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Teenage Dream, part 3/3
8294 words
rated nc-17
cam/vala high school au
part 1, part 2

His mother just stands there, staring.

Cam does the same. It takes a minute for his brain to tumble into action. He feels that same wash of panic from before only it's so much worse now.

Vala recovers first, though Cam's not sure if that's a good thing or not. She steps forward, ignoring the fact that she's half naked, and thrusts her hand out. "You must be Mrs. Mitchell. How lovely to meet you!"

Wendy Mitchell takes Vala's hand, and shakes it. "And you must be Cameron's mystery girl."

"Absolutely. Vala Mal Doran, at your service." She gives Wendy her most charming smile. And then... "Mystery, you say?"

Vala's eyes flicker over to Cam and she grins flirtatiously and that's definitely, without a doubt, the wrong thing to do. It would be adorable any other moment than this. Cam begins to understand how bad it is the minute he feels his mother's eyes land on him and she says, "Vala, I think you should be going home now."

Vala's face falls. She looks at Cam again, unsure, and he knows he isn't letting her walk out of here. "Wait," he says. "Mom, can we talk?"

"Oh, I think we should. In private." She looks at Vala. "I'm sorry if Cam neglected to mention this, but we do have a no sleepovers with girlfriends policy in this house."

"Vala, stay here," Cam says, aware that his mother is looking at him with what might be bordering on fury now. "Mom, please. Just let me explain, let's go talk."

Vala says nothing as Cam leads his mother out of the room.


"Cameron, I think you know what I'm going to say," Wendy says, sitting across the kitchen table from him. "I'm having a hard time believing you have any sort of good reason for having a girl in your room at six o'clock in the morning half-dressed."

Cam doesn't really know if it's going to qualify as a good reason, but he opts with honesty and hopes it really is the best policy.

"She's a foster kid, and she ran away from home." Cam just blurts it out. "And she's, I mean, she's my girlfriend, but she didn't have anywhere else to go and I was afraid if I told her she couldn't stay with me that she'd just take off."

He must look about as miserable as he feels because his mother just sighs. "What's her name? Vala?"

"Yeah. Vala Mal Doran."

"And she ran away? So her guardians don't know where she is?"

"I don't think so," Cam admits "I just wanted to help her."

"Why didn't you come to me or your father?" Wendy asks, and it's a hard question for Cam, because he knows he doesn't have a good answer.

"I know she wouldn't have wanted me to," he says. "I didn't want to scare her off."

"Well, someone out there is bound to be worried out of their mind. What happened to make her want to run away?"

"I don't know."

"Sounds like there's an awful lot about this you don't know." Wendy's voice holds disapproval that Cam can feel. "You know I'll have to tell your father, right?"

"Yes, ma'am," Cam says, slumping in his seat. "What's gonna happen to her?"

"I don't know. Go get dressed and... have her get dressed, too, please. We're not done talking about this. Not by a long shot. Especially how I found you two this morning."

Cam's face heats up and he mumbles another, "Yes, ma'am. Are you gonna tell Dad about that, too?"

Her look gives him all the answer he needs.


Vala's halfway out the window when Cam walks back in.

"What are you doing?"

She looks at him, stricken. "I was..."

"Leaving." His stomach turns unhappily and he really hadn't thought this could get any worse. "You were just going to leave?"

She pulls her foot back through the window and stands, crossing her arms over her chest. "I'm making things unpleasant for you. I thought perhaps if I just left..."

"I told my mom what happened. I had to," he says, walking over to her and taking her bag off of her shoulder. She lets him, though she doesn't look too pleased.

"They'll just send me back there, then, I presume?" She grabs her bag back. "I'm not going there again."

"They won't!" Cam's just desperate to keep her there. "Just wait, just talk to my Mom, please."

"I won't go back there!" She shouts, and Cam realizes she's not just angry, she's terrified.

"Do you trust me?" He asks.

She looks taken aback by the question. "I don't trust anyone."

It sounds like one of the most honest things he's heard her say, but he still fights it. "I let you stay here knowing my parents would kill me if they found you. I lied when Daniel asked me if I knew where you were. Why would you think I'd let them send you back there?"

Vala doesn't have an answer for that.

"Stay. Trust me. Please." He's aware that he's bordering on begging, but he doesn't want her to leave.

She lets her bag drop. "But if they try to send me back..."

"Then you can leave." He exhales in relief and shuts his eyes, just for a second. They're at sort of an awkward impasse; she's on guard now, reminds him of the cat he used to have, and how it never entirely relaxed. It could be purring away in your lap but you made one wrong move and it would still take off.

He doesn't want to make a wrong move.

"Come here?" He asks, not sure if she even will, but she steps forward and lets him hug her.

"I trust you more than I've ever trusted anyone," she mumbles, her face pressed against his shoulder.


