AN: Ok this is the end of the whole Ori-battle-hole-in-the-ground that I dug myself into back in July. If I ever try something like this again PLEASE point it out to me and tell me to STOP, because it is really just shooting myself in the foot. I hated not being able to write more of this. Hopefully the explanations make sense, if they don't let me know and I'll try and expand a little more in future chapters.
After this chapter it'll be back to the fun and games of Vala and Daniel trying to get it all together. A Royal wedding anyone? ;O) Any other ideas? Feel free to let me know!
All reviews are welcome, even if it's just to tell me you think this is daft :O)
Anyway enough of me rambling on... go read me rambling on about the important stuff.
"Wake up sleeping beauty, got some breakfast for you." Cam's voice drifted into her mind as if from far away.
"What?" Vala felt like her mouth had been filled with cotton wool and her head didn't feel much better. Gradually she opened her eyes to the soft morning light and saw Cameron standing beside her bed with a tray in his hands.
He smiled at her, "Not the Princess I thought was going to wake up but you definitely have the prettier face." He gave a slight chuckle as her forehead crinkled in confusion, "look on your other side."
Vala turned her stiff neck round to the other side of her bed and for the first time felt the gentle pressure of a head leaning against her arm and a hand holding hers. It was Daniel. He was sound asleep with his head pillowed on his arms, his hand grasping hers. A soft smile graced her face and she lifted her free hand to gently stroke her finger down the length of his nose. He twitched slightly in his sleep. She did it again and this time Daniel's eyes slowly opened until he was blinking at her as if she was a dream.
Cam silently placed his tray down on the bed side table and made his exit to go find a doctor and tell their friends that Vala had, at least briefly, woken.
Unaware of his departing friend or indeed anything apart from the woman in the bed in front of him Daniel raised the hand he held to his lips and placed a kiss to the back of it. "I thought I lost you." He whispered, almost afraid that if he spoke too loud that she would vanish before his eyes.
"I think," She told him in an equally quite voice, "That for a little while there you did." Her eyes closed languidly and she had to fight to open them again, "But in the end you where there, to bring me back home." Again her eyes closed for a moment before she continued on, "You always find me, even when I don't know I'm lost."
"That's because I'm Daniel," He said tenderly, "And you're Vala and that's who we are." He brushed her hair back from her face as her eyes closed again, "I'll always find you."
And he knew it was true, she had become such an integral part of his life that he could no longer be himself with out her by his side, he could not be Dr Daniel Jackson and not love this woman.
Vala's eyes closed again but this time the sight didn't cause something to tighten in his chest like it had done almost a week ago when he had seen her limp body cradled in her brothers arms. In that moment he was sure something inside him had broken irreversibly. It was only when she was laid out on the bed and he could see the slight movement of her chest as she breathed that the pain lessened.
It was late afternoon before Vala woke again, her brothers now the ones at her side.
It took a few moments for them to notice however as they seemed to be deeply involved in the chess board they had propped across her legs.
"Am I interrupting?" she asked when a few minuets had passed and they had failed to notice her.
"No!" Eldarin quickly pulled the board from its resting place and tipped the pieces back into the box before discarding the board to the bedside table.
Vala laughed gently, "I take it you where winning then." She joked to Anarion.
But her eldest brother's face held none of his siblings' amusement, "You scared me Elena." He told her, worry and love clear in his voice.
It reminded Vala of when, at six years old armed only with her dolly, she had decided to run away after breaking her mother's favourite vase. She made it only as far as the palace mews but she spent the whole night cold and alone with only the birds housed there to keep her company. When her father had found her in the morning he had gathered her into his arms and said those exact words to her in the same tone, instantly prompting the same reaction that she had now, almost 30 years later.
"I'm sorry," She told him quietly, slightly unsure of what she was sorry for but knowing that the words needed saying anyway.
The brothers left their seats by her side and came to sit beside her on the bed, so as she was slightly squashed between their large frames. "Do you remember what happened?" Eldarin asked her softly.
"There was some kind of light," She told them hesitantly, "And then... it all goes a little fuzzy." Her face crumpled and a tear escaped her eye, "Adria's dead isn't she? I killed her."
"Yes Elena," Anarion placed a kiss to her temple, "She is dead. Do you remember anything else?"
"Not really, just feelings mostly."
"Hirgon thinks he knows what happened, dear one." Eldarin began again, "He found a similar tale in the library. He thinks that Nienna came back to us through you to protect us, that for a brief time the power of our family line was within you."
"Then why couldn't it help us before, with the Jaffa? Or even when we where fighting the Ori the first time?" Vala asked.
"We think it is because the Jaffa where not the enemy of the Ancients and as for the Ori..." Eldarin trailed off, unsure of how to go on.
Anarion continued when words failed his brother, "Hirgon thinks you where able to do this now because you where home, because you have once again accepted this part of your life Elena. Only once you where whole again could you defeat this enemy."
Vala could only nod and wearily rest her head against her brothers shoulder. All she could really understand at the moment was that everything was over and they seemed somehow, thanks to her, to have won. The only other thing that penetrated the tiredness she felt was the pain of knowing her daughter was finally dead.
