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05 October 2009 @ 01:20 pm
Fic: The High Cost of Living  
Pairing: Kara/Sam
Characters: Anders, Kara, and Tessa (from Supernatural)
Spoilers: BSG: through Daybreak. none for SPN except the character
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 10K
Summary: When Death comes for Sam, he refuses to heed the call this time.

Note: While this is technically a crossover with Supernatural, it's all BSG-verse, 4.5 canon, and a stranger visits Sam. yeah, that's all you need.

I started this ages ago, around the time of the SPN ep, "Death Takes a Holiday" and got stalled on my own distaste for 4.5 canon, but boy, it feels good to FINALLY get it out the door. Extra hugs and thanks go to sabaceanbabe who undertook cleanup duty!

Title and quote and even a few lines in the middle are pilfered from Neil Gaiman, both Sandman and, of course, Death: The High Cost of Living, and probably stuff I don't even consciously remember. Because, yeah, who else?

... there's something there, above him in the dark, pulling at him...
... he pushes it away...
... it comes closer, hovering above him, ice cold on his skin, whispering...
... he shoves at it again and it darts away, vanishing into the shadows...

* * *

Sam opened his eyes.

He knew right away he was in the infirmary. He heard slow beeps and the hiss of a respirator somewhere, and in front of his eyes he could see several monitors with their low sine waves and changing numbers.

He remembered being taken to surgery and the mask put over his face so they could knock him out. He remembered yelling at them, afraid he was going to lose his new memories.

Panic flashed through him. Had he lost them? Had he forgotten?

But no, he remembered Earth, he remembered the Colonies... It was all there. In fact, it was clearer than it had been. The memories seemed more integrated with the rest of his life, and more complete than before the surgery, so that was something. Even if many of them were bad, resurrection was better than the alternative. He wished he hadn't recovered the dying parts.

He shook his head, trying to push the memories away, to concentrate on where he was. He lifted his hand to rub at his eyes and face, running his fingers upward, and grimaced. They’d shaved his head.

At least he wasn't paralyzed. He could move his hands and feel his toes wiggle. In fact, despite having a hole in his skull, he didn't even have a headache. It was probably drugs, but it was nice to feel fine after the incredible pain from before.

He called out, "Hello? Is anyone there?" Braced to hear other words come out, ones he hadn’t planned, he was relieved that he was talking normally again. "Doctor Cottle? Kara?"

Another voice answered behind him, a woman's warm voice, which he recognized somehow, even though it wasn't Kara or Ellen or Ishay. "They can't hear you, Sam."

He turned his head to see a young woman round the chair he was sitting in. He frowned at her. She had black hair, a pretty but pale face, dark eyes, and she looked familiar, although even with his new memories, he couldn't quite place her. She was wearing a white dress, and for an instant he wondered how it could possibly be so clean. "Do I know you?"

She smiled a little. "We've met before, but you don't remember. My name's Tessa."

His first thought was that she had met him during his pyramid career. He'd met people who knew him a lot better than he knew them. He might have even slept with her, but... No, that didn't sit right. There was some vague queasy feeling in his gut warning him about something.

"It's time to go," she told him.

"Go where? I don't think Doctor Cottle would let me get up yet."

"It's all right," she told him. "Go ahead. You can stand."

"But..." He'd had brain surgery, hadn't he? It couldn't be a good idea to get up without the doc's okay. But then, he didn't know what day it was. Maybe that was why no one was around; if he'd been asleep for a long time, no one would've expected him to wake up. He felt good, and his body seemed to be working all right, so why not try?

"I'm right here," she told him, encouraging him with a 'come here' gesture to get him to stand up.

He wasn't in a bed, but that same chair he'd been in before, so it was easy enough to take a deep breath and put his feet on the floor. His hospital gown was a bit embarrassing, but at least it went down to his knees when he stood up.

His legs seemed strong, and he didn't even feel dizzy. He started to smile at Tessa, before the reality caught up to him. Shouldn't there be an i.v. or monitors or a catheter attached to him? But somehow he'd stood up without getting pulled back by anything. He looked down. Neither arm had a shunt in it, though that was patently impossible when he was waking up from surgery and had been unconscious for gods knew how long.

His confused expression met Tessa's, and her expression turned a bit sad. "Turn around," she told him.

Slowly, he did.

He saw himself, still sitting in that chair, with wires attached to his temples and his chest, and there was an i.v. in his elbow. His eyes were closed, his skin looked ashen, and he had bandages wrapped around his head.

Sam took a step back as fear and confusion ratcheted up inside him. "What is this?" he demanded. "What's going on?" Then the answer came to him and he turned to confront her. "I'm projecting this, aren't I?" He swiped at the nearest table, not entirely surprised when his hand passed right through.

"It's not a Cylon projection." She shook her head. "This is real." She took a deep breath and told him, not unkindly but firmly, "You're dead, Sam. I'm here to take you away. That's what I do - I'm a reaper. I take the souls of the dead onward to what comes next for them."

"No," he stepped back from her, shaking his head in denial. "No, I'm not dead. No." He turned and looked at the body sitting in the chair, and he pointed. "Look. I'm still breathing. My heart's beating. I'm not dead."

"Your body's still functioning, yes," she agreed. She stepped around his body to the monitors and pointed to a line on one of them -- it was mostly flat, with only occasional blips. "But unfortunately, your brain was so damaged by the injury and the surgery, it triggered your download. But there's nowhere else for your soul to go this time."

"No," he refused, still shaking his head. "If my body's still alive, my brain can heal. I can go back."

"There's no going back," she said. "Once your soul leaves your body, you need to move on."

"I'm not going anywhere," he insisted. "I'm not dead."

She gave a little sigh. "I understand it's difficult to accept --" she started.

"This is not how it ends," he said angrily. "It's not. I refuse to believe that after everything, after two nuclear holocausts, and war and death and miracles, that I'm offed by a frakking stray bullet! No. There's got to be more. This can't be my fate."

She let his angry, upset voice fade away before answering. "Do you think you're the first to believe your death is unfair? That your death is too soon and not your fate?" she challenged. "Everyone believes it's not their time, Sam. But you get exactly what everyone else gets."

"What's that?" he asked, sourly, when she didn't continue right away.

She smiled gently. "A lifetime."

The words struck him, and he looked back at his unconscious body. Maybe this was it. It felt wrong, but there was nothing else he could do. He didn't have any choice.

"It's time to go," Tessa murmured.

But just as he was about to extend his hand toward Tessa and let her take him, another sound interrupted. He turned to see Kara pulling a chair up next to his body. She sat there, not speaking, for a long moment. She looked exhausted as she stared. Then she reached out and laid her hand over his.

"Hey, Sam," Kara whispered. "Ishay said you weren't in there, but I think she's full of shit. What the frak does she know about Cylons anyway? Especially super Cylons from Earth." She tried to smile, but it crumpled quickly, and she bit her lip. Her thumb stroked the back of his hand. "Doc says you might need some time to recover, and let your brain heal up. So you do that, okay? Get all healed up. I'll wait, as long as I have to."

