Six Months Later—Cylon Occupied Caprica
Two Cylons stood on the top floor of the Governmental Center in Caprica City and looked out the window onto the street below as centurions attempted to disperse a mob of human-model protesters.
"This was already lurking beneath the surface; losing track of the fleet was merely a catalyst." A copy of Number Four stated. "Our own kind is lashing out against us. They've begun to reject our guidance, individualize instead of conform, and question whether our mission is truly righteous."
"Then that makes them heretics." A copy of Number Six responded. "We should deal with them accordingly."
Number Four laughed. "You want to box half of our population? Because that's what it'll come down to if we deal with them accordingly." He shook his head. "The discord is spreading like wildfire……..the war heroes carry a lot of weight."
"They're not war heroes. They're traitors." Six seethed glaring down to the chaos below them. "The Eight still insists on being called Boomer, and the Six—" She paused, her fingernails stinging as she dug them into her palm. "—is deluded by some misguided sense of love. I'm ashamed to be of the same model."
"The one who was known as Anders has now joined their movement." Four informed her.
"You can't be a traitor if you never accepted your true nature in the first place." He retorted. "He was so distraught when he realized what he was that he went through five bodies before he finally stopped killing himself every time we downloaded him. At least now he's found a purpose for his life."
"The purpose he's found goes against God's infallible design."
Four turned to her. "Then why doesn't God alter the design? Since it's obviously not as infallible as we'd once believed." He narrowed his eyes. "Maybe because he's not that infallible either?"
Her body trembled with anger. "I won't tolerate blasphemy in my presence, Number Four."
"Then you'd better get used to your life being intolerable." He hissed back at her. "The world that we built under the pretense of an all-knowing and perfect God is crumbling beneath our feet. We have slaughtered whole civilizations in his name, but what has he done for us lately?"
Her only answer was to look away.
"Promises haven't been kept." He looked back out the window. "Losing our chance to find Earth is just the latest in a long list."
"We could still find Earth. We could still find the fleet—"
"You have a glitch in your programming if you really believe that." He harshly interrupted her. "We.Will.Never.Find.Them." He punctuated each word for effect. "The new generation of God's chosen have been defeated by a ragtag fugitive fleet of less than fifty-thousand humans."
"We haven't been defeated." She disagreed with all her might. "Just because we lost the fleet, that doesn't mean the humans have beaten us."
"Many of the Cylons who have had the most direct contact with the humans have been permanently corrupted; the war heroes, Anders, Leoben……..even Number Thirteen, who was supposed to be the shape of things to come." He admitted sadly and shook his head. "Members of our own family have sympathized and identified with the humans to the point that they have turned against us."
"That's because humanity is a cancer infecting the universe. But God has made the Cylons the instrument of a cure." Six quoted her familiar mantra. "Our mission is not complete, and as long as Earth remains, as long as humanity remains……it never will be."
"Yes." Four told her through clenched teeth. "I've heard that old line from you many times, Number Six. Your model has never seemed to understand that repeating something over and over……..doesn't necessarily make it anymore true."
"So what, you're saying that instead of eradicating the humans, we should become more like them?" She questioned in indignation. "Adopt the patterns of civilization we found so perverse and caustic that we deemed their destruction necessary?"
"The humans are gone; they'll soon have a new life and a new home. And the harmonious existence the Cylons were supposed to have here on the Colonies is not turning out as promised." He rasped back, noticing blazes that were now burning in the windows of nearby buildings. "What I'm saying is that we need to focus our energy on repairing the worlds we took from them, instead of trying to wipe out the world that they escaped to."
She looked to the floor. "So we should give up?"
"It's illogical to continue to follow a plan we know to be flawed. The humans are our Achilles heel, so to speak." He chuckled mirthlessly. "And futilely trying to chase after them would just draw more attention to those flaws. We should cut our losses." He put a soothing hand on her shoulder. "After all, it's possible to survive cancer."
Number Six pressed her hand against the window and took in the skyline of the city. "Yes, but the tricky thing about cancer is that unless you eradicate it completely, it can always return to spread again…….stronger and deadlier than it was before."
