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14 June 2009 @ 11:24 pm
Fic: Nothing Is Real Til It's Gone  
Pairing: Anders/Leoben
Rating: ADULT
Wordcount: 3800
Spoilers: Sometimes a Great Notion
Continuity: Follows in the same 'verse as my Hiding Myself In Your Eyes and Til You Feel It. Title (as with the others) taken from the Goo Goo Dolls song, "Before it's too late".

The more explicit PWP portion of the following is at the Porn Battle .

Summary: After Earth, one Leoben fears what the revelation means for Sam.

After Earth, Leoben can feel the humans splintering. Much as the Cylons already have, the humans are drinking in their despair and it is bitter and sharp. Not all will survive.

His brother has shared what he saw on Earth, and the Twos have debated what it means that Kara's body was there. But this Leoben has always been more concerned with her husband, the one who burned with his brightness on Caprica so long ago. Learning he was one of the Five cemented that interest, even if the others don't fully understand.

Tigh, Leoben already knows, keeps Adama's favor and position, and is buoyed by that and the new life growing in Caprica Six. But Leoben has seen Tyrol visit the baseship, drowning in a cynic's lack of hope, and he has watched Tory become harder and more like a machine, lost from her humanity.

What Leoben does not know is whether the cocktail Anders drinks from will poison his soul, too. He listens to the transmissions from Galactica and hears nothing about Longshot, and his absence from a Viper tightens the worry a notch. He decides to find out, and goes across to Galactica.

He moves like a shadow through the corridors, searching. Even though hatred and anger is a miasma that chokes the air and permeates the very bones of the ship, he slips past the humans, unrecognized.

He hears the sound, a thump like a slow, heavy heartbeat, from out in the corridor and knows he's reached the right place. The hatch is open and he stays there a moment to look -- the room is dim, with the overhead lights shut off, but he can see the hulking shadow of the pyramid backstop and the figure throwing a ball at it.

The ball slams into the backstop and bounces back. Sam catches it and throws it again -- Leoben watches six throws before Sam puts it into the goal with a rattling crash. "Frak," Sam spits in disgust, but it's bone-weary and he trudges to retrieve the ball, spine bowed under the weight of revelation.

"Do you project the Caprica City Coliseum around you, when you're doing that?" Leoben asks.

Sam doesn't flinch at the sound of the sudden voice as though he's expected it all along. He moves his foot in a practiced, automatic motion and flicks the ball high enough to grab it out of the air. "No. I don't know how. I don't know if we can."

"You're a Cylon."

"Yeah, I got that memo, thanks."

Leoben ignores the bitter hostility and moves inside the room. "All Cylons can project."

"Well, I was around two thousand years ago, so I don't think we're the same kind. Not that it matters, I guess." Sam moves back to the exact same spot on the floor where he was before and throws again. Misses again. Catches it and throws it back.

Leoben has the feeling this obsessive throwing is like Sam driving nails into his own flesh. He's not sure why - perhaps in atonement, punishment, or even the simple desire to forget - but it strikes a chord of warning, and Leoben knows he should stop it. He catches Sam's arm, before he can throw again. Sam resists for a moment, pulls against the grip, and then lowers his arm in surrender.

"How long have you been here?"

Sam gives him a look like he asked if space was empty. "Since Earth. Since Dee..." his voice chokes a little and he glances back at the backstop, swallowing convulsively. Leoben wonders if pyramid is keeping him here when otherwise he might follow the young lieutenant into the dark.

"Lieutenant Dualla killed herself two days ago," Leoben says. One hand is still wrapped around Sam's forearm, but he lets his free hand rise up to Sam's shoulder and trail down the curve of his arm. His skin is soft but cold, as if the chill of the blasted Earth has yet to leave him. "Have you truly not stirred from here in all that time?"

Sam tightens his shoulders in a half-shrug, not looking at him. "Can't fly. My suit's been slashed all to hell, and Laird found the fuel line in my bird was cut. I didn't bother to ask the admiral to send me back out after that." He pauses, to let that sink in. Leoben knows there's more, when his eyes flicker with some other memory, but Sam only shrugs again. "No one bothers me here."

Leoben feels nausea rise up in his throat at the litany of sabotage and his hand clutches on Sam's elbow. "You need to come back to the baseship with me. It's not safe on this ship."

The answer is prompt, and not unexpected. "No. I'm not leaving Kara."

"She... is not as she was," Leoben says carefully. "What we see is not the Kara who was lost in the maelstrom. She has a greater destiny."

