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13 March 2014 @ 04:03 pm
Black Sails at Dawn 14/?  

Kara had brought a Raptor to the basestar, carrying Caprica, Sharon, and D'Anna, and she was ready to get the final update for their objective. As flight lead, the command was hers, and she was glad for Adama's trust in her, even if part of her wondered if that was because he thought she knew more than she claimed about the Cylons.

The Cylon command Heavy Raider was parked nearby, and Boomer and another Eight were in black Cylon flightsuits ready to take Sam on board and tow her Raptor. The rest of the Raptors and Heavy Raiders were out in space, getting ready to join together, under the watchful, nervous eyes of their command ships. It was all a tense mess, and Kara wanted to get out there as soon as she could.

Sam arrived, with a Six and Simon, and approached her. He was back in his Colonial flightsuit, zipped up over his lean form, and he held his helmet in one hand.

"Ready?" Kara asked him.

"We're ready," he answered, and there weren't too many people who would know he was forcing that smile. But his brow was furrowed and the creases at the corners of his eyes were from pain, not a smile. But she couldn't say anything about it, here in front of everyone, so she just smiled back.

"Then, we're go, good hunting everyone," she called and headed back to her Raptor.

A loud screeching noise shocked her, and she turned, hand on her sidearm to see what the hell was happening. Sam was halfway to the Heavy Raider, but he was staring at the Raider who was hovering over the platform with its red sensor fixed on him and wings wobbling in agitation.

Sam's helmet dropped from his hand and rolled in Kara's direction. She stopped it with her foot, watching as Sam 'listened' to his pet Raider.

His face showed his reaction to his half of the 'conversation' as if he was speaking to someone on the wireless, mostly annoyance and coaxing, before breaking it off with a resigned but amused smile, shaking his head. "Cerberus is unwilling to let a Heavy Raider carry me. Heavy Raiders shot at me, so they can't be trusted."

Kara thought that was pretty frakking hilarious, that a Raider believed a Heavy Raider was untrustworthy? "Y'know, Sam, normal people get a dog," she teased and then grinned at the frown he shot her.

"I'm looking for normal, and I don't see it anywhere," he retorted with a deliberate glance up and down her body.

The Six broke into the humor, suggesting to Sam, "You should stay here. There's no reason to risk yourself."

"I… " he hesitated, and his blue eyes focused on something unseen before he said, "I may be able to help. And I have to watch."

For an instant, a heavy darkness seemed to lay over him, a deep and terrible burden. And Kara remembered what he'd said about the Cylon race eventually going extinct.

She picked up his helmet and threw it at him. Startled, only pyramid-honed instincts helped him catch and hold it. "Be my co-pilot. The Raptor will be our command ship." The instant the suggestion left her mouth she wanted to take it back. Did she really want to be stuck in a Raptor with him for this entire mission? "Will your guard dog accept that?"

He seemed to have the same uncertainties, licking his lips and glancing at her, to Cerberus, Caprica, and back to Kara, then he nodded. "Sounds like a plan."

In the Raptor, they headed out into space and then powered back down, to allow the Heavy Raider to tow them.

The Heavy Raider looked very large, looming above them, as it came into position. "You're sure this will work? The turkeys won't turn on us?" she asked in a low voice, as if it could hear.

"Boomer and Vera are in there," he answered. "It'll be fine."

"Good." Plus it was strangely comforting to spy the small squadron of Raiders off the starboard side, shadowing them protectively. Cerberus knew where Sam was, and it wasn't going to let anything happen to him.

"So," Kara said, after the Raptor had gone silent. "We've got time to kill. When did you know?"

In the co-pilot's chair, dressed in his flightsuit, but with the helmet tucked beside him, Sam's gaze didn't shift from watching the narrow band of stars visible beneath the Heavy Raider fuselage. He didn't pretend not to know what she was talking about. "Caprica. Before we met. It's hard to explain. It was like a switch in my head flipped, and I knew I was different. I … didn't want to admit it for a long, long time," he added more softly. "I lied to the Cylons, to you, to myself; I nearly drove myself insane in an effort to push it away. You can't know what a relief it was to finally say it aloud. Even if I don't understand it fully, at least I don't have to hide, or worry about what I say or do in case it gives something away. No matter what the consequences might be, in the end, at least I'll have this time where I could live with the truth."

