zorb: (Bitches - SG)
zorb ([personal profile] zorb) wrote2006-07-08 11:50 am
Entry tags:

Fic - SG-1 - Attached

Title: Attached
Rating: PG-13
Characters/Ships: Either Sam/Daniel or Daniel/Vala. You pick! (No, really. You do.)
Spoilers: Through S9's "Deus Ex Machina"
Disclaimer: Characters, settings, two lines of dialogue, and external plot do not belong to me and I am making no money off of re-interpreting them to suit my purposes. I am the tamest sort of evil.
Summary/Note: Peer behind the scenes of early Season 9 as Daniel keeps Sam in the SGC loop - including his ever-so-trying relationship with Vala Mal Doran. An experiment in interpretation with no relation to the TNG episode of the same name. I am grateful to my beta reader purplepenguin and to everyone who responded to this post. This fic took three tries, and it still wouldn't be here without your help.

Ring, ring, ri-

“Daniel Jackson.”

“Hi, Daniel.”

”Sam, hey!  How are you?”

“Pretty good, actually.  I’m finally starting to get used to a normal work schedule.”

“I don’t think I remember those.”

“It’s a new experience.  Anyway, I just wanted to congratulate you.  I heard about Atlantis.”

“Thanks.  You wouldn’t believe the fit Jack threw, but someone finally convinced him to let me go.”

“ [laughter] I think I can imagine it.  Oh, Cassie wanted me to tell you to shave before you go.”

“Excuse me?”

“She was not a fan of the facial hair when we saw you last month.  I believe she called you ‘Grizzly Man.’”

“I’m glad she takes away the important details.  Hey, you want any of my stuff?”

“Um…”

“Maybe I’ll just put it all in storage on base.  How’s she doing, by the way?”

“Better.  She got a summer job at a local day camp, and I think it’s helping her to do something non-academic for a while.  I don’t feel too guilty about having to leave her.”

“Going on a trip?”

“Sort of.  I’m going to supervise the Daedalus’s refit with a new Asgard hyperdrive.  I was hoping to postpone any space travel until she was back in school, but with the timing…”

“You’ve got to be there.  I’m sure Cassie understands.”

“I still feel guilty.  Anyway, I don’t know if I’ll be able to talk to you again before you go.  Wanted to wish you luck.  Especially for the two weeks in a confined space with McKay.”

“I’ll survive somehow.  Send Cassie my love.”

“Write letters.”

“Okay.”

“And stay out of trouble.  I can’t come rescue your ass in another galaxy.”

“I’ll keep that in mind.  I’m not going to be on the front lines.  What could go wrong?”

“Now that’s just asking for it.”

*

Ring, ri-

“Carter.”

“You’ll never guess who’s here.”

“Hi Daniel, how are you?  I’m fine, thanks.  I heard you missed the Daedalus.  So sorry, how’d that happen?”

“Sorry, Sam.  That’s what I was calling about, actually.  Vala showed up.”

“Vala?  As in stole-the-Prometheus Vala?”

“The one and thankfully only.”

“What’d she want?”

“Oh, not much, just a little help finding some treasure described on a tablet she stole.”

“Sounds harmless.”

“You’d think so.”

“Uh-oh.  There’s a catch, isn’t there?”

“Oh yes, and it’s a doozy.  To ensure that she receives her fair share, she brought along a pair of Goa’uld prisoners’ bracelets and attached one to herself and one to me such that we can’t be in separate rooms for more than an hour without both of us losing consciousness.”

“What?!  Do you need me to –”

“No, no, she knows how to get them off.  I hope.”

“She’s in the room with you now, isn’t she?”

“Gee, how could you tell?”

“Your sunny disposition gave it away.”

“Funny.  Anyway, that’s not actually why I’m calling.  Since I no longer have anywhere better to be, I did some work on the tablet and it turns out that Merlin – yes, that Merlin – was an Ancient and possibly left something – Vala, treasure could mean many different – don’t touch that!  Sorry, Sam.  Where was I?”

“Merlin, Ancients, treasure.”

“Right.  We think it’s in England and are going to use the Prometheus to search for it.  Teal’c’s already here, and Mitchell wanted to know if you were available to join us.”

