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31 December 2009 @ 12:34 pm
BSG ficlet: Memorial Hall  
Written for pyramidofdreams 12 Days, day 3, "candles"
Summary: When he gives her what she thinks she wants, she doesn't want it anymore.

The few candles burned on the ledges of the memorial walls, as Kara stared at Kat's photo. She sensed a presence next to her and didn't have to look to know it was Sam. She didn't turn her eyes, even when she knew he was looking at her.

He broke the silence first. "Kara --"

Her jaw tightened. "So it was all a lie."

"No, I didn't know--" he protested.

"Right over there, you knelt on the floor and you told me it was okay if I was a Cylon," she turned to him, angry, "when it was you. You're the toaster. You lied to me."

He flinched, looking both hurt and guilty. "I was going to tell you--"

She snorted, scornfully. "Sure. That's why it took months and people dead before Tigh finally came forward. Because you were going to tell me."

"Well, maybe if you hadn't said you were going to kill me, I might have done it differently," he retorted.

She narrowed her eyes at him. "Do not make this my fault. All of this is because you kept it secret."

He returned her look and reminded her, "And the instant Saul told someone, we almost got airlocked."

"Because you're a Cylon and you've been manipulating us all along," she shot back, knowing it wasn't true, but throwing the words at him and watching him flinch as if she'd hit him with her fists.

"I didn't know! Not until I heard that frakking song and suddenly we knew." He held out a hand toward her, and his voice turned pleading, "That was all we knew. How could I expect anyone to believe I didn't know anything else, especially after the frakking Hybrid claimed we had all the answers? I just... I just wanted to put off that day as long as I could," he finished with a sigh and dropped his hand. His shoulders slumped, and his gaze slipped down to the nearest candle flame. "So here we are. We're at Earth. Maybe it had to happen this way."

"Whatever. Doesn't change that you're a Cylon." She turned back to staring at the wall, aware that he was still looking at her.

He waited a moment and then murmured hesitantly, "I thought maybe you'd--"

"What? That I'd be okay with that?" she taunted. "Okay with finding out you're a toaster? And a pathetic one at that, who thought he was human? Everything you ever said to me was probably just a way to try to breed little hybrids."

"No!" he exclaimed, horrified. "How could you even--" But he cut himself off, and fell silent. When he spoke again, his tone was resigned, as if she was saying everything he had expected all along, "I thought working together to find Earth meant something. But I guess it doesn't, if that's what you feel. If you can't forgive me for something I didn't do and can't change, then ...." He paused, as if to give her a chance to interject something about how she could forgive him after all, for being a frakking toaster, which she had no intention of doing. He swallowed. "So that's it then." His hand went to his chest and he pulled the cord holding her dog tag from around his neck. Her eyes automatically followed the movement, as he held it out to her. "Here. I never took this off, after I thought you died. I wore it even after I knew the truth, hoping it wouldn't matter to you. But if you --" his voice faltered into silence before he forced himself to finish, "if you hate me, then you should take it back."

Her breath caught, unprepared for the pang at the realization he was giving her the dog tag back. His expression was defeated and lost, as if all his nightmares were coming true.

When she didn't reach for it, he set it down on the little ledge next to the candles. Then, with a last glance, he murmured, "Goodbye, Kara."

She meant to let him walk away; she intended to let it end. She hadn't wanted to marry a toaster, after all -- Helo could marry one, but not her. She hated Cylons and she hated having the suspicion that everything with Sam had been false. She hated feeling tricked.

But her mouth didn't care about what she intended to do, blurting, "Sam!" He froze, but didn't turn back, stiffening as if he feared to look at her.

"I don't hate you," she said quietly. "I don't," she insisted, as if he had objected even though he was silent, and her hands tightened into fists at her sides. But she didn't know what else to say.

She realized she could hear people singing, and their happiness seemed so far away from where she was, they seemed a different place entirely.

For the space of several heart beats, he didn't answer, and he turned only far enough to watch the candle burning as he waited for more.

It would be so easy to take the tag and say goodbye. He was a Cylon. It should be easy. But when her fingers reached for the tag, they started to tremble. She remembered the joy and relief on his face when he'd greeted her on the deck at her return. She remembered all the times on the Demetrius he had started to tell her something, and she'd ignored him until he'd stopped trying. She remembered her horror and confusion as the marines had arrested him and dragged him away. She remembered the pounding of her heart as she'd run across the ship, afraid she'd be too late.

"That's something, I guess," he said finally. He reached out with a finger toward the nearest candle, pressing it into the puddle of wax, extinguishing the small flame. A tendril of smoke rose up, and she watched it, as he murmured, "I don't know if our marriage is even valid, since you didn't know the truth, but I'll sign whatever you want me to, to make it official. That's the only thing left I can give you."

She realized what he was offering: divorce. A pit seemed to open up in her chest, wide and gaping, as if his words had just torn a hole inside. The sense of loss was sudden and acute. "No! That's not what I want." She shook her head and her fingers grabbed the dog tag and thrust it in his direction. "Take it back."

Slowly he put out his hand. She dropped the dog tag and the cord into it, and he wrapped his fist around it. His eyes searched hers, looking for answers or an explanation. But he didn't look hopeful, just confused by words he hadn't expected.

