Disclaimer: I don't own Stargate SG-1 or its characters…
Author's Note: So, here it is… the last bit (took me friggen long enough to write this). Anyway, this conclusion is very much influenced by the insistence of VisualIDentificationZeta, thanks for all the feedback, btw. That goes to everyone who bothered dropping me a note, even if it was just to say "hey! I'm reading this." I appreciate it :-)
A/N 2: I've been scolded for the use of Vala/Daniel tag in my summary and have removed it. I did intend to put more about them in the story, but I find Daniel too difficult/boring to write and Mitchell is so much more fun, hence, this…
Vala took a deep breath before knocking upon the door. She was still panicking inside. She wasn't sure if she was doing the right thing. Hell, she wasn't sure of anything at all anymore.
But it was too late to change her mind for the millionth time.
The door opened.
"Oh, hey Vala," Cameron greeted her, looking rather unkempt in a t-shirt and pair of loose-fitting grey sweats, as if he had just rolled out of bed.
Vala put on her best face. No matter how many times she tried it, it never actually succeeded in banishing the problem gnawing away at her mind.
"Good morning," she said cheerfully, and then to a much lesser extent, "Can I come in? There's something I want to talk to you about."
The last bit roused Cam's brain from its half-slumber. It was unusually urgent, even for Vala, who could make the biggest deal out of the smallest issue, or vice versa.
He opened the door wider and with a small gesture of his hand, invited her to enter his apartment, which, to her surprise, was as unkempt as he was. He had always seemed like such an uptight man…
After a minute of her staring anxiously about her but avoiding looking at him, who she had claimed to have come to talk to, Cameron decided that he ought to provide some sort of prompting.
"So, what can I do you for?" he asked, confused by her behavior, rubbing the back of his head, perhaps in an endeavor to massage his brain to life.
"Well," Vala began, had brief but loud second thoughts, squelched them, and then continued, "I have I guess what you'd call a 'female problem.'"
"Isn't there someone else you could talk to about 'female problems'?!" he cut her off. Now he was really confused and not all that curious or willing to follow whatever discussion Vala seemed to want to seek out with him, not to that sort of place. "Perhaps someone who is female…Sam or Dr. Lam…" or someone, anyone else but me!
"Uh, well, you see…" Youcandothisyoucandothisyoucandothis "…it's sort of your problem as well."
She finally met his eyes, only to realize he wasn't quite following her meaning. Whether it was because he had just woken up a few minutes ago, or because he was generally dense, or perhaps just acting like he was, she didn't know. But actually getting him to understand without saying it was quite difficult. However, for some reason, Vala felt she couldn't say it outright, like doing so would give it some sort of weight and realism it didn't already have. Although she knew full well that she wasn't imagining her condition. It had been haunting her every thought for a good long while.
"You know how women have cyclic reproductive systems…" she began, unable to remember the word they used in Earth culture for it. "And about once a month-"
"Ugh! Vala, I don't want to hear your period issues! "Cam interjected.
"Yes, that's it! Period," Vala responded focusing on logging the word away instead of the difficulty that lay ahead in the conversation she had been debating having, dreading for well over a month now. "I haven't had my period since we woke up in bed together after Sam's wedding."
She recoiled instinctively, squeezing her eyes shut, waiting for the barrage of cursing, yelling, or whatever manner of response from him that would doubtlessly be very unpleasant.
Instead, there was nothing. She tentatively opened her eyes to find a complete lack of fury. Only a very shocked, spaced out man stood before her. It was as if he had frozen in time. After a few more moments passed lacking any sort of response, it began to disturb her immensely.
"Say something," she pleaded quietly.
"Say something!" she said louder in frustration, more forcefully. Yell, holler, swear, curse, even strike her, but not this. This only prolonged her suffering, drew out her worry, intensified the stress. It was like the entire couple of months since she had known, really known, debated what to do, found no solace, lied awake at nights, and cried till she had nothing left in her. It was all of that, days upon days of agony, all contained in a few, long moments. And she wanted a reprieve, an answer!
"Oh," came his quiet reply, as he backed shakily into a chair and clumsily fell into it. After a few more excruciating minutes, he added, "You're pregnant, then?"
Vala nodded her head, close to tears. Cameron was supposed to make everything better. He was supposed to be the support she needed, or the antagonist to push her to a decision. A reaction either way would determine her actions for her. The entire lack of one served only to worsen her frustration and confusion.
"I suppose it's silly to ask," he continued, "And I never understood why people always do…until, now, that is…but…are you sure?"
She nodded her head again. There hadn't been the sickness that she heard was oft associated with pregnancy. But it wasn't necessary to indicate the change in her body. Nor was the absence of the…period, although that definitely helped to confirm her conclusion. She had been able to feel it, not the baby per se. It was too early for that. But the change in her body was almost immediately apparent, within a couple weeks even. So, was she sure?