She nodded. "It's still strange," she admitted. "Thinking of you as a Cylon, even if I know you're not exactly like the others. But I can't be angry you didn't say anything. Until recently, it could've been like Boomer all over again." She glanced up at the Heavy Raider, thinking of the Cylon in there, who had been Helo's former pilot and her friend. Even though Kara liked Sharon - Athena - well enough, it had never been the same with her, as it had been with Boomer before the attacks.

"Yes, the thought did occur to me," Sam said dryly.

The fact that it could still be like Boomer -- some human could shoot him dead, just for being a Cylon-- lay in the silence for a moment.

"But you won't resurrect?" she asked.

He shrugged tightly. "I don't think so. I … have visions that seem to indicate I don't. I don't feel the resurrection ships, as the others do. They can always tell if they're in range to download. But I'm still learning all the things I can do." He paused and his fingers reached out absently to trace the edge of the console as if his hand were missing the sleek, watery interfaces of the Cylon ship instead of the clunky dials and buttons of the human ship. "I'd like to capture another Cavil and interrogate him about everything. Frakker knows things he never shared. I’m sure he knew about me all along." His expression darkened, and she remembered what he'd said about how Cavil had tortured him.

To brighten the darkness, she quipped, "One Cavil to interrogate. I'll see what I can do for your birthday."

He chuckled, pulled out of his memories. "That would be the perfect present."

"I'll even put a nice ribbon around his neck."

His chuckle turned into laughter, amused by the vision. "Oh god, he would hate that. So much."

The wireless clicked and they heard, "Raptor One, Boomer. We are go for jump on your command."

Sam reached for the wireless and opened the channel. "You have the final update from the Hybrid?"

"Confirmed, Oracle," Boomer answered.

Sam glanced at her and she lifted her helmet in answer. "Go ahead," she said. "This is kind of your show."

He put on his helmet and tested the wireless. Then, to her surprise, he widened the comm to all channels and announced, "This is Anders to the joined fleet, Human and Cylon. For the first time, maybe the first time ever, both races are going to work together on this mission. We will destroy the Cylon Resurrection Hub, to bring Cylons the same mortality as humans, and take away that advantage of resurrection against the enemies we share. The Cylons offered this secret in the spirit of atonement and friendship and in the hope that this will not be the only partnership between this renegade group of Cylons and Humanity. To those on this mission, good hunting. Prepare for jump in ten seconds. In nine."

While he counted down, she muttered for him alone, "Apparently Cylons speechify a lot more."

He rolled his eyes at her, and finished the count. "Jump."

The jump field enfolded them and they were gone.

Kara checked their coordinates. "Well, thank the gods, first jump complete, all present. Six more to go. This is worse than the trip back to Caprica to rescue your ass." She grinned at him, and he snorted.

He flicked the switch to go to a private channel on their helmet comms. "Pretty sure I thanked you for that already," he retorted, and darted a smiling suggestive glance at her. "Many times."

"You say that like that's enough," she answered. "Never."

Their eyes met and her smile faded as she realized their once easy flirtation that could lead to more, was gone. She tried to tell herself he was a Cylon, so it was impossible anyway, but that had lost its bite.

But the reminder of baby Iris hadn't. While a part of her wanted to jump him because he was there and she knew he wanted it, too, nothing really had changed since the other day -- two months ago -- when she'd realized he was part of another family that she didn't want to destroy.

Kara looked away, muttering, "Damn it."

Sam didn't speak at first, then said awkwardly, "I knew this was a bad idea. I remember too much - things I want again. And you're over there, so close, come back to me… frak, this is hard."

"You two aren't married," Kara said abruptly. "We could--"

He interrupted, "No. No, I can't. And even if I could," he laughed once in bitter humor, "the Sixes would probably kill me, or break the alliance, and I can't let that happen."

She raised her brows, surprised, since she hadn't considered that side of the politics of his position. "So you're stuck with her forever, because her sisters will kill you if you leave? Sam, no, that's horrible and wrong --"

"That's not what I meant," he protested. "I was kidding."

