SEASON/SPOILERS: Spoilers for “Prometheus Unbound” and “Bounty”
AUTHOR’S NOTES: Written for Dannygirlsg1’s comment_fic prompt “Daniel/Vala, Daniel’s idea of a night on the town”. I started this back in April, and only felt the whim to complete it recently. A collection of the Carmina Burana poems can be found here: http://www.tylatin.org/intro.shtml
Vala looked up at Daniel, then back at the hastily scribbled words on the sidewalk chalkboard. “Carmina Burana? Daniel you said you were taking me somewhere fun.”
Daniel wrapped his scarf a little tighter around his neck. “This will be fun. You’ve been learning Latin for six months now, this will be a treat, believe me.”
Vala sighed dramatically, crossing her arms and marching into the small café/performance house, leaving Daniel to trail behind her. She spied a booth in one of the old house’s little nooks, right next to a window that gave a nice view of the street outside, it’s empty quiet such a contrast to the low rumble of conversation and inviting smells of the house blend. She sits down, sliding towards the window, and Daniel gestures towards the bathroom with a thumb over his shoulder. Vala nodded and made herself comfortable, enjoying the warmth of the café contrasting with the cool whispers coming off the glass window on her cheek.
A waitress cleared her throat, bringing Vala out of her reverie. “Oh, ah…two Irish lattes, thankyou”, Vala grinned widely at the waitress. She needed to take the chill off, and Daniel needed perpetual loosening up/punishment for not taking her to that movie about being a shopoholic she had been hinting at all week. Sure, she was finding their lessons twice a week as something to look forward to, but it had occurred to her that that may be due…in part, to her wonderful, if slightly stubborn teacher, and not just the topic at hand. Honestly, she had been letting herself get a little too fond of Daniel for quite a while now. It was a niggle at the back of her mind, and despite Daniel’s annoyance at her…friendly overtures in the past, lately he seemed settled, more at ease with her presence in his life, and that was already more then she had ever hoped for.
Daniel slid into the booth beside her, just before the
waitress arrived back with their drinks. He nodded his thanks and took a sip, eyebrows
knitting together as a surprising, but not unwelcome
warmth settled in his stomach. He shot Vala a
‘thanks, but why must you do that?’ look. Vala
grinned back and shrugged. “The people who wrote and performed these poems were
known as The Wandering Scholars. They travelled
Vala just sipped her coffee, a frothy smile and wide eyes inviting him to continue.
“Ordo Vagorum” Daniel whispered, blowing on his drink to cool it.
“In wanderer’s company.” Vala always screwed her nose up a little, making her statements appear more like a question when she was unsure.
“Yeah.” Daniel gave her a shy smile. He got a little thrill running down his spine at her words. In fact, this whole teaching Vala thing had reawakened his love of language. He was saddened to hear of Vala’s lack of formal education, despite her protests to the contrary, hands on experience did not get you where you needed to go…all of the time. And to pass on his knowledge to her, even in this informal sense, made his chest swell with pride every time she showed him what she was capable of.
They slipped into an easy silence; sipping their drinks and watching people file into the small café.
Soon enough, a skinny girl with streaks in her hair took the stage. She adjusted the mic and welcomed everyone to the reading. Daniel’s face lit up as the first words “O Fortuna, velut Luna…” echoed against the brick walls. Their melody lulled him and combined with the Irish coffee, he relaxed completely, resting back in their booth seat. Vala had never seen him this…dare she say it…happy; in all the time she’d known him. And she felt privileged to be able to witness this, and for him to be comfortable enough to show her. This, this was his life and he was sharing this small, but wonderful part of it with her.
Vala relaxed too, feeling content with herself and leaned back into the stuffed seat, brushing up alongside Daniel’s arm in the process. He turned his head toward her and gave a quick smile, before his attention back to the stage.
They stayed that way, rested against one another. Vala only understood a phrase or line every now and then, but she wanted to experience the words washing over her as Daniel did. He could absorb them and study them later, in fact, he probably already had, but this moment was for simple enjoyment of the spoken word, their incantation enough for Vala to ascribe meaning.
“Semper in te glorior” Daniel mouthed following the last line of Veni, Veni, Venias. He gently bumped Vala’s shoulder with his own, not taking his eyes off the performance. Vala’s heart started to beat a little bit faster as she translated his words in her head. She grabbed her drink, taking a quick gulp and let the warm fire burn down her throat. Then it clicked. Daniel was trying to open up to her…finally. But he was still trying to hide behind a language she barely understood. Peeking up from behind that crumbling wall to offer what he could and still shield himself if need be.
She understood that. She hid behind her sordid remarks and token sexual advances in the past, a different means to the same end.
She felt more than saw Daniel step out from his hiding place a little more during In Trutina, the back of his hand resting firmer against her thigh. Vala felt a fizzle of warmth from his hand through her jeans. Collum iugo praebeo. Slowly, she shifted her own hand nearer to his, her pinky finger grazing the calluses of his index finger. She rubbed a little firmer as Dulcissime surrounded them both.
All too soon Ave formosissima ended with applause, Daniel and Vala reluctantly snatching their hands away to join in.
The girl with the streaks took the mic once more and thanked everyone for coming before inviting them all to the next event, rattling off times and dates.
Daniel sat quietly with a satisfied grin, continuing to take in the atmosphere.
“I enjoyed that,” Vala announced honestly, surprising herself.
Daniel’s grin widened until it was a full-fledged smile. “I’m glad.”
Silence overcame them once again as they gathered themselves to head out the door, ahead of most of the other patrons who were busy discussing the poems. Daniel didn’t think Vala was ready for metres and stanza.
Outside the temperature had dropped. “Oh hell” Vala exclaimed. Daniel smirked as her use of an ‘Earth expression’. “It’s bloody cold.”
“And you didn’t bring a jacket because…” Daniel knew the answer, he was just goading her.
“Because how was anyone supposed to see the beautiful top Sam bought me?” Vala gestured down to the sleek black v-neck. It was a little thin considering the weather. Daniel continued to smirk and Vala realised his game, slapping him on the arm. “Jerk” she called playfully.
“Mihi quoque niteris” Daniel sighed dramatically, clutching his hand over his heart.
“Plague?!” Vala spat out before anewing her assault on him.
Daniel laughed as he fended off her slaps, quickly grabbing both wrists and holding them to his chest, bringing Vala closer.
“This kinda thing didn’t end so well for you last time” Vala’s own grin widened.
“Actually, I believe I won that particular round. I zatted you, remember?”
“That’s because you wouldn’t just shut up and kiss me!”
“How about now then?” Daniel asked in half seriousness.
Vala calmed in his arms, taking in his expression. He did care for her, she knew that for certain now. Was she willing to take a chance on more?
She took a breath, nodding softly.
Daniel’s lips descended on hers, barely touching, whispers. “Suozer rosenvarwer munt” he breathed, before sealing their kiss.
O Fortuna, velut Luna = Oh fortune, like the moon
Semper in te glorior = You are my constant pride
Collum iugo praebeo = I offer my neck to the yoke
Mihi quoque niteris = You plague me too
Suozer rosenvarwer munt = Sweet mouth, the colour of roses
** The End **
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