Author: Pip (dannysgirlsg1)
Rating: PG (just to be on the safe side)
Spoilers: Reference to Season 4 of Atlantis (no specific episodes), Pegasus Project, a maybe allusions to a few other episodes, but nothing specific.
Summary: He was downright terrified because she could destroy him and not even intend it.
A/N: I don't watch Atlantis, but I did see that scene early in Season 4 between Sam and Teal'c, and that's where I initially got this idea. It was never intended to be anything more than a friendshippy DV piece - until I was listening to the Across the Universe soundtrack and the song 'Something' started playing while I was writing this. And the intended friendshippy piece turned into more of a pre-ship thing. Anywho, hope you enjoy.
Daniel sat at the usual table in the commissary, staring into his now cold cup of coffee. He'd barely had any of it simply because he found he just couldn't enjoy it. Not that he'd ever really liked the bitter stuff the commissary called coffee - that wasn't it at all.
It was just something special they had shared together - a little thing that would be shared between a sister and brother. It was like their own little secret.
Frowning sadly, Daniel just stared at the brown liquid. The nostalgia he was feeling seemed to be as bitter as the stuff in the cup. There was no secret now. How could there be a secret when one of its keepers wasn't around to...well, keep it.
Daniel sighed. He was alone and sisterless. Sam was gone.
He knew she wasn't gone for good. She was alive and well, and happy to finally have her own real command. Daniel was happy for her, proud as only a brother could be. He was glad to see her finally be able to shine of her own accord, not dimmed by the rank of others.
But that meant her shine would be gone from his everyday life. Now she wasn't there to bounce theories off of or pull an all-nighter with. She was the one he would call on those nights at three in the morning - usually because he was just a little too drunk to notice the time and knew she wouldn't mind anyway. Now she wasn't there to help him fend off the loneliness he felt just a little too often.
Now Daniel had no one to sit with him in the commissary and share in the absurd amusement of bad, bitter coffee.
The sound of the seat across from him, Sam's seat, scraping on the floor broke through his sad little bubble. He didn't look up at first - he didn't need to. Daniel already knew the chair was full of the topic of his last drunken phone call to Sam before she'd left. He knew by the feeling she always seemed to send shivering down his spine, and her scent. That signature scent that was spicy and sweet and electric, delicious and maddening all at once.
Just thinking about it forced him to take a drink from his mug. The liquid hit his tongue, and he grimaced as he swallowed down the vile, cold sludge.
He breathed in deeply at the way that she said his name. So simply, yet so completely understanding and compassionate. There was a hint of flirt in it as well, but that always seemed to be there when she said it - it's what made his name sound so fresh and new and...hers.
Placing the mug back on the table, his blue eyes came up to stare into hers. "Yes, Vala?"
Vala seemed to hestitate for a moment, and it signaled to him just how much she had grown since coming to stay. "Can I join you?"
Shrugging, Daniel relaxed a little more into his chair. "You're sitting there now, aren't you?"
"Well..." She ventured a small smile. "There's a difference between sitting with you and joining you." Vala made no sign that she'd intended the words to be any kind of innuendo, which he was thankful for. "I didn't just want to barge right in and ruin your alone time." Her elbows rested on the table as she leaned forward a bit. "You seemed to be having a private moment."
Daniel shook his head, looking at his coffee once more. "Nope." He slowly brought his attention back to her. "Just thinking of some private moments shared in the past."
She understood immediately. "You'll share some more."
Again, Daniel was shaking his head. "It's not the same. Because now there will always be that awkwardness that's there when people haven't seen each other in too long. Used to be close, but not so much now. Forever it'll be I'm here and she's there." He knew he sounded selfish and jealous. He knew, but he didn't make any attempt to fix it.
"You could've gone with her." Vala said. She shrugged like it was no big thing even though both of them knew it was. "You could still go, and be with her there, and be in all that Ancient stuff like you've dreamed about."
Daniel didn't say anything in response, or look her in the eye even. He was too scared that what he was really feeling could be seen in his gaze, or slip out of his mouth. No, no I couldn't. His mind screamed. Because of you. Right now, his defenses were all out of whack simply because he didn't know how to fix them.
She'd always been able to read him anyway, despite every defense he'd put up. Vala knew him and understood him in a way no one else ever had - not even Jack. Daniel was scared by how that understanding tempted him relentlessly. He was downright terrified because she could destroy him and not even intend it. Each day it'd become worse, harder for him to fight his own feelings. Feelings for her.
Sam had been his confindant, and now she was gone, and he had no one to help him defend his heart. She had been his protection, and now he felt abandoned.