"Yes, I'm sure."
"Have you seen a doctor?" Cameron was sort of running on autopilot through a list of questions that should be asked in such a situation. He was still in too much shock to get to the more significant 'How do I feel about this?' part. However, the 'what do I do?' aspect was fast taking over his brain, threatening to trigger the panic center. Luckily, with lots of training and bizarre, oft dangerous missions offworld (and onworld for that matter), he had shrunk that part of his brain and put it on a slow-release timer. So he was looking forward to small bouts of panic over the next few days, or given the severity of this situation, weeks or months.
"I said I was sure!" she snapped over what she perceived was doubt and an insult. "You think I don't know my own body?! Or that I would lie about this?!"
"That's not what I meant," Cam said, the most animated he had been since receiving the revelation that Vala was pregnant. As she burst into tears, he realized this was no courtesy call 'Hey, by the way, I'm carrying your child.' She had come to him for a reason beyond feeling that he had a right to know about her situation. She needed him.
"Oh, hey, c'mon. It's okay," he tried to coax her.
He got up and walked to where she stood with tears running down her pale cheeks, and rubbed her arms in a comforting manner, before guiding her to sit on the couch. Maybe he had no clue how to deal with the news that there was a child growing inside this sobbing, distraught woman on account of him. But he could deal with said sobbing, distraught woman. He fetched a tissue and handed it to her, to which she replied with a grateful yet strained 'thank you" between sobs.
He crouched at her feet, his hands placed tenderly on her legs rubbing them gently as he had done with her arms before. His eyes searched her face, entranced by her apparently intense emotion, eager to comfort her, and desperate to know what she was feeling, besides obviously horrid enough to be crying.
Her sobbing subsided, and she put the tissue to her nose and blew it in a most comical manner, that had he not been extremely disturbed and distressed at the moment, would have made him laugh and shake his head, or at least roll his eyes and crack a smile.
"Vala," he addressed her, convinced that she was once again capable of holding a conversation, not that he was all that up to one either, particularly one of the nature this was. But he needed to do something, say something, and all he could think of was "I'm sorry."
"Oh, it's not your fault!" she responded, tears still threatening, her cheeks and eyes red with emotional exhaustion. "Well, it is your fault, at least partly, but…I'm not blaming you."
"So, you haven't talked to anyone...about…about this?" he asked, beginning to realize her need for comfort, the reason for her bursting into tears. "It's been over three months since we…"
She was shaking her head, still looking distraught although the sobs had ceased to wrack her body.
Cameron stared at her. And Vala felt like his eyes could bore right through her, lay her soul bare to him. She squirmed under the gaze, finding herself unable to meet it, and when she finally did, guilt overwhelmed her. He, who had gotten her pregnant, making her feel guilty! Maybe she should have told him earlier, told someone else, done something, made some sort of decision,…or at least have faced it. And that was it, wasn't it? She really hadn't faced it. She had been avoiding it, even going to see him had been an act to further defer her own acceptance of her situation, her responsibility in it, to make decisions about it.
"I just didn't know what to do," she said quietly, her voice hoarse from crying and stress, and tears that continued to threaten. "I didn't want to know what to do. I-I couldn't face this. I couldn't face you. Then I realized that maybe I could get you to face it for me. I thought that maybe-maybe you could tell me what to do…"
"Christ, Vala!" Cameron responded, perhaps a little too sharply, for her eyes glistened before they spilled their contents over her raw cheeks once again. This time she tried to wipe the tears away silently, receiving what she felt was a chastising she fully deserved. He continued his scolding, although quite a bit less harshly, "I can't make that decision for you."
"I know, I know," she said, fully in the throes of a crying fit once more. "I just…"
Once again her words were lost in sobs. And Cam felt his insides twist and tighten in response to seeing her in such distress, not to mention the guilt he felt for her pain. Moving to sit next to her on the sofa, he wrapped his arms around her and pulled her to him, and she buried her face into his chest, still weeping uncontrollably.
He felt his shirt grow moist with tears, or god only knew what fluids she was spilling on him, but he didn't care. It was his fault and he had to try to make it right, make her feel better. Rubbing her back, he tried to whisper reassurances into her ear as she wept against him.
"It's okay," he said, not believing it himself. But it was the type of thing you said in this situation. It most definitely wouldn't be 'okay' if she didn't overcome this emotional breakdown. "It'll be okay. Everything's going to be fine."
After neither knew how long of her sobbing and clinging to him and his attempts at soothing her, the tears ceased to flow and the sobs stopped. Vala felt exhausted from the fit, and even though Cam wouldn't probably believe it, he had provided a great deal of solace to her, so rather than pulling away from him in an attempt to compose herself, she shifted around so that she was laying on her side, with her head in his lap facing away from him.