He'd never heard that particular gentle tone to Kara's voice before, or the way her voice caught on the last words. Gods. He wanted desperately to make it okay for her, to ease that pain in her eyes.

Sam leaned close to her. "Kara. Kara, can you hear me?" He reached out to touch her hair, loose on her shoulders, and his hand went through. He couldn't feel her at all. "Kara, I'm right here. Feel me, I'm here."

But Kara continued to look at the sleeping Sam's face and hold his hand, and she didn't react to Sam at all.

"She can't hear you. You're a spirit," Tessa reminded him.

"I won't leave her," Sam declared. "She came back. Why can't I?"

Tessa didn't reply at first, and he glanced at her to find her watching Kara with an odd speculative expression on her face. "No reaper took her soul, and yet she did die. Some other power interfered to bring her back."

"See?" Sam said. "There's a reason for all this. It's not my time, Tessa. It's not."

She frowned at him. "I can't force you to come with me. But know this, Sam: a soul cannot exist for long without a body to house it. Over time your spirit will lose cohesion. If you lose who you are, I won't be able to take you anymore, and you'll be trapped on this plane forever, slipping into madness. You'll become a ghost, angry and dangerous to everyone on the ship. Including Kara."

"I understand. I'm not going."

She shook her head at him and gave a little sigh of disappointment. "I'll be around, if you change your mind."

She disappeared.

Sam turned back to Kara and reached out, his hand hovering just above her cheek. "I'm here, baby," he whispered. "I'll find a way back to you, I will. Somehow."

After a moment, he lowered his hand, depressed that he couldn't touch her.

"Don't leave me," she whispered, even more softly. She bent her head to the arm of the chair, so her forehead was resting on their joined hands and she closed her eyes.

"I won't," he promised. "I won't ever leave you, Kara. I promise. And I will find a way back."

* * *

He found he could walk through the bulkheads, which was strangely disorienting at first, but he got used to it. At first he used this new ability to follow Kara, but watching her get drunk after visiting him was hard to take.

He came back to the infirmary, where the medical staff had moved his body into a bed. He watched them do an MRI and listened as the brain surgeon and Cottle discussed it, determining there was nothing more to be done.

"No, damn it!" Sam protested. "There must be something you can do to fix this!"

But his words went unheard.

Ellen came and he tried to get her attention, but she couldn't hear him either, and after a time, she left.

He was waiting in the infirmary for Kara to visit again when a medical emergency in another section caught his attention.

Caprica was there, in the bed, looking terrified as Saul hovered over her helplessly. Ellen stood nearby. But worse, he felt another presence and realized Tessa was there, too. Fear shot through him. "What are you doing here?"

She didn't take her eyes off the tableau in front of them. "I'm here for one of them."

"Not Caprica," he said.

"The baby."

"No! Not the baby! Please, not the baby!" he begged her, frantic. "I'll go, I will, just leave the baby with Caprica and Saul. They need him so much."

She glanced at him. "I don't make deals like that. You should go because it's your time, the same as it's the unborn child's time."

She started to walk forward toward the bed, and he rushed forward and grabbed her, to stop her. "No, wait!"

But when his hands fell on her and touched her for the first time, a shock of cold went right through him. His hands fell away, numb, and he felt something rush through him, like an electrical current.

"What the frak was that?" he stumbled away from her.

She frowned at him, puzzled. "I don't know. But I need to do my job."

He watched, helpless, as Tessa walked through the bed, right up to Caprica, ignoring Saul and Ellen completely. She put her hand right above Caprica's stomach and a small brilliant light rose slowly upward and disappeared into her palm. Tessa pressed that hand to her chest as she came back to Sam.

Behind her, the fetal monitor went flatline, and Caprica started to cry.

"No," Sam whispered, devastated. "He was our hope. The first of a new generation of Cylons."

"There may be another hope someday, but it won't be that child," she said. "It was not that child's fate to be born."

He turned away from her, the walls hazy with his tears.

Tessa added, though it wasn't very comforting, "All living things die, Sam. They die when it's their time. Just like with the infant, it's your time, too. You need to come with me."

"No. No, I'm not going. I'm going to find a way into my body. They need me," he glanced at Saul and Ellen, being chased out by Cottle, and Caprica, sobbing in grief. "Kara needs me. I can't leave."

Tessa smiled sadly. "You've already left them, Sam. All you have to do is let go."


* * *

He was hovering right there as Cottle explained a jump of brain activity to Kara. "It's... disorganized," he said to her. "Something's going on in there."

"Something? Like what? What does that mean?" she asked, from her seat next to the bed.

Cottle glanced away and sort of shrugged. "Impossible to say. I don't know why it happened in the first place. Except that it's going to have to get a lot clearer before he can wake up."

"But it's better than it was, right?" she asked and looked so hopeful, it made Sam want to cry. "He's better?"

Cottle squeezed her shoulder. "It's better." And he walked away.

"He's lying to her," Tessa observed, next to Sam, appearing without a greeting.

He was used to her popping in and chatting - it was pleasant, actually, since she was the only one who could hear him. "What do you mean? It has to be better than the nothing that was there before."

"Maybe," she murmured and reached out her hand to touch his. As before, when they touched, he felt that same shock and yanked away.

"Frak! What is that?"

She pointed to the monitor where he could read a small but distinct spike in the strange waves there. "That activity is because of me," she answered.

"Why?" he asked.

"I'm not sure. This has never happened before. But I think you're acting as a conduit between me and your body," she murmured.

"Well, that's good, right? It can wake me up."

She stared at him with unfathomable dark eyes. "I'm a reaper, Sam, I see in the space between life and death. To give even a little bit of that power to a mortal...."

"But I'm here," he objected. "Isn't my body empty?"

"It should be. But it may be filling with... something else." She turned to him and held out her hand. "This is happening because you shouldn't be here. Come with me. Please."

He glanced at Kara and shook his head.

* * *

As time passed, he didn't get hungry or thirsty or tired. He didn't get cold, even though he was stuck in the hospital gown and bare feet. He didn't seem to sleep, although sometimes he would discover he'd been staring at something for hours with no awareness of the passage of time. He started to understand Tessa's caution about losing himself -- it was easy to forget he'd once had a body without those physical cues.

It was easier to remember himself around Kara, even though seeing her so grief-stricken twisted the knife in his chest. She visited every day, as soon as she was off-duty, and she sat with him as long as she could, until she either fell asleep or escaped to Joe's to get drunk.

"Sometimes I think I can feel you," Kara confessed one evening, brushing her fingers up his arm. "It's stupid and crazy, isn't it? 'Oh, there's Starbuck and her delusions, again,'" she forced a chuckle but then swallowed. "I know you're asleep, and you're not watching me. I know that, and yet... it's just wishful thinking, I guess."

"No," Sam told her from where he was kneeling on the floor beside her. "It's not crazy, Kara. Listen to your instincts, I'm here. I'm right next to you."

For one moment, she was very still as if she was listening to something.