They dress and walk downstairs. Cam wants to hold her hand, but he's not quite brave enough. Thoughts of her pulling away, of what his parents might say, keep his hands by his side.

"Cam?" Will says, standing in the doorway of his room, rubbing his eyes. "Did mom make- who is that?"

He breaks off when he sees Vala standing there.

"Go back to sleep. It's Saturday. I'll come get you if Mom makes pancakes."

"Kay. Tell her I want blueberry ones." He turns around and goes back to his bed.

"That was my brother," Cam says to Vala, just in case she hadn't figured that one out. He can tell from the look on her face that she had.

His parents are both waiting in the living room. His father looks about as angry as Cam had expected, but Frank Mitchell has never been the kind to yell or raise his voice without giving consideration to what he's about to say. He places weight behind his words and it's something he's taught Cam - but Cam knows that just means when it does come, it'll be that much worse.

"Mom, Dad, this is Vala," Cam says, deciding to just take the initiative and break the awkward silence.

"Vala," Frank says. "My wife tells me you've been our guest for the last couple of days? It's a shame we didn't get to actually meet you first."

Cam almost hopes Vala won't talk, but of course... she does. "Yes, your hospitality, though unintentional, was quite appreciated."

His parents both seem a little flustered by her attitude. It's not the sort of response they're used to from Cam, or any of his friends. "Vala, you must be hungry," his mother says. "Why don't you come into the kitchen with me for a few minutes, and we'll find something for you to eat."

Vala looks at Cam like she doesn't trust this at all. he does reach out then and squeezes her hand very quickly, just to reassure her, before she gets up and goes with Wendy into the kitchen.

"Cameron." His father leans on his walking stick, but stays standing, driving home his dominance over Cam.


"She slept in your bed?"

"Yes, sir, but we didn't-"

Frank talks over him and Cam quickly shuts up. "Your mother and I didn't raise you to behave like that. Regardless of what you did or didn't do, it was disrespectful."

"I'm sorry." Cam doesn't try to make any excuses and he tries to mean the apology, but he's not sure how sincerely he comes off. He's not sorry; he doesn't regret it.

"I'll be honest, son, we don't really know how to punish this. But you hear me - we will think of a way," Frank says. Cam envisions being grounded until he's in college, and suddenly the chance of getting a car in the next year seem so, so small. Then he steps forward and sits down in his armchair, the one that Wendy keeps threatening to get rid of, the one he's always in. He props his cane against the arm of the chair and leans forward, hands clasped in front of him. "Now, what kind of trouble is this girl in?"

"I don't know, exactly," Cam says. "But she's not lying."

"You believe her," Frank says. "And you might have done a dumb thing here, but your mother and I know we didn't raise a liar and at the very least you're telling us what you think is the truth."

"What's Mom doing in there? Putting her through the Spanish inquisition?" Cam glances worriedly toward the kitchen.

"They're just having a talk," Frank says. "There's such a thing as too trusting."

"She goes to my school, dad, she's not lying about who she is."

"No, but still. You're young, son, and women have a way of convincing you of things through... various ways." Frank shakes his head a little. "You're sixteen. I doubt it'd be hard to convince you that the sky was purple if she-"

"Dad! Dad. No." Cam holds up his hands, making a face. "Please, father, no. That is enough. I get your point."

"Good. Then you understand why your mother's in there having a talk with her."

"I just care about her, dad. I want her to be safe, and... and not leave." Cam feels a pang at the very thought. "I don't want her to get sent away again, and she said she can't go back to that foster home."

Frank nods. "You just have to trust that right now, you don't know the entire story here."

"She's not lying to me!" Cam tries to insist.

"But son, you just admitted to me that she didn't even tell you what happened," Frank points out, and Cam can't even think of a good response to that, because it's true. "Look, if whatever happened is really that bad, if she'll come clean about it, we'll do whatever we can to help her. But you need to realize that your mother and I have no say in this. Someone else is that girl's legal guardian, and they need to know where she is. Hell, the cops could be looking for her. Do you know where she lives?"

He thinks of Daniel Jackson, and decides to go with the truth, though with that omission. "No, sir. I don't."

"Well, hopefully she'll tell us. Otherwise, I guess we'll just call child protective services and see. I'm sure they'll know."

Cam looks toward the kitchen. He knows it's really only been a few minutes, but it feels like they've been in there forever. Frank follows his gaze. "Trust your mother, son."

"I do," he says, but the doubt shows in his voice, along with the worry and concern and fear.

If Vala didn't want to tell him what was going on, why would she tell his mother? He knows knows her habit of making stories up; in this case, he thinks it would hurt more than it would help, and he hopes that's not what she's doing, either.


Another half hour passes. Half an hour of stilted conversation between Cam and Frank as they dance around topics neither of them really want to be talking about, anyway; namely, Cam having a half-naked girl in his room.