Before, Sam would have denied that or told him to shut up about destiny, but this time he says nothing. For a moment, Sam stares at the solitary light on the far wall. "I know," he whispers finally. "But what else can I do? She won't talk to me, but I still love her. Everything else is different, but not that. Never that."

Leoben looks into his eyes, trying to see the two-thousand-year-old ancestor Cylon, one of the mythical Five -- and he sees only the Sam he knew on Caprica, all human anguish and confusion, trying so desperately to make sense of a puzzle with only half the pieces. Leoben had hoped to find answers - to Kara, the Five, Earth - from Sam; now he knows Sam has fewer answers than he does. It should be disappointing, but faced with the proof of Kara's destiny being ever so much grander than he expected, it comes as a relief that here, at least, there is something he can help with.

He steps away and pulls the hatch shut, turning the wheel to keep out the curious. He goes back to Sam, who stands in the shadows with both hands wrapped around the pyramid ball as if it's an oracular crystal and will give him the answers he seeks so badly.

He stands in front of Sam and tugs the ball away. Sam doesn't give it up at first, throat working as if he wants to protest but he doesn't speak.

"Let go," Leoben urges him in a whisper. "Just let it go, Sam. Just for a little while... let go."

Sam's fingers turn white on the ball, clutching it, then abruptly he relinquishes it to Leoben's grip. Leoben tosses it lightly to roll next to the backstop and when he turns back, Sam is frowning at him. "I can ... feel that I know you. You're the same one I knew on Caprica, and the baseship, when we-- when you... " he trails off and asks uncertainly, "Right?"

Leoben nods once, pleased that Sam seems to be using his Cylon senses. They can all recognize each other - which is a peculiar ability in a race that started out identical, and has always been one of Leoben's proofs that the Cylons were not meant to stay indistinguishable machines, no matter what Cavil might think. "Since you know that, then I think you can project. Let's try."

The Twos don't project as much as the others; reality is the stream the Twos prefer, not the forests or the temples the others like. But they have the ability, for when it seems useful. He closes his eyes, calls up his brother's memory, and when he opens his eyes, he sees the grey sand of Earth, and the ruins of the temple all around.

Then he holds up his hand toward Sam. Looking curious and a little afraid, Sam reaches out and presses his palm against Leoben's. At first there's just the touch of his skin and Sam frowns, as if nothing's happening. Leoben narrows his eyes, trying to will him into the projection, as if that's possible.

Suddenly Sam's eyes flare wide and his lips part in a gasp. His hand trembles, and Leoben has to fold his fingers around Sam's to keep the connection.

Now Sam is there with him, gray light on his face and chill wind tousling his hair, as he looks around at Earth. At first he's still wearing the same Colonial Fleet tanks, but suddenly he's wearing a jacket, and Leoben smiles. Sam, not him, is altering the projection. They're projecting together, and for a moment, there's a strange, giddy feeling rising in his chest. This is an intimacy greater than the body, and he feels... privileged to be here, to share this moment, as Sam finds his way.

"Show me what it used to look like," Leoben says, still holding his hand. "You remember. Show me. Share it with me."

Sam shakes his head. "I ... don't remember. Only a flash."

"I'll help you." Actually Leoben can't, or at least he certainly can't dig it out of Sam's head, but if there was a flash, there must be more. "Start with what you remember."

Leoben watches as the sand beneath them turns to flagstones and there's a guitar briefly in Sam's hand before it vanishes.

Then, with an abruptness that startles them both, the ruins melt away. The sky turns blue and the sunlight shines down, brilliant and pure. Leoben smells the fish-tinged sea air and the soft, sweet floral scent of the flowering tree to his left. The bridge is intact, spanning the water to the tall glass skyscrapers on the other side. Over Sam's shoulder, the temple once again soars toward the heavens.

Curiously, there are no people or even so much as a bird, and no sound of anything moving, except the distant splash of waves. It's a city, and yet the two of them are utterly alone.

Inside the projection, Sam turns slowly, eyes wide with wonder and loss. "This was Earth," he whispers. "Before the end came."

Leoben tugs him back around by the shoulder. When Sam's gaze meets his, Leoben says, "Remember this. This is where you come from. And I know it hurts that it's lost, but this is you. This is the truth. Hold to that."

