Unable to Stay, Unwilling to Leave
Summary: Live Together. Fight Together. Die Together. DV.
Spoiler Warnings: Crusade, Flesh & Blood, Counterstrike, Quest p.2, Line in the Sand, & The Shroud.
A/N: Gonna keep it simple on this end. The A/N at the bottom will have what inspired this fic. For now, simply enjoy this new edition to my dala-verse!
Daniel, Vala and Cam were walking down the busy market street of a planet they had convinced to reject the teachings of Origin. They all could feel the final, eminent battle fast approaching, and were desperately trying to amass as many allies as possible. Sam and Teal'c, and nearly all the free Jaffa were lying low, deep in the cave system just on the outskirts of town. When the time came to fight, they would be ready.
In a sudden flurry of movement, the trio found themselves staring at the lethal end of Ori staff weapons. Caught by surprise, the three didn't have time to draw their weapons. Daniel instinctively stepped closer to Vala. His chest just barely brushed against her back, and her right hand came around to clasp his.
A familiar face appeared in the row of Ori soldiers that circled them.
"Tomin." Vala let his name fall from her lips. She felt Daniel squeeze her hand, and was definitely glad for his presence. The last time she'd encountered the man, Daniel hadn't been there. In fact, he'd been in the hands of the very same enemy she had been. Just across the galaxy, away from her.
"Why is it not surprising to find you on a planet where its population has decided to reject Origin?" Tomin glared at Daniel. Vala pressed herself back against his strong chest, making sure she stood completely between Daniel and the staff Tomin was pointing their direction.
She felt Daniel shrug. "What can I say? Just can't keep a guy like me down." He offered calmly, knowing that he was walking on very thin ice with his joking sarcasm. He wasn't their most sought after possession anymore. Not after he'd effectively tricked them into making him a Prior, all the while still rejecting their false ways. They knew he couldn't be turned. No, Daniel wasn't 'to be kept alive' material. There was only one thing left that the followers of Origin had to gain from Earth and SG-1, and that thing was currently pressed against his chest.
Tomin looked at Vala. "I do not understand how you can stand beside these Unbelievers, Vala." His gaze grew soft. "They will bring you nothing but agony and death."
"It's better than being forced into mental slavery by someone who CLAIMS to love you." Vala offered back, adopting the same calm tone Daniel had used. She felt a small pang of guilt as Tomin paled at her words. He took a step forward, and Daniel squeezed the non-existent space out from between himself and her.
Tomin offered out a hand in a loving gesture. "But I do love you, Vala."
Vala felt Daniel's chest heave in anger, and she squeezed his hand. It was barely enough to keep him in place.
"Even if you have yet to see the error of your ways, I love you." Tomin said, stepping closer once again. Vala swallowed as she felt Daniel pull his hand from hers.
From behind the pair, Cameron saw the archaeologist's hand come to rest on his Beretta. The Colonel stepped closer. "You wouldn't even get two shots off." He whispered, keeping an eye on the soldiers still training their weapons on him.
Daniel shrugged. "It's better than doing nothing, and listening to this bullshit." He muttered, watching Tomin with barely suppressed anger and jealousy. "What do you want?" He asked, his patience all but gone.
"We came to offer a chance of reprieve." Tomin said, the look of a ruthless warrior once more marring his features. "To all willing to accept the teachings of Origin, they will be given pardon for their past indiscretions and welcomed along the path. Any who do not, will perish here, in what the Ori have deemed the final resting place of the Unbelievers."
"Final battle." Cam muttered to Daniel, then opted for his usual carefree tone of mock indifference. "You're not seriously trying to offer that up again, I mean because...damn, one would think you'd have learned we're not buyin' what you're sellin'!"
Tomin offered a leer of a smile. "This offer only stands for the people of this planet." He looked around at all who watched on. "And Vala, of course. The mother of the Orici is always welcome on the great path." He looked at Mitchell. "The poisonous words and beliefs of the 'forever Unbeliever'" Tomin's stone gaze passed to Daniel at the title, then moved back to Cam. "Have permanently clouded your judgment."
Both Cam and Daniel couldn't help quirking smiles at Tomin's declaration. Daniel tilted his head towards Cam, and the Colonel did the same towards Daniel.
"Got yourself your own title now." Mitchell whispered.
Daniel let out a sarcastic laugh. "Yeah, go me. He thinks you're my follower." He whispered back.
Cam rolled his eyes. "Oh that's just great!" He let his voice rise, trying to offer up a distraction. "Your FOLLOWER?! What in the hell is that crap?!"
