They plan vacations, though they never actually get to take them; there's plenty of adventure to be had going through the Stargate on a daily basis, after all.
Vala's always loved a good caper, so maybe one day, when they are no longer under the threat of imminent extinction, she might take the time to see a bit more of her newly adopted world for herself. She's pretty sure she can convince Teal'c to accompany her. He possesses both a driver's license and a healthy fascination with kitschy tourist stops, so she's pretty sure she'd have no problem convincing him to explore the path less traveled.
One day, over lunch, Vala corners Daniel and asks, "If you were to just up and catch a plane to anywhere on Earth, where would it be?"
Daniel hems and haws, of course. There are very few countries he hasn't visited at some point in his life, and he can find something fascinating that he'd like to revisit in almost all of them.
Teal'c asks him to narrow it down to one location that epitomizes the rise of Tau'ri civilization. Vala asks him about fashion and trade goods. Daniel suggests Rome. He's about to launch into a discourse about the comparative history between the Roman Empire and the decline of the Ancients throughout the galaxy, but Vala pats him on the shoulder and thanks him for his time. Teal'c watches her leave, grabs the last of the grapes from his tray and, with a nod to Daniel, follows Vala out the door. Daniel looks across the table at Cam, who just shrugs and asks him if he's following Nascar this season.
Teal'c had introduced Vala to Google early on, and now they pore over satellite images, street plans, and hotel recommendations. The architecture is impressive; similar in style to the capitol city on Merak Four, where Vala spent half a cycle working as a bar-maid shortly after she was freed from Qetesh.
They pull up photos of some of the major tourist attractions, and while the fountains and piazzas are lovely, Vala starts to feel a bit uneasy. It's only when Teal'c, with a quiet grunt, closes the browser window that had been displaying a history of the Coliseum that Vala realizes that Earth's ancient history hits a little too close to home for her liking. It wasn't too long ago that she herself was presiding over such displays of carnage and grandeur during her time as a Goa'uld.
Teal'c doesn't let her dwell. "Major Carter once mentioned that one day she would like cross America on her motorcycle." He types in a new search string and brings up a list of sites festooned with images Vala recognizes from that movie they'd watched with all the talking automobiles.
Teal'c clicks a link and points to an image of a row of cars half-buried in the dirt with their tail fins pointing at the sky. "I believe we could start our journey here, in the birthplace of one of the greatest men to ever lead the SGC."
Vala looks up at him. It's rare for Teal'c to speak of anyone other than Bra'tac or the members of SG-1 with such fondness.
Teal'c draws himself up a little straighter. "General Hammond of Texas," he says, and she catches the barest hint of a smile.
Anybody who can engender that much respect from Teal'c is worth making a pilgrimage for, in Vala's opinion. She starts looking up driving directions and motorcycle rentals. This is more her style of vacation, anyhow.
She might even suggest that they bring Daniel along. There seems to be quite a bit of Earth's culture that wasn't covered by his studies.
Vala thinks Teal'c has the perfect poker face, and she's not the only one. She is, however, the only one who knows how many Tau'ri card games, and their trans-planetary variants, Teal'c actually knows. Despite all of Cameron's bragging about being the one who taught Teal'c how to win at Five Card Stud, Vala is of the opinion that when it comes to anything that has to do with either cards, or studs, for that matter, Cam has a lot to learn.
On Friday nights, Captain Simpson from the IT department (whom everyone refers to as 'Bart', though Vala once, on a bet, managed to get him to reveal that his mother calls him 'Jerome') runs a game in one of the guest quarters on level twenty-five. Either General Landry doesn't know about it, or he turns a blind eye; it's much less paperwork for him than approving Vala's entrance fees and travel permits if she were to request a trip to Vegas for one of those big tournaments she's seen on SportsCenter (and how card games compare to athletics is beyond her). She'd point this out to Landry if the subject ever came up. Which, strangely, it never has.
Most of the time it's poker, either Texas Hold'em or Five-Card Draw. Nyan always folds early, but Vala suspects he's just there for the company. The things she could teach that boy if she could only get him to leave his research once in a while…
Some nights, they change it up a bit. Vala prefers canasta because it requires a bit more skill and cunning. She also likes it because Teal'c always asks to partner up with her. He has admitted, only to her, that her playing style makes a suitable distraction and plays a large part in his strategy. They usually split the winnings equally, no matter which one of them comes out on top.
One night, Bart challenged Vala to teach them a card game from her home planet. It might have been because she was a little miffed that Jerome had beaten her on six straight hands. It might have been because she'd gone so far as to insult his parentage and refer to his face as the back-end of a mule. She may also have just been having a really bad night; Adria had given them the slip, yet again, Samantha was still in the infirmary, and Vala had a fat lip from Tomin's attempt to educate her in the Book of Origin.
Teal'c had quirked an eyebrow in her direction, which she'd taken as permission. A quick trip down to the commissary to raid the cutlery bins, and she was back to explain the basics of the game.
By the time the evening was done, Vala was up nearly fifty dollars, Bart had three broken fingers, and Nyan had decided that 'Spoons' was a game he might actually have a chance at winning.
As they dumped the handfuls of now-twisted flatware in the dirty dishes bin, Teal'c was already putting together a list of other 'extra-terrestrial' card games with which to challenge Lieutenant Simpson next week, and Vala was feeling, if not exactly happy, then at least a bit better.
The kitchen staff never did figure out who bent all the spoons.
