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17 May 2009 @ 08:27 pm
Blinding Truths (1/4)  
Title: Blinding Truths (1/4)
Author: tenacious_err
Rating: PG
Pairing: Daniel/Vala
Summary: After a blinding flash in the gateroom Daniel and Vala are transported to a planet where they must complete a series of puzzles. Set post-Ark of Truth.
Notes: This is my first time writing a long Stargate piece and my first time writing Daniel, Vala, and Daniel/Vala. Constructive criticism and general feedback is loved.

"Daniel. Daniel. Daniel. Daniel. Daniel," Vala sat perched on the table in Daniel's lab, with Daniel intently studying a book in the far corner of the room. She had been at this for about a minute now. She was beginning to get bored, so for her own entertainment with each exclamation of his name she began to began to impersonate their team members. "Daniel Jackson," she lowered her tone as her mouth lowered into a stoic frown no doubt meant to impersonate Teal'c. "Daniel," she imitated a bad southern accent, representing Mitchell. "Daniel?" She repressed her accent and made her voice sound more girlish in an attempt to copy Samantha.

"Vala!" Daniel finally yelled, placing down the book and turning to face her, his teeth gritted together as he glared at her. "You have been at this all day, I am absolutely not telling you what I got you. So please let me actually work!"

"But.." she whined, "it's my birthday! I demand that you tell me! This is important!"

Daniel took off his glasses and rubbed his eyes, silently wishing he could strangle Cam. It had been Cam who had asked Vala when her birthday was after he was talking about his last birthday, in which he'd received the best cake ever from his grandmother. Birthdays weren't as universal a thing as one might think, and for someone who'd been on the run for years and had been a goa'uld host for the years and years before that, Vala couldn't remember having her own birthday party. Her birthday, as it turned out, had been in a few weeks. When Sam had heard this, she'd immediately demanded the team throw Vala a huge party. Right in front of Vala.

Vala had attached to this idea very strongly, (it was, after all, a day that celebrated just her.) Unfortunately this also meant she'd been following around the members of the team and asking them about birthday parties and gifts, and for the entire last week she'd solely been following Daniel around asking him what he'd gotten her.

"Why don't you go ask someone else?" He huffed helplessly, "they all got you gifts too, you know."

Vala considered this for a moment, "but they won't tell me."

"Well, neither will I!"

"Oh, at least give me a hint! Just a teeny-tiny little hint?" She went wide-eyed at him, batting her eyelashes at him for what was at least the fifth time that week. He rolled his eyes in response, and just as he was opening his mouth to respond the alarm overhead went off. He'd never been so glad to hear the words "unscheduled off-world activation."

They both made their way to the gate room, where General Landry was talking to Walter. "It's SG11's IDC, sir." Walter announced.

General Landry nodded, "they're a day late, open up communications." The general proceeded to be informed by SG11 that the mission with the locals of PX5-66A had gone awry, but that they were okay now and looking forward to returning home. With a nod of the general's head, Walter opened the iris and the members walked forward- but just as they did there was a blinding flash of white light that filled the gate room.

"Ugh," Vala groaned as she opened her eyes, willing her vision to focus on her surroundings. Above her she could see branches and leaves, which was alarming since the last time she had checked the SGC was pretty much just concrete and... well, that was about it really.

She bolted upright, ignoring the pounding headache this movement gave her. She quickly looked around, to find herself in an open field, with nothing in sight but grass as far as the eye could see. Her hand moved back and brushed against a solid object, and she turned to see Daniel laying beside her, apparently passed out.

"Daniel!" She said, shaking him as best she could. He didn't respond. "Daniel! Daniel!" This time she shoved him back and forth, and he groggily licked his lips and opened one eye.

"I told you, I'm not telling you what I got you for your-" he paused, "wait, where are we?"

"A field, apparently. How'd we get here?" Vala asked.

"What, you don't know?"

