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Word Count: 5.591
Summary: Daniel and Vala are getting to know each other better while they’re looking for the perfect gift for Cameron.
Characters: Vala Mal Doran, Daniel Jackson, Jack O’Neill, Sam Carter, Teal’c, Cameron Mitchell, OCs
Pairing: Vala wishes it would be Daniel/Vala
Rating: PG
Spoiler: The ties that bind
Setting: Season 9 – after The ties that bind
Feedback: Can’t breathe without it.
Beta: Anne McSommers – thanks!
Disclaimer: I’m not making money with this fanfic. The tv-show Stargate SG-1 and the characters appearing within it belong to their producers and creators. Any similarities to living or dead persons are purely coincidental and not intended.

Check out Part One here
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2.



Vala was laughing. “I can’t do it.“

“C’mon,“ Daniel called, spreading his arms, “I’ll catch you if you fall.“

“Who did invent this idiotic hobby? It looked easier when we were just watching,“ Vala said, not loosening her grip on the handrail of the small ice skating rink next to the mall’s fountain. A group of kids, all of them laughing, passed her and Vala looked at Daniel who was standing in the middle of the rink, waiting for her.

“I can’t.“

“Sure you can.“

Vala took a deep breath before she let go of the railing to wobble towards Daniel. “I’m afraid to fall.“

“Then don’t,“ Daniel laughed. Vala stopped when the same group of children passed her again. She watched the self-assured movements of a young woman who was pulling her daughter with her. At first, Daniel had been against hitting the ice.

He excused his reluctance with the need to buy a present for Cameron. But Vala had persuaded him. Just a few minutes into it, he'd started to have a good time.

They'd been on the ice for half an hour now. Vala smiled. She resumed skating and made it to Daniel before the treacherous ice let her slip again. He caught her and she clung to his shoulders, trying to get back her footing.

“That was better,“ Daniel said and Vala got her feet under her.

She looked up to Daniel’s smiling face.

“Yeah.“

“I knew you could do it.“

She brushed her hand down his arm, taking his hand. “Give me a hand?“

He nodded and helped her to skate some big circles.

“Who taught you?“ Vala asked.

Daniel laughed. “Jack. During our second year as a team, he forced me to go to an ice skating rink with him and taught me how to do it. He did the same with Teal’c.“

When she slipped, Vala caught herself with her arms flailing. “And Carter?“

Daniel shrugged. “She could already do it. We went skating together sometimes.“

A little girl in front of them fell and Daniel helped Vala to stop. Then he squatted down and helped the little girl to get up. Vala brushed the ice from her jacket. With a short smile, the girl returned to her mother.

“I wanna have kids,“ Vala suddenly said, not really knowing why she did it.

Daniel frowned. “Don’t look at me.“

Vala laughed and shook her head. “No, really. I want to have kids.“

“I can’t imagine you with children,“ Daniel said.

“When I have a daughter, I’ll name her Adria.“

“Why?“

Vala ducked her head. “That’s the name of my stepmother. I love her, but she’s one hell of a woman.“

Daniel nodded towards the exit and Vala headed with him that way.

“In our culture, children sometimes get the names of their birth parents. Why don’t you name after your mother?“

Vala nodded. “But it’s not good to give the children the name of a relative who died before they were born.“

Guiltily, Daniel bit his lip. “Sorry. I didn’t want to bring it up that way. How long ago did she die?“

Vala shrugged. “A long time ago. My father got married again.“

Daniel opened her skaters for her. “Siblings?“

“A baby sister.“ Vala smiled proudly. “We have a lot in common.“

Daniel laughed. “Oh, no! Two of you.“

“I wouldn’t share you with anyone,“ Vala promised, suddenly looking thoughtful, “But I think Mitchell’s just her type.“

Daniel laughed.

***

“So, Daniel,“ Vala began, snuggling into the soft cushions of the chair she’d conquered in the mall’s Starbuck’s, “What’s your Christmas wish?“

Daniel was silent for a second, sipping his coffee. “I’d like Jack and Sam to celebrate with us, but …“ He shrugged.

Vala frowned. “Well, if they are such good friends, why don’t they come here for Christmas?“

Daniel shook his head. “They’re busy.“ He shrugged, forcing a smile. “What are we going to buy for Mitchell?“

Vala was watching him intently and realized that losing his team had hurt him more than he wanted to admit.

Maybe that was why he wanted to go away and move to another galaxy. Each of his friends had found a new life, O' Neill had been transferred, Carter was leading researches and Teal'c had freed his people.

Perhaps, Daniel felt like he was the only one not achieving anything.

She leant forward. “Are you mad at me for messing up your travel plans?“

Daniel smiled. “Sure.“

“You can think about that question, you know,“ Vala answered, faking offence, and crossed her arms.

“It’s just a pity,“ Daniel explained, “Atlantis was my dream come true.“

“It still can be.“

Daniel nodded. “Yeah, as soon as our … situation’s taken care of. If it can be.“

Vala sighed. “Sorry.“ For the first time, she was apologizing honestly for her appearance, and its consequences. The truth was, she could have brought the artifact to any other well-known archaeologist in the universe. She could have chained herself to whomever she wanted to get what she wanted. But she'd missed Daniel. And she'd cursed herself for it. Feelings weren't good for her business.