No, you weren't, but she didn't say it aloud. You meant it. Maybe you don't want out right now, but you know you're trapped until they let you go.

"They're not going to kill me," he added hastily. "I'm one of the Five and all that. They won't." Then he cleared his throat and looked down at the board, seeing the signal of the other wireless and eager to change the subject. "Looks like all ships are ready to jump again. Why don't you do it this time?"

Giving him one last troubled glance, which he ignored, she focused on the mission, checking everyone's status and the next jump.

After that they resolutely attempted to keep their conversation on the task at hand, sharing rations and some water at a break while they waited for one Heavy Raider/Raptor combo to find their way back to the jump point.

But in the silence, she could feel that … tugging, as if someone was pulling on a string that was lodged inside her. "Sam? What was it like? You said you felt the Temple of Five calling to you - what did that feel like?"

"Like music. Like I was hearing distant music," he answered. "No one else heard it, but when I listened, I could focus on it and get a direction. After I visited the Hybrid that first time, it was all I heard. It was," he hesitated and fiddled with the console unnecessarily, "difficult."

"Do you think you can teach me?" she asked. He glanced at her in surprise, and she gave a small shrug and tentative smile. "I feel Earth pulling at me, but if I'm supposed to go there, I have no idea how to find it or show anyone else how to get there."

For a moment his expression was reluctant, as if helping her do this was the last thing he wanted to do, but then he nodded. "Sure. I can try."

"You believe me, don't you?" she asked.

"Of course," he answered, as if it was inconceivable not to. Then he smiled a little. "I saw you on Earth, remember? I thought I'd frakked that up when you … went away, but now I know I was right."

She nodded, and frowned, lip sticking out. "They all think I'm a Cylon. Even though you and Doc Cottle say I'm not. There was no video proof from my Viper, so I don't think the Admiral believes me. What if they won't listen to me?"

He reached across to squeeze her arm. "Hey, I believe you. And if I believe you, the baseship will believe you. And trust me, whether the Admiral believes you or not, there's no way he's letting the Cylons go there alone."

She chuckled, knowing that much was right, then her humor drifted away, recalling Roslin's desire to strand the Cylons away from Earth. Roslin didn't want the Cylons there at all. She'd issued no orders about turning against them, but Kara knew she'd likely be out of the loop if there were.

Then she glanced at Sam, remembering what he'd said after touching the Hybrid, and all her misgivings came back in a rush. "What if we're not supposed to go there?" she asked more softly, worried. "You said - I was the harbinger of death, Sam. That I'm going to lead them all to their end. That was a warning."

"Maybe. Prophecy doesn't always mean the obvious." He shrugged.

Her eyes narrowed at him. She knew him well enough to know when he was avoiding a real answer. "You know what it means."

"I know what I think it means," he admitted. "I don't think the Cylons would've thought about destroying the Hub until you came back with the path to Earth. So in a way, you have brought death to them."

"That's all?" she asked doubtfully. "It was ominous, Sam. Actually, no, it was creepy. It wasn't you saying those words."

"You think it was creepy to hear; you should've been the one saying it," he muttered and shuddered. "The gods are shoving us into place, Kara. That's all any of this is."

She wondered if that was all there was, but there was no chance to persist because they were jumping again, and then there was only one more to come.

She broadcast on the wireless. "All Colonial ships prepare to go silent. Cylon pilots, it's showtime. Let's blow this thing and go home. Boomer, you have lead."

Boomer returned, "Understood, Starbuck. All pilots, Lock in coordinates and jump on my mark."

Kara turned off the last switch, silencing all but passive comms, and the sudden silence - audible more by the lack of vibration than anything she could hear through the helmet anyway - fell over them. She watched tensely as the Heavy Raiders started to wink out, and then it was their own turn.

The distortion of jump rippled across the window, smearing the starfield, and then it snapped back into place. She peered all around in the black and starlight, seeing nothing, wishing in vain for a dradis. And then the Heavy Raider shifted course slightly and she saw two basestars glimmering all silver in the dark. And then… something else. It reminded her of the Resurrection ship, but larger and more spherical, it grew larger and larger the closer they came. "Oh, dear gods, is that it?" she whispered.

