Title: Since I Found Serenity
Author: Pip (dannysgirlsg1)
Summary: Daniel and Vala share a sweet and serene moment together.
Spoilers/Warnings: None that I can think off.
A/N: Written for mission-insane, table 10 - Unthemed #1, prompt 04 - Fireflies. The title is a little joke to be shared with all my fellow 'Firefly' fans, because as I wrote this fic, everytime I thought of a 'firefly', it definitely wasn't a little flashing bug! XP
Since I Found Serenity
The gentle Minnesota breeze blew across the porch, brushing against the warm, exposed flesh of the two swaying in the swing.
Vala shuddered at the coolness. She snuggled back into the warm chest she was resting against. Then she sighed as a soft blanket was wrapped around her pulled up legs. Now she was encompassed in comfortable warmth.
"Better?" A voice whispered like silk in her ear.
She nodded. "Much…" Even if she was back as far as she could go, Vala snuggled even further back. It brought the desired effect – strong, yet gentle, arms wrapped around her slender body.
"It's so beautiful here, Daniel." She leaned her head against his cheek.
Daniel nodded against her. "It is…"
"No, I mean like really gorgeous!" Vala emphasized, pulling a hand out of their cocoon of warmth. "I've seen so many places, both here and…" She circled her hand in the general direction of the sky, hidden above the roof of the cabin's porch. "Out there – less here than there, but…"
She breathed in deeply. "But this… this place just always seems to have a something to it that makes it so-"
"Beautiful?" Daniel guessed knowingly, giving her a light squeeze.
Vala nodded emphatically. "Oh yes, Daniel…the way the moon reflects off the water, the sound of all the little animals – even the creepy little chirpy ones…"
Daniel interrupted her again. "Crickets."
"Yeah, the chirpy bugs." Vala nodded like they were both right. "The breeze that blows, even if it is so cold and annoying at times, is quite lovely." She sighed dramatically. "I think we should move here."
"Mmmm, yes…" Daniel nodded thoughtfully. "I'm sure General Landry would love that announcement. 'General, Sir,' He mocked. "'Vala has demanded that I move her out to the cabin – please forward all my research there from now on…' Yes, that would go down real well."
She smacked his arm. "I was being serious."
He kissed her temple. "So was I."
Vala visibly deflated. "But it's just so quiet and peaceful here, darling. For the first time in months, I've been able to sleep through an entire night."
Daniel's voice grew sympathetic. "I know."
"So you'll think about it?" Vala made sure her voice was as sweet and pleading as possible.
Shaking his head, Daniel dropped his gaze to her hand as he took it in his own. "No."
Vala blew a raspberry at his response. "I don't like you anymore."
"I don't like you much either…" Daniel joked, kissing her neck and smiling as she pouted.
She crossed her arms and pulled her neck away from him. "Fine, I'll just shut my big mouth and not bother you anymore."
"Good…" Though the single word sounded harsh, his thumb stroking the back of her hand changed its intent. "Just enjoy the quiet mountainside, Vala."
Vala fidgeted in his lap. "I'm antsy…it's too quiet."
He couldn't help but smile at her sudden change in mood. "Shhhh…" Daniel pressed his lips to her ear again. "Relax. That's why we're here, remember?"
"Yeah, I know…" Vala sighed reluctantly. As his thumb continued to stroke her flesh, she let a comfortable silence settle between them. Just as the breeze blew across them again, sending her hair flying slightly, a sudden flash of light out in the yard caught her attention.
"Daniel, what was that?!" She asked in slight wonder, perking up.
Daniel stirred as she moved. "What's what?" He mumbled, having already drifted off a little in the short reprieve of conversation.
Vala pushed herself out of his lap, and right off the swing. "That!" She pointed straight out at the darkened yard as the light flashed again. Still swaying with the motion of the swing, Daniel leaned over to see past her.
At first there was nothing, then he too saw the flash of light. After a moment, a couple more flashing spots of light joined the first. With a soft smile, Daniel moved to stand just behind Vala.
"Those," He emphasized with a jerk of his chin. "Are fireflies."
Wide grey eyes turned on him in wonder. "They're what?"
