Fandom: Stargate SG-1
Word Count: 2724
Summary: Vala isn't easy to figure out, but Sam's a quick learner. (Or, four times Sam and Vala were nearly caught, and one time they weren't.)
Notes: Written for prehistoric_sea for Sweet Charity.
"With an armadillo."
Daniel laughs at that (along with Cameron, even though he's the one who made the joke), and even Teal'c raises an amused eyebrow, but Vala just sits, glancing between her teammates as her fingers worry at the edge of her napkin. She's been on edge all week - Sam thinks she would have noticed even if she didn't pay such close attention - ever since they got back from P3X-247. Yesterday, she'd grabbed Sam in the hallway, pressed her up against the wall as her hands slid under the fabric of Sam's shirt, and it's not like she's usually discreet, but it had been careless, even for Vala. Sam didn't ask her what was wrong - she's learned to read Vala's moods, and if she's molesting her in public places, it usually means she doesn't want to talk - but Vala had looked uncharacteristically hurt when Sam pushed her away, and she's be lying if she said it hadn't been preying on her mind ever since.
When Daniel shoots her an odd look, Vala smiles, her laughter ringing out a little too loud to be genuine, and Sam reaches out to take her hand under the table. She squeezes gently, and Vala pulls back slightly, raking a nail across Sam's palm in a way that makes her shiver.
"Or Vala could just dump our packs again and nearly get us killed," Cameron says, and nods at Teal'c. "That was some quick thinking, there."
Vala nearly bumps the table as she gets up in a rush, mumbling something about the restroom before striding away. Sam counts to thirty carefully under her breath before she excuses herself to follow her.
Vala's standing outside the ladies' room when Sam gets there, and she doesn't hesitate before grabbing Sam by the waist, pulling her in for a hard kiss. Sam raises a hand to Vala's chest, intending on slowing her down, but Vala takes the hand in hers, pulling it down over her breast, moaning against Sam's lips. Pressing forward almost unconsciously, Sam squeezes, lightly, feeling Vala's breath hot against her cheek as she leans back, her other hand sliding up Vala's skirt.
It's stupid, Sam knows, and reckless, but Vala knows exactly how to push her buttons, and when her fingers graze the soft skin of Vala's thigh, she almost thinks she doesn't care. Vala moans again, louder this time, her fingers working at Sam's belt, and Sam's just started to tease a finger under the elastic of Vala's underwear when a noise from around the corner makes her jump back, hands moving quickly to her sides.
"Did you guys want dessert?" Daniel's voice asks, and Sam looks up to see him a second later, trying not to look like she's just been caught in the act. "Otherwise, I think we were going to move on to bowling."
"Sounds good," Sam says, risking a glance back at Vala. "We'll be there in a second."
Daniel nods, looking vaguely puzzled, and Sam takes a deep breath when he's gone.
That's the fourth time they've almost been caught.
The first time, they're off-world, and sex is usually the last thing on Sam's mind during a mission. She's learning that it's never the last thing on Vala's.
The initial reconnaissance goes smoothly, and it's not until they've reached the village that Vala starts inching closer to Sam. Sam doesn't think anything of it, at first; Vala's not usually the touchy-feely type, but Sam likes having her close, and she doesn't mind hanging back behind the others, her fingers brushing Vala's for a brief second as they wait outside the counsellor's chambers. It isn't until Vala grabs at her, one hand a little too low on Sam's waist as she leans in, that Sam starts to think something might be wrong.
"Let's go," Vala says, her voice almost too low for Sam to hear.
Sam frowns, and turns to Vala, pulling her further away from the others. "What's wrong?"
Something flickers in Vala's expression for a moment, too fast for Sam to make out, and then she's smiling, her fingers raking up Sam's side. "Come on," she says, and if Sam were paying attention, she'd notice that Vala's dodging the question. "Let's get out of here."
It's unprofessional, and absolutely the last thing they should be doing on a mission. But the past few weeks have been busy, too long since they've had time alone, and Sam is all too aware of the way Vala's touch is making her feel. So she pulls back, tells Cameron they're going to check out the rest of the village, and allows Vala to lead her away.
The village isn't large, quiet at the far end, and they don't get more than a few paces into the surrounding woods before Vala's reaching for her, tugging Sam's shirt up over her head, and Sam tries not to drop her gun as she puts it down a second before Vala shoves her up against the trunk of a nearby tree. Vala's mouth is hot against hers, insistent, and she barely manages to get her pants down over her hips before Vala's fingers are curling, twisting up to find the spot inside her that makes Sam drop her head back. She closes her eyes as her head hits the tree a little harder than she anticipated, a low, breathless moan sliding out over her lips.
