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20 May 2009 @ 12:51 am
Blinding Truths (2/4)  
Title: Blinding Truths (2/4)
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.

When they entered the next chamber they found a hologram of a plain looking man. "Hello," the hologram spoke.

"Why can I understand him, Daniel?" Vala whispered, still holding up part of Daniel's weight.

"I don't know..." Daniel stared at the hologram, "the writing outside and on the machine clearly wasn't English but now this hologram is."

"I have three questions for you," the hologram continued. "Will you answer them?"

"Okay," Daniel replied with a shrug.

Vala glared at him, "what if we'd just said no and moved on?"

"I doubt it works like that," Daniel shot back. Vala was about to argue back when the hologram spoke again.

"There is a truth teller, a liar, and one person that sometimes answers truthfully and sometimes lies. Each man knows who is who. You may ask three yes or no question to determine who is who. Each time you ask a question, it must only be directed to one of the men. You may ask the same question more than once, but of course it will count towards your total. What are your questions and to whom will you ask them?" In front of the hologram three more holographic men appeared in a line.

"I think we're suppose to ask them the questions," Daniel motioned towards the men in front of them.

"Right, what shall we ask them?" Vala asked, "Oh, I know," Vala left Daniel balanced on one leg and hopped forward to the man in the middle of the group. "Is his leg injured?" She motioned towards Daniel.

"I'm sure that it works like-" Daniel started, but was interrupted.

"No," the man replied in the same voice of the other hologram.

Vala turned around and grinned at Daniel, "liar!" She called proudly as she pointed towards the hologram.

"We don't know that," Daniel replied, "he could be the one who sometimes tells the truth and sometimes lies, and now we're down a question." She huffed at this, clearly annoyed she wasn't getting enough credit for her discovery, and moved back to support him under his arm.

She helped him move forward to look at the holograms as he became lost in his own thoughts. He looked at the man Vala had already questioned, and asked, "is the man on your left the truth teller?"

"Yes," the man replied.

He then nodded towards the man on the left, "are you the truth teller?"

"No," the man replied.

"Right," Daniel nodded, "okay... so the man on the very right is the truth teller, the man in the middle is the liar and the man on the left is the random guy, right?"

"Correct," the hologram nodded his head, and the other three holograms disappeared. "Second question: Brothers and sisters, I have none, but this man's father is my father's son."

"What?" Vala grumbled, "so now I understand the words but I've got no clue what he's saying."

"It's your son," Daniel replied quickly, "that's the only thing that makes sense."

"Oh," Vala said, "right, I knew that."

"Correct," the hologram said again, "last question: A basket contains 5 apples. Do you know how to divide them among 5 kids so that each one has an apple and one apple stays in the basket?"

"You give four kids an apple each and then give the other one an apple in a basket," Vala blurted cheerfully. Daniel glared at her. "Oh, come on, you know that's right."

"Correct," the hologram said, "proceed." Just like that the chamber was completely empty again.

"You're welcome," Vala muttered as Daniel carefully looked around the room.

"I don't even see technology in here," he said as he mostly ignored Vala, "Sam would have a field day with this stuff."

"Samantha does love her gadgets, just as I love my hot showers and not being trapped on alien planets. Shall we?" She motioned onward, to the chamber in front of them. They made their way down and into yet another empty room. "This is getting quite boring," Vala said. Daniel nodded in agreement as they observed two circles of light in the room.

A booming voice, the same voice of the hologram, spoke from above. "Each person shall step into a circle. This is the room of honesty."

"I don't like this," Vala said, her eyes turning towards Daniel. He frowned.

"No, me either, but we don't have much choice..."

"Fine, but I'm not saving you if you break something else," Vala muttered as she helped Daniel into one circle and then slowly made her way into the other. She tapped her foot and bit her lip, clearly uncomfortable with the whole situation.

Suddenly Vala let out a blood-curling scream. Daniel rushed forward to attempt to reach her, but was blocked by a force field that seemed to now line the circle. He fell on his broken leg and let out a scream as he fell backwards and watched helplessly as Vala rammed her back into her own force field, he'd never seen her look so scared, but he couldn't see anything around her. "Vala? Vala! What's wrong? Vala?"

"No, no, I will not do this again," she yelled, and before Daniel even knew where she'd gotten it from she was holding a Zat at the ground in front of her. She shot it again and again and again.

"Vala!" Daniel screamed, trying to get her attention, "what are you doing? What do you see?"

"I will not be a host again," she screamed and in that moment he knew. She was seeing Q'etesh in front of her.

"Vala!" He called to her desperately, crawling on his knees and ignoring the immense pain this brought him. He slammed his fists against the force field to no avail. "Listen to me, nothing is there, you are not in there with Q'etesh."

"No, no, no," Vala was frantic now, she continually slammed her back against the force field but wasn't willing to drop her sight from the goa'uld she thought she was seeing. "Stay back!"

"Vala!" Daniel yelled.

"Daniel?" This voice was behind him, and very familiar. He turned very slowly.