"Well, if I knew, I wouldn't have asked you now would I of?"

"Okay, okay," Daniel straightened his glasses and stood up. "What's the last thing you remember?"

"Well, we were in the gateroom... SG11 was returning from their mission, but they were late. Then... there was a flash, wasn't there? Then I was here."

He nodded, "that's what I remember too. Now, the question is, how did we get here?"

"You aren't throwing a giant surprise party for me, are you?" Vala questioned, jumping up by his side as her eyebrows raised hopefully.

He looked at her in the pure bafflement that only she was able to arouse, "no..." he dragged it out, not quite sure how to respond to the question. "I did not mystically drag us to a planet we've probably never been to without weapons or a clue as to where we are for a surprise birthday party."

"Oh," she sounded disappointed. "Well, I have weapons." Before he knew what had happened she bent over and pulled out a zat gun from her boot.

He shook his head, "won't you need that?"

"Oh, I have another one," she shrugged as she handed it to him.

"You carry two zat guns on you?" He raised an eyebrow towards her as he placed the zat gun at his back, letting his belt hold it as he used his shirt to cover it.

"Well, usually I have more," she replied with a shrug, "today was a light day."

"Uh-huh..." he said, "as I was saying, we need to figure out how we got here. We don't know who, if anyone, lives on this planet so we'd better be careful."

"Right," Vala nodded, "we have zats... so shoot first, ask later if we see someone?"

"No... no," Daniel dragged out the word once more, "if we find someone we hide and observe them until we decide the best way to approach."

Vala rolled her eyes, "well, I suppose we could do that too."

Daniel took the lead as they walked through the field, Vala remained silent for all of a minute before she called out "oh, I know! One hundred bottles of beer on the wall, one hundred bottles of beer..."

Daniel groaned loudly, "who taught you that?"

"Cam," she beamed at him.

Yep, he was so going to strangle Cam. "Don't do that, someone might hear you who we don't want to."

"Ninety-nine bottles of beer on the wall...." she was whispering now, just enough so that he could hear her. He groaned, hoping that a stargate was close by as they continued to travel. It was going to be a long day.

After walking for a half hour or so, they stumbled upon a cave tucked into a small mountain side. Daniel nodded towards it, and Vala followed as she continued to sing lightly about the twenty-five bottles of beer that were on the wall. As they approached it they saw that the entrance seemed to be closed off by a straight slab of rock, with symbols etched on it. Daniel studied them for a moment, his hands running over line after line. "Well?" Vala huffed, clearly bored with their whole situation.

"It looks like this language was derived from ancient..." Daniel said absentmindedly, enthralled in the words before him. "I think it says... 'only those with wit and wisdom shall enter...' I can't be certain, though."

Vala nodded, "right, no stargate in there. Let's get going then." As she began to walk off he halted her by raising his hand.

"No, wait, this could be something big... this could at least tell us where we are and how we got here. It could lead us to a village, or villages," Daniel argued. Vala sighed, he had a point and she'd seen him in archeologist mode before, he probably couldn't be pulled from this cave even if she physically tried to remove him.

Daniel continued to decipher the words on the slab, clearly enthralled with this new work. Vala sat down in the grass, crossing her legs and watching him, remaining surprisingly quiet. They remained like this for another half hour before she got to her feet with a huff of boredom "oh, come on Daniel," she whined. "Can't you use that big brain of yours to figure this out? I mean how hard can it be to get into a cave?" She stood and leaned against the slab, "I mean really how much wit and wisdom does it take to-" then she was gone.

Daniel looked up in surprise. "Vala?" He asked, looking around frantically to see that she was nowhere to be seen. He quickly moved to the piece of slab she'd been leaning against. "Vala!? Can you hear me?" He yelled, pressing his hands against the rock as if expecting it to move for him.

