Title: Walk That Line
Author: Pip (dannysgirlsg1)
Summary: "I wanna walk the line, walk the line...until the end of time."
Rating: PG-13
Spoilers/Warnings: None, spoilers wise, since it is completely AU. Ship warnings for Jack/Sam (though it's very mild) and Cam/Carolyn.
A/N: Written for mission-insane, table 06 - 'Inspired by' Song, prompt 07: 'Johnny and June' by Heidi Newfield. If you've never heard the song, the video for it is up on youtube. Simply search 'Johnny and June by Heidi Newfield.' Listening to the song will better help you understand how I broke the song up.

--

Walk That Line

The bells over the entrance door to 'Jack's' chimed merrily, breaking through her jumbled thoughts. She looked up slowly from the stage where she was going over the playlist for later that evening.

Vala stared a moment at the dripping wet young thing in the doorway. There was a hope there shining bright and she remembered once she felt just the same. That had been a long time ago, though.

Turning her attention back to the line-up, she sighed. "Another young wannabe." Vala muttered, taking a sip from the tumbler that had been sitting on the stage beside her.

"Don't knock it, girl." Cameron practically grinned from his own seated spot on the stage. Looking up from the guitar he was attempting to tune, he smiled a little more annoyingly. "You were there once yourself."

Vala squinted at him through the smoke of her cigarette. Setting her glass back down, she glanced at the girl again. Memories that seemed ages old flashed before her. Stepping through that same door, hearing those same bells – all for the first time. It had been raining much like it was now, but Vala hadn't cared. Back then, she was naïve enough to believe a little water was nothing compared to the chance to perform.

That had been the first time she'd seen him. Sitting at the bar, waiting for the place's owner to see her, Vala had arrived just in time for his afternoon set. She had been mesmerized the instant he'd started his chilling cover of 'Deadwood Mountain.' Everything else seemed to melt away, leaving just him caressing her with a voice that shook her to the very core…

The loud clink of her glass hitting the hard wood stage brought her back to the present. She focused her grey eyes on the blue of Cam's.

"Now ain't the time to reminisce." He said with a serious tone, but a more than understanding gaze. Handing her the tumbler, he patted her leg and stood up. "And you need more whiskey."

"Ass!" She shouted to his retreating form as he headed back stage. A rare genuine smile graced her lips, and she turned it on the new girl who was watching her in shock. Vala winked, and then returned her attention to the lineup once again.

--

Coming down the old wooden stairs from the apartments located above the bar, Vala paused as Jack's voice reached her. A smile came, this on cynical, as she remembered getting the same speech from within the same office.

She continued on down the rest of the way, not even glancing towards the office as she moved through the doorway back to the bar.

"Got back in time for 'the Speech'." Vala emphasized the last part by quoting with her fingers. It earned her amused smiles from Sam, Carolyn, and Cam – all behind the bar-top.

"You always were good with timing." Cam replied just before tossing back a shot of whiskey. Vala stepped over to him, hopping up on the bar next to him.

Taking the tiny glass as he offered it, she shrugged. "Maybe not always." They all knew what she meant by that. Vala tossed back the whiskey, enjoying the familiar ache it caused down her throat and into her belly.

Cam took the glass back. "Well, obviously you did something right." He poured more whiskey for himself. "You're still here, even after the speech."

She laughed a little while he drank down his poison. "I think we all know why that is." Though it was light-hearted, her statement stung. Vala didn't hesitate to take her turn in downing more of the amber fire.

"You mean you didn't stay for the 'this place isn't a karaoke bar'." Carolyn grinned while drying off glasses. Her brown eyes looked into Vala's with amusement. As her best friend, 

Carolyn felt it was her job to make sure Vala was happy. A harder task in the more recent days, but Vala still loved the woman for trying.

Stepping up next to Carolyn, Sam leaned a hip against the bar's built in sink and shrugged. "Or the 'it takes time for me even to consider you a candidate for my stage'." Her impression of her own husband was so spot on.

"And only during auditions!" Cam and Vala mimicked Jack's overly rehearsed line loudly. It resulted in all of them reducing to laughter. They were still laughing as the girl quickly made her way out from the back, then out of the bar all together. They couldn't be sure if she'd kept going, or was just outside to try and reel it all in.

"Glad to know y'all think so highly of me." Jack's gruff, but playful, tone had them all looking up at him. He uncrossed his arms and pushed off the doorframe, stepping over to Sam.

"So how's she gonna fair?" Sam asked him with a smile as he wrapped his arms around her waist.