Silently, Daniel unclipped the strap over his pistol. "Hey, I didn't say it."
"But you're never gonna let me live it down!" The colonel shouted back, unintentionally looking to see if Jackson was prepared to start shooting. He regretted the action immediately when Tomin shouted 'enough!' over Daniel's quip in return. Looking at the man who Vala had once said was a 'good man', Cam knew their chance of fighting back was blown.
"Relinquish your weapons!" He ordered them, and both men reluctantly tossed their guns and knives to the ground. Tomin glared at Daniel menacingly. "You will die here this day, and all your blasphemous words will be nothing more than vague remembrances of a darkened time. No one will remember you."
Daniel let out a huff of air. "Wait until you meet Jack O'Neill."
Ignoring Daniel's comment, Tomin looked at Vala, who had remained surprisingly silent throughout the exchange between Colonel and archaeologist. She had been waiting for the moment when Daniel was able to pull his weapon. Now that the moment was gone, she didn't know how things were going to go down.
"I do not wish to see you die here, Vala." He said with complete sincerity. "I am asking you, as your husband, to return with me and embrace the joy that is Origin." He held out his hand again. "Will you come with me?"
Vala inhaled deeply, then slowly let the air out. She opened her mouth, but only 'I-' came past her lips before Daniel's voice overtook hers.
"She'll go." He said abruptly, as if suddenly coming to a startlingly, heartbreaking decision. Vala whipped around so fast, she about fell backwards.
"What?!" She gasped, totally taken by surprise by the simple statement. It barely registered in her mind that Cam repeated the questioning word at exactly the same time she did. She had never had any intention of going with Tomin. Why was Daniel saying she would?
Daniel looked down into her eyes, and the turmoil in his blue depths almost brought Vala to her knees. "There's one thing me and him have in common - I don't want to watch you die. And if that's what the future holds for me, I'd rather you lived."
She shook her head. "No, Daniel. Not to be a slave to all that. I've done that, more times than I'd like to remember. I'm staying here with you." Vala tilted her chin up defiantly, fighting hard against the tears stinging her eyes. "And besides, when have you ever been able to order me around?"
"I'm not ordering, Vala." Daniel murmured. "I'm asking. Please, go with him."
"Oh..." Vala breathed, thrown by his statement once more.
Not caring that they had an audience, mostly of the enemy who despised him to the core, Daniel cupped Vala's face in his hands and stared straight into her eyes. "We need someone to fight on." He whispered just to her. "If we are to die here, someone needs to survive to continue spreading the word, to make it back to Earth and tell those who really matter." Eyes glistening with unshed tears, he grinned as his next words fell from his lips. "And if anyone can bust themselves off a highly secured ship, it's you." He let out a shuddering breath. "I need someone to remember me."
"Enough of this!" Tomin barked, obviously perturbed by the closeness of Daniel to his wife. He stepped up to Vala, and pulled her out of Daniel's grasp by her arm. "It's settled. The mother of the Orici will return with me."
Vala struggled against Tomin as he dragged her towards the cart that would lead them back to the rings. "Daniel!" She cried out desperately.
"Go, Vala." Daniel said calmly as she was taken farther from him. On the outside, he would be strong for her. On the inside, everything seemed to be caving in on itself all at once. Tomin's shouted orders for the soldiers to pull back didn't even penetrate his mind as he watched the man haul Vala onto the cart. The only thing he noticed was the look on her face, like this was the last time they'd ever see each other and things were being left unsaid that really shouldn't be.
As the driver flicked the reins and the cart started forwards at what seemed like an unbelievably fast pace, Daniel felt a hand on his shoulder. His eyes never left Vala as he asked Mitchell the question that was running through his mind, and would be until he took his dying breath.
"Did I do the right thing?" He asked quietly.
Mitchell really wasn't sure what to say. "Jackson, man...I don't-"
"Cam, tell me I did the right thing." Daniel whispered, watching as Vala got smaller and smaller as the cart moved farther and farther away. The street was beginning to fill with shoppers, and soon he would lose her in the crowd.
Thrown by Daniel calling him by his first name, Cameron knew he couldn't lie to his friend. Not when he'd just thrown away his heart. "You did what was best for her, Daniel. That's all that really matters."
Vala knew he'd done it to protect her, which is exactly what he'd promised her he'd always do. But every inch of her was telling her this was wrong. It wasn't in her to run away from a fight. To take the easy way out. But could she go against Daniel when he was trying to do the right thing.
Watching him talk with Cameron, something Daniel had said to her a few months earlier came to her thoughts.
