Fandom: Stargate SG-1
Character(s): Samantha Carter, Vala Mal Doran
Prompt: Jolinar didn't die, or gets revived in a sarcophagus and how Sam deals/comes to term being a host.
Word Count: ~ 1300
Author's Notes: Thank you spockish_girl and vedette_ciel for your help.
Summary: Lady's night.
Women weren't supposed to be alone. Women needed company. Especially single women. Especially single women with a snake in their head. Vala considered herself as an expert on that matter. This is why right now she was a woman on a mission. Yeah, a mission. The last mission went from bad to worse and apparently it didn't end with the end-report – her best friend was still struggling with the outcome.
For a while Vala just stood at Sam's door, knowing perfectly well that Carter would sense her presence before she even knocked. Jolinar would take care of that.
But Vala has never been a coward – she was tough even though thinking of the newly revived Tok'ra made her shiver – so she knocked at the door and waited patiently, knowing that Sam most probably wouldn't be very happy to see her standing there. They hadn't talk since they came back from P2X-875 and Vala was sick and tired of the situation.
"I'm not in the mood for a lady's night right now!" Sam was definitely not pleased to see her there after she opened the door.
"Yeah, Daniel tells me that all the time," Vala smiled reassuringly.
And strangely enough Sam also smiled. For a while they just stood there looking at each other, and Vala could tell the moment Sam understood what it was all about. It was her choice now and all Vala could do was hope that she would chose wisely.
"Come in," Sam stepped back, so she could enter.
Vala sighed with relief. The room – so different from Vala's – was Sam's temporary 'prison'. However the military decided to call it, everyone on the base knew she wasn't allowed to leave the complex in her current state. Vala knew the feeling. And didn't like it. Not at all.
"What's that?" Sam asked indicating the purse Vala carried.
"Well, I thought you could use a manicure."
Sam looked at her hands and frowned. Working on the eternal engine-project left her hands in a pitiful state. Easier to forget when you put all you had into your work – job related or not. This way you didn't need to think, when you wanted to think for yourself and couldn't.
"You really could pick up something more feminine as a hobby," Vala scolded her playfully, sitting on her bed.
"I hardly had a choice," Sam shrugged but said nothing more, facing her on the bed.
Vala just reached for Sam's hands. It wasn't the first time, they spent an evening like this, but it was the first time since Sam was wearing this Tolan-necklace, indicating when she wasn’t in control over her own body. Right now the bright green light guaranteed that it was Sam with whom Vala was talking.
"Why do you still wear it?" Vala asked after a while.
"What?" Sam frowned.
Vala just looked at the necklace.
"Oh. The necklace. If I wear it, I can walk over the base, it demonstrates that I am in control of myself," Sam explained.
Vala decided that her friend was trying to sound indifferent, but it hadn't quite work.
"That's not what I meant," she decided not to look at her to give her space she desperately needed. Crowding her was the last think Vala wanted to do.
"Well, I hardly have a choice," Sam stated sarcastically.
After that Vala couldn't ignore her, "Of course you have a choice."
"She saved my life, she's worth the chance" Sam curled her fingers in a fist, but then realized it wasn't the best idea in the middle of Vala's ministrations and took a deep breath.
"You think you owe her?" Vala asked when Sam finally calmed down enough to carry on with the manicure.
"I don't know," Sam whispered. "Somehow I know she didn't have a choice when she did what she did. Now, I am faced with the same situation; I don’t have a choice."
Vala looked at her curiously, trying to decide how much she could push.
"Jolinar had no right to do it," Vala opted for much. "It was against all that the Tok'ra have ever fought for, and you know it. That she was revived in the sarcophagus didn't change anything."
Sam looked at her sharply and abruptly stood up, turning form her and leaning on the commode.
"And you have never done things you didn't like to save your own life?" She asked accusingly.
"Well –" Vala knew she didn't have to add anything else. They both knew the truth. Bitter as it was, it still was part of them and they could not deny it.
"I have. I have done worse." It came just as a whisper.
Vala let her dwell on that for a while, but she was convinced Sam just needed to hear some things even though she had known them perfectly well already.
"It's different and you know it. It's not like drugs, you are still there. Trapped. Imprisoned. It's worse than being raped. Jolinar didn't ask you before she had taken your body. She just did it. You really think that her deed was justified?"
"If she hadn't done it in the first place, we would have never met the Tok'ra."
Vala sighed because Sam was still trying to excuse her and they both knew it wasn't about excuses.
"Sam, the necklace. You can't go on like that. Either you can accept sharing your body with her or not. You can't keep her alive just to have her locked with this device. How long did they give you?"
Vala raised an eyebrow. "And most of the week is already gone."
Sam sat on the bad again.
"This is why you came here?" She asked.
"Well –" Vala smiled a little.
"Cam sent you?"
"Actually it was Teal'c."
"Yes. We all have been there and done that. And we all care for you, you know? I just wanted to know how you felt," Vala reached for her hand and squeezed her fingers slightly.
"I feel like I'm losing everything. Like it's all being ripped from me and there isn't a thing I can do about it. It's like I look at myself through a glass and I don't know what I feel anymore."
"You will never know as long as you wear that necklace."
"You know, I can't take it off."
"Of course you can," Vala leaned closer, because Sam was talking in such low voice she almost couldn't hear her.
"If you keep it, it's not a solution. The problem won't disappear."
Sam reached for a towel and wiped her hands. Vala didn't stop her; she just gathered the supplies and leant on the pillows.
"If I take it off, I will have to decide," Sam looked at her desperately.
"So do it."
"What if I decide to let her live?" Sam asked with pain filing her eyes.
Vala smiled. Finally they were getting somewhere.
"So you decide to let her live," she shrugged.
Sam looked at her abruptly.
"You wouldn't mind?"
Vala contemplated the ceiling for a while.
"Well, I would learn to live with that," she stated finally.
Sam laughed at that.
"Not everyone is –" she hesitated all of sudden.
Vala shook her head.
"Oh, it's about him? Right?"
"Jack was a host for a while. And paid for it dearly."
"He didn't like it."
"That's his problem."
Sam looked at her surprised and Vala just smiled.
"Now you decide for yourself. When you do it, we will have to decide for us. We trust you, can you trust us?"
They were just sitting there for a long while and then, Sam nodded slightly.
Vala reached over and released the clasp on the necklace.