"Kara, hear me," he pleaded with her. "I'm right here. Don't give up on me." He reached out and caressed the fall of her hair by the side of her face. His ghostly fingers slipped through the strands, and all he wanted, right then, was to feel her hair again.

She lifted his hand to her face, cradling his fingers against her cheek, and closed her eyes. "Lords of Kobol, please bring him back," she whispered in prayer, "Please. You brought me back; you can do it for him, too."

She couldn't hear him. She didn't know he was there. After all they'd been through, all they'd suffered, this was their reward? To live half-lives, incomplete, separate, never coming back together?

He was suddenly bitterly angry, rage rushing through him at the unfairness of it all. He stood up and ran heedlessly away, straight through the bulkhead into the ward next door.


He yelled the words and swept a hand into the little push cart in the middle of the aisle, as if he could throw it all to the floor.

The little metal cup went flying and clattered on the floor, spinning to a stop underneath someone's bed.

He stared. "What? What the hell?" He'd done that. Somehow he'd done that - he'd made the cup move. He tried to touch or pick up other things on the cart, but his hand kept passing through without effect. "Damn it, how did I do it?"

"Is someone there?" a weak voice asked through the curtain.

He went through the curtain and saw President Roslin, just as bald as he was, lying in the bed, canula in her nose helping her breathe.

Her eyes were tired and groggy, but she looked right at him. "Sam?" she whispered. "You're awake? I thought... you were in a coma."

For a moment he couldn't find his voice, shocked, and then he asked incredulously, "You can see me?"

It had been weeks now, without anyone except Tessa seeing him. Laura's eyes closed, wearily.

"Laura, tell them I'm here," he begged her desperately. "Tell Kara not to give up on me, tell them to find a way to bring me back, please, there has to be a way...." He trailed off into silence, as her fingers loosened their grip on the sheet and he realized she was asleep.

"Frak. Come on, Laura, when you wake up tell Kara you saw me, please," he murmured, but he was pretty sure she wouldn't, not after she found out he was still in a coma in the other room. She'd think she had been dreaming or hallucinating.

Heart sinking, he wandered out from sickbay to the main corridor. It seemed oddly quiet and deserted, and he wondered for the first time how many people had died in the mutiny. He could ask Tessa the next time she visited, but he didn't want to know.

His feet took him to the memorial corridor and its walls, plastered with photos. He knew the spot.

It was a C-Bucs trading card and had the whole team on it: Hilliard, Jean, Sue-Shaun, Ten-Point, Gripkey... All of them, including Samuel T. Anders.

Jean had found it after Hilliard's death on the algae planet had left them the last of the team alive, and she'd put it up. "But we're still alive," he'd objected and she'd answered, "Just getting ready for the inevitable."

Now she was dead, and he was... very close. "You were right, Jean. It's inevitable. Oh God, I'm sorry," he whispered to her. "But I'm glad you never knew the truth."

Absently, he reached out toward the nearby candle guttering on the ledge, meaning to bring it beneath the picture.

His finger passed through the candle, but he felt the heat on his fingertips. Frowning, he held a finger above the flame. He was feeling it. It even started to hurt eventually, and he pulled back.

But despite the momentary pain, he smiled for the first time in what felt like forever. He had moved the cup and now he had felt the heat of the flame. He could interact with reality.

He lifted his gaze back to the card and brushed a phantom touch across Jean's face. "Thank you, babe. I'll join you soon enough, but not yet."

* * *

On his way back to the infirmary to see if Kara was still there, he saw a woman, one of Baltar's followers, carrying a machine gun and heading purposefully down the corridor.

Curious, he followed, wondering where she was going, then alarmed when it appeared she was heading for the daycare center. He slipped through the hatch as the woman gave a friendly greeting to the woman who was watching over the handful of young children. She smiled at the children, but took up a stance just inside the hatch, gun in hand.

Then he realized she was guarding the children. A civilian with a military weapon was guarding the kids; the mutiny must have been worse than he thought.

He looked over the kids, who were mostly busy coloring at the small tables or playing with makeshift cars on the floor.

Hera was looking right at him. He reflexively glanced behind him to see if Athena or Karl were coming in and that was who Hera was really looking at. But there was no one else there. Was she seeing him?

Two strides took him to her, her gaze following him, and he knelt on the floor next to her. She grinned happily at him. "Hera, you can see me?"

She giggled as if that was the funniest question she'd heard in a long time and nodded her head, curls bouncing.

The teacher glanced over and smiled, pleased at Hera's happiness, but didn't seem to see anything unusual.

"Do you want to play?" he asked Hera, who nodded. "Can you draw a crosses-circle board? I'd do it, but..." he reached for a crayon and his hand went right through. She burst out into more giggles. "See? I'll need your help."

She took a new piece of paper and drew two lines down and two lines across. "You go first," he told her.

She put in the first cross, in one corner, and he pointed to the opposite corner. "Put my circle there." She did so, intently making a little circle.

The game tied, and she started to draw something else. He let her draw, his attention wandering, amused at himself that he was sitting here on the floor with a three year old.

When she was done, she pushed the picture at him to look at. She'd drawn a simple figure with a white dress and black hair. His eyes widened. "Is that Tessa? Can you see her, too?" he asked.

She pointed to the corner of the room. He turned around and saw Tessa standing there.

He stood up and went to her. "You better not be here for Hera."

She shook her head and frowned at Hera, who was coloring again and ignoring them. "No. I'm not here for anyone. I thought I should see how you were doing. But she shouldn't be able to see me, if I'm not here for her. And she shouldn't be able to see you either. This... complicates things."

"Complicates? How so?"

Instead of answering, she asked, "Are you going to tell her to tell the others about you?"

"I was planning to," he said slowly, and thought about it. As much as he wanted Kara to know his spirit was walking around, maybe it would hurt more than help, especially when he still had no way to get back into his body.

"I know it sounds like a good idea," Tessa warned, "but it's not. You need to let go, and you need to let your wife let you go. Because you can't stay, Sam. You will never have your body back."

"You can't be sure of that," he snapped. "It's not that simple, when it comes to Cylons."

She let out a frustrated sigh. "Are you always so stubborn?"

"When it comes to leaving the people I love? What do you think?"

She smiled ruefully and shook her head, not surprised.

He went back to Hera, who glanced up at him curiously when he knelt next to her. "You're the only one who can see me, Hera," he told her. "No one else can. My body's still in the infirmary, and I’m trying to get back to it. I need your help. Do you think you can help me?"

Her big brown eyes looked serious and sad, and she nodded. She reached out a hand as if to pat his knee, and her little fingers slipped right through. "Sam," she murmured.

Then he wondered what she could do. But it came to him that he had only one card he could play anyway. One thing had opened the blocks in his memory and recalled him to his own nature. And maybe only one thing could wake him up again. But how to do it?

"Clean piece of paper," he told Hera. "I'll show you the message."

He realized he couldn't use Earth musical notation, because even Ellen wouldn't understand that. It had to be Colonial and it had to be simple. Something Hera could draw.

He hummed the notes making sure he knew how it began. "We're going to write down a song," he explained to Hera, "and you give it to Kara, okay?"

