Log in

No account? Create an account
04 April 2013 @ 03:09 pm
BSG Fic: Falling Apart  
Pairing: Kara/Sam
Rating: PG
Words: 2K
Summary: After the boxing match, things... are different.

Note: I'm pretty sure this sprang out of a prompt from either Epics or 13th tribe a while back, but I didn't write it down and so I don't remember anymore, but this is a short, not happy look at post-"Unfinished Business" and Sam's time on the Salpica.

Kara's not surprised that Sam's left Galactica when she looks for him after the boxing match. She figures she'll give him a week to miss her, and then about the time she's looking for action, he will be, too, and she'll call, and he'll come.

Two weeks later, she sends a message to him on the Salpica. "Looking for some conjugal attention?" Racetrack brings back the same note, with Sam's familiar scrawl on the back. "Busy. Sorry."

Kara stares at it before crumpling it. Busy? How the frak can he be busy on that piece of crap ship? He's playing hard to get. Or he wants her to apologize. Frak that. She's not at his beck and call.

She waits another week, just because she can, and sends another message. "Sam, I'm waiting. Get over yourself and come here. I've got an itch."

After, Esrin tells her she gave him the note but he crumpled it and dropped it on the floor, sending no reply. Hearing that, Kara bites her lip, realizing she could've phrased it better. Now she has to go in person, so he can see she's kidding, since he obviously has no sense of humor about the note.

Salpica is a horrible ship, overcrowded and smelly, and there are people sleeping on the bare deck. But the one thing it has, it's organized. She's pretty sure some of that's Sam's doing, since she recognizes some of the people from the Caprica Resistance. They recognize her, too, and she gets some friendly smiles, welcoming her on board.

But Hillard greets her coolly, and she knows Sam told him something. She refuses to acknowledge any of it, just grins. "You know where I can find Sam?"

"Sure. He's in with the captain."

"Doing what?" she asks, thinking it's something about how they run the ship together.

"Learning navigation."

She blinks in surprise and it takes a moment to sink in. "He's what?"

"His thing is spreading knowledge, you know," Hillard says with a shrug. "So he's part of a class with Memori learning how to fly the ship."

"He knows the equations to calculate a jump? Sam?" she asks in joking disbelief, and it's a mistake. Hillard's cautious friendliness freezes up, defensive on Sam's behalf.

He answers stiffly, "They didn't give him his degree at Mycenae just because he played ball for them. Now excuse me, I have stuff to do. He's at the forward end of the main corridor."

She shakes her head at his back, because he's apparently picked up Sam's humorless disease. Heading through the narrow passage toward the CIC area of the converted cargo vessel, she hears Sam's laugh before she sees him. Her step pauses at the long unheard sound, and for a moment she listens, wondering what's so funny.

"And Barolay's literature degree flies us right into the star!" he taunts, still laughing.

"Shut up, T. I'll get it," Barolay answers.

Kara rounds the edge of the door. There are five people in the small conference/work room: Captain Memori, Sam, Barolay, and two others she doesn't know. Memori glances up at the sound in the door and recognizes her. "Captain Thrace!"

Sam is turned just enough toward Barolay that Kara can see his expression shift - one moment smiling, teasing, and the next, the smile falters, before returning, with a hesitant edge. "Kara! I - I didn't expect you."

"I wanted to surprise you," she grins at him, hoping he'll lighten the frak up, and then says to Memori. "I'm here to steal away your star student, sorry."

He waves them out. "I'm sure I couldn't keep him here even if I wanted to, not with his wife on board. So nice to see some happiness even in the face of everything that's happened."

His face is guileless and he means it, but she feels it like it's pointed right at her, that she's taken so long to show up. It makes her defensive, and she says, "Yeah, c'mon, Sam, let's get this show on the road. I can't stay all day."

His gaze meets Barolay's, before he stands. "Sure. I know the place."

"Have fun, you two!" Memori calls after them, and she's nearly positive she sees Sam flinch at the words, which isn't what she expects, when they're gonna frak.

In the passage, following him, she asks, "So, navigation and jump equations?"

