Title: A Sweet Treat
Author: Pip (dannysgirlsg1)
Summary: Daniel teaches Vala a very important lesson.
Rating: PG
Spoilers/Warnings: Daniel/Vala. Pre-ship that quickly goes to the next step.
A/N: It's just a short little fluffy piece that hopefully will give ya'll warm fuzzies! XD Written as a birthday present for dvshipper on LJ. She loved it so much, she even recced it on stargateficrec last month! XD

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A Sweet Treat

Carefully balancing the little plate in his left hand, Daniel gently rapped his knuckle against the slate-colored door. He waited patiently for some kind of reply on the other end, and then knocked again when he heard nothing.

He stuck his right hand in his pocket, leaning against the door with his shoulder. His fingers fiddled with his key card. Daniel knew he could easily get into the room with it, but he hated having to. He liked to respect the boundaries that had been so hard won for her.

Again, silence was the only thing that greeted his knocking. Daniel reluctantly pulled the card from his pocket and slid it through the reader. Card still in hand, he took hold of the door handle and quietly pushed it open.

The room on the other side was dimly lit by a crappy bedside lamp, the dull light not even reaching to the farthest corners of her quarters. Still, it was enough to illuminate the form buried under the covers on the bed, back to the light and to him.

Pocketing his card, Daniel strolled around the bed and looked down at her. Face half smushed into her pillow, Vala was dead to the world. He smiled softly, placing the plate down on the nightstand.

Daniel then sat in the small space created between Vala's upper body and tucked up knees, bracing himself with his right arm across her body. The combination of her silly kitty pajamas, braided pigtails, and stuffed giraffe he'd won for her held tightly to her chest made her look more childlike than ever.

Still smiling, he called to her in a soft whisper. "Vala."

Her nose scrunched up a little, and one of her legs shifted, but Vala didn't wake up.

"Vala." Daniel called again, this time a little louder. Again, she stirred just the slightest bit.

With a near-silent chuckle, he leaned down and let his lips hover close to her ear. "Vala…" He pulled the name out on a coaxing whisper. Daniel sat back up as she pulled in a quick, deep breath, head lifting up slightly.

Slowly, one grey eye peeked open. "Daniel?" Vala mumbled, her voice hoarse from sleep.

He nodded. "Yep."

"What's wrong?" She asked, lethargically trying to push herself up.

Daniel shook his head and pushed her back down. "It's okay, nothing's wrong."

Vala blinked up at him for a moment. "Then what are you doing in here?" She barely registered the amused smile gracing his full lips.

The smile turned into a small grin. "I've got something for you." Daniel moved to reach for the item he'd left sitting on the nightstand.

"For me?" Vala yawned, closing her eyes, still not really awake. "What could you possibly have for me at-"As she opened her eyes, her words came to a stuttering halt. Before her, Daniel was holding a small plate with a cupcake on it, a single candle burning in its center.

"I wanted to have a regular cake, but the commissary ladies couldn't get one done on such short notice." Daniel looked down at the little cake. "I hope this little thing will do."

He shifted as she sat up, slowly taking the plate from him. Her grey eyes were alight with enormous surprise, fixed on the treat before her.

Daniel waited for her to say something. Finally, she looked up at him, and he could see the slight shimmer of tears in her eyes.

"How did you know?" Vala asked on a whisper.

He bit his lip, looking down at his lap. "I may seem like I'm pretty ignorant when it comes to you…" Blue eyes came up to meet grey. "But I do pick up on some things every once in a while."

Vala sighed and looked down at the plate. "I thought I'd done a good job of keeping it a secret." She carefully lowered the plate to her lap.

Daniel frowned at the disappointment in her voice. "Why did you think you had to keep it a secret?"

She shrugged. "Because it's not something everyone needs to know about." Vala looked back up at him, a sad smile coming to her lips. "It's nothing special or anything – just another day, like all the rest." As he started to shake his head, Vala nodded in contrast.

"Yes it is, Daniel. That's all it's ever been – a day. That's what I've always been told it was, and that's what I'm going to keep believing. It's not like there's ever been anyone to care anyway." Vala picked the plate back up and held it out to him. "So as wonderful as this should be, darling…"

Daniel shook his head. "Vala, I'm not taking it back. I brought it for you."

It was her turn to disagree. "No, you brought it because you feel obligated to owe me something. And I don't want you to feel obligated to do anything for me."

"That's not why…"

"Yes it is!" Vala barked, getting frustrated. "I know this is some stupid little earth custom to make me feel like I'm wanted, that I'm special and important." She glared at Daniel, who was watching with a furrowed brow. "But I learned a long time ago that there's no reason to be treated that way for just one day when you know no one actually feels that way about you."

She shrugged and shook her head. "What's the point of feeling loved for one day when you're hated every other day of your life?"

After a long stare off, Daniel took the plate. Instead of getting up and letting her get back to her sleep, he placed the cupcake back on the nightstand. Sitting back up, he scooted closer to her on the bed and took her hands in his. Vala dropped her gaze, unable to take the look he was giving her head on.

"Vala…" Daniel sighed, taking a moment to gather his thoughts. "I want you to listen to me, okay?" When she just stared at her lap, Daniel squeezed her hands and leaned down to catch her gaze. "Alright?"

Grey eyes flicked up momentarily. She nodded before looking down again.

"I don't know where you got the idea that there's nothing special about this day, because I can certainly think of one good reason why it is." He released one of her hands and tilted her chin upwards, making her gaze meet his. "It was today, however many years ago, that this amazing person sitting before me came to be, and that's definitely one hell of a reason to celebrate."