Jack shrugged. "It's never easy to tell with these girls." He sent a glance to Vala, who was watching him with interest. "Well, most of them."

Smiling smugly, Vala accepted the shot glass from Cam again.

"Hey, hey!" Jack's shout caused her to pull the small glass back down just before it'd touched her lips. He was giving her a serious look, pointing his finger.

"Just 'cause you took his place on stage doesn't mean you can take up his habits too." The older man, and essentially her boss, said matter-of-factly.

Vala rolled her eyes, shoving the glass back into Cam's hand. "Fine." She huffed, hopping down and strutting past everyone.

"I mean it, young lady." Jack said as she moved around the bar-top and back to the stage. "I want my star good and sober!" He shook his head as she waved an absent hand back at him.

Releasing Sam, he moved up the length of the aisle. "I swear she's every bit like him in a ton of ways." There was stress on the last word as Jack yanked the now half-empty bottle out of Cam's hand.

"Don't look at me." The younger man mumbled around the last shot he'd managed to get in his mouth. Setting the glass down beside him, Cam swallowed down the liquor and hopped off the bar. "She's all Daniel's doin'."

Jack placed his hand on the back of Cam's head and shoved him into gear. "Yeah, well, you're my band manager, and she's your new lead, so she's yours now."

"I don't remember agreeing to that." Cam said playfully, walking backwards with his hands up.

"It's 'cause you were drunk!" Jack quipped, chucking Carolyn's dish towel at him.

Smirking, Cam pointed and nearly tripped over the leg of an empty chair. "Maybe that's it!"

Rolling his eyes, Jack went about cleaning up the spilled whiskey where the two had been sitting. "Get to work!"

Cam saluted sloppily, turning and nearly running into one of the customers. As the young man apologized around his laughter, Jack moved over to Carolyn and Sam.

"I know he's your guy…" He directed this to Carolyn. "And I know he has his charms." This was to his wife. "But I don't care – he's not to have any more to drink tonight."

As the girls nodded, Jack looked at the stage, where Cam was now back down to business with Vala. He sighed.

"Tonight has to go down without a hitch."

--

Cam's reflection appeared in the mirror she was staring into. Vala looked into the kind blue gaze, now much clearer than earlier, and about lost the resolve she'd been building up for near an hour.

"You nervous?" He whispered in her ear, hot breath tickling her dark hair.

Flashing what she thought was a saucy smile, Vala shrugged. "What's there to be nervous about?"

Cam stepped up beside her, looking directly into her eyes. "'Cause it's your first show."

"I've performed before…" Vala sighed. She poked a finger at his chest. "You're the one who almost got me in trouble!"…

"Come on, Vala!" Cam hissed, tugging the reluctant woman through the backstage area.

She tried to pull away. "No, Cam!" Vala hissed right back. "Both Jack and Daniel told me I have to wait!"

Stopping not far from where backstage ended and the real stage started, Cam gave her an almost pleading look. "Vala, darlin', there is no such waitin' with a voice like yours!"

Blinking at the compliment, Vala shook her head and looked to the floor. "My voice ain't nothin' special…"

"Girl, have you heard yourself sing?!" Cameron practically laughed. "You were destined to be up on that," His hand swung out in the direction of the stage. "Stage. This is why you're here, why you ran away from home right? All you wanted to do was sing – Now's your chance!"

She looked up at him hesitantly, then over her shoulder in the general direction of where the office, and Jack and Daniel, were. "But they said…"

Cam sighed. "Who gives a damn what they said? They haven't heard you like I have..." When Vala looked at him, he reached a hand up to rest against her cheek. "And when he hears you in that way, he'll never wanna hear anything else again."

Vala pulled in a deep breath and nodded quickly, making her decision. Cam grinned and pulled her out onto the stage. The bright lights blinded the audience from sight, but the nervousness still hit her fast. Vala was about to turn back, but Cam blocked her way.

"Give me a song…" He whispered in her ear while leading her to the mic.

She said the first thing that came to her. "Black Velvet." It was a song she knew by heart.

Grinning, Cam nodded. "You got it." He stepped back behind her where the rest of the band sat waiting. Her heart rate began to pick up in the agonizing seconds it took for Cam to get his guitar on and cue up the others.

Vala jumped as he started right in with the guitar opening and it came out blaring over the speakers. She looked back at him nervously, and he nodded encouragingly and mouthed 'go get 'em'.

