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15 November 2009 @ 06:43 pm
Inside This Shell (G)  

Title: Inside This Shell

Author: dvshipper

Rating: G
Spoilers/Warnings: Continuum spoilers (Daniel storyline specific), angst

Fandom/Pairing: Stargate SG-1, Daniel/Vala

Summary: One day, he would have to make peace with his regret; come to terms with the fact that his actions, or rather lack thereof, left him feeling more empty than any missing leg could ever make him feel. But that day was not this day.

A/N: Set during the “one year later” period of time in Continuum. The title is a reference to "Free" by Switchfoot. Gotta give props to my muse, ye nagger of AIM blinky awesometaters.

The city was uncharacteristically quiet tonight, cold weather perhaps driving people inside. Above was a sky of crystal navy, the city lights giving an airbrushed affect on the visible horizon. Stars were sure to be out, though to anyone on the sidewalk they wouldn’t be visible. Astronomy was best saved for outside the glow of civilization, or in Daniel’s case, out of his mind entirely.

Daniel Jackson walked with the aid of his familiar cane and prosthetic leg to a local restaurant he frequented. His eyes he kept on the sidewalk in front of him, noting the cracks and lines and the occasional piece of gum. Concentration was best to have on what was in front of him and not what could be going on ‘out there.’ After a year of living in an alternate reality, kept from the only friends he had, hope wasn’t really something he liked to consider.

The red canopy of the Lebanese joint came into view and Daniel stepped inside, to be seated at his normal table of one. That was one thing the linguist refused to do. Somewhere in the back of his mind, hope still lingered and that meant “don’t form relationships with the natives.” Though the ‘natives’ were in fact, people he may have actually met back home, he couldn’t in good conscience make friends when there was the possibility of up and leaving.

Waiting for the young waitress to come back with her notepad, blue eyes scanned the room and observed. A few regulars sat at various tables, conversing easily with each other. A younger couple blocked out everything but each other, smiling and clearly flirting playfully. In contrast, a white haired pair was at the opposite side of the room, content in comfortable silence. And last, as if fate favored symmetry, a woman likely the same age as the observer sat at a table by herself.

As he often did in his world before, Daniel looked upon the people and wondered if they would ever know what else was out there. What their government hid from them and the drama that ensued because of their secret. Though, be honest, Daniel wasn’t part of that secret anymore, could no longer claim partial ownership of it. No, he was simply a piece of extra-reality debris.

The evening went on in much the same as it always did for the last few months. Order. Observe. Eat. Mentally wander. As his mind wandered far from its tethered body though, someone else was observing. A bottle and a glass appeared beside his plate and the waitress gestured to the woman a few tables over, the loner.

The woman waved shyly and this threw Daniel into seeing, truly seeing her appearance. Dark wavy hair cascaded down her cotton clad shoulders, framing a pale, slender neck. Full lips smiled back at him, cool, almost grey eyes sparkling in curiosity. The woman tilted her head as Daniel continued to stare, seeing not a woman in a restaurant, but her.

Images flashed through his mind, memories still painfully clear after all this time. Jello. In his bed. Goa’uld revealing outfits. Black leather. Sticky fingers. Every quip, each innuendo, even the rare quiver of emotion flared in his ears, like she was repeating everything beside him. Daniel’s eyes closed involuntarily, as if his lids wanted attention as a movie screen. Lips burned and a bicep throbbed, a first meeting remembered. And with that, it was all more than Daniel could take.

Throwing some bills on the table, the archaeologist grabbed his cane and bolted into the brisk night air. Seeing the moisture of his breath in front of him did nothing to clear his senses though. There was only one thing that would either make him forget or make things worse by remembering more. It was worth the gamble.

As soon as Daniel reached the inside of his apartment door, the cane went flying through the entry way angrily. Marching as best he could, he seated himself on the bench beside the door and took off his prosthetic, shoving it to the floor. Stretching what was left above the knee, Daniel then got up and hopped into the kitchen on his good leg, straight for the freezer.

Vodka was his drink of choice these days, having lost his taste for whiskey when Jack died. Seeing his best friend’s name in the cupboard would still sting. Smirnoff wasn’t any human he knew though, gratefully. Pouring a glass, Daniel perched himself on the edge of the counter.

He sipped. He drank. He poured more. He threw the glass across the kitchen and let it shatter on the wall of the hallway. He got another glass.

Tonight, he remembered. Every opportunity he ever had, each time he could have said something but chose not to, they all came crashing over him. She had been there for him, ready and willing to make things work. But he ignored his emotions, focused on the practical side of things. Reason screwed him over.

The gods, if there were any out there who really had any actual power, were certainly making sure his life went wrong. “Oh, you’re married to a beautiful, caring woman? We’ll just take that away,” they told him when he watched Shau’re killed before his eyes. “You want to use your powers for good, you say? We don’t think so,” they denied him before he could stop Anubis. “There’s a sassy, intelligent woman who is clearly in love with you? We’ve decided to take her away as well,” they twisted their spiritual mustaches at him in sadistic glee.

The universe was something Daniel could not control. That he understood fully. But he hated the fact that the one time that he was in control, when it was his decision and his alone to make, he chose to remain silent. One day, he would have to make peace with his regret; come to terms with the fact that his actions, or rather lack thereof, left him feeling more empty than any missing leg could ever make him feel. But that day was not this day.

This day, Daniel passed out beside the toaster with his foot in the sink. And as this day turned to the next after midnight, Daniel dreamt vividly of how things could have turned out differently, if he only would have spoken up. That day, he dreamt of Vala, his love.

Current Mood: cold
Current Music: Visions of A Great Ruler, The Tudors s1 OST
natalia5345 on November 16th, 2009 03:13 am (UTC)
holy angst! i LOVE it! good job wowza! love love love. do more continuum! lol
Ash: D/V life giving touchdvshipper on November 16th, 2009 03:57 am (UTC)
Oh wow, thank you! lol. More continuum is a definite possibility at the moment. *nods*
'Adíshní: danielvalabarkissmagnavox_23 on November 16th, 2009 06:48 am (UTC)
Oh ouch!
Maggie: dv hug: by heliotitansorbinglight on November 16th, 2009 08:14 am (UTC)
awwwww *hugs daniel*
well done really!!
Ash: D/V life giving touchdvshipper on November 16th, 2009 09:11 pm (UTC)
Thanks. I love that you just 'hugged' a fictional character.
campylobacter: waitresscampylobacter on November 16th, 2009 10:52 am (UTC)
Oh my. That was also my first impression of Continuum. ANGST! No hope, utter despair.

Your story inspired me to do something I've been meaning to do for a long time: discuss the Daniel Vala relationship in Continuum.
anna_sg1: Dala Loveanna_sg1 on November 16th, 2009 02:23 pm (UTC)
Wow... angsty angst!!! Awsome.
Ash: D/V life giving touchdvshipper on November 16th, 2009 09:13 pm (UTC)
It's a fun genre, that. lol. Glad you...enjoyed (?) it. :)
onceuponapillow on November 17th, 2009 12:15 am (UTC)
So good and so heartbreaking. Loved it!