It takes her a few seconds to pull herself together, Vala staring at her with a slow, knowing smile, and she's barely managed to pull her shirt back on and fasten her pants when she hears voices at the edge of the village.
"There you are," Cameron says a minute later, rounding the tree line with Daniel, Teal'c, and some men from the village. "Sam, this is -"
"You," the man on his right shouts, staring straight at Vala. Then, lower, his voice barely restrained, "Qetesh."
Sam's looking at Vala when he says it, sees her expression shut down, and Sam could swear it's more resignation than shock written on her face. She turns in time to see the man reach for Cameron's gun, and when she darts back to get her own, the others are already running past her.
Vala's nowhere to be found in the SGC afterwards, and Sam settles down with the mission report alone. She's not really sure what she wanted to say, anyway.
The second time, they're in the briefing room, and she's not sure General Landry believes them when Vala says they were discussing the Washington trip.
Really, the less said about that, the better.
Sam glances up when Vala slides onto the desk in front of her, enough to see the generous expanse of flesh laid bare by Vala's skirt. Enough to do away with whatever concentration she had left for the task at hand.
"I'm bored," Vala says, and Sam tries not to smile.
"How did your check up go?"
Vala shrugs, and Sam can see the bandage peeking out from under her sleeve.
"Did you fill out your report?"
Vala rolls her eyes, and Sam leans back, fixing her with a stare. "Vala, you have to -"
"I don't see why we all have to do it," Vala interrupts, shifting as she crosses and uncrosses her legs. "Cameron's the team leader."
"Protocol," Sam says, and wishes she didn't sound so much like the IOA drone they'd met a few weeks earlier.
Vala pouts, and Sam merely tilts her head; she's mostly immune to it, by now. After a second, she shrugs. "I never have before. Why start playing by the rules now?"
"This time it's different," Sam says. "Vala, you got shot."
"It was barely a graze," Vala protests.
"It's still a big deal."
"Why?" Vala shifts again, this time more out of apparent discomfort than an attempt at seduction. "It's not like it even hurts."
But Sam can see her favouring her left shoulder slightly, and she remembers the way Vala had been bleeding only hours ago. She takes a breath, steeling herself to press forward. "If you want to talk about what happened -"
Before she can finish, Vala's sliding off the desk and onto Sam's lap, her skirt riding up as she straddles Sam's legs. "I can think of much better things to do right now."
She leans forward to kiss Sam, biting hard at her bottom lip. She takes Sam's hand, teasing it under her skirt, between her thighs, and runs her own hand up Sam's shirt, under the edge of her bra. Sam runs her hand down Vala's thigh, then wraps it around her waist as Vala brushes the underside of her breast, eliciting a low, involuntary moan.
She's not entirely sure what she was going to say; stop or we need to talk or maybe god, yes, but a noise from outside the door breaks her chain of thought. She jumps up, placing Vala as gently as she can - not gently enough, maybe, and she can see Vala wince as she uses her left hand to push herself up - back on the desk.
A minute later, Cameron opens the door, knocking as he passes through the doorway, glancing from her to Vala. He doesn't get past have you filled out before Vala excuses herself, and Sam can only shrug, all too aware of her flushed lips and her bra that's still sitting awkwardly, not quite on right.
That's the third time, and Sam thinks she really should have learned her lesson.
Sam's never met anyone quite like Vala before. She's pretty sure that's a good thing, even if it doesn't always seem like it. Every time she thinks she has her figured out, Vala does something else to throw her for a loop (like the first time Vala kissed her, which, okay, was surprising, if not exactly anything close to unwelcome, her hand soft on Sam's thigh as she sat beside her on the bed, and then, later -)
By now, though, she really thinks she should have her figured out.
She does know some things, though, and Vala's not always as shocking as Sam thinks she'd like to be. She knows Vala doesn't do talking, deep and meaningful conversations where she puts herself on the line. She doesn't like admitting her mistakes, even if Sam can see them weighing on her, doesn't like having to rely on other people. Even her teammates. Even Sam.
And sex, no matter what she says, is very rarely just about sex. It hasn't escaped Sam's notice that Vala's more aggressive when she's feeling vulnerable, that every time she's taken too many risks, every time they've nearly been caught, can be traced directly back to a situation that made her feel insecure. It shouldn't have taken Sam this long to notice, to put it all together, but Vala's good at what she does, so deeply ingrained in the way she operates that Sam's not even sure if she realises what she's doing half the time.