Sam leaned forward, too, both hands flat on the console, as he stared at it avidly.

There were lights on it, she realized, deep purple and blue lights that emphasized its curves. It was strangely beautiful, she thought and wanted to paint it.

They coasted closer and closer, apparently going unnoticed by the basestars or the Hub itself.

"They're gonna see us," Kara muttered. "This isn't going to work." Her hand hovered above the restart button.

"Just wait," Sam murmured. "We need to be closer."

"I know, I know." But even as she waited, she grew tenser. The worst part was that none of it was in her control right now; she was a passenger, nothing more, and she wanted to start the engines and launch the missiles, right now. She tapped her fingers of her left hand, waiting. Soon, it had to be soon.

The basestars started to loom, and the Hub's arms glimmered indigo and violet, the complexity of the arches and spires becoming clearer and more like lattice-work, woven together in curves and spirals.

Boomer's voice came over the comm, "To all pilots, outer range reached. You are go for operation. God be with us."

Kara slapped the restart, as the ship trembled. "Clamps retracting," Boomer told them. The ship shook again, rougher this time, and then the vector changed, as they were nudged away. Kara didn't need Boomer's report, "Starbuck, Oracle, you are free to maneuver."

The engines powered up from their hibernation, and she had time to glance at Sam with a triumphant grin. "You ready?"


The console flared to life - dradis up, weapons, jump engines, all came alive. "Let's blow this frakker to hell."

Sam could barely tear his eyes away from the Hub. It was a crystalline sea urchin, rotating slowly, gleaming like a jewel among the black. He clenched his hands on the controls to keep from blurting anything about leaving it alone, especially as it soon blossomed with fire as the first missiles struck it. There were Cylons on that ship - born and unborn, boxed souls now going up in flames.

Kara launched their two missiles and didn't wait to see the strike, whirling the Raptor away. "Prepare jump."

He ignored the pilots' triumphant chatter over comms as the Hub splintered apart, and he ignored other cries of dismay as the baseships' inevitable counter attack reached the alliance.

A fleet of Raiders headed for them, while the baseships rained missiles at them. From a distance he tried to engage the Raiders mentally, and turn them back. But they continued to attack.

He saw Heavy Raiders - his allies, his friends- he felt them explode into fireballs. And Raptors struck and shattered, as the wave of the counterattack came at them.

He couldn't breathe. His heart felt too tight, unable to beat in his chest.

They were dying.

"Oracle, stop them!" someone yelled at him in desperation.

He reached out, straining to touch just one, but the Raiders didn't hear him. They'd been deafened. "I … can't. They can't hear me." The words would barely emerge from his throat, strangled by the feel of them dying all around him, pressing on him… each light, each potential life, extinguished.

"Sam, prepare jump!" Kara ordered, trying to rouse him, but he heard her words distantly, as if they were not meant for him. She evaded another two Raiders and he tried to reach them, to make them stop - stretching out to find them, but there was nothing there. They were gone, nothing but machines, empty. Dead.

Kara shouted impatiently, and dodged debris and persistent Raiders. "Jump us or we're dying here! Sam!"

He couldn't stir. A heavy darkness lay over him, suffocating and blinding, and even though he pushed at it, he felt weak under its weight. He suddenly tasted the dust of the avalanche that long ago buried him alive. And somewhere on the other side of all that death and darkness, if he could just move it, he knew was the past.

The truth.

He clawed at the stones and the weight and the dark, trying to push them aside to find the light.

Then, an urgent hand shook his shoulder and then smacked him across the cheek. "Sam!"

He opened his eyes, panting for breath as if he'd been underwater. The heavy dark was gone. He blinked to find Kara glaring at him, angry and worried. "What the frak is wrong with you?" she demanded.

He looked past her to see unfamiliar and empty space. They'd jumped. "Where are we?" he asked hoarsely.

"I don't know, since I had to jump us blind. Because you were too busy having your … whatever the hell that was. I knew flying with you was a frakking bad plan!"

