NOTES: This was a request for a ficathon, the requirements are listed at the end and the pairing was not my choice. It's a little unusual, but I hope you like it.
Want And Have
Want and have. It's all the same to some people.
It starts with an argument - with a pilot too eager to get out into space.
Frakking flight jockeys.
The guy really gets into his face about it, too. Nearly sticks his face into the space between Chief Tyrol's head and the report he's studying on the board. "What the frak do you mean my Viper's not going out with the next patrol?"
Galen Tyrol glances up at Jesse 'Black Knight' Forge briefly, then dismisses him with the authority of a man who knows his Vipers - and how to get them off the ground. "One of your mains is leaving an emission signature that could turn bad the next time you need to do a sharp turn in the black, and the second isn't looking that hot."
Forge hardly steps back. "So get it fixed! You're the deck crew!"
This time, the look is sharper. He reminds himself that Forge is one of the new recruits. Second wave, another farm-boy turned hotshot pilot, and still caught up in the whole 'glamour of being a Viper pilot'. Privately, Tyrol thinks it's amazing that anyone could still be caught up in it. It's pretty terrifying to Tyrol, and he only fixes the damn Vipers after they come in after a fight.
That's close enough to the action for him.
"It'll take a whole shift to get it fixed," he says with the stoic calm that's seen him through a lot of situations. "I can get someone on it now, but it won't be fixed in the..." he checks his watch, "four hours between now and the next patrol."
He turns and begins to walk away, planning to give this one to Cally, maybe work on it himself a bit. They need every Viper they can get out there.
Forge steps in front of him. "Do you know how few pilots there are? Do you know how thin we're spread?"
"Yeah," he says, holding back his irritation. "I know.
"Then you get my Viper in the air!"
Want and have.
Enough is enough. He can work with idiots, he just chooses not to. Tyrol slaps the board against Forge's chest with enough force to send the man back a step before he digs in his heels.
"I know how thin the pilots are spread," he says. He's done the math, he speaks with the CAG on a regular basis since the technical reports on the Viper systems go to Apollo for checking off. "I also know how thin your atoms are gonna be spread if you take that into combat and a Cylon raider gets your tail." The anger fumes within him, but it's a focused anger, cold in his belly and chest. "You want to hang your ass out in space, that's between you and the gods. But it's my job as Chief to make sure that doesn't happen - and I'm going to do my job."
"Is there a problem here?" Apollo's voice is calm and polite, but it's got an edge to it.
Tyrol isn't worried about the edge. "Only with the lieutenant's Viper, sir. It won't be ready for the next patrol."
"I'll have to sit out," Forge said, oozing frustration.
The CAG glances at Tyrol who nods. "Then you'll have to sit it out," Apollo says. "If the Chief doesn't think it should be taken out, I wouldn't fly it." The tone of voice is courteous but there's steel lurking beneath the courtesy. He arches a query at the pilot. "Any other problems?"
"No, sir." Judging by the stiff salute the man gives him, there are still problems. He's just not going to mention them here. But as he stalks off in the direction of the rec room, Tyrol's ears pick out the muttered sneer, "Guess we can't all frak toasters for fun."
Captain Adama stiffens, but Tyrol waves his hand in a short dismissal. "Not worth it, sir."
Blue eyes narrow for a moment, but all he says is, "I'll have a word with the pilots."
That the captain thinks it's worth taking up is comforting, but unnecessary. Tyrol's gotten used to the slurs by now: after what Sharon did to the Commander, he's surprised they haven't made it more difficult for him. As it is, the deck crew aren't quite treating him as though he was a Cylon.
They're just treating him as though he frakked one.
Which he did.
Apollo clears his throat. If he has issues he doesn't show them to the man who frakked the Cylon who tried to kill his Dad - and Tyrol appreciates that. "Do you need any help on the Viper?"
"No, sir," Tyrol says. "I'll get Cally to work on it." She's got a good feel for the engines - and she's worked on Forge's Viper before.
Besides, there are a few issues he should work out for himself.
The captain nods and walks away.
He's getting used to the storeroom and the way the light spills down over everything, the harsh gleam of sweat on her bare skin. Everything has a blurred quality, too much light, an over-stimulation of his senses as he pushes her against the wall.