She pulled in a deep breath, turned back to the mic, and began to sing when she knew it was time. At first she started soft and timid, showing the rookie she really was. But as she 

reached the chorus, Vala found her voice, spurred on by the familiar beat of the song and the knowledge that she was actually doing it.

"Black velvet in that little boy's smile…" She belted like she was in the car singing for all the world that would never hear her. "Black velvet with that slow, southern style…"

Grabbing the mic stand, Vala felt a euphoria that was beyond comprehension. "A new religion that'll bring ya to your knees…" Just past the blind spot caused by the lights, Vala saw Jack and Daniel coming running into the bar from the back.

"Black velvet if you please." She didn't know how she managed to continue, but Vala had a feeling it had something to do with the open-mouth stare Daniel was giving her.

As the song continued on, she watched them discreetly move to the stage's side-steps. They both came up to the edge of the curtain, just out of the spotlight. She forged on with the song, occasionally looking their direction. Jack looked beyond pissed, like Cam had stumbled upon his treasure. And Daniel… Daniel stared at her as if he were seeing the most beautiful thing on earth.

When the song finished, a round of applause went up through the bar. Vala laughed a little and smiled nervously. Her grey eyes flicked to the side again. Jack was doing his best to look like he'd planned the whole thing, but the way he snapped her to come to him, she knew there would be hell to pay.

Looking next to him, Daniel was trying his best to look equally pissed. But the enthusiasm he was clapping with, and the smile he couldn't hide, Vala suddenly realized it had been worth it. She, with Cam right behind her, headed in their direction.

"That was a hell of a stunt…" Jack whispered harshly, smiling all the while. "My office – now."

Cam immediately pushed past her and began to argue with Jack about the decision he'd made. Vala followed the bitching pair, trying hard not to look too excited.

She pulled in a sharp breath as an arm came around her lower back and a hand rested against her right hip.

"Let me buy you a drink later?" Daniel's voice was warm, like silk, in her ear. Vala looked at him walking beside her, tethering her to his lean frame. She smiled, knowing Jack never charged them for the drinks they got. Daniel was just using the age-old line to let her know he was…interested.

And Vala found she just had to accept the offer because she was interested too…

"I remember." Cam said, too seriously for her liking. That was a happy memory, for her, despite the two months of dish duty she'd had to go through just to make up for the 'stunt'. It wasn't just the start of her singing career, but of something that she'd never been searching for. Something that was much grander than anything she'd ever known.

"But this is your first show. Jack's given you the big 'yes' on this…" He looked at her with those kind blue eyes. "And we all know you were hopin' to do it while-"

Vala reached up and batted his hand away from her hair. "Y'all don't know shit." She knew he didn't deserve her bitterness. "Don't presume to know what I ever hoped from this place." That didn't stop her from laying it on him.

And he took the burden like it was his duty. "You need some time alone." It wasn't a question. Cam just knew her that well. Vala nodded, giving him an apologetic smile. He nodded back, laying a gentle kiss on her forehead before leaving the dressing room.

Turning back to the mirror, Vala heaved a sad sigh. Wishing for a drink, she snatched up her cigarettes, settling for a nicotine fix instead. She pulled out a cigarette, lit it quickly, and inhaled deep. Clutching it between her fingers, her grey eyes found her own reflection. Vala slowly blew out the smoke, mind wandering over everything since that first night he'd heard her sing.

The first kiss at the bar, and the next the following morning when there wasn't any alcohol involved. Every touch, look, and intimate detail bombarded her and weighed heavily on her heart. She remembered the mornings in his bed, singing only for him and playing his guitar. 

The ghost of his touch along her bare back still lingered, and Vala had to take another drag from her cigarette to keep the tears at bay.

She tried to focus on the angrier memories to get her prepared for the stage. The ones with the drunken arguments and the fights over when he'd let her perform with him. That was always what they fought over. It was never really about the cute wannabes that flirted with him, or the good looking male customers who would hit on her after a few drinks. After she'd heard him sing, Vala knew what she really wanted. She wanted her day on stage with him. The urge only grew as she fell deeper and deeper in love with him. She began to understand that being his partner on stage solidified her as his partner in everything else. Bitterness set in again just as Jack poked his head through the doorway.

"Almost time, hun." He said softly. Vala nodded and put out her cigarette. Wiping under her eyes, avoiding her makeup, she pulled in a deep breath. She began to channel all the anger he'd left with her, all the betrayal, into giving her that sad quality the lineup required.

Turning away from her reflection, Vala began to mentally prepare herself for her night on stage.

