AN: ok so I'm not sure where this came from I was honestly going to write some fluff for my other series but this just sort of spilled out of me… I would say enjoy but you're probably not going to. The poem is 'Annabelle Lee' by Edgar Allan Poe.
Love to know what you guys think so hit the magic button at the bottom of the page.
Disclaimer: With what I've been doing to poor Vala lately it's probably for the best that I don't own them.
The mission had gone south from the moment they had stepped through the gate. They where ambushed by the Lucian Alliance and it took them the better part of 2 hours to retake the gate and make it home.
Gen. Landry stood in the control room gazing in horror at his lead team, he had never seen so much blood on people who where still living. Sam had taken a blast to the leg and was only standing because of Teal'c holding her up, Cam seemed to have received a head wound and was wavering even as he fought to remain standing. Landry couldn't see what was wrong with Teal'c but the amount of blood on his shirt couldn't have been good.
His eyes travelled to the last two members of the team.
Daniel was carrying Vala in his arms, even from this distance he noted how pale she was but what troubled him more was how still the normally energetic woman was. Daniel himself didn't seem to be faring much better.
Landry took in all this information in seconds and was yelling for a medical team to be sent to the gate room even as he rushed down the stairs to meet them himself.
As he entered the room he stopped dead, the sight of them up close was worse than it had been from the control room. He watched as Carolyn gave orders and got the team loaded on to gurneys, watched as she convinced Daniel to relinquish Vala. He couldn't look at her as she was placed onto a gurney, never once stirring, turning his eyes back to Daniel he found he couldn't look him in the eye and dropped his gaze to the floor. He wished that had helped but all he could see was Vala's blood dripping off of Daniels hands.
He was still rooted to the spot when they where all gone, when the chaos had moved into the halls then further away into the infirmary, his eyes still fixed on the blood on the floor.
"Get that cleaned up!" He barked out the order when he finally regained the powers of speech and movement.
It was nearly 6 hours later when Dr. Lam exited the infirmary to find her father and Gen. O'Neill waiting outside. They looked up at her but neither of them seemed to have the strength to stand. She took the empty chair between them, perhaps it was better if they where sitting anyway.
"Doc?" Jack questioned, his voice rough from not speaking in so long but that one word holding so much emotion and meaning.
Carolyn rubbed her temples in an effort to calm herself, if she got it all out in one go it would be over quicker, like taking off a band-aid. "Teal'c is awake, out of the 5 of them he seems to have the least serious injuries, mostly shrapnel wounds to the abdomen but none of them penetrated anything vital. Col. Mitchell has a severe concussion and is still out of it, we're keeping an eye out for swelling in the brain but so far it looks ok. Col. Carter had surgery on her leg but we think we've gotten most of the damage repaired, it's going to take a while but she should make a full recovery." She noted how some of the tension seeped out of Gen. O'Neill at this information. "Dr Jackson is in the same state as Teal'c only his wounds seem to be slightly deeper and more severe; we've sedated him for now. Aside from that they all have minor burns and some cuts and grazes."
It didn't go unnoticed by either man that she hadn't yet told them about Vala's condition. They allowed her a minuet to collect herself, her head dropping to her lap and hands once again rubbing at her temples. It was Landry who brought her back to the conversation, placing a gentle hand on her back, offering what comfort her could.
"Carolyn?" he asked softly. He had seen his daughter deal with many things in her time as the SGCs head doctor and knew it must be bad if it was affecting her so badly. "How's Vala?"
"Vala…"She paused and took a deep breath "she's lost a lot of blood, we've tried to stop as much of the internal bleeding as we can but her blood pressure is still not picking up… we tried but her body couldn't take the strain the surgery was placing on it, all we could do was pack the wound for now, if she… if she begins to stabilize we should be able to take her back in but right now it's all down to her, there's nothing else we can do." Her head sank back down and both Generals could see she was fighting to hold back tears.
"You did all you could, for all of them Carolyn." Landry said as he rapped an arm around her, drawing her close to him, and she allowed her tears to finally fall.
The moment was interrupted by a nurse. "Dr. Lam? Col. Mitchell is awake."
The three of them stood and entered the infirmary. Carolyn went over and started examining Cam while Jack grabbed a chair and took a seat at Sam's bedside. General Landry found Teal'c in the privet room, standing at the end of Vala's bed, waiting. He too took a seat and began the long wait along with him.
After a brief argument with Carolyn Cam joined them, his head pounding and his body aching all over, there was still no change in Vala's condition.
It was the same when Sam came round from the anaesthetic and, although groggy from it and painkillers, demanded she be taken to see her. Jack picked her up carefully and placed her in a wheel chair, a special piece attached to support her leg and a stand on the back for her IV lines. When she saw Vala lying in the bed surrounded by the machines that were keeping her alive silent tears fell from her eyes.
Daniel was the last to join them but they had purposefully left the space beside her head empty for him. He sat and took Vala's hand, the one that wasn't full of IVs.
None of them spoke as they waited. If they where waiting for her to wake up or leave them completely none of them knew.
Carolyn and nurses where in and out of the room the whole night not only to check on Vala but on Sam and Cam as well. Neither of them should have been out of bed but she didn't have the heart to send them back, they could be monitored from where they where with out much more difficulty.
It was 4am when Vala crashed.
Carolyn fought for nearly 3 hours to bring her back but in the end there was nothing she could do.