"Yes, it can." Number Four sighed heavily, looking out onto the same scene. "And it sometimes does."
Kara stood in her kitchen and poured milk into a mixing bowl. "Sometimes I miss you so much that it feels like I can't breathe." She told the person standing next to her.
"How can you miss me, Mom?" Laura grinned, handing her a wooden spoon. "Whenever you wanna see me, I'm always gonna be right here."
Zak sat on the kitchen counter with Boy in his lap. "Why do we have to put the smelly stuff in the bowl?"
"Because that's what the recipe tells us to do." Kara replied, stirring the mixture.
"The smelly stuff is called yeast and it makes the cake rise." Laura explained further to her little brother as she poured sugar into a measuring cup. "If you didn't put it in, then the cake wouldn't be fluffy, and your birthday candles would fall over."
"Is five candles a lot?" Zak inquired, licking his finger and putting it in the sugar.
Lee got the eggs out of the refrigerator that was covered in Laura and Zak's drawings. "It is a lot. It means you're not a baby anymore." He winked at his son. "But you're still the littlest in our family."
"Nuh-uh." Zak licked the grains of sugar off his finger. "I'm gonna be five and Laura didn't even get to be two." His brow furrowed and he looked over at his father. "Doesn't that mean I'm older?"
"No." Lee began. "You see, Laura was special—."
"Aww, thank you, Daddy." Laura interrupted him, grinning widely.
Lee cracked the eggs into the bowl. "She grew up fast."
"Very, very, very fast." Laura chuckled.
"So you can't really measure it by how many candles she had on her cake."
"And it's not the length of time that matters, little boy." Kara yanked the cup of sugar away from Zak before he put his finger back in and poured it into the bowl. "Laura was born first, and you were born last, so you'll always be the littlest."
"But I don't wanna be the littlest." Zak pouted, crossing his arms in front of him.
"Yeah, yeah, I know." Laura pouted back at him as she took over stirring the bowl that Kara handed to her. "Sucks to be you."
Lee got the pan out of the cupboard and helped his daughter pour the mixture into it. "How long do we bake it for?"
Kara grabbed the pan and walked over to the oven, placing it inside. "Thirty minutes."
"Well," Lee wiped his hands and pointed at his son who was still sitting on the counter. "Since we did all the work, you get to wash the bowl and the spoons."
Zak pouted again. "You never make Laura wash the dishes."
Laura moved in front of him. "That's because being dead tends to get me out of kitchen-cleaning duty." She pinched his cheek and he playfully swatted her hand away. "But I'll still help……….just because I love you."
"And after that, it's time for your nap." Kara proclaimed as she gathered up the dirty cookware.
Zak scooted across the counter to the nearby sink and squeezed soap on the dishes that they dropped in. "Will you stay a little longer and tell me a story before you go, Laura?"
"Sure," His big sister replied, turning on the faucet. "Which one do you wanna hear?"
He looked up at her and grinned. "The one about you."
Lee grabbed Kara's waist and turned her around so that she was wrapped up in his arms. "You're covered in flour." He wiped the powder off her cheek and she giggled as he cupped her face with his hands. He leaned in and kissed her lips, then leaned back to speak to her again.
"Kara? Kara? Are you in here?"
The sound of Lee's voice broke through her dream and Kara awoke in her bedroom on Galactica.
She felt something nuzzling against her chest and lifted her head from the pillow to find Boy sprawled out on top of her. She smiled as the cat greeted her with a gentle purr and stretched out his legs.
"Do cats dream?" She asked him in response, rubbing behind his ears. "Were you just dreaming about her too?"
Lee appeared in the doorway of the bedroom. "I've heard of pregnancy making women crazy," He chuckled, unbuttoning his uniform jacket and tossing it on the end of the bed. "But if you really expect an answer from the cat, we might have a bigger problem than out-of-control hormones to deal with."
"Ha ha ha." She stuck her tongue out at him.
"How are you feeling?" He asked, sitting down on the bed with his back to her.
"Tired and a little nauseous." She answered honestly.