The last time he'd visited Kara in Joe's she'd been glancing at the piano, and he knew her dad had been a pianist. He assumed she could play, and if she played the music that Hera gave her, with luck that would call him back.

Hera nodded and grabbed a crayon. Sam put his finger over the paper. "Here." She colored a dot. She insisted on changing the color for the next notes, but Sam figured it wouldn't matter as long as she put them in the right places.

"What is this?" Tessa asked curiously, standing next to them.

"I wrote a song, on Earth," he explained. "I wrote the lyrics, but the music came from the angel who visited me. I heard that same music at the nebula and that's how we four remembered we were Cylons. There's something... mystical about it. I'm hoping if Kara plays it, it'll push me back into my body."

He glanced at Tessa to see what she thought, but her expression seemed skeptical, which wasn't encouraging at all, so he turned away.

Sharon arrived, and Hera ran over to her to be swooped up in her arms. "Hello, baby!" Sharon kissed her.

"See Sam," Hera said, pointing at Sam.

Sharon nuzzled her and didn't bother to look. "Sweetie, Sam's sleeping. We have to let him rest. We'll have to see him another time."

Hera squirmed out of her mother's arms and went back to her table to take the picture. Her brown eyes met Sam's with an eerie understanding, then she returned to Sharon, who took her hand and led them out.

Tessa mused, "All mortals, even Cylons, lie to themselves. She tries to cloak death in a euphemism like 'sleeping,' just as a human would. Does she think her child will live, if somehow she avoids saying it?"

"I'm not dead," Sam snapped.

"Only because you refuse to admit it. That doesn't, however, make it true."

"I've died twice, and I still came back."

"Cylon resurrection is not true death," Tessa answered, and he hated the way his temper slid right off her. It made him miss Kara even more.

"And yet, you were there, both times. I remember on Earth I looked up from the floor and you were there, right before it ended."

"You remember?" she seemed surprised yet pleased. "But yes, I was a reaper on Kobol, and I went with the Thirteenth Tribe to Earth, as your people gained mortality. You should know -- your resurrection into the ship should have failed. We were ready for all five of you, but it succeeded somehow."

"We had help on Earth, didn't we?" he realized. He had seen Tessa at the end, but before that, his angel had knelt at his side and promised that he would live again. Tessa didn't have to say anything, for him to know it was the truth, and his frustration boiled over. "Then why is it so hard for you to understand I'm not supposed to be dead this time either?"

Her dark eyes met his, with some compassion, but a strange alien understanding. "Death calls me. I came to you. I don't choose who lives or dies; I only help you on the next stage of your journey."

He let out a long breath and folded his arms. "Well, I'm not going. Not until I hear Kara play that music and find out if I'm right."

"As you wish," Tessa said calmly. "Remember there's a price for staying."

* * *

In Joe's, Sam watched Kara. She sat alone, at the far end of the bar, drinking that disgusting algae hooch and flicking her lighter with an unreadable expression.

He'd watched her already sit down at the piano a few times and play a few cautious notes, always with a distant expression as though her mind was somewhere far away, but then she'd get up and leave.

She flicked the lighter on again, and feeling a bit mischievous, he leaned in and blew. At first nothing happened, and the flame stayed straight and true, while she watched it. Irritated, since he knew he could do this, he tried again, more forcefully, and his breath made the fire dance.

But her eyebrows drew together in annoyance and she flicked it closed. She glanced at the piano again, as if she heard something, and moved herself and her drink to the chair beside it.

"Is there someone else with her I can't see?" he asked Tessa, in confusion. "A different spirit or something?"

"No, there's no one there. If there was, you would see them," she answered. "But she's imagining her father. She has been for a few days."

He went up there to be near, and he heard her confess that she'd found her dead body on Earth. While it wasn't a huge surprise, not considering what she'd already said about being dead, still it hurt to hear her express her pain and confusion. He remembered how she'd been on the Demetrius, what she had been trying to say and he hadn't understood, so caught up in his own anguish about being a Cylon. They'd been traveling down separate, but similar, paths. If only he'd gone to her and made her listen about how he felt about all the discoveries he'd made on Earth, how confused he'd been to find out anything about his life before, maybe she would have talked to him about her discovery and they could've worked it out together. They'd both been so confused, but now it was too late, and she had only some imaginary father to talk to.

On Earth, they'd had a similar instrument to the piano -- he'd preferred the guitar, but he'd taken lessons as a child. He tried to play his song, but his fingers wouldn't touch the keys, slipping through them. He let out a sigh, and turned to Kara, who - for that moment - seemed to be looking back at him.

"Baby, I hear you," he whispered, "I'm listening. I wish you could know that."

She looked at him, giving him hope that she heard him. But she turned to the piano again and tentatively started to poke at the keys, eventually finding an unfamiliar tune. He sighed and turned to see who else was in the bar. Ellen, Saul, Tory and Galen were at another table, speaking together with the same low voices and intense expressions he remembered from those last desperate days on Earth. He started over there to listen to what they were talking about, but Kara abruptly stopped playing. She pulled a piece of paper out of her pocket and unfolded it on top of the piano.

He drew closer, excited, when he saw it was Hera's music. Kara looked at it for a little while and then drew in a staff and played the notes slowly, listening. Then she ran through them with more confidence, and Sam felt something tugging at him, like a cold breeze blowing at him.

"Go on, Kara," he urged. "You know it. You feel it. Play it for me."

Her gaze was distant, unseeing, as she added the other hand, even though he hadn't given it to Hera.

The breeze grew stronger, pushing him backward from her. The interior of Joe's grew hazy. It was working.

"Play, Kara!" he called. "Finish it!"

But then she stopped abruptly, and he snapped back to where he'd been, to find himself nearly on top of Saul. All four were surrounding Kara now, demanding to know where Kara had learned the music.

"No, no, damn it! Not now!" he shouted at them in frustrated anger.

One of the light bulbs exploded in shards that landed behind Galen, who glanced up and frowned.

"Let her finish, please," Sam begged them. "Let her play the song."

But Kara didn't play it again and rushed out of the bar as soon as she could get away from them.

He didn't follow her right away, feeling sick with disappointment. He saw Tessa next to him, but didn't face her. "I felt it," he said. "It was working; it was doing something."

Tessa took a deep breath that she didn't need and asked gently, "Sam, even if it worked, what good would it do you? Your body is damaged and comatose. Putting your soul back inside it won't wake it up."

"You don't know that," he insisted. "Besides, my body sure as hell won't wake up when I'm out here, will it? I have to get back."

She didn't speak for a long time, watching the patrons of the bar. It seemed very subdued in the place, and the people were listless and drinking without the conversations and games Sam remembered.

"Such despair," she observed. "I can feel death coming for them all."

He could feel it, too. "What happens to reapers when there's no one left to reap?" he asked.

Her lips turned up in a soft, sad smile. "We die."

He nodded, not surprised. He returned to the infirmary slowly, where he found Kara curled up on his chest, the strains of her father's piano filling the small room.

