here ya go! Sorry I'm so slow..I have no time anymore...*sigh* Enjoy!

Chapter 17

Consciousness returned slowly, and she felt as if she had been out for weeks. When she could feel enough to move, she turned over, and realized that she couldn't be in any infirmary bed anymore. There was too much room.

And she was cold.

Her head still ached some though, and she didn't want to bother opening her eyes to look. Instead she curled in herself and pulled the blankets around herself more tightly; her own sheets and comforter, she realized faintly. She was in her own bed. Was it over? Was she not sick anymore? Was the baby safe?

But she was too tired to wonder any further.

It didn't take long for Vala to realize that being under the covers was too warm. Maybe she still had some fever? Maybe she wasn't recovered yet…maybe…but she didn't know. She only knew that suddenly she was hot again, but she didn't feel like moving.

A small, frustrated sound escaped her throat, and moment later something smooth and cold slipped around her from behind. Through the blanket, it provided just enough coolness to make her comfortable, but not too cold. Vala sighed and turned into the…embrace?

Vala's eyes snapped open, and suddenly the fact that she had no energy didn't keep her from moving. She jerked back immediately, pushing out with her arms against what she saw beside her. It was a trick! She was going crazy, or it was a cruel joke, or…

She heard herself yelping weakly in shock, and felt the gentle cold grip that fastened around her wrists.

"Vala! Vala, it's okay. It's me, remember? I'm here."

A sob caught in her throat as she stared, wide-eyed. "N-no…you left…"

"I know…" came the quiet response. "I'm so sorry. I shouldn't have."

A long silence came next, and all Vala could do was stare. It had to a dream—a wonderful dream. He could be here, lying beside her…but…

"It wasn't a dream…." Before. In the isolation room, twice. She remembered that now, the second time a little better than the first. She had been drugged up, hadn't she? That would explain why it was all so hazy.

Daniel smiled timidly. "No. It wasn't a dream. I'm here, Vala…I came back."

Vala sobbed. "Daniel…"

Then he pulled her into his arms again, and she buried her face in his chest. "I didn't think I'd ever see you again," she muttered miserably.

"I'm sorry," he repeated. "I am; I never should have assumed I could just leave…even if you would have been safer if you'd just let me go."

"I don't care," she whispered. "I just wanted you. That's all I want now…" She held on tightly for another long moment, still processing the fact that this was real.

And then she realized again that it hadn't been a dream. Any of it.

Her grip on his arms tightened. "Daniel…if I wasn't going crazy, back in the isolation room, then—then you know…" One of her hands went to the bulge under the shirt of the scrubs she was still in, and Daniel nodded slowly.

"Yeah…I know."

Abruptly she let go and looked away, suddenly ashamed. "You must hate me."

His incredulous voice answered from, behind her. "If I hated you for it, why would I be here? How could I ever hate you?"

She swallowed. "Because I went behind your back on this."

Daniel sighed. "I know; and yes, I am a little…irked. But that doesn't mean I hate you. I…guess I can understand why you did it."

"Can you?"

"Yes! Vala…I wanted a family, too. So yes, maybe I'm a little aggravated that you did this without asking first, but that doesn't mean I would have said no if you had. I'm happy about this, Vala."

She blinked a few times, and turned over slowly. "You are."

He smiled gently. "Of course I am." His arms circled her, pulling her closer again. His fingers brushed at the hair dropping into her face, pushing it back. "You're giving me—giving us—a chance we wouldn't have had otherwise. I can't hate you for that." He kissed her forehead. "I love you."

Vala felt her eyes sting with tears as she smiled back clumsily. "I love you, too."

Cameron woke up in the infirmary, unsure of why he'd been moved. It wasn't until he noticed Sam sitting beside the bed, smiling at him, that he realized something must have gone right.

"Hey…what's up?"

She grinned. "We're pretty sure you and Vala are on the mend now. It's almost evening now, but by noon Vala had even improved enough to be sent back to her own room."

He blinked. "Huh. Guess I'm not so lucky."

"Don't worry; Carolyn says you should be out of here in a couple of days if nothing else happens."

"Nice…" he mumbled, rubbing at his forehead. "Still hurts though."

Sam patted his shoulder. "I'll get you something."

"Wait a minute." He caught her hand as she stood.


Cam looked at her for a long moment, thought how much more beautiful she was now that she was happy….wondered how he could ever have been so blessed. "Nothing…" He squeezed her hand and smiled, and then let her go.

A knock on the door dragged her gaze away from him, and when she looked back he was gone, and the bathroom door was already clicking shut. Vala swallowed, having to tell herself again that she wasn't dreaming.

"Come in."

It was Teal'c who looked in, eyebrow raised. "May I enter?"

