AN: This isn't proofed in anyway so the mistakes are my own.
Everyone who's looking for an update on 'The Forsaken One' will have to wait a while, my muse for that seems to have taken a holiday and I don't know when she'll be back.
This is from Daniel's POV and there's a little bit of Sam/Jack thrown in too.
Light sparkled over Vala's hair, lighting it up like the clearest night sky. In the low light her pale skin was almost sepia toned and her dark coloured lips and nails accented her plain white cotton dress perfectly. Even the wine glass in her hand seemed to glow in a matching pink light.
If her plain white dress wasn't a big enough departure from her usual self, then her relaxed posture and contented smile where extraordinary. Vala Mal Doran never relaxed completely, there was always some part of her that was on edge, always looking for possible danger or seeking out the ulterior motives of those around her.
But there she stood talking with Sam, completely relaxed and content.
Even from across the room Daniel could see the myriad of colours that floated in and out of Vala's eyes. He saw her frown in confusion at something Sam said, probably some pop-culture reference that Vala didn't understand, and then that little crinkle in her brow faded and she smile as Sam explained, the two of them laughing.
Across the room Teal'c rolled on the floor as he played with a little girl, her long blond hair coming free of her pig tails. Another, smaller and paler, girl sat near them giggling just as hard as she watched her sister and 'uncle' play.
The smaller girl coughed quietly and Daniel saw the glint of the Medic Alert bracelet, a constant reminder of the little girl's illness. Vala and Sam look round in concern as the small noise travelled across the room but when the girl began giggling again and waved at Vala and her mother Vala simply smiled and waved back. Sam began speaking again but Vala's eyes lingered on the little girl, her smile still genuine but also wistful. Daniel saw her eyes seek out Jack and watch him for a long moment as well. His smile was broad as he shook hands with people and pointed proudly at his new wife and their children.
Sam said something, bringing Vala's attention back to her and this time when she frowned Daniel knew it wasn't her 'I don't understand' frown, it was the frown of the scared little girl she had never really stopped being.
He knew if he was standing in front of her he would see the palest white-blue streaks stand out in her eyes. It always surprised him these days how much emotion Vala emitted through her eyes, when before you only saw what she wanted you to. It surprised him how they changed colour depending on her mood. He had stood on hundreds of worlds but knew he would never find a deeper blue than the one that streaked her eyes when she was angry, or clearer silver than the way her eyes shone when she was upset.
Across the room her frown melted into a smile but her mouth stayed shut and Daniel knew her eyes where too dark for it to be a real smile, they always seemed to lighten when she was happy. Daniel felt moisture in his eyes as she took a deep breath and continued her conversation with Sam, her eyes still flitting now and then to the small girl in the chair.
Jack came over to join them and slung his arm around his new bride, kissing her forehead. The three of them talked and Vala's smile broadened, as did Daniels in reaction to the scene, and then her deep laugh reverberated around the room. She held onto Jacks arm as she laughed then drew him into a tight hug before turning and hugging Sam as well. They exchanged a few more words before the happy couple wondered off to greet other guests.
Vala took another drink from her glass as she looked around the room. Her face was so relaxed and open that Daniel almost felt he was invading her privacy. He took a step towards her as he put his champagne glass on the try of a passing waiter. It was only a hand landing on his shoulder that stopped him.
He turned to see that while he had been watching Vala, Cam had been watching both of them.
"Just watch." Cam said, pointing softly with his bottle of beer.
Daniel followed the line of the bottle to see Hailey, Sam and Jack's youngest daughter, scuffing her pretty pink shoes against the floor with a sad smile on her face as her older sister, Grace, chased Teal'c around the room. Vala walked over to Hailey and smiled down at her before lifting the girl into her arms and sitting down with her on her lap. The whispered to each other as they looked around the room and their laughter carried over the conversation in the room so as people turned to look at them. Every so often Vala would lean in closer and whisper in the girl's ear, like two children sharing a secret they would begin giggling again and soon the small child had a smile on her face that matched Vala's.
"Vala never likes anyone feeling left out does she?" Daniel asked with an affectionate smile on his face.
"Especially when it's a little girl." Cam responded as he raised his bottle to his lips.
Daniels bright eyes shifted from Cam to Vala and back again before he answered, the smile going out of his voice slightly, "Yeah."
There was nothing more to say, both of them knew the hurt Vala still carried over her own lost daughter. Although Daniel had a feeling that her own childhood influenced her more than she would ever admit.
Daniel grabbed another glass and leaned back in his chair, "Would you ever of thought you would see her like this?" He continued at Cam's puzzled look, "She's so relaxed, no ulterior motive to her actions or looking for them in anyone else, just being herself with no mask up to protect her from the world."
Cam laughed slightly as he looked at his friend, wondering if he saw the change in himself as easily as he seemed to see it in Vala.
"You can see the real her now," Daniel was now only half talking to Cam, "she just lights up the room. She just has this effect on people where she changes you, even if you don't want her too."
"Even you?" Cam asked turning to face Daniel then leaning back slightly, not comfortable being that close to his face.
Daniel turned back from Cam to Vala. She was giggling and playing a clapping game with Hailey, both of them playing so enthusiastically that their hair bounced around their shoulders. He smiled and the contented look spread across his clean shaven face up to his eyes, although they didn't shift in colour the way Vala's did.
"Yeah, even me."
The two men sat in silence for a while, enjoying the evening, before Daniel spoke again.
"She looks just like the Vala we always knew, except she's totally different now. I never thought I would see her like this."
"No argument here, she's not the lovable roguish space pirate anymore. She's done what we all have, she's found a home."
Daniel wasn't looking at Cam anymore; his eyes had locked with Vala's across the room. His forever sky blue one's staring into the eternally shifting blue/silver of Vala's.
"Yeah," He paused as he traded a smile with Vala, "She's home."