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19 August 2007 @ 03:28 pm
Fic: A Consensus of Two  
WOOT! Look at me, finishing another of the fics on my eyes-only To Do Sticky list!

BSG fic
Characters: Sam and Sharon
Pairings: Helo/Athena, Kara/Anders
Spoilers: Through 3.20.

Summary: Friendship sometimes takes an unexpected turn.

Notes: This takes place immediately after "Crossroads P.2" All speculation/probable AU.

Sequel to Acceptance , but stands on its own.

"You left her behind!" Apollo's voice was loud in the admiral's office, and Sharon wanted to be with her own child, not witness to yet another Adama family spat.

The battle was over, with not too many losses. Galactica had expended most of its arsenal to give the Fleet a chance to jump and then followed to safety.

She stood next to Helo, and they were both trying to pretend they weren't there.

"You were in a Viper, without authorization," the Admiral said, coldly. "You ignored all the orders to return. You were a civilian in a fighter -- you're lucky I don't throw you in the brig for hijacking."

"I saw Kara!" Lee insisted again. "I saw her. Flying next to me! She spoke on the wireless-- "

The admiral grunted and turned to Helo abruptly, cutting Lee off. "There was nothing on the dradis, right, captain?"

Helo looked only at the senior Adama. "No, sir. Only Major Adama's ship, but we had only limited dradis range so --"

Sharon didn't know why he was defending Apollo's fantasy, but she was taken back when the admiral fixed his gaze on her. "Lieutenant, you had better range. Did your Raptor pick up any identified Vipers flying in Mister Adama's vicinity?"

She inwardly winced at the civilian reference, thrown at Apollo's face. Her eyes cut to him, seeing the hope there, and she found she couldn't take any pleasure in her quiet words. "No, sir."

"Very well. Thank you, Lieutenant. Dismissed. Captain, you're back on station in CIC."

"Yes, sir," she and Helo echoed each other and left the Adamas to deal with each other. She thought briefly of Hera and hoped no such estrangement would ever come between them. Then one corner of her mouth lifted, remembering that she had a far more serious estrangement from her 'family'.

Karl stopped in the corridor and frowned at her. "Do you think it's possible? Somehow? I mean, Apollo's not exactly the most imaginative guy.... maybe he saw something."

She looked into his face and saw only his reluctance to let go of his friend. He didn't really believe Lee, either. She took his hand in hers and squeezed. "I know you want her back, babe," she murmured. "So do I. But whatever Apollo saw, it wasn't Kara."

He shook his head a little. "I don't know..." he paused, and his mouth worked, trying to find words. "I keep thinking about how she saw that symbol and what Leoben said, and how Anders was so sure she was coming back --"

"First of all, everyone knows that Leoben is crazy. All of them," she said, tartly enough to make Karl's mouth twitch in a smile. "Ask Caprica, she'll tell you. And second --" her momentary humor evaporated. "Sam's in even more denial than you."

Karl snorted sourly, "In so much denial he's frakking Tory."

She raised her brows at him, surprised by his lack of sympathy.. "You don't think he cares enough? Because that's not what I see. He's trying to find her, by being her, Karl. In everything."

He sighed and granted her the point with a nod. "I know, I know. But I look at them, and it's just so ... wrong. I keep thinking Kara's going to come in the bar and see them, and go drag Sam off to the corner..." He trailed off sadly, and added, "It's not fair, Sharon. They were happy again."

She nodded her understanding. "I know." She'd asked Sam to babysit Hera a few times during the worst of things between him and Kara. Hera remembered him from Caprica and he was one of the few people to get her to smile. They had seemed to help each other.

Karl sighed again, before leaning down and kissing her. "I've got to get to CIC and relieve the colonel. Give Hera a kiss for me."

She turned the other way and went to get Hera from Hiccup's wife Selene, who watched Hera while the Agathons were on duty.

Hera didn't speak, but she clutched Sharon and rested her head on Sharon's shoulder. Sharon closed her eyes and kissed Hera's head, nuzzling her soft hair for a moment, before leaving for their quarters.

"Daddy has work tonight," she murmured to Hera. "So it'll be just you and me for dinner. All the scary blackouts are over, sweetheart, and everything's okay again."