It had been late one night, just him and her sprawled out on the floor of his living room. A half empty bottle of Daniel's favorite 'beverage' sat between them. They had been toasting random things all night, mostly jokingly referring back to how long it had taken them to finally hook up. After a short, comfortable lull between them, Daniel had tapped her shoulder slowly.
"Time for another." He had whispered loudly, obviously feeling the effect of the liquor.
Vala had looked at him upside down as she tilted her head back. "One would think you are trying to get me drunk just to have sex with me." She murmured, her voice a little husky from drinking.
Daniel had snorted. "I'm the light-weight of this relationship, so one might think you're letting me get drunk just to have sex with me."
"Is it working?" Vala had asked with a smile.
He had thought for a moment, then grinned. "Absolutely." He then tapped her shoulder again. "Come on, turn over." Sloppily pouring some from the bottle into their shot glasses, Daniel had handed one to her as she turned over and propped herself up on her elbows - a direct mirror image of him. "This one's important."
Vala had nodded, and waited for Daniel to get the words to come out right with his fuzzy thinking.
Holding his glass out to hers, he had smiled and said the words.
"Live together. Fight together. Die together."
She had nodded and repeated him, clinking her glass against his. They downed the shots, then Daniel had leaned forward and kissed her affectionately.
"I may be toasted, but I meant that one." He had murmured against her lips. "I promise you you'll never be alone again."
Thoughts jumping back to the present, Vala felt something settle deep within. This WAS wrong. He'd promised her. And she wasn't going to let him break that promise JUST to protect her because he couldn't take being alone anymore than she could, not now. Not after they finally reached that place of happiness between them. Not when they-
Vala shouted aggressively, shoving her elbow hard against Tomin's nose. She barely gave herself time to enjoy the crunch she heard before she jumped from the fast moving cart. Her feet impacted the ground hard, sending her to her knees.
Daniel's heart leapt into his throat as he watched Vala break Tomin's nose and launch herself from the cart. Before Cameron even realized what was going on, Daniel broke out into a run in her direction. "Vala!" He called out with shocked desperation.
Upon hearing him shouting her name, Vala rose from the hard ground. Ignoring the pain in her legs, she scrambled into a run towards Daniel. Both barreled through the crowd, not caring who they had to trample down to reach each other.
They collided against each other within a matter of a minute, having crossed the vast exspance of road between them. Daniel crushed Vala to his chest in a fierce hug, his hands fisted against her back. Vala buried her face in his black shirt, arms latching around his neck.
Pressing warm, loving kisses against her neck, Daniel laughed through the sudden rush of emotions. "You are so crazy, Vala." He mumbled into her flesh, then pulled back and began assaulting her mouth with desperate kisses. His hands cupped her face.
"So crazy, baby." He said over and over between their kissing. Finally he pulled back enough to stare into her tear-filled grey eyes. "Why, why, why did you do that? You had an out. I gave you an out, and you came back. Why?"
Vala searched his eyes, happy to have him in her arms again. It had felt like it would never be again only minutes before. "You promised me I'd never be alone again, remember?" She whispered to him, and his eyes cleared with sudden understanding. He nodded. "Live together. Fight together. Die together. We're either going to win here, or die here, together."
Daniel smiled and kissed her passionately. "I love you so much, Vala." He said as they parted. "So, so much."
"I love you too, Daniel." She laughed back as they just continued to kiss in the middle of the marketplace.
The sudden explosion of the kiosk just behind them had the couple ducking low. Crouching, both turned their attention back towards the direction Vala had just come from. Tomin stood on the edge of the now halted cart, weapon raised, chest heaving. Blood dripped down from his nose, but was nothing compared to the red he was seeing through jealousy darkened eyes.
He fired at them again, the blast just barely whizzing past Daniel's head.
"Shit!" Daniel cried out as debris rained around them. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw an alley way branching off from the main street. Looking back at Tomin, Daniel cursed again as the man plowed his way through the crowd towards them. The man was out for blood - his blood. He pulled Vala up, and ushered her towards the alley. "Go, go!"
Vala dodged the fire of Tomin's staff as she scrambled for the alley way. Obviously he wasn't just out to get Daniel. Guess being the mother of the Orici wasn't going to protect her now, especially since they had a jealous husband on their asses.
And that jealousy was making him move like an angered bull. He was at the mouth of the alley before they even got a few yards in. The barrage of fire started once more, and he ran after them.