For a moment, a few heartbeats, Sam says nothing, just looks into his eyes. And when he does answer, it's by framing Leoben's face with both of his hands and leaning down to kiss his lips. It starts as gratitude, but the touch of Sam's hands sliding through his hair and to the back of his neck make him shudder and he pushes closer. Sam holds his head so he can kiss him thoroughly, mouths open for connection. Neither of them has shaved for days, and the stubble is rough on his lips but Leoben doesn't care, and Sam doesn't seem to either.

In the real world, their hands are joined, that's all. But in the real world they've done this before, and they know what it feels like, enough to make the projection real enough to forget they're not on Galactica in an empty storage room.

He slips his hands underneath Sam's fleet tanks, to touch the span of his stomach and over his ribs and chest. He never could get enough of feeling the smooth, mostly hairless skin and the feel of his muscles. He's pushing the tanks upward, until Sam pulls them off over his head impatiently. And there is something about the way the cords and the dogtags fall to his bare chest that makes Leoben's heart suddenly thud and his groin feels alive with warmth.

Mouths join together again, until Sam pulls sideways to kiss his face and down his neck, sucking and licking his skin. Leoben's hand explore behind, sliding up the lean muscles of his back and down to his ass, to pull his hips close.

The sun's brilliance puts bronze highlights in Sam's hair, and his skin is glowing with a sheen of sweat.

Sam's hands are at his belt, fumbling him open anxiously. Leoben catches his wrist. "Wait. We're here in the open - there's nothing -"

Sam lifts his head and he's grinning, that big wide smile of his that seems to light up the air as much as the sun. "We're alone," he points out. "And this isn't even real."

Leoben considers telling him he has a very narrow definition of reality, when the two of them are in a room alone thinking about frakking each other, but he's not a fool. He keeps his mouth shut to let Sam talk himself into it.

"It's just in our heads," Sam keeps going. "Made up of memories and imagination. For example, I’m not really putting my hand down your pants." But it feels like he is: his fingers slip into that space between shorts and pants, cupping between his legs with a firm, knowing touch. Leoben sucks in a breath and presses into his hand, when Sam doesn't move. Sam's grin turns mischievous. "And if you don't remember what you feel like all slicked up, I do. But you know what? If we're going to do this, I want to do it right. And since we can be wherever we want..."

In an instant everything changes, and Leoben glances around, surprised. For someone who hasn't done this before, Sam is growing quickly skilled with projection.

They're inside now, in a bedroom. The room is spacious but stark, decorated in black and white from the checkerboard tiles, bed sheets, white wood bedside tables, and white curtains against dark grey walls. The only real color in the place is the panoramic window, with a view of blue sky and city towers. Leoben thinks it's Caprica City, but he notices that Sam is frowning as if he's never seen this place before.

"This isn't your place on Caprica?" Leoben asks.

Sam shakes his head. "No, I don't know it," he murmurs. "And yet... I know I did this. It feels ... familiar. I think..." His gaze falls on a guitar in a stand next to an amplifier, in the far corner. "I think this must be Earth, but I don't remember it."

"Some part of you does," he murmurs. But when Sam continues to frown deeply, as if trying to remember gives him pain, Leoben puts his hand on Sam's jaw and turns his head back to face him. Then, because he knows talking isn't going to help, he returns his lips to Sam's, one hand on his face, the other resting on his chest.

He feels the instant Sam stops thinking and lets go again, as he opens his mouth to Leoben's tongue and his hand wakes from its stillness, his touch muffled by clothes but still too tantalizing.

He groans into Sam's mouth, tearing his mouth away to grab a breath as Sam strips his clothes down and the cool air swirls around him right before Sam's warm hand closes over him. "Oh God."

Then he shakes his head a little, trying to clear it, and glances into Sam's face. The smirk is a bit annoying, and he pushes Sam's hand out of the way to attack his pants, too. "No more clothes."

Sam chuckles softly and the clothes are gone. Leoben glances up at his face again, startled, catching a smug grin. "You are very talented at manipulating projection," he says dryly. His eyes can't help but drop, and see what Sam has so conveniently exposed. His hands sit on Sam's hip bones, thumbs tracing the hollows beneath. Then he strokes down his thighs, enjoying the difference in texture between his mostly smooth torso and hairy legs. He's not erect yet, but definitely interested, especially when Leoben's hand detours on its way back up to get a handful to squeeze.

Sam's abs tighten and he shudders. "Bed," he requests, and has to clear his throat. He starts moving backward, and Leoben lets go of him.

"We only had a bed once on Caprica, as I recall," Leoben murmurs. There had been cots, sleeping bags on the ground, and the wall, but in those six weeks or so, only one real bed up at some mountain lake resort. He pushes with his fingertips. "Lie down on your front."