Hera's little arms tightened around her neck, and she let out a little sigh that made Sharon smile with pure love and gratitude to God that her little girl was home. She knew it was going to take more time for Hera to adjust -- again -- to being in a new place with new people, but she finally seemed to understand she was home. Someday, hopefully soon, she'd say the word that Sharon longed to hear.

Her smile broadened realizing that Hera was humming little snatches of a tune. Selene Burke had been a teacher on both old Caprica and new, and she had been using music to try to get Hera to express herself, even while she wouldn't speak.

When Hera seemed to have stopped, Sharon said, "That was a pretty song, Hera. Did Miss Selene sing it with you today?"

Hera shook her head and squirmed in Sharon's arms, trying to get down. Sharon let her slide down to the floor and took her hand. Hera knew they were almost to their quarters, and she "helped" to open the hatch, skipping inside.

Then she stopped so abruptly Sharon nearly stepped on her. "Honey, what is --"

But she had no need to finish the question. Sam Anders was sitting on the couch, slumped over, head clutched in his hands. He didn't move, though he must have heard the door.

As the first rush of startlement at someone unexpected in her quarters faded, anger took its place, wondering if he was drunk again. But the anger never made it out of her mouth, replaced by worry. Something was wrong. As terribly as he had taken Kara's death, he had never sought Sharon or Karl out for help, not like this. "Sam?" she asked, moving forward, past Hera. "Are you all right? Is this about Kara?" she asked, wondering if he'd heard the story of Lee's vision and that's what had broken him up.

He let out a single bitter laugh and shook his head. "Sharon -- " He looked up finally, and she gasped at the shattered expression: anguish and despair in those usually bright eyes. "Why didn't you tell me?"

"Tell you what?" she asked.

But he didn't have a chance to answer as Hera rushed to him. Sharon watched, hoping Hera would cajole him into a better mood.

She put her hand on his knee, and he flinched away. "No, Hera," he said hoarsely, "No, you shouldn't touch me, you shouldn't even be here. I shouldn't be here -- What if I -- " he stumbled up to his feet, stepping gracelessly aside to avoid Hera, his gaze turning about wildly. "I've put you in danger. I've --"

Suddenly Hera spoke, her voice clear and piping as though she'd been talking for years, "The hour is getting late."

Sharon had looked down at Hera, shocked she was speaking and confused by the strange words. Her confusion grew when Sam reacted as though he'd been shot. He froze, looked down at Hera, and then collapsed back onto the sofa.

Hera approached again, her head cocked to the side to look at him, soberly but not with fear. "It's okay," she said.

Sharon's gaze swung between Sam and Hera, trying to understand. She knelt beside Hera and put a hand on her shoulder. "Hera, sweetie, I'm glad you're speaking. But I don't understand."

Hera turned her head and smiled at Sharon. "He's like you, Mama."

At first she heard only the 'mama' and her eyes pricked with tears, as she bit her lip as an intense feeling spread through her chest, welling upward. Hera had finally said "mama."

But the joy dimmed abruptly, realizing what else she had said. 'Like you' A Cylon? Was that what she meant? But what else could it be? Where had she got that idea?

She shook her head, "But -- Hera, no, honey. That can't be. I know all of the different models, and --"

Her voice faltered when Hera shook her head once, firmly. Her eyes seemed so knowing suddenly.

Not the Five, a little voice in the back of her head that sounded a lot like Leoben's murmured. You don't know the Five. Where have they been? What are they? Who are they?

"It's true," Sam's voice was raw. He stared at his hands, which were gripping his knees so tightly it had to hurt. "Something happened. When we got to the nebula. We heard this ... music... nobody else did. And when we came together, we knew."

"We?" she repeated softly, but he ignored her.

"We knew," he repeated in a harsh whisper and shut his eyes. "Everything's for nothing. It's all a lie."

"No," she said, not sure what she was denying. She shared some of Sharon Valerii's memories and terrible shock of finding out that she wasn't human. She didn't want Sam to fall into that pit of despair. But she was reeling herself.

Sam was a Cylon?

Was it true? If Sam was a Cylon then he had to be one of the Five. And that meant...