"Sha're?" She stood in front of him, looking down at him from his position on his knees. He felt a knot form in his stomach as she looked down at him. He heard Vala screaming from the other circle but couldn't move his eyes away from his wife. "You're not real," he said quietly.

"Daniel? Do you not still love me?" She asked, as she got on her knees on eye-level with him. Behind him Vala let another shrill scream and that snapped him out of it, he turned towards her and away from the Sha're illusion.

"Vala! Vala! Listen to me! You are not trapped with Q'etesh, you know that Q'etesh is dead, look at me!" He yelled, slamming his fists against the force field. "Vala you're stronger than this, look at me!" She turned towards him, her eyes leaving the area in front of her for the first time since this ordeal had stared.

"Daniel," she said quietly, acknowledging him as she swallowed hard.

"Vala, these are just illusions, nothing more. You are not trapped with Q'etesh, you have to listen to me," he urged, his hands now placed firmly against the force field.

"Daniel?" The Sha're illusion was by his side now. He turned to face her, trying to force back the tears that were making their way into the corners of his eyes.

"You're dead," he said quietly, "you're not real."

"How soon we forget," she said but this time her voice was deeper, that of the goa'uld host who had taken her. He flinched at the sound, and watched as she disappeared.

"Daniel?" It was Vala, her voice filled with urgency again. He turned to see that there was now a very real line of fire approaching her. "Daniel?" She asked again, as she was pulled to her knees and suddenly there were chains around her arms. He knew exactly what this was, there was no way he could have forgotten it, and there was no way he was watching through it again.

His fists slammed desperately against the force field as he watched the single line of fire move closer and closer to her. "Vala!" He screamed.

"Daniel!" The cry was urgent, which only served to make him more frantic.


"No, Daniel," the voice was almost calm, "listen to me. What are you seeing?"

"What am I seeing!? This isn't going to happen, not again!"

"Daniel... do you see me, burning?"

"Of course I see you burning!" He screamed.

"I'm not, Daniel. Believe me, if I were I'd be cursing you and this stupid cave. I'm okay. You're seeing things."

"Wh-what?" He asked, his eyes welling up as she stared at the fire moving closer and closer to her. He closed his eyes and took in a few deep breaths and then looked again, to see that Vala was in the ring as she had originally been, with no fire or chains in sight. She smiled at him as he focused on her.

"Hey," she offered quietly.

"Hey," he replied.

Suddenly the rings disappeared from around them, and Vala quickly moved to Daniel's side. She pushed him down before he had any idea what she was doing. She pulled out his leg he had been ignoring and he gasped at the pain. She pulled up his pant leg and gently brushed her hand against the wound, which only served to make Daniel yell out in pain. "Looks infected," she said, "we need to get moving." He nodded, leaning on to her as she pushed up and helped him step forward.

"So, what was that?" She asked as they limped forward.

"I don't-" he paused, his eyes locked in front of them. Vala looked to where he was looking, and saw in front them an Ori prior. She froze, and felt Daniel become tense beside her.

"You thought you were rid of all of us," the prior said. "The Ori will not be destroyed by unbelievers."

Vala and Daniel exchanged glances, and then without a word they made an attempt to move forward and past what they assumed was just another illusion. As they moved forward the prior slammed his staff against the ground, causing them both to fly in opposite directions and slam against the walls of the cave chamber. Daniel fell on his back after smashing his head against rock while Vala slammed her back against the wall and fell forward. She pushed herself up in horror as the prior made a slow walk towards Daniel.

"The Ori give life and so shall they take the lives of those who do not believe," he said as he tapped his staff against the ground once more. Vala watched was Daniel began to cough and cough, only to realize he was coughing up blood. Before her very eyes a wound began to form on his chest as if he'd been hit by a staff weapon. She was on her feet in a second, practically tossing herself across the room and to him.

She held his head in her hands, "Daniel?" She asked quietly, turning his head to the side so that he wouldn't suffocate on the blood. She couldn't feel a pulse in his neck and watched as he let out one gasp of air and then made no further movements. "Daniel?" Her voice cracked. She looked into his blank eyes and saw him, every memory of him she had. She saw him after they'd first met and she'd driven him crazy, she saw him after he let her back in the SGC and became linked to her. She saw when she'd been burned and he'd been there right with her. She saw when she'd been on the Ori vessel and he'd saved her. When she'd lost her memory and he'd made her trust him with just a few words, made her remember him.

She turned towards the prior "undo it!" She yelled, "I know you can, undo it!"

"I will," he said, leering at her, "if you commit yourself to the Ori. You will produce a new Orici, and you will join our ranks of believers and spread the word."

"Whatever you want," she said as she turned back to Daniel to run her hand across his face, "just undo it."

After a second of nothing happening she turned back to the prior expectantly only to see he was no longer there. She turned back to Daniel in alarm to find that he was groaning, and his wound and the blood from his mouth were gone. "Daniel!" She yelled, colliding into him in a hug.

"What happened?" He asked.

She held him tighter, and sensing her urgency he wrapped his arms around her. "Daniel," she sniffled quietly, a few tears dropping onto his shoulder.

