Hi all, have been diverted from my other fic as this has been bouncing around in my head for a while. Developing a thing about Kara/Tigh after that sweet scene in LDYB2.
What do you think, continue?
The rescue mission had finally started. Days of waiting for confirmation of the exact location, days of frustration and worry and fear of failure had finally ended. The sacrifice of the Pegasus to destroy the Cylons basestars had only happened 6 days ago but already it felt like 6 years.
The crew from the Pegasus that had managed to transfer to Galactica in the final moments did not celebrate the victory, nor the retreat of the Cylons from New Caprica. Instead they mourned those souls who had sacrificed everything to stay on the Beast and ensure its final mission was a success. And then, on finally being reunited with long lost friends back on the surface, they learned of the oppression imposed by Cylon rule for the past 6 months. And for three men in particular, any joy at reunions was put on hold because for them, the people they most wanted to see, were nowhere to be found.
Instead, Saul Tigh and Kara Thrace had managed to find themselves prisoners of the Cylons, taken away two months ago after a resistance sabotage mission went wrong and they sacrificed themselves to make sure the other six saboteurs could get away.
Sacrifice seemed to be a trait of the ex-Galactica crew.
Laura Roslin had taken the responsibility to tell the men what had happened. As soon as the Adama's and Helo had emerged from the congratulations and thanks of the mass populace of New Caprica City, Chief Tyrol had led them to one side into the school tent where Laura waited for them. After sitting them all down she explained what had happened and why exactly Saul and Kara were not in the welcoming committee.
She spoke of the sabotage mission that was supposed to blow up the Cylons "re-education" centre and of how no-one had known at that time that Gaeta was actually collaborating with the Cylons and had told them of the plan. No sooner had the raiding party entered the basement than centurions had trapped them all inside. In the panic Starbuck had taken charge and ordered everyone out the back tunnel. As they one by one squeezed down the disused sewer pipe Starbuck had disappeared back into the dark corridors of the basement setting charges and shooting down any centurion she encountered. As she came back to the sewer pipe there was Chief, Cally, and Tigh left. Knowing the Cylons were hot on her heels and bound to capture them all any second she kissed Tyrol on the cheek, told him to get Cally and the baby out, get Tigh out, get himself out and don't look back.
The Chief knew she was giving herself up, his heartbroken expression as he hugged her close betrayed his knowledge that he couldn't save her and his pregnant wife both. Without another glance she bolted out of the room to draw off the Cylons, shooting all the way so they didn't miss her trail.
Tyrol had turned to wave Tigh into the pipe, but the Colonel had a glint in his eye. He shook his head, a rueful smile as he lay his hand on Tyrol's shoulder.
"Can't let her have all the fun Chief, you get on out and get everyone else home safe. I'll go get Starbuck. Leave a candle burning for us!"
Tyrol could only watch in wonder as Colonel Saul Tigh ran off into the darkness after his nemesis. Maybe the world really was ending this time, hell had surely frozen over.
No-one had seen the Colonel or Starbuck since Tyrol and Cally had watched helplessly as they had been hauled out of that basement, bound and hooded, and thrown into the back of a non-descript van. The fact that Boomer and Leobon had done the dragging filled the newlyweds with utter terror and dread.
When Laura finally fell silent all three men were silent. And then the rescue mission planning started. Two months was a long time but no-one dared voice the widespread belief that Starbuck and Tigh were already dead. Instead every favour was called in, every double agent was threatened to within an inch of their lives, and somehow, eventually, they'd been given the location of the Cylon detention centre. Turned out the toasters had built a labyrinth tunnel system under the forest in the wilderness outside the city within which was a detention centre, apparently only housing the two resistance members at this time but with plans to expand.
Though the Cylons had now retreated from the city is was clear they had not retreated from this facility. Getting in, finding the prisoners and getting out again was not gonna be easy, but there was no shortage of volunteers. In the end a small raiding party was decided on, and the Gods themselves could not have kept both the Adama men and Helo off it. When Doc Cottle also demanded a place it took everyone by surprise, the gruff doctor though had a well hidden fondness of the blond pilot and he knew, as did everyone, that if she and the Colonel were alive, they were gonna need medical help as soon as possible. So he was on the team. Add in Hotdog, Racetrack and the Chief and off they went.