What he found instead was no resistance at all, and he fell forward with a hard, disorienting crash to the ground. "Daniel?" He rolled over to his back with a groan, glad that his glasses seemed to be in one piece. His surroundings were now dark and musty, with just barely enough light to see. He saw Vala's concerned face looking over him. "Are you okay?" She asked. He groaned and nodded, sitting up. Vala's hand clasped into his as she helped him to his feet.

"Well..." she offered, "we got inside the cave." He looked around and noticed now that they were in fact inside a cave, and that it seemed to be lit with torches that were in placeholders around the edge of the cave. "They turned on when I got here," Vala said with a shrug as she saw his gaze stick on one of the torches.

He placed his hand against the other side of the stone slab, but Vala just shook her head. "Tried that. Couldn't get back through." Daniel nodded and turned back to the rest of the cave. "Shall we follow the yellow brick road, then?"

Daniel raised an eyebrow at her, "Cam?"

"Teal'c, actually, he's been letting me borrow his movies," she responded. Daniel opened his mouth to say something else, but as he did there was a loud rumbling from above them that drowned him out. He'd heard that sound many times before and reacted quickly, grabbing Vala by her arm and yanking her forward as he began to run. She cried out in protest, but followed his lead and began to run all the same. He kept a death-grip on her arm, and when he saw debris falling from the corner of his eye he propelled her forward without giving it a second thought. She flailed forward, tried to fix her balance, only to fall flat on her back.

She heard a crash in front of and as she looked up she saw that the cave entrance had caved in, that's what the loud sound had been. There was a large pile of rocks in front of her, and she saw Daniel curled up right in front of the pile. She quickly pushed herself up and made her way by his side, "Daniel?" It was a tentative question as she checked his pulse, he was knocked out cold, she thought his head had probably hit the ground when he'd fallen. One of his legs was curled under him, but the other had been hit by a rather large rock and was just slightly underneath it.

With a grunt she wrapped her arms around his body and pulled it forward. It took all her strength to remove him from the rock, and then she pulled a little more to get his body lying flat out on the ground. She felt the leg carefully, feeling that it was at an impossible angle. "Well, better that you be out for this," she offered as she quickly pushed his leg back into its socket. She looked around for a minute before grabbing one of the torches and extinguishing it against the ground, then breaking the wood to create a make-shift splint. She lifted his pant leg and placed the wood next to his leg, and with some effort ripped off part of her sleeve so that she could properly tie it to him.

When he woke the first thing he felt was an overwhelming sense of warmth and comfort, the next was pain. "Oh good, I was starting to think I'd have to drag you through this whole cave, and that just wouldn't do. Samantha and I got our nails done yesterday, you know." He became aware of the fact that his head was in Vala's lap, and that she was stroking her fingers through his hair. Well, there were worse ways to wake up, he supposed. "You took a bit of a spill, do you remember?"

He nodded groggily as she helped him sit up. He felt a sharp pain in his leg and grimaced. "I had to splint it," Vala said.

"Great, I'm on an unknown planet and I'm injured. Must be Monday," Daniel muttered under his breath. He tried to get on his feet only to collapse against the nearby cave wall in pain. Vala put his arm over her shoulder and nodded.

"Let's get on with it then, wisdom and wit and such," she said. Without another choice he leaned his weight on her and they slowly made their way into the cave. "So... how much food do we have?" She questioned.

"Oh, let me see..." Daniel said, "none. Yep, we have no food."

"You know, I'm not really hungry," Vala said.

"Me either."

"Isn't that odd? I mean, it was about lunch time, shouldn't we be hungry?" Vala asked.

"I don't know," Daniel shrugged, "maybe since we got abducted and caved-in food just isn't on our minds right now." As they made their way forward they entered a large chamber. In the middle of the chamber was a large contraption, with the same writing on it that was on the stone slab.

At the front of the contraption was what looked similar to a computer screen, with a seat right in front of it. Vala helped Daniel to the seat, and he studied the screen before speaking. "Well... this is weird..." Daniel said, squinting at the screen.

