Beginning of the Rest

by Pip

Summary: This will be the beginning of the rest of their lives. DV

A/N: Okie day...here we go again. Yet another Dala series. This one is actually something that should have waited to be started until I actually finished Steps (which is still just the two measly chapters!), but this story's bunnies are cruel and vicious and won't leave me alone. They've even started holding my Kisses and Wanted bunnies hostage, and that just won't do.

So I wrote thi first chapter, with a basic plot line and several ideas already in the works. If the above information wasn't a giveaway, its a bit of a jump ahead in years. So a new character has already been established...which kinda spoils the end of Steps, which is far from being written. But that's okay...I think the idea of establishing this very special character is a lot better than waiting for her to come into the story, if you know what I mean (or I could just be confusing the crap out of ya'll...)

As usual, any warnings or spoilers will be posted when needed.

So buckle those seatbelts, friends. Here's to hoping you'll enjoy this new Dala adventure I'm sending you on :D !

Inspirational Reading

Daniel stared intently at the book in his hands. His eyes read, and reread, two distinct words over and over again. He could feel the butterflies beginning to flutter around in his stomach. Two simple words that would change his life completely. In an instant, they could bring him overwhelming joy or shatter him to the core. Never before had he been so scared of two little words.

The sounds of footsteps coming down the hallway had him taking a deep breath. He sat up a little straighter in bed, and quickly flipped back to the front of the book. It wouldn't be hard to find the page again. It was exactly in the middle of the book - exactly.

Daniel schooled his face to look normal as the bedroom door pushed open. He glanced up from the book as Vala stepped into the room, quietly closing the door behind her.

"Everything okay?" He asked curiously, referring to the reason Vala had left the comfort of their bed in the first place.

She nodded as she slipped off his pair of pajama pants she had thrown on in the haste of being summoned. "Yep..." Vala walked over to the foot of the bed, wearing nothing but his shirt once more." Just a little problem between Larry the Camel and Putty Penguin."

"I thought she was suppose to be sleeping." Daniel said, acting distracted by the book he wasn't even reading.

Vala crawled onto the bed on her hands and knees. "She was...that is until Larry and Putty started having an argument."

Daniel didn't even think twice anymore about how absurd their conversations had turned in the past four years. He simply gave a slight nod.

"Ah, I see." He flipped a page in the book. "So, problem resolved I guess?"

"By turning the tv on." Vala said quietly as she finally settled down against Daniel. She snuck a glance up at him and was met with a reproachful glare, as she had expected.

"Vala..." Daniel sighed loudly. "Hayden's only four. She does not need to be up watching tv alone at midnight."

"Oh, come on Daniel..." Vala sighed in return. "It's not going to do any harm."

Daniel frowned disapprovingly. "Do you know what's on tv at this time of night?"

"Well..." Vala placed a suggestive kiss on his chest. "I'm usually a little too busy at this time to turn on the tv." Her eyes held a naughty gleam as she stared at him. The disapproving frown still remained, however. She sighed again loudly. "All she ever watches are those boring history documentaries, anyways. Too much like her father in that regard...And besides, she's probably already asleep."

Daniel looked at her, his face softening under her gentle gaze. "Yeah..." He quickly returned his attention to the book, pretending once more to get lost in it. Vala continued to try and get him to react to her oh-so-subtle kisses and touches, but Daniel continued to keep his cool. It was tough, but he needed to resist...if only for a little while longer.

As expected, she soon became exasperated by his inattention. She sighed dramatically.

"What is in that bloody thing that's more distracting than me?" Vala huffed, inching a little higher to try and peer at the pages. Daniel just shrugged and held the book out of her line of sight.

"Nothing that would interest you." He stated calmly, continuing to hold the book higher as she continued to see what was so fascinating.

Vala 'hurumphed' and flopped back down against his stomach in defeat. "And how would you know that? Have you read it ALL?"

"Well..." Daniel replied, stretching out the word.

She gasped. "You've READ IT before? And you're still ignoring my advances?"

"If I had ignored your advances, beautiful, we wouldn't have that wonderful miracle of life sleeping down the hall." Daniel replied, finding it harder to keep his focus on the book.

"Don't..." Vala muttered. "Change the subject... Tell me why I won't like the book?"

Daniel gave her a knowing look. "Think boring history documentary."

