Up to two things you don't want to see in the fic: No slash. No character bashing/hate.
Disclaimer: not mine. Rating: 13+, language, adult themes
Set: er, middish season two? Possibly vague spoilers through, er, Flight of the Phoenix, I guess.
Pairing (since one must always warn): Racetrack/Gaeta Notes: I couldn't quite manage the smut. sorry.
MUCH thanks go to my lovely betas: ebneter, audioboy, katcorvi, and my Sparky pusher, musicforcylons.
To All Intents And Purposes
by ALC Punk!
When he was fifteen, Felix blew himself up.
His parents were irritated, although his mother was at least slightly amused that he was so impetuous as to mix up the chemical reactions for the small student-made vid he was special effects coordinator for. Felix blamed it on his nervousness, never letting on that it was his fellow techie geek that had distracted him.
That was okay, though.
Manda called him Sparky, asked him out, and then kissed him on their second date.
Now, of course, Manda is dead, as is his entire class, the vault containing the very bad student film, and everyone who had ever called him Sparky.
Sitting in the cafeteria, noodles in front of him, Felix kind of wishes he weren't still around. At least then he wouldn't be stuck with Galactica's food, long hours, double shifts, and an XO who drinks until he has the energy to attempt an incompetent command.
Not that Gaeta would ever voice this sort of thing. For the career fleet officer, it's simply not done.
But he can think it as he stirs the noodles.
"Hey." The word is accompanied by a sigh and Dualla dropping onto the bench across from him, her own tray of noodles and bad coffee landing on the table.
"The coffee's sludge."
"I know." A frown of distaste fills her lips, then disappears when she looks at his half-eaten noodles. "Do I even want to bother?"
"Do you need the protein?" He offers, since that's really the only reason to eat Galactica rations.
"There you go, then."
Dee makes another face, but takes a bite of her noodles. The face continues, "Gods. You weren't lying."
"I never lie."
Felix can feel the blush that wants to come out, but ignores it. He's Gaeta, he's calm and collected, and ain't no one going to see him blush. Least of all Petty Officer Dualla. Besides, she doesn't know how often or when he's lied. But he knows when she has. "How's Billy?"
As a distraction, it works. A smile appears on her lips, one that's careful. "He's nice. I think. Good. It's... difficult."
"With his boss on the run and all."
She shrugs, takes another bite of noodles, turns the conversation back on him, "And how's your sex life?"
"That's 'how's your sex life, sir?'" he corrects.
"Whatever." Rolling her eyes, she grabs the mug of coffee and takes a long drink. "So?" she asks when he hasn't answered.
It's not that Felix doesn't have a sex life. He just doesn't think it's her concern. "I'm afraid that's none of your business, Dualla."
"Oh?" Her eyebrows lift. "Does this mean Racetrack is no longer warming your rack?"
Damn. Either way he answers, he knows the rumor mill will churn out something wildly wrong. He should have known better than to let Dualla sit down opposite him. The girl is sweet and kind, and the best gossip the fleet has. Even Ellen Tigh would give her an award, if that drunken floozy ever got sober. Of course, Ellen Tigh sober might confirm the suspicion that she's a Cylon.
"Sir?" Gentle prodding from the innocent look across the table.
"I'm afraid my relationship with Margaret is not open for discussion, Dualla." Damn. Why'd he have to go and call her Margaret?
A smirk touches Dee's lips, and she gets up, her coffee in one hand. "That's good to know, sir."
Damn. Felix refrains from dropping his head to the table in mortification and irritation at himself. Well. There was nothing he could do.
He's predictable. If there's one thing you can do, you can set your watch to Felix Gaeta's nightly perambulations around the decks of Galactica. It's not that he doesn't want to sleep, it's that he can't. If he were a more philosophically-inclined man (or Dr. Baltar), he might consider it a guilty conscience.
Instead, he lays it at the door of too much work, and too little downtime, and inevitably finds himself near the pilots' quarters just as Racetrack is returning from her CAP.
"Hey." She nods the others on and stops to talk to him.
If Felix were the nervous type, he'd have his hands in his pockets. But he's suave and confident, and he blew himself up at a very early age. "Everything good?"
"Yeah." Margaret glances at the door to the quarters she shares with twelve other pilots and then licks her lips, "Look, I need to go back and make sure I checked all of the boxes on the maintenance checklist."
"I'll come with you." Of course he would.
And of course it's an excuse she's making up. But he knew she'd do it, just as he knows he'll make a little giggly noise when she nibbles the side of his neck after the sex is over.
Just as he also knew that he might blow himself up at the age of fifteen. But he'll never tell anyone.