He arches his brow curiously, but complies and stretches out on the coverlet. Leoben has to swallow back a wave of pure desire at the sight - his skin looks golden against the black-and-white stripes of the bedclothes, the muscles of his back and shoulders are taut and perfectly defined, and the hollow of his back rises to the rounded ass. Leoben pours some of the oil left on the bed stand onto his hands and starts worshipping this body as much as he can. First his hands kneading the tense muscles into relaxation, then his fingers tracing down his spine, slipping lower gradually, until he's touching the soft skin at the top of his ass. With a soft exhalation, Sam parts his legs to let Leoben go between.

Lips and tongue follow his fingers, from neck and down his spine, and across the smooth curve of his ass. His skin tastes of sea spray and sweat and the nut oil Leoben used. Muscles flexing helplessly, Sam raises his hips from the bed in a silent plea for more, and groans, "Would you just frakking do it?"

Leoben crouches low over him, his skin against Sam's, his own erection pressing into Sam's cleft, and he whispers into his ear, "What do you want me to do?"

"You know," Sam answers impatiently, but Leoben's not going to let him get away with that.

"Tell me. In detail." He moves, rubbing body against body, chest to thighs, and slipping on Sam's damp and oiled back easily. It feels good enough his eyes slip shut.

"Frak me," Sam says, and the hoarse catch in his voice makes the fire in Leoben's cock that much hotter. "I want... I want to feel you inside me. I want that connection, as deep as you can, so I know you're with me."

Leoben kisses the back of his neck and he answers the unspoken plea with his own promise, "Let me show you, you're not alone."

He has Sam go up on his hands and knees and preps him thoroughly with the oil, taking him time.

"Come on," Sam groans. "Frakking do it."

"Not yet," Leoben answers, and chuckles when Sam swears at him. But he's not ready, not yet, not when he knows Sam hasn't done this for years. Slick fingers can't get enough of stroking him, inside and outside, stretching him open, spreading the oil, and pumping his erection, until he's rigid and straining.

But finally, his breaths splintering into gasps and sweat making him glisten, Sam's ready for him. And Leoben can't wait anymore. His own want burns in him, and he moves up on his knees, holding Sam's hips and the sides of his ass in a tight grip, and he presses inside.

They stay locked like that for a moment, Leoben glorying in the sensations racing through him, electricity flickering in his body.

"Move, damn you," Sam orders, shuddering. "It's not a frakking tea party."

Leoben laughs a little, through clenched teeth, but his hips snap of their own volition at Sam's words, thrusting hard enough to rock Sam forward and force a grunt from him.

He moves, again and again, and his fingers must be bruising Sam, but he can't stop. Possessive words fall from his lips, in time with each push, "Mine. You are mine. Mine first. Mine now. Mine to frak, mine to love."

Beneath him, Sam shudders, whole body spasming, and cries out, "Oh god!" He tightens on Leoben, seizing up on his cock like a fist, and a white heat blasts through him, up his spine so hard he sees pictures in the stars behind his eyelids.

As the diminishing waves rock through him, he falls on top of Sam - their bodies still burning and dripping with cooling sweat.

He opens his eyes to see someone else in the room.

It's Kara, and she's watching them. When she notices that she has Leoben's attention, she grins at him, licks her lips, and nods in approval. Then she vanishes.

He blinks, wondering if Sam conjured her, even though he's facing the wrong way and doesn't see her.

It's strange, but considering he just frakked one of the Final Five in a bed that exists only because they're both imagining it, seeing an apparition of Kara isn't that strange. Possibly it may even be expected. So he takes the approval to heart and curls around Sam while they both recover.

With a deep inhalation of breath, Sam turns over onto his back. "I'm sorry," he says eventually.

Leoben's hand pauses its absent stroking of Sam's collar bones. "For what?"

"I killed you. I hurt you and I killed you, and if I had known -- "

Leoben stops the regretful words with a finger across his lips. "No. I don't blame you. You only did it because Cavil told you and encouraged you. It was part of his plan, and I followed it as blindly as you did. Maybe if I'd told you the truth, betrayed him instead, and thrown in my lot with you as Sharon did...." But then he realizes what might not have happened if he'd still been in Sam's bed when Kara came back to Caprica and shook his head. "No. You and Kara had to be free to follow your destiny to be together. It had to happen."

Sam swallows, and Leoben regrets mentioning her name. "Well, that's all done with."

"No. You have barely started."