"It means something," she said. "It means something that you heard the signal and I found it before you died. It means something that we found Earth together. I don't know what it means, but now we're at Earth and we can figure it out."

"I hope so. You're not the only one looking for answers."

"I know. It's all too much. Just... give me time," she requested, voice barely coming out of her throat.

"I can do that." He glanced down at the dog tag, and then swiftly put it around his neck again. It looked right there, hanging with his own, but she had only a moment to look before he turned from her again. "I'll see you on Earth."

It felt terribly wrong, watching him walk away. Her skin itched, as if missing his touch. For one mad moment, she considered grabbing him, pulling him to her, and kissing him. But she reminded herself he wasn't who -- what -- she had believed him to be, and she stayed where she was. Soon he was out of sight, around the corner, and it was too late to go after him.

But the Fleet had found Earth -- there would be plenty of time.

(woot! last fic of 2009!)
Allison: K/A - Wakefrolicndetour on December 31st, 2009 09:02 pm (UTC)
But the Fleet had found Earth -- there would be plenty of time.

.. D: Meanie!

But I really like this anyway. You always wonder what they said to each other after the camera cut away, and this feels right for the in-between sort of stage they were in.
lizardbeth: Kara-Anders Rapturelizardbeth_j on January 1st, 2010 04:04 am (UTC)
meanie, I know, I know... :)

Yeah, the sad part about that conversation is it just couldn't have gone well. Or at least not well enough to overcome Old!Earth's disaster. so sad

entertaining in a disturbing way: Kara and Sam are in loooooooovelyssie on December 31st, 2009 09:22 pm (UTC)

Stupid angsty kids.
lizardbeth: Kara-Anders last supperlizardbeth_j on January 1st, 2010 04:08 am (UTC)
I just want to smush them together in a closet and make them get over it. *sad face*

Merry F: kara sam rapture hugivanolix on December 31st, 2009 09:26 pm (UTC)
*wibbles* It's damn lucky that when Sam's impulsive like this, Kara knows what she wants (and doesn't). Except, oh wait, then he gets shot. :-P

But this is still angsty sweet, and feels right for that moment at the end of Revelations.
lizardbeth: Kara-Anders Rapturelizardbeth_j on January 1st, 2010 04:23 am (UTC)
Yeah, she follows her instincts well enough to realize she doesn't want him to go, but not quite enough to hold on. She doesn't figure that part out until it's too late. :(

patron saint of neglected female characters: kara/samrose_griffes on December 31st, 2009 09:59 pm (UTC)
Ouch. But this is still great.
lizardbeth: Anders-Kara - distancelizardbeth_j on January 1st, 2010 04:24 am (UTC)
Yeah, it's an ouchy time for them. :(

(Deleted comment)
lizardbeth: Anders-Kara - distancelizardbeth_j on January 1st, 2010 04:28 am (UTC)
Oh, I don't know -- at least in that gap between 4.0 and 4.5 we could pretend that the conversation went well. If we'd had this canon, it would've been a LONG, SAD HIATUS. But I would've liked to see an actual conversation between them before it all turned to crap that's for sure.

but thanks!
(Deleted comment)
Artemisartemis_90 on January 3rd, 2010 04:30 pm (UTC)
That's so sad, especially once they get to Earth, we know they kinda drift along.

I loved that you recreated a scene that need to be said. I'm gonna pretend that this scene ended up being unwillingly cut, given the editing of the actual episode,
lizardbeth: Kara-Anders S4lizardbeth_j on January 5th, 2010 05:36 am (UTC)
Oh yeah, it's sad, especially since the potential for a different outcome is so clearly there, I think. *sigh*

But thanks!

yami_chan on December 26th, 2010 06:15 am (UTC)
This was so sad. Poor Sam. He suffers so much. But suffers so prettily so I don't mind. >3

Great fic! =)
Galactic Cupcake: though nothing can bring back the hourlostinapapercup on February 15th, 2012 08:19 pm (UTC)
I need this in canon. This feels really honest; I like Kara's conflict and how she lashes out blindly because she's so upset and hurt. That's what she does. I especially like how horrified Sam is at her suggestion that she was just being used to make hybrid!babies. It's a perfect reaction since he knows exactly how she felt after the farm experience.

*draws hearts around them* Get it together, kids!
lizardbeth: Anders-Kara - distancelizardbeth_j on February 15th, 2012 11:16 pm (UTC)
Yeah, you gotta figure hybrid!babies would have to be on Kara's mind once she knew about Sam -pretty much all her experiences with other Cylons have something to do with hybrids (esp the Farm and Leoben).. So it's kind of logical, but I don't think it would occur to HIM that she could possibly go there, since it's so against who he is.

anyways, it's always been a sadness to me that no one locked the two of them in a closet until they worked their shit out and realized they were dealing with the same problem.
mages just love me: sam standing alonein_the_blue on February 16th, 2012 04:44 am (UTC)
Oh, these two. I just... they break my heart, and I can imagine this scene and this moment, and I can hear them saying these things to each other and feel the tension. Ugh. Canon, you're terrible. I think this is just kind of a perfect summary of how conflicted Kara is right here: She realized she could hear people singing, and their happiness seemed so far away from where she was, they seemed a different place entirely. If only she had a place to belong.

And poor Sam. So alone.