The entrance to the tunnels was well hidden, but poorly guarded. One quietly dispatched Boomer later and they were in the tunnels making swift progress to the centre. Once there they encountered more Boomers and a couple of Dorals, all mercilessly dispatched by well honed shots through the forehead. Finally, keys taken from one of the Boomers, they were inside the detention centre.
The cold, damp walls gave away no secrets, and no noise. The group split into three to search for the prisoners, Lee and Helo took off to the left, Hotdog, Racetrack and Chief to the right, Bill and Cottle dropped into the lower level.
The dim strip lights in the lower level made navigating the rough ground slow down the two experienced men, and when they reached the last of six solid doors they were beginning to think nothing lived down here. But, as they slid back the hatch in the top of the door and shone their light into the pitch black cell both of them took a step back and a deep breath before looking at each other with surprise and fear then once again looking into the cell to make sure the light wasn't playing tricks on them.
But, sure enough, in the back of the cell, laid against the wall was Saul Tigh, bruised, bloody and tattered. That they expected, but the fact that he was wrapped around an equally bruised, bloody and tattered Kara Thrace was not a sight you saw everyday. It only seemed like yesterday that they were at each others throats, pushing each others buttons all over the Galactica. Something had obviously changed in here.
Starbuck was foetal, her head lying on Tigh's left arm as he wrapped it round her to rest on her collarbone. Her left arm clutched her knees to her body, her right arm clearly broken was cradled against her chest, held there by Tigh's other hand.
As the light shone over them they saw Tigh's eyes open, squinting as the torch beam landed on him and then they heard him, his voice rough and painful to hear,
"Leave her alone this time, you take me, you hear me, leave her alone". His tone was dull, resigned, like he said this over and over.
Unable to bear the thought of what had brought them to this Bill threw back the bolts and opened the cell. The smell of unwashed bodies, blood, and something not quite identifiable hit both men as they paused momentarily before entering. Bill shone the light on himself and the Doc before pointing it at the ceiling to provide light but not accusation.
"Its ok Saul, its me, its Bill, we're here to get you out. Its over now."
Slowly he knelt in front of them, eye to eye with Tigh who suddenly had wet eyes.
"I thought you'd died old man. I thought we'd died." His gaze dropped to the unconcious woman in his arms, not lifting from her face as he spoke,
"Damnit, she needs help Bill, I cant keep her awake anymore. Its too much, she's taken all she can I think. I don't know what to do anymore."
Cottle dropped to his knees as well, his horror at the state of both of them pushed deep inside, his gruffness coming to the front,. His defence against any emotion.
"Damn kid, never was one to make an effort."
He slowly, with more care than Bill had imagined started to prise Tigh's grip on her.
"Its ok Colonel, let her go now, lets get her flat out so I can fix her up so we can get out of here."
Bill helped steady Tigh as he unwrapped himself from Kara
"That's it Colonel, slowly does it, ok, lets help her onto her back Bill."
Tigh piped up, reaching for her arm,
"Careful of her arm Doc, its been broken for a week now."
Cottle's hands skimmed over her prone form checking for more breaks, stopping now and then to probe a nasty bruise or a deep laceration, as he worked he questioned Tigh,
"Anything else than the arm I need to know Colonel?"
Tigh looked crestfallen, he choked on his words, the tears clear in his throat.
"That shoulder's dislocated as well, I couldn't get it back in, her wrists and ankles are a mess, and they, they…..I cant…"
Bill had never seen Saul like this, he didn't know quite what to do, so he followed his heart and slipped an arm around his shoulder while his best friend quietly broke down into sobs.
"Its ok Saul, its ok, you've done ok".
