All characters are the intellectual property of their respective creators and publishers; this story may not be sold or distributed on a profit-making basis.

Spoilers for season two (and later three) of Battlestar Galactica RDM.

With thanks to Baladen for the Beta


"You know, I wish I had a baseball and a catcher's mitt," Xander leaned his head back against the Perspex cell wall, "Steve McQueen was The Man in The Great Escape." He closed his eye and started to whistle under his breath.

"Do you mind?" The room's only other occupant rolled over onto her side and looked at him, "Morning sickness is bad enough, without having to listen to you complaining all the time."

"Sorry to wake you, Big-X." Xander laughed, "I was just wondering how the tunnel's coming along."

"Do you ever say anything that makes sense?" The woman asked, "And I've asked you repeatedly to call me Sharon, Lt. Valerii or Boomer."

"My apologies, Lt. Valerii, I'm sorry if I woke you." Xander stood and started to pace back and forth across the cell, ranting. "It's just that it's been god knows how long since I got here - wherever 'here' is - and I've spent the entire time either locked up in here, being poked, prodded and probed by what passes for a doctor, or having my head dunked in a bucked of ice cold water by a blond haired woman with anger management issues!" He stopped to yell at his cellmate, "So forgive me if I'm just a little upset!"

"Is this how you talk to all of your friends?" Boomer asked, "Or just the pregnant ones?"

"I'm sorry, I truly am." Xander rested his head against the wall and took a deep breath, "It's a sad comment on my life that the only friend I have here isn't even human. Then again, why am I so surprised?"

"They don't trust easily." Boomer sat on the edge of her bunk and brushed a few stray hairs away from her face, "You appeared literally out of thin air, claiming to be from Earth, and talk about God in the singular rather than the plural. That has to be disconcerting for them after all my people have done to them."

"And you? Do you think I'm another Cylon agent?" Xander asked, only half joking, "You said yourself that you don't know what all the others look like, and it sure as hell would explain my life."

"Not everything out of the ordinary that happens is a Cylon trick." Boomer smiled, "I'm not going to pretend that I understand or believe your story, but I don't think you're a Cylon."

"Thanks; that actually means a lot." Xander sank to the floor, "I was beginning to think I might be: the number of times that crazy woman's yelled at me that I have to be, that there is no other explanation for my appearance, I was beginning to believe it myself."

"It must have been something to see." Boomer laughed, "They jump, and when they reach the other side, there you are standing in the middle of CIC, stark naked."

"Don't remind me." Xander covered his face in embarrassment, "It wouldn't have been so bad if it wasn't so cold in there." He looked up and smiled, "Thank you."

"For what?" Boomer asked, tilting her head to one side inquisitively.

"For making me see the funny side in all of this." Xander looked round when he heard the outer door open, and then stood when he saw a number of marines step in, followed by the older man who seemed to be the ship's commanding officer, "Here we go again..."

"Open the door." The man ordered, and stood waiting as one of the guards unlocked the cell door before stepping through. "My name is Commander Adama, and I'd like to apologize to you personally for the way you've been treated: it's taken us a while to confirm that you're human. But now we have, you're free to leave."

"I'm what?" Xander asked, waiting for the other shoe to drop.

"We've arranged a bunk for you in the crew quarters." Adama explained, "For security reasons, you'll be escorted everywhere, but that is partly for your own protection; we have no way of knowing how the rest of the fleet is going to react to news of your arrival."

"Let me see if I've got this right: I do nothing since arriving, and you're going to let me go almost anywhere I want." Xander cocked his head towards Boomer, "She's done nothing but help you since she defected to you, at great risk to her own life and that of her unborn child, and you're going to keep her here in this over-sized goldfish bowl?"

"It's a little more complicated, but yes, that is the gist of the situation." Adama nodded, "Now if you'll follow me, the President of the Twelve Colonies is waiting to meet you..."

"Thanks, but no thanks." Xander walked over to the bunk beds and sat down next to Boomer, "Only one person hasn't treated me like something they stepped in since I got here, and where I come from we have an old saying: actions speak louder than words." He leaned back against the wall, "You can tell your President that I'll be right here if they want to talk."

Adama looked like he was about to say something, but he just shook his head and walked off. The marines closed and locked the door after him, and then they too departed.

"That was a nice gesture, but I don't think it'll achieve anything." Boomer smiled, "But thank you."

"What are friends for?" Xander smiled as he looked around, "Don't suppose you've got a Rita Hayworth poster around anywhere?"

To Be Continued...