She had no idea what that meant. She could barely breathe, she was looking at him so intently. She had never believed the Five actually existed. They were mythical, created so the numbers of Cylon models would equal the Lords of Kobol. So she had thought, but now she knew she was wrong.

The Five were real.

It was either the most wonderful or the most terrifying thing she had ever discovered.

Her mind frantically darted through her memory, trying to find every scrap of information she had ever learned about the Five. There was so little, only whispers and dreams, and cryptic words from the Hybrid. Sharon knew more about the Humans' religion than her own kind.

What did this mean?

Hera answered in the voice of an oracle, not a child: "The five reject the one who fell from a high place, seeking to make himself the only one. They stand between the children of the fallen one and their makers. The children will only find the Thirteenth Tribe if the Five stand beside them."

For a moment, there was no sound in the room, but her own heartbeat and Sam's harsh breathing.

Hera replaced her hand on Sam's knee and gazed into his face. "It's time."

He shuddered, took a deep shaky breath, and finally lifted his eyes to hers. "I know," he whispered.

She smiled at him, holy and pure, and then scrambled up into his lap and twined her little arms around his neck. After a moment's hesitation, his arms went around her, large hands on her back. He shuddered again and let out a long breath, eyes closing with a more peaceful expression.

Sharon's vision flashed with another image -- Hera running through the opera house, up the long aisle, to stop below the balcony where five faceless beings of light stood. She looked up at them, her small face lit with their radiance.

The dread Sharon had felt before drifted away, and she made no move toward them, now understanding that her fear had blinded her to the meaning. Hera was in no danger. They were together, a part of the same whole.

The vision faded, leaving Sharon stunned, as though everything inside her had melted under the pressure of everything she was being forced to process.

"Want Muffy, Mama," Hera asked, breaking into her reverie with a tug on her trouser leg.

Sharon roused, blinking. "Muffy?" she repeated blankly.

"Muffy," Hera repeated impatiently, and pointed at the stuffed daggit in the far corner of her bed.

Wondering if this was how Centurions felt, aware and thinking but unable to do anything but obey, Sharon automatically stood and fetched the bedraggled creature for Hera. The little girl made it bark and dance on the top of the credenza, as though she hadn't just prophesied the fall of gods and the finding of Earth.

Sharon sank down into the couch next to Sam and she stared across the room.

After a moment, he murmured, "I don't understand anything."

Realizing that as little as she knew it was still more than he knew, she took a deep breath. "I've always known there are twelve models of humanoid Cylons. But I've only ever seen seven of them. I wasn't sure the other five even existed. We call them the Final Five -- and all I know about them is that they didn't take part in the attack on the Colonies. And they're different from the rest of us."

"Different? Different how?"

"I don't know," she admitted. But with Hera's words, she had an unsettling thought that the Five rejected God as the one who had brought war and death to Kobol. Could that be true - the Cylon God was the same one whose name was not spoken from the first exodus?

She felt intensely cold inside and reached for Sam's hand blindly. Her hand gripped his, and he felt human to her. She could touch another Cylon, another Eight or Six or any of them, and she could sense them.

"Even knowing, I can't feel a difference," she murmured, and turned his hand over so their hands touched palm to palm. He watched what she was doing, a little curiously, but eyes still bleak as though she was cataloging all the ways he was different. She held her breath to concentrate and try to reach his system pathways. But this was just like touching Helo. She could sense his body heat and the movement of blood and electricity in his neurons, but there were no Cylon systems. "Nothing. Sam, are you sure?"

He nodded, gaze fixed on their joined hands. "It was like a switch. Everything changed. And I know."

She withdrew her hand and bit her lip. "Then you're very different from me. Because I can't find the transmitter that allows us to download our consciousness. It may work differently in you, or .." She stopped, not wanting to say it. It was just too strange -- how could he be a Cylon and not be able to download at death?

Sam finished for her. "I won't resurrect."

"Maybe not."

"Good," he said, surprising her.

"How can it be good?" she asked. "Your knowledge, everything you are, can be lost, Sam. All your memories."

"Maybe they should be." He glanced at Hera, who was now curled on the rug beneath the table with Muffy. "If death has no meaning, neither does life."

The words seemed to echo in her head, sparking some faint memory of the same words, spoken before.