--

"He's not here." She said to no one in particular, her voice filling with a sudden regret and panic. Vala nervously fingered the little music note charm on a chain around her neck. It was the only piece of him she had left that was always with her.

Grey eyes turned on the person nearest her, which just happened to be Cam. "He always promised me he'd be here when my time came, but he's not."

The tears began to well in her eyes. "And I know it was stupid, so stupid, to think he'd actually be here after six months." Vala knew she was rambling, but she couldn't seem to stop herself. "But it's what I wanted – it's all I want now."

Cam stepped up before her, listening while placing a comforting hand on her shoulder. She felt someone come up from behind, and a quick glance over her shoulder confirmed it was Carolyn.

"I don't care anymore about singing with him." Vala was near sobbing now. The six months since his sudden and unexplained departure were finally coming to the surface in nothing but her heartbroken emotions. "I just want him here like he promised."

Placing his other hand on her left shoulder, Cam gave her a gentle squeeze. "Alright, enough of this. You gotta calm down, Vala."

With tears streaming down her cheeks, Vala looked at him with wide eyes. "I can't do this, Cam." She shook her head when he nodded. "No, no – I can't do this."

"Yes, you can." He told her confidently. Bringing his hands up to cup her face, Cam tried to will the strong, confident woman to come back. "Vala, this is what you came here for. Not Daniel."

"But Daniel is what I stayed for." Vala whispered back dejectedly. "And he left."

Cam nodded. "Yes, he did. But he didn't just leave you. Daniel left you with everything he ever knew about this place – about performing." He brushed her tears away with his thumbs. "He left you with the confidence that you could handle all of this on your own. You were destined to be a performer, and he knew that."

"Then why isn't her here?" She asked him desperately.

Shaking his head, Cam gave her that honest truth. "I don't know. I don't know what idiotic idea he got in that brain of his that made him just up and go. I don't know why he would leave someone as amazing as you."

"But he left you with us," Cameron continued. "And we're giving you this chance – which you need to take now."

Vala stared at him for several long moments, and then gave a slightly reluctant nod. "Okay."

The smile of his that had helped bring her through Daniel's leaving to that very moment appeared. "Okay." As Cam released her, Vala turned to stare at Carolyn. Her best friend gave the most reassuring smile she could.

"This is it!" Carolyn whispered anxiously, trying to help Vala straighten up the mess she'd made by crying. "Two years of hard work and waiting have led to this."

Taking Carolyn's hands and squeezing them tightly, Vala tried to feel the same excitement. "I can do this." She said, willing the confidence to come.

Carolyn nodded in agreement. "Yes, you can – and you will." Both women looked out to the stage, where Cam was introducing Vala to the crowd.

"So give a rowdy 'Jack's' welcome to-" He looked right at her and held out his hand. "Vala Mal Doran." A round of applause went up. Vala pulled in a deep breath, looking back at Carolyn and flashed an almost genuine grin of excitement.

"I will." She reiterated Carolyn's last point before releasing her hands and sauntering out on stage.

--

Vala was so in the moment, grinning as she and Cam jammed out the rest out the remaining piece of the song on their guitars. As they finished dramatically in sync, a roar of applause and cheers when up through the bar.

"Thank you." She breathed into the mic, the hand with her pick holding tight to the stand. The exhilaration of being on stage had quickly calmed her nerves, surprisingly. It just felt so natural to be up singing in front of people. "You guys really are the best crowd."

While Cam and the rest of the band set up for the next song, Vala conversed with her audience. "Ya know, this is my first show…" She grinned as two familiar female shouts came from the direction of the bar-top. "And I have to admit, I was more than a little nervous."

--

Both Sam and Carolyn were grinning as Vala recalled her first experience singing at 'Jack's' for the crowd. They were so into her funny retelling and both so equally proud of her, that they both jumped in surprise at Jack's whistle from behind.

He was grinning when they looked at him. "He's here."

"Yes!" Carolyn shouted, and then covered her mouth with both hands. She looked out over the bar, specifically glancing at Vala, but is seemed no one noticed her outburst. Looking back at Jack, she put on her best apologetic smiled as her glared at her. "Sorry."

"Well, you can be sorry backstage." He motioned with his hand for her to come to him. "He ran here from the bus station, in the rain." Carolyn nodded and moved past him and up the small set of stairs to backstage. Jack smiled as he caught a snippet of what Vala was saying, and then followed Carolyn. He knew Sam could handle working the bar on her own.