Saddened, he swallowed hard and traced his fingers over her golden hair. "I'm here," he said, without hope that she would hear him. "Play it again, Kara. All the way through, and I can come back. You gave me the song all those years ago for a reason. Bring me back, angel."

She slept, oblivious to his plea.

* * *

"What the hell is going on?" he asked Tessa, who didn't answer. They watched the medical staff and a Six and Eight bundle his body onto a gurney. Cottle grumbled and shook his head, but he didn't stop them.

Meanwhile Kara stood out of the way, and she was so pale her face looked made of ice. Her hands were tightly clasped together, and Sam could see they were trembling.

"Are you coming, Kara?" the Eight asked her at the doorway, and Kara hadn't moved.

"Later," Kara answered. "Later."

The Cylons looked perplexed by this decision, but Cottle patted her shoulder as he went by.

Sam was torn between staying with Kara and following his body, but decided he'd rather find out what was going on.

They didn't go far, into a small room near the center of the ship. And inside there was one of the basins where the hybrids for the base ships rested.

"You have got to be frakking kidding me," he gasped, staring in horror. "They're not going to do this."

But they did. With quick economy of motion, the Cylons slipped his naked body into the tub, unwrapped the bandages from his head, and very delicately slid narrow organic tubes into the holes in his skull.

He understood what they were trying to do - use the hybrid connections to jump start his body's brain, something like using a defibrillator on an uncertain heart. "Is this going to work?" he asked Tessa, who was watching the proceedings with a curious expression.

"I don't know, this has never happened before. What do you think?"

He knew a lot about the brain and he knew a lot about the hybrids and their connections to their host ships, but he felt a hollow fear in his gut just looking at himself in the tub, a breathing corpse. It was hard to think. Maybe the jolt would work and pull the rest of him back into his body by automatic reflex. But his body had no soul in it, because he was over here, which made that hollow shell in the tub not much different from a hybrid clone. A hybrid was meant to do this, to connect like this, and still all the hybrids were mad.

He wanted to run and find Hera and tell her to tell them in no uncertain terms to stop what they were doing. But he didn't move. What other option was there for him? He had no other plans for how to get back into his body.

"I think I'm pretty frakked," he admitted softly. Tessa glanced at him, and her dark eyes were kind.

So he waited and watched, and fear was a cold knot inside him.

"Ready?" the Six asked, kneeling above the control circuits.

"Ready," the Eight agreed and her hand caressed his face. "Wake up, father."

Sam swallowed hard as the Six picked up the two conduits and he didn't want to watch as she put them together.

A visible shudder ran through his body, making the liquid ripple, but he didn't open his eyes.

"It didn't work," the Eight said, in disappointment.

"We'll give him some time," Six said.

Considering Sam hadn't felt anything - not even the merest tug back toward his body - he was even more disappointed. "Well, frak. So much for that."

"Perhaps it's better this way," Tessa murmured and put a hand on his arm.

That same strange electrical shock flashed through him, but the reaction in the tub was more dramatic -- His eyes flicked open and his back arched, his mouth was open as if he was screaming, but no sound came out.

"Vera!" the Eight exclaimed. "Pull it!"

"No, no." Vera's eyes were wide and awed. "It's working."

The lights flickered.

Everyone in the room, seen and unseen, watched the bent, frozen figure in the tub.

Then he gasped a breath and relaxed. His eyes were still open, but Sam felt a chill. The eyes were blank, as blank as they had been when unconscious reflex had opened them.

"Sam?" the Eight leaned closer to him. "Can you hear me?"

He didn't even blink in response.

The lights flickered and Sam looked around, realizing with a sense of unease that the hybrid tank equipment was attached to the Galactica's power conduits. And the ship's power conduits were not very robust or protected right now.

"Pull the plug," he urged the women, even though they couldn't hear him. "Pull it now, before it's too late."

The Eight asked again, "Sam? I think you're in there somewhere. Find your voice and respond to me."

He blinked, and the lights flickered again. Sam didn't think it was a coincidence, though the Cylons didn't seem to notice.

The Eight tried again. "Sam? Speak to us. Show us it worked."

His lips parted and he spoke, in a flat voice nothing like Sam's own: "Working. Awaiting new command."

"No," Sam whispered as despair fell on him like a wave. He turned on his heel and walked out, straight through the bulkhead into the hall.

"Damn it, no! What have they done? What have they done?" he shouted in a fury.

The lights in the walls flickered and one of the bulbs exploded. A crewman walking past jumped straight through Sam, and he looked around in startled fear before hurrying on his way, rubbing his arms as if he'd felt a chill.

"This is what I warned you about," Tessa said. "The rage will grow."

"Did you see what happened?" he demanded, not mollified. "That's not me!"

The fury and fear and horror of what he'd seen rushed out of him again, unstoppable, and the plastic sconce fell off the wall, breaking in two pieces.

He looked at it, thinking of his broken body, now acting like a hybrid, empty and computer-like. "Oh God, what am I going to do?" he whispered and sank down to the floor, trying to calm down.

She very carefully didn't touch him as she sat on her heels beside him. "I think you know what you should do."

"Just stop," he said wearily. "I know what you think, okay? I get it. But how can I leave? There's something else going on here. Why don't you help me figure it out, and then I'll be finished that much faster?" he demanded irritably.

"All right," she murmured. "I don't know what help I can be, but I'll try."

He felt a little encouraged by that, then realized how pathetic he was, being glad to get a reaper's help. "When Kara started to play the song, I felt something. Like it was trying to send me back to my body. But I was too far, or it wasn't strong enough, or maybe she didn't finish."

"Or it wasn't the right time or the right purpose," Tessa offered. When he turned his head, she explained, "You said an angel gave you that music. Angels care nothing for you personally, only their instructions. And I doubt the purpose of that music is merely to send you back to your body."

"As long as it does, that's all I care about." But even as he said it, he knew it wasn't true. Greater purpose... maybe this was his greater purpose: to give the song to Hera, to give it to Kara, which he'd now done. But then, Kara hadn't finished playing the song, so whatever it was supposed to do, hadn't happened yet.

"Every time you and I touch, my body reacts to it. So there's still a connection there between me and my body."

She drew a breath and didn't speak right away. "I don't understand how or why my power is flowing into your body, but I do know that the connection between you and your body won't be completely severed until you leave with me. If you don't go, the only way to destroy the resulting angry spirit, is to burn your bones."

"Cheerful," he muttered. "Thanks."

The Six left, but the Eight didn't. He wondered idly what she was doing in there and decided he didn't want to know.

He bent his head, and rested his arms on his drawn-up knees. Maybe Tessa was right. This was turning into a nightmare. He didn't want to look at his body again, trapped in that tank, becoming something not human.

The sound of footsteps drew his attention and he glanced up to see Kara approaching. She looked pale but resolute. She turned at the door to the room and Sam saw that she had her sidearm in the back of her belt, which she'd not had when he saw her last. She hesitated for a moment, before taking a deep breath and opening the hatch.