He took off his shoes and let them drop to the floor. "Are you taking the herbal supplements that Cally got you to help with the nausea?"
She sat up behind him and wrapped her arms around his chest, letting her hands drift under his tanks. "Yes."
He smiled to himself, but stilled her roaming fingers. "Are you actually taking them? Or are you just saying that you are so I'll leave you alone about it?"
She dropped her chin onto his shoulder and batted her eyes. "Isn't that the same thing?"
"Kara….." He admonished, turning to face her fully. "Cally had to go all the way to the Prometheus to get those for you."
"Well then I'll send her a thank-you fruitbasket or something, but I'm not taking them!" She removed her hands and flopped onto her back again. "They're disgusting, Lee. They're huge and they have this funky taste so every time I put them in my mouth, I want to throw up." She pouted up at him. "Which kinda defeats the purpose of me taking them in the first place."
Lee laid down, gently nudged the cat from his place next her, and molded himself against her side. "How's Zak doing today?" He spread his hand over Kara's expanded belly and gasped with excitement when a strong kick answered his question. "Whoa, pretty active, I'd say."
"Little brat." Kara groaned jokingly and laid her hand on top of his. "I'm running around like a crazy person all day, and he's sound asleep. But the second I lay down to take a nap, he's wide awake and flipping around like he's doing a field test on a new Viper."
Lee smiled and leaned down to kiss her bump. "You were asleep when I came in, how'd you get him to calm down?"
Kara snorted, running her fingers against his scalp. "I bribed him."
"You bribed our unborn son?" Lee laughed in disbelief. "How'd you do that?"
"I let Boy sleep with us." Kara told him seriously. "And Zak loves Boy."
Lee moved up to rest his head on the pillow next to her. "Just like Laura did."
Kara bit her lip and ran her finger down his face. "How was your session with Father Monseau?"
"Okay." He sighed, closing his eyes. "A year ago, if someone had told me that I'd be in twice-weekly counseling with a priest, I'd have told them that they were crazy." He took Kara's hand and entwined it with his. "But they're helping."
"I was dreaming about her." Kara whispered carefully, not wanting to upset him.
He opened his eyes. "The cake dream? About Zak's fifth birthday?"
Her eyes widened. "How did you…..?"
"I had it last night. It's a nice dream." He smiled tenderly and moved onto his back to stare up at the ceiling. "But do you think there's ever gonna be a day where we'll wake up and not miss her like crazy?"
"No." Kara answered without hesitation. She snuggled into the crook of his arm. "But it will get better."
"And you know this because you have faith."
"So do you." She told him, her eyes gleaming.
He kissed her temple. "Did I tell you Father Monseau is going to retire when we get to Earth?"
"Really?" Kara exhaled in surprise.
"He doesn't want to be stationed at a temple or monastery." Lee explained. "He wants to see it all. He says that by experiencing Earth firsthand, he will be offering higher praise to the gods than any prayer or service he's ever offered in his life."
"Nah," Kara deadpanned. "I think he's just sick of the heavy robes."
Lee laughed. "He'll stay with the order long enough to do Zak's confirmation of faith, though."
"I hope we reach Earth by the time Zak's born." Kara admitted. "It'd be nice if that could be the only home he's ever known."
"We'll be cutting it close." Lee told her, putting a gentle hand back on her belly. "But I think we can do it. After all, we've got three more months to make it happen."
Kara smiled and closed her eyes, letting out a contented sigh. "Yeah, three more months."
Okay, there it is: the fic that ate away at my brain and consumed a good portion of my life. The reason I wrote this story was because I always had fun doing so, and because I couldn't get the idea out of my head. My only hope when I began was that a few people would enjoy it and let me know that they did. I could never have imagined the lovely response that I got, and it is truly appreciated.
I never claimed to be anything other than a total amateur, so I want to thank all of you for putting up with this massive (seriously, what was I thinking with over 150,000 words?) fic throughout all of it's mistakes, and just opening your minds to the wacky idea of this story—which by the way, will NEVER happen on the show! Gotta love me some AU.
I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Thanks a bunch.