campylobacter (campylobacter) wrote,

STARGATE FANFIC "Counting the Steps Back to Safe" 3/3 rated PG-13, Daniel/Vala

TITLE: Counting the Steps Back to Safe, Chapter 3 "They Tear You Away"
AUTHOR: campylobacter
BETA READER: oceania
RATING: PG-13/Teens
WARNING: no pr0nz :(
CATEGORY: angst, UST; missing scene
CHARACTERS: Vala Mal Doran, Daniel Jackson, Cameron Mitchell, Samantha Carter, Teal'c
SPOILERS/TIMELINE: Memento Mori missing scene
PROMPTS: for natalia5345 via the dv_exchange 2011 Fruitcake Exchange "Perfume & Promises" by Idina Menzel & "I'm pretty open to anything (especially anything angst!)"
SUMMARY/PREMISE: "The growing unfamiliarity of what she'd taken for granted as familiar unsettles her."
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This story was Gen until my beta-reader smacked it around.

Chapter 3 "They Tear You Away"

"It's not familiar, not at all."

"You have never before seen the entrance tunnel to Cheyenne Mountain in the daylight," Teal'c says.

She reaches for her husband's hand, and wonders why he's so uneasy with physical contact. She knows this man intimately; she can detect the tension he's trying to hide by the set of his mouth, the faint frown lines on his brow, by his tentative hold on her hand.

"Darling, why must you treat me like a glass-blown egg?"

"Wha— what?"

"And where's your wedding band? Married couples wear nuptial bands on this planet."

This planet. The growing unfamiliarity of what she'd taken for granted as familiar unsettles her. She doesn't know this planet as well as some others.

"We don't have wedding rings," he replies cautiously. "Because we have... no need for them."

After multiple security checkpoints and scattered visions flashing through her brain, they finally reach an elevator—

"No, oh no." She can't step in. More images flood her mind, chief among them the experience of being heavily pregnant, then suddenly not-pregnant and in Daniel's body. It makes no sense, none at all. "Where's our baby? How could I forget the baby? They took her, didn't they? They're keeping her from me." She won't get in that elevator, won't let them take her down into the depths of the mountain without her daughter.

She tries to run, but Teal'c catches her. So many faces hover over her: alarmed, upset faces. She knows them, knows they won't hurt her, but she can't trust what she's remembering, and punches Cam in his wounded arm, jabs Sam in the belly, kicks Daniel in the ribs, bruises Teal'c's shins, because—

"I'm not Qetesh! I was only her unwilling host. Let me go—"

But they don't; someone holds her arms to her side in a massive bear hug, and her legs are held tight together with a firm grip; two hands hold her head still, making her look into eyes brimming with tears behind glasses sitting askance.

"Listen Vala, please. You're safe. You're home. We're not gonna let anyone hurt you. Remember."

She's looking into the same eyes, but in a different body. The fire is gone, the fatal heat replaced by soothing warmth, the pain washed away like ash under a drift of snow. She's reborn in another body, yet herself, reassembled by a primal, dangerous power.

"I didn't mean to hurt you, or anyone." She goes limp, relenting to fatigue. "I just want to be myself again."

And then she's suddenly flat on her back, on a rolling bed, watching ceilings layered in pipes go by, fading to soft, soundless gray.

When she wakens, the infirmary's exactly the way she remembers. Carolyn Lam's face is as beautiful and serious as it was when her consciousness had returned from Sallis's body.

"Hi Vala. Glad to see you're awake."

"Hi, Dr. Lam. Miss me?"

Carolyn's answering smile gives her confidence, but before the doctor can reply, Daniel speaks up from the other side of the bed.

"Vala, how do you feel?"

The relief in his eyes is tempered by the way he covers his bottom teeth with his lower lip in a familiar way, indicating doubt. Doubt that she feels well? Or doubt that she's—

"...not your wife." She can't look at him any more, can't look at anything, so she shuts her eyes and lets her eyelids stop the tears. Not his wife, not the mother of his child, not even a mother, really. She's regained clarity by losing what she thought she had.

She feels his hand — warm, large, comforting — cover hers in a firm, steadfast grip, anchoring her to the present, and to her new life.

"But you found your way back. I knew you would." With his other hand, he brushes a stray lock from her forehead. She opens her eyes. "You always survive." He looks so hopeful, so trusting, so grateful.

"So then," she begins, "are we on for dinner again this Friday?"

His momentary surprise gives way to joy. "Uh, sure," he laughs. "I'll let you pick the restaurant, this time."


"Perfume & Promises"
by Idina Menzel
A crack in the smile
But she's always in style while she waits
Waving goodbye but she's too tired to cry and she's wasted
A letter he wrote
But it's far too exposed so he throws it away
The sound of regret as it's counting the steps back to safe

I don't want to leave you with perfume and promises
But we'll never know 'till we capture and bottle it
'Cause wouldn't it be such a shame
If all was wasted

Not an inch of the room
That isn't in bloom or in light
So we drink till its dawn
Every drip till it's gone and we're wasted
It's a thing of the truth
But we'll lie and we'll look for the perfect escape
And the moment will go like melted snow in the rain

I don't want to leave you with perfume and promises
But we'll never know 'till we capture and bottle it
Cause wouldn't it be such a shame
If all was wasted

Stay for another morning
Study the curves on my face
Stay even when we're unknowing
Stay till they tear you away

I don't want to leave you with perfume and promises
But we'll never know till we capture and bottle it
Cause wouldn't it be such a shame
If all was wasted

Read Chapter 1 "Capture & Bottle It"
Read Chapter 2 "Even When We're Unknowing"
Tags: *daniel/vala, *fanfic, daniel jackson, stargate sg-1, vala mal doran
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