“You want what?” Cam asked the woman standing in front of him with a look of barely restrained horror upon his face.
“An old fashioned Christ Mass.” Vala said, stumbling over the unfamiliar word. “Or is it-”
Daniel scoffed, cutting her off. “It’s Christmas… and why are you asking us about it?”
Vala gave them a withering look. “Well, it is my first Christmas on your lovely planet and I understand that you receive presents!” She lit up with a big smile. “And since you two, Sam and Teal’c are my family now, I suggest we do something… Like give presents.” She suggested, quite hardily.
Cam and Daniel gave each other a look that said ‘We are in so much trouble.’ Daniel sighed.
“Vala… I get that you want to experience Earth Culture and as admirable as that is, I’m not into holidays. You can celebrate however you personally wish, but count me out.” He turned, about to make his exit when Vala scoffed.
“Daniel! It just wouldn’t be the same without you!!” She said, looking hurt.
“Actually, it’s not that bad of an idea… but we’re on high alert status. We can’t really do anything with the Ori out there, plus the fact that there’s been some Wraith incursions near our galaxy… No one is really being able to celebrate Christmas this year. I mean, I’m not even getting to go home to my house, nor will I be able to join my family‘s Christmas celebration, Sam’s not able to leave or go to her brother’s house and while Teal’c doesn’t have any holidays, he’s unable to go and see his son… as you can tell, we’re all pretty much not celebrating this year.” Cam told her, trying to head off the fight that was about to break out between them.
“Couldn’t we do something here?” Vala asked, horrified that her plans were already starting to fall apart. Cam shrugged and Daniel sighed, rubbing his forehead.
“Not really. This is a military base after all… Maybe next year, ok, Vala? Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got enough paperwork to keep me busy for years.” Cam smiled at her and nodded at Daniel, making a quick exit. Daniel held up his file folder. “I’ve got a briefing with SG-9. I’ll talk to you later, Vala.” Daniel walked off, leaving her standing there, very alone. Vala grimaced and pouted slightly. Well, if her boys refused to do this for her, she’d just figure out how to do it anyway.
Sam was in her lab, working with one of the few things that McKay had given up and allowed the Science teams on this side of the Galaxy to look at. She gritted her teeth slightly then banished the thoughts about the databurst that had accompanied the device. Oooh, of all the arrogant… Calm down, Sam… He’s in Atlantis, you’re here, he’s not here to bother you… She continued setting the device up, which McKay and Dr. Zelenka had theorized was just basically a space heater, but she just had a inkling… There was, had to be, something more. Then again… they did allow it out of their grubby little hands… Grrr. Sam slapped the table in front of her, trying to get her frayed temper under control. Vala peeked her head in then decided to invite herself into Sam’s lab.
“Sam. I was just-”
“Vala… I’m in the middle of an experiment. Can it wait, please?” Sam said, trying to buffer the woman from getting a good look of her temper. Not that it was working all that well.
“Oh. Um… I was really only here to ask if I could possibly borrow Lab 3 in a couple of days….”
“Sure. Go ahead. That’s the empty one, right? Go ahead… just don’t do something illegal and it’ll be fine.” Sam told her, falsely cheerful.
“Why does everyone automatically think I’m going to do something to break the laws of Earth?” Vala asked, looking a bit put out. “Thanks, Sam. I promise, you won’t regret this.”
She turned on her heel with one of her mischievous grins and left the room. Sam stopped for a second, pursed her lips and furrowed her brow. Well… Vala did leave… but she just couldn’t seem to shake the feeling that she’d regret this….
“Muscles!!” Vala called out across the gym as she saw Teal’c there, lifting weights. He turned and gave her a slight bow before returning to his workout. Vala strutted up to him, grinning widely. “How would you like to help me with something?”
“Will it involve something criminal?” He asked, his dark eyes twinkling.
“Of course not!” Vala exclaimed, pouting slightly. “I have something planned and I need your assistance.”
Teal’c raised an eyebrow, almost asking her to elaborate. She just grinned, batting her eyes at him. He sighed and put his weights down. “Very well. I will assist you in this endeavor.”