Daniel swallowed the last of his coffee. “It’s alright. Let’s go.“

Vala ate the rest of her cookie and got up, immediately linking their arms when they returned into the loud mall. She stopped him and planted a kiss on his cheek. He shoved her back. “Vala -“

“That was friendship. On your cheek.“ She grinned in triumph.

Daniel rolled his eyes. “And here I was thinking I could come to like you.“

“Oh, liar! You are smitten with me.“

Daniel laughed and Vala grew serious. “I was just thanking you for being here.“

Daniel stared at her.

Vala broke the surprised silence with a smile. “You want to visit the sex shop next?“

***

Daniel managed to drag Vala away from the sex shop, curious stares following them, and pulled her into the store next door. Vala liked this one even more as Daniel realized with shock.

“Daniel, I want to buy a Barbie doll.“

“No.“

“Oh, please! Look at her. We’ll dye her hair black and you could use her a voodoo doll as soon as I’m done playing with her.“

Daniel thought about that for a moment. Then he shook his head and hid a smile by turning around to the model building things.

Fascinated, Vala handled a toy gun. “You’re spoiling your children. When I was a kid, I was playing hide and seek with my sister in the barn and that was enough to last an afternoon.“

Daniel shrugged. In the desert, he'd always played with the children of the workers who were working for his parents.

“There are no barns around here anymore.“ He looked at his watch. “Vala, we’ve been here for over an hour. Let’s go.“

Vala pouted and let her eyes wander the store one last time to make sure that she hadn’t missed a thing. “Fine.“

***

“Boring,“ Vala sing-songed for the hundredth time. Daniel ignored her, pulling books out of the shelves.

“Daniel. Boring.“

“We were in the toy store for over an hour because of you.“

“I’ve been here with you for two hours now.“

Daniel looked at his watch. “More like ten minutes.“

Vala groaned impatiently and strolled through the small store. “I don’t think that Mitchell’s the kind of guy who reads. He’s one for violence and fights.“

“But I want to look for some new books for Sam.“

“You know what?“ Crossing her arms, Vala returned to Daniel and leant against the shelf. “I think the shopping is some kind of test.“

Daniel rolled his eyes. “I think you’re right.“ Without looking at it, he pulled a book from the shelf and handed it to Vala. “Look at that. That’s going to keep you busy.“

Vala stuck out her tongue and then opened the book in the middle. Her eyes widened. “My God, Daniel, you wanna tell me something?“

Daniel glanced at the book and hectically grabbed it out of Vala’s hands, taking a closer look at the cover.

Vala stepped closer. “What’s Kama sutra? And … Daniel, are you blushing?“

***

“I’ve never seen a shop so boring before. There are only pictures hanging at the wall. I bet you don’t even sell those. There are no price tags,“ Vala complained and Daniel smiled at the saleswoman behind the counter.

The young woman cleared her throat. “Our tickets for sportive events are of course the best when it comes to giving them away to men for Christmas.“

“Who’s that?“ Vala asked, pointing at a poster.

“Marilyn Manson, Miss,“ the saleswoman answered.

Vala grimaced. “Looks kind of strange.“ She tilted her head. “He reminds me of a trading partner on Valona. That guy wanted to double cross me.“ She grinned evilly. “Well, now, he won’t have to ask a woman out ever again.“

The saleswoman's eyes wandered to Daniel, frightened. He put on a smile. “Those damn online games.“ He sighed. “I’ll think about it.“ He pulled Vala with him when he left the store. “That was a ticket shop, Vala. You can purchase tickets for events. There aren’t showcases like in the other shops. And don’t talk about your travels.“

“Why would Mitchell need tickets?“

“To visit a basket ball game,“ Daniel explained.

Vala nodded in understanding. “So you have to actually pay here for watching men get all sweaty.“

Daniel smiled, shaking his head. Vala watched a young man hurrying by them, heading for a flower shop and running into a young woman. She laughed and nodded at a twig above their heads. They kissed briefly.

Daniel noticed where her attention had wandered. “That is mistletoe. You have to kiss when you stand beneath it.“

“Why?“

Daniel shrugged. “Tradition.“

Vala nodded thoughtfully, sitting down beside Daniel on a bench.

“What are we going to get for Cameron?“ Daniel asked with a hint of desperation in his voice.

“He’s really difficult to shop for.“ Vala brushed her hair back. “Daniel, could you give me money for ice cream?“

“You want to eat ice cream?“ Daniel asked. Vala nodded and he got his wallet out with a sigh. “There you go. I’ll be in the shop over there.“ He pointed to an electronics store.

“Okay,“ Vala nodded and Daniel left. Vala waited until he’d entered the store, then, after a short trip to another shop, she entered the ice-dream parlor.

