Yep more fic! Another story for stargateland . This one for day 5 of theme week for the prompt: 14- SG1, Daniel Jackson/Vala Mal Doran, save the last dance for me. I don’t usually write Daniel/Vala so not sure if I got the voices right but it was still fun to write. I’m more of a Jack/Sam girl (if you hadn’t noticed). But I like Daniel and Vala, too.
Save the Last Dance
by jennickels (aka Jen Connelly)
At Jack and Sam’s wedding Daniel finally gets a dance with the very popular Vala Mal Doran. It just takes a little prodding from Cam to get him there.
don’t own… wish I did, but I don’t. No infringement intended.
Daniel slumped into one of the folding chairs sitting cock-eyed to a random table. The white cloth covering this particular table was listing slightly to the far side, the centerpiece now ready to fall from the edge. He stretched his legs out and sighed. It had been a long night. But good.
He glanced over to the dance floor where Jack twirled Sam around, her white dress flowing gracefully between her legs. He’d never seen either of his friends this happy before. A smile pulled at his mouth. He was happy for them. Very happy. They deserved this after all those years of pretending and denying and sacrificing. Jack suddenly pulled Sam close and whispered something into her ear. She reacted by throwing her arms around his neck and kissing him pretty passionately.
Daniel looked away. As happy as he was he wasn’t sure if he’d ever get used to their blatant and very public displays of affection. But he was still happy they were comfortable enough now to make them. His eyes slid across the dance floor and the other happy couples. He recognized almost everyone, mostly SGC personnel with a smattering of brass from Washington and Sam’s family.
A flash of red caught his eye and he followed the dress up to the smiling, laughing face of Vala. She was currently spinning around the floor with a leering Marine. Major Miller. He was new—on SG-16 or something. Daniel was starting to lose track of the constant rotation of personnel lately. What had once been a pretty tight-knit family had loosened up lately with IOA interference. He sighed.
Vala laughed at something the Marine said and slapped his arm. That got her dipped and a little nibble on her throat. Daniel tensed. Vala looked momentarily surprised but brushed it off with her usual grace. He knew Vala could hold her own. Hell, he’d been on the receiving end of her wrath a few times himself. He literally knew how well she could take care of herself. So why did that one display make him feel so defensive? He shook his head, trying to clear the crazy thoughts. Maybe he’d had too much to drink. Maybe he was just tired. He’d been up early to help set up and hadn’t gotten much sleep the night before. Maybe he just needed to go ask her to dance.
Where the hell did that come from? He frowned down at his hands folded over his stomach. Dance? With Vala? Bad idea. The music ended and people clapped. A slower song filled the room and Daniel saw Jack pulling his new bride closer, her cheek resting on his shoulder. Vala accepted an offer from a general. One Daniel didn’t know. She smiled brightly at the older man as they swayed to the sultry tune.
Daniel suddenly found himself on his feet and heading for the deck. It was cool outside. Early summer in Colorado was unpredictable. It could be 80 degrees one day and threatening to snow the next. They had lucked out and it had been a nice 65 degrees all afternoon but the sun was down and the breeze was blowing down from the mountain. He’d left his jacket inside at one of the tables. He couldn’t even remember which one and his dress shirt was little match for the cool night. He shivered but refused to go back inside. Why? What difference did it make if Vala danced with every guy in the room?
Why was he still thinking about Vala? He mentally chastised himself and turned to go back in. This is stupid, he thought, then caught another sight of her. Either the song had changed—although it sounded pretty much the same as before—or someone had cut in because now she was dancing with Teal’c. At least he knew Teal’c wouldn’t put a move on her.
He frowned again. What the hell was he thinking? Must have had more to drink than he thought. Images of Vala dancing with each and every man in the room swirled in his head. They mingled with other images of her—more personal ones. He turned away when a memory of flames and screams filled his head. Rubbing at his forehead he moved back towards the railing but stopped mid-step, once again lecturing himself about how ridiculous he was being.
“Why don’t you just ask her to dance?”
“Huh?” He looked up to see Mitchell leaning against one of the patio doors, his arms crossed over his chest with a bottle of beer nestled in the crook of one.
“Just ask her to dance, Jackson. It’d probably solve most of you problems.”
“I don’t know what your talking about.” Daniel made to go past him. Maybe what he needed was more alcohol. Maybe that would block all this out and he wouldn’t feel like an idiot.
“You’ve been staring at her all night long.” Mitchell fell into step next to him as he crossed the reception hall for the open bar.
Mitchell snorted. “Vala.”
Daniel was proud of the face he managed to pull. He was pretty sure it looked like one of disgust. He hoped. Really hoped. “Have not.”