A flash of anger,
"No. Damnit Bill I've been so far from ok. Frak. They raped her Bill. They beat her, they humiliated her, and they raped her. Over and over. And I couldn't stop them. I pleaded with them. Can you believe it? I begged them Bill. I was useless, and I couldn't even help her pain afterwards. Gods….she has to be alright Doc, you have to make this right"
Bill's heart was breaking for both Saul and especially Kara after this revelation, but even as he tamped down his own horror he saw Doc's pause as Tigh had explained what had happened, saw the momentary slip in the Doc's tough exterior, and then saw the barrier go back up as he finished up his preliminary exam of her.
As he started to splint her arm to make it safe to move her, she woke up. No bleary eyed stumble into consciousness, she came to with a full blown scream and an aborted attempt to punch whoever was holding her but she tried it with her broken arm, forgotten in her sudden wakefulness, and her howl of pain as she clutched at the arm was heartbreaking for the men in the room, and for the rest of the rescue party who had received Cottle's earlier call and had just reached the cell.
Lee was first in, crashing to a halt as he took in first Saul, then Kara as she tried in vain to scramble back into the far corner of the cell.
"What the hell…."
He was ignored though as Cottle tried to reach for her. He had no luck, each time he reached out she'd kick his hand away, her startled eyes searching the room, not registering the faces of her friends. When she recognised Saul her gaze fixed, the look of fear and desperation nothing new to him as he slowly approached her, calming her as he extended his arms to her, reaching to draw her into his chest.
"Shhh, come on Starbuck, you're ok now, its over, come on..shhh, that's it"
She burrowed into his chest, her broken arm cradled between them, her sobs loud and clear in the room. Lee shot his dad a look,
"Dad, what's going on…."
Doc cut in.
"OK, lets clear the room. Give me a minute to fix her arm and we're going, we have to get them both out of here, and do it now"
Bill herded the others out of the room, silencing their questions with a raised hand.
"Lets give the Doc a minute then go. We've found them, they're gonna be ok, lets leave it at that for now. We need to get out of here, then we'll figure out how we can help them, ok."
And so it was that a short time later a much calmer Starbuck limped from the room between Doc and Tigh, though everyone noticed how she didn't look up at anyone once. Doc spoke to tell everyone to back off, give them room and save their questions for back in the city. His warning glare got them moving.
Getting out was easier than getting in as no-one wanted to stop for anything, stealth was kept up until the last few moments when an all out fire fight erupted. Hotdog and Racetrack, both still in shock at seeing the invincible Starbuck totally lose it, took out their confusion and hatred on the Cylons. In minutes it was over, the rescue party had fled back to the city and the Cylons were left to rue their security.
As they reached the city Saul kept a firm grip on Starbuck as the others ran interference with the crowds. He could feel her shaking as she practically melded herself with his side, see how she kept her head down, and could hear her soft whimpering. After two months in a cold, dark, quiet hell this sudden influx of noise and movement and people was too much.
He felt exposed and lost and could only imagine how much worse this was for her. He knew the shame she felt, the self loathing, the disgust. He felt it to, but they had taken things one step further with her, done things to her and forced him to watch. Tried to break them both by breaking her. He was amazed to realise it had the opposite effect. Despite her best attempts to shut him out he'd managed to get thru to her and they'd begun to rely on each other in that hell, Saul didn't think he'd ever felt to close to anyone his entire life.
The irony hadn't been lost on either of them that the Cylons had managed what no amount of time on the Galactica had managed, it had gelled them as a team. Only he knew that it wasn't a fair team, he'd suffered his fair share of the beatings, but only she had been so personally tortured, so brutally violated, so exposed to their torturers, and to him. Afterwards she'd admitted that having him watch was the worst, but when he refused to watch the next time, they'd just made her scream louder to compensate.
His thoughts wondering down a dark path he hadn't noticed that they were now in a quiet tent, just them and the Doc. It was only as Starbuck fainted dead away that he came back to himself. As he caught her before she hit the ground he considered her strength and resolve to have got this far without collapse, he knew it was only her decimated pride that had kept her upright in public.
He thought of what was ahead, of what others would want of them, the full brutal truth. He didn't know if he had it in him to relive the nightmare, he didn't know if he wanted to. And he wasn't sure he wanted to explain exactly why the Cyclons had been so brutal to their "special" one.