Notes: Sharon, inspired by Nine Inch Nails' 'Only'. 18+

by ALC Punk!

It's different, this time. Galactica isn't loud around her, full of laughter and bustling people. Instead it's silent, full of stifling deadness and a dread that infects her with agitated movements.

Unfortunately, there are only so many times she can pace from one end of her cell to the other. Only so many moments she can spend counting the cracks in the floor or the wires in the walls or the squares of plexi-glass. And Sharon Valerii thinks she's going to go insane if she has to keep doing it.

But no one has offered the 'prisoner' something to read to pass the time.

Not that she expects them to. They're human, after all, and they consider her a freak--or worse, something to be destroyed.

And hated.

It's ironic that so much of her time on Caprica was spent keeping one man alive while her counterpart attempted the opposite.

Shooting Adama makes her famous.

There aren't many visitors, and for that she's grateful, even if she wouldn't mind distraction from her never-ending round of thoughts.

She'd stood in front of the tomb, so proud--and none of them ever questioned a Cylon leading them to the one place that would give them hope (she didn't even question herself until it was far too late).

"I'm not like the other Sharon. I know who I am."

Words spoken in defiance, in triumph. Sharon thinks now, how wrong she was. Galactica still flies, her people still prosper. The Fleet is back together and all's right with the world.

And there's something inside of her that knows she should be yelling at them, telling them things that will save them all--

But the urge is only vaguely there, and at some level, she knows it will never come. She will never willingly walk out an airlock, she will never consciously destroy the child growing inside her belly. A child the Cylons believe to be the next step in evolution.

Sharon thinks that should upset her.

It certainly upset Starbuck, back on Caprica. The entire idea of the farms, of humans as broodmares, sent Starbuck into a rage. An irrational state where she'd made plans that had no hope of success. And yet, Leoben admires her, Leoben believes her to be special. Sharon doesn't exactly see it--but the parts of her that remember Kara Thrace puking in gutters or laughing as she got punched in face and then tackling the man who'd tried to rape Specialist Guthrie and beating his head into the concrete--try to understand it.

The memories were worth thousands of words. Or several hundred seconds of thought.

She remembers talking to Starbuck--talking at Starbuck, since Kara refused to carry on any sort of meanginful conversation with her. She tried anyway, on the way back from Caprica (before it all went even more to hell and she began to understand everything's true nature). The raider had been shifting around them, the engine silently taking them to destiny.

Destiny. Something Kara didn't want, something Sharon wasn't sure of anymore.

"What would you do, if you knew that something you'd created would be used for great evil?" It was a moralistic question, one she didn't know the answer to yet.

"Why? Want a coathanger, Sharon?"

Kara said it like she was using Sharon's name as a weapon. Sharon tried to understand that (understanding Kara wasn't always difficult), and thought she got it--Kara trying to compensate for her old friend being a Cylon. It hurt, like Kara hoped it would. But she shrugged, "That's not what I meant."

The first Sharon, the one who didn't know, didn't understand--had she struggled against her programming?

Sharon likes to think she would have tried. Likes to pretend that there are thousands of Sharons, all pushing out of their pre-determined role.

"You're weak." Six always did like to have the last snide remark.

Remembered pain slides across her face, and her ribs ache in sympathy for a moment. She wonders if Helo has understood yet the massive deception she put him through. All of the little details. Bruises and a split lip, and he found out--

And he still loves her.

It's what she has to remember, as her hand ghosts across her belly and she considers all she's done to ensure her own survival. Of the survival of the child she has yet to love.

The rain of Kobol reminded her of Caprica, and she knew Helo felt it too.

Now, it was frustrating to consider that bond. A bond which he only feels when it's convenient for him, here.

But there had been happy laughter and smiles under the tent. He'd held her against the cold.

Starbuck had watched them, eyes shadowed. Kara Thrace had a destiny that not even she could avert--it had given Sharon something amusing to consider in the continuing silence. All she'd ever wanted was her friend back.

Later, staring up at Adama as his anger seared into her red-tinged view to her world, she wondered if she should have given up then. Should have stepped back into the precise, ordered world of the Cylons. God has a plan, and it was beautiful in its shimmering complexity.

All calculated down to the precise molecule, and yet something as human as emotion can shatter something so crystalline.

The memory of Kara's scorn still hurts, and she doesn't think it's physical until she finds blood slick on her fingers. She dug her nails into her palms until the emotional pain was eclipsed.

For a moment, Sharon studies the perfect half-moons, calculating the pressure required to do it again.

Then she finds herself wincing and human.

It gets harder, every time.