Daniel kissed her nose. "Fireflies…" He announced simply. Then he turned on his heels and moved over to the chest sitting against the wall. "Lightning bugs." He said as he lifted the top of the chest.
"So those flashes of light are…" Vala looked out at them, pointing even though Daniel's attention was elsewhere. The sound of Daniel's rummaging drew her gaze to him. "Bugs?"
He nodded absently. "Yep…" He continued to rummage, and then let out a little cheer as he found what he was looking for. Closing the lid and standing back up, Daniel turned to Vala and presented her with an empty jar.
She gave him an unsure look. "What's this for?"
Daniel grinned. "To catch them." He beamed, raising his eyebrows in a quick motion. As Vala shook her head in protest, he nodded and leaned in to place a kiss to her lips. "Come on."
Again, Vala shook her head. "No, Daniel…" She whined as he latched onto her wrist and began to pull her down the steps. "Daniel, no – I don't want to!"
"Vala, come on…" Daniel answered in his patient tone. "It's okay."
She tried to plant her feet, but he was pulling her too fast for her to get a good footing without hurting herself. "No, it's not okay. I don't want to catch some creepy little light bug in a jar."
It was all Vala could do to keep from running into Daniel's chest as he stopped suddenly and turned to her. He took the jar out of her free hand, and shrugged.
"Okay then, you sit here…" He looked to the ground at their feet. "And I'll catch fireflies."
Vala reached out and grabbed his arm as he moved to do just that. "Wait…"
Daniel slowly turned back to her with his eyebrows raised again. "Yes?"
"What's so appealing about this?" Vala drew herself closer to Daniel. She wrapped her arms around his one large one, and rested her chin on his shoulder. "I mean, why are you so excited?"
He smiled down at her. "Why don't you just try it and find out?" Daniel held the jar within her reach once again.
Slowly, Vala extricated herself from around Daniel and took the jar. Just a few feet away, floating through the air, was one of his 'fireflies.' With careful steps, she approached it, Daniel following close behind her.
She swallowed as it came within reach. "It's a bug, Daniel."
"But it's not the creepy, chirpy kind." He smiled kindly, wrapping his arms around her so he could help her get the lid off the jar. She looked at him over her shoulder as she accepted the now lidless jar back.
"It's fun." Daniel promised on a whisper. Then he motioned with his eyes for her to go ahead.
Her face a mix of disgust and uncertainty, Vala stepped away from Daniel and moved to capture the bug in the jar. It jerked just out of her reach, and she pouted. Grey eyes turned a glare on the man she claimed to love.
Daniel smiled and stuck his hands in the pockets of his jeans. "Go on, catch it."
"Did I mention I don't like you anymore?" She responded, still pouting.
He nodded. "Once or twice…now are you gonna catch some fireflies, or let them outsmart you all night?"
The look of stubborn resolve that he loved so much graced her beautiful face. "No."
Before Daniel had a chance to ask her what she was saying 'no' too, Vala turned around and snatched the unsuspecting firefly into the jar. She quickly placed her hand over the top and skipped slightly back over to Daniel.
"Look!" She grinned, holding the jar in his face. "I got him!"
Daniel nodded, smiling lovingly. "Yes, you did." He pushed the jar down and leaned in to kiss her. Vala happily accepted it, her signature giggle warm against his lips. As Daniel pulled back, brushing his thumb against her cheek, she beamed some more.
"You're proud of me?" She asked, both shy and smug at the same time – a feat only she could accomplish.
"Oh yeah." Daniel moved her hand off the top of the jar, and placed the lid lightly on top. He replaced her hand back on top.
Vala twisted in place at her accomplishment, and Daniel couldn't help the grin that came to his face at her sudden excitement. He sometimes forgot how simple and fun life could be, and was glad Vala was around to remind him when he did. She brought out the fun in every little thing she did.
As she lowered the faint glowing jar to her stomach, pressing it right up against the slightly raised bump, Daniel's grin softened as her happy words filled the cool Minnesota air.
"Look baby – mama and daddy are catching fireflies just for you."
Reviews are definitely appreciated!