Title: Broken Balance
Author: Alec Star

Disclaimer: I don't own the concepts, I don't own the characters, I make no money, I make no sense and I get no sleep (though I do feast on feedback).

Summary: New Caprica left Kara a lot closer to the edge than anyone realized.

Timeline/spoilers: This fic goes AU a couple of minutes before the end of 'Torn' so everything up to that point is fair game (there may also be some references to the flashbacks in 'Unfinished Business' somewhere down the line, but I'm still not sure about that). This is also a sort of sequel to Control but while being familiar with that story would make some things a little easier to understand, this one can definitely stand alone (Explanation: Control is my take on the four months between LDYB and Occupation but, seeing how this takes place after Torn, the deviations from canon should not be all that relevant, though there will be some references to non-canon events taking place in that period, however most of those references will be explained anyway. If anyone is interested, the story id for that one is 3381703).

Warnings: This deals with a number of adult issues up to and including references to rape (though those references are non-descriptive and they refer to past events, nothing happens on-screen... or was that on-page?).

Rating: T

Pairings: This is not a romantic story so I'm not sure how relevant pairings are going to be here, not to mention that I've had it with the whole 'love quadrangle of death' anyway. Just to be on the safe side let's say that there will be references to all canon pairings (Lee/Kara, Kara/Sam, Lee/Dee and maybe some hints of Adama/Roslin) but I don't know where this will end in that regard... or if it will end with a pairing at all for that matter.

Annoyingly long author's notes/incoherent babbling (feel free to skip this): Okay, so when I posted Control I said that chances were I was never going to write this and I meant it, in fact I even had a number of reasons for wanting to avoid it (the main one being that I feared that at first glance the setup for this story was a little too close to another one of my BSG fics --Long Shadows-- for comfort and I was worried that by writing this I would end up coming across as a one trick pony that smells kind of funny). What I hadn't counted on, however, was on this fic having other plans. Simply put, there were a couple of scenes I just couldn't get out of my head (not to mention that I seem to have a problem leaving a broken character behind... or maybe it is just that I was left itching to knock some sense into a few characters' heads, preferably with a clue by four). As for the similarities with Long Shadows, the more I thought about them, the more I realized that they didn't run anywhere near as deep as I had originally thought. Anyway, while this is an attempt to put Kara back together after having thoroughly messed her up in Control, it won't be a happy, happy fic... after all, BSG is anything but a happy, happy fandom (also, please notice the word 'attempt' in 'this is an attempt to put Kara back together'). In other words, there will be hard times ahead... and don't expect a magic bullet to fix things overnight.

Also, if you've read my other fics you probably know this already but if you haven't I think it's fair to warn you that if you want a fast paced story with lots of action and epic battles... well, you have definitely come to the wrong place. As usual my primary focus is going to be on the interaction between the different characters (something I feel has been badly neglected throughout most of this season) and things will probably move slowly.

Having said that I'll just shut up and let the story do the talking (and yes, I know, it was about time).


Chapter 1
(Cottle's POV)

"How is she?" comes the rather predictable question before I can even finish closing the curtain behind me and I take a deep breath before I even try to answer that one.

"Still breathing," I say, turning around to see the three worried men who have been cluttering my sickbay for the past few hours. "I managed to stop the bleeding and repair the damage but she lost an awful lot of blood and we almost lost her a couple of times in there. She has a fighting chance, that is the good news, but she is still not out of the woods, not by any stretch of the imagination."

"Meaning?"

"Meaning that she managed to perforate both her stomach and her intestine and that even though I cleaned things up as best I could, she could still develop an infection and then all bets would be off. The risk of peritonitis is not one that can be taken lightly, not even under the best of circumstances, and no matter how many antibiotics I pump into her there is still a chance that we could end up losing her. The next 48 hours are going to be critical."

"But barring any major complications she is going to make it?" asks Bill, obviously looking for some sort of reassurance, the problem is that I can't afford to give him that kind of comfort, not with the stakes being as high as they are.

"I repaired the damage and chances are that her injuries will heal just fine if that is what you are asking but that doesn't mean she is going to live. The bottom line is that right now those injuries are the least of her worries. Let me be perfectly clear here, admiral: this was a serious suicide attempt, not a cry for attention, and she damn near succeeded. I don't think you realize just how close she cut it here."

"Tell me."

"If it weren't because someone was worried enough about what was going on to come looking for me before she did anything in the first place I would almost certainly have been too late, that's how close it was. Now, the good news is that, as serious as this was, I don't think she planned it. Of course, that doesn't mean she is not going to try it again but that is all the good news I have to offer, at least for the time being."

"Wait, you don't think she planned it?" asks Apollo, beating Anders to the punch.

"No."

"Why not?"

"Because if she had planned it she would probably have used her gun and I'm fairly certain we wouldn't be here arguing about it, we would be too busy arranging her funeral and the whole point would be moot anyway. Now, going by what I was told before I went looking for her and by what I found in the head once I got there I suspect that she went in there intent on cutting her hair. That was probably her original goal but then something just snapped. Keep in mind that she did three things while she was in the head: first she cut her hair, then she smashed the mirror and finally she turned the knife on herself. Based on that sequence of events I would say that chances are that there was something about her reflection she just couldn't handle. That is the most logical scenario."

"But what was it?" asks Bill, looking almost sick at the thought.

"I don't know. Honestly I think something was just too much for her but I don't know what that something was, however I am willing to bet that one way or another this whole thing can be traced back to New Caprica. Of course, while I am fairly certain that that is what caused her to try to kill herself in the first place, that is not what triggered this, that was not the final straw, and while New Caprica may be at the root of what happened today, for the time being identifying that final straw should probably be a far more immediate concern. As I said, something caused Starbuck to snap when she did and if you want her to live you are going to have to figure out what it was that pushed her over the edge, you are going to have to figure out what the frak is going on in that thick head of hers and you are going to have to do it soon."

TBC


Author's notes (yes, more of those): I know, this is getting annoying (especially because I'm not too keen on author's notes to begin with) but there were a couple of little things I wanted to mention that didn't seem to fit at the beginning.

First of all, I promise that the discrepancies between Kara's attitude at the end of Control and this fic will be explained eventually... after all, a lot has happened since then.

Second, about the update frequency. I am usually pretty obsessive about updating my fics once a week, however right now I have two WIPs so there may be times when two weeks will go by. I will try to maintain the weekly updates for both stories however if I miss an update that story will automatically take priority the following week. On the other hand, if I have updated both stories, the one with the most vocal readers will get priority. In other words, reviews will help keep the updates coming (though I will never hold a story hostage to the number of reviews).

Having said that, I'll try to keep the author's notes to a minimum in the future.

Thanks for reading,

Alec