“I wish I could, Daniel, but I’m right in the opening stages of a new project and I’d rather watch it myself.”

“I figured.  You can’t blame him for trying, though.”

“He’s a good guy.  Bring me back something I can take apart, all right?”

“You bet.”

*

TO: djackson@usaf.mil
FROM: scarter@usaf.mil
SUBJECT: I don’t know when you’ll read this…

Heard what’s going on through Dr. Lee.  I’m trying to figure out a way to get away but they’re giving me crap about detachment and letting go of the SGC.  I’m stumped from what Bill’s sent me, anyway. 

I hope you do get to read this; the above paragraph will be moot, but it’ll mean you’re okay.  Thinking of you in Nevada…

Sam

*

TO: djackson@usaf.mil
FROM: scarter@usaf.mil
SUBJECT: Ignore previous!

Just got word that you’re back and a short report.  Thank God.  Tell me more when you can.  Cassandra sends her love.

Sam

*

TO: scarter@usaf.mil
FROM: djackson@usaf.mil
SUBJECT: RE: Ignore previous!

Hey, Sam.  Finally got to my email – way too much backlogged spam.  Thank you both.  It was…unlike anything that’s happened to me before, and you of all people know that’s saying a lot.  I guess the Ma’chello body-swapping thing is closest, but at least I was with people who knew what was going on and didn’t want to sacrifice me in the name of their gods, then. 

Speaking of which, we definitely have a problem on our hands with these Ori.  On the one hand, it’s a discovery that opens up so much more knowledge about Ascended beings; on the other, there’s the whole burning thing.  Even Vala seems scared of them, and she’s not someone who scares easily.

She was tied to the sacrificial altar twice, Sam.  Burned to death once.  For nothing other than not sharing their faith.  Okay, that and some choice insults, but nonetheless.  I’ve seen innocent people murdered before, but it was different with Vala.  She puts up such an insane, obnoxious front most of the time, even when we were in their bodies, but what surprised me was that it didn’t drop until right at the last moment.  And there wasn’t anything I could do but watch her

You won’t notice the time gap between this paragraph and the last, but I just got back from lunch with Jack.  Wasn’t expecting him; maybe he’ll drop by you while he’s on this side of the country.  In theory, he came to surprise Mitchell with a joyride.  I think he just misses the pie. 

Take care.

Daniel

*

TO: djackson@usaf.mil
FROM: scarter@usaf.mil
SUBJECT: Too busy for pie

Jesus, Daniel.  I read all the reports, and…luckily, I’m in a place now where I have greater control over what gets worked on and how many people I can have working on it.  We’re brainstorming ways to combat them, or at least defend against them.  There’ve been a few good ideas so far.

So Vala’s not so bad after all, huh?  I’m kind of bummed I haven’t had a chance to meet her yet.  Will she be sticking around for a while?  Sounds like she could make life interesting for you – and seriously, Daniel, you could use it.

Haven’t heard a word about the General dropping in.  Thanks for the warning.  I got them to make more interesting Jell-o, but we’re pie-deficient at the moment.

Sam

*

TO: scarter@usaf.mil
FROM: djackson@usaf.mil
SUBJECT: RE: Too busy for pie

What, traveling to other planets and fighting omnipotent bad guys on a weekly basis isn’t interesting enough for you? 

I’m sure I have no idea what other falsehoods you might have been implying.  Please take note of my utter euphoria that she is GONE!  Just sent her through the ‘gate ten minutes ago.  Tried to take a souvenir with her, too.  The mood on base is considerably more relaxed. 

Call when you get a chance.  I’m technically confined to the planet still.  I tried to tell Dr. Lam that it wasn’t my body that went through the real stress, but she’s pretty adamant.

Daniel

*

Ring, ring, ring, ring. Click.

“You’ve reached Colonel Samantha Carter.  Please leave a message after the tone.” Beep!

“So it turns out that even when we’re not wearing the bracelets, they still work.  Oh, and we get to take her to Washington in two days to explain to the Senate committee why the Stargate Program still deserves their funding.

