AN: Here you go, it's a complete fic but it's kind of in three parts. I'm not sure they blend together perfectly, while still being individual, or if my 'idea' really comes through in it but it's the best I can get it without endless tweaking. Top marks go to anyone who knows where the title comes from and what it means ;O) (if you don't, just ask.)
The full quote used in this is by Henri Nouwen and is the inspiration for this piece of work.
"Somewhere we know that without silence, words lose their meaning,
That without listening, speaking no longer heals,
That without distance, closeness cannot cure"
Let me know what you all think, reviews make my day.
Somewhere we know that without silence, words lose their meaning,
Vala wakes from the smothering darkness of her black tar dream. The darkness around her is still complete but she no longer feels it pressing in on her. She can breath again. Her shaking hand reaches out, fumbling in the dark for a light, for comfort, for safety. Instead of a light her hand knocks against the phone by her bed, sending it crashing to the floor so as the dial tone fills the room and rings painfully in her ears.
By sound alone she reaches for it.
Trembling fingers hover over the keys. Afraid to dial yet knowing the voice on the other end would calm her far more than the soft light from her bedside lap would.
Communicating has never been their strong point. They can talk and argue, laugh and shout, attack and defend but somehow in the whirl wind of words that controls their lives they never seem to say the things that need to be said. The silence between them is the loudest she's ever known, it's also the most painful. It's a silence of things left unsaid, filled with regret and longing, the inexplicable paradox of a void that's overflowing.
She's knows he knows this too. She knows because she knows him.
And suddenly the silence of her room is as oppressive as the darkness in her dreams. Almost frantically her fingers scrabble to dial. The monotone drone of the dial tone gives way to a sharp ring and her chest tightens just that little bit more.
Five rings before he answers and she can breathe again.
That without listening, speaking no longer heals,
The shrill ring of the phone by his bed wakes Daniel from the warm depths of sleep. He tries ignoring it, keeping his eyes devoutly closed, and his face buried into the softness of his pillow. It seems like so long since he has slept so deeply, so long since his dreams where filled with so much light.
Musical laughter from his dream mingles with the ringing of the phone as he is pulled further from his slumber, pulled back towards harsh reality.
From memory he picks up the phone, still reluctant to open his eyes, "Jackson."
It's one word, just one. One word and he knows something is wrong, knows sleep will evade him even as he sits up in his bed and blinks grit from his eyes. One word and he knows something is wrong because he knows her, because she's calling him in the middle of the night instead of sneaking into his room. One word and he knows because he can hear it in her voice, in the two syllables of his name, in the slightest waver of her voice. One word that he has heard spill from her lips so many times before, in anger, in sadness, in teasing, and understanding.
But never like this.
Never with such a hidden desperateness.
Never with such a seemingly ancient grief.
He manages to master his panic before replying calmly, "Vala?"
A sigh comes from the other side of the line and he can hear relief flooding through her. Relief from what he does not know. Yet.
"Vala." He says again but this it's not a question, it's not an inquiry for confirmation she's still on the line. It's a statement, it's one word that falls from his tongue like honey. Now a question, "Are you still there?"
"Yes," It's another statement, another simple word spoken between them so many times before but never with such apparent importance.
Concern and irritation war in his mind but he's already concerned so he decides to stick with it. He rubs his face with his hand and the stubble on his cheeks scratch his palm. He's still sitting in the dark but can't bring himself to turn on the light, can't bring himself to spoil the intimacy it's affording him.
"Where are you?" Why are you calling me? He asks then rolls his eyes, there isn't a whole lot of places she is allowed to be in the middle of the night. A genius, in this moment, he is not.
"In bed." Her teasing tone is half hearted and he curses himself for giving her such an opportunity. He knows she is a master of diversion and he can sense the deflection in her voice, feel her backing away from the reason for this late night call.
He takes a moment to steel himself knowing he must pose the most difficult question. One that is easier to ask than listen to, and is infinitely easier to listen to than answer. " Vala, are you ok?"
She sighs again but it isn't a sigh, it's a shaking breath that lets him know she's close to tears. When she speaks her voice is too small, too young, he thinks, and her accent is thicker than usual, "I need you to talk me down."
She hears the hitch in his breath and she can see the wheels of his mind spinning in her minds eye. In the darkness of her room she can see every line of concern on his face.
"I'll be there in a minute," an edge of panic in his voice she thinks, "Stay where you are."
"No! Daniel," she has to stop him, all she needs in this moment is a voice, his voice, "I'm fine… I just… I just need you to distract me… Please" I just need someone…
She hears him release a long breath, one she knows he didn't know he was holding, "You had a bad dream." Once again it's not a question.
She doesn't respond, she never does when he is right about something she isn't ready to admit.
"What can I do to help?" It's the tenderness in his tone that forces her tears to fall.
"Just talk." She hesitates and when she speaks again her tone is more normal, more level. The awful shake in her voice is nearly gone even though her tears are still there, "Just listen."
There's a rustle from down the line and she smiles to the darkness, knowing that he is settling down in his bed, settling in for the long haul.
And they talk.
Minutes fade into hours and with them their silence slowly dissipates.
And they listen.
They talk about everything and nothing but it all amounts of something. Sacred seconds build into hours of words that crescendo into sentences that link them along a simple length of cable, connecting her to him and vice versa even though the are separated by several feet of solid concrete.
Conversations vary, from the team to their lives before they met. Stories and observations that are so honest in there simplicity. He tells her of his grandfather and she tells him about her mother. She laughs at his stories about Jack and he winces at some of her more dangerous escapades.
There are still words that are left unsaid but no longer do they hang, insubstantial, in the either, somehow in the darkness they have become the silence.
Eventually she hears him drift off to sleep, his light snores reverberating over a phone that had long since been put onto speaker. She closes her eyes, sleep finally beginning to over take her, and thinks briefly of hanging up the phone but decides against. Just in case.
That without distance, closeness cannot cure.
He wakes in the morning and can hear her shower running through the speaker phone. He chuckles slightly before hanging it up and pulling his stiff, sore, body into a shower of his own.
He meets her at the elevator as they make their way to the mess. Her soft grey eyes convey her gratitude and he can find no trace of regret or embarrassment. He stands so close to her he can feel the heat radiating from her but only allows the briefest contact between them. His pinkie finger traces along the side of her hand, no more than a whisper against her skin but it is enough to convey everything he has yet to say.
They enter the elevator and as the doors close he pulls her into an embrace.
Unlike the gentle touch of their hands this is fierce, it's a reassurance of everything they know. It's a reassurance that he would do it all again. That he is her friend and he is there for her, always, that when he can defend her from her past he will. If all he can do is alleviate her pain for a short while then that's what he'll do. He will always be there to talk her down. It's a reassurance that they are them and all that this entails.
It's a promise of things to come.