She's soft and warm, but hardly pliant. Her hips thrust against his, and her mouth is hungry against any part of him she can reach - forehead, eyelids, cheekbones, nose. Tenderness isn't for them. They want and have and want and have, a rhythm that matches each shove against the wall.
He's grateful that she killed Sharon.
It's not an easy thing to admit to in his mind, let alone in his mouth.
Cally spent thirty days in the brig at the Commander's judgement. It would have been longer if Sharon hadn't been a Cylon.
The thought spears into his brain, like a piece of shrapnel tearing through the engine of his mind. He held her in his arms and she felt human. She looked human, smelled human, tasted human, frakked like any woman he'd ever known - and they couldn't have all been toasters.
Now she's dead - and he's grateful for it.
He's grateful that Cally killed Sharon.
There's a wrongness to the thought that goes beyond even the woman who now waits in the cell that was built to hold another version of her. The wrongness goes beyond the child she claims to carry - Lieutenant Agathon's child, if it can be believed.
Tyrol doesn't know what to believe. Anger churns inside him, hatred and bitterness. Don't you talk to me. Don't you come near me. Don't touch me. Jealousy clenches his gut, regret and guilt. I love you, Chief. I remember you. It's good to see you.
He blocks out the feelings. They're too confusing right now and he's got a job to do.
The deck crews eye him as he walks past them to Forge's Viper. He's getting used to the glances and measuring looks; getting used to ignoring them. Suspicion was a new beast a few weeks ago. It's a familiar companion now, even if it stings.
Only Cally treats him the same.
Cally goes about her duty as routinely as any specialist who's been part of Tyrol's deck crew for years. She knows what her job is and she does it. Her actions in killing Sharon have made her both a hero and a bit of a talking point. She defended him so fervently that a comment tossed off by one of the guys has become a rumour around the decks: maybe Lieutenant Valerii wasn't the only person the Chief was frakking.
As he crosses the deck, Tyrol supposes that he laid himself open to the rumours when he frakked the Lieutenant. What was harmless when the Galactica was a museum was unacceptable in wartime.
Cally did nothing more than show loyalty to a colleague.
She's working on Forge's Viper now, a grease-smudge on her cheek where she pushed away a stray bit of hair. Small fingers move neatly across the engine components, testing and tweaking as they go, and she's humming to herself.
Tragedy, turmoil, chaos, crisis... Life goes on.
And Tyrol finds himself watching Cally.
He resents that his life has become public notice since Sharon shot the Commander, that everyone knows that he was frakking the enemy. Kindness is a rare thing these days. A lot has happened, people are suspicious, and they cling to the certainties they know. Unfortunately, no-one knows who the next Cylon will be.
At least Cally doesn't treat anyone differently. She's willing to believe until belief is overturned. In the meantime, suspicion is rife - especially about Tyrol.
He ignores it. Mostly.
She glances up. "Chief, take a look here." One oil-smeared hand holds up the tube that runs from the tank to the engine. There's a slight shadow on the inside of the tubing. Gingerly, Tyrol runs his finger along the inner rim of the fuel line. The greasy smear of telium is marred by faint touches of grit that shouldn't be there. "Either something's leaking into his combustion system, or someone doesn't like him much." She grins up at him. "Although that wouldn't be too difficult right now."
Lieutenant Forge has been seen hovering about, made restless by his enforced inaction. His comments to the deck crew haven't made him any friends, so right now, finding someone who doesn't like Forge wouldn't be hard.
Finding someone who doesn't like Forge and would sabotage his Viper while the fleet is on the run from the Cylons - other than a Cylon? More difficult.
Tyrol sighs. More work. Just what his crew needs right now. "We'll have to take it apart."
"All along the fuel line," she agreed. "Now wouldn't be the time to say that I was hoping for a few extra hours bunk time?"
"Didn't think so," Cally takes back the fuel line tubing but doesn't go back to her work. She's got a look in her eye, and it's a bit worrying.
"Specialist?" She looks like she's gearing herself up for something and he waits.
"Chief... I'm sorry about Lieutenant Valerii - about shooting her."
