Steps

by Pip

Summary: A series of vignettes revolving around Daniel and Vala, and the miracle of life they've been given.

A/N: Yes, my friends. I have once again started ANOTHER series about our favorite couple! And once again, it sprung to life from the Kisses series, from the chapters 'Sacrifice' and 'Spectrum', respectively. I just can't seem to stop them. This wasn't originally intended to split off into it's own thing, but after I wrote Spectrum, I got the distinct feeling ya'll wanted more of that storyline. Thought about doing more chapters to that regard in Kisses, but my beta didn't like the idea of me being tied to that. Because Kisses is more of a free-spirited thing, and even though a lot of the chapters tie together, they all work as stand alones and have no specific order whatsoever. So in the end, it was decided that if I was gonna pursue this story, it needed to branch out on it's own. And that's how the 'Steps' series was born!

I'll try to keep everything in order, but there's no guarantee. It all goes how the bunnies demand it, as ya'll know. The most important stuff will, indeed, be in the right order (starting with 'Spectrum', since that was where Vala told Daniel...I'll eventually find a place to put 'Sacrifice' in here, when I feel it's proper place has come).

And like Wanted, the only relation to Kisses this series has is the appearence of two chapters over there showing up here. And it's in NO WAY connected to Wanted. So anyone new to my crazey game can enjoy this, and not have to worry about being confused. And all my rabid readers, hope this satisfies as the others do.

Same warning given here as it is for Kisses. That would make it a PG story. Anything higher, or any spoilers, will be listed when needed.

Enjoy!

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Spectrum

Daniel's head jerked up from his book at the sound of Vala's sharp hiss of pain.

"You okay?" He questioned in concern. When the only things he got in reply were Vala's loud curse and the sounds of banging and slamming following, Daniel put the book down and made for the kitchen.

"Vala, is everything alright in here?" He asked slowly as he came to stand in the entryway.

"No, Daniel, everything is not alright." Vala snapped, looking at him with obvious annoyance. She had her hand pressed tightly against her, blood soaking a small spot on her shirt where it rested. Whatever she had been making was turned upside down on the floor, along with a knife.

Daniel crossed over to her, careful to avoid the mess on the floor.

"What happened?" He asked as he came to stand before her. Vala glared at him like he was an idiot.

"What does it look like happened?" She barked. "I cut my hand, made a mess. It's all quite obvious, Daniel."

Daniel sighed. "There's no need to snap at me." He held out his hand to her. "Let me see."

Vala pulled back slightly. "No."

Daniel just stepped closer, laughing a little. "Vala, quit acting like you're twelve. Let me see."

"Oh, you insult me, then expect me to let you help?" Vala scowled, tears brimming in her eyes. She turned away from him, and walked out of the kitchen. "Don't worry about it. Just go back to reading your book."

Daniel stood for a moment in a state of surprise, his mouth hanging open slightly. She'd been acting hostile towards him for weeks, and he couldn't figure out why. Vala would complain when he tried to help, then complain even more when he wasn't helping. It was beginning to drive him up a wall, and he was sick of it. Intent on finding the reason why she was so irritable, he finally followed.

He found her in the bathroom, struggling to get the first-aid kit out one-handed. His instinct to help overshadowed his plans to find out what was really going on.

"Do you need some help?" Daniel asked quietly. Vala's head snapped up, and he was met with a familiar glare.

"What do you think?" She snapped. She continued to rant on until Daniel's calm finally fell away.

"Stop!" He shouted, and Vala jumped in surprise. "Just stop!" He stepped into the bathroom, body tense with frustration. "You have done nothing but bitch at me for the past two weeks. And I've tried to be alright with it. I mean...I understand everyone has tough times. But you're confusing the HELL out of me, Vala!" Daniel laughed with annoyance, and threw his hands in the air as he turned away. "You bitch at me because I'm in your way...tell me to leave you alone. Then you bitch because I'm NOT helping. You're spinning me in circles."

Daniel turned back to Vala. "And you know what? I'm done putting up with it. I love you, but if your not gonna talk to me when it's so obvious you need to, then I can't do this. Now you tell me what is going on with you and let me help, or I'm leaving."

Fear filled Vala's eyes, and Daniel felt bad for putting it there. He felt bad for having to say what he had. But if scaring her in to talking was what it was going to take, then so be it.

"Leaving for a little while...or leaving you're done - we're done?" She asked in a whisper. Daniel dropped his head at her question, a feeling of dread coming to the pit of his stomach.

"So you do want me to leave." He whispered to the floor.

Vala stepped closer to him. "I never said that." She replied in haste.

Daniel looked up at her, and she was taken back by the moisture in his eyes. "It's what you didn't say, what you won't tell me. I know we've had our issues with trust in the past, but..." He took in a deep, shaky breath. His plan had backfired because it seemed Vala REALLY didn't want him there. "Just tell me what I did, or didn't do, then I'll go."

Vala's heart leapt into her throat. He was really planning on leaving, and it was her fault. So she did the only thing she could think to do. Vala stepped forward and wrapped her arms around Daniel in a fierce hug. He squeezed her tightly in response.

"I'm so sorry, Daniel." She whispered into his ear as he brought his head to rest on her shoulder. "I didn't mean to make you feel like this. I love you and I don't want you to leave. Not now, not ever." Daniel breathed a sigh of relief against her neck. Vala went to brush her hand through his hair. She winced loudly, having forgotten about its injury.

Daniel pulled away from her enough so he could grab her hand. "Shit, Vala." He examined the bloody slash with care. "You really did some damage here." Pulling her over to the sink, he turned on the water and placed her hand underneath. Vala winced.