Will gets up and settles onto the couch, commandeering the remote for cartoons once he's told that he can't have breakfast yet. The silence is a little more bearable with a soundtrack of lively music and a lessened silence to fill, but he still can't take his eyes off of the door.

Finally, it opens, and Wendy walks out with her arm around Vala. Vala's eyes are rimmed in red and she looks down at the ground, not directly at Cam. Wendy gives her a side hug and says, "Go on upstairs, sweetheart. Cam, you go with her while your father and I talk."

Cam's surprised at being sent off alone with Vala but he doesn't make his mother have to tell him twice.


Vala sits on his bed facing away from him once they're in his room. Cam stands back, not really sure what to do, but after a few awkward seconds he says, "Are you okay?"

She takes a breath and he can practically watch the transformation, watch her pulling herself together before his eyes. She wipes the dampness from her cheeks and turns to him. Her smile is shaky, but there, and that's a whole world of relief for Cam.

"Your mother's very nice," she says, but her voice cracks halfway through and he sits down beside her, putting his arm around her.

"She is. They'll try to help you," Cam says, scared himself but wanting to reassure her.

"She made me tell her what... happened," Vala says.

She doesn't volunteer what that was, and though he wants to know Cam doesn't ask. "Yeah?"

She nods. "They're going to call a social worker. She said that I shouldn't.. that... she doesn't want me to go back there."

This time the relief floods through him unbidden and he pulls Vala to him in a tight hug. It must catch her off guard because she gasps a little and then laughs and flings her arms back around him, hugging him just as tightly. "We should have gone to them first," he says, willing to consider it now in retrospect.

Vala reaches up and runs her fingers through his hair. It's messy. He hasn't showered or brushed it since the night before. "But then we wouldn't have had such fun at our little sleepovers."

He grins. He still can't quite believe what they did. What he did... the ways he touched her, where he kissed her. "Yeah, uh, they're not gonna let you sleep in here anymore, I don't think..."

"We'll just have to get creative then." She smiles at him, eyes still red and face blotchy, but totally beautiful and flirtatious. She lets her fingers trail down the side of his face and then plays with the hair just at the base of his neck. "Think you're just to that, Mitchell?"

"Oh, yeah, I think so..." He says it with more bravado than he feels but then she's kissing him and that part is completely genuine. She kisses more desperately than she has before and he knows she's still shaken from whatever she told his mother but he thinks this way, maybe, he can help her. She seems to like this, if the way her tongue is in his mouth is any indication.

His door flies open. "Cam, Mom said to come-"

He stops and his jaw drops when he sees Cam and Vala both there, so close together.

"Uh, Mom and Dad want you to come downstairs again." He slams the door shut and Cam groans, flopping back onto his bed and cover up his face with his hands.

"I feel like I should just never leave this room again," he says.

Vala leans over, resting her head on his chest looking at him, and reaches up to move his hands off of his face. "Only if I can stay here with you."

He smiles and pushes her hair away from his face. He thinks suddenly, ridiculously, that maybe he loves her. He dismisses the thought almost as quickly, because he's not dumb; no one falls in love this fast, especially not sixteen year olds who are lucky if they know which end is up on a good day.

But he does care for her, that much he won't try to fight. He reaches down and cups her cheek, rubbing his thumb along the delicate arch of bone. "We better go down there. My parents are uh... suspicious."

"Should I tell them that you're a good boy and wouldn't let me get past second base?" Vala teases him. "Your chastity belt is firmly intact."

"Not that intact..." He grins and thinks of what she'd done, her mouth on him.

She leans up, weight supported on her hands, against the mattress on either side of his head, and leans down to kiss him. "All right. Before you get all bothered and can't walk downstairs properly."

She lets her hand trail pointedly down his chest and over his crotch. Of course, he hadn't been hard until she'd done that... he stifles a groan and takes a deep breath before following her out.


"She's a sweet girl, Frank, it's just not right-" Wendy's in the middle of a sentence when Cam and Vala walk downstairs.

"Mom," Cam says, standing there looking back and forth at his parents. They both look troubled but make an effort to seem more relaxed when Cam and Vala enter.

"Vala, we've called a social worker to come here and speak with you," Wendy says.

"I don't want to go back there." Vala whispers it, like she's admitting some sort of shameful secret.

"Don't worry, sweetheart. I explained the situation and she said there's almost no chance they'll send you back." Wendy gives her a reassuring smile, but Vala isn't convinced.

"Almost?" She looks nervous immediately, crossing her arms over her chest, trying to turn fear into bravado and failing. Wendy reaches out and gives her a sideways hug, petting her hair.

Cam's surprised by how gentle his mother is with Vala. Somehow, he hadn't quite imagined the first time his parents caught him with a girl in his room, they'd be so kind to her.

He's also surprised when she reaches down and takes his hand, moving closer to him as she asks, "Is it my normal social worker? Is she coming right now?"