"Ya know..." Daniel shouted over the firing and ruckus of things exploding when hit. "I don't think your husband likes me much!" He jumped over a basket of fruit, which erupted into little pieces just seconds later. At least the jealousy wasn't doing anything to help Tomin's aim. "And I can't seem to figure out why!"
Vala let out a heartfelt laugh. Trust Daniel to find humor and sarcasm when being chased down by a love-crazed man following a zealous phony religion. "You stole his wife's heart even before he met her." She offered as brick from the wall exploded just above her. Her body was pumping with adrenaline. "You've refused to come to his religion, and tricked their most powerful asset into helping you destroy his false gods. Oh, and you're a downright pain in his ass because you're just way more amazing than he is." She risked looking back at Daniel as she ran. He was only a short distance behind her, and both were still dodging the near misses. "What's not to like?!"
"My point exactly!" Daniel looked at her, and gave her a curious grin. "Do you think now would be a bad time to tell him that we're having amazing sex almost every night?" He shouted louder than was necessary. An abandoned kiosk shattered helplessly just off to his right. "Crap!"
Vala grinned as she ran. "I think that would mean yes, it's a bad time." On a whim, she turned onto another street that branched off. Daniel was right behind her, not even falling out of step as she changed directions. He spotted an open doorway up ahead, and quickly caught up to her. Wrapping a hand around her waist, Daniel halted Vala just as they reached the open door. Putting his finger to his lips, he pulled her almost silently into the building.
The entry room was small, with several doors to other rooms and a single set of stairs. They quietly made their way up the stairs just as Tomin's footsteps pounded down on the cobblestone street just outside the door. Three floors up, Daniel pushed open one door down the middle of the one of the two hallways that branched off from the stairs.
Hands firmly clasped together, Daniel walked Vala over toward the far wall where a dust covered window was shining the pale afternoon light into the room. It must have been some type of bathing room at one time, because a clouded screen stood near one corner, with a washtub just behind it. There was just enough space between the tub and corner of the walls for the pair to sit comfortably in.
Sitting down against the corner, Daniel pulled Vala down into his lap. That was when he noticed she still had her Beretta strapped to her leg. Pulling her knife from its position at her back, he handed it to her then as silently as possibly, unclipped the strap of her holster and pulled out the gun. The sounds of boots and ransacking could be heard from a few floors down.
Cocking the gun, he hated how loud it sounded to his ears. Vala held the knife, ready to throw it should she need too. They tried to keep their breathing, labored from running, as quiet as possible.
In that moment, with death most certainly lurking just around the corner, there was only one thing that came to Daniel's mind. A quiet laugh escaped unintentionally.
"What?" Vala whispered.
Daniel pulled her back tight against his chest and placed a kiss into her hair. "I don't remember Hide together being part of that toast." He whispered back.
Vala let out a huff of air as her own laugh. "Guess we'll just have to add that on next time."
Smiling, Daniel tightened his arm around her waist and rested his cheek against her head. Eyes watching for any movement around the screen, ears listening for any sound outside the room, he suddenly felt a sense of calm. Things were going to be alright - he could feel it.
"I guess we will." He finally whispered back, knowing full well that they would get to someday, simply because they'd barely had the chance to live together just yet.
A/N: Now here's what inspired this little stand alone (if you haven't already guess what the whole thing was a total ripoff from!):
Yesterday, while my iTunes was on shuffle, a track from the Titanic OST started playing. I know the EXACT scene that music plays on, and picturing the scene while listening to the music, I was suddenly inspired to write a fic with the same basic premise from the Titanic scene itself, just set to Daniel and Vala standards. So that's where this little stand alone was sprung from. As a personal sidenote, it has an even greater impact if you read the fic while listening to the track at the same time. The timing isn't exact ofcourse (unless you read at an uber pace), but if you have a knowledge of the movie itself and how that scene plays out to the music, then you can pick up where each shift in the themes in the track is supposed to take place in the fic. The track is titled "Unable to Stay, Unwilling to Leave" (hence the fic title) if anyone is interested in DLing from their respectable DLing engines (iTunes is my engine of choice!)...
As a personal sidenote, it has an even greater impact if you read the fic while listening to the track at the same time. The timing isn't exact ofcourse (unless you read at an uber pace), but if you have a knowledge of the movie itself and how that scene plays out to the music, then you can pick up where each shift in the themes in the track is supposed to take place in the fic. The track is titled "Unable to Stay, Unwilling to Leave" (hence the fic title) if anyone is interested in DLing from their respectable DLing engines (iTunes is my engine of choice!)...
Anywho...hope you enjoyed it! Reviews are LVOE!!