He shrugs as if it's nothing. "If Memori gets killed there's no one else on this ship who can do it. Seemed stupid not to learn. Though it's been awhile since I've done any math harder than calculating tips at the bar," he admits with a wry twist to his lips.

He leads her aft and up some ladders to reach a small observation room. It was intended originally for a visual check on the aft cargo bay doors and engines, but there are some stars visible as well. There are people in it, but they clear out once they see who it is.

"Are you the XO and you didn't tell me?" she teases. "Nice to be famous. How long do we have?" She moves near. She's never seen this shirt on him before; it's button-up and close-fitting, and she likes how it looks, but it'll be better off him.

But as she reaches for the top button, his hand closes around hers. "I think we should talk."

She yanks free, wondering why he's spoiling this. "I didn't come here for talking, Sam. Talk later."

He steps back, away from her. "Kara." His eyes flicker, and he has to dampen his lips with his tongue before continuing. "Look, this isn't… I know you had a rough time on New Caprica. I can guess some of what happened and I know you're working through some shit. I've tried to be patient. But I think it's time we admit this isn't working."

Her breath seems to stop in her chest, and she says sharply, "Don't be stupid. It's working fine."

"Is it? Quick fraks in closets? That's all we are? Is that all you want? Because you can get that from anybody."

"Well, yeah, I could. I come to you."

He takes it the wrong way. "So I should just be grateful? You're not my client, Kara, you're my wife." She rears back, but she's not sure which word hits harder. He doesn't stop. "This thing, whatever this is we've been doing, it's empty. It's not real, and I don't want it if it's a sham."

Her lips part in shock - of all the things he could say, that's one of the worst. He sounds like he means it. His eyes look as if the words are killing him inside, but his voice stays calm.

"I love you," he says, even though the rest of it seems to make that a lie. "I think I always will. But until you remember you love me and you're willing to try to get back what we had - I can't do it anymore. I'm sorry."

There's a note of finality - of ending ¬- in his voice. "Sam, if this is the note, it was just a joke. Teasing--"

"Somehow I don't think you'd think it was funny if I sent that note to you." He sighs and somehow that's worse than if he were angry with her. "But no, it wasn't the note. It was … everything. Mostly it was realizing that I want more, and you don't. Which if you do eventually, then, great. I'd love that. But until then, I'm done."

Her eyes narrow and her voice sharpens, because anger is so much easier than anything else. "Is this some kind of ultimatum? I trot back and be your happy little wife or else?"

Her anger sparks a return irritation in him. "Yes, because gods forbid I should actually want a wife who wants me around," he shoots back and folds his arms. "But if you want someone you can frak like it doesn't mean anything, you can find someone else."

He turns and he's at the hatch before she realizes he's leaving. And this time, it seems like it's for good. She blurts, "Sam - wait."

Stopping, he turns his head to look at her, and she sees the hope there that she's going to say something he wants to hear. And she wants to, she doesn't want him to walk away angry. But those aren't the words that come out.

"So you're okay with it, if I frak someone else?"

When his fingers tighten on the hatch wheel and his jaw clenches, she almost smiles, because she's won. He's not okay with it, at all.

But to her surprise, he lifts his eyes to hers, and his lips twist in a bitter little smile. He holds out his arm to look at the tattoo. "Funny, I thought this would be forever. Guess the toasters wrecked that, too."

The bleakness in his eyes pins her to the floor, as he shoves open the hatch and he's through, before she can move or find her voice.

Frak. This… isn't what she wanted. She holds out her own arm, remembering that day. It seems like a different Kara and a different Sam, who held her on his lap while she was getting hers inked. Now he's gone, and he's done with her. And she doesn't know how to get him back, or if she should try. If all she does is make him miserable, he should have someone better.

"Excuse me?" A perky voice interrups and a stranger pokes her head through the open hatch. "Are you done with the room?"

"Frak off," Kara mutters, but she steps out anyway. He's already out of sight, and she doesn't try to find him. There's no point.

He's gone, and if there's a part of her that remembers a cot in an abandoned school and laughter in a damp tent, there's another part that knows they always leave in the end.

On the Raptor, she looks toward the Salpica as they pull away from it, her eyes going to the forward window of its C&C. She wonders if Sam's there, watching the Raptor, and if maybe his hand is hovering over the comm to contact her, like hers is creeping toward the comm, too.

