How it Begins Again

Cally knew the Chief would never love her. She'd had to live with the knowledge for months; she loved him, loved him more than anyone else left in the world, and he would never love her. That was life, that was one of the things she had to swallow whole – accept it, and then pretend she didn't know.

After all, it wasn't in Cally's nature to be unhappy, to ponder all the things she'd never get to have – if life on Galactica had taught her anything, it was that there was always some comfort to be found, somewhere. Even if it was just home made ambrosia, or a half-serious game of Pyramid, or…Galen's smile. There was always something.

She knew what they said about her when she moved down to New Caprica. Cally knew they all thought she was a lovesick puppy, clinging helplessly to a man who would never see her in such a light. She knew what was said about her, but she didn't care.

Cally was never a soldier. Galen had spent years transferring from ship to ship, but for Cally…it was a means to an end. The destruction of all the worlds hadn't change that, so…when the Chief came to her, offered her a job planetside, with soil under her feet and the wind in her hair, Cally took it without a second thought.

There was nothing for her on Galactica – and even if Galen never saw her, there would be people on the planet. For the first time, it might be possible to have…friends, parties, clothes that weren't overalls. She might even meet someone.

Arriving on the planet got rid of most of her fantasies, but it wasn't so bad all things considered. Galen had already found her a tent, not a large one, but he'd rigged a kind of a heater in the back, and there was a real bed. It could be very lonely, late at night, when she could hear the wind outside and the couple next door to her, but it could also be peaceful.

She liked her work, which helped. Even though she'd never planned on being a mechanic, there was a certain satisfaction to putting all the bits together and making things work. And it was varied – one week they were building a massive power generator, the next she was hooking up an engine for a tractor.

And Galen was always there and he looked good. For the first time in…too long, he actually looked happy. He'd smile, that smile that seemed to glow at her from across the room, and it was all she could do to keep from beaming right back at him. He'd stand behind her, helping her fix some stupid, irrelevant machine, and Cally could feel the warmth and the weight of his body… And that was stupid.

So, she tried to socialise more – went to one of New Caprica's three bars every week and tried to meet someone. Sure, Cally wasn't tall and slim and gorgeous with huge dark eyes and…but, she had on good authority that, once she'd scraped all the oil off, she was cute.

Cute was a word Cally had been saddled with since she was two years old, and a word she'd had her moments of fierce, angry rebellion against. Who would want to be cute, when they could be beautiful, and delicate, and sexy…there was still a part of her that longed to silence a room the way the Chief's Cylon had done so many times. But cute was good enough – good enough for men, some men, to buy her drinks at least. And then they might walk her home, and a couple of times Cally even went so far as to kiss them.

It was just plain unfortunate that her tent was directly opposite Galen's. He had an unfortunate of popping over for a talk, or even just to say goodnight, and there was something in his manner – some residual big brotherness, however wrong-headed – that tended to scare other men off. Cally would have to go to bed, aching in all the wrong places, aching for someone just to hold her, aching for the feel of someone else's skin. Those were the nights when Galen's loving kiss on the cheek or on the forehead, just wasn't enough any more, and she would have moments of irrational anger.

Being angry with Galen is pointless, Cally had learned that much. They'd each done things that ought to have been unforgivable, each hurt each other, and yet, here they were, still clinging to one another, for reason either could understand. Perhaps that was how Colonial Day happened. Ever after it was a looming day in Cally's mind, a day of change.

She hadn't meant to get so drunk, truly she hadn't, but the ambrosia had been flowing, and she'd danced with all the boys from her crew, and talked to her old friends from Galactica, and she'd been happy, and so when she saw Galen talking with Helo and Starbuck, she'd stumbled over merrily to greet them all. Somehow, and Cally was never certain how, she'd ended up sitting on his lap. Which was actually a very wise decision, as by that point in the evening her balance was somewhat lacking, and so she stayed there. Galen was more than able to hold her up

He kept looking at her, like she'd startled him, like he'd seen something brand new in her face, but Cally couldn't form an explanation for it. Instead she'd tucked her head under his chin, and shamelessly snuggled into his body, and pretended to be asleep so he wouldn't move her. She was fairly certain Helo saw through her ruse, but he didn't say anything, and maybe an hour later Galen carried her home.

He'd laid her on the bed, and Cally was sure he would kiss her forehead, as he always did, but at the last moment he changed his mind, and then his mouth was on hers, and she could taste his breath and there was no stopping, not for a moment. It had been so long, and they had both been so lonely, and when he touched her Cally couldn't ask him to stop. She loved him. When she woke the next morning, it was no surprise to see that Galen had gone, though he'd tucked an extra blanket around her before he went.

And that would have been that, probably, except that, as Cally learned a six weeks later, she was pregnant. Telling Galen was probably the hardest thing she'd ever had to do. Every expression on his face said something to hurt her, and for the first time ever, it was a relief that he didn't speak to her for days.

He didn't mean to be cruel, and Cally didn't find him so, but there so much to think about. He had wanted this – with another woman, with a Cylon – and to have happen this way, as an accident with a person he didn't…want… She could see why he needed time.

Galen came into her tent, about a week after she'd told him, and said, very seriously, that he wanted to have the child. That he wanted to be a father, and he wanted to be involved. He held her hand, and said that they could make it work, and Cally knew that the child was all he wanted.

A part of her – a stupid, hoping part that she thought she'd already killed – died a little with those words, but she merely lifted her chin and smiled at Galen. If that was he wanted, that was what he'd get.

The next four months were very strange, even by Cally's generous standards. Galen would walk her to and from work, and find her food, the kind of food expectant mothers were supposed to have, and he visited Doc Cottle with her. The Doctor did not approve of their…whatever it was, and made it plain, in such a way that Galen spent most of their visits glowering and staring at the door.

To those around them, it seemed that Cally had allowed her abuser to get her pregnant and was now left with his child. It was more complicated than that, but Cally didn't know how to argue with them. She knew Starbuck disapproved, because Starbuck had 'opinions' about people who hit people weaker than them, and whenever Cally saw her, she knew those opinions were longing to be spoken.

Of course, it was Starbuck who managed to find her actual maternity clothing, so it was safe to say that in the end, her friendship was more important than her disapproval.

Galen came into her tent more often now, and they talked – they had long, rambling conversations that Cally could never fully remember, and at the end, he would kiss her on the forehead. She was beginning to hate that, but there was nothing she could do. Galen knew what she felt, knew that there could have been more, and if he chose not to pursue it, then she had to respect his choice. She still felt lonely though.

Around midwinter, there was a party, and Cally spent most of it the evening chatting to Adam, a sweet young man who farmed. He actually asked to see her again, though she had a belly on her, but Cally never got to answer him, as Galen joined and ended the conversation in the space of ten minutes. He didn't kiss her that evening.

Afterwards, he would look at her more often, looks that Cally could feel, right down to her fingertips. One evening she complained of the cold, and rather than give her his spare blanket, which had always been his way before, Galen climbed in beside her, and held her until she fell asleep.

And then one day she slipped on an oil spillage – nothing that hadn't happened before, but Galen was terrified. Within seconds she was in his office, having explain her carelessness. His anger was shot through with fear, and he kept reminding her that "You could have died – if something went wrong with the baby, you could have died."

Cally nodded, and said soothing things, and then Galen stood up to open the door for her, and he was too close, and in half a second she was pressed against his chest and they were kissing. He wouldn't let her go, and when he finally asked her to stay, to stay with him, she did.

They were married two months later. Having survived the end of the world, battles, Raptor crashes, and hurting each other more than any of those it seemed foolish to wait. They both knew not to count on what might be.