Consider the Ostrich



"... absolutely fascinating. If we suppose -- just for the sake of argument, you understand, I'm not suggesting for a minute that it's the only viable hypothesis, or even the best, although for the moment, it's the best we've got, so it makes sense to go with it, even though if what I suspect is true, we might find ourselves abandoning this theory because I have to say it's got a certain charm and in my experience that means it's flawed -- what?"

"You stopped breathing there, in case you didn't notice, but your mouth kept moving." Vala gave him a speculative, sultry look. "You know, I can think of times that might be an asset in a man."

Of course, she probably gave her mirror that look when she brushed her teeth.

"I have no idea what you mean." Not true, not really, but sometimes there was a Higher Truth involved. Pretending to be oblivious -- mostly -- to Vala's unending innuendos didn't stop her from making them, but it annoyed her --always a plus -- and saved him having to think up witty, cutting rejoinders when he wasn't in the mood.

"Isn't that my line?" Vala asked, her lips curling in the tiniest of amused sneers.

Daniel closed his eyes because he really needed to pretend that she wasn't there, just for a blissful moment of denial. "You haven't understood any of what I've been saying for the last ten minutes? Any of it?"

"Eleven. No. To be fair to me, I wasn't trying very hard."

"Then why were you nodding and smiling and going 'mmm-hmm'?" Daniel asked through clenched teeth.

Vala sighed in pity for his density. "You lost your towel thirty seconds in, Archimedes."

Daniel pursed his lips in silent, dismal contemplation of his nudity and inability to wait to share a sudden insight with the closest person. She widened her eyes in patently false sympathy, a grin spreading across her face.

Waiting. Expectant. Almost, very nearly victorious because even he couldn't pull this one off -- okay, bad choice of words.

Daniel reminded himself that he was the only person in the world to have deciphered the Amnata inscription -- if you didn't count the person who wrote it and anyone around at the time who spoke Amnatan -- frowned thoughtfully and leaned back against the bathroom wall, striving for the casual look and feeling for the towel with his toes.

"Vala?"

"Yes?"

The throaty purr. Damn.

"Surprising that you know who Archimedes is. I'm impressed. Did I ever tell you that one of my party tricks is reciting pi to a hundred decimal places? I wonder if I can do it sober? Hmm. Let's see. 3.14159265358979323846...."

Thinking back to it later, he decided that he'd won that one on points.

9/6/05


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