Title: A Saint Bernard and a Chihuahua

Genre: Romance

Rating: T

Timeline: Post SG-Atlantis Enemy at the Gate

Spoilers: SG-1—The Pegasus Project; SG-Atlantis—First Contact, The Lost Tribe, Enemy at the Gate

Warning: References to McKay and Keller

A day in the life of Daniel and Vala on Atlantis written for the Daniel and Vala Where Are They Now Appaloosa event on Livejournal

Vala could deal with how Daniel would stay up until all odd hours of the night at home and at the SGC, but when Atlantis made its way to Earth his extreme researching hit a new level. After their first week living there with Daniel eating and sleeping in Janus's lab, she'd had enough. She had a hard time sleeping without him, and he was an inch away from making himself sick. A sick Daniel was unbearable, but she knew she could placate a cranky Daniel pried away from Janus's lab with a good meal on the mainland followed by watching something on PBS curled on the bed in their quarters.

After that bumpy start, they reached a routine—both together and with their jobs. He would meet Vala for dinner without being poked or pulled from the lab. But he still never made it to bed before midnight. She adored that he always tried to make up for it by whispering, "I love you," as he settled into bed each night.

Her own work involved studying and improving Atlantis' security systems. Sometimes out of boredom she would work a bit later to bug Rodney. But her hours never came close to rivaling Daniel's. Rodney hated her interference, but he had orders—orders that for once both the SGC and the IOA were in total agreement on. When Rodney was at his worst, she would remind him of that time he almost got her Daniel killed by a bunch of xenophobic Asgard who managed to make it through the city's shield.

However, Rodney was not Vala's only source of entertainment. When she and Daniel arrived in the city, she had sought out Dr. Keller the first day. She wanted to thank the woman who took care of him until he was able to travel back through the gate. Though the women were quite different, they had one thing in common—both were head over heels for their workaholic scientists. The result of their shared curse was that they often could be found headed to the mainland for shopping and coffee. With Sam on the Hammond, Vala cherished the new friendship.

They had been in Atlantis for a few months, when Vala discovered Jennifer's birthday was fast approaching. She knew she had to do something spectacular to celebrate. One evening she sat in hers and Daniel's quarters searching for the perfect gift. She was surprised when Daniel came in quite early. She motioned for him to join her on the couch, and she settled in his lap.

Removing the sparkling clips from her hair, he began to comb his fingers through her dark curls. When he leaned in to kiss her temple he noticed her computer search.

"Sweetheart, why are you searching designer dogs?"

"Do you think I can find a Chihuahua-Saint Bernard? I know Rodney said it wasn't possible but…"

Before she could go any further with that thought he laughed. "Why are you looking for that? Is this your latest attempt at torture?"

Vala huffed and wiggled out of his arms. "You know Jennifer's birthday is soon, so I am trying to think of a spectacular present. I mean—we do owe her your life. And mine by extension. I thought perhaps we could get her a dog to keep her company when Rodney is working."

"A dog is a huge commitment, Vala. You can't just spring that on someone. Do you know how many dogs end up in a shelter because of unwanted gifts? Besides, I doubt the IOA would approve a dog in the city."

She stuck out her tongue at him during his mini lecture and rolled her eyes. Daniel sighed and squeezed the bridge of his nose. This wasn't what he had in mind when he decided he would rather spend some extra time with Vala than working in the lab.

"You know, Darling, I was reading up on Saint Bernards and Chihuahuas. Apparently, Saint Bernards are quite stubborn. Sounds a bit like someone I know."

Daniel smirked and replied, "Well, Sweetheart, Chihuahuas have a rep for being a little high strung and suspicious of strangers. Sound like someone we know?"

She elbowed him but had to laugh. "Smart little dogs. So, then, back to square one. What can we do for Jennifer's birthday? Perhaps a couple's massage for her and McKay?"

"Eww, I think you just made me sick. Try again."

"Humm, what about dinner for two at that lovely restaurant we went to last weekend. And I can take Jennifer to a spa before she meets Rodney."

Daniel pulled Vala back into his arms, "Ah ha. The truth. You want to spend the day at a spa."

She giggled and wiggled around until she could straddle his lap. "You know me well."

"Every single quirk," he said as he reached to tip her face up for a kiss.

"Mutual," she whispered as she nibbled on his bottom lip and soothed it with her tongue. He pulled back and moved to kiss her neck.

"God, I love you. More than anything, even though it might seem that I am not paying attention."

She wiggled against him, "Feels like you are about to pay me more than just a little attention, Dr. Jack—"

She found herself underneath him on the couch.

"Oh, Daniel…"