Mitchell insists on being the one to give Daniel a ride home, after he’s discharged from the tender mercies of Doctor Lam. So Daniel gets shotgun, holding the crumpled paper bags of macaroons in his lap as Mitchell and Vala (sitting in the middle of the bench seat in the back, one elbow on Daniel’s seat and one on Mitchell’s) bring him up to speed on all the down-and-dirty details he missed while—
Well. All the details he missed.
Daniel nods in all the right places, keeping the furrow on his brow and pretending to listen; instead he watches the way Mitchell never moves any more than he has to to put his turn signal on, just a quick jerk of his hand before it’s back in position on the steering wheel. Daniel flips his sun visor down, to see Vala in his mirror. She’s back to pigtails, though she had her hair back in a bouncy ponytail every time she visited him in the infirmary (and thank God she never tried to bake him anything), and though she’s smiling at all the innuendo of the conversation (“Apparently Nielson was checking out the stats on Michaels’s warp drive, if you know what I mean,” says Mitchell, glancing away from the road to waggle his eyebrows lasciviously), her eyes keep flicking back to Daniel.
Sam and Teal’c are following them in Sam’s car; when they’re just a few blocks away from Daniel’s house, Sam and Teal’c turn left to pick up the pizzas. They’ve got the movie—Teal’c’s only had the Star Wars DVDs for two years and they already look like a five-year-old’s favored possession in terms of wear and tear—and Daniel’s fairly certain that he’s got some (really, really old) six-packs in the fridge, so they’re all set on that front.
Mitchell pulls right up into Daniel’s driveway and parks. Vala, under the guise of being her overly touchy-feely self, loops an arm around Daniel’s waist and helps support him as he gets out of the car; he rolls his eyes, but leans a bit on her. When Daniel fumbles for his keys, Mitchell just steps forward, picks up the stone porcupine next to the door, and takes out the spare from the compartment.
Daniel grimaces. “Is it that obvious?”
Vala raises an eyebrow. “Daniel. Light-years away from here, on the far edges of the galaxy, in cultures and civilizations that are completely unlike your own--still the only purpose of a stone porcupine is to alert robbers and thieves to the presence of a spare key.”
Daniel’s not certain, but he’s pretty sure Mitchell’s snickering.
Vala deposits him lengthwise on the couch in the living room, and crosses to one of the recliners. She grabs the afghan folded over it, and for a moment Daniel’s certain she’s going to tuck him in like a five-year-old—then she wraps it around herself and sits down almost-but-not-quite on Daniel’s stomach. Daniel tries mostly successfully not to smile.
Mitchell appears—and Daniel must be less recovered than he thought, he didn’t even notice Mitchell had left—with a six-pack of beer in each hand.
“Your taste in beer sucks,” Mitchell says, carefully placing the six-packs on the coffee table.
“Jack’s taste in beer sucks,” Daniel corrects him.
“Jack O’Neill?” asks Vala, frowning. “…the one who hasn’t worked at the SGC for over a year?”
“I got in the habit of buying it for him, and just never broke it,” Daniel says, shrugging.
“Urgh,” says Mitchell, but he pops one open anyway and hands it to Vala. “None for you,” he adds to Daniel. “Lam’s orders.”
“Damn,” says Daniel, but without enthusiasm.
“Hey!” Sam and Teal’c enter: Sam has a pizza propped against her stomach, parallel to the floor, and Teal’c is holding the Star Wars DVDs with a reverence that’s slightly disturbing.
“We have acquired the pizza,” says Teal’c, with gravity in his voice, as though he’s saying that the treaty has been negotiated, or that the prophecy has been fulfilled.
As Sam puts in the DVD (even Teal’c can be distracted from Star Wars by the proper ham-and-pineapple incentives), Vala finally gets off Daniel. They arrange themselves almost immediately: Vala lifts Daniel’s head up and sits down, letting him rest in her lap and gently whapping him each time he tries to move; Mitchell snickers, and Teal’c asks permission before lifting up Daniel’s legs and sits beneath them. Sam sits against Teal’c’s legs, and Mitchell takes the recliner next to Vala, sitting in it sideways so his legs dangle off one of the armrests.
“Any particular reason we’re watching Star Wars?” Mitchell asks, carefully balancing a slice of pizza in one hand and a beer in the other.
“A certain sense of irony?” suggests Vala.
“I like making fun of the science,” says Sam, shrugging.
“Tradition,” says Daniel.
Teal’c fixes Mitchell with one of his patented stares, and says, “Because it is Star Wars,” leaving no room for argument.
Mitchell carefully tucks his beer between his hip and the chair, balances his pizza on his knees, and raises his hands in defeat. “Fine, fine. I apologize. Continue.” He picks up his pizza, considers it for a moment, and says, “Then again, I always liked Han Solo.”
Sam snorts, resettling herself against Teal’c’s legs. “You would.”
The movie starts, and silence falls.
Daniel is asleep within minutes.
He wakes up a few times over the course of the night, and he’s not the only one who’s fallen asleep; the first time he wakes up he notices Sam’s head slumped against Teal’c. Vala moved, apparently; she now has Sam’s hands arrayed out on the coffee table, and is in the process of painting Sam’s nails, a relatively mellow wine color. When she sees that Daniel’s awake, she smiles impishly, and Teal’c is decidedly impassive as he watches Han Solo inform Leia that He Knows.
The next time he wakes up, Yoda, Ben Kenobi, and Anakin Skywalker are translucent on the screen, and Vala’s moved back to her original position; only now she’s curled around Daniel, her legs crossed beneath his head and her body curved to be draped across the armrest of the couch. Daniel can tell from the rhythm of her breath that she’s asleep, and she’s not the only one – Mitchell is snoring so loud Daniel’s surprised he hasn’t woken himself up, and Sam is drooling on Teal’c’s knee. Teal’c himself has his eyes closed and is unmoving, but Daniel’s not certain if he’s meditating or sleeping.
Then he decides it doesn’t matter, and closes his eyes again.