It was finally over.
Vala closed her eyes and heaved a heavy sigh, "Tell me a story." She asked softly.
Anarion smiled sadly as he gazed down at his baby sister then, after sharing a look with his brother, he began "Once upon a time there was a beautiful princess..."
Four members of SG1 sat on a balcony overlooking the city, passing a bottle of wine between them as they watched the sun set. A melancholic, but not heavy, silence hung in the air around them. It was the silence of people that had seen too much, done too much, and still despite the odds managed to survive relatively intact. There was no need for words as they drank. Long years of friendship had turned silences into something to be shared and cherished. Now they wrapped it around them and turned it into their own protective bubble, as if within this small world they created for themselves no harm could come to them.
It had taken five days for Vala to wake up and now that she had they could all breathe a little easier.
Apart from Vala they all seemed to have made it through the past few days with out much more than a few scratches and bruises. Even Daniel had gotten away with only a slight bump to head when he blacked out.
"Well that was..." Cam trailed off some time later as the last rays of light lit the white stone of the city.
"Indeed." Commented Teal'c as he plucked the bottle from Sam's grasp with a little too much force, causing her to fall against him. He took a drink and allowed his free arm to pull his friend closer to his side, needing the physical reassurance that she was all right.
Cam and Daniel simply looked straight ahead as Sam leaned closer into Teal'c chest, her eyes closing and sleep finally over taking her.
The guys sat again in silence until a loud snore prompted a very unmanly fit of giggling on all parts.
Midnight rolled around and brought Daniel back to Vala's room.
Just like the first night at the way point Daniel found Vala sitting in the window bathed in moonlight. And just like before he walked silently over to her and wrapped her in his arms around her, providing the comfort she so desperately needed in one simple action. Neither of them spoke for a long while as they watched the moon make its slow journey across the night sky.
It was finally Vala that broke the silence, "I didn't think it would end like this."
"This isn't the end Vala," he told her as he placed a kiss to the crown of her head before turning her in his arms to face him.
Ever so gently he allowed his hand to trace the lines of her face, the curve of her jaw and the arch of her cheek bone. She smiled softly as he stroked his finger along her nose and over her brow. The delicate shell of her ear was cold to his touch and when he brought his hand down her neck he could feel her pulse beat beneath her porcelain skin. Up his hand swept again until at last his thumb glided over her lips and he felt her warm breath against its tip when she gasped.
Not once did she avert her gaze from him as he memorized the features of her face, her calm and steady blue eyes never wavered as his hand slipped back into her hair and tenderly brought her closer to him until their lips met in the most chaste but loving kiss either had experienced. The only word Vala could think to describe the way Daniel made her feel in that moment was cherished; to him she was the most important thing in the world and she knew he could see his feelings reflected in her own eyes. It seemed as if time itself had lay down and been still to allow them to have this moment together in the midst of chaos, all other thoughts and feelings fled until the gentle pressure of lips upon lips became their entire world and every thing was perfect.
A perfect moment.
Ever so slowly time seemed to fall back into step and Daniel drew back slightly to stare for the first time into her eyes. She smiled at him and he was relieved to see that her earlier sadness seemed to have lifted a little. It hadn't gone, he could still see it in the unfathomable depths of her eyes, he knew this was another deep blow to the shattered pieces of her soul and one that she would never fully recover from but there seemed to be an acceptance now that he had never seen before.
Wordlessly he swept her up into his arms and carried her back to the bed. Sitting on the edge of her bed he watched as she snuggled under the blanket and only gave a slight chuckle when she rolled her eyes at him and motioned for him to come in beside her.
They lay in the darkness holding each other and just when Daniel was sure she had fallen asleep she spoke.
"When I was asleep I had a dream. I had another life, away from war and death and everything most of my life has been about. I had a husband and children, even grandchildren, but there always seemed to be something missing. I was content but I don't think I was ever truly happy, there always seemed to be something missing." She paused and moved her head to look up at him from her position pillowed on his chest, "Everything in my dream was different. Everything apart from you. Even when I couldn't recognize my own life you where there for me, you where my friend and you didn't let me give up." Her hand traced aimless patterns against his chest as she stopped to gather her thoughts, "I know now that this was the life I was meant to lead despite all the pain and hardship because... when I turned from it, when I chose another path, I couldn't escape the echo of you."
She turned her gaze away from him and for the first time since starting this she seemed nervous. She waited one breath, then another before she regained her courage and spoke again.
"I love you." She told him in a voice so young and innocent he could almost believe it was the first time she had said those words, and when she tilted her head to finally look him in the eye he knew it was, at least, the first time she truly meant them.
Instead of tensing beneath her like she expected him to Daniel surprised her by relaxing and rolling them over onto their sides so as they faced each other. For the second time that night Daniel's hand gently cradled her face as he forced her to look into his eyes. And, as their breath mingled in the minute space between them, he spoke the words he had held in his heart for so long.
"I love you too."