His gaze met hers, and for a moment they just looked at each other in silence. Then his lips curved upward faintly. "I've said that before. Or another me, or however it works."

She nodded once. "Yes. I think..." she paused, unable to quite articulate what she was thinking. It was all so enormous. "I don't know. But I think you're here to help them, Sam. Something happened in that nebula -- you woke up, and Lee saw a vision of Kara. The vision claimed to know the way to Earth. I think ... the Lords of Kobol or God or someone is taking an active part in all our destinies." Her gaze went again to Hera, who was wrapping a long ribbon around the head of her toy with the intensity adults reserved for battle. A child but not a child -- for a moment Sharon felt a twinge of rage that her child should be the one singled out and marked as special. But it was too late for that, and had probably been too late from the moment she and Helo had fallen in love.

"So what happens now?" Sam asked.

"I don't know," she answered, shaking her head, turning to look at him. "I'm as much at the mercy of all this as you."

"No, I meant, are you going to tell anyone? Adama? Roslin? What you know about me?" he asked. His voice was level and calm, but his fingers were gripping the loose fabric of the couch in a tight grip.

She should. She'd sworn the oath, and she should inform Adama that there was another Cylon aboard Galactica. But if she told Adama, Sam would go to the brig and he'd be interrogated. Possibly tortured and airlocked if Roslin had her way.

Glancing again at Hera, the vision flashed through her mind again of Hera standing on Kobol with the Five, and then the simple memory of the two of them hugging, and she knew she couldn't do it. "No. I'm not going to tell them."

"But what if I'm like Boomer, with that programming in me, to harm the fleet? We don't know that I don't," he protested.

"I think we do," she answered and pointed toward Hera. Sam followed her gaze and he still looked resistant, but less so after seeing her. "Even if she didn't trust you, there's plainly something bigger than all of us happening. There are prophecies about the Five -- and you need to be free and alive to fulfill them."

"And if you're wrong, and all this mystical stuff is a cover for some sneaky plan to destroy the fleet?" he asked.

She considered it, trying to imagine Sam assassinating Roslin or blowing up Galactica in a Cylon-programmed fugue. But the images would form only reluctantly. They seemed terribly wrong. "Then we are all frakked anyway," she answered, with a flash of wry humor. He smiled back reflexively. The humor passed though and she inhaled a careful breath to explain. "Look, the only reason I would say anything is because of my oath as a member of the Fleet, not because I think you're any danger to it. I don't. And maybe I'm betraying the uniform by not telling the admiral, but I think ... no, I feel that I would be betraying Hera by betraying you. I won't do that."

That was the reason she gave, and she meant it, but she also remembered Sam trusting her and being her friend, well before she had earned it from anyone except Helo. Cylon or no Cylon, Sam was her friend.

He nodded and straightened, the despair and anguish washing from him like water, leaving only strength and determination behind. "Then we wait," he said with the barest suggestion of a question.

She nodded. "We wait. I don't think we'll have to wait very long."

His large hand came down over hers, where it rested on the seat, and squeezed gently. "No. Whatever it is, it's coming soon. We just have to be ready and do what's right."

Sharon glanced at Hera, who had stopped playing with her stuffed daggit, and was watching them with a smile and shining eyes.

Sam didn't seem to notice. When he got to his feet, she did too, and his arms went around her in a tight hug. She meant to give him reassurance, and yet the very human sound of his heart under her ear reassured her and filled her with peace. She was confident that she had made the right choice, believing in him. They would find out where this destiny would lead them all, together.

She wasn't the only Cylon ally of the humans anymore. Though she had grown into her individuality, she was Cylon enough to be glad she wasn't alone.

Tags: ,
Twillingvangor: sixbaltarfalconsoko on August 19th, 2007 11:47 pm (UTC)
This is the best "hey I'm a cylon!" fic that i've read yet.
lizardbethlizardbeth_j on August 20th, 2007 04:40 am (UTC)
thanks! the idea of a "hey I'm a cylon" genre is v. funny. :)
(no subject) - ethnotechno on September 5th, 2007 03:50 pm (UTC) (Expand)
entertaining in a disturbing way: anders starbuck mk2lyssie on August 20th, 2007 12:59 am (UTC)

I remember asking for the other side of Acceptance long long ago, and here it is. And it's as poignant and telling as the other was. The Cylons aren't just black and white, they're all of the colors of the rainbow and there's no easy answer to any of the questions they pose.