Curious and more than a little worried, he followed her inside the room. It was already different; somehow the walls looked more like a datastream, all glowing and red.

"Holy frak, what is this?" he whispered. His body's eyes were closed, but he could see the system was still together. He wanted to rip it all out.

Kara got rid of the Eight, and Sam could hear in her sharp voice something far more pressing underneath her tight control.

Kara looked at the body in the tank for a long time, before swallowing hard and coming to his side.

"You're my Sammy," she whispered. Sam bit his lip, tears burning his eyes, for the grief and love in her voice. "But you're dead, and I’m dead, too. You wouldn't want this."

She took the gun from her belt and pointed it at his head.

It was instinct that made Sam hurl himself forward to stop her. He felt intensely cold, as he went through the tank. "NO!"

And his body's hand snapped up and grabbed her arm.

"You are the harbinger of death, Kara Thrace," the hybrid said, staring into her eyes.

She hurled herself back, away from him, yanking her arm from his grip and panting with reaction. "Sam?"

The hand dropped back into the water and the eyes turned forward again, blank.

"I'm here, Kara," Sam said again, but in despair that she would hear him. "I'm here."

The thing in the tub said, "The door stands open but the bird will not fly free. Compartment 134 has lost point-seven atmospheric pressure, compensating."

"I don't understand," Kara murmured and crept closer. "The bird? Sam, are you the bird? Are you trying to talk to me?"

"I won't leave you," Sam whispered, "not until I have to."

And his body spoke, "The tether holds firm, but the core is damaged. Necessity requires forward motion." Sam stared, realizing it was speaking his words to Kara. But then the blank eyes turned to the left and up, to look directly at Sam. "The bird must fly into the sun or never touch the light."

"Shut up," Sam snapped, angry that his own frakking body was betraying him. "You're me. You can't give me prophecies."

Kara was shaking her head in denial and she scooted over to the other side, and pulled the control circuits out. Immediately the eyes fell closed, back into the half-life sleep. "I'm sorry, Sam," she whispered and reached out, but lowered her hand before touching his face. "Oh Gods, I can't do it now. If you're the bird, then you're still in there; you haven't left yet. Maybe you can still come back." Her voice caught on the final word and she put her head down on her hands while she clutched, white-knuckled, the rim of the tub.

"She knows now," Tessa observed. "She's starting to let you go."

Sam went to Kara's side, wishing she could feel him. "The bird won't fly free," he murmured. "Not yet, Tessa. Not until this is finished."

* * *

He knew the moment he saw her in the corridor that she was Boomer, not Athena, even if she was in Athena's clothes. Even if Boomer had helped Ellen escape, there was still the problem of Boomer breaking the Cylon consensus and siding with John of all frakking people. He was unsure she wasn't still following John's commands for another of his elaborate schemes, and as much as Sam felt sorry for her, it was probably better for everyone if she was someplace she couldn't do any harm.

Except here she was, pretending to be Athena and not in the brig anymore, and he was sure Adama hadn't let her out. He followed her, wondering what she was planning.

He grew more alarmed when she headed for the daycare center. She breezed in, so quickly Sam barely managed to get in there in time to see Boomer scooping Hera up.

"Hera!" he called loudly. "That's not your mother. You need to scream, you need to yell! It’s Boomer! Struggle, fight her!"

Hera looked back over Boomer's shoulder, straight at him, and she didn't call out or try to struggle. Boomer carried her away.

He followed, pleading with Hera to do something, but she didn't, until whatever it was in the drink cup put her to sleep against Boomer's shoulder.

Boomer was going to the hangar bay. "Oh, frak, no, you don't," he muttered.

But it wasn't until she set Hera on the floor and started hastily scooping out the contents of one of the supply crates for the Raptor survey missions that he realized the full scope of her plan. "NO!"

The lid of the crate snapped closed with a satisfying bang, and she jumped. But it didn't stop her; she lifted the lid and put Hera inside anyway.

Fueled by a helpless rage, he followed her as she carried the supply crate to the nearest Raptor. No one else saw her or noticed his frantic pounding on various equipment trying to get their attention. He managed to make something spark in front of Figursky but all that did was pull his attention the wrong way. "Frakking hell!"

She met Galen at the ramp, and it was immediately clear that Galen had a hand in her escape.

"Oh, for frak's sake, open your frakking eyes, Galen!" Sam called out in a futile attempt to warn him. "Look in the box!"

But Boomer got in, leaving Galen there, and started away, and it was too late.

Hera was gone.

* * *

Gods - God - did he hate this room. Hated looking at himself like this. But when Kara went back in, so did he.

Kara tried to figure out Hera's song and she asked about the Colony, where Hera had been taken. For this, Sam couldn't help at all. All he knew about the song he'd already given her, and whatever his body was hooked into, Sam couldn't follow, and it made him feel even more helpless.

He did his part crossing the line to go with Galactica to rescue Hera, not that he had any choice really, but it felt like the right thing to do anyway. He stood next to Kara, glad she seemed less brittle and more focused now.

But he also felt more distant from all the people in the hangar bay, as if they were the ghosts, not him. Even when Baltar revealed Kara's secret and he saw her face grow pale and then flush with anger, he was worried that he didn't feel angry on her behalf.

"I'm weakening, aren't I?" he asked Tessa.

Her dark eyes regarded him and her head cocked to the side a little bit, like a curious bird of prey. "Yes, your spiritual cohesion is weakening."

He swallowed and tried to imagine himself standing on the deck, after realizing he'd lost track of his feet. "I only need a little more time," he told her. "It's almost finished. I can feel it."

"If you lose yourself, I can't take you," she reminded him.

"Then that's the price I'll pay," he answered. "But I don't think God will let it come to that."

She lifted her eyebrows but didn't comment on his faith.

"There is a god, right?" he asked.

"I don't know," she answered.

"You don't know?" he repeated, incredulous. "You're a reaper. How can you not know?"

"I don't see to the other side, Sam. Only into the place between," she explained. "I don't know if there's a god or gods or Elysium or any of the things in which mortals believe."

"But you believe in angels," he reminded her.

"There are beings that can cross between, whatever you wish to name them," she answered. "I'm not one of them."

"Aren't you curious about the other side?"

She gave a little shrug. "I am what I am."

"I know what I believe," he said and turned back to look at Kara. "I believe in her; I believe she's here to guide the fleet to safety. I believe I still have a part to play in it. So we'll see."

"We'll see," she repeated calmly, and it made him shiver.

* * *

The rage he felt on seeing John in CIC was a palpable thing, a power that he wrapped tighter and tighter, as he watched it all spiral out of control.


The betrayer. The one who had done all of this.

As he watched Tory fall, he felt sick, but turned the full force of his hatred on John. Because none of it would've happened without John making Boomer into an assassin. None of it would've happened if he hadn't murdered the Five and sent them to the Colonies to suffer. None of this would've happened without him.

No more.

He wrapped his fury and his rage around John's hand, and he touched the gun. He forced it upward, taking satisfaction in John's shock and relishing the instant of recognition in his eyes when he somehow saw Sam before him.

