After she gets her memory back, Vala ties up a few loose ends at the restaurant where she worked.
SUMMARY: After she gets her memory back, Vala ties up a few loose ends at the restaurant where she worked.
WARNING: Since this takes place after the episode "Memento Mori," there are spoilers for that. I'd say this takes place right after the episode ends.
NOTES: The old Latin motto Memento mori can be freely translated as "Remember that you are mortal," "Remember you will die," or "Remember your death" (although by translating it literally, I got "Remember to die"). However, I'm still not completely sure how this motto as the episode's title is relevant to the episode itself, other than how it's a nod to The X-Files/, whose episode count it rivaled and then later surpassed (see my Author's Notes at the end). The deponent fourth conjugation verb /mori means "to die," while the third conjugation verb vivere means "to live," hence the title and how it ties into this fic.
Vala was just settling in to her quarters at Stargate Command when a sudden thought crossed her mind.
Damn, I forgot about Sal...
For those few weeks while she had forgotten who she was, she worked at Sal's diner, just trying to make a living and to sustain herself.
Vala figured it was best to visit Sal, get everything sorted out, collect what few belongings she had acquired during that time... and maybe also get that paycheck which was due any day for her.
Making up her mind, Vala made a beeline for General Landry's office.
She knocked on the door, and a beat later, he said, "Come in."
Vala entered and faced General Landry at his desk.
"Hello General," Vala said, putting on what she hoped was a cheery, innocent smile. "I was hoping you could allow me to do something."
"Depends on what it is," he said in what Vala mentally called his "gruff General voice." "So what is it?"
"For those few weeks that I was missing, I worked at this particular diner, not far from here," Vala explained. "The owner of the place, Sal, was a very understanding and compassionate fellow, who gave me a job as a waitress there, and..."
"Get to the point, Vala," Landry said curtly.
"...I just wanted to let him know that I was fine," Vala finished.
After a beat, Landry said, "Sounds plausible. If he's not doing anything too important at the moment, Doctor Jackson can escort you."
Flashing one of her bright, toothy smiles that could have belonged on a toothpaste advertisement, Vala responded with an excited "Thanks!" and was gone.
With a wry grin, Landry shook his head. He had a feeling that life was about to get more interesting with an alien femme fatale now part of SG-1.
Daniel was sitting in his office, working on some notes and trying to get out of his head those looks which the others had given him. Seriously, just because he took Vala out to dinner as a nice gesture didn't mean that he was in love with her. Right?
"Hello, Daniel," Vala said in her cheery manner.
"Hey, Vala, what can I do for you?" Daniel asked.
"I just talked to General Landry, and he said that I could go back to the diner where I worked for the last few weeks and let my former boss there know that I'm alright. He also said that you could escort me if you weren't doing anything too important at the moment."
Daniel thought about it for a moment and said, "Sure, why not? Give me a moment, let me just put this away..."
Less than an hour later, they were outside Sal's diner. Vala took a deep breath, composing herself.
"Are you sure you'll be alright?" Daniel asked with concern in his voice. "Do you want me to come in with you?"
"No, it's okay, Daniel. I can do this myself... I probably should, too."
"So... see you in a few minutes?"
As Daniel turned on the radio to listen to some classical music, Vala exited the car and headed for the diner.
It was currently somewhere between lunch and dinner, so the restaurant was almost empty, except for some scattered customers here and there. She immediately sought Sal out, but as fate would have it, he spotted her first.
"Val!" he said, a grin spreading across his face. "It's so good to see you again! I was worried about you!" Concern replacing happiness on Sal's face, he asked, "What happened?"
Seeing the surprised looks of the few other people present, Vala said discretely, "Why don't we discuss this elsewhere?"
With a nod, Sal caught on, and they both moved to the back room where Vala had slept for the time during which she worked here.
"So, Val, what's up?"
Composing herself, Vala said, "I realize you will find this hard to believe... but I am actually part of the Air Force."