The use of Hera is scary, but makes sense (scary in that small children should not have all of the plans of the universe writ into their skulls).

Now you need to write Kara returning. *nods*
lizardbeth: Anders - no shirtlizardbeth_j on August 20th, 2007 04:45 am (UTC)
*whines* It wasn't THAT long ago (ok, it was June...)

Yeah, Hera is a wee bit freaky, isn't she? There's more under that cute head than we've been told yet, for sure.

hm, will think about it. You want that, or OT4, or Shadow in the Pattern next? heh. maybe I should make a poll...

Thank you!
(no subject) - lyssie on August 20th, 2007 04:49 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - lizardbeth_j on August 20th, 2007 04:54 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - (Anonymous) on August 20th, 2007 12:02 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - lyssie on August 20th, 2007 09:33 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - lizardbeth_j on August 20th, 2007 10:44 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - raincitygirl on August 20th, 2007 05:44 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - lizardbeth_j on August 20th, 2007 05:56 am (UTC) (Expand)
weissmanweissman on August 20th, 2007 01:08 am (UTC)
She wasn't the only Cylon ally of the humans anymore. Though she had grown into her individuality, she was Cylon enough to be glad she wasn't alone.
I actually think this is going to happen, one way or another.

lizardbeth: Agathonslizardbeth_j on August 20th, 2007 04:48 am (UTC)
well, it's already kind of true that she's not alone, counting Caprica. But it's spreading and no doubt will continue to spread. As much as I bitch about his faults, Ron has done a really good job of showing the cracks in the Cylon regime. And I have the strong feeling the Five are going to accelerate that process.
(no subject) - weissman on August 20th, 2007 11:03 am (UTC) (Expand)
captain capricious: bsg:heloandsharoncynthia_arrow on August 20th, 2007 02:28 am (UTC)
This desperately needed writing, and it works beautifully, how Sharon--of course!--handles his fears. I really love the two of them together; it's nice to think of them as allies in a deeper sense now. Thanks for sharing this. :)
lizardbeth: Anders - no shirtlizardbeth_j on August 20th, 2007 04:55 am (UTC)
oh thanks muchly. :) they are such an interesting pair to write.
Mayhem Parvaraincitygirl on August 20th, 2007 02:59 am (UTC)
Well done! Very nice Sam/Sharon interaction, and a good exploration of how those two in particular would cope with such news. Hera being an oracle freaked me the hell out, though! Having her prophesy and then demand her dolly was great, as was Sharon's line about Centurions. And I liked how Helo and Sharon interpreted Sam's post-Kara's-death behaviour differently.
lizardbeth: Helo - Anderslizardbeth_j on August 20th, 2007 05:09 am (UTC)
thanks. :D Poor Hera -- curly-headed adorable prophet, freaking everybody out, even her own mom.

And heh, Helo and Sharon are just echoing the viewing audience's reactions to Sam/Tory (not counting the OMG!HAWT people).
(no subject) - sabaceanbabe on August 22nd, 2007 07:46 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - lizardbeth_j on August 22nd, 2007 10:02 pm (UTC) (Expand)
shara50: nakedshara50 on August 20th, 2007 03:21 am (UTC)
This was a terrific telling of Sam as a Cylon. The emotions, feelings and going to Sharon work so well, and this whole story make me ache so much more for Sam.
lizardbeth: Anders - cross outlizardbeth_j on August 20th, 2007 05:11 am (UTC)
thank you! :D Poor Sam. But at least he has a friend willing to help.
patron saint of neglected female charactersrose_griffes on August 20th, 2007 03:27 am (UTC)
Ooooh, interesting ideas! I really like your progression of Sam here, newly cylonified (heh). Nicely done.
lizardbeth: Anders - shirtlizardbeth_j on August 20th, 2007 05:33 am (UTC)
cylonified? I like it! :)

agathons_fan: 8agathons_fan on August 20th, 2007 04:37 am (UTC)
Yay for new fic.

I found it very interesting.I really liked Sam and Sharon's friendship. This fic made me think about Sharon/Sam shipping and Im a little freaked out cause Im a Helo/Sharon shipper.