Vala shifted in her chair, pulling one foot up to the seat and wrapping her arm around her knee. It drew Daniel's gaze to her. She was watching him, waiting for him to say something. Her head tilted to the side a little, her grey eyes piercing and coaxing.
"Talk to me." She said simply.
He couldn't deny her such a simple request. Can't deny her anything. He thought even as he was terrified she'd know it too.
Daniel took a deep breath. "I didn't even get to see her off."
Shrugging, Vala shook her head a little. "Neither did I."
It was his turn to shake his head. "That's not the same." Daniel hated how childish he sounded. He looked at Vala and saw the slightly wounded look in her eyes. God, this is why he didn't talk to her. He always seemed to hurt her, and it killed him every time. "I'm sorry." He sipped the nasty coffee again. "Sorry."
"How is it not the same?" Vala asked, quickly getting over the implication of Daniel's words. She knew he was hurting, though it seemed to be more than just Sam's leaving. It was as if she'd gone and taken something from him.
He looked at her after a moment. "She said I'm closer to her than her own brother. That I'm everything she'd wished her brother could be." Getting a little angry, he pushed his cup away. "But she leaves, just leaves, and I don't get to say goodbye and..." Daniel looked away again. "It just hurts a little that she's not gonna be here. I can't help but feel a little abandoned."
Vala nodded. "Like I said, there was nothing stopping you from going with her. How did Cameron put it?" She looked up, trying to draw upon the specific memory. "Atlantis is Daniel Disneyland. Why wouldn't you want to go back?"
Because you're not there. Daniel thought, looking at her. At the way her fingers tapped against her drawn up knee, and the way her hair clip shimmered in the dim, underground lighting. She titled her head at his look, her high ponytail swishing with the movement.
"Daniel?" She questioned.
He finally answered. "There's some things that I'm not willing to leave behind just for the sake of knowledge and experience." His blues eyes held her gaze. "I just wish Sam felt the same at times." Daniel hated talking bad about his surrogate sister - she hadn't really done anything wrong. She didn't deserve his anger. Vala was right - he could have gone.
But looking at her sitting across from him, he understood why he didn't. He just simply didn't want to anymore. Not just because his passion in Ancient history and knowledge had been shaken, but also because he couldn't leave her. And he was pretty sure she wouldn't have come with him. Vala had made a home on Earth - where the original SG-1 had been his family in the early days, now he was part of the SG-1 that was hers. So were Mitchell and Teal'c. And as much as she wouldn't leave them, neither would he.
"I'm just upset another friend has moved away." Daniel finally said, wrapping up his feelings in one simple sentence. He knew it all came down to abandonment, which he'd always had an issue with. "I know things change, people grow and leave, but sometimes I feel so alone afterwards."
Vala leaned across the table, resting her hand over the top of his. "You're not alone, darling." She said with a smile that said she had once again read him like a book. "I'm not leaving."
Despite their history, and the knowledge of her past, Daniel found himself smiling. With just those two statements, Vala had made him feel better somehow. "I know."
"Good." She grinned, jumping up and moving around to his side of the table. Hand still on his, she pulled him up quickly. Daniel groaned for show, not surprised by her change in attitude. It was just part of her style, just part of that something about her. The kiss she planted on his cheek did surprise him a little, however.
He looked at her with slightly wide blue eyes.
Vala linked her arm through his. "Just because Sam left doesn't mean we can't share some of our own secret fun." She frowned slightly. "Though I don't think I'm quite sister material."
With the mix of a frown and a pout, Daniel had to agree. "No."
"Oh well." She shrugged, flashing that same playful grin at him. "I have a feeling we'll work it all out." Vala tugged on his arm and Daniel fell into stride along side her as they moved to leave the commissary, their arms still linked. "Muscles told me Cameron is back from his trip home...let's go mess with him."
Daniel laughed. "Maybe you are sister material."
Vala simply rested her head on his shoulder as they walked down the hallway. "At least I can be someone's sister." She said thoughtfully. Her tone grew soft and unsure a few moments later. "Daniel?"
"Yeah?" He questioned.
She snuggled into his shoulder and squeezed his arm tighter. "Thank you...for staying."
Daniel felt his heart skip a beat at her words. He hadn't known until then just how much his love had grown for her. He suddenly realized that he could learn to go on day by day without Sam being there, but he didn't want to imagine another day without Vala. He didn't need no other like he needed her - and he wouldn't leave her. He didn't want to, ever again.
He leaned his head down and placed a kiss in her hair. "Of course."
Reviews are definitely appreciated!