Disclosure: I do not own the character of Gaff, nor anything having to do with Blade Runner- they are both the properties of Philip K. Dick. Likewise, I do not own any of the characters from the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica, which belongs to Ronald D. Moore.
Please see my Author's Note at the end of the story.
In the beginning, he wasn't sure what made him navigate his unit toward the Garden District.
Such a tony neighborhood was free of the hardcore crimes of New Los Angeles, or relatively so. Replicant misconduct was a thing of the past, since their deactivation, and other regular-day illegal incidents in the area went largely unreported.
Det. Edwardo Gaff guided his Spinner to the open on-street parking space, and squinted at the bright yellow sunlight as it filtered through the generations-old trees that lined the street. The air smelled sweet and clean as Gaff emerged from the vehicle, and he took a moment to enjoy the experience before locking the unit's door behind himself.
The sound of children's laughter carried on the gentle morning breeze, and it made the detective smile beneath his neatly trimmed mustache.
Of course, she was there– in the schoolyard, surrounded by her young students, and more beautiful than the day itself. The red dress she wore, complemented her hair perfectly.
This time, he stared a beat too long, and she caught sight of him. The teacher narrowed her eyes and tightened her smile, before speaking to one of her aides, passing off the children's charge to a young woman with dark brown hair.
Gaff swore carefully under his breath, as if he feared that she could hear him from across the distance of the schoolyard and street.
Gaff ducked behind a wide-trunked and aged tree, and pulled his hat down. He looked– and felt, like a naughty child, trying not to get caught after stealing cookies before dinner.
"I've seen you here before," the woman stated forcefully. "And you better have a frakking good explanation as to why you've been watching my students for the past month, or else I'll call the authorities and–"
His smile stopped her in mid-rant.
Gaff found it hard to believe that such a refined woman of her caliber would ever lower herself to use the City Speak curse word, frak, even though it was his favorite curse of choice.
"I am the authorities," he stated in Standard English, along with the flourish of his hat. "Madame."
The teacher stared wordlessly, at the ID badge produced right before her very eyes.
Gaff cleared his throat, drawing the teacher's attention back to him. He wasn't used to speaking properly, and he was more than a tad bit nervous to speak to such a learned and refined woman, such as herself.
"I was on a call one day, across the street... when I returned to my vehicle, I could not help but hear your children singing in the schoolyard. A song from my own small days." Gaff swallowed at the memories– both recent and old, and then softly added, "It was very moving."
The woman hummed audibly. "And who sang it to you? Your grandmother?"
"Yes. She was very special to me."
"Tsattie died when I was eight."
His blunt statement caught the teacher off-guard, and seemed to make her regret her previously suspicious retort. So much so, she could not help but feel the pain that flashed and burned in his eyes.
"So am I."
She hugged herself, as she too, knew such loss.
There had been others, over the years, but none so great, as that of the space that had inhabited her soul for her entire lifetime. Every joy that she'd ever felt, had been muted and diffused by an unseen sense of sorrow.
With one glance to the detective's unworldly blue eyes, she somehow knew that he had felt the same way himself.
She produced a tiny paper origami of a pink flamingo. "I found this on the schoolyard fence, yesterday. Did you make it?"
Gaff nodded, tipping his hat to her.
"We need to talk."
The teacher resisted to touch his arm, and nodded wordlessly, instead.
They made plans to meet at a neighborhood café, once the school day ended. Gaff knew the place well, as it was next door to an antique bookseller that he frequented often. Very few people read traditional books with pages anymore, reading instead from tablets or other digital and virtual means, but the detective cherished the old ways of ink and paper and bindings, which somehow made the words that more meaningful.
No doubt, the woman surely felt the same.
After turning in his service vehicle, Gaff returned to the Garden District via the Metro, and made his way to the planned meeting spot. He arrived a few minutes early, which allowed him to peruse the new book arrivals in the neighboring store.
Dark Day, by the author Prima, was among the detective's favorite titles. He bought it, instantly, hoping that the teacher would like it, too.
She arrived at the café not long after him. Gaff had just placed an order for coffee for two, along with a bit of something sweet. He wasn't normally inclined to such treats, but he knew that women often liked things such as cupcakes, so he selected two of the Red Velvet variety from the display case.
Dutifully, he rose upon seeing her.
"Thank you," she told him with slight breathlessness. "Please, sit. I apologize for being late, but one of my students–"
"Are they alright?" he cut in, just as the woman seated herself in the space opposite him.
She looked up at Gaff, and hummed as he finally sat. "Yes. Billy's mother was late to pick him up from school, and I didn't want for him to have to wait for her alone."
"It is never good to be alone when you are young."
"No, it isn't."
Several minutes passed, as they each drank their coffee in silence and tried not to appear that they were watching one another.
"This is for you," Gaff offered finally, along with his gifted book.
The teacher held it in her hands, as though it was a fine piece of china or other highly precious artifact. "Oh my– "
"Please, take it."
"I couldn't... this is far too–"
"I never lend books. They are always a gift."
Her eyes met his, and she nodded in acquiescence. "Thank you. I enjoy this author very much, but have never read this title before. I know that it is a classic, however."
Gaff nodded. "It is."
"I have a thing for mysteries."
"As do I."