“I’d love to tell you more, but I am being summoned to critique someone’s choice of wardrobe for the trip.  What do you think is more appropriate for a congressional hearing: fishnet stockings or leather pants?

“Call back and put me out of my misery when you get the chance.”

*

TO: scarter@usaf.mil
FROM: djackson@usaf.mil
SUBJECT: (no subject)

She sat on my glasses.  Send help.

*

TO: djackson@usaf.mil
FROM: scarter@usaf.mil
SUBJECT: Cry me a river

You have another pair. 

*

Ring, ri-

“Daniel Jackson.”

“You’re still alive, huh?”

“Barely.”

“Yeah, I got that from your message and email.  A little cheese with your whine?”

“Hah, hah.  You wouldn’t be saying that if you were here.”

“Oh, I don’t know.  Cameron seems to think it’s funny.”

“Traitor.”

“She knows exactly how to get to you, doesn’t she?”

“She just never – and I mean never – stops.  You caught us on a bathroom break.”

“Us?”

“Sam.”

“I’m sure she’s just testing you, Daniel.  I’ll bet she calms down after the D.C. trip.”

“I can’t get any work done with her in my face all the time.”

“Sounds familiar.”

“She made me wear leather pants.”

What?

“To go see the guy she stole the bracelets from.  She told Mitchell and me they were what the locals would wear.”

“Both of you?  Tell me someone took a picture of that.”

“You’re not taking this seriously at all, are you?”

“Not really.”

“She was in my bed last night.”

“…”

“Not – we weren’t – I literally walked into my quarters and there she was, claiming that she’d somehow gone into the wrong room.  Almost managed to trick me into feeling sorry for her, too, before I got rid of her.”

“Okay.”

“Sorry, I’m just tired, I guess.  She’s exhausting to be around.”

“You know how kids tease each other because they like each other?”

“She’d do the same to anyone else she was with, to steal from them or whatever.  I’m no different.”

“Sure you are.  You don’t have anything she wants to steal.”

“…I’m not sure what to say to that.”

“Look, Daniel, I’m not trying to push anything on you here.  I just think that maybe you should try looking past your frustration and find something you can get along with in her, as long as you’re stuck together.  Make the best of the situation.”

“You’re probably right.  She’s just…always there!  I can’t even get away from her when I’m dreaming.”

“Now, those are the kind of comments that will give her ideas.”

“Good point.  I hear her dulcet tones down the hallway, in fact.”

“I’ll let you go, then.  Good luck in D.C.  I’m heading out on the Prometheus soon, but I’ll try and at least email you from the ship.”

“Thanks, Sam; have a good trip.  Vala, I’m on the -”

Click.

*

Ring, ring, ri-

“Daniel Jackson.”

“Hey, it’s me.”

“Hey!  How far away am I hearing you from?”

“Many, many light-years and growing.  We launched later than planned and haven’t reached our target distance yet.”

“Going okay?”

“Smooth sailing.  I’ve had a lot of time to catch up on SGC reports.”

“You know Mitchell can recite pieces of them verbatim?  From eight years ago?”

“Wow.  That’s…obsessive.”

“I thought so.”

“So you went to Vala’s home planet, huh?”

“Not her home, exactly, but one of her symbiote’s conquests.”

“And had another encounter with a Prior?”

“ [Sigh] Yes, but if you don’t mind, I think that particular conversation will go better in person, once you’re back on Earth.”

“No problem.  I should be able to get some leave time once I’m back, or you’re always welcome to visit. Cassie’s already back at school.”

“Yeah, I know, I got an email from her.  She’s still on the beard thing.  You wouldn’t happen to know anything about how she knows, would you?”

“My lips are sealed.  Oh, I guess you can’t come visit without bringing your other half, can you?”

“Well, the link seems to be wearing off, finally.”

“That’s good!”

“Yeah, but we haven’t tested it beyond the base, so…”

“Understood.”

“She’s sort of antsy about being stuck here, though.  I wouldn’t mind taking her for a change of scenery.”

“Am I speaking to Daniel Jackson or is there a foothold situation in progress?”

“Very funny, and I just remembered that she rearranged all of my journals by color rather than date, so I rescind that offer.”