"Nice to think so." Sam yawns and his fingers toy with Leoben's hair.

"Do you think destiny is so easily quantified? You can't measure it in minutes or even years. And your destiny encompasses more than just this brief lifetime - it's forever, through life and death and rebirth, ending and beginning. The stream doesn't stop, Sam. The universe is infinite and encompasses far more than we can see. You are a part of that infinity, standing close to the creator, but you can't yet see the path ahead of you."

He lowers his voice as he hears the soft, regular breaths next to him, and realizes exhaustion has finally caught up to Sam.

Leoben blinks the projection away, to find that they're on the floor. Sam is asleep, curled up on his side, and still wearing his clothes. Leoben's disappointed to realize that the pleasure was entirely in their heads - no physical evidence exists of what they shared at all.

Except when he lays a hand on Sam's bare shoulder, his skin is warm, and his expression is peaceful, not tormented.

He also looks terribly vulnerable, curled up on the floor like a child, and Leoben doesn't trust any of the humans on this ship not to take advantage. He fetches Sam's sweatshirt from beside the backstop, folds it up, and slides it under his head for a pillow.

Then Leoben sits beside him to watch over his rest for as long as he can.

done. phew!
Current Music: Goo Goo Dolls - Before It's Too Late
V.: BSG SixGaiusaurora_84 on June 15th, 2009 02:13 pm (UTC)
Oh wow. This was absolutely fantastic and incredibly hot!!
lizardbeth: Anders-streamlizardbeth_j on June 16th, 2009 12:30 am (UTC)
noybusiness: Leoben/Anders/Starbuck threesomenoybusiness on June 15th, 2009 05:36 pm (UTC)
lizardbeth: Anders - Leelizardbeth_j on June 16th, 2009 12:30 am (UTC)
Merry F: samuel andersivanolix on June 15th, 2009 06:29 pm (UTC)
*flails* Ah, poor Sam! Dee and Kara, and all that goes with all of that...

And I love this Leoben you've created here. Especially the last few paragraphs. I wish we'd gotten more characterization like this, because Callum seemed to be trying with the background Leobens.
lizardbeth: Leoben - Demetriuslizardbeth_j on June 16th, 2009 12:34 am (UTC)
ah, if only there was more Leoben, period, in 4.5. *sigh*

I imagine Sam playing pyramid in that dark room for days, stewing over Earth and everything, and I decided he needed someone to comfort him. *sniff*
Lorraine Marker: gaeta sadlorrainemarker on June 15th, 2009 10:43 pm (UTC)
Hot, sweet, and interesting. Very nice.
lizardbeth: Anders - greylizardbeth_j on June 16th, 2009 12:35 am (UTC)
thank you!
Tarnish notte the majesty of my TOWER of HATS: BSG: I <3 Cylonsmeresy on June 15th, 2009 10:56 pm (UTC)

First of all: hot. Second of all: awesome. I love your Leoben to tiny, crazy Cylon bits.


lizardbeth: Leoben - Demetriuslizardbeth_j on June 16th, 2009 12:39 am (UTC)

I cannot lie - I love my Leoben with his Sam fixation, oh yes. :)
peccadillo4: gunpeccadillo4 on June 16th, 2009 02:24 am (UTC)
I always love your fics (even if Sam tends to be near-suicidal in a lot of them) and this one was no exception.

Sam + Cylon Senses = FTW

lizardbethlizardbeth_j on June 16th, 2009 03:00 am (UTC)
A lot of my fics, yes, I know. *face palm* Especially with Leoben, since that's my usual method of getting them to boink. :)

Thank you!
peccadillo4: regretpeccadillo4 on June 16th, 2009 11:41 am (UTC)
FYI, it's your fault I almost sprayed tea all over my keyboard - somehow "getting them to boink" is the funniest phrase in the world.
entertaining in a disturbing way: Anders Days so far from homelyssie on June 16th, 2009 02:56 am (UTC)

Oh, Sam. *sniffles*

Stupid anti-cylon people. *sulks*

And Leoben! He's such a good boy.
lizardbeth: Leoben - Demetriuslizardbeth_j on June 16th, 2009 03:44 am (UTC)
Stupid cylon haters. yeah.

Leoben just wants to help. For certain values of "help" which include getting off, of course. :)


yeah, i live on the hellmouth.vichan on June 18th, 2009 03:29 am (UTC)
This is fanTAStic. Lovely work.
lizardbeth: Anders- Helolizardbeth_j on June 18th, 2009 09:14 pm (UTC)
thank you. :D