Disclaimer: Not mine. Rating: er... 13? No sex, little language, no violence.
Pairing: vague references: Kara/Anders, Kara/Zak Spoilers: Er... NONE, that I know of, except vagueish season 1/early2 stuff.
OMG THIS IS RHISILVERFLAME'S fault! She made me watch a very bad movie that had Anders in it. And the one before had Zak, and, and! OMG HER FAULT.

Change Comes to Those Who... Wait?
by ALC Punk!

It's a bar. There's something slippery about the edges of it, but Sam really isn't concentrating on that. He's concentrating on just being... there.

Nondescript patrons slide by him, and for a moment, it's Caprica City during the tournament that earned the Bucs their infamy.

Then the moment slides away, and he's left wondering if they even serve alcohol here.

But there's a bar and a bartender, and a kid doodling in a puddle of beer with a finger.

Sam claims the stool next to him, orders something random. The bottle appears instantly, and he sips, appreciating the first taste of alcohol he's had in a while (the destruction of civilization will do that to you).

"Hey."

"Hey."

The kid glances at him, gestures, "Aren't you that guy?"

"Nah." Sam looks down at the bar. There's not much else to say, really.

They both lapse into silence, drinking away (ironically, he wonders if he'll get drunk now). Finally, Sam breaks into the stillness (yeah, a bustling bar, and it's so still you could hear a pin drop). "I'm Sam."

"Zak." The kid crooks a grin at him. "And you are him." He points with the bottle at the burnt-out television slowly sliding off its mounting to the floor. Sam thinks a decade will pass before the inexhorable movement will see the glass and plastic shattered against the concrete beneath their feet.

"Yeah? Guess so."

"Saw the game, you know. Man, you suck at passing."

Sam shrugs, "I like being in control."

"Yeah." The kid goes back to playing in the puddle.

"So... What's it like?"

"What's anything like?"

Yeah. Sam can't think of answer to that until he blurts, "Sex. Pyramid. Those little pats of butter restaurants put on your rolls."

The kid laughs. Throws back his head and laughs. The sound is almost pleasant.

Sam has to chuckle, just a little. After all, he's the one that said something stupid.

The bartender brings them another round without them asking.

It's like lazy Saturday afternoons with his team. For a moment, Sam can almost see Sue-Shaun lining up shots, her mouth stretched in that grin of hers while the others all take bets on who's going to drop first. Laughter, and popcorn getting thrown. He can remember arms slung around shoulders and hip-checks, mocking smiles and teasing grins. And everyone giving him The Look.

He was always so easy.

Sue-Shaun was forever throwing her comb at him.

The laughter fades, and he looks around at the bar. It's drab and almost lifeless, even with the people there.

"Passing through," Zak murmurs.

"What?"

"They're all just passing through." He tips his head back and catches the last drop.

"Oh." Still confused, Anders picked up his drink again. He frowned. It hadn't seemed so full before. Or maybe he was just not paying attention. "So... How'd you get here?"

Stupid question number four-thousand, probably.

Zak shrugs, though, "An accident."

"Accidents suck."

"Tell me about it." The kid plays with the ring around his thumb, then tilts his head, "How 'bout you?"

"Shot in the back." Memory slips across his mind, turning to see the blonde standing there. "She said she was a reporter..."

The Cylons looked human. Most of them were easier to spot.

"Reporters are evil, man. Didn't you remember that from your Bowl days?"

"Yeah." Sam's lips twist slightly, "I suppose I should have." But it was the end of the world, and old rivalries buried themselves under new dangers.

"Hey, it could've been worse," Zak points out, grin turning evil, "You could have been frakking her when she pulled the trigger."

Sam groans as that conjures up one or two bad judgement calls. Not to mention the last woman he'd had any intimate contact with. Right down to the way she gasped when he-- He coughs, grabs for his bottle and downs several mouthfuls before saying, in an attempt to change the subject, "Ever wanted to play Pyramid?"

"Nope. I wanted to fly. Like my dad and my brother." There's something wistful in Zak's expression.

"So... what happened?"

"I'm a third-rate pilot." A shrug, then Zak's absorbed in peeling the label from his bottle.

Sam doesn't press. Besides, he's pretty certain everyone has things in their past they don't want to discuss. Even here.

A tug on his shoulder makes him glance around the bar. There's a light filtering into the place that wasn't before. It gilds the dustmotes and sends the puddles dancing. He shakes his head, disturbed a little. The tug comes again.

"It's here for you. And them." Zak gestures with his empty bottle at the group of Caprican refugees Sam didn't notice when he wandered in.

The tug is distracting, and Sam wonders how Zak can ignore it, but doubts it's his place to ask. Still... He coughs. "So, I guess I should go."

"Yeah," Zak shrugs, "That whole follow the light thing's pretty much the next step."

SAm hops off the stool and considers, "Why don't you come with me?"

"Nah. I'm waiting."

"Waiting?"

For a moment, the young man seems impossibly old. "For her. I know she'll be here eventually."

Sam doesn't mock him, though he considers it. Devotion like this was worth dying for. "Hey, if she's worth it..."

"I just need to tell her it wasn't her fault."

He's torn a little between suggesting the kid's sweetheart might have already passed through, that she'd be there shortly, or that he was going to be stuck waiting forever--if she could even find the right place after the current upheaval. He didn't say any of it, instead, he clapped a hand on Zak's shoulder. "Good luck with that."

The light pulses again, deepens in a way that doesn't seem visually possible, and Sam can't help stepping towards it.

Behind him, Zak mumbles something.

It's the last thing he thinks before something indescribable swallows him whole. It makes absolutely no frakking sense. Given their respective lives before arriving here, Sam's pretty sure they've never crossed paths before. But he'd swear Zak said, "I'll tell her you said 'goodbye'."

-f-