Fandom: Stargate SG-1
Category: Vignette (729 words). Jack/Vala Friendship.
Spoilers: Momento Mori.
Summary: A meeting between Jack and Vala leads to an interesting discovery.
Note: For Cheryl, who made Vala pop into my fron.
General Jack O‘Neill looked up from his papers at the attractive woman seated on the other side of his desk.
“So, Miss… Mal Doran, is it?”
“Yes,” answered the woman. “And you may call me Vala.”
“Alright. Vala, then. I see here you’ve been accompanying SG-1 on offworld missions for the past little while.”
Jack nodded. “And it looks like you’ve mostly done a pretty fine job of things so far.”
Vala smiled sheepishly. “That’s what they tell me… sir.”
Jack waved a hand at Vala’s appended “sir.”
“Oh, don’t worry about military protocol with me… ma’am,” teased Jack.
Vala instantly relaxed. Jack’s casual and joking manner put her at ease and the nervous energy she’d been feeling since walking into Jack’s office for the interview which would decide her fate dissipated.
She started to thank the general when a two-toned alarm sounded from his computer.
Jack banged a fist on the desk lightly. “Dammit!” he said. “This thing has been acting up for weeks!”
“What did it do?” asked Vala.
“Oh, I’m trying to run some tests on it and it keeps telling me there’s some sort of unfixable error. It can’t read the drive or something. I‘ve had it working on it while we were talking.”
“Don’t you have people who could fix that for you?”
Jack shrugged. “Yeah, but it’s such a hassle. I don’t like them taking my machine and toying with it.”
“Well, what’s it saying?” asked Vala. “Maybe it’s just a firewall or something easy like that. Have you changed your settings recently?”
Jack just stared at Vala when she finished speaking. After a moment, Vala realized why and bowed her head.
“Oh, that’s, um… just something I heard Colonel Carter talking about. I thought you might know what it meant.”
Jack stared a moment longer, then nodded slowly. “Of course. Right. Because there’s no way you could know all that yourself. Being new to the entire planet and all.”
“Exactly,” said Vala.
“Well, let’s try that anyway,” said Jack. “I can do that. And you never know. It might work.”
“You never know,” echoed Vala.
Jack disabled his firewall and reran his diagnostics. A moment later, he smiled at Vala.
“Well, what do you know? It worked.”
Vala shrugged. “Lucky guess.”
“I’d say so,” said Jack. “Thanks. Oh, that reminds me. I’ve got something for you.
Jack opened a desk drawer and retrieved a piece of paper, which he slid across the desk to Vala.
“What’s this?” she asked.
“Oh, just the offer of a position on SG-1, if you want it.”
Vala snatched the paper away from Jack and read it quickly. When she was done, she looked up to see Jack holding out a pen to her. She took it with a smile and signed the offer.
Jack nodded at her.
“So, it’s a done deal, then,” he said.
“Apparently,” agreed Vala. “Though I must confess I thought this interview would be far more involved.”
Jack grinned. “Oh, please. It was just a formality, and you and I both know it.”
“Still,” said Vala, “I’m honored.”
“As you should be, Miss Mal Doran,” said Jack, suddenly very serious. “I hope that our faith in you isn’t misplaced.”
“I assure you, General, that it is not,” said Vala, just as seriously.
“Good,” said Jack. “Then we’re finished here.”
Vala took that as the dismissal it was and stood. She had turned to leave when Jack’s voice called her back.
“A bit of advice, before you go?”
Vala turned back around. “Yes?”
Jack grinned wickedly.
“About this little act you’re playing…“
Vala looked confused. “What are you talking about?”
“This ‘I’m just a silly girl’ game.”
Vala blushed ever so slightly. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“Sure you don’t,” said Jack. Then he held Vala’s eyes for a long moment until a slow grin that matched his in wickedness spread over her face. Jack chuckled deep in his throat.
“And there’s my advice,” he said. “Don’t play a player. You’ll lose every time.”
Vala chuckled, too.
“I’ll keep that in mind,” she said.
With that, she turned and left, leaving one terribly amused Jack O’Neill in her wake. He had a feeling he was going to like this Vala character quite a lot. SG-1 would never know what hit them, and that was just how Jack liked it.