Vala shook her head, tears stinging in her eyes. Daniel squeezed her hands again and nodded.

"Yes, Vala." He reached his hand up to brush over her hair, letting it rest against the side of her neck. "Despite what people before now have told you, you are special, and you are important. And I'm not saying this, or doing this, out of any obligation."

He dropped his hand and looked down at the other holding hers. "Now, if you don't want anyone else to know how special today is, that's fine with me. I'm not going to tell anyone if you don't want me to." Daniel looked up at her again. "But I just wanted to come here and show you that you are wanted, and there is at least one person who cares that you were born."

Vala just stared at him, not sure what to say in response.

Daniel dipped his head a little. "You do believe me, right?"

With a shaky smile, Vala nodded. "Yes."

He ventured a soft grin. "Good." Daniel leaned forward and placed a kiss to her forehead. She laughed a little to cover her embarrassment, and he sat back. "Now…" He picked up the plate once more and held it in front of her. "Make a wish before you get anymore wax on this poor little cupcake."

Vala giggled, taking the plate. She looked up at Daniel, who gave her an encouraging smile. Closing her eyes, she wished for the one thing she really wanted. Focusing all her thoughts on it, Vala opened her eyes back up and blew out the flame.

Daniel grinned and took the plate from her. "That's not the only thing I have for you." He looked at Vala, who had quirked her eyebrows in curiosity. He shook his head and laughed a little. "I have a feeling this is gonna come back and bite me in the ass, but…"

Reaching in the pocket of his BDU shirt, he pulled out a pale pink gift card envelope. Daniel couldn't help but smile at the way Vala's eyes lit up as she took the offered envelope. She pulled it open, and pulled the contents out. Her eyes widened as she read the amount he'd placed on the card.

"Daniel…" Vala looked up at him in shock. "This is way too much."

He shrugged. "Consider it making up for all the years I missed…" He nodded towards the card. "I picked that one out especially for you."

Vala looked down at it and read what the front of the gift card said. She felt tears sting in her eyes.

"I mean it, ya know?" Daniel said in such a hesitant tone that she looked back up at him quickly. He was fiddling with the ends of his shirt, not looking at her.

She smiled. "You want some of my cupcake?"

Daniel's gaze shot up, and he could tell by the look in her eyes that this was her way of saying she knew and thank you. "I figured you'd want to hog it all to yourself." He pulled his legs up on the bed, sitting Indian style, as she snatched the cupcake up. "I mean, I've seen the way you are with chocolate."

Vala shrugged as she took the candle out and started to pull the paper around the cake off. "It's a special occasion."

He laughed a little. "That it is."

Breaking the cupcake in half, not really caring that crumbs littered the front of her kitty pajamas, Vala handed his half to him. She then proceeded to pick the frosting off with her finger, licking it from the appendage. Vala 'hmph'ed after a minute.

"What?" Daniel mumbled around the bite in his mouth.

She gazed at her piece as she answered. "I was just wondering why you had to do this at…" Grey eyes found his. "Actually, I don't even know what time it is."

Daniel smiled and looked at his watch. "It's almost a quarter to one."

"And this couldn't wait until morning?" Vala practically pouted, even as she was thoroughly enjoying her cupcake and the company that came with it.

He laughed slightly again, shaking his head the smallest inch. "It's kind of an Earth tradition for some people to wake up their friends the moment the day of their birthday begins, to be the first to wish them the best."

"Has anyone done it for you?" Vala asked curiously.

This time, Daniel laughed outright. "Oh, Jack makes sure he does it every year. Of course I've learned to make sure I'm up at midnight on my birthday, so I'm ready for him." His grin softening, he looked at Vala. "Usually it's something only done between good friends or family."

She smiled. "So something special for a…" Vala hesitated a little. "A special day?"

Daniel nodded. "Exactly."

A comfortable silence fell between them as they finished off their halves of the cupcake. Vala was the first to break the silence, licking her fingers and picking up the gift card again.

"You want to know what I wished for?"

Daniel shrugged, flicking the crumbs off his shirt. "You're actually not supposed to tell anyone-"

"I wished for a kiss." Vala rushed on, not caring what earth tradition said about telling or not telling the wishes. "From you." She added quietly, looking at him hesitantly.

His blue eyes shot up quickly. Daniel dropped his hand from his shirt, tilting his head to the side a little. "Vala, you really shouldn't…"

She picked up on his defensive tone immediately. "You're right, I shouldn't." Vala shook her head, tossing the plate on the table. "Well, thank you for this lovely little surprise, Daniel, but I really should get back to sleep. "

Daniel watched her intently, seeing the hurt look in her eyes. "Vala, I-"

"No, Daniel, it's alright." Vala said quickly. She looked at him and pasted on a smile. "Like I said before, nothing special. Now, I really do appreciate the treat and the gift, and I'm glad you've proven what a great friend you are-"

Vala stopped as the bed shifted and a warm hand turned her face forward. Daniel's clear blue gaze searched hers for a minute, then he leaned forward so that his lips brushed hers. Vala found she could do nothing by ride the kiss out. After a short moment, Daniel pulled back.

Grey eyes opened to meet his smiling gaze.

"Happy birthday, Vala." Daniel murmured, brushing his thumb over her lips before leaning in and capturing them with his once more.

Closing her eyes again, Vala shifted closer to him and brought her arm to wrap around his neck. Daniel, in turn, laid her down on the bed and moved with her. The card in her hand dropped to the bed and fell over the side.

It landed face up, the 'I love you' front getting lost in the shadow of the bed.

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Reviews are definitely appreciated!