Secretly, Vala likes to hang out in Dr. Lee's lab. He reminds her a bit of Arlos, but it's more than that. Bill explains how things work, and he doesn't assume that she won't understand. Maybe it's just that Bill is happy to have somebody actually listen to him for a change, or maybe he's flirting with her in his own, strange way. Vala's never quite sure which, but she has spent hours listening, and even sometimes assisting him with experiments. Dr. Lee doesn't seem to get upset when she touches and occasionally (accidentally, of course) breaks things. Not the way Daniel gets annoyed with her, at least.
Bill also asks for her input. Vala likes to feel validated like that. That's how she started dragging Teal'c along with her. If there were questions about Goa'uld technology that Vala couldn't answer, chances were that Teal'c could.
She also likes bringing Teal'c along as backup, because sometimes it's difficult to get away. She thinks of Teal'c as her wingman - because as much as she enjoys Bill's company, it's something that is best experienced in small doses. Teal'c always seems to know exactly when to make a graceful exit.
Vala has always appreciated a good practical joke. It's not the prank itself, but rather the reaction she can get out of her victims. She finds that it's a good way to measure the character of a person.
Daniel, for example, is quick to cover when he's startled; he's also equally as fast at assessing the situation, and usually, reacting with nothing more than an eye-roll and apparent obliviousness to the fact that she has, in the space of his afternoon's briefing with SG-12, completely rearranged his office so that it is a mirror image of it's previous self.
Being able to choose not to react is a good skill to have in a confrontation involving a tavern full of drunks, each one carrying an arsenal of weaponry that would make a Marine envious. Vala wonders if he's always been like that, or has he been tempered by hard learned lessons.
Vala has never pranked Samantha; their tentative friendship means too much to her. It has been a rare thing, in her experience, to find another women who is willing to treat Vala as she does any other member of the team, without there being some ulterior motive for her largess. It has been a long, long time since Vala has had a girlfriend; Qetesh has never had any use for anyone she couldn't manipulate for her own means.
However, Vala has caught Teal'c in the act of swapping Sam's belongings with those from Mitchell's locker. Vala kept quiet, since she was almost certain that Cameron was the actual target. After Mitchell had left for the day wearing a raggedy pair of sweatpants and a T-shirt that was three sizes too small, she'd confronted Teal'c. At first, Teal'c had played innocent, but Vala could recognize a kindred spirit, and eventually Teal'c, in his own subtle way, and after much coercion on Vala's part, confessed. It took weeks for Cam to find all of his own clothes.
Vala also suspected that, while Sam may not have been in on the joke, she'd easily deduced the culprit. Sam certainly hadn't outed Teal'c either. Vala envied that kind of solidarity.
While Vala and Teal'c might disagree on degrees of subtlety, they do make a good team. Members of Siler's maintenance crew have learned to be wary when they spot the pair of them hanging around the corridors near the maintenance shop together. Sometimes, loitering near the shop door is as much fun as actually pulling a prank on them.
Vala firmly believes in keeping people on their toes.
Of all the things that Vala likes to do with Teal'c when the rest of SG-1 have gone home for the night, watching TV with him may be her favorite.
Vala discovered that Teal'c owned his own television one evening not long after she had been accorded permanent resident status at the SGC. She had been wandering the corridors, looking for company and feeling more than a bit sorry for herself. She had, after all, just returned from the Ori galaxy after giving birth to a daughter whom she hadn't wanted, and was not quite ready to admit to the small measure of guilt she felt at her relief at leaving Adria behind. Disconcerted, she rambled through the halls on the level where she'd been allocated a room of her own until she saw the thin sliver of light coming from under of Teal'c's door.
Vala had stopped, intending to knock and perhaps invite him down to the commissary for cake and company, until she'd heard voices from inside the room. She's not sure why she'd expected Teal'c to be alone, as she was, but she had just assumed he wouldn't have company on what she'd been told was a weeknight.
Teal'c must have heard her at the door; he was uncanny that way. The next thing she knew, he was standing in the doorway, and Vala was fumbling for an excuse to have been eavesdropping. Teal'c let her stammer for a few seconds, before asking, "Do you wish to join me, Vala Mal Doran?"
"I, um, yes. Yes, I would like that," she'd managed to get out, slightly embarrassed that she wasn't at the top of her game and had been taken so completely by surprise. Teal'c bowed his head slightly and opened the door to admit her.
Once inside, the source of the voices became apparent. Teal'c had, tucked neatly amongst his collection of tribal masks and votive candles, a small television set. It was tuned to a program that seemed to revolve around couples in fancy dress 'doing battle by means of a traditional Tau'ri dance competition', as Teal'c explained. Vala was immediately taken by the level of pageantry and the caustic remarks from the panel of judges. Teal'c invited her to sit with him and watch.
He was patient with her, answering her questions about the various styles of music. He pointed out the differences between a waltz (which she found slow and mechanical) and the tango (which made her feel like she was spying on the couple in a moment of passionate intimacy), and for a little while, Vala forgot that she was, potentially, the mother of the apocalypse.
It becomes a tradition between the two of them. And while Vala is sure she could request a television of her own, she prefers to spend the evening with Teal'c. She's not sure how much the other members of SG-1 knows about their standing date, but there always seems to be a cache of snacks in Daniel's office (though she knows Daniel doesn't like Kettle Corn), and the small refrigerator in Sam's lab is usually stocked with some sort of beverage that isn't available at the commissary.
When she finally parts company with Earth and the SGC (and she thinks that she will, eventually, because there are still times when she feels the rules and regulations chafe, though those moments are getting to be fewer and further apart), Vala thinks that what she will miss the most is not the jokes and the pranks, not the pokers games and companionship of the other displaced residents of Cheyenne Mountain. Nor will it be road trips she might one day take, or the television she has yet to watch.
What Vala will miss most of all is her friendship with Teal'c.
She wonders if there is some way she can take him with her.