"That we're trapped in a cave on a planet we have no idea how we got to? Yes, quite odd," Vala nodded.

"No, well, yes, but not that..." Daniel's voice trailed off, "if I'm reading this right it says 'you have entered this cave and your leg has become injured but you continue to move forward.'"

"Lucky guess?" Vala suggested. Daniel pursed his lips, obviously having no response for this. "What else does it say?"

"Stuff," Daniel said, just a little too quick.

"Oh, well, that's quite precise..."

"Well, um, it says that..." he said some more words but they mumbled together and she couldn't understand.

"You're mumbling," she said.

"No I'm not," he said.

"Yes you are. Just like when we were married!" She shot back.

"We weren't married," he placed emphasis on the "we" in the sentence. "It says 'you journey with your closest friend' which... well..." he shrugged.

She beamed, "I'm your closest friend?"

"Maybe I'm not reading this right," Daniel was talking more to himself than her now.

"Or," she suggested, "maybe I'm your closest friend and that computer knows us quite well."

"But how?" Daniel was still in his archeological state where he spoke without thinking. He only realized what he'd said after he'd said it.

"I am your closest friend!" She yelled out, pointing at him with the accusation of someone who'd just discovered a big secret.

"You're a close friend," he insisted, "...oh boy."

"What? What?" She was quite eager to know what the computer had to say. She was perched behind Daniel with her head on his shoulder now, looking at the screen as if she expected to be able to read it.

"Here when it says closest friend I don't think it means it like we mean it. Oh boy, yeah, this definitely isn't us..."

He continued to read and she gave him all of a second before she eagerly asked, "what does it mean?"

"It means... well there really isn't an equivalent in English. Lovers is the closest word we have, but that isn't exact..."

"Oooh, am I your lover Daniel?" She was whispering in his ear now. He rolled his eyes as she continued, "have you been having your way with me while I've been asleep? That's quite naughty."

He rolled his eyes at her again, "I said it wasn't equivalent. It isn't quite 'lover' it's more like... the person you are most intimately attached to. All the same this clearly isn't us."

She huffed and moved away from him to sit lazily on the cave floor, "it knew about your leg."

"Maybe it was just a lucky guess," Daniel replied, "I mean... that rock fall could have been activated somehow... an injury is bound to happen and the leg is most likely to get injured."

"An activated rock fall? That seems like quite a lot of effort to hurt someone's leg," Vala said. He knew she was right, but clearly the screen had to be wrong. It must be. How would it even know who they were? And he wasn't most attached to her... sure he'd grown to like her, respect her even, but closest intimate relationship? No, no, that wasn't right, it couldn't be. Or could it? He pushed the thoughts from his mind and continued to read the screen.

"According to this we are now in the chamber of understanding," Daniel continued, "this room... explains to us what we're expected to be and do, and the rooms further up are all tests. We're expected to have integrity, honor, inner beauty, wit and wisdom, mostly what the stone in front said. If we fail..." his voice drifted off as his eyebrows knitted together, "uh oh."

"Uh oh?" Vala asked.

"It says... if we fail we end," he replied quietly.

"We... end?" Vala repeated, "that doesn't sound good, I don't want to die in this cave, Daniel."

"I don't know if they mean die," Daniel said.

"Oh yes, we end but we continue to live. That's quite logical," she sighed, "but I suppose we haven't really got a choice, so lets face the puzzles of doom? You have quite a big brain, and I'm absolutely gorgeous, what can't we do together?"

"Well we actually only need inner beauty," Daniel pointed out.

Vala shrugged, "how could someone this gorgeous on the outside be ugly inside?" She asked, batting her eyelashes as she used her hands to motion towards her face and then her entire body.

