"So Cam was telling me about this holiday that you guys have where you play and/or watch this game called…football, I believe, where they go around running into each other and somehow score points, and eat turkey. Which is some sort of animal that goes 'gobble gobble.'"
Daniel looked up with a snort to see Vala leaning on the desk in front of him, frowning at the papers spread out on the surface.
"Thanksgiving?" he asked with a smile. "Yeah, that's this Thursday."
"What's the purpose of it?" Vala asked. "I mean, really. The game just sounds like some dumb thing a bunch of males made up and I almost feel sorry for the turkey. One day of the year where it has no chance of survival. Every other animal gets to sit back and laugh. They don't have a holiday!"
Daniel laughed. "Well, football basically is 'some dumb thing a bunch of males made up' and have you ever tasted turkey?"
Vala shook her head. "Don't think so."
"Oh, just you wait. Tastes like chicken," he declared with a large smile. Vala raised an eyebrow.
"Chicken tastes a little bland unless you have it with ketchup."
Daniel laughed again. "It's a saying, Vala. Anyway, it's not just turkey that people eat during a Thanksgiving feast. There's stuffing and mashed potatoes and gravy and cranberry sauce and green beans and squash and pumpkin pie…and chocolate pie. And peanut butter pie. And chocolate peanut butter pie. Lots of pie," he decided after a moment. "Thanksgiving is probably the one time of the year when I don't feel guilty completely stuffing my face with food."
"So that's the purpose of Thanksgiving?" Vala asked, confused. "Stuffing your face with food?"
Daniel looked slightly surprised and shook his head quickly. "Well, no, of course not! Most people do forget that, though. Thanksgiving started centuries ago when the British came to America to colonize it. The pilgrims met up with the natives and, well, as the story goes, they both traded for food and customs. Thanksgiving's supposed to be the huge feast that the pilgrims and the natives had together to celebrate this…alliance, I guess. Course, that's not actually what happened, but that's a little more complicated so…"
"Why do you still have Thanksgiving, then?" Vala asked, leaning forward earnestly. Daniel stared at her for a couple moments, surprised by her eagerness to understand.
"Well…it's supposed to be a time when people give thanks for the things we usually take for granted." Daniel smiled widely. "For example, flushing toilets. I always can't wait to get back to Earth where we have plumbing."
Vala stared at the desk in front of her, a thoughtful look playing across her face. Daniel watched her for a while, intrigued.
"What is it?" he asked softly after the anticipation became too much. She shrugged, not looking up.
"Just…thinking of what I'm thankful for."
"Yeah?" Daniel asked. "Like what?"
She shrugged again, leaning back as if uncomfortable. "The chance to be here. To be accepted by you guys. To not have to run anymore."
The next few seconds were filled with a ringing silence as Vala's words reached Daniel's core. He never realized…he had never really thought…
Vala finally looked up suddenly, a small smile on her lips, and gave a twitch of her shoulders. "Course, you already knew that." She jumped to her feet, slapping her hands on the desk, and skipped out the door.
Daniel stared at the doorway, touched. He never was going to understand that woman completely, would he?
A/N: Happy Thanksgiving!
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