"I… I'm sorry," he managed and pushed himself more upright in his seat, finding his muscles were tight and he ached all over.

More calmly, she asked, "What happened?"

"I … felt them die." He put a hand against his chest, where his heart was still thudding hard against his ribs. He closed his eyes and inhaled a deep breath, trying to find calm again. "I was trying to reach the Raiders, and I … was too open, I guess. I don't know - the last time I felt anything like it was when Cerberus died at the algae planet, but this was everyone."

She settled back on her heels, regarding him with a frown of concern. "As long as you're all right now?"

He stretched his arms over his head, rolling his shoulders to loosen up, and answered, "I'm okay. Let's get back to the Fleet."

"Okay. Let's hope it's that easy, "she said and slid back into her seat to check the dradis and the charts.

Sam felt guilty for not helping, but not guilty enough to actually do anything about it. He felt weak and fragile, like a soap bubble floating in the wind, and his head pounded. He closed his eyes and rested while Kara tried to find the way home. He didn't feel worried, though. One of them would be able to find it; he was sure of that.

"What the hell?" she exclaimed, in such a strange tone of voice he opened his eyes again to look at her. "That's not frakking possible," she muttered.

"Where are we?"

"We're in a planetary system," she answered and her fingers clicked on the keys. "This star was way out of our range. We can't have jumped all that in one jump. Not possible."

"I think, given that you came back from the dead and I just felt the deaths of a thousand Cylons like they were my own, we should probably recalibrate 'possible'," he suggested dryly. She gave him a look that said she wanted to argue, but couldn't. He asked, "Are we at Earth?"

"Aren't you supposed to tell me that?"

He was pretty sure it was Earth -- where else was a mysterious too-big jump going to send them? -- but it was fun to be able to toss it back in her lap. He snorted. "You get the Earth deal. I get Cylons. So is it Earth?"

"I.. " she hesitated and her hands paused on the controls, as she looked out the window. There was no planet visible in the deep blackness of space, no matter how hard he looked, but she seemed to see something. Then she nodded slowly. "Yes. I think this is the place. It feels… right. It's…" she lifted a hand and pointed, "that way."

He leaned forward. "Then let's go check it out."

Their eyes met, excited and hopeful, and then, as one, turned to start calculating the short jump to take them into system. This time, Sam had the coordinates in a flash, and it must have been the excitement helping because he didn't even need the computer to calculate the coordinates. He input them, let Kara check them, and then she jumped the Raptor.

As soon as the distortion field faded, it was right there. Exactly as he'd seen it before -- a blue and white sphere floating against a backdrop of night. Part of the ocean was in night and dark, but the part that was facing the star was brilliant and beautiful with clouds swirling thickly above sea and land.

"That's it," he whispered. He stared at it, in awe. His eyes grew hot and filled with tears, as a sense of longing and grief rose in his chest and choked his throat. "That's it. That's … home."

"We did it!" she exclaimed, slapping both hands on the console in triumph and not noticing his reaction. "We did it, it's right there, Sam!" she seized his shoulder and pulled him toward her. "We found Earth."

She bent down and kissed him, her joy overwhelming good sense and the careful distance they'd been trying to keep. Her hand pulled at his hair and her mouth was hot against his, as she put a leg over his to sit on his lap. He pulled her into him, seeking solace and warmth, after all those long days of swimming in his own guilt and grief, when now she had come back to him.

It had been so long, and he knew dimly they should stop. But he'd done this before -- but it hadn't been Kara, had it? And yet it felt exactly the same. Maybe he could've stopped, but the feel of her lips and her hands after she pulled down the zipper of his suit echoed through him, memory and reality tangling together. "Kara, missed you so much," he mumbled against her skin, between tastes of her neck and the hollow of her throat. His hands skimmed her hips and waist, but he could barely feel her beneath the slick flight suit. Yanking down her zipper, he tried to push her suit off her shoulders, but she was sliding her hands underneath his tank with her palms on his skin.

