Title: No Promises
Author: Pip (dannysgirlsg1)
Summary: Daniel's ready to take that first step, if nothing else.
Spoilers/Warnings: Just thought I mention seeing Bambi (which I have recently been informed not EVERYONE has seen - so wrong!) will help, though not necessary.
A/N: Posted for the 'Month of Love' back in February over at the dv comm on LJ. It had sat on my harddrive for over a year because I had originally intended to add more, but as one of my post days for the MoL came around, I realized it was pretty good where it was. And yes, I have NO shame when I say this was completely inspired by Bambi.
"Look at him, Daniel!" Vala squealed with delight, shoving the stuffed animal into his face. "He's so cute!"
"Vala, it's a skunk." Daniel examined the toy, just inches from his nose. There was an unexplainable affection for her in his voice that hadn't been there before. Or had it?
Vala pulled the skunk close to her chest, petting its head. "I know! Like the little Flower from that sweet movie Muscles watched with me."
"You and Teal'c watched Bambi?" Daniel questioned, trying to hide the building confusion within. It made him a little jealous knowing Teal'c had been the one to introduce her to the world of Disney movies, and he couldn't comprehend why. Vala just smiled sweetly, and Daniel tried to return it. He found it came easier than he would have thought, considering his warring emotions. He moved to look at some of the other stuffed animals on the table, trying to distract his thoughts. He found a rabbit, and held it up.
"Why not this one?" He asked.
"No." Vala shook her head, squeezing the skunk closer. "The bunny didn't remind me of you like Flower did."
Daniel blinked and let out a little cough at her words. "The skunk reminded you of me?" As weird as the thought was, he found himself enjoying it. It only added to his confusion.
"Of course!" She replied as if it was so obvious. "He's cute like you, and he has those adorable blue eyes like you..." She looked down at the toy, and twisted her fingers in its little tufts of hair. "And he blushes a beautiful shade of pink when anyone says anything nice about him, just like..."
Daniel felt the heat come to his cheeks. Vala looked up and grinned.
"Just like that." She pointed. Daniel breathed in deeply and moved over to her. He went to push her hand down, trying to ignore the looks from other shoppers in the little store. Instead of pulling away, he let his hand linger on hers. He felt he should step back, but was enjoying the feel of her hand in his, the closeness of her body to his own.
"Let's go." He tried to keep his voice calm against the turmoil deep within, but as Vala looked at him; Daniel knew his eyes had betrayed him. The lines of friendship they'd worked so hard to maintain were once again blurring, and he didn't know what bothered him more - that it was happening, or that he couldn't find the want or need to set those lines straight anymore.
Vala just nodded and moved out of his grasp. Daniel missed her heat instantly. "Yeah..." Her tone of indifference seemed just as forced as his. "Let me just put this back." Vala walked back over to the table, and placed the stuffed skunk back down.
"You don't have to do that." Daniel sighed, feeling guilty.
She nodded, eyeing the toy sadly. She ran her hand over its head one last time. "I don't have any money to buy it anyway."
Daniel's heart skipped a beat at the sadness in her voice because he was the one to put it there. The words came to his lips before he had a chance to think about it.
"Then I'll buy it for you."
Vala turned to smile at Daniel, then sobered at the look in his eyes. No, she wasn't gonna do that to him, or let him do it to himself. He had said friendship was the most important thing for them to focus on. If she let him buy the stupid little thing, it wouldn't be out of friendship...not for her at least. She shook her head.
"You don't have to." She pasted the smile back to her lips.
Daniel stuck his hands in his pockets and looked at the floor. "I know I don't have to." He shifted a little, going against everything he'd built up to keep things like this from happening. His next words pushed the limits of those friendship boundaries he was beginning to hate.
His blue eyes came up to meet Vala's. "But if you like it that much, I want to."
Vala gave a small, genuine smile, but still shook her head. "It's just a stupid little toy that reminds me of you...definitely shouldn't have it."
Daniel nodded and walked over to Vala. He grabbed the skunk and held it out to her. "Maybe that's the perfect reason for me to get it for you." When she just stared at it, Daniel grabbed her hand and wrapped it around the toy. Vala looked at his hand on hers, then up at him.
"Daniel, I thought you..."
Daniel nodded in understanding. "I won't lie to you. I'm very confused about all this right now and I'm gonna need some time to think on all of it. But I have this feeling that if I don't do this for you, I'll be blowing a chance at something that, though I'm not sure what it is yet, I know I want. Just..." He squeezed her hand. "Consider it my first step?"
Vala swallowed and slowly nodded. "Okay."
Daniel looked at her, totally serious. "No promises on anything else."
"I know." Vala replied in the same serious tone.
Reviews are definitely appreciated.