"I told her you were fine where you were at, but your foster parents were looking for you, sweetheart. Legally, they have the right to come take you back."

"Legally," Frank says, and from his tone it's evident that he doesn't really plan on letting it happen.

He must know what happened to Vala, too. Cam's starting to feel dumb for being the only one that doesn't.

"Vala, honey, you're only fifteen, right?"

"I turn sixteen next month," she says. "Why?"

"Just curious. You're such a pretty thing." Wendy smiles at Cam, and the back at Vala. "My son has good taste."

That makes Vala smile a bit, too. Her hand squeezes Cam's a little, and he squeezes back.

"I think breakfast is in order, don't you?" Frank says, clearly trying to dispel the strange tone over the room.

"Yes!" Will shouts from the next room, where he was clearly listening in.


After breakfast, Wendy says, "Cameron, would you like to help me with the dishes?"

Cam knows when his mother asks, that it's not really a question at all. "Sure."

He gives Vala an apologetic look, but she barely notices. She's already jumped up and offered to help, as well.

"Don't be silly, you're a guest here," Wendy looks at Will. "Will, why don't you show Vala around? Give her the grand tour."

"Mom, i think she's already seen the house," Will says, making a face.

"William." Wendy's voice stays light in tone but just that inflection makes Will sigh and get to his feet. "Come on. I'll show you the Playstation 3. It's Cam's but sometimes I get to play it. Do you like video games?"

"Oh, I love them," Vala says, following Will out. She glances at Cam over her shoulder. He gives her a smile of encouragement.

As soon as the swinging door shuts behind Vala and Will, Wendy gets the water started. They have a perfectly fine working dishwasher but any time Wendy wants to talk to Cam about something, she likes to do so while washing dishes - by hand. Cam takes up his spot beside her, ready to rinse and dry while she scrubs.

"So, Vala's the girl you've been sweet on for the past few weeks?" She asks, voice entirely too casual. Cam sees through the act.

"Yeah," he says. "We weren't really together until last week."

"Last week? That's not very long." Wendy's surprise is evident.

"Yeah, but it's..." Cam glances at her. "I like her a lot. I just want to help her."

"Cameron, did she sleep in your bed?"

"Yeah, but we didn't do anything like that." He fights past the inherent embarrassment to answer firmly and clearly. "We didn't have sex."

Wendy's relieved. "Be careful with that girl, Cam."

"Mom, what do you think she's gonna do?" Cam frowns, upset by the insinuation. "I

"Sweetheart, that's not what I meant." Wendy puts the plate in her hand down and looks at him. "We've raised you right and I think you can take care of yourself. But Vala hasn't had the same chances you have, and she's had some bad things happen to her. I just want you to be careful with her."

It's a struggle for Cam to see Vala as anything but capable and strong, but he's seen glimpses over the past few days. "I will. I promise."


He's just managed to escape his mother when there's a knock at the door.

It's the social worker, and Cam isn't sure if he should even be in here for this, but Vala stays and stands right beside him. Her countenance changes as soon as the woman steps into the room.

Wendy meets Cam's eyes and Cam understands that he's being allowed to stay. It's almost enough to make him proud; that his parents consider him adult enough for this.

The social worker all but ignores Vala. She speaks to Wendy and Frank, reassures them that contacting officials was the best possible thing to do, and then says that Vala's foster parents are on their way over.

Vala closes herself off even more. She's sullen, not responding to any remarks directed at her. Cam feels more than a little helpless, especially when her foster mother shows up.

The woman doesn't even bother introducing herself, just fixes a tired stare on Vala. It's not so much angry or even accusatory as it is annoyed, like she can't believe she's had to get up on a Saturday morning and come here. "I hope you know how much trouble you've put us through."

Vala doesn't respond, doesn't even look at her.

"Mrs. Hammond-" The social worker starts.

"Whatever she's said, it's probably a lie, anyway. We tried with her, we really did, but you can't trust a thing she said. I'm sure this is just the latest story she's making up to get some attention."

"It was the truth!" Vala snaps, not letting her finish her sentence. "Why does it matter, anyway? I'm almost sixteen, I'm old enough to take care of myself."

"No, you're not." The social worker isn't unkind when she says it, but she is firm. "But if there are allegations of sexual abuse, we will take it seriously. Vala, you don't have to return there."

Vala doesn't cry but it's clear she wants to. Cam hears the words - sexual abuse - and goes cold. He'd suspected as much - from his mother's questionings, from Vala's own behavior - but hearing it said aloud...

He puts his arm around her, comforting himself as much as her. She turns into him, pressing her face to his shoulder to the briefest of moments before she straightens back up. "Where am I being sent, then?"

"I'm not sure yet," the social worker admits. "This is very sudden, and you're well aware by now of how slowly the system can work."

"Can she stay here?" Wendy asks. "We would be more than happy to give her a place to stay."