"Kara," he meant it to be an objection, but came out as a plea for more, and he curled a hand around the back of her neck to bring her lips back to his. His other hand pawed aside her suit, to find her skin, too, and shoved down her front, his hand catching on the zipper's teeth with a scratch, as his fingers slid on her underwear between her legs. It was uncomfortable with his arm twisted around, but it felt so good to touch her and feel her squirm against him, he didn't care.

She jerked and bit at his lower lip, as her hips pushed against his hand. "Still feel human to me," she said.

And so did she -- she felt human and warm and alive -- but the words also were a reminder, that no matter what they felt like, they weren't. They were different than human and they had a purpose in this life. That purpose wasn't to frak each other in janitorial closets or Raptors, no matter how wonderful it felt.

She felt his withdrawal before he moved his hands, and lifted her head back, to look into his eyes. "Damn it, Sam--"

He pulled his hands away from her, reluctantly. "I shouldn't."

She climbed off his legs to stand between the chairs. "That's not the same as 'don't want to.'"

"Obviously I want to," he answered shortly, glancing away, and zipped his flightsuit back up like it was armor to keep her away, or keep himself inside. "I've never not wanted to, Kara. But it's not that easy."

"Gods-damned toasters," she muttered but dropped back into her chair.

"Frakking monkeys," he muttered back, mocking her tone.

Her startled glance at his return insult was amusing enough, but then she let out a sharp disgruntled sigh that made him chuckle.

With more force than necessary, she slapped the video recording buttons. "There, we'll get plenty of footage to show them this time."

"Then we land?" he suggested. She shook her head.

"Not enough fuel to take off and jump back, unless you're sure the gods will take us back to the Fleet in only one jump."

"No," he answered, disappointed. "Too bad, though. Wish we had pictures to show them of the ground. I've seen a city," he said, remembering the vision of Kara there among the towers by the sea, "gardens… sunlight. I can't wait to see it for real."

"Soon enough," she promised. "And we'll bring the fleet back with us."

He looked away from the planet hovering in the distance with reluctance. "Let's head back; I don't want to get there too late."

"Afraid they'll do something reckless and stupid without you?" Kara teased.

"Actually, yes," he chuckled, a little ruefully. "But now I have the coordinates, too, so even if Roslin turns on us after all, I'll bring them here."

She gave him a mischievous smile. "Oh yeah? What if I don't want you to?"

He leaned back and placed one boot on the console and then crossed his ankles, folding his hands across his stomach, and grinned smugly. "Right. And who can summon Raiders without a wireless? What makes you think you can stop me?"

"Try me," she returned.

He pursed his lips, in deep consideration, and then allowed with teasing reluctance, "Hm, good point, you did come back from the dead. now that you're the only one who can..."

Instead of teasing back, she looked away, clenching her jaw as if she was fighting the urge to be sick.

"What is it?" he asked, dropping the pretense and leaning toward her in concern. "Kara?"

"Nothing." It was clearly not nothing, but then she said, "I have the coordinates for the first jump back. Check them and input. Let's go."

He glanced at her, wanting to persist, but held his tongue. It wasn't his place anymore, when he could be nothing more than her friend.


It hummed inside her. Not a song, but a strange knowing. She knew where it was - now behind them - and though she wanted to stay and it hurt to leave, she jumped them away from it.

She was annoyed by his pulling away, even though she knew she'd been the one to push the situation. For those few moments, kissing him with the planet beneath them, everything had felt right again. She'd felt like herself, like she belonged. Like she wasn't this imposter that might be leading them all to their deaths.

And then he had to go remind her that she might not even be real. No, it was a mistake. There was no death. I was just... But she didn't know. Maybe she was a Cylon, too, and she'd resurrected somehow; it wasn't as if Sam and Cottle were infallible. Sam had admitted he didn't understand what was going on. Or maybe she had never died at all. Maybe she'd been held prisoner by the Cylons for awhile, unconscious, and then released.

If that's true, then are you really a tool for the enemy? Are you leading the Fleet to its doom?

But Earth was real. Now she'd been there and she'd seen it. And Sam had seen it with her, so it was real. It wasn't a trap. Which made her feel better that maybe her knowledge of Earth was a good thing. Like when Sam had just known that New Caprica would turn bad, so she knew that Earth was where everyone had to go.