"How long she been on?" A voice that was more than familiar reached his ears as he neared them, close to the opening by the stage. Jack had to smile at just hearing it, in his bar, again. It was a sound he'd missed.

Carolyn answered. "Half an hour." She took the sopping wet checked shirt being held out to her, and replaced it with a plain black long-sleeved over shirt. "She's about to do the song."

All three of them knew what she meant by that.

His grin, always mischievous, came. "Got here just in time then…"

Jack snatched up a mic from the stand near him and carried it over to the two. "Ever the Prince Charming." He said dramatically, handing the mic over. The deep blue-eyed gaze he got in return was another thing he was glad to have back.

"She's gettin' ready…" Carolyn whispered, having gotten the signal from Cam on stage. They all glanced out at Vala, who had lost the amusement in her tone.

--

The laughter died down in the bar as Vala finished off her funny little 'first stage experience' story. She felt a bittersweet sadness come over her when she realized the song she was about to perform.

"This next song hits pretty close to my heart," She confessed to the audience. Adjusting the strap of her guitar, Vala settled it comfortably in her grasp. "I feel, in a way, it represents something I always wanted – still want, in fact."

Taking hold of the mic stand once more, Vala forced herself to continue. "I'm sure many of y'all tonight saw the former lead perform here before." She laughed sadly. "Lord knows when I first heard him sing, I was completely taken…"

"He was my biggest inspiration, like my own personal Johnny Cash." A soft cheer echoed around her, and she smiled. Tears began to sting in her eyes. "And I imagined I was his June…"

Vala looked back at Cam, seated at the piano, and he nodded the go ahead. Glancing out over the audience once more, she pulled in a deep breath. "Well, Johnny, this one's for you."

Putting herself in the moment, Vala began on the guitar as Cam started on the piano. She channeled all the sadness she was feeling into the song. So focused on her performance, Vala never even noticed the man standing just offstage.

"Oh, there's somethin' bout a man in black…" Her voice came out sad, desperate, and amazingly perfect…

Watching from the side, Daniel found himself completely taken in by the sight of her on stage. As she continued to sing, with her enchanting and haunting voice, about him and to him, he felt overwhelmed. He'd been so stupid when he'd just up and left. He thought there could be more than just the bar and her out there.

It'd taken leaving and living without to make Daniel realize he'd been beyond wrong. There wasn't anything more beyond the bar, beyond her. Nothing mattered out there if she wasn't with him. Vala was the best he ever had. She was his June.

Thinking just that was the chorus came up, Daniel stepped out on stage.

"I wanna love like Johnny and June," Vala's head whipped his direction when she realized she wasn't singing alone. The proud smile he wore almost had her bursting out in tears right there. Just the mere sight of him was on the verge of breaking her.

"Rings of fire, burn 'em with you." She didn't know how she managed to continue. He slowly moved closer to her, still smiling and singing right along with her. "I wanna walk the line, walk the line…"

"Until the end of time." Vala noticed he'd stopped singing then and let her take the line. A wave of unexplained emotion washed over her, and she really hoped she wasn't visibly trembling.

He brought the mic back up, smiling with pride and love. "I wanna love, love you that much."

"Cash it all in, give it all up." She leaned in close to the mic, gazing at him the entire time. Even as Daniel continued to smile, she could see the apology and regret in his eyes.

"And when you're gone, I wanna go too." Vala almost felt like glaring as they sang that part, but it was obvious he was beating himself up enough already.

Turning back to the audience, Vala knew she was grinning like a fool, but couldn't stop herself. "Like Johnny and June." Again, he'd relinquished the singing to her. This wasn't a song she was singing with him, but one he was singing with her. The significance of the simple difference made her heart clench.

"I wanna hold you, baby, right or wrong." While she forged on with the song, she saw him moving out of the corner of her eye. Fear seized her. Was that it? Was Daniel done giving up the performing reigns already?

"Build a world around a country song…" Vala turned her attention to the side again and felt the relief immediately. He was just trading in his mic for a guitar of his own. She looked back out over the bar, smiling again.

"Pray a sweet prayer, follow you there," She gripped her guitar harder, getting back into the moment. "Down in history."

And then he was right there with her, playing his guitar and using the same mic. "I wanna love like Johnny and June."

The smile came again. "Rings of fire, burn 'em with you." The urge to just stop and kiss him was overwhelming, but he'd taught her to be a professional. Still, Vala knew the proximity was killing him too. She could practically feel it. "I wanna walk the line, walk the line…"

Like before, he gave her the next part. "Until the end of time."

