Title: Lively Personalities
Author: Jedi Buttercup
Disclaimer: The words are mine, the worlds are not.
Summary: SG-1/P&P, sort of. Daniel and Vala discuss his visit to England. 900 words.
Spoilers: Stargate SG-1 through 10.6, "200"; Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice"
Notes: Maevebran requested SG-1/Jane Austen, Daniel-centric, with the prompt "champagne". This was as close as I could get without going straight to crack!fic.
"So how was England?" Vala asked, sprawled on the short grass of the backwater, beautiful world Landry had carefully hand-selected on the sly for Mitchell's 200th trip through the gate. She had almost-daisies in her hair from an earlier episode of flower chaining with Sam, and a dab of chocolate from the cake at the corner of her mouth; Daniel thought she looked adorable, but definitely wasn't going to say so.
"Oh, it was nice to see my cousins again," he replied, shrugging, "and I learned a lot more about what Merlin and Morgan le Fay did while they were on Earth, but..." He sighed, and took another sip from his glass of punch. "Still nothing that might point us to Merlin's weapon."
"Cousins?" Vala sat up straighter, staring at him with inquisitive eyes. "I thought you didn't have any family." She paused a moment, wincing, then hastened to add, "Still on Earth, I mean."
"They're pretty distant," he said. "And they're English, not American-- I only saw them once or twice when my parents were alive, and then not at all until I was old enough to go to college. I visited them several times when I was at Oxford, though, and spent hours lost in their private library; I should have remembered them last year when we first started looking for information on Merlin. Unfortunately, it wasn't until we actually met Morgan le Fay that I remembered the quality of their collection and thought to ask."
He took another sip of the punch, glancing up at the brilliantly blue, cloudless sky as he warmed to his topic. "The family has been in England since the Norman conquest-- that's almost a thousand years ago now. They have several reference works that include the legends of Arthur, of which Merlin and Morgan le Fay are a part, dating back centuries before Sir Thomas Malory wrote his famous 'Le Morte d'Arthur' and contaminated all of the subsequent scholarship in the field with his notions of chivalry."
"I see," Vala said vaguely. "So, this family, a thousand years in one place? They must be pretty rich, then?"
Daniel sighed at the unsubtle change of topic, and glanced back at her. The chocolate smear was gone, and she was wearing a wide, blank smile with a hint of apology in it; she had become a lot more considerate of others' feelings since his first encounter with her, but her basic, survival-driven, sharp-tongued personality was never going to change. He'd gotten used to it by now, though; like his friendship with Jack, his acquaintance with Vala was a challenge for him in ways that little else in life was.
"They're not the richest family in Britain," Daniel conceded, "but they certainly live comfortably, and they have an incredible collection of historical artefacts of all kinds, not just books. One of the matriarchs early in the nineteenth century-- almost two hundred years ago -- had a lively personality and an active interest in learning, and her husband indulged her in everything. They made frequent trips to Europe, collecting books and scrolls and pieces of history wherever they went; they added more to the family archives than anyone before or since."
"An acquisitive woman," Vala said approvingly. "Sounds like my kind of person."
Daniel thought about that idea for a moment, comparing Vala to the legendary Elizabeth Darcy, and grinned suddenly. "You know, I think you're right," he said, amused. "You would have liked her. She was smart, strongly opinionated, and notoriously witty; she took an instant dislike to her future husband the day she met him, and the first time he proposed to her she threw it back in his teeth. It was months before they met again, and by the time she realized she *did* want him there were other obstacles in the way. But he was as stubborn as she was, and once he realized she loved him, too, there was no stopping them. From all accounts, they lived as happily as two people possibly could until the end of their days."
Vala's mood dimmed a little at that, unexpectedly. "Yes, well," she said. "I wish more of us had her kind of luck."
"Now, now," a third voice said suddenly, from behind them. "No frowns at my party, you hear? C'mon, Vala, Jackson, have a glass of this champagne."
Daniel looked up from his seated position, leaning against a large rock, to see Mitchell standing over them, three flutes of golden, bubbly liquid carefully clutched in his hands. "I didn't think we were allowed to take alcohol off world," he said as he reached up to take one.
"We aren't," Mitchell said, with a cheerful grin. "General O'Neill brought it. Said we might as well make this a multi-purpose blow-out; what with the Ori, we won't have another chance to celebrate on a grand scale for awhile." He handed the other glass to Vala, then cocked his head back in the direction of the center of the clearing where most of the personnel had congregated. "C'mon. I think Landry's about to make a toast."
Daniel watched him walk off again, fairly skipping in his exuberance, and sighed. "I think I'm getting too old for this," he said, then got carefully to his feet and held a hand out to Vala. "Shall we?"
She took his hand with a wry smile. "We shall."