Pairing: Vala Mal Doran/Daniel Jackson
Blurb: Oh THESE TWO. They are so messed up and yet they can't help but be supremely wonderful together. You have to understand when I say that they are messed up, I mean it. They have enough issues between them to make Freud cry for his momma. First we have Daniel, who despite his boyish good looks and geeky tendencies, has lost both his parent in an accident he bared witness to at young age, was bounced around fosters home due to his grandfather not choosing to adopt him, then after the Stargate program married and subsequently lost his wife a year after marrying. He spends the next three years of his life looking for her only to have to watch her die (due to the Goa'uld symbiote inside her which has been controlling her for the last three years) at the hand of one his best friends. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. Daniel goes through many things during his years in SG-1 that by the time he meets Vala he is somewhat emotionally distant person, who used his job and smarts to keep himself distant.
Now, Vala. OH MY DEAR VALA. To say she doesn't have her own issue would like saying that that the ocean is somewhat salty. Difference here, is that while Daniel carries his angst almost proudly and very much like a shield, Vala covers it up with her own special brand of crazy. She, like Daniel's wife, was also taken hostage by the Goa'uld, Qetesh, and was forced to do many things against her will. Ultimately the symbiote was removed by allies of SG-1, the Tok'ra, before we first meet her. Vala is also a con artist and thief, which appears to be the family business. The thing about Vala is that as much as she talks, she talks around anything to do about herself and her past. She lies, she cheats, she talks around the truth and when she does tell you the truth, you're so unsure that you might not believe her.
oh yeah this happens. During their first meeting!
Her joining SG-1 is not something that happens right away. In fact when we first meet her, she's stealing Earth's ship Prometheus single-handedly, and accidentally kidnapping Daniel. I say accidentally because she sure didn't mean for him to remain on the ship when she got rid of the rest of crew. They then spend the rest of the episode trying to best each other (and personally, winning my heart over) and Daniel eventually gains the ship back. Vala gets away. When she returns (and you have to admire her balls because she walks right into a place that probably has her on their most wanted list) she ends up binding herself to Daniel, making it so they literally can't be apart, while she convinces him to basically go on a treasure hunt with her. Other things happens, other very big and important things, like her and Daniel's minds ending up in a different galaxy and Vala getting herself burnt to death (giving us the first real moment in where Daniel's feeling aren't fuelled by amused irritation, heavy on irritation), getting lost in another galaxy and then being forced to give birth to what we'll call the Darth Vader of the show, all eventually leading up to her becoming a fully fledged member of SG-1.
But that's only background. Yes, of course, in shipping Daniel and Vala these things are very important but they are not what makes them epic to those who ship them. Besides having the whole opposites attract thing going for them they have a (hidden, because they are both emotional morons at times) sturdy base of innate understanding and eventual respect that grows as their relationship does. But trust me when I say it's not an easy road. They also have such wonderful banter as they are both smart, clever individuals who love getting the best of each other.
Another reason to that I find them to be such a refreshing couple, compared to what usually we see on television, is that they change the rules. Most, not all, television shows when having a partnered male and female generally rely on the Renegade Anti Hero Male and Straight Laced Sceptical Female. It's not a bad trope, some of my favourite couples fit this trope and own it, but with Daniel and Vala it's refreshing to see it the other way, because even when changing the rules they don't play by them. It's one of my favourite things about them. Another is the fact that they are not put into gender specific boxes even though at first sight they seem to be. Vala flirts with Daniel, she likes girly things, she can act impulsively and selfishly but is not portrayed to be lesser for it. Similarly Daniel can be closed off, cynical, and by the book, but when he needs to he doesn't hold back, not from Vala or anyone else. When he fights for something he believes in he fight with all his heart. It's something they both share.
Throughout their run on the show (roughly 1.5 seasons, a short time yes, but oh what magic they gave us) they have a sea-saw of moments between them that slowly push the relationship forward, of course we also get moments that push it back, but generally they stay pretty steady in the limbo of snarky flirting, growing affection, true friendship. There is also the little moments when they just look at each other for a second and you can see it: the understanding that they just shared, the silent conversation that just happened. I joke that there's a sort of physic connection between them because half the time it feels like they're bantering to reach the same conclusion, they just like the banter, the spark of it. That's the thing about them together. They are a force. Then Vala winks and Daniel rolls his eyes and you can't help but want to smush their faces together
Fic Rec #1 - Best Drama Story: Cut the Light
Rating/Warning(s): PG, episode tag
Why This Must Be Read: A prefect episode tag for Memento Mori it depicts Daniel and Vala's friendship beautifully that fills in the days between getting Vala back and her getting all her memories back.