"The end, you son of a bitch," Sam snarled.

The shot went through CIC like a whip, silencing it, as they watched John die.

CIC turned hazy, and the sounds echoed strangely, so he couldn't quite hear them. He was there, by John, but also standing beside Kara, and he was up near his body. He was in all places, and yet none of them. And abruptly, he understood.

"Get us out of here!" Adama shouted, breaking through the fog.

Sam pulled himself together, concentrating on being next to Kara. He watched her as she hesitated, staring at the coordinate entry keypad. "Yes, you know what to do," he coaxed her. "You know the answer."

Even though CIC was full of sounds that clanged in the back of his awareness, he could hear her humming his song. And with each note she entered a number.

Kara put in the coordinates... and the ship jumped. The door between his body and soul slammed open.

He had a body somewhere, he could feel the water around him, but that was far away, as he was thrust into a storm, buffeted by sensations that had no place, no sense, no direction. Light and dark, time and space, all made one inside his mind.... the eternity of hyperspace stretching his spirit until he would have screamed.

Then the universe snapped back into place around him, still vast, still lightning in his mind, but not everything.

Then, still trying to find his way through the hurricane, he felt the ship flex, threatening to buckle in the middle and kill everyone on board.

Save the ship.

He flung himself at it. Every bit of his spiritual strength, he used to hold it together. As much as his body had become Galactica now, he reached out in desperation, beyond breath and blood and power, stretching through it, using his own self to bind it together.

Galactica stayed in one piece; his spirit did not. It fractured under the strain, spread too thin. Cohesion failed and splintered into one singular need.

Save the ship. Save the ship. Save the ship.

There was nothing else. Even when the ship no longer needed saving, that was all that remained.

Save the ship.

For a long, long time.

Then ... Awareness flickered, pulled together.

Kara. Or someone who had her appearance. And in her hands she held the weak, faltering, last vestiges of his soul, coaxing it gently to reform into a whole. She smiled at him with depthless love. "You saved them," she murmured. "You saved all of them, and none of them even know what you did."

The music was in her voice, and infinity in her eyes, and he knew she wasn't Kara at all.

"For that, you get a second chance," she said. "Or maybe it's destiny."

Then she gestured and put the re-formed soul back into his body.

She was gone when he looked out through his own eyes again. It was hard to process, though, since his vision seemed secondary to everything else he sensed: the other ships, the Galactica herself, the planet below, the star...

Wonder threatened to drag him under, until he realized Kara was there again. Then he fought again to focus on her, to push the universe aside and look at her beautiful glowing face. He could also see the brilliance of the soul within her, barely contained by the physical shell she was still inhabiting.

"I love you," she whispered and kissed him. She put her dog tags into his hand, in echo of the promise that she'd made on Caprica to come back for him. He tightened his fingers around them, and tightened his grip around the metaphysical cords between their souls, expressed in the wings of their tattoos but now tied together by so much more that he could now see.

It was so frustrating that he didn't have the control over his body to kiss her back. It was like being caught in a powerful ocean current, and he was trying to swim to shore. But he gathered himself together, bit by bit, until he could speak.

"See you on the other side."

She was nearly at the hatch and didn't hear him, but that didn't matter. When she shed her mortal form, she would know.

* * *

He could feel the ship, the other ships, the nearest star, the intermeshed forces of gravity, cosmic rays from distant galaxies, the new Earth down below, the people there...

The gleaming power of the one he loved most was there too, waiting, in abeyance for the right moment. But it was coming, he knew that.

The ship sailed onward, shining brighter and brighter in the light of the sun.

In CIC, amid the wreckage and the reddish light, a shadow came to stand beside him. He looked up, seeing the shape Tessa put on of the human woman and her true form beneath that, all spirit. It should've been frightening to see that spirit shape, but he could sense her connections to all people. He knew how they created her out of little pieces of their own souls, and he loved her for what she was.

It was time.

He stood up, leaving the tub and abandoning those physical connections to the ship and the shell of his body again. He didn't need them anymore. "I'm ready, Tessa."

She looked at him and smiled a little. "You're not afraid."

"No. I understand so much now. It's a basic principle of physics that energy cannot be created or destroyed; it merely changes form. But now I know that applies to everything. There's no ending, only change. It's time for me to change and leave this behind."

She hesitated. "I can't promise you'll see her again."

"You don't have to. I know she'll be there," he answered, with quiet certainty. "I know what she is, and now I have the knowledge to be with her. Besides," he smiled at Tessa, and held up a pair of dog tags dangling from a chain. "I have these. She gave them to me, to make sure I could find my way to her."

He chuckled as he hung them around his neck, where his own were hanging again -- both of his, plus her original one. He was wearing his Fleet tanks and pants, he noticed, and didn't have to touch his head to know he had hair again.

With a thought he checked that the ship was still on course; the hull temperature was rising, and the tylium was less than five minutes from exploding. Pyxis was already burning up.

"I'm ready," he told Tessa.

She held out her hands. "Then let's go, Sam." She glanced up at him, and shook her head with a touch of bemusement. "You are one of the strangest deaths I've ever known. But you helped us -- all of us, even the reapers -- to a new home, Sam. Thank you."

He grasped her hands and went willingly as she tugged him nearer. He leaned forward and kissed her forehead. "Thank you for staying with me," he whispered to her.

As the sun engulfed the ship, her power embraced him and brilliance washed across his vision, brighter and brighter, yet warmer and more familiar and peaceful than anything he had ever known.

He moved forward, through Tessa, and there was nothing but light.

Inside the light, he saw a familiar form waiting for him, gleaming like the dawn, in shades of rose and gold. He went to her, not in wonder for what she was, not in worry, because he knew. There was love, and only that, in her shining eyes.

He stepped onto the shore, and his bare feet sank a little into the sand and left wet prints until he walked onto the soft grass. The sky was a deep cobalt blue, arching above flowers and trees that stretched to the horizon. It was all lovely, but the most beautiful sight was Kara, standing right before him.

"Took your own sweet time getting here, didn't you?" she teased, grinning happily at him with her hands on her hips.

He shrugged and grinned back. "Traffic was a killer."

She laughed a little, then rushed forward. For an instant he feared he wouldn't be able to touch her, and then his arms wrapped around her, and her hands held him tight. "You were there," she whispered raggedly. "I thought you were gone, but you were there the whole time, right next to me...." He shushed her, stroking her hair, finally feeling the soft strands against his fingers. His own grief and anger at being trapped away from her welled up and washed away with his silent tears, leaving peace.

He glanced back, across the water to where he could see the green new shores of Earth on the far horizon. But she put a hand on his face and turned him back to face her.

"They'll be fine," she told him. "And if they do something stupid, we'll warn them."

He let out a sigh, thinking of old Earth. "They won't listen and it'll all--"

She put a finger across his lips and frowned at him. "Maybe it will, maybe it won't, but we don't have to worry about it right now. They have a new land, and it's up to them now. We fulfilled our destiny, and I think we deserve a break." She took his hand and leaned her head on his shoulder. "I missed you," she murmured, but then said in a fast torrent of words as if she'd been saving them up, "I'm glad you're here and I love you and you better never do that to me again." She hit his chest with one fist for emphasis.