She herself, was a mystery. Although the teacher obviously knew his name, after reading his police badge info, she had not identified herself by name or title, for that matter. That fact did not bother Gaff, as he assumed that she would tell him when she was ready.
His soul already knew, and that was enough.
They talked about books, and music, and politics, and sports.
She was a liberal, and enjoyed football.
He was a conservative, and liked baseball.
Both agreed that the current president was a moron– and that boxing, was by far the most entertaining sport of all.
Gaff told her of his need for using the cane that was constantly at his side, having been shot several times by an assailant at close range.
The teacher confessed to having successfully survived a brush with a wasting disease.
Eventually, a bottle of wine was ordered from their server, as well as a bit of savory food, as they continued to talk about everything and nothing. Neither he, nor she, wanted to end the shared moment between them.
When closing time came for the café, Gaff offered to walk the teacher home. At first she attempted to decline– not wanting him to have to make the distance on his gimpy leg, but when he told her that it would be no problem and that he feared for her safety on the dark streets, she believed him.
And to be honest, she liked the way his hand felt at her elbow.
Like it had always been there...
The teacher's brownstone was not far, and when they reached her gate, she invited him in.
Gaff nodded, and together they ascended the steps to the stately old building.
Her apartment was cozy, and warmly furnished– a far cry from the sparse and minimalist place that he called an abode.
There was a comfortable sofa that begged to be sat upon, and serene watercolors on the walls. Potted palms and other plants added life to the space, and there was a library's worth of books on one wall of shelves.
Sheepishly, Gaff huffed as he looked at his gifted tome in her hands.
"This one is already my favorite," she told him honestly.
And he believed her.
"We could start reading it... together..." Gaff suggested quietly.
The woman smiled like the Mona Lisa, then replied, "Yes, I'd like that very much."
She toed off her shoes, and hung up her coat along with his. He got rid of his shoes as well, along with his suit jacket and top coat.
"You wear too many layers," the teacher scolded him lightly, which caused him to blush.
He let her remove his vest, before they adjourned to the sofa.
They sat side-by-side, at first, as they took turns reading paragraphs out-loud. Eventually, they both stretched out on the cushions and spooned together, as he took over the reading duties.
It felt warm and good...
And very familiar...
"I should go," Gaff said as they came to the end of a middle chapter.
The teacher hummed in his arms, then turned to face him.
Outside, the night time rain had set in like clock-work, and it beat steadily against the living room windows.
"Do you ever feel as though that everything that has happened, in all your days and years, has been played out before? Perhaps the events are slightly different, people in your life, situations and so on, but the outcomes are the same?"
A sense of quickening ran through Gaff's body, and he felt the woman in his arms touch his face lightly, as to soothe him.
"Yes, many times. Have you?"
She nodded. "It's like we've been playing roles... trying to get the story right... over and over again..."
He sighed, inches from her lips. He'd wanted to kiss her from the moment he'd first laid eyes on her. They'd been together for half of a day, and he'd had many opportunities to do just that, but something always held him back.
But then it happened...
Ever so gently, he pressed his mouth to hers. Their joining lasted only a moment, but it felt like eons. Flashes of images, memories and senses tumbled together in his mind– and hers.
Was she a Replicant?
The teacher patted his chest, over his heart, and then she rose cat-like, from the sofa.
Gaff stood, and joined her.
They joined hands, and she led him to her bedroom. He went willingly and easily, leaving his cane behind near the sofa, for he no longer needed it– now that he was with her.
Once in the room, they lit a few candles before tearing at the bed cover and shedding the rest of their clothes.
She kissed the scar bisecting his chest, and he felt as though he'd died...
He buried his face in her neck, as her soft red waves fell around him...
Their joining was nothing short of a homecoming, and completion came with an explosion of everything long dreamed, and newly realized.
Meeting for the first-time, in the hallway of a battleship...
Sparing verbally, numerous times– once resulting in him throwing her in a jail cell...
There were numerous images of leaky tarps and tents, shared laughs and cigarettes, and always– always love. Even through the worst of times– sickness, addiction, mutiny, and even death, there was the deepest and most truest of loves.
She was as strong and beautiful as ever. Holding her in his arms, the worlds weary man smiled beneath his mustache, and uttered her name for the first time in forever.
She hummed and snuggled into him, silently thanking the gods for the moment's arrival. It had been seemingly forever, that she'd waited and searched, and then waited some more. There had been a glimmer, the first time that she'd seen him. It had scared her, as her soul had wanted this all to finally go right.
He'd looked slightly different, as he didn't wear glasses, and his eyes weren't nearly as dark of blue, than they should have been.
But it was him. It had always been him.
A/N: This is obviously a crossover between the movie Blade Runner, and the reimagined version of the TV series, Battlestar Galactica. Since it is not possible to post cross-over stories between Movie & TV genres, I posted it under Blade Runner in the Movie section of fics. The actor Edward James Olmos played both Gaff in Blade Runner, and Admiral William Adama in BSG, and once mentioned in an interview that he felt that BSG was like a prequel of sorts to Blade Runner. Those who are fans of Battlestar Galactica will know of the tragic love story between Bill and President Laura Roslin (played by Mary McDonnell), and this story is my attempt to reunite the couple in a happy ending. Thank you for reading, and hopefully enjoying!