“But you considered it.”

“Well, that last mission was a tough one for her.  I kind of feel like she deserves some sort of reward.  Or something.”

“I read that she was able to use a healing device…”

“Yeah.  Did a pretty good job of it, too, as long as she could hold out.  Sam, you should’ve seen her unleash a round into the Prior.  I’ve never seen her that upset on behalf of other people.”

“I’ve never seen her at all.”

“Right, I keep forgetting.  It’s starting to feel like she’s been here forever.  I think Teal’c actually likes her.”

“Sounds like you don’t hate her, either.”

“It’s…complicated.”

“I got that.  Damn, my time’s up.”

“Get back to work.  Call me when you’re home.”

“I will.”

*

Click here for the Daniel/Vala ending | Click here for the Sam/Daniel ending

(I told you you'd get to choose.)

*

Daniel/Vala

“So you’re saying she could be alive…?”

“It’s possible.”


The words turned over in Daniel’s mind as he rested in the ship’s infirmary. The doctors here were proving to be as relentless as every other Air Force doctor he’d encountered in refusing to listen to his self-diagnosis that he was fully recovered and should be set free, or at least allowed to get some work done, or maybe just read a book.  All he had to keep him occupied was the theatre of his mind, which was alternating showings of his last conversation – if you could call it that – with Vala and what Sam had told him when he regained consciousness.

As if his thoughts had summoned her, Sam poked her head in the door.  “Oh good, you’re awake,” she said, coming into the room and to his side.

“Please say you’re here to spring me.”

She smiled apologetically.  “Sorry.  How are you feeling?”

“Like I don’t need to be in a hospital bed.”

“I figured.  This should cheer you up.”  She handed him a printout that had a lot of numbers and squiggly lines on it.

“That’s, uh…”

“It’s the data showing the matter stream trajectory,” explained Sam, pointing out the relevant features.  “I went over it again, and there’s no question in my mind that she got pulled into the singularity.”

Thank god.  He felt muscles he hadn’t realized were tight relax and smiled at Sam gratefully as the diagram fell into comprehension.  “Thanks, Sam.  I really appreciate it.”

“No problem.  It must be a relief not to have her around all the time, huh?”

He opened his mouth to give the expected sarcastic response, but hesitated when the words wouldn’t come. 

Sam raised her eyebrows.  “Not a relief?”

“I…remember how I told you it was complicated?”  She nodded.  “Yeah, well…I guess I just got used to her always being around.  I know you met her in one of her less pleasant moods, but she wasn’t like that most of the time, in the last few weeks, anyway.”

“That’s what I thought from when we last spoke, but you two didn’t seem to be getting along that well.”

“No, and now I feel guilty about it.  I think she was just nervous about where she fit in with you back, and I didn’t get it at the time.  She was right, though – I stopped listening to her, and now she’s lost in another galaxy.”

“Daniel, you can’t think like that.  Vala’s resourceful.  She’ll be all right.”  She squeezed his shoulder encouragingly.  “Who knows?  Maybe we’ll get her back for you someday.”

Now his eyebrows shot up as he turned to look at her.

Sam only laughed softly.  “It’s okay to admit it, you know.  And I’m the last person to judge anyone else’s feelings.”

Daniel sighed and dropped his head back against the pillows.  “Maybe there’s nothing to admit.  I don’t know.”  His gaze drifted over the printout to where the wormhole’s numbers were clustered, as if to see straight through them and find one that represented a person.  “But if-”

“-when-”

“-when she comes back…”  Well, he didn’t really know what he’d do, actually.  Sam seemed to understand his need for space to think and drew away with wishes for his early release, leaving the printout to him.

“When,” he murmured.  That was a lot different from “if.”  With “if,” he could set her aside; “when” meant a new torch to carry.  Daniel had thought he was done bearing torches, heavy and futile as they were, growing more so with each passing day.  But it had been a long time since he’d been this particular brand of confused; its bittersweet familiarity gently engulfed him as his mind turned once again to a woman lost somewhere in the universe. 