"You're never getting rid of me, I promise." He chuckled and pressed a kiss in her hair. She smelled of the first dew on roses and yet somehow still Kara. He traced her arm tattoo with a finger. "Souls together forever."

She laughed and shook her head. "'Forever' used to frighten me so much. Now it doesn't seem like long enough."

When he plucked a small yellow flower and slid it into her hair, she left it there, but retaliated by spinning away, picking all the flowers she could reach and pelting him with them, giggling.

He ran forward, through the rain of flowers, to grab her around the waist. She tripped him, and they fell to the ground, rolling through the sweet grass. Their mouths joined together, and their hands caressed each other, eager for connection after so long apart. He knew it wasn't really their bodies, but that didn't matter.

He'd chased it his whole life, through two destroyed worlds and three wars, and he'd finally found his dream:

It was perfection.

"Only the Phoenix rises and does not descend.
And everything changes.
And nothing is truly lost."
-- Sandman: the Wake

Allison: It's Complicatedfrolicndetour on October 6th, 2009 02:35 am (UTC)
So I'm not done reading this yet - I was reading on the train and didn't finish - and now I have to go do something else, but I figure hey, two comments are better than one anyway, right? :D? I'm totally intrigued! The tone is spooky in a way that really works for me, and I love the way it connects in to canon, with the electrical impulses affecting the world around Sam, and him coaching Hera to draw those stars! And you're killing me with the shippy-angst, too. Meanie. ;)
lizardbeth: Kara-Anders S4lizardbeth_j on October 6th, 2009 03:19 pm (UTC)

But yes, it's my way of keeping Sam THERE in 4.5 and doing stuff, even if we didn't sadly see any of it, since he was a ghost.

It's not all shippy-angst, so keep going! :D
Allison: It's Complicatedfrolicndetour on October 8th, 2009 11:46 pm (UTC)
I didn't forget, I just got crazy-busy!. I love the end! Great explanation for Cavil's suicide, and I like the resolution to Sam's predicament. And the reunion with Kara was just lovely. <3 Thanks for sharing this!
Allison: Kara Laughingfrolicndetour on October 8th, 2009 11:47 pm (UTC)
... Could I fit any more exclamation points in there, d'ya think?
lizardbeth: Kara-Anders - staylizardbeth_j on October 10th, 2009 04:05 am (UTC)
heh, that's okay! I know how busy it is.

And yeah, I'm kind of in love with the idea that Sam made Cavil kill himself. Because Lord knows, I would've if I'd had the opportunity.

But thank you. It's always lovely to get comments (especially on weird stuff like this!)
patron saint of neglected female characters: kara/samrose_griffes on October 6th, 2009 03:38 am (UTC)
Oh, this is really fascinating. I don't know much about SPN, but reapers are a familiar concept, so I think I understood enough from that fandom.

Anyway, I liked it a lot.
lizardbeth: Kara-Sam -Demetriuslizardbeth_j on October 6th, 2009 03:25 pm (UTC)
I always figure (maybe not always correctly) that if the situation is just as new to the POV characteras it is to the reader , then it doesn't really matter if it's a crossover or something I made up, since both are getting the explanations at the same time. That's the theory anyway... So I'm always glad when it does work (even if it's sort of strange)

Thank you!
noybusiness: AndersGrievingnoybusiness on October 6th, 2009 05:13 am (UTC)
Beautiful! I'm honored that my idle suggestion could inspire a great work of fanfiction.
lizardbeth: Anders-Kara - don't dielizardbeth_j on October 6th, 2009 03:27 pm (UTC)
Thank you! And that's right, thank you for the plotbunny, too. This is why I can't take more than a few at a time --- it takes me MONTHS to finish anything complicated.
noybusiness on October 6th, 2009 04:42 pm (UTC)
And nice touch, naming the Six that worked with Sam's hybridware Vera. I thought she might be Lida from "Blood On the Scales", but it's hard to tell, what with the cloning.
emmiere: Samemmiere on October 6th, 2009 05:19 am (UTC)
I'm trying to decide whether this or canon has more angst....

I love this as a sideline to what we saw on the song..and just enjoyed it generally. Words are not my friend tonight. :(

But lovely work.
lizardbeth: Anders - greylizardbeth_j on October 6th, 2009 03:30 pm (UTC)
Weellll.... I'd have to admit that this HAS to be more angsty, what with Sam being UNCONSCIOUS in canon the whole frakking time and being unable to angst about his situation. SO I WIN! TAKE THAT, RON! :)

Merry F: sam andersivanolix on October 6th, 2009 11:33 pm (UTC)
*shivers* This. Was. Epic.


I don't know how to express how much I love this, how much it made me choke up and yet not want it any other way. Just the perfect kind of angst for Sam (and Kara/Sam).

And what an interesting take on the coma/hybrid thing.
lizardbeth: Anders - gunlizardbeth_j on October 7th, 2009 04:49 am (UTC)
aw, thank you.

As I mentioned I hate the whole storyline in canon, and this is one of several fics I have to deal with it. This is the version that sticks to canon but also has a Sam who is conscious and active, if not exactly, y'know, embodied. (litle drawbacks. *g*)
entertaining in a disturbing way: Can't be arrested for thoughtslyssie on October 7th, 2009 02:47 am (UTC)
I keep typing things and then not being to remember where I was going with my comment, so I'm trying again.

1. I actually thought Tessa read like a reaper from Dead Like Me, which makes me want to read another BSG/DLM crossover. sigh. But, the concept isn't a new one, so no prior knowledge was needed.

2. Hera being able to see Sam! <3

3. I kept hoping you were going to fix canon. Sigh.

4. Which is all right, as they are together forever and ever. =D
lizardbeth: Kara-Anders last supperlizardbeth_j on October 7th, 2009 04:56 am (UTC)
1. They're similar concepts, yeah. The reapers on SPN were never human - they're part of the spirit world - and their "rules" are a bit different, as I recall from DLM, but, eh, close enough.

3. Not in this one. This is the one where I hew to canon events, while getting my Sammy still conscious and doing stuff. I have an AU fixit, too.

4. Amen, sister.

Thank you. :)
Artemisartemis_90 on December 3rd, 2009 02:19 pm (UTC)
I haven't watched SPN, but I love this idea of spirits, angels, reapers, etc. You side step Kara's status, but everything is wonderfully tied to canon: the hybridation, John's suicide, Hera's drawing, etc. I keep expecting you to change canon and get Sam up and running but you don't take the easy way out and I think it all fits! Thanks for posting.
lizardbeth: Anders-Kara - don't dielizardbeth_j on December 3rd, 2009 09:30 pm (UTC)

This story was basically a meta way for me to accept 4.5, not "fix" it, so it was important to me that it stayed within the boundaries canon set, while adding this whole other gloss to it. I'm glad you got some fun out of what boils down to my personal therapy on dealing with Sam being mostly dead in 4.5. :)