He rolled his eyes, and watched in surprise as the machine in front of him flickered so that he could see right through it. It flickered again and again, and then the next thing he knew he was falling backwards but Vala was quickly under his arm, steadying him. He looked down and realized his chair must have been flickering too, because now it was completely gone. When he looked back the device he'd been reading was gone too, they were now just in an empty chamber.

"Hm," Vala said thoughtfully, "shall we continue onward then, lover?" He glared at her for that one. "Hey, the computer said so, it must be true," she said with an ever widening grin. He sighed. It was definitely going to be a long day.
Current Mood: nervousnervous
Johna: Vala and lifelostarkeo on May 18th, 2009 11:04 am (UTC)
Hahaha! Yes! I can't wait for more! You've definitely captured the best of Daniel and Vala! I love it!
Aly: {SG1} D&V ani sit in lap hearttenacious_err on May 19th, 2009 04:10 am (UTC)
Aw thank you, I can't wait to write more! :)
mamapranayama: pic#86026045mamapranayama on May 18th, 2009 01:19 pm (UTC)
Good start. I'll be looking out for more. :D
Aly: {SG1} Daniel and Vala meet Oritenacious_err on May 19th, 2009 04:11 am (UTC)
Thank you! ♥
tiredmomof2tiredmomof2 on May 18th, 2009 07:13 pm (UTC)
Great start! Love, love, love it. Can't wait for more.
Aly: {SG1} Vala grinstenacious_err on May 19th, 2009 04:11 am (UTC)
Aww, I'm so glad you like it. Thank you. :)
lc59lc59 on May 19th, 2009 05:57 pm (UTC)
That was pretty good...you managed to catch the ambiguity of them post-Ark.
I did have 'logic' problems though...and I've discovered that these things may only bother me, so for what it's worth:
The 'zat in her boot was amusing in the same way that having a blow dryer in her backpack in Quest was amusing but completely illogical(just like the blowdryer in her pack was illogical and really didn't make sense in light of the "get up and leave in a hurry" lifestyle she would've lead as a thief)and that really pulled me outta the story, because really how the hell do you carry a 'zat in your boot? and two)umm,'zats have to be signed out of the armoury first don't they.
If those comments don't matter to you then feel free to ignore me.
Aly: {SG1} Vala Blue thinkingtenacious_err on May 19th, 2009 07:38 pm (UTC)
Oh, I'd never ignore constructive feedback, I prefer it. :)

As for the zats, it's funny because the reason you think it's illogical is the very same reason I think it's logical. Yes, it is meant to be amusing, but it's also meant to be a testament to Vala's character. She was a thief with a hard life for a very long time, I find it harder to believe that she wouldn't have at least one weapon on her at all times than that she would. I wasn't seeing it in her boot so much as slightly on the edge of one of her gigantic boots and tucked into her pant leg a bit.

Also, I didn't see the zats as the SGC's weapons but rather Vala's own personal collection. I agree the logistics of that are iffy, and before she was a member of SG1 there was no way she'd get her own weapons, but a) I think with her history if Vala wanted something she could make it work and b) now that she has the SGC's trust they'd probably let it slide.
Zoecaramel_monkey on May 21st, 2009 09:53 am (UTC)
Hey, awesome start! I can't wait for more of this. Heh. Danieland Vala stuck in a room, together? Can't wait! xD
Maggie: dv in your arms: by lady_nercaorbinglight on May 22nd, 2009 11:04 am (UTC)
yaaay indiana jackson!! lol
love the beginning so far :)
rac80rac80 on May 31st, 2009 02:03 pm (UTC)
great beginning, acomputer that reads minds/feelings! good idea and so daniel that he hasn't come to terms with his and vala's relationship yet.
bkwurm1: dinner-DVbkwurm1 on June 21st, 2009 04:14 am (UTC)
Poor battered Daniel and yes, dear, Vala really is the person you are most intimately attached to. Silly boy, stop denying it.

I love the openning part with Vala doing the team's voices to badger Daniel.

Happily off to part two now.