He didn't protest. It was beyond the point in which one could act reserved, try to keep the situation from becoming known, ignoring it, or pretending it didn't exist. He had done something stupid, and then worse still, when his judgment hadn't been impaired, he had treated Vala in such a way that she felt that she couldn't even come to him with the truth. And all he wanted to do now was prove to her that he wasn't such a jerk, like he had been, to treat her right, to take care of her.
Cameron's hand stroked her hair and her cheek. Vala smiled and sighed, closing her eyes, being lulled into a sense of peace. She had never thought he could be so gentle. She still had no clue what she was going to do, was still filled with intense worry, but somehow, it melted away at his touch. Somehow, he made her feel like it was all going to be alright.
"So," he said after a few minutes more had passed in which neither was deeper in thought than being mesmerized by the tender contact between them. "You haven't made any decisions yet?"
So much for everything being alright!
Vala pulled away from him, sitting up quickly and wincing at the head rush. It didn't help that the topic had come back around to pointing out her irresponsibleness, that she felt like he was accusing her of something again.
"No I haven't!" she barked at him. "I'm sorry I've been too busy fretting about the situation to make decisions that would get you out of it!"
She looked away from him, embarrassed that she was about to cry yet again. If nothing else, such emotional instability should flush out whatever doubt that might still lie in his mind.
"Vala," he tried to get her to look at him, but she refused. She was furious at what she presumed to be his thoughts about her. Trying to fight reacting in his own frustration, he gently placed a hand on her shoulder her to force her to face him.
She relented, simply because she had no other options. There was nowhere else to go from there. If she stormed out right then, she would be worse off than before. Something had to be resolved, even if the resolution was that he couldn't or wouldn't help her.
Placing a hand on her cheek, he made her look at him. She was furious. He could see it blaze in her eyes, before she realized the tenderness in his own, and it dissipated.
"I want you to know, that no matter what you decide to do, I will support you," Cam told her, entirely sincere, although not entirely certain of what she wanted from him. "I will be there, with you…that is, if you want me to…"
"Thank you!" she exclaimed, smiling, tears again streaking her face, but this time in joy and relief. She wrapped her arms around him, hugging him close. All she wanted was someone to be there for her. Most of her life, she had only depended upon herself, but joining the SGC, living on Earth had shown her how much people really did need each other. And she knew, almost immediately, that being pregnant was one situation she couldn't face alone, although try as she had to convince herself otherwise.
"I was so afraid, so alone," she whispered in his ear as he wrapped his arms around her as well, and rocked her gently as he had done before.
"You don't have to be," he whispered back. It was odd, that although he had most apparently been intimate with Vala before, something he wasn't quite fully capable of remembering, he had never felt more connected to her than at that moment, as he held her close, and vowed to himself that he would take care of her no matter what, that he wanted to do this more than he had wanted to do anything else, and that he could and would take care of this woman for the rest of his life. "Not anymore. Not ever again."
There was something different in the way he spoke to her, the way he held her, that made her pull away from him slightly to look into his face. Her breath caught in her throat. Cameron had never given her such a look before.
Maybe it was just in her head. Maybe there were too many hormones coursing through her veins, making her crazy, making her feel lonely and desperate for someone's attention, his attention. Then again, maybe it wasn't the hormones. But whatever the reason, she had never felt the need for the affection or approval of another person so badly in her life.
And there it was, staring back at her from those steady blue eyes.
Vala wasn't shocked when Cam leaned in to kiss her. She had read the intention in his unwavering gaze. But it still overwhelmed her, carried her away. All of her troubles and worries seemed to melt into oblivion while she was in his tender embrace. The only thing that mattered was that Cam cared about her, and was going to take care of her.
Suddenly being pregnant wasn't so frightening. As Cameron cradled her in his arms, Vala found herself growing excited and curious, eager to meet the child of this man, this man who could settle her troubled mind so quickly and easily. Of course, he could also aggravate, mock and tease her until she wanted to strangle him to death with her own two hands…Their child would no doubt have an interesting life.
She pulled out of his embrace slightly to study his face. And she thought that she rather liked him. Yes, this could work after all…
Cameron was slightly surprised and taken aback by the affectionate display as Vala placed a light, tickling kiss on his nose, and followed it with several more on his cheek. As she hugged him close and nuzzled into his neck, he thought that there were far worse women than Vala with which to find himself in this situation. In fact, he rather liked her.
Yes, this could definitely work out…
A/N: And they lived happily ever after…or whatever satisfies you. (Personally, I've been playing with their children. One of the reasons why this took so long is that I was distracted by that story, as well as others.)