Disclaimer: Not mine.
Rating: 18+?
Pairing: Kara Thrace/Sam Anders Length: 1,500 SPOILERS: Maelstrom. Don't say I didn't warn you.
Notes: This's for the dedicated and wacky people of tonight's BSG Episode Chat, who put up with me bitching at things. A lot. Title is a Moloko song. hrm. ps. am too tired. 'pologies for mistakes. Fixing t'morrow.

Remain the Same by ALC Punk!

"I'm not afraid anymore."

A blinding flash of light, and Kara was floating. Through space, through... what, she didn't know. 'I'm not afraid...'

Cold.

Kara jerked awake and stared, not recognizing her surroundings. She was on a bed, dark sheets and fluffy pillows. This was wrong. She'd been dying, she'd been saying goodbye to Lee. Her mother had been telling her she could do what had to be done.

"I'm not afraid anymore." But the words sounded different, in the waking world.

'I should be dead.' There'd been a blinding flash of light, and then nothing. And now she was in a bed. That made no sense.

Kara swung her legs over the side and stood. The cool metal of the floor felt pleasant, and Kara eyed the oversized black t-shirt she was wearing, trying to figure out why it looked familiar. There was a pyramid jacket draped over the chair in the room, and she frowned. It was Sam's. The shirt was Sam's, too, and she realized she could smell him now.

"What the..." Kara shook her head, trying to process all of this.

She'd died. She'd gone kablooey, she'd accepted her destiny, and she'd died. But now she was... here. Wherever here was.

The door slid open and Sam stepped in, dressed in the black shirt and pants she'd last seen him in. "Hey, you're up." He grinned and moved across the room, bending his head to kiss her.

Kara flinched back from him.

His grin faded and he stepped back. "Having second thoughts?"

"Second thoughts?" Kara shook her head, "Sam, I don't--"

"Your leave." He turned away, voice quiet as he said, "The shuttle leaves here in about an hour, if that's what you want. You can go back to Galactica, and..." something that might have been a sigh escaped him. "I said we didn't have to talk about us. I'm sorry. I'm pushing too hard."

"No, wait, Sam--" Moving, she grabbed his arm, turning him. "Where are we?"

He blinked at her, then replied, "We're on the Rising Star, Kara."

"Why?" Why wasn't she dead? Why could she remember light and dark, and something that wasn't Leoben telling her it would be ok?

"I suggested you needed a break, and you took one?" He looked confused.

"I don't--fine." Turning away, she marshalled her thoughts, putting up her walls again. Obviously, it was a dream. She wasn't dead. Leoben was a lie, her destiny was a lie. And all of that shit about accepting who she was and moving on was pointless.

"Fine."

She'd said goodbye to her mother. She'd held her hand and said goodbye. I'm not afraid anymore. But it was all in her head. Life was pain, life wasn't easy, and there wasn't any way to break the cycle.

"I'll call and tell them to hold a space for you," Sam said, voice stilted. "You might want to get dressed."

'You're my daughter.' Yeah. Yeah she was. She was also 16th in her class, and the holder of the academy record for most demerits earned. And it had all been a lie. "Sam, wait."

"For what?"

It was like letting her viper fall forever, like painting the mandela over and over, like telling Lee that she loved him, like flying a viper for the first time... or maybe it was like kissing Leoben, knife in her hand, waiting for her moment.

She remembered that the knife had been Sam's.

"I don't want to go."

"What do you want, Kara?" He sounded almost frustrated.

Kara couldn't blame him. She could see now, how she'd been yanking him back and forth. Never giving him a straight answer and leaving him dangling in the wind for something she didn't believe in. Something she couldn't believe in, because life was pain. "You were right."

"Right?"

"About my mother." Kara turned and looked at him, feeling as though at any moment this would all simply disappear, and she'd be back in her viper. "She frakked my head good. But in her own way, she tried to love me."

"Yeah." Sam shook his head, "That wasn't love."

"Not always, no." Moving, Kara walked up to him, catching his hands. "I don't want to go." She was repeating herself, but she wondered if he knew what she meant.

"I won't call, then."

"And," Kara couldn't keep her eyes lifted, afraid that her uncertainty would show. That if she had to look him in the eye, her courage would fail. "I don't want..." She closed her eyes and leaned her head against his shoulder. "I don't want you to go, either," she finished in a whisper.

"Hey. I paid for the room, I'll stay until the three days are up."

"You're an idiot."

"That explains why I married you, then." He informed her.

"Ass." Kara shoved him, then sighed. "Sam. I want strings."

"Don't say things you don't mean."

"I mean this."

"Yeah?"

"Yeah." She finally raised her head and met his eyes, determined that she did mean it. That she wanted to hang onto what they had and have more than just random sex. Although the random sex was nice. She remembered that she hadn't married him just for the convenience.

He searched her eyes for a moment, then released a breath. "All right."

"We need a drink, to celebrate."

Sam hung onto her, pulling her against him. He shook his head, "You don't have to get me drunk, Kara. I will sleep with you."

"That's good," Kara informed him, "because if you're drunk, you can't get it up."

A chuckle escaped him. "I'd still have my hands and my mouth."

"Not good enough." Kara hooked her hand behind his neck and tugged him down to her, kissing him and letting her mouth say things her brain hadn't quite authorized. "I love you."

"Yeah?" Sam's hand drifted down to cup her ass. "I'd hate to think otherwise, Mrs. Anders."

Kara shoved at him again, knowing the bed was back there, somewhere. "Got a problem with me not loving you, Mr. Thrace?"

"Mhmm." He sat down on the edge of the bed and leaned in to nip at her breasts through the t-shirt.

Putting her hands on his shoulders, Kara pushed him backwards. He toppled, bouncing slightly, and looking at her with dark eyes. "Yeah?"

"Yeah." He helped her get his pants and shorts off, then wriggled further onto the bed.

Climbing on after him, Kara straddled his hips and put her hands on his shoulders, happy to find that he was completely aroused. "And what problem would that be?"

Sam leaned up and tugged his shirt off before catching her hips and tugging her down. She resisted, bracing herself and smirking at him, knowing exactly what she wanted. Giving her a grunt of annoyance, he changed tactics, hands sliding up and under the t-shirt. "Well, I love you. So, you not loving me would be hard."

"Right. Hard." Kara bent to give him access to her breasts, then sighed happily as he took advantage of that fact. Reminded, though, she shifted and dropped down, gasping as he slid into her.

It was almost lazy, even with the need to prove something to them both. Kara was a little surprised by her own climax, and Sam laughed up at her. White light filled her vision for a moment, and she shook her head, smacking his chest. For just a moment, it wasn't Sam beneath her, but Leoben.

"Sam?"

"Gods." He gasped, thrusting up and coming himself, laughter gone as he watched her watch him.

Sinking down onto his chest, she kissed him, loving the way his heart was beating so quickly. She'd done that. Sure, it was just sex, but she'd done that.

'I'm not afraid anymore.'

Kara's eyes snapped open, adrenaline replacing satiation.

Sam was still there, staring up at her. "Kara?"

"You're real," she informed him. "I'm here, and you're real."

"Definitely real." He smiled lazily at her, arms wrapping around her. "Not goin' anywhere, hot stuff."

She snickered. "The things I put up with."

"Mmm." He rumbled, sounding sleepy.

Kara tucked her head against his shoulder, kissed his skin and closed her eyes. "You better be here when I wake up, Sam."

"Promise."

Eyes closed, she had the sensation of tumbling end over end. But Sam was solid and warm against her chest, and it had all been a dream.

White light chased her down into sleep.

-f-