"We'll need to run a background check, but-"

"Please?" Vala asks.

"Legally, we're walking a fine line," she says. "The Hammonds are your legal guardians."

"But," Frank prompts her, the first time he's spoken up this entire ordeal.

"But since her legal guardians know where she is and she's no longer a missing persons, she can remain here unless they object, and I can put a rush on the paperwork." The social worker looks at Vala before anyone else. "Is that what you'd prefer?"

"Yes," Vala answers, immediately.

"Mrs. Hammond?"

"All right." The woman sounds sad, perhaps a bit wistful, but doesn't object.

"Now, Mrs. Hammond, there are a few issues we'll need to discuss privately."

"We can do that at my home, then," Mrs. Hammond says, leaving no room for argument. "I left George to cook breakfast and the man can't function in a kitchen."

She glances at Vala just once before they both leave.


It doesn't take long for Wendy to go to into planning mode.

Vala will, of course, not continue sleeping in Cam's room. Of course, she doesn't say it like that - she just makes a big fuss over needing to clear out the guest room, make space for Vala's things.

Vala doesn't say much and Cam figures if he were in her place, he'd be feeling pretty overwhelmed. He tells his mother he wants to take her out for a little while, and Wendy agrees.


Cam feels better just being out of the house, and he thinks Vala does, too.

Until the awkward silence reigns, at least. They're walking, because he doesn't have a car and because they're close enough to town to not really need one all the time.

He has a million questions he wants to ask her but he thinks that if he were her the last thing he'd be wanting to do right now is talk, so he doesn't ask them. Instead he reaches for her hand and smiles with a brightness he doesn't really feel and asks a different question. "So what movie do you want to see?"

The smile she gives him lets him know that was the right question.


Inside the theater, it's dark and low music plays. She's got a bucket of popcorn on her lap, a box of candy stuffed into one of the drink holders, and a large cherry icee between them.

She'd picked a horror movie, and somehow that doesn't surprise Cam. Vala's an adrenaline junkie.

So is Cam, a little bit. Maybe that's why he liked Vala to begin with. She's an adrenaline rush unlike anything he's ever felt before.

Halfway through the movie she moves the drink to the other side of her, candy box emptied and discarded onto the floor, and lifts the arm rest between them. Cam doesn't even have to work for it; she just snuggles against him and starts to kiss his neck.

He wants to kiss her back, he really does, but two words flutter around in his mind unpleasantly: sexual abuse.

He reaches down and grabs her hands, both in his, and squeezes slightly. "Good part," he whispers, nodding to the screen.

Vala pouts. "Let's have fun."

He glances down at her. "Are you..."

"Cameron," she says, cutting him off. "I've had enough serious talking about serious things today. Please can we just make out?"

She juts out her lower lip and looks at him with big eyes and he grins. She knows she's won and when she leans in and presses her mouth to his, this time he kisses back.


The movie has maybe half an hour left and Cam doesn't even know if he'll make it that long. Her fingers are groping him through his jeans and he's rock hard, his tongue in her mouth, fingers buried in her hair. She's whining and squirming and he knows she wants something he's just not sure what.

At least not until she tugs down the zipper on his pants and it sounds so loud in the mostly empty theater. He freezes and his eyes dart around wildly but they're toward the back, no one else at any sort of angle to see what they're doing unless they got up and came closer, so he relaxes - or at least most of him does. Part of him is very, very not relaxed and that's the part Vala has her fingers around.

"We're gonna get kicked out of here!" Cam hisses - or means to but coherency suddenly becomes problematic when she rubs her thumb around the tip of his dick.

"So then we'll go somewhere else and have more fun." She has her whole body turned toward his now and she kisses his neck, rubbing her tongue along the tendon, just behind his ear, all places that make him tingle with anticipation. "Are you really going to make me stop?"

"No," he says, leaning back in the seat and quieting his protests. She jerks him off in the quiet of a movie theater with the wash of movie sounds, explosions and car horns and melodramatic speeches. None of it even remotely registers to Cam; every cell in his body is focused solely on her hand moving up and down his dick. She brings her palm to her mouth and licks it and then there's less friction, her fingers clever and squeezing just tightly enough. Cam's done this to himself thousands of times; how is it possible that it's so much better when she does it?

His fingers twitch with nervous energy and he grabs her wrist when he gets close. She's watching now, eyes fixed down on his lap, but she looks up at the touch. "What?"

"I'm gonna..." He screws up his courage and says it. "I'm gonna come."

She grins and kisses him on the cheek and says, "Okay," and then leans over his lap and seals her mouth around the head. Cam's other hand flies to his armrest and he has a death grip on it as her hand keeps jerking him off and now there's suction and her tongue dipping into the hole at the tip like she's too impatient to just wait, she wants to find the come herself.