Sal's eyes widened. Vala went on, "Obviously, I can't tell you everything, but I can tell you this: I work for the Air Force, by going on missions, collecting intelligence... even teaching some martial arts combat every now and then. I even work with NORAD under Cheyenne Mountain.
"When I came in a few weeks ago... I got into a scuffle with some people we've been after for a year or so now. Oh, don't worry, I wouldn't worry about it if I were you... but anyway, I must have hit my head or something during the fight, and that was why I couldn't remember anything by the time I had reached your diner.
"Anyway, my friends found me... and so here I am. I figured it would be best to let you know what had happened to me."
Sal opened and shut his mouth a couple of times, as if to say something but unable to find the right words to say. Personally, Vala didn't blame him in the slightest.
The next time he opened his mouth, he finally found something to say. "Whoa."
"How profound, Sal," Vala said jokingly. "But yes, I know what you mean."
"I'm just happy for you, Val, I really am," Sal said with a smile. "But still... the Air Force? I never would have guessed."
"Yeah, I know."
"Anyway, thanks for coming by to explain everything, Val. I really appreciate it."
"Not a problem, Sal."
Sal looked around for a moment before saying something else. "Just... stay safe, Val." After a pause, he then added, "I had a friend who was in the military years ago, and I never knew if or when he might return, or how he'd come back, harmed or unharmed. You never know what might happen to someone in the armed forces."
Vala looked at him with complete seriousness. "I completely understand your sentiments, Sal. Forgive me if I sound ignorant here, but even aside from that one skirmish that left me unable to remember anything and wandering into your diner, I've been able to get out of worse binds before."
"I suppose having friends and family in a job where they can get killed in the line of duty changes one's perspective about certain things," Sal responded. "What's that old motto...? I remember because I once studied Latin a long time ago... oh yeah. /Memento mori./"
"'Remember that you are mortal' or however it's translated, I know," she agreed. "I have a friend who knows lots of different languages, including Latin," she said by way of explanation.
"Sal, I've been doing my thing long enough to comprehend and handle the mortal perils of my kind of work." For a far longer time and far more than you can imagine, she added privately. "But I suppose that's also given me a... shall we say, unique perspective on things. I also say 'Remember that you must live,' because after all, in order to die, one has to be alive first."
Sal looked at her for a moment before he smiled and chuckled a little. "Very clever, Val, very clever. And wise, too."
Val smiled along with him, but she also had a few serious thoughts on her mind at that moment...
I must live, she thought, because I have so much to live for. I have people here who see me as an ally, a teammate... and especially a friend. I have a galaxy, maybe even an entire universe to save from the Ori and their followers. And I also have that Orici daughter of mine to contend with...
Yes, I indeed have much to live for.
"Anyway, Val, your stuff is in the back. I also managed to record that X-Files episode which you were going to see next... it's the one where Scully gets cancer and Mulder tries to find the cure."
"Thanks, Sal. Back in a flash."
A few moments later, Val returned with her recorded episode, last paycheck and few other belongings in a small box.
"I guess I'll be seeing you around, Sal. But don't worry, I'll be sure to come by every now and then. And I can't thank you enough for how you've helped me these past few weeks," she said with complete honesty and sincerity as she walked towards the door.
"Don't worry about it, Val. I look forward to seeing you around sometime."
"Sure thing... take care."
"You too, Val. Oh, and one other thing..."
It took Vala little more than a moment to catch on, but finally she got it. Remember to live. "That I shall, Sal. Adieu."
With a wink, she turned around and walked out of the diner, filled with renewed inner strength, and she didn't look back.
A/N: So, how was this?
Note about the X-Files thing: This episode's title is the same as one from Season Four of The X-Files/, entitled "Memento Mori," in which Scully gets cancer and Mulder tries to find the cure. The SG-1 episode is so named because this episode was the 202nd episode, matching how long /The X-Files ran for... hence the joke in this fic.
I hope you enjoyed it! -Quillian