After their second jump, Sam's head suddenly snapped up, as if he heard something.

"Sam?" she asked, but he held up a hand to quiet her, listening intently.

"Something's wrong," he murmured and rubbed his arms as if he was cold. He frowned, lips parting as his eyes sank shut to a mere slits of concentration. "There's something here."

She glanced at the dradis, which was completely empty and felt a chill. "Cylons?"

"I don't know, maybe. I just feel…. We need to go."

Feeling distinctly creeped out, she hurried with the next coordinates and even though the engines weren't quite ready, she jumped them anyway, making a shorter jump to compensate.

He straightened and let out a breath when they'd jumped away. "Gone," he said with relief and shook himself. "It was like eyes on us."

"There was nothing on dradis," she said.

"I felt something," he insisted defensively, as if she was telling him he'd imagined it. "There was something there."

"I'm not saying there wasn't," she told him. "Just, whatever it was, there was nothing in range. What do you think it was?"

"Cylons make sense, I guess," he answered, but without the certainty that would've been comforting.

Not that the watcher being Cylons was good news, but it was better than imagining there were other things out there watching them in the darkness of space. "What else could it be?"

"This isn't science," he snapped in sudden irritation. "I hallucinate shit all the time. My brain's been skewered twice in the last day, so who the frak knows if it was real at all." He smacked the arms of his chair in a burst of temper. "I never know anything, until it's too frakking late."

She eyed him, until he let out a sigh and scrubbed a hand through his hair. "Sorry," he muttered. "Let's just go home. I'm sure it was nothing."

She didn't believe that for a second but she didn't argue. "Moody, aren't you?" she asked and shook her head. He didn't respond, so she plotted the next jump herself in silence. When she was done, intending to ask him if he was ready, he was pressing his temples with both hands.

"Hey, you okay?" she asked.

He took his hands away hurriedly as if caught doing something wrong, and shrugged like it was no big deal. "Headache."

She was less willing to buy the casual answer, when he'd flinched so guiltily. "Bad?"

"I'm used to it."

Which answered the question. "Caused by whatever you felt last jump?" she asked.

"By everything," he answered with a snort. "The Hybrid, the Hub, all of it. I don't think I'm supposed to do some of the things I do. Like I'm reaching through a crack in a wall to grab a live wire, and it burns me every time."

"Then stop doing it!" she told him tartly, shaking her head.

"I can't!" he flared, but then shrugged, looking weary. "I need this alliance; I have to do what I can to get peace. I…" his gaze wandered to the stars beyond the canopy window, and his voice sank to a murmur, "I have dreams where I hear Iris crying, and sometimes I know it's humans who have her, and sometimes it's Cavil, but it never matters because I know they're going to kill her and I can't get there in time."

"Oh, Sam…" she murmured, heart twisting with pity for him.

He ignored her softly spoken sympathy, and added, "I know it's just a nightmare, but it could still come true. I don't have a choice. I have to push deeper into that crack, chip away at it, and keep her as safe as I can."

"Sam…" she started, wanting to protest and tell him that he might be killing himself doing this. But he knew that. She swallowed hard, before reaching across the gap between the two seats to grab his arm. "You know there are people who'll protect her, right? I'd never let anything happen to her. Or Helo or Duck, or Barolay. Or all the Cylons on that baseship. You're not alone."

His eyes flicked to her as he forced a faint smile. "Thanks."

She didn't think he believed her. Or maybe he didn't believe that it would make a difference. But then, there was a lingering frown between his brows and drawn look at the corners of his mouth that said his head was still bothering him, so maybe that's all it was. "Why don't you rest? I can jump us back." Then uneasy with how heavy everything had gotten, she teased, "Without freaky Cylon superpowers."

"Says the woman who blew up with her ship and came back," he retorted.

She snorted. "Weak, Anders. Get some sleep."

Smiling he closed his eyes, while Kara took them back to the fleet, wondering what they'd find when they got there with their news.

Crossposted from DW There are comment count unavailable comments over there. Feel free to comment wherever.
noybusiness: capricaboomerwarheroesnoybusiness on March 14th, 2014 10:44 pm (UTC)
Good update!