All of her efforts are rewarded when he loses it. He bites down hard on his bottom lip to keep quiet as his balls tighten and spasm and he feels it build from within, a delicious surge and then he's filling her mouth. Two, three, four more and then he slumps back, head thunking against the cushioned chair. Vala's hand slows it's movement and she swallows then licks him clean of what's left and tucks him back into his pants.


Cam doesn't say much until they leave the theater.

Vala fills the silence admirably to begin with, but loses steam when she realizes that he's not really responding. She leans in close to him and wraps her hands around his arm. "I'm hungry."

"Let's go get food, then." He can't deny that he's hungry too - his body is still thrumming with pleasure but only on a physical level. Mentally, he can't stop thinking about what his mother said, about those words - sexual abuse, and about what he'd just let Vala do.

They order fast food and he guides them down to the part, sitting underneath a tree. They use the bags as plates and don't talk much, concentrating on their food. Or at least pretending that they are while an awkwardness settles around them.

Cam's halfway done eating when he suddenly just looks at her. "You know you don't have to do any of that stuff with me, right? I mean like... what you did earlier..."

"Cameron," she teases him. "If you're not old enough to say it, I'm not sure you're old enough to be doing it."

He rolls his eyes. "You jerked me off. But you don't have to - it's not like I'm not gonna like you if you don't."

"I know." She leans over and kisses his cheek. "That's why I want to."

"But you had... I mean... what happened?" He finally just asks.

She looks down, suddenly not quite so open and cheery. "Bit heavy for a first date, isn't it?"

"Well, so is jerking me off in a movie theater," he points out.

She doesn't want to smile, but she sort of does anyway. "It's happened a few times. Older boys, in foster homes... see a young girl and they... they can make life difficult if you don't do what they want."

As soon as she starts to speak Cam begins to doubt that he really wants to hear this, but he doesn't stop her. "Were you raped?"

She shakes her head. "I discovered fairly quickly that if I just gave them a little bit of what they wanted, they'd forget they wanted the rest. So I let them touch me, and I touched them."

He notices that her hand is shaking a little now. "What happened that made you run away?"

"One of my lovely foster siblings here... wanted... more." She jumps a little when Cam puts his hand on hers. She looks down at it like she's not sure if she even wants him touching her or not but when he starts to pull it back her fingers grasp his. "He wanted to fuck me, and I told him no. I kicked him, and I ran to my room and locked the door. Then I packed my backpack and left."

"If you tell them that, they won't make you go back there."

She shrugs. "The next place will probably be worse."


When they get back to Cam's house, his mother steals Cam away.

He hovers outside of the closed door, wanting to know what's going on but unable to work up the nerve to knock. His father saves him from the agony of waiting and subjects him to a different kind of agony.

"Now, son," he says. "Your mom and I both want to help Vala it. It's a damn shame a sweet girl like that has had to go through what she's gone through. We're willing to open our home up to her, but you're gonna have to understand if we keep a closer eye on you from now on."

Cam realizes suddenly of the direction this is headed in. He suddenly wishes for nothing more than his brother making some sort of commotion or the phone ringing or anything that would provide a distraction.

His prayers go unanswered and his father continues. "I understand that you're sixteen, and she's your girlfriend, and believe me, son, I remember what being sixteen was like. But if she's living here under our roof then we need to place a lot of trust in you to do the right thing. You've already let us down by hiding her up there in your room, in your bed."

"Dad, we didn't-"

Frank shakes his head again. "I meant what I said earlier, what you did or didn't do doesn't matter. I just hope you were safe-"


"- and I hope you know, we won't stand for that to continue. You aren't to be in Vala's room with the door closed, and she's not to be in yours. If you want to take her out on dates, that's just fine, but you still have a curfew and if she's living here, she will, too. Your mom is talking to her about all that right now. We had another talk with her foster mom, and they're not bad people, but she says Vala's got a little bit of a rebellious streak in her. We will do everything we can for her but we won't risk the safety and future of our son for her. Do you understand what I'm saying?"

"Yes, sir," Cam says, wanting to argue that Vala wouldn't betray them like that, like he thinks his dad is implying, but the problem is he does know Vala by now and he doesn't know how much restraint she'll really have.


There's a knock on the door, a little too late to save Cam most of the misery of the conversation, but welcome nonetheless.

Daniel Jackson is standing there. "Uh, Mitchell."

"Cam," Cam says, holding the door open. Daniel has a couple of bags in his arms, and a suitcase. "What's that?"

"Vala's stuff. I brought it over. Um, I know how she can't do without her blow dryer." He holds up one plastic bag that looks like it has all sorts of vanity items shoved into it.

"Come on in. I'll go get her," Cam says. He heads down the hallway and knocks. "Mom? Someone brought over Vala's stuff."

The door opens and Vala looks shellshocked when she comes out of what is now her room with Cam's mom.

Daniel just looks relieved when he sees Vala standing there. There's a round of introductions and then Wendy gives them some privacy.

