time since she broke up with Cameron, and if Cameron is moping, and he surely is, then so is Carolyn.
Both of them can give hush puppies runs for their money when it comes to looking downtrodden.
"You could be old- fashioned and write her a song, or a poem?"
"I suck at singing or poetry."
"Wrote her an email. Sent her a letter via mail."
"Did she delete the email?"
"How would I know? I haven't had any contact with her."
"Not even a hello?"
Vala cannot see Carolyn's reason, though. Cameron is nothing to be hidden. He is a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air Force, he's intelligent, educated, a good conversationalist, a charmer, very good- looking… He can be stubborn, and is very anal when it comes to his living quarters or work place, but those are minor factors and definitely no reasons to break up with him.
Unless he has not been honest with her…
"Are you lying to me?"
"No. I don't lie. Well… I don't lie very well."
"Yeah, I've experienced it. You're almost as bad as Daniel."
No retort. Cameron keeps his eyes on the road, which is a good thing since the highway is crowded, but still… Normally, he would have a comeback ready for her.
"Did she have things at your place?"
"Yes, 'course. We both do."
"Did she ask for them back?"
"I bet she sleeps in your boxers."
"That's nothing new. She always does."
She gives him a moment to let it sink in. His eyes widen for a second, then turn back to their gloomy blue.
"Nah. I don't think so. And besides, how would we know?"
"You could call her."
"I will NOT call her to ask her what she's sleeping in. Besides, if she sees my number on the display, she'll probably hang up anyways."
"So we conceal the number."
One of the first things that Vala mastered, because she had nothing else to do, and the alien technology in the SGC is not that alien to her, was the mobile phone. So it only takes her a moment to switch off the automatic sending of Cameron's number, and before the other man can object, she's calling Carolyn.
Cameron is very pissed off right now, and if he didn't have to navigate the heavy traffic, Vala is pretty sure she would either be road kill or at least sporting some kind of injury as evidence of his attempt to rip the phone out of her hands.
As it is, she's squeezed herself against the passenger door, the phone in her right hand, as far away from Cameron as possible.
And the phone is ringing.
Yes, she's picked up.
"Dr Lam? This is Vala Mal Doran."
"Vala. What a surprise. How are you?"
"I'm good, thank you. I just have a quick question for you."
"Sure. Go on."
Cameron looks like he would gladly smack either his or her head against the steering wheel.
"What are you wearing to bed?"
Stone silence. Cameron is actually hitting his head against the wheel now, a pained groan escaping his lips that Vala is sure has nothing to do with the bruise he will be sporting if he doesn't stop anytime soon.
Carolyn is silent. Too silent.
"Did Cameron ask you to do that?"
"Oh no, he actually wanted me not to."
"I don't think that is any of your business. And Cameron should know very well by now what I am wearing in bed."
"What I was wondering was if you are wearing his boxers that he left at your place?"
At least Cameron has stopped hitting his head on the steering wheel and is concentrating on driving. Or maybe he's plotting a way of killing Vala and disposing of her body in the most inconspicuous of ways. His disgruntled expression could mean a lot of things, and Vala doubts that any of them are good for her.
"Now she will never talk to me again."
The pain in his voice breaks her heart. A bit.
"I thought it would lighten her up a bit. She usually is quite the easy going person once you get to know her better."
"Yeah, well. Don't try anymore, please."
His phone rings.
Oh boy. Now Cameron either wants to drive against the next tree out of fear, or he wants to start dancing. Happiness and apprehension fight for domination on his face.
After the fourth ring he settles for apprehension.
"Hello?... Yeah, I'm sorry… No, I can't, I'm driving right now… I'm in Kansas… lip bitting Yeah, the reunion… Sorry 'bout that… No, not really… Your father was right, yes… thick swallow, followed by Cameron shifting to hold the phone between chin and shoulder to wipe his free hand over his face We're nearly at the airport… Round 10ish… Monday… No, I don't… I just have to drop Vala off at the SGC- lost look No, Carolyn, it's not like that, you know that… Oh for crying out- Don't start like that, that's not fair… Yeah… Okay… You, too… I love you."
The last is said with such feeling that Vala feels as though she is intruding in a lovers' quiet moment, and she looks out the window.
Click of a phone snapped shut, and a harsh intake of breath. A noise escapes Cameron as he tries to pretend to cough but it's more like he is choking on a sob.
They are both quiet until they have arrived in the check- in hall.
"She heard about the bounty hunter from her father."
"Was she worried?"
A nod. He starts chewing on his thumb.
"You want to talk?"
"More than I already had to?"
She grins, gives him a light shove. He grins back, though it is a bit pained.
"I'd rather not."
And for once, Vala is okay with silence.