“Excellent!” She said, grinning somehow wider. Vala waited until he had put away his equipment then led him outside to a military looking car. The airman stood, almost guarding it, but just mainly keeping a lazy eye out for his superiors. “M’am. Sir. The cargo is secure.” He told them, straightening in the presence of the Jaffa Warrior.
“Very good, Kevin. Teal’c, this is Kevin. Kevin has been ever so nice, driving me about.” Vala told him, introducing the two men.
“Hello.” Teal’c said simply as he noted the various boxes in the backseat. He raised another eyebrow and frowned slightly.
“If you both will just follow me, I’ll lead you to where I want all this stuff.” She said, airily, already walking toward the entrance to the Mountain. They shrugged, grabbing boxes quickly and following her down to Lab 3. They were directed to put the boxes down and leave everything up to her. After completing their delivery, Vala shooed them from the room and locked the door behind the two men. They shrugged and went off in two different directions, not wanting to be around when something bad happened.
Vala smiled, satisfied with her work. She had put up decorations and had a good idea, having watched several of Earth’s Christmas specials (How she loved Paula Deen!), that this was how it was supposed to be like. She knew that she couldn’t logically cook anything, but the people at the deli had been quite agreeable and she had quite the holiday spread. And of course, there was cake. She really did like the confection. Now, just to get the people to arrive… It was time for them all to be off duty and while they were all confided to base, they did sometimes make it very hard to find them. But she was herself. No one could hide very long from her.
First, she needed to find Muscles. He’d be the easiest to both find and get to come. Vala checked her clothes. BDU’s, low cut shirt. Check. She would’ve rather dressed up, but since they were supposed to stay on base…. Vala rushed towards the elevator and went to the floor where Teal’c lived, slightly bouncing in excitement. She knocked on the door. After a few minutes, Teal’c answered. “ValaMalDoran.” He greeted. She grinned and walked into his quarters to find Cameron sitting there, playing with a video game controller. “Oh. Hey, Vala.” He said then went back to his game.
“Oh, wonderful! You’re both here. I need you to come with me to get Sam and Daniel and come to Lab 3.” Vala said, triumphantly.
“For what?” Cam asked as he paid attention to his game. “Oh no you don’t, you son of a- ….” He said, pressing buttons rapidly.
“I’ve got a surprise and I need you two to get them to come to it.” Vala explained.
“Why are we your partners in crime?” Cam asked as he got under cover on his game.
“Just come on… Please? You won’t regret it!” Vala pleaded.
Cam sighed and exited out of Halo. He stood to his feet and looked at Vala. “I get Sam.” He said.
“That’s alright with me.” Vala said cheerfully. Cam gave her a grin and disappeared down the corridor. “It looks like you’re with me, Muscles.”
Cam knocked on Sam’s quarters. She opened the door with her hair wet and sticking up in places. “Yes?”
“Vala wants to surprise us all with something… Can you come?” Cam asked. Sam frowned, looked like she remembered something then nodded quickly.
“Yeah. Hold on. I’ll get some clothes on.” She swiftly shut her door and Cam stood outside, bouncing on his heels. She emerged moments later in a long sleeved shirt and her green BDU pants. “So, what do you think it is?” Sam asked him as they boarded the elevator.
“Don’t know. It’s in Lab 3 whatever it is.”
“I know. I gave her permission to use it.” Sam said with a slight grin. The doors dinged open, revealing Daniel being frog marched towards the elevator. They shoved him in gently and pressed the Science floor. Daniel glowered at everyone.
“So, what is this all about, Vala?” Sam asked, clearly amused.
Vala turned to them, smiling radiantly. “Well. I was watching your television, and they say Christmas is a special time for family. Since my family is… Less than ideal, I wanted to spend my Christmas with all of you.” The door slid open and she led them to Lab 3. “Merry Christmas, Everyone.” She opened the door and revealed a large deli plate and a cake with a large 1 on top surrounded with five bags.