***

Half an hour later, Vala had eaten her ice-cream and Daniel had decided against buying a video game. They decided on tickets for a basket ball game, and Daniel paid for them while Vala was complaining about being tired and that she wanted to go home. When they were back in Daniel’s car, Vala turned to face Daniel and stopped him from starting the engine. “Thanks for spending the day with me here,“ she said.

He smiled. “You’re welcome. Well, I didn’t have another choice but to take you with me, right?“

Vala frowned. “Thanks … I think.“

Daniel shook his head. “I’m kidding. It was a lot of fun, Vala. Seriously.“ He prepared to start the car. “Buckle up.“

“Wait.“

Slightly irritated now, Daniel turned to face her. She was holding a mistle toe and arragend it on the rear-view mirror. Daniel bit his lip. “Vala-“

“Daniel.“ She leant towards him. “What would be the big deal? It wouldn’t be the first time and I don’t want more than a kiss from you.“

Not convinced, he raised his eyebrows and she smiled in embarrassment.

“Well, at least right this second.“ She grew serious. “Please?“

Daniel rolled his eyes, muttering “Why me?“ before he nodded.

Vala leant forwards and pressed their lips together. A few seconds later, she broke the kiss. “Now, was it that bad?“

He shook his head and she cupped his cheek.

“Thank you for everything.“

Daniel smiled.

“I know that I’m grating on your nerves, but I don’t do it to irritate you. I like you very much.“

“I know. I like you, too … a bit,“ Daniel nodded. Vala smiled, knowing that he was downplaying to not let her win. That was just their way. But they liked each other and respected the other in a way outsiders couldn’t grasp.

“Good.“

“Can we go home, now?“ Daniel asked, avoiding her eyes and feeling, as if he’d just missed something.

Vala had the same feeling while she snuggled into her seat and buckled up. “Drive, slave.“

***

The phone was ringing. Jack O’Neill sighed, looking up from the report he had to go through, before he yawned and stretched to grab for the receiver. “O’Neill?“

“Jack O’Neill?“

He didn’t know the female voice. “Who’s asking?“

“My name’s Vala. Vala Mal Doran.“

Oh! Daniel had mentioned her in his emails.

“Yes, this is Jack.“ He remembered Daniel describing Vala in his last email.

You have to pay attention to what you say to her. She’s grating on my nerves, distracting me and you never know what she’ll do next. She’s a mix of you and Han Solo.

Jack knew subtext and had answered.

You like her, don’t you, Dannyboy?

“What can I do for you?“

“Listen to me,“ Vala demanded and Jack swallowed when he heard her serious voice.

***

Sam was just finishing some calculations when the phone on her desk in Area51 rang. “Sam Carter?“

“My name’s Vala. We have to talk.“

Sam rubbed her forehead. Daniel had talked about Vala during their last phone call and since then, Sam was worried. Daniel hadn't really complained about Vala, but Sam knew whom Daniel had to thank for the current situation. Who knew what this woman was planning next?

“It’s about Daniel.“

That got her attention.

***

Cameron was just getting the roast out of the oven when the doorbell rang. “Hey! Could someone get that?“ he called to his guests in the living room.

“Daniel, you do it,“ he heard Vala, “I’m busy. Teal’c, you never told me what a great masseur you are.“

“Indeed.“

Cameron didn't even want to imagine what exactly those two were doing in his living room. He heard Daniel passing the kitchen and opening the front door.

Shocked, Daniel stared at the visitors.

“Hi,“ Jack said.

Sam smiled. “We’re just passing by.“

Cameron opened the door wider. “Sure. C’mon in. There’s enough roast for everyone.“ He headed back for the kitchen. Sam hugged Daniel briefly and tightly, and then stepped into the warm house.

Jack gave Daniel a brief hug, too. “Hey! You okay?“ he asked.

“Sure,“ Daniel nodded, “Just surprised.“

“You should have told us how important spending Christmas with us is to you, Daniel. Seriously.“

“How?“ Daniel asked and Jack looked at Vala who was standing in the door to the living room, wearing a black dress.

“Ask Han Solo,“ he suggested and followed Sam into the living room to greet Teal’c.

Vala joined Daniel.

“You told them to come here?“ he asked.

Vala shrugged. “You were so sad. Cameron and Teal’c thought it was a great idea and gave me their numbers.“

“Vala, they have jobs. A new life.“

Disappointed, Vala ducked her head. Surprised, she registered that Daniel was suddenly hugging her. “That was really, really nice and attentive of you,“ he muttered and Vala smiled, returning the embrace.

She bit her lip. “Does that mean that I’ll get more than a hug and a kiss from you for that?“

Daniel laugehd softly. “I’ve got something for you.“

Vala smiled curiously but Daniel didn't tell. He just thought of the necklace Vala had liked so much. He'd bought it secretly when he'd been at the mall with Vala and Cameron to get something for Teal'c.

“So … I guess it’s got nothing to do with you being naked?“ Vala asked.

He shook his head before he pulled her closer. Vala didn't mind the answer though. Maybe next Christmas, she thought, sighing happily.

END
JJ 11/06

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