He looks sharply at her. "Are you?"
The frown that wrinkles the pale skin of her forehead is rather sweet - or would be if she didn't look like she was going to bite his ear off the way she did the rapist on the Astral Queen. "She wasn't my favourite person," Cally says with just a hint of resentment. Like she's doing him a favour. "But she cared about you. And you cared about her."
"And this is something that everyone isn't already aware of?"
Specialist Cally doesn't say a thing, just looks at him, her mouth slightly open as though trying to work out how she's going to say what she wants to say.
Tyrol looks back.
Finally, her mouth takes on that little lopsided twist that means she's not really happy with what she has to say but she's going to say it anyway. "I hated what she'd done to you," she says at last. It's blurted, unintentional. "But I didn't... I wish I hadn't... Sorry, Chief."
Her eyes are liquid with honesty and guilt, almost resentful in her regret.
Tyrol turns away. This isn't a conversation he wants to have now. It's not a conversation he ever wants to have again. Not with anyone, but especially not with Cally.
The light's harsher on her skin, bleaching it white and pink with the flush of blood, but the room's still blurry, bleeding at the edges of his consciousness. If he really is conscious.
Every woman is different. But she feels the same. He's made no adjustments for size, no compensations for muscle mass, no change in the way she moves, in the way she fraks him. She's still hot and wet and soft against him.
It's still the rhythm of want-and-have in his mind.
When he lies back in his rack that night, his mind is still in a welter of confusion about Sharon and Cally.
Lieutenant Sharon Valerii is dead - the woman he loved is dead. The thing carrying Lieutenant Agathon's child isn't Sharon - isn't the Sharon that Tyrol knew.
It tightens in his chest, like clamps around his body making it hard to breathe. He usually manages to ignore it during the day, but at night, alone in his bunk...
Did you love her?
The Commander's decision to put Cally in the brig for thirty days...that was expected. The discussion about love, Sharon being a real person and not just a machine...that wasn't.
Did you love her?
Tyrol wants to believe that it was real, that it wasn't just a ploy - that Sharon-the-machine cared about him. What he has is the bitter uncertainty of never knowing.
He's spent a lot of nights staring up at the ceiling of his rack. It used to be that he'd ponder a technical problem that needed solving, lately, he's been thinking about Sharon - and Cally.
Baltar implied that Sharon had something to do with Tyrol being allowed out of the brig - that she tried to get him out of the situation she'd got him into in the first place. Tyrol hasn't asked, but he gets the feeling it wasn't quite as simple as Dr. Baltar suggested.
Love is a strange and wonderful thing, Chief. You'd be happy you experienced it at all. Even if it was with a machine.
Still, there was a loyalty there at the last. Whatever anger he felt towards her when he ended up in the brig was nothing compared to the fading light in her eyes as the bullet killed her.
I love you, Chief.
If not for Cally shooting her, Sharon would have been tested like a lab rat, imprisoned in the cell that now holds her alternate version. What they'll do with her after she's given birth to...whatever it is that Cylons give birth to...is not yet made public.
He hasn't spoken to pregnant-Sharon-from-Caprica - not since Kobol. He acknowledged her, what she is, what she was. He's not sure he can acknowledge what she will be: mother of another man's child - or baby toaster.
Tyrol's life already has the aura of the surreal about it. He's not sure how much more he can take.
If not for Sharon's death, he wouldn't be dreaming of frakking Cally. It's not something he's going to do - he's already frakked his own life, he's not about to frak hers up, too.
He still dreams.
Hands on his shoulders, short nails finding purchase in his skin, the earth-sweat, oil-smooth taste-scent-feel of her in his senses. Her legs crook over his hips as he pounds into her, and she doesn't just take it, but surges to meet his body as her mouth meets his.
Tyrol doesn't know who he's frakking in his head anymore. Sharon-who-was, or Cally-who-is?
He's not even sure if he really wants Cally, or if the two women have become inextricable in his mind: a legacy bound by loyalty and a bullet.
Want and have. It all feels the same to him.
- fin -
REQUEST: Tyrol/Cally, Cally feels guilty about killing Sharon, with angst, smut, and snark.