"Of course, muscles," she smiled. She pulled herself up against the headboard, wincing at the twinge in her temples, and patted the edge of the bed. Teal'c shut the door and crossed to sit there, concern written on his face.

"It is good to see you out of the infirmary. Are you feeling improved?"

Vala nodded—slowly. "Improved from yesterday, that's for sure. I'll be fine. How's Cameron?"

"He has been moved back to the main rooms of the infirmary, but he is improving quickly. Soon he too will be released."

"I suppose Sam's with him right now."

"Indeed. But she will come to see you as well."

Vala just shrugged. "She can stay with Cam as long as she wants," she said knowingly.

"I imagine she will."

Vala smirked, but quickly lost it. She could feel Teal'c's eyes on her, and after a moment she started to squirm.

"Vala MalDoran? Is something wrong?"

Her hands strayed to her middle again. "Sam said she had to tell you all about...about the baby…when we got sick, because Carolyn needed to know for medical reasons and all that…"


She fell silent again.

"Vala? What is it?"

She huffed quietly. "Well, I know you grew up on Chulak and all, and Chulak is very different from Earth. Certain…things are much more frowned upon, where you come from."

He nodded once. "That much is true."

Vala's hands twisted in the comforter, and finally she just spit it out. "You still…like me, don't you?"

Teal'c face split into a gentle smile. "This changes nothing, if that is what you are asking. You are my friend, Vala MalDoran, and that will not change."

She grinned suddenly. "Really?"

He nodded.

Vala sighed and hugged him. "Thank goodness someone around here always makes sense." She wasn't sure whether or not she hoped Daniel noticed the jab. "I'm glad to have you, Teal'c."

"And I am glad that you have remained here with us," he answered kindly.

"Thank you…I'm glad, too."

It wasn't long before Teal'c took his leave, but she didn't mind. Less than a second after the door closed again, Daniel's arms were back around her. Vala leaned back into his chest.

"So…now what?"

"I'm not sure," he admitted. "But I won't leave you again. I promise you that. I'm not saying it'll be easy…but I won't leave like that again."

Vala smiled tiredly. "Easy is boring. Besides…I think I have an idea."

"You want to get an apartment off base?"

Vala nodded and slid into the chair across from Landry's desk, several days later.

Hank raised an eyebrow. "Vala, I'm glad you and Colonel Mitchell are all right, but that's a bit of a tall order. Last time I checked, Teal'c tried that once. Now, neither of us was here then, but I heard that it didn't turn out so well."

"I know…I heard that story. That's part of why I've never really asked before. Then again, I never really had a reason to before."

Landry looked at her a moment before realization dawned. "The baby."

"I'd rather not raise him or her on a military base, no—not that they're's anything wrong with the SGC, but it's not an environment ideal for rearing a child."

He nodded in understanding. "I know what you mean…" he sighed. "All right. Let me see what I can do."

She gave him a grin. "Thanks."

On the way back to her room she ran into Sam and Cameron, who were coming out of the room Cam had been staying in until he fully recovered. Both of them, had jackets on, and Sam's purse was over her shoulder.

"Going somewhere?" Vala asked, raising an eyebrow.

"I'm taking him home, finally," Sam smiled.

"That's good. Feeling better then?"

Cam shrugged. "Been better, but I'm still here; I'm not complaining."

She chuckled and hugged him. "You'll be fine. We'll all be fine."

Sam gave her a strange look for a moment, but then seemed to shake it off and held out her arms. "What about me?"

Vala hugged her too, and watched the two of them disappear around the corner…wishing she could tell them why everything was going to be all right.

Daniel stood with Alice in the gravel by their cars, anxiously casting glances back toward the trees as if he could see the SGC from here.

"Eager to get back?" she grinned. "I take it you'll be sticking around for a while."

He nodded. "I owe it to her…and I want to. I can't leave her again, not after everything…" He looked away again.

"I understand. Don't worry about it; Edward and I will think of something to tell the others. You stay as long as you need to."

He smiled a little. "Even when I do come back, I'll be disappearing often…again."

"Then it won't be anything new, now will it?"

"No, I guess not," he chuckled. He trailed off and stared into the distance again, startled eventually out of his reverie by a squeal from Alice.

"Ohhhh! Can't I come?" she pouted suddenly.

Daniel stared at her. "What?"

"You know what," she snapped. "You're making plans without me."

"I'm sorry…"

Alice sighed. "I know, I know. We have to be careful if we're going to keep Vala and the baby off the Volturi's radar." She huffed, but then she smiled mischievously. "Just make sure you give me every detail!"

Daniel just grinned as she hopped into her bright yellow Porsche, and waved as she left.