"You're okay?" Daniel asks Vala, glancing at Cam.

"I'm going to stay here," she says, smiling. She sounds... proud. Cam likes that. "They've invited me."

"He's mad, so you might want to... watch out."

"Why, Daniel, if you don't stop that I'll begin to think you care," Vala teases. "Besides, I've got Cameron to protect me now."

She shoots Cameron a smile that would make him trip over his feet if he were moving.

Daniel rolls his eyes. "I've gotta get back. I'll see you around."

He hesitates and then reaches out and hugs Vala quickly before leaving.


Cam helps her unpack - door left wide open in an unspoken agreement to follow Cam's parents rules.

Vala seems quiet at first, and Cam glances at the doorway to make sure no one is close enough to listen in before he grabs her arm. "Hey, are you happy with this?"

She looks surprised. "Yes."

He leans forward and kisses her. "Then smile."

She grins, and a moment later that breaks into a wide smile. She throws her arms around him and hugs him so tightly.

"That's what I wanted," he says, pushing her hair back from her face. She looks down, almost shy now, still beaming. "You get to stay here, with me, and no one's gonna hurt you."

He's surprised when she starts to cry but she's still smiling so he just wipes the tears away for her and pulls her back to him.


That night they sit on the couch, a couple feet of space between them as the whole family watches a movie. Will and Vala talk mostly; Will's just young enough to not care if asking questions is rude, and Vala seems to appreciate it. She answers honestly, not patronizing or placating him.

Until he says, "So what was your mom like?"

And then Vala goes quiet and Wendy tells Will that it's time for him to go to bed, and not long after that Frank goes to bed himself.

Wendy stays in the kitchen under the guise of cleaning but Cam's pretty sure she just doesn't want to leave them alone. It's a quarter to ten when she brings out a plate of brownies and two glasses of milk. "Just a snack. I'm going to go join your father in bed, but you two..."

"We'll leave light on," Cam says.

It works, and Wendy goes upstairs, to bed. She's barely out of the room before Vala is scooting over, snuggling up to Cam. "You're such a good son."

"I try," Cam says, pulling her close. She tilts her head up to his and kisses his mouth softly. "So how was tonight? Too miserable?"

"No, it was lovely," Vala says, and to Cam's surprise she sounds like she means it.

"Good," he says, happy.

"Not to mention, oh my lord, the food." Vala leans over and grabs a brownie, eating half in one bite. "I'd live here just for this alone."

Cam laughs and steals a bite. His mother's baking skills are amazing - he won't even try to deny that.

"So does little Cameron have a bedtime?" Vala coos.

"No," he says, rolling his eyes. "I have a curfew, if I'm out, but I don't have a bed time."

"Your mother cautioned me to be home by nine pm, and sleep by midnight," Vala says. "So what time do you think your parents will sneak back down to check on us?"

"Uh... any minute now," he admits.

"They're worried about me corrupting their golden boy. Your mother told me about how you want to go to college, and join the military."

Cam shrugs, not denying it. "Yeah. I want to fly planes, and the military will teach me. What about you? What do you want to do with your life?"

Judging by how she reacts, Cam's not sure anyone has ever asked her that before.

"I want to be a survivor," she says.

"You already are," Cam says.

He squeezes Vala even more tightly and she wiggles against him, crawling onto his lap. He's pretty sure this is veering into what his parents wouldn't approve of, but he doesn't care.

He grabs a blanket and drapes it over them. On tv there's some sort of late night talk show but neither of them pay any attention to it. Vala starts to kiss him again, soft and sweet, but she's on his lap and it doesn't take long for certain parts of him to decide they want less soft, less sweet. Vala likes it - he can tell - because she wiggles her butt against him more, on purpose, trying to provoke a reaction.

Cam isn't quite as hesitant this time around, though. He can feel the heat of her skin through her pajamas when he cups her ass.

Well, his parents didn't give them any rules about her being on his lap...


They both hear his mother's footsteps and break apart in plenty of time. Cam's hair is mussed and he's sure they're both blushing. "Just getting a drink of water for your father," Wendy says, nonchalantly. But on her way back through she adds, "I think you two ought to be getting to bed."

"Yes, ma'am," Cam says.

The bedroom Vala's staying in is downstairs, and Cam's is upstairs. He has a feeling his parents will be listening for the sound of him, but he still lingers by her bedroom door.

"You can't just-"

"Vala," Cam smiles at her. "Come on, it's your first night here. We don't wanna mess this up."

Vala pouts and Cam has to kiss her then, she just looks so cute. She likes that, wrapping her arms around him and tugging him in closer. "You owe me for the movies earlier."

"Uh..." Cam lets her lead him into the room. He does know exactly how stupid this is, but when she guides his hand down the front of her pajama pants there's just not much he can do.