Daniel groaned. Was this how Jack felt all those years? Mitchell halted his thoughts by grabbing his arm and swinging him around suddenly.
“Look, Jackson, we’ve been teammates for almost four years now and, I’d like to think, we’re friends. Vala, too. And I can see how you look at her.”
Daniel refused to look at Mitchell but then his eyes betrayed him as they landed on the still dancing Vala of their own accord. He sucked in a deep breath and pulled his gaze away, still not looking at the man in front of him. “There’s nothing going on between me and Vala.” God, he sounded just like Jack. How many times had he emphatically stated there was no relationship between him and Sam? And Daniel had seen through it every time. The feelings were so obvious. He glanced back at Mitchell and his expression said exactly the same thing as Daniel’s inner voice. Who was he kidding?
“I think that’s part of the problem. There’s nothing going on when there should be.”
Daniel gawked at him. “Do you really want to be on a team where…” He waved his hands around in an all too Jack-like gesture.
“Not normally, no. But no one can ever say SG-1 is a normal team. We’ve pretty much banked our careers on being out of the box.”
They were both quiet for awhile, Mitchell watching Daniel and Daniel trying not to glance over at the dance floor. After several minutes Mitchell’s low drawl interrupted Daniel’s thoughts again. “Just ask her to dance.” Then he was gone.
Daniel sighed and took in the entire room again. It was late. A lot of the party guests had left or were gearing down. Jack and Sam were conspicuously missing. He didn’t want to think where they ran off to. Without thinking he zeroed in on the red dress and watched as she spun around with Siler. He didn’t have to worry about Siler. He noted he had started to categorize all the men in the room into groups—those he could trust and those he couldn’t.
The DJ, one of the SGC Airmen dressed in loose fitting fatigue pants, loud colored t-shirt and beanie style hat, called out for the last dance of the evening. Was it really that late, Daniel wondered.
For the first time all night Vala fwas without a partner, most of the men having run off to dance with wives and girlfriends. Daniel took a deep breath and found his feet moving without him consciously making the decision. By the time he got to the dance floor his heart was pounding madly in his chest, the sound of blood rushing in his head deafening. He swallowed hard then went amazingly still when she caught his eyes. A smile played on her lips and brightened her eyes but then someone blocked their view.
He felt the air escape quickly and he tried to calm his nerves, feeling like an idiot. Like he did trying to ask Vicki Spillner to dance at the 9th grade social. Like an idiot. Vicki had laughed in his face and called him four-eyes. He closed his eyes momentarily before taking another fortifying breath. This was Vala, not Vicki. And he was friends with Vala and she had shown actual interest. On more than one occasion. She wouldn’t shoot him down.
Over the shoulder of the rather burly guy in dress blues he could see the tired expression on her face. She shot him a look, one he recognized as her, “get me the hell out of here,” look. He smiled. This was familiar. Like extracting her from a precarious situation during a mission. That happened a lot with Vala around.
Before the guy could finish his request Daniel moved forward and motioned towards her.
“Daniel,” she said, cheerily, “I do believe you owe me a dance.”
The guy, a major Daniel vaguely recognized from around the SGC, looked between them then muttered an apology and slinked away. Vala collapsed into his arms before he could say anything. Her arms moved easily around his neck and she leaned her head into his chest. Daniel felt awkward with her hanging on him, like he always did. His eyes darted around the room but no one was paying them any attention. Slowly his nerves settled and he let his arms snake around her waist. She swayed from side to side taking Daniel with her and pretty soon they were dancing. Daniel let a little grin creep up on his face. This was nice. It had been awhile since he’s let a woman get this close. Bad things happened when he started having feelings for women.
He glanced down at Vala and a realization hit him—Vala caused her own amount of “bad things” so his added misfortune probably wouldn’t be much more to handle. More like a hiccup in her life. He chuckled softly. Vala looked up at him with a worn but apprehensive face. She cocked her head to get a better view of him.
“Nothing,” he mumbled before she could ask. He tightened his grip on her which caused a smile to replace the tiredness. Her eyes sparkled again. He felt his own mouth pulling into a bigger smile. “What?” he asked after a few moments of them smiling like fools.
“How come you didn’t ask me to dance earlier?”
Daniel shrugged. There was no good answer to that question so he opted for deflection. “You seemed a little busy. There were a lot of guys at the wedding.”
She frowned and looked away. “It’s not like I was sleeping with each of them.”
She took a step back and stopped moving. Daniel felt suddenly cold. “No you didn’t but I saw the looks you were giving me.”
“You know Daniel, you sit all high and mighty on your little pedestal and you never let anyone get close while you judge all us lowly beings that don’t have your excessive morals. Or self control.”
