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Worth it
Cam/Vala
PG-13

Written for [livejournal.com profile] virkatjol for the [livejournal.com profile] stargateland gift exchange.




I.

Cam's not sure how this started and he's not sure how it will end. When Jackson was gone, she came to him. She came to him and he was tired, wrung out and frazzled, and he didn't say no. He likes how it feels to be with her. He likes what they do it in, and out of it. He likes warmth and someone to wrap his arms around. He likes how she exists. She takes up space in his life, in his bed. She's real. She's here. That makes her enough, right now.

Fingers pass through his hair, not enough there to really get a grip but she still manages a playful tug. "Stop thinking so hard, Colonel."

"You remind me of a cat I used to have," he says, shifting so that she's not above him anymore. They're on the same level, eye to eye, and the closeness makes her smile. Her fingers drift down to his cheek, playing on his skin in a way that speaks not of possessiveness but of an absolute certainty that she has every right to touch with intimacy.

"Do I now?" She murmurs, like she's humoring him.

"Used to stretch out on the windowsill and sun himself every day,” Cam lets his fingers trail down her arm. She shivers, ticklish. “You look like you’d do that.”

“Take me somewhere on this planet with sunlight and I will,” she smiles at him.

He realizes that it’s true; the only sunlight Vala sees is on alien worlds. No one trusts her – he barely trusts her – and she doesn’t get out of the SGC much.

It’s a shame, really.


II.

He spreads out four pamphlets on the table in front of her. It’s enough to get Vala’s attention, to make her look up from her bowl of fruit and granola.

She eyes the brightly colored leaflets like it’s some sort of trap. “What is this?”

“Pick one,” he says.

“Why?” She touches one with a fingertip, dragging it aside to give her a clearly view of the beach scene on another. “Is this one of your earth games? You don’t I don’t like playing when no one has told me the rules.”

“Vala, even when we tell you the rules, you just change them anyway,” he says.

She grins. “Yes, well, it’s still good to know.”

“It’s not a game,” he says, tapping a corner of one of them. “Pick out where you want to go, and we’ll go.”

“These are my only options?” She asks.

He frowns, not sure what is lacking about his choices. “These are some of the best-“

“Never mind. I choose this one.” She ignores him and picks up one of the pamphlets.



III.

"So tell me about this place?" She asks, settling into the airplane seat. She's been on a plane before, been to Washington; she enjoys the little bottles of alcohol and the packets of peanuts, though she's confused by the lack of weaponry systems on board. He's explained to her that they're just for travel, not for war zones. He thinks maybe it's the concept of a war zone that confuses her. Goa'uld don't seem too particular about what zone they fight in. War is war.

"Sun, sand, beach, tourists..." Cam says. She doesn't look too impressed by his range of knowledge. "I don't know, to be honest with you. I've never been."

"Ooh, a new adventure for both of us!" She bumps her elbow against his and grins.



IV.

They've got a hotel room. Two double beds, and the right thing Vala does is jump onto one of them and flop down, kicking her feet into the air. Her happiness sweeps over him. He grins and sites down beside her, nudging her until she scoots over. She's already got the remote in her hand and he snatches it away when she finds the pay porn station.

"Ooh, no, that-" She tries to grab it back and he flings it over to the other bed, then grabs her so she can't scramble after it. She wiggles, sneaky and lithe, but his hold is firm. After a minute she sighs and just relaxes against him. Cam has no idea how it turned from a friendly tussle into a full body embrace, and he can't quite think of how to extricate himself, so he just goes with it.



V.

Vala loves the beach. That much doesn't surprise Cam at all.

He's enjoying the view; Vala in a bikini, nothing wrong with that. Nothing wrong at all. Her hair is pulled back into a ponytail and she's wearing something little and red with white polka dots and he feels like one lucky son of a bitch. With his luck, that just means that any minute now Landry will call him with some planet-threatening emergency, but right now he'll take what time he can get on a warm beach with a hot woman.

Vala likes the attention she's getting too and he keeps an eye on her. He tells himself he's not being possessive. She's his responsibility, he's in charge of keeping her out of trouble, and it's a lot easier to do that if he sticks close by.

"Let's go in the water," she says, tugging his hand.

He tries to say no. He's not big on swimming, especially not since his accident. So many hours of physical therapy in the pool; but this isn't a pool, and this is Vala wearing next to nothing and sulking at him and he gives in in record time.



VI.

Afterward, he buys her ice cream and they sit across from each other at a little picnic table.

"What flavor is this again?" She asks.

"Pineapple," he says.

She eyes his pale orange cone. "And what flavor is that?"

He rolls his eyes and holds it out for her to lick. "Ooh, I like that one."

She bites her bottom lip and smiles. He sighs and hands it to her, taking her half-eaten pineapple cone in exchange.



VIII.

He lets her order room service that night. She gets burgers, and steak, carrot cake, and chocolate pie. He asks which one is his and she announces that they both look so good that they'll just have to share everything.

He checks in with the base when she goes to shower. General Landry asks how they're doing and Cam tries not to hear the insinuation in his voice. Landry either doesn't mind, or is willing to look the other way and Cam's just guilty enough not to reassure him that there's nothing to worry about.

Vala steps out of the bathroom wearing just a robe and he tells Landry that he has to go.



IX.

He wakes up the next morning with a thought plaguing him.

The first thing he says to her once her eyes open is, "You didn't have to sleep with me just because I brought you here."

She looks sleepy, and confused, and then huffs. "Of course I didn't."

"You just... I just wanted to make sure." He can hear the hesitation in his own voice and it makes him want to wince, that perceived weakness, but Vala just smiles and kisses the corner of his mouth.

"I know you did. Now can we go back to sleep?" Under the covers, her knee nudges at his cock. "Or at least find a more pleasant way to pass the morning?"

He starts to harden despite his lingering concerns. "Vala..."

"Cameron, I appreciate the concern for my well being, but I assure you that I don't have sex with men simply because they do nice things for me. If you were using me, you needn't have gone to this much trouble, and I were using you, then I could have just accepted your offer of a lovely getaway and absolutely nothing more. But, Cameron, you've become someone that I..." Her seemingly fluid grasp on words suddenly fails her. "This is fun, isn't it? You and I, here?"

He smiles. "Yeah. It's fun."

"So," she snuggles back in against him, tugging the covers up, resting her hand on his bare chest. "Then let's just enjoy it."


X.

Four days passes too quickly, and then they're turning in the rental car and walking through the airport. Vala's cheeks are rosy with sunburn and he's got a good tan going. He's sure he'll get some good natured teasing from his buddies back at the SGC, but he looks over at Vala and she looks back at him and then slips her hand into his, and he knows it's worth it.

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