She's slick and wet under his fingertips. He watches her face since there's more light this time, the light from the hallway. The door is still open but Cam thinks it's best that way; they'll hear his mother long before she gets to the bedroom if she comes to check. And he can see the look on Vala's face when he slides a finger inside of her.

He rubs at her clit in tight little circles and steps in closer. She's still standing, mostly, leaning against the dresser by her bed. She wraps her arms more loosely around him now and rests her head on his shoulder like it's a friendly hug but his fingers still work inside and against her.

"You have to be-" He means to warn her but she interrupts.

"Fast, yes, oh, I can - just like that," she loses track mid-sentence, and he can feel her body doing different things, clenching and grasping like she's trying to draw him in even more, more than his finger will go. "It feels so good when you touch me."

"You feel good to touch," Cam says, voice rough and low.

"Please, please," she kisses him quick and desperate and he has to hurry, can't take that chance because he knows it would get her kicked out, he rubs faster. She's already so close and she tries to resist and draw it out, he can tell by the clench of her jaw and the way she's tight like a vice when he pushes a finger back in, but the touch is too much and she comes.

She lets out a surprised cry against his neck, muffled, and then her hand is in his pajama pants to grasp him while the other yanks them down to his thighs. She jerks him hard and fast and he's not expecting it at all. He comes on the third stroke, shooting hard, mostly on his own shirt but some on her hand.

She smirks and licks her fingers. "Goodnight, Cameron."


Church with Vala is... interesting. She sits behind him in a skirt that comes past her knees and draws on the back of her program. When Cam won't look at it, too fearful of attracting the attention of his mother beside him, she ends up spending the hour long sermon giggling with Will.


On Monday, they wake at a quarter to six in the morning.

Cam goes through the strange experience of waking, showering, dressing, all knowing Vala's doing the same thing just one floor underneath him. She's already at the table when he shows up for breakfast, talking with his mother about her favorite courses in school.

Cam's surprised to hear the answers: she likes foreign languages, history and mythology. She doesn't like reading, or algebraic math, or anything that involves patience and sitting still.

(That doesn't surprise him much.)

"Cameron usually walks his brother to the bus stop," Wendy tells Vala.

"Sounds lovely," Vala says, smiling at Cam.

He doesn't know if they're thinking the same thing, but he's thinking: a few minutes alone with her, something they hadn't gotten much of the day before, between church and family time.


They hold hands on the walk, after Will's on his bus.

"You sure you aren't ashamed of me?" She teases, only he's not sure she's really teasing.

"Nope," Cam says, smiling at her. "You kidding? I'd take out a page ad in the school newspaper if I could."

Maybe he's laying it on a little thick, but not really. He gets why she's insecure and he doesn't want her to be.


They don't have any classes together, so they don't actually see each other much during the day; a quick stolen kiss between classes, but then he's got football practice and she goes straight home.

Cam gets home to a mostly empty house, and a note on the fridge that says Wendy's taken Vala shopping and Will's at a friend's house. He's in the middle of homework when he hears the car pull up.

Vala walks in with three shopping bags and a huge from on his face. She bounces over to him, drops the bags onto the couch and sits on his lap, kissing him. "I love your mother."

Cam laughs, kissing back. "I love her, too."

Wendy walks in and she looks just as happy as Vala. Cam realizes that his mother might enjoy having someone to do girly things with, and he thinks it might be a good thing.

"Mrs. Mitchell, can I try on my new clothes for Cameron?" Vala gives his mother a charming smile.

"Which ones?" Wendy asks, like she's onto Vala.

Vala just laughs. "Only the ones that actually cover things up, I promise."

"Well, I suppose, then." Wendy allows it. Vala's already pulling Cam down the hallway to her room, bags in tow, when Wendy adds, "But you change in the bathroom, and the bedroom door stays open!"


Vala's been with them for two weeks. She's adapted to their schedule without complaint - does her homework, dresses and is ready on time, comes straight home after school. She still doesn't have many friends but they see each other more during the day. He walks her to class and spends their short breaks with her and sometimes she watches from the stands while he has football practice, waiting to walk home with him.

He gets to know her like he hadn't before - the things that annoy him, things he loves. The more time he spends with her, the less she becomes a mystery and the move she just becomes Vala.

She lounges on his bed doing her homework. When she looks up, she catches him staring. She grins and drops her pencil on her notebook. Their eyes both go toward the open door and then she gets up, walking over to where he's at his desk and sits on his lap. "Yes?"

"Uh, huh?" He asks.

"You were staring. It was distracting."

"Sorry," he says, grinning. He likes her in his lap. He likes her everywhere, all the time. "Just thinking."


"You. I'm glad you're here." He blurts it out, something he's not sure he's said since that first day, and it makes her blink rapidly to chase away the tears welling in her eyes.

She brushes her lips over his in a soft kiss. "Me, too."


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December 2011

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