Disclaimer: Not mine.
Rating: er... vague violence.
Pairing: ...what?
Spoilers: Ah, now we're talking. All of season three so far, speculation for "Exodus part 2" as well.
Notes: I've been trying to get this done for a few days. Three ways things could go tonight, for Sharon.

Cat Takes Bird
by ALC Punk!

People milled around them, and all Sharon could do was stare. Sharon Agathon, Lieutenant Boomer, Helo's wife, Eight. So many names. So many different things that could overset her peace of mind (she thought it was fine, once she'd come to peace with Adama). And all it took was a fragment of memory. And a child. But then, children were precious, to be protected at all costs. They were the future.

'Your child is still alive.' Three's words echoed in Sharon's mind as she stared at the young woman approaching her. In the midst of the evacuation, the woman was guarded by two of Anders' men. They watched the crowd with eyes that caught everything.

Your child...

It was the baby that did it, the small face, glimpsed for an instant, and Sharon felt as though she'd been kicked in the gut.

"Hi."

The young woman looked up at her, smiled. "Hello."

Sharon fell into step with them, options running through her mind a thousand billion times. "She's beautiful. What's her name?"

"This is Isis."

Betrayal clawed through her, spilling bitterness and something dark across her mind. But Sharon fought it down. Not now. Not yet. There were too many people around. Her first instinct was to grab the child and run. But there was Helo to consider. Helo, who had just as much of a right to his daughter as anyone. And there were the cylons to consider as well--the cylons who would kill them both as an abomination in God's eyes. But first, Helo the man who had stood by her, who loved her, deserved to know.

And then she would make them all pay.

"Can I hold her?"

The girl made a face, "Can it wait until we're aboard? I don't want to wake her."

"Sure." Sharon pasted a smile on her lips, pasted the smile in her eyes.

And wondered how she'd come to this.

As a cylon, she should just take what was hers. As a human, she knew better.

--

Adama would never lie to me. The words tasted false in her mouth as she stared at the young woman and her charge. There was nothing about the child that should cause such a feeling, but Sharon could feel the connection between them in her gut. It was like stepping into a room that contained a cylon, the instant snap of recognition.

And she could see the lie for what it was. Could feel the betrayal cut so deep she gasped.

"Is something wrong?"

Her name was Maya. Sam had pointed her out, said to make extra certain she and her kid got to the ship.

Maya.

"You... You don't even know." Sharon couldn't help the soft whisper.

Three's words came back to her, too, and for an instant, she considered blotting them out and ignoring them. Hera was obviously loved. Hera, who would be hunted by the cylons and humans alike if people knew the truth.

Sharon fell into step with them, admiring the child, admiring her mother and the competent way she watched her surroundings.

Even without the two men watching their every move, Sharon would have known there was something special about the woman. About the child. She wondered that they could all be so blind to their significance.

In the greater scheme of things, Sharon could take her child, could walk away and never come back.

But there was Helo, there was Adama--who would explain.

And there was Three, striding towards them.

Sharon didn't even give her a chance to speak. This time, the shot was clean and swift, the hole in Three's face highlighted by the slight surprise on her lips.

"Hurry, there might be others."

--

"Hey. Keep an extra eye on Maya and her kid, all right?"

Sam was in a hurry. Sharon didn't even have time to answer before he was gone, back across the crowd to check on another section of the fleeing populace. She spared a thought for him, and for Kara, still not quite found, then turned to the young woman and child Sam had directed her to. There were two men with them, obviously guarding.

It was like getting slammed with a board.

Recognition, something, pulsed along her veins and through her head. Her senses and mind screamed, I know you. Or perhaps that was just mere fantasy.

And fleeting memory of tiny fingers touching hers skittered through her mind. A baby so tiny, so small she couldn't believe how perfect she was.

Sharon swallowed as she approached. Three's words came back to her, as did the words she'd replied with. And it didn't matter. Because he obviously had. He'd never considered her more than a machine, more than a tool. And she knew that.

The humans were all alike, and she knew that, too.

"Hey, you okay?" Maya was smiling at her.

"Yeah. Yeah, I'm good."

Eight turned, Sharon turned, and walked with them. Fell into step without feeling a thing until the time was right. The betrayal clawed at her like a centurion, claws deep in her gut, and she wanted to stop and scream that this wasn't fair. But of course it wasn't fair. Life wasn't fair--even though she was created, and not born, her daughter had been born. She deserved a better chance than an existance eeked out in a world of metal boxes while death was chasing them all.

The two men never even noticed the gun in her hand, and Maya only had time to gasp in surprise.

Then Hera was in her arms, and Sharon felt the pain fracture her further. "Hello, baby."

"Oh, good." Three was standing there, like an island in the midst of humanity. Humanity which didn't even notice the fallen three.

Sharon ignored the symmetry and kissed the forehead of her daughter. "You don't get to hold her yet."

"But I will. And then I'll know love." There was something almost wistful in Three's voice, for a moment. Then it hardened, "We must leave this place."

Stepping out of the crowd, Sharon thought of Helo. But he would be disappointed in her. And if he'd truly loved her, he would never have helped the lie about their daughter. Her child.

"Let's go home, Hera." She whispered.

-f-