They continued on, singing together and playing together. The powerful emotions took hold again at the reality of her living this dream. She used it to her advantage, belting out the middle verse. It didn't ebb as he leaned in to sing the last two lines of the verse with her.

His voice held the same emotions. "They don't make love like that anymore. Is that too much to be askin' for?" Vala glanced directly at him, and he discreetly shook his head. No, it definitely wasn't. Daniel backed off then, and Vala couldn't help letting out a shaky breath. She glanced out over the audience and softened her voice.

"I wanna love like Johnny and June. Rings of fire, burn 'em with you." The 'in the moment' feeling took over again. Vala got back into it, bringing her voice back up gradually. "I wanna walk the line, walk the line. Until the end of time."

Daniel was back again, there with her. He was giving her the moment she'd yearned for since stepping into the bar all that time ago. It was a near overpowering feeling. "I wanna love, love you that much. Cash it all in, give it all up."

"And when you're gone, I wanna go too. Like Johnny and June."

They were singing together, just like the couple they were singing about. It was all so poetic and unreal. "Like Johnny and June."

She knew the song was coming to its end. And this time, Vala knew Daniel would back off and let her finish – just like she'd started. But now, he stayed near, smiling softly as her voice carried off the end of the song.

"There ain't gonna be no tears to cry." Vala started by looking out over the crowd. "Only memories of our lives." Her grey eyes slowly came to meet his blue.

"They'll remember, remember…a love like this." She gave him her own soft smile; the song ending in a much better way than it had started. As the bar filled with the roar of applause and cheers, Daniel held his guitar out of the way with one hand. The other came to the side of her neck, pulling her lips to his.

And unidentifiable sound rose up from the back of Vala's throat as they kissed. Was it just her, or did the applause seem to rise in volume? She distinctly heard excited cheering and whistling coming from the area by the bar-top. Obviously he heard it too because Daniel smiled against her, never breaking the lip lock.

Vala laughed into his mouth, pulling back after a moment. She didn't linger on the grin Daniel flashed her. Instead, she turned straight to the mic.

"Daniel Jackson everybody." The cheers rang out as Vala indicated to him with her hand. He waved to the crowd, then looked back at her. His grin softened once more, and he leaned in.

"Just keep blowin' them away." Daniel whispered in her ear. "I'll be waitin' at the bar when you're done." He ended by placing a soft, tender kiss to the skin just below her ear.

She looked at him in surprise. Vala had figured he'd at least want to do a few songs of his own. Daniel winked at her as he began to back away. He un-slung the guitar, handing it to Cam, and then strolled down the side steps.

And just like that, the stage was hers again. Grinning with that knowledge, Vala turned her gaze back on the crowd.

"What's say we kick this party up again?!" She was answered with a rowdy bunch of cheers and applause. Starting right into the next song, Vala looked to the bar and found him watching. She laughed right into the mic, feeling better than she'd felt in a long time.

--

She watched them dancing to a song softly drifting out from the juke box. Tables had been pushed aside just so they could have the space to do it. The bar had been closed for hours. Only the people who worked, lived, loved, and breathed 'Jack's' where still around.

She liked to hope one day she'd be that attached to the place. It was why she'd stuck around, and why they'd let her stay after the doors were closed.

Her gaze fixed on the woman, comfortably wrapped up in his embrace. All day, she'd watched the same woman act so tough, so callous. Just like one of the guys. She figured it was what had to be done to stay around.

But now, in his arms, the woman looked so delicate. Like the smallest thing could shatter her in an instant. The only thing holding the world back was him. Her grey eyes gazed up at him with such trust and love.

"Who is he?" She wondered, looking at the others who were watching them.

Carolyn looked at her from where she was resting back against Cameron. "Daniel?" She said rhetorically. Her brown gaze drifted back to them. "He's her Johnny."

She felt her eyes go wide. "He's the one she was talking about?" As they all nodded, she couldn't stop another question from slipping out. "Why'd he leave?"

Jack looked at her. "Let's just say he had a few lessons to learn for himself."

"And?" She pushed, trying not to be intimidated by the 'can it' glare her new boss was now giving her.

Tightening his arms around Carolyn, Cam smiled. "Daniel walked the line…" His clever blue eyes found her. "And found that line led straight back…" His attention returned to the couple.

Eyes on Vala, Cam sighed at the grief and loss that no longer haunted her eyes. "To her."

--

Reviews are definitely appreciated!