I thought the Hera thing was kinda wierd,a good kinda wierd, but still wierd.

I want Sharon to find out about Chief. I want the Chief to come to Sharon next. That'll be a good fic to :P
lizardbeth: Sharonlizardbeth_j on August 20th, 2007 05:35 am (UTC)
take a deep breath and say "They're just friends." H/S are okay. ;)

hee,you are more likely to get Sam/Sharon than you are Sharon and Chief from me. I like Tyrol a lot, but he doesn't 'talk' to me.


(no subject) - agathons_fan on August 20th, 2007 10:59 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ethnotechno on August 27th, 2007 11:48 am (UTC) (Expand)
mamaboolj on August 20th, 2007 01:24 pm (UTC)
Fantastic take on this. I am so glad you decided to finish this one. I am totally intrigued by their possible friendship and how the four are going to respond to this. And Hera going from silence to full sentences and then being a child again. Very nice.

Thanks for giving us some stuff to chew on...January is still so far away and I hope they come up with ideas as interesting as this.
lizardbeth: Agathonslizardbeth_j on August 20th, 2007 07:20 pm (UTC)
thank you. It's been mostly done for awhile - I dithered over the Final Five metaphysics, since I figure most of it's going to end up wrong, but then decided I'm not writing canon anyway, so what difference does it make? Sometimess a little too wrapped up in canon for my own good I think.

It will not surprise me at all if Hera does end up talking like a grown-up, if not an oracle, though. Something's up with her besides the symbolic value of her existence. But we're gonna wait so long to find out!
aurelianneaurelianne on August 20th, 2007 02:52 pm (UTC)
Thanks for this fic !
I like the fact Sam trust in Sharon he tell her the truth. Baby Hera is so cute ^^
lizardbeth: Helo - Anderslizardbeth_j on August 20th, 2007 07:21 pm (UTC)
You're welcome! :D
hoolia goolia: Anders & Helo - team sexyboom_queen on August 20th, 2007 07:29 pm (UTC)
Totally awesome. I love your Sam fics, and this was particularly poignant and good. Hera-the-oracle-child was unexpected (and kind of reminded me of the strangely prescient sister/child in Dune, can't remember her name...), but I really love the Sharon/Sam interaction. The sympathy between them and the understanding of difference between the 7 and the 5. Very cool.
lizardbeth: Tahmoh - Truccolizardbeth_j on August 20th, 2007 10:38 pm (UTC)
Alia! yes, I didn't think of it, but exactly. Hopefully Hera was less creepy (cuz man, Little!Alia freaks me out). But she's got that same weird mystical awareness thing.

Thank you! :)
The Proverbial Bull in a China Shop...: Sam and Sharonsabaceanbabe on August 22nd, 2007 07:42 pm (UTC)
*happy sigh*

The only problem I have with this fic is that I want more. :D

Hera suddenly talking in fully formed, adult sentences was very creepy. I love it. And I love the humming. And "Muffy." Heh. Nice nod to the old school.

Reading this, I could feel everything churning and coalescing in the background, beneath the fic itself, and that is an awesome thing in a fic. It just feels right and it feels like a seque into season 4.

lizardbeth: Trucco- lucky carlizardbeth_j on August 22nd, 2007 10:18 pm (UTC)

Muffy the daggit - I couldn't resist. :) I love tossing Old Skool references in where I can.

And of course Hera is humming "All along the Watchtower", which would be much clearer and even creepier, if this was filmed.

I'd love for this to really happen (though I'm dubious). More Sam and Sharon buddy-ness would be awesome.
mrsdrjacksonmrsdrjackson on December 25th, 2007 05:50 pm (UTC)
Ooooh, this is excellent! And Hera is scary.

More please? :P
lizardbeth: Anders - gunlizardbeth_j on December 26th, 2007 05:32 am (UTC)

Hera is a wee bit spooky, isn't she? She's totally gonna be talking when we pick up in S.4, I'm convinced. Hopefully not quite like this, though...

And thanks for digging back in the archive! It's always so fun to get comments on old stuff. LJ stories generally have such a short shelf-life.
(no subject) - mrsdrjackson on December 26th, 2007 11:42 am (UTC) (Expand)