She was irritating, and crude, and nothing at all like Sha’re, except that she was also smart, and strong, and every argument with her was an adventure.  Her confidence bordered on arrogance, and he remembered with a start the times that description had been used about him - and if he was honest with himself, it wasn’t wholly inaccurate.

Well, not all of the time, anyway.

It wasn’t arrogance, though, that forced him to admit that torch-bearing was rarely, if ever, a choice, and who better to take it on than someone with experience? 

“When,” he said again, softly so that the medic in the room only raised his head for a moment before returning to whatever he was doing.  It didn’t sound so bad this time.  And he had a niggling – it wasn’t nagging – feeling that “when” might not be so far off after all.

*

Sam/Daniel

The Prometheus was less than a few hours out from Earth, a fact of which Daniel was all too conscious as he strode through the corridors in what he hoped was a nonchalant way.  Inwardly cursing every detainment by a well-wisher congratulating him, variously, on being alive, mobile, and/or free of his ball and chain, he was relieved to find his quarry alone in one of the physics labs.

He knocked on the bulkhead so as not to startle her.  “Hey.”

Sam looked up from the screen she was reading.  “Daniel!  I didn’t know they’d released you.”

“It’s amazing what a medical staff will do when lectured about the history of their profession,” he replied, coming in to stand beside her. 

She snorted.  “I’ll bet.  This should make you feel even better.”  She pointed to the screen in front of her.

Daniel squinted at the numbers and squiggly lines.  “That’s, uh…”

“The best proof we’re going to get that Vala made it through.  I’m positive that the matter stream got pulled into the singularity.”

“Good, good,” he replied absently.  “They’ll never know what hit them.”

“You’re okay with it?” Sam gave him a searching look.

He shrugged.  “In the sense that it’s better than her being dead, sure.  Aren’t you?”

“Well, yeah, but you actually knew her.  You seemed, ah, attached.”

“Literally, at one point,” said Daniel, rolling his eyes.  “And I’m pretty sure I would’ve lost it completely if you hadn’t shown up when you did and listened to my bitching along the way, so thanks, by the way.”

”Don’t mention it.  I thought you were getting along better, though.”

“Yeah, but it was good days and not so good.  You caught her on one of the not so good, although I think some of that tantrum was from feeling like a fifth wheel.”

“She did stick out,” Sam admitted.  “Although I didn’t feel much better, to be honest.”

Daniel’s brow furrowed.  “What?  Why?”

Sam shifted on her stool, avoiding his eyes.  “I don’t know.  You four seemed like a working team – occasionally dysfunctional, maybe, but a unit.  And there I was, a relic from a prior era.  Sorry, previous,” she added hastily.

“I’m not up to changing my vocabulary yet,” said Daniel with a rueful grin before leaning against the table and turning to make it harder for her to look away.  “But Sam, you know that’s not true.  You might not have been at the SGC, but you never stopped being part of SG-1.  Not to any of us.” Especially not to-

“Cameron wants me to stay.” 

Not how he was going to complete the thought, but he’d take it.  “Do you want to?”

She was avoiding his eyes again.  “I haven’t decided.”

“That wasn’t what I asked,” he said softly, and when her shoulders started to curl in, closing her off, he stopped them with his hands.  She finally had to look at him directly.  “Do you want to stay with us, Sam?”

“Daniel…”

“Because I don’t want you to leave.”

“And-” Her voice caught in her throat and she started again.  “And why not?  It’s not like you’re in the Pegasus Galaxy.  I’m just a call away.”

“Pegasus,” he sighed.  “You know, I wanted to go there for so long…” He shook his head. “I’ll have to thank Vala for stopping me someday, if she ever makes it back.”

“Thank her?” asked Sam.

“Yes.  I have to thank her for reminding me of something.  It’s funny; I feel like I always knew it, but I never really understood what it meant before.”

“Which is?”

“That in all of the worlds and people and times we’ve seen, there’s only one Sam Carter.  And she’s the one thing I don’t think I can live without anymore.”  He slid his hands down her arms as she stared at him speechlessly.  “Sam, I know I’m springing this on you without any warning, and my timing sucks, and I’m probably not a real factor in your decision-”

She placed a hand over his mouth.  “No, Daniel.  You’re the only factor.”

And smiled.

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