She blew a raspberry. "You fail me. Books over sex has never been something I can understand."

"Actually, there is a very insightful chapter on sexual rituals in here..." He bit back the laugh as her head lifted curiously. He looked down into her interested grey eyes. "Oh, so now you're intrigued?" He smiled, lowering the book within her reach purposely.

Vala snatched it from his hands. "I never said I wasn't interested." She flipped through the first few pages, eyes skimming the words. "YOU said I wasn't." She skimmed another set of pages. "Now where's this sexual ritual stuff you were talking about?" She asked, distracted. The facts she was gleaming from the pages were actually very interesting. Since being with Daniel, Vala had come to appreciate the value of knowledge a lot more.

"Uhh..." Daniel rubbed a hand along her back. "Somewhere in the middle, if I'm remembering correctly." He felt his heart begin to beat a little faster as Vala laid the book on his stomach, and quickly started turning the pages.

Vala casually turned pages after pages. "There better be some good, entertaining, VIVID references in this sexual ritual chapter. And pictures...lots of-" Her voice stopped abruptly as she turned another handful of pages.

Daniel could barely suppress his grin as she slammed the book shut. Her hand rested on the cover for several seconds, which seemed like an eternity to him. Vala breathed in, then out just as quickly. It got harder for him to hide his amusement as she slowly reopened the book, once more returning directly to the middle of its volume.

"Oh..." She gasped, eyes tearing up at what she saw. There, in the middle of the page, written in bright red script across the black text were the words 'MARRY ME?'. A small, blue velvet box sat in between the words, the remaining pages of the book having been cut out to conceal it within. Vala turned her watery gaze upwards, his name falling in a questioning whisper from her lips. "Daniel?"

He could read the silent question in her eyes. "Not messin' with you, baby..." His voice was just as uncertain as hers. Daniel slowly extracted the box from the book. His hand trembled as he pulled the box open silently, revealing a very stunning ring. The tears finally spilled from Vala's eyes at the sight of it.

Daniel moved to sit up, and Vala did as well.

"I...I know we agreed that marriage wasn't necessary." He swallowed, looking down at the blue velvet box that seemed so heavy in his grasp. "I mean..." He let out a forced laugh. "Neither of us have had much success with it in the past." Daniel looked up at Vala. "But I love you so much, Vala. It would be my honor to have you as my wife." The ring came out of the box easily, much to his surprise. Daniel slowly took Vala's also trembling hand, and slipped the ring onto her finger. "If you'll have me as your husband?"

Vala searched his shining blue eyes. She could see how scared he was...this was a big step for both of them. Daniel had taken the courage to lay it all on the line for her in that very moment, and he was so desperately needing her to do the same. It didn't even take any time for her to come to her decision.

She threw herself against him, her lips burning like fire against his own. Vala devoured his mouth for a long moment before pulling away abruptly. "Yes!" She breathed against him. "Yes, yes, yes!" A stream of kisses passed between them. "Absolutely yes!"

Daniel laughed happily, leaning up to give her his own mind-numbing kiss. The book thumped to the floor unnoticed as he quickly rolled Vala onto her back. He pulled up slowly, placing another soft kiss to her lips.

"So you weren't actually reading?" Vala smiled up into his blue eyes. Daniel returned the smile, and brushed her hair back gently.

"The only words I ever saw in that book tonight were the ones written in red." He answered softly, continuing to run his fingers through her hair. "And they about killed me." Daniel kissed her neck hungrily. "So did resisting you." He murmured playfully against her flesh between kisses.

Vala laughed quietly. "Does that mean you want a reward?"

"Mmmm..." Daniel agreed as he slowly slipped a hand under the shirt she was wearing. His other hand reached out towards the wall and flicked the switch. The room was bathed in darkness. As his hand continued to explore, Vala leaned up to whisper in Daniel's ear.

"Resistance IS futile..."

"It really is." Daniel laughed lustily in return, and took Vala's mouth once more.

A/N: Proposing in a book is just something that suits Daniel perfectly, doesn't it? And if you're wondering why the name Hayden...let me just say I absolutely LVOE Star Wars...hint enough :D?? Reviews, as always, are LVOE. Need them to help keep these vicious bunnies at bay, so they'll let my other bunnieses go!!