But Sam's learning, and she knows how to adapt to difficult situations.
It isn't hard to get a night alone; a movie night suggestion, a few too many heavy-handed hints about chick flicks and smouldering glances directed at the guys, and they're left to their own devices. Vala shows up with an armful of rented DVDs, breezes past Sam with a quick kiss to the cheek as she makes her way towards the kitchen.
"Popcorn!" she says when Sam reaches her, already rummaging around in the drawers for a bowl. Sam puts the bag in the microwave as Vala pours them both a glass of wine, and five minutes later, they're settled on the couch, Vala's feet resting on Sam's lap as she leans back against the armrest of the couch.
It doesn't take long for Vala to grow bored with the film, inching up until she's almost sitting in Sam's lap. She reaches a hand out to tangle in Sam's hair as the scene continues; too much talking, not enough action, and Sam almost smiles.
"This is my favourite part," she says, and Vala sighs heavily.
"Too slow. When are they going to go back to blowing things up?"
Sam does smile, then, and Vala takes advantage of the distraction to lean down and kiss her, her mouth salty and sweet, tugging on Sam's hair almost hard enough to hurt. When she finally breaks the kiss, they're both breathing a little heavily, Vala grinning lazily as she reaches down to play with the collar of Sam's shirt.
"We could move this to the bedroom," Sam suggests, which makes Vala pause. Just for a second, but Sam catches it.
"What's wrong with right here?"
Sam shakes her head, takes Vala's hand before she has a chance to resist. For a moment, she thinks Vala might argue, but she glances back at the television screen where the characters are still talking - close to kissing, now - and when Sam tugs at her hand, Vala comes without a fight.
She leaves the lights in the bedroom off, enough light spilling in from the hallway that they're unnecessary, and she can still see in sharp relief as Vala strips off her shirt, leaving it to tangle behind her on the floor. Vala smiles, slowly, and pulls Sam in for a kiss, her tongue running across Sam's, angling their bodies to push Sam's back against the wall.
Sam doesn't let it faze her. She slips away, taking Vala's hand again to pull her towards the bed. As Vala reaches out to unbutton Sam's shirt, Sam kisses her, using the forward momentum to launch Vala onto the bed. She straddles her before Vala has a chance to react, shrugging off her shirt, taking Vala's lips with hers. Vala makes a noise, soft, against Sam's mouth, and when she moves, she rolls over so she's on top.
Sam lays back as Vala tugs off her pants, placing soft kisses down the inside of her thigh. When Vala grins again, sliding up Sam's body for a kiss, Sam flips them over again, pinning Vala's arms to the bed.
"No fair," Vala says, but the hard set of her mouth belies the playfulness of her words. Sam leans down, slowly, drawing Vala into a kiss, but she keeps her balance, doesn't allow Vala to reverse their positions.
"No," she says quietly, and Vala quirks an eyebrow. And then, leaning down, almost whispering, "you're just going to have to trust me."
After a heavy silence, Vala nods, almost imperceptibly, and when Sam kisses her again, Vala doesn't struggle.
Sam slips a finger into her, and Vala lets out a sound that's almost a whimper, her eyes half closed. She lets a second finger join it, curling up, brushing her thumb over Vala's clit. When Vala comes, writhing beneath her, Sam thinks it's the most vulnerable she's ever seen her.
The peace doesn't last long. When Vala looks up, there's a new determination in her eyes, and Sam barely has time to brace herself before Vala sits up, dumping her unceremoniously back on the bed.
"You're going to pay for that," Vala says, and when she smiles, Sam smiles with her.
Vala's gone when Sam wakes up, the other side of the bed still warm, the sheets rumpled. She frowns for a minute, until she hears rattling coming from the kitchen, and she slips on a robe as she gets up to investigate.
"I made breakfast," Vala says, when Sam rounds the corner. She's standing in one of Sam's oversized t-shirts, flipping something round and black that Sam thinks might be pancakes onto a plate. "They might be a little burnt."
Sam's laughing when she kisses Vala, ruined breakfast notwithstanding, and when she pulls back, Vala's smiling.
"What time is it?" she asks, taking a plate.
Vala shrugs. "Almost eight."
Sam grimaces as she takes a bite of the pancake, covering it with a smile. "If we don't leave soon, we're going to be late."
Vala just shrugs again, placing a hand casually alongside Sam's.
"If we both come in late, people might talk."
"Let them," Vala says, her voice deceptively light, and Sam tries not to let the surprise show on her face. She was never the one who wanted to keep this a secret.
It's a start.