Cam found the tattoo during one of the lulls between their sessions: lulls that went on longer than one would expect, given the way she teased and the way she had no functioning brain to mouth filter whatsoever. But it gave him the time to examine every inch of her.
"Now why'd you get this squiggle-thing back here?" he asked, running his hand over the base of her spine, just above the cleft of her buttocks.
Vala jerked away with a gasp that she tried to turn into a throaty giggle. "Something I said?" he asked, trying to sound disarming.
"Um, no, I'm, ah, ticklish back there," she said, recovering, giving him a very shaky laugh. Or pretending to recover. For all the lies, exaggerations, half truths and quarter truths she told, Cam knew her well enough to know when her glib tongue had failed her.
"You sure you want to stick with that story?" he asked. "'Cause I'm likely to use it against you some night and make you crazy."
She dropped her gaze, pulling the covers over her legs, then she looked back to him. "You want the truth?"
"Only if you're willing to give it. Don't tell me that tat is something you got on the interplanetary version of spring break," he said, in a bid to lighten the mood.
She had started to draw in a long breath, but instead she smirked at him. "Spring break. I'd actually had to have been in university to have a spring break. I might have to try it, to have the luxury of experiencing it," she said.
He had to chuckle, but he had the feeling even if she could matriculate into college, even with the best letter of recommendation from Daniel Jackson or some other higher-up Stargate Command who could vouch for her character, she would likely flunk out. Though if she went to a party school, she'd have a blast, though the deans would tear their hair out over her antics, and she would likely ruin a whole year's class.
She collected herself, turning serious. "If you want to know, the tattoo is a slave mark." She turned her eyes without turning her head. "And no, it wasn't the 'fun times' kind of slavery. I got sold to work as a kitchen drudge in some low-level Goa'uld underlord, Uke Mochi. And trust me, I mean *drudge*. I scrubbed plates and pots from morning to night and well into the night. He liked to throw parties for the rest of the underlords and some of the overlords, trying to curry their favor, though the only one who had any interest in him was Nereus."
"Of course, the guy who liked parties, especially when food's involved," Cam noted, dryly. "How'd you ever get out?"
"Well, first I dug out the tracking device they put in my leg, then I crawled out through a garbage chute," Vala replied, back to her old self again. "Hid myself in the back of a supply cart that had started to return for more food, they never found I was gone till I'd made it back to the city and a port where I could stowaway onto a ship bound for better worlds."
"Off on your merry way," he said. "Ever thought of having it removed?"
"I did, but it had it's uses," she replied, smirking.
"I can imagine..." he noted, and he had a feeling she'd come up with glamourous stories to cover the truth and maybe add the tat to her bag of tricks.