Daniel sat in Vala's quarters on the end of her bed, her room completely dark apart from the bedside lamp. His eyes where closed, he couldn't stand to look at the room but couldn't bring himself to be any where else. It looked like she had just stepped out for a minuet, like she would bound in the door any minuet and tell him all about her lunch with Teal'c or tease him for being in her room without her there. Her bed was unmade and there was a towel draped over the back of a chair. A hair brush and her many hair clips sat scattered on the dresser beside the mirror and the D.V.D that she had been watching before they left was on pause, she had forgotten to turn it off properly when Sam had come and collected her. The well worn book of poetry he had given her for her last birthday sat on one of the pillows of her bed and Daniel knew the page it was open at. If he concentrated he could still hear her recite the poem. She had read it so many times she could knew it by heart.
"It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of Annabel Lee;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me."
Daniel swore he could almost feel her breath on his neck as she whispered the words into his ear. It wasn't until he picked up the book and smelt her shampoo that still lingered on the pillow the he cried. Her words still echoing in his head as she continued with the poem.
"For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise but I feel the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling, my darling, my life and my bride,
In the sepulcher there by the sea,
In her tomb by the sounding sea"
When it seemed he had no more tears left to cry he lay down on her bed and as the final words, the final memory, ran through his head Daniel fell into a deep sleep and dreamt of the bright grey/blue eyes of his own Annabel Lee. When he awoke the next morning he replaced the book on her pillow and took the other one for himself. He took the DVD out of the player and shut off the lights, locking the door behind him.
It wasn't opened again until all the members of SG1 that had known her where also gone.
They buried her 4 days later, when the rest of SG1 was able to leave the infirmary for a time. It was a small uninhabited world that was untouched by the Goa'uld, the Ori, or the Lucian Alliance. The people that had troubled her life wouldn't cause her the same pain in death.
Almost all of the SGC was there, protocol be dammed.
It only seemed right that Daniel would be the one to speak. Their whole relationship had been about words. It was only now that he realised they had never been the right ones, they spoke and argued and bickered but never said the words that where most important to them. Now it was too late.
Daniel took a deep breath and began.
"Vala meant so many different things to different people…"
He looked over at Cam and saw a man who had lost his sister, in General Landry a daughter, Teal'c a good friend, Jack a co-conspirator, Sam a best friend… The list went on as he looked into the faces of the people around him.
"She was truly a one of a kind. I speak nearly 30 different languages but I still can't find the words to describe this… this amazing woman. Life took so much from her but what made her Vala always shone through, her tenacity, her spirit, compassion, and energy, her love for life, and will to survive." He paused there, thinking that it was that last one that had finally failed her "I don't know what Vala believed in, if she thought there was something more beyond this life or not, but where ever she is I hope she finds the peace she was never allowed in life."
He tried to go on, there was so much more he wanted to say but couldn't. The words he had left to speak where only for Vala to hear.
Landry picked up on this and ordered everyone to attention as the coffin was lowered into the grave. A lone bugle played, breaking the silence, and then all that could be heard was the stifled crying of the mourners.
Once the grave had been filled in the SGC personnel returned to Earth leaving SG1 alone to say a final good bye to their friend.
They approached the grave one at a time. Teal'c bowed deeply and the others couldn't hear the words he spoke to her head stone but when he returned to them there where fresh tears in his eyes. Cam walked over and saluted before kissing his hand then pressing it to the cool stone.
"It was one hell of a ride princess, be sure to give 'em hell, where ever you are." His words where light but his voice was chocked with tears and when he returned to his team's side the large Jaffa placed his hand on his shoulder.
"There is no weakness in crying now Col. Mitchell, Vala Mal Doran deserves to have people cry at her loss." His deep baritone was laced with sadness but also pride in his lost friend. Cam gave him a weak smile and allowed his tears to fall.
Sam wheeled herself over to the grave but couldn't find the words she wanted to say, simply allowing herself to cry.
When it was Daniels turn the rest of the team backed off slightly, knowing that these words where not for them to hear.
"I love you, you know that? You irritated me to no end and could get under my skin like not even Jack could but… I love you." He paused and blinked rapidly to clear his vision. "I should have told you, I thought we had so much time but you always did like proving me wrong didn't you." He chuckled slightly and ran his hand over the engraving on the stone:
Vala Mal Doran
Apart but never separate, free but never alone.
Underneath that was an engraving of the gate symbol for earth with SG1 placed beside it. He sat on the ground in front of it until the sky faded to dark and the large moon shone down on them. "My Annabelle Lee." He whispered softly before returning to his team. As they walked back to the gate they could all hear the sound of the ocean in the distance.
When SG1 finally returned to active duty no one commented on the changes that had occurred within them. No one expected them to be the same.
No one mentioned that they now wore there SGC patches the wrong way up, so as the earth symbol now made a V.
If Cam now used the word 'wonko' instead of 'crazy' no one said anything.
When Sam grew her hair long no one asked where she had gotten the two fancy little hair clips she used to keep it back.
There where some raised eyebrows when Teal'c learned to roller blade but the word 'Odyssey' was all he would say on the subject. He was only asked once.
No one questioned when a stuffed giraffe appeared in the infirmary and Walter never asked for Vala's last mission report that he knew sat in the Generals desk drawer.
In Washington Jack received strange looks about the yellow yo-yo that sat on his desk. He had bought it for her but never got the chance to give it to her and now never would.
Every time they returned from a mission there was fruitcake waiting for them in the mess. Everyone on base had, over the years, heard the story of how Daniel and Vala had first met and about the first endearing insult he had given her. Only SG1 where ever allowed to eat it.
No one saw that Daniel carried the coin from Glastonbury in his jacket pocket or that at night he would bury his head into her pillow just to remember what her hair smelt like.
No one needed to see this change in Daniel because they could see that he always carried something much bigger of Vala's with him. He carried his love for her with him, always. It reminded him to be strong and fight when he wanted to give up, it pushed him to always ask that one more question, and to look deeper at the people he met. It filled him with her love for life.
He was living for both of them now and knew she would kick his ass when he finally met her again if he did it badly.