Fic Rec #2 - Best Action/Adventure Story: Honor Amongst Thieves
Rating/Warning(s): PG-13, language mostly.
Why This Must Be Read: Maybe THE Daniel/Vala fic. It rewrites both Daniel and Vala's histories, having them meet in season 6 right after Daniel has Descended from where he has been with the Ancients since his death in "Meridian" after Vala has crashed on that same planet. She takes him under her wing and together they go off to have more adventures together while still trying to find how who the hell Daniel is (his memories aren't fully restored when the story begins but slowly they return to him). It changes everything and still manages to keep things familiar for any Stargate fan. There's even a wonderful subplot of the team looking for Daniel at the same, as they for them canon timeline kept going and they did end up visiting the same planet only a day after Daniel and Vala had left! Full of capers, missions, and banter is one of the my favourite Daniel and Vala fics and one of the fics that really made me fall for them.
Fic Rec #3 - Best Alternate Reality/Universe Story: Tech Support
Rating/Warning(s): PG-13, angst!
Why This Must Be Read: Written for the AU comm jack_built in where all the Gateverse characters live in one building (Daniel lives with Rodney, and Vala lives with Cam and John) and get into wacky hijinks, ala The Big Bang Theory. Overall this comm/verse is light and funny, but in this particular addition Six delves into some darker sides of it, namely Vala's past and well, nails it for this verse. Wonderfully in character, this fic begs for more of these two in this universe.
Fic Rec #4 - Best Angst Story: Mysteries
Author: [Bad username: violet dreamwalk]
Rating/Warning(s): PG, ANSGT!
Why This Must Be Read: This feels like a bit of a cheat because it most gen, but oh my god the Daniel and Vala relationship here is so amazing I can't not rec this. Not to mention the Vala characterisation. It BLOWS ME AWAY. I can't articulate why this story is so amazing because just thinking about it leaves me speechless. The plot is amazing, as is the way it unfold and how the characters are handled in it. It doesn't follow the Ori storyline quiet like the show did, I believe it was written before season 10 came out or the author just threw out what s10 did, and made it better and more intricate in terms of dealing with the repercussions of what the Ori did to Vala.
Fic Rec #5 - Best Fluff Story: It Must Be Our Lucky Night
Rating/Warning(s): R, sexy times, drunk times
Why This Must Be Read: This fic is just SO. MUCH. FUN. One a questionable mission along side Vala's father Sam does little bit of gambling, Daniel gets a little drunk, Sam and Vala make sure Daniel makes it out alive, and then drunk sex happens. In no way does this fic lose.
Fic Rec #6 - Best Hurt/Comfort Story: In Sicknes
Why This Must Be Read: Sneaking in another AU. But this one is just to sweet not to include. Daniel takes care of a sick Vala during the old west. Adorable!
Fic Rec #7 - Best PWP/Kink Story: Chrysostom
Rating/Warning(s): NC-17, yet no nudity happens. I KNOW.
Why This Must Be Read: Let's pretend "Beachhead" didn't quite happen with Vala ending up in the Ori galaxy and after Vala went on her way, okay? Good. Now what if after that and an unfortunate encounter with the Lucian Alliance causes the team to split up and find their way home, who does Daniel go to for some help? That's right, Vala. This is where the fic starts off. Short and smutty this fic centers around a dinner on an alien planet shared between the two. A fun misadventure for these two, this fic hits all right buttons, including alien food, drinks, fun flirting, and some hot smut.
Fic Rec #8 - Best Long Story: The Crown of Janus
Author: Lady Grey
Rating/Warning(s): NC-17; sexual situation, some dark themes, angst.
Why This Must Be Read: The backstory for Vala in this fic is absolutely amazing. Written way before s10 and the unfortunate inclusion of Jacek into canon, this fic gives Vala a background worthy of her awesome. ICompletely different than anything expected here Daniel and Vala don't fall in love easily, but honestly with all their baggage in tow. The plot here is dense and includes aspects of the Gateverse you don't expect. I cannot rec this enough.
Fic Rec #9 - Best Short Story: The Salt of the Earth
Rating/Warning(s): PG, character study
Why This Must Be Read: It's just such a wonderful and thoughtful fic dealing with the aftermath of losing Earth, religion, and survival.
Fic Rec #10 - Best Overall Romantic Story: Indirect Approach
Author: Notadate (sixbeforelunch)
Why This Must Be Read: Vala is sneaky and adorable and manages to get Daniel to go home with her in a way only she can.