But no, he's probably laughing with Barolay and forgetting all about his mistaken fling with a hotshot pilot.

Then, irritated at herself, she pulls her eyes back to the Galactica. She'll find some booze and someone to frak, and silence that little voice that whispers it doesn't have to be like this.

Crossposted from DW There are comment count unavailable comments over there. Feel free to comment wherever.
embolalia: Sam/Kara - flirtingembolalia on April 5th, 2013 12:00 am (UTC)
Oof, poor Sam here. She's such a bitch sometimes :( Wonderful snapshot!
lizardbeth: Kara-Anders last supperlizardbeth_j on April 5th, 2013 03:56 am (UTC)

I sat on it for a little while, wondering if she was too much of a bitch, but it seemed kind of a piece with her behavior toward him in UB, so. Anyway, at least it was something new.
Samanthor: BSG: Sam -- Sammykleenexcow on April 5th, 2013 05:41 am (UTC)
Oh man, one of my favorite little things is when people expect Sam to be dumb and get totally shot down (even if it's Kara!)

And wow, so great in general! I love how your characterization is beautiful even when it's heartbreaking. I'm so glad he's not putting up with her shit, and you've nailed bitchy Kara as a front for vulnerable Kara so well. And aww, that moment at the end when she wants to get on the comm and wonders if he does, too.

I liked it so much! Never too much of your Kara/Sam for my tastes.
lizardbeth: Anders-Kara - eojlizardbeth_j on April 5th, 2013 11:28 pm (UTC)

Yeah, even when I know that Sam sees through a lot of Kara's bitchiness and so he puts up with a lot, there's still a few places where he draws a line and says, no, and the end of UB really seemed like that kind of a line where he was just done. And it's funny but I actually think I prefer them to have been 'on a break' while she's mooning around with Lee, makes her a little less awful, lol.
Rayrirenec on April 5th, 2013 05:55 am (UTC)
Oh, this is heartbreaking but feels so right. Thank you for posting it!
lizardbeth: Anders- b&wlizardbeth_j on April 5th, 2013 11:29 pm (UTC)
And thank YOU for reading! :D

( I don't thank you for your angel icon though... ;P )
Rayrirenec on April 6th, 2013 02:49 am (UTC)
This one better? :)
Gramma Lunacylanalucy on April 6th, 2013 12:13 am (UTC)
Kara does like to think she's got it all figured out. Much as I love her, sometimes she needs to be reminded that she's not all that. Poor babies.
lizardbeth: Anders-Kara - distancelizardbeth_j on April 8th, 2013 06:22 pm (UTC)
yeah, sometimes she holds so tight to her own boundaries she kinda, forgets, that other people have them too.

Thanks !
Sly: bsg: starbuckleakypaintpen on April 6th, 2013 01:22 am (UTC)
he's probably laughing with Barolay and forgetting all about his mistaken fling with a hotshot pilot
Oh, your Kara breaks my heart here. I love your unstinting look at this low point in her relationship with Sam, when she's running from herself and retreating from everyone else. I find bitchy Kara hard to get right, but you've done a marvelous job here. And yay Sam, making a life for himself!
lizardbeth: Kara-Anders Rapturelizardbeth_j on April 8th, 2013 06:25 pm (UTC)
not an easy time for either of them, that's for sure, even if we have to guess at what Sam's up to. And Kara... sigh. yeah, it's easy to gloss over her mean side or, otoh, make her too awful, so I'm glad that worked for you.

Thank you!
patron saint of neglected female characters: kara/samrose_griffes on April 6th, 2013 04:38 am (UTC)
Aiieeee, ouch. Nicely done for both of them; I can see Kara pushing this hard and not getting it when Sam pushes back, because she's compassionate, but she doesn't always see past her own pain and want.
lizardbeth: Kara-Anders Rapturelizardbeth_j on April 8th, 2013 07:30 pm (UTC)
Yeah, sometimes it seems to me like Kara just pushes UNTIL people push back - it's a far more comfortable place for her, I think. Which tends to mean that Sam, since he's more accommodating in general, gets more and harder pushing since his boundaries are wider than she's used to. :(