Disclaimer: Not mine. The awesome individuals behind Stargate deserve all credit for creation.
Author's Notes: A series of little stories centered around Sam and Vala post Season 10 episodes. Call them serialized episodic responses, if you will. These stories are not written to be separate standalone/one-shots, but some of them can be read as such.
Eventually, these little stories will culminate to a somewhat femslashy relationship between Sam and Vala. Not saying there will be tons of explicit girl/girl awesomeness because that really isn't my forte. I'm saying that things will be more than just friendly between the two as time wears on. So there's your warning. If that's not your cup of tea, then don't read it.
Summary: For when she's this vulnerable and this open, I see her for who she really is and I sympathize. I sympathize and hate myself for liking her as much as I do. Sam/Vala friendship; eventual Sam/Vala; spoilers for all of season 10
Tumble and Fall
1. Flesh and Blood: Trust is a Two Way Street
The group dispersed after Cam's over-so-eloquent call for a new plan. He always was one to state the obvious, I think idly, tapping away at my keyboard. I'm viewing what little intelligence has been gathered on the Ori ships, but honestly, there's nothing much here worth studying or analyzing.
To be frank, my own first eye accounts of the ships flying through the SuperGate are proving to be more helpful than any information provided by the Odyssey. Like 'big' and 'massive' are words that come to mind. Did I mention 'big'?
"So this is where you hide."
I look up, spy Vala in my doorway. There's no way Dr. Lam would've allowed Vala to leave the infirmary so soon. My suspicions are shortly confirmed.
"I snuck out," Vala explains cheerily. "I hate being cooped up for too long."
I manage a brief smile. "Well, get used to it. You'll be cooped up at the SGC for some time. Especially since you've requested to be here on a more permanent basis."
"Oh, Sam, I wasn't born yesterday," Vala scoffs, inviting herself into my lab and sitting on a stool opposite me. "I have yet to come across any technologically advanced race that didn't want to be rest assured that their trust hasn't been or will be misplaced. I completely understand your superior's rather dismaying hostility toward me."
Dismaying hostility? I can barely keep from rolling my eyes, but for once, the conniving alien is proving to be a decent distraction from the ever looming Ori threat. I'm actually appreciative of the interruption and now feel this is an appropriate time for my own little evaluation of Vala's character. It's not that I don't trust Daniel's faith in her, but I still barely know the woman.
"Will our trust be misplaced, Vala?" I inquire thoughtfully.
"Our trust? Our?" Vala repeats hotly. "Sam, listen to you! What's with all this 'our' and 'us' and 'we'. All you military are like that. Look, it's just you and me here. You tell me, do you feel your trust is being misplaced? Do you trust me?"
I sigh. "This isn't about what I think or feel."
"No and don't think by appealing to me, that I'll be able to help you. I don't have any say in what happens to you here. I can't convince them to allow you to stay or join our team."
Vala tilts her head slightly, maybe a brief flash of hurt crosses her features. She says calmly, almost inaudibly, "I'm sorry I'm so transparent."
"Me too," I reply quietly. It's true. I really want Vala's intentions of being here to be honest, veritable. I want to believe that any human, no matter what their background or history, can be good and just. Unfortunately, even now, Vala is still proving to be manipulative. She sought me out for her own gain; not to forge a friendship.
The two of us sit for several minutes. Silent, awkward. I return my eyes to my computer screen, unsure if I should tell Vala to leave. I'm honestly not doing any kind of real work, she probably knows that. Vala finds something interesting on the desk to play with. It's a paperweight.
"Yeah, Vala?" I answer, without looking up from my screen. I think I've looked over the same picture ten times now. Ten times I've confirmed that Ori motherships are huge.
"I really do want to know. I want to know if you trust me," Vala insists rather earnestly. "I think Daniel does and maybe Cam too. Teal'c is still up in the air, but you. I haven't spent enough time around you to get a read either way."
I take in a deep breath, lean back in my office chair. "Vala, look. I'm not sure. . ."
"It's either yes or no," Vala shrugs, that grin of hers returning. "You scientists always have a hard time answering the simple questions."
"It's not a simple answer," I counter. "I mean, you do realize that this is the longest conversation we've ever had."
"What about. . .?"
"But. . ."
"Firstly, you were addressing everyone, not just me. Secondly, it was like talking to Daniel, almost. We weren't actually seeing you."
"And while I appreciate what you have done for us, I can't begin to put my trust in someone I barely know," I finish regrettably. "I want to trust you, Vala. I'm just not there yet."
"I trust you," Vala says confidently. She rises from her stool, flips her long hair behind her shoulders. "I trust you Sam and I want us to be girly pals and all that, because while I love the influx of male companionship on this base, sometimes you just need another woman to talk to. You have to understand, right? I hope one day you'll trust me enough to feel the same."
I reply softly, "Maybe."
Satisfied, Vala skips out into the hallway, leaving me both disquieted and bemused. Going on ten years in this program and there are still some mysteries out there I can't quite grasp. Vala Mal Doran is one of them.
I chuckle, somehow knowing this wasn't over yet. "Yes, Vala?"
"Did I mention I trust you? Really trust you with my life and all that?" Vala says, putting on the most sincere expression she can muster.
With a grin I can't suppress, I reply, "Yeah, Vala. You did."
Funnily enough, I believe her.