This surprised him and immediately he pulled her back to look at her, she turned from her face from him and sniffled. "Vala?" He asked quietly.

"I thought-" she shook her head, "what the hell was that?"

"I don't know... maybe a test to see what we've been through?"

"Or our greatest fears," Vala said quietly, and before he knew what had happened she was hugging him again.

"Oh, I don't know, it isn't like we were dating," he meant it lightly, as a joke to lighten the mood, but she stiffened in his arms and then pulled back.

"Am I really that awful?" She asked, pulling away from him.

"What? No, I just meant..." his voice trailed off, "I mean, us dating? We're complete opposites, you know that, we're so wrong for each other. I can't even imagine what a relationship with you would be like!" His tone had raised into one of pure annoyance and she pulled back in shock, turning away from him so that he couldn't see her face.

"Do you think we'd ever have serious feelings for each other?" He asked.

She swallowed hard, "I... wasn't suggesting you had serious feelings..."

"So, what? We sleep together, then what? We work together," he let out a small laugh as if this was a humorous statement. "I can't even imagine what being in a relationship with you would be like!"

She closed her eyes, feeling a single tear drop at the statement as she tried to compose herself. "Right, no," she tried to say it strongly but her voice cracked as she spoke and she silently cursed it.

"Oh, we don't have time for you to act hurt," he said bluntly.

She dropped her face into her hands, and with a bit of effort he slowly scooted over to her. "Hey," he said quietly, she turned away from him, taking a deep breath. Then she turned and he saw the tear streaks now running across her cheeks.

"I didn't ask to be here, you know!" She yelled at him, "I just- I just thought you were dead and then you weren't and I've been carrying you around, for which you're welcome by the way, I didn't come here just to be ignored and treated like a bother! I didn't even ask to be here! Let's just get out of here and then you can go back to your books and I'll leave you alone."

"Vala-" his hand cupped her face, could his words have really cut her so deeply? "Are you messing with me?"

She laughed bitterly at this as she pulled her face away from him. "Yeah, gotcha," she said, but she still wasn't looking at him.

He pulled her face towards him again and looked at her for a moment before his eyes slipped down to her lips and then back up to her eyes. He leaned forward and she closed her eyes. Gently at first his lips pressed against hers, and then she opened her mouth to him and the kiss became urgent and needy. When they finally separated for breath their foreheads lightly rested together, and a voice above them boomed "you may proceed."

"We... may proceed," Vala repeated.

"Hm," Daniel replied, for a moment they both didn't move, just lay against one another. Then Vala shifted, and helped Daniel to his feet, quickly settling under his arm, and they proceeded to walk forward to whatever else this cave had to throw at them. Daniel glanced sideways at Vala, a large grin on his face. It certainly was an interesting day.
lc59lc59 on May 21st, 2009 01:48 am (UTC)
Most of this was great...I really liked them seeing each other reliving stuff from their past so they'd both understand what the other was feeling at the time of the incident...and really liked Daniel clearly telling the Sha're illusion that she was dead and therefore not real and then refocusing his attention on Vala who was very much alive and real.
The only thing I had a quibble with was the use of the rant from Unending..almost word for word. It just seemed even more over-the-top here then it did in the original scene. I've got nothing against the rant...it seemed completely IC in the original circumstances...and a lot of the things he said in it, he needed to say to her in any circumstance, so maybe using the same ideas, but wording it all a little differently would've worked better here.
Aly: {SG1} Vala Blue thinkingtenacious_err on May 21st, 2009 05:27 am (UTC)
I'm really glad you thought the rest was great. And yeah, I think you're right, at the time I thought I had built up enough tension to relive the moment in a way, but rereading it I missed the mark. Thanks for saying so. I hope you keep reading and reviewing. :)
orbinglight on May 22nd, 2009 11:24 am (UTC)
im with LC on there, really liked the story, its creative and original, but that unending bit totally didnt fit in for me personally, and it was 1:1 too.
Zoe: Love Remainscaramel_monkey on May 23rd, 2009 07:30 am (UTC)
I also really liked the chapter. The reliving was definitely a really good idea.

The Unending thing wasn't really much of a big deal for me. It seemed to fit pretty well with the story. *shrugs* I mean, yeah, her yelling back was a little surprising, but she'd just carried him around and gone through sooo much worry because she thought he was dead - so of course she'd be angry. So the whole thing was ok with me. *shrugs*
rac80rac80 on May 31st, 2009 03:12 pm (UTC)
interesting tests...would daniel pic Sha're over vala, what would Vala do for Daniel. Well done. :D
bkwurm1bkwurm1 on June 21st, 2009 04:30 am (UTC)
I feel stupid. I still don't understand the my father's son thing and I honestly tried. " but this man's father is my father's son." Are we talking incest? A Grampa Daddy situation? Like I said, I feel stupid. Good thing Daniel was there and not me. Loved the tests, it took enormous faith for Vala to not keep fighting the Gould off herself. Part 3 ahoy!