Bodies in Motion
Characters: Sam, Vala
Category: Gen, humor
Word count: ~800
Summary: Driving is only two-dimensional. Far less complex than piloting an Alkesh.
"Samantha, please will you let me drive? Just this once?" Vala pouted. "It's only two dimensions. Far less complex than piloting an Alkesh."
"I never said it was too complex for you to learn. And for the last time, no. There's a weather warning for snow and icy road conditions," Sam replied. "I'd like to get to the movie sometime tonight without having to call for a tow if we get stuck in a ditch. Or avoid having to make an insurance claim if you wreck the car."
"You place far too much value on that automobile of yours. One would start to think you're using it to compensate for something," Vala muttered under her breath. Sam was way too protective of her toys, in Vala's opinion. Sometimes it would do her good to loosen up a bit and have a little fun.
"Excuse me?" Apparently the sound of the wiper blades and the whirring of the heater fan hadn't been enough to cover Vala's comment.
"Nothing. Go back to your driving," Vala smiled sweetly at Sam. "Wouldn't want to distract you from these terrible road conditions." She reached forward and turned the radio up a couple more notches and felt a measure of satisfaction at the annoyance written clear across Sam's face.
Vala wasn't particularly fond of the winter conditions in Colorado this time of year. Truth be told, if anyone had bothered to inform her of the risk of frostbite or the restrictions on travel, she might have thought twice before throwing her lot in with the Tau'ri. There was a reason that most of the planets seeded by the Goa'uld had temperate climates.
"Hang on." Sam's voice startled Vala out of her thoughts.
Vala saw the tail lights ahead of them at the stop sign. And she saw their reflection in the ice on the road. She didn't have to have spent much time living in these winter conditions to know that was bad. She braced her feet against the floor as if she could lend the car a little extra stopping power and surreptitiously clutched her arm rest.
The car skidded, back end swinging slightly. Sam pumped the breaks and down-shifted, easing the Volvo towards the side of the road where the tires could grip the packed snow in a slow motion ballistic crawl that brought them to a stop within inches of the other car's bumper. Tragedy averted.
"That didn't look anymore difficult than pulling three-G's in a spiraling Alkesh in atmosphere. Really, I'm sure I could have handled that." Vala didn't deny that she felt relief, but really, this driving thing wasn't that complex. They really needed to start acknowledging that she was more than capable when it came to adaptation and survival.
"What do you mean, fine?"
"I mean, if you want to drive, then fine. I'll pull over and we can switch." Sam was up to something. Vala was sure of it. She would never hand over the keys to her baby with so little argument. "I just need to find a safe place to stop and then you can drive the rest of the way to the theatre."
They rode in silence for another mile, Vala watching Sam out of the corner of her eye for some sign. Some tell that would indicate there was more to her offer than Sam just giving in to Vala's request.
Sam had a better poker face than Vala had ever suspected.
She'd clicked on the turn signal as they approached the parking lot and Vala was just reaching for the seatbelt release, impatient to switch seats. Instead there was the shriek of tires spinning on ice being drowned out with an even louder shriek that Vala realized was coming from her own mouth. The back end of the car swung around and Vala saw a lamp post fly by her window. Then saw it a second time as the car continued to spin. She was thrown back into her seat, knocked against the window, and back into her seat again. The street lamp came around a third time and Vala shut her eyes, not wanting to see it the fourth. The tires bumped and scraped against the rutted snow, and they finally came to a stop.
Vala opened her eyes to Sam's smuggest 'who, me?' smile. She looked around and saw that they were sitting in the middle of the empty street, facing the wrong way. Sam still had one hand on the wheel and the other on the emergency brake. And there was not a nick on her precious Volvo. Sam pulled the car over to the side of the road, out of immediate danger.
She turned and grinned, holding out the keys to Vala.
"You still want to drive?"