"Sorry." Daniel grimaced in sympathy as he gently brushed his thumb over the wound, helping to clear it of the dried blood. He turned off the water when he finished, and brought her palm to his lips. As softly as possible, Daniel placed a tender kiss to the wound. Vala smiled at the action, which once more affirmed how much Daniel truly loved her. She breathed in deeply as he moved to open the first aid kit. There was a very good reason why she had been so irritated lately, but now she couldn't comprehend why she'd felt inclined to keep it from Daniel. He had every right to know.

"Daniel." Vala said quietly, wincing slightly as he began to clean the wound with something a little stronger than water. She didn't wait for him to say anything in response. "There is a reason why I've been so short lately, especially with you."

Daniel continued to work, the only sign he was listening was a slight pause in his minstrations.

"And, to be completely honest, it is something you did." Vala watched his eyes focus deeper on her hand, his own hands tensing. "But it's not something I should be mad at you over. It's something so...amazing." Vala took another shaky deep breath. "Would be amazing if it wasn't so complicated. Still, it's no reason for keeping it from you."

Daniel moved to wrap gauze around her hand, and Vala wished he would stop a moment to look at her.

"Daniel, I'm pregnant." She blurted, tears falling from her eyes. That got his attention. Daniel stopped mid-wrap, and looked up at her with shocked blue eyes. They searched hers desperately, seeing if she was messin' with him. Vala shook her head, letting him know she was serious. A look of confusion and hurt filled his gaze, and Vala felt the words tumbling out of her mouth.

"I've known for a few weeks." Vala placed her uninjured hand on his cheek. "Carolyn told me after our last mission. And I was so ecstatic. I had every intention of telling you...until she told me something else. She said, because of what the Ori did to me to give birth to Adria, that it was likely that the pregnancy would be a difficult one, at best. She was shocked that it had happened in the first place. From what she understood, they had intended for me never to carry another child. And I got mad. It was meant for the Ori, but I focused it on you. I wanted to blame you. For bringing this upon me, upon yourself."

She felt tears streaming down her cheeks. "I'm so sorry, Daniel. I shouldn't have kept this from you or blamed you. I didn't want you to get hurt by it, and yet I hurt you even worse by not saying anything."

Daniel saw the anguish in her eyes, the self-recrimination. He wanted to wipe it from her face, and did in the only way he knew how. He leaned in and captured her mouth in a desperate kiss. His hands cupped her face as he plunged his tongue deep into her mouth. Vala came alive against him, and he felt the same desperation within her. He pulled away slowly, placing another small kiss on her trembling lips.

"You have no reason to be sorry." He smiled reassuringly at her. "Your scared, but had the greatest intentions. You just wanted to save me from the possible heartache this could bring. And for that alone, I will love you forever." He kissed her lips again. "But I would rather suffer that heartache with you, then have you suffer it alone."

Vala rested her head beneath his chin. "I hate them, Daniel." She whispered angrily. "They used me to create a life so evil, they cheated through me to rape this galaxy of its freedom. Now, when I have a chance to create life with you, the greatest man in three galaxies, they cheat me...us. A life that would be so beautiful...It's not fair."

Daniel moved to sit on the floor, holding Vala against him as he did. "Nothing is set in stone yet. Carolyn said she didn't even think this could happen, but it did. That's a start right there." He lightly kissed her hair, and smiled. "There we go - breaking down the rules again. We're both stubborn and hard-headed, which means this kid is destined to come out a fighter. This life we've made WILL BE so beautiful. She will be our personal fight against the Ori - Our crusader."

Vala lifted her head to gaze at Daniel with amusement. "You said she."

Daniel looked down at her, and smiled. "If the Ori can have a beautiful woman to lead in their cause, then I think we should too. And with you as her mother, this kid is destined to be drop dead gorgeous."

Vala smiled brightly, then kissed Daniel quietly. "And with you as her father, our little girl will be able to kill Adria with her brain...in ten million different languages...before she's two."

Daniel leaned his head back against the cabinet. "OUR little girl." He repeated amazed, as if the good news was finally sinking in. He looked down at Vala, and gave her his signature half-smile. "We're having a baby."

Vala felt the sting of reality strike again. "Maybe." She whispered, hating how it was possible that the delightful wonder in Daniel's eyes could one day turn to irreversible sadness.

Daniel gave her a strong squeeze. "Definitely." He kissed her temple, and whispered in her ear in a mischievous tone. "SCREW the ORI."

Vala smiled, and nodded, drawing strength from Daniel's confidence.

"Screw the Ori." She repeated. Daniel grabbed her and stood up. She squealed with an excitement that had been suppressed since Carolyn had given her the bad news. Vala wrapped her legs around Daniel's chest, and looked down into his smiling eyes. She brought her hands to cup his face, ignoring the sting in her palm, and kissed him happily. He laughed into her mouth, and Vala pulled away with a laugh of her own.

"We are going to have the most beautiful, intelligent, kickass crusading little girl EVER!" She yelled to the ceiling, allowing herself to get lost in joy. Daniel laughed again, and moved to place her on the counter. One hand came to rest on her stomach protectively.

"Yes..." Daniel kissed her lips softly. "WE are."

A/N: For any new readers (if there is any), hope you stick with us (and go and read Kisses, Wanted, and Chatting also)! For all my returning readers, look forward to the usual goodness. You all should know how demanding my bunnies are by now...and I shouldn't have to ask for reviews but...REVIEWS ARE LVOE :D !