Daniel stared at her in disbelief. “I didn’t mean it like that.”
She sighed and for a second he thought he saw her eyes water up but then she schooled her features. “We can’t all be perfect like the great Dr. Daniel Jackson.” She turned to leave but Daniel grabbed her arm, surprised by his own forcefulness.
“Hey, I never said I was perfect. I never even implied that. I’m far from perfect. Just ask Jack or Mitchell. I’ve screwed up so much in my life half the time I’m surprised I’m still alive.” He rubbed at the bridge of his nose. “I’m sorry about what I said. I didn’t mean it like that. I just meant you were busy dancing with everyone else. I didn’t want to interfere. You…” He took another deep breath and let it out quickly. “…you looked like you were having fun.”
She regarded him for several moments then relaxed some, a small smile returning to her face but he could still see the wariness behind it. “I’ve been waiting for you to ask me to dance.”
Daniel didn’t know what to say to that. He didn’t know his shock was apparent until Vala gently pushed his jaw up, closing his mouth. He felt his cheeks start to burn and turned away with a sheepish look. “I didn’t think…”
“Why wouldn’t you?”
He shrugged again then pulled her closer, the cold fleeing as soon as Vala was back in his arms. “Jack’s denial must be rubbing off,” he muttered under his breath.
“What was that?”
He shook his head. “Nothing. Let’s just dance.”
They twirled around the now mostly empty dance floor as the DJ played several slow, romantic songs back to back. The music and words blurred together for Daniel. He couldn’t have told anyone the names of the songs if they asked. He probably wouldn’t have noticed if Ba’al ringed down right in the middle of the room with a platoon of Jaffa. Daniel’s eyes were on Vala who gazed up at him with a lazy grin. Eventually she closed her eyes and let her head fall forward, resting the top on Daniel’s chin. He sighed in what he realized was contentment. When was the last time he felt content? With a woman? He shook the thought from his head. He really didn’t want to remember back to Sha’re and everything he had lost all those years ago.
Vala tightened her grip around his neck and Daniel found his own arms returning the gesture. Daniel swallowed hard; Vala squeezed tighter, her fingers now playing with the hairs at the nape of his neck. His whole body tingled and he barely registered the last song winding down. The music quieted and tapered out but they were still stuck together in the middle of the floor as the other couples sighed and parted, heading for their jackets and purses.
Daniel noticed Vala stop moving and looked down at her. Her face was very close. Very close. In fact, her lips were brushing against his chin, just below his mouth. His head dropped slightly and without thinking he pressed his lips against hers. She tasted like watermelon. And wedding cake and Tequila. A gurgle of absurd laughter fought to escape but he pushed it down, using the effort it took to deepen the kiss. Vala obliged eagerly, opening her mouth, her tongue darting into his.
He wasn’t sure how long the kiss lasted before he forced himself to pull away, suddenly realizing where they were. Vala watched him, searched his face for something. Daniel wasn’t sure what it was. Did she look… apprehensive? A little scared, maybe? Of what? He smiled at her, a lazy half-smile that wrinkled the skin around his eyes.
She still hadn’t let go of him and they were still very much standing in the middle of the dance floor as Airman Lucas gathered up his gear and chairs were folded up around them. Daniel only saw this motion from the corner of his eyes because, for some reason, he couldn’t tear his gaze away from the woman in his arms.
A grin grew on her face. Then she giggled. A soft, girly sound that made his heart skip a beat and his head go a little fuzzy. At least he thought it was the giggles but it could have been all the champagne he had to drink earlier. He wanted to believe it was the giggles, though. And he was happy to find he didn’t even want to deny it.
“I’m glad you asked me to dance, Daniel.”
“Me, too.” Her voice had gotten very quiet and Daniel matched it. “I’m just sorry I didn’t ask you earlier.”
“I’m not.” He felt a little hurt at that and it must have shown on his face because she quickened to add, “last dance.”
“You saved the last dance for me.”
Realization dawned and Daniel’s grin widened. “More like you saved the last dance for me.”
She laughed outright. “Does it make a difference?”
“Not to me.”
“Me either.” She tightened her grip once more and planted a soft kiss on the corner of his mouth. Daniel fought to keep the sigh in.
“You want to get out of here?” The words were out of his mouth before his brain registered he’d thought them.
She nodded against his throat. “Your place or mine?”
Daniel snorted. “You live on base.”
“Your place then.”
He paused at that. Was he serious? Was she serious? When was Vala not serious about these things. He glanced down at her now expectant face and realized he didn’t care. Slowly he nodded. “Yeah, my place.”
And with that he took her hand and lead her off the dance floor and out of the building, completely forgetting about his jacket left at one of the tables… he didn’t have time to go look for it anyway.