Summary: Sam is deathly ill, needing medicine. Leoben makes a decision regarding that need. Takes place directly after LDYB pt 2.
Disclaimer: No disrespect meant to the creators of Battlestar Galactica.
With Kara sedated, Leoben made the trek to the tent she had been sharing with Sam Anders. He approached it with slow strides. He only came because he could see that Kara was worried about Sam. At least, that was what he told himself. The reality was different. Leoben was curious. He knew what others had experienced with Sam Anders and it was those experiences that sent him towards the tent. He had to know for himself.
Two Centurions stood outside. That meant Simon had come this far along the tents with the antibiotics he carried. Six and Eight were full of ideas on making nice with the humans and Simon's current job was one way of doing that. He was to administer antibiotics that were apparently in desperate need right now. Many humans were sick and their supply had jumped away with the Galactica and Pegasus.
He lifted the flap and ducked under it into the tent. "Simon."
"What do you want to know, Leoben?" Sam's wrist was held in a loose grip. "Is he still sick? Yes. Is he going to recover without antibiotics? Likely not. This man needs medicine. He could recover without, I suppose. Miracles can happen." Simon laid Sam's wrist back down on top of the covers and picked up his chart, making notations on it.
Leoben sat on the bedside and studied this man Kara had married. Sam Anders was known to them. He was an athlete, had led the resistance on Caprica, and was deathly ill. This was the man Kara had returned to Caprica for and Leoben found himself jealous. It was a small twinge that grew when he imagined the two together. Imagining was easy. Turning off those imaginings was the hard part. It was too easy to imagine Kara with this man, twined with him in this bed.
He licked his lips, clasped his hands together and rested his forearms on his thighs. Let it go, he thought.
"This would be easier if they wanted medicines from us." Setting the chart aside, Simon now listened to Sam's heartbeat.
"Did any truly expect otherwise?"
Simon glanced at him. "A few had hopes." He shook his head. "Can we expect to be welcomed with open arms after all that has passed between us?"
Leoben had never expected open arms. He knew better. He knew there would be resistance. Why would there not be? "Are you going to give him the drug?"
With a snort, Simon stood straight. "I shouldn't. Not without his consent. As a doctor…. Although with my conflicting orders, I could."
Simon's lip curled in disgust. "Indeed. Who hasn't given an order on this? Keep them alive by force. Let them die. Keep them alive, but consult them regarding their preference. I could claim to follow anyone's orders on this no matter what I do."
He could guess which model had issued which order. There were…slight disagreements in handling certain matters. Leoben glanced around the tent, gaze touching upon the scant belongings. He thought he could still smell a trace of Kara here. His nostrils flared as he tried to drag that scent to him.
"They need our medicines, Leoben. Should they be forced to take them?"
"Not if true friendship is being offered."
Simon's gaze rose to meet his, steady, probing, and troubled. "Yes. True friendship."
"So…. Did Kara check out okay?" Leoben watched Sam once more. The man's chest still rose and fell in a smooth even rhythm, yet Leoben detected a growing wakefulness. Each breath was too steady. Leoben tilted his head a little, lips twitching. Playing possum are we, Sam? "She's not sick, is she?"
"Kara Thrace is a picture of physical health. She's fine."
"Good." Leoben stood. "I'll get an answer for you."
"Should he be forced to take it?" A part of him hoped the answer would be 'no' and that he would not have to consider Sam Anders much longer. He would not have to wonder and imagine and…hurt from longings that would go unfulfilled.
But to hurt was human. He needed to hurt. He needed to feel to understand. They all needed to feel.
Simon shrugged and went back to his writing. He was, at times, more open than others to the revelations Leoben was given. He would accept the answer.
It was time to sit at the feet of the hybrid and drink in the wisdom she poured out.
The hybrid spoke in a low tone that was very near a muttering. It was a constant soothing sound. Leoben knelt beside her tank, his head bowed. Some were disconcerted by her seeming random phrases, but not him. None of his model disdained those truths mixed among her words like the other models did. Why? Because they had seen those truths unfold over time into hard reality.
He was lulled by her tone, closing his eyes and letting the flow wash over him. Gradually, certain words and phrases jumped out at him, clearer than the rest. They were a puzzle he would ponder and put together as he sat visiting at her side.
A pain pierced his temples, sharp and blinding. Leoben sat up, eyes wide. He panted. Images took over his vision. Himself with Kara. Her kissing him, telling him she loved him. Shapely pale female limbs barely covered by a sheet. Kara looking so serene and beautiful as she whispered, "I married a Cylon." A half-lit room hazy at the edges and four figures, one in each direction. North, east, west, south. Words spoken in whispers. "There's too much confusion." "We're Cylons." Phrases that made no sense. "…some way out…" "…no relief…" He saw Sam Anders, a sick expression on his face. And then darkness as the light was extinguished.
Leoben gasped, waking from his vision. "A storm is coming. The wind begins to howl." He gasped again. His mouth was dry. He relaxed, looking down to see that his hands were shaking. Sweat trickled down his temples. The hybrid went silent for several seconds, then resumed her speech.
Leoben got to his feet and staggered from her presence on shaking legs. The passionate kiss he'd seen swirled in his thoughts. Her profession of love echoed over and over and he had to lean against a wall to steady himself before moving towards the place where his copies waited.
He always conferred with the rest of his model present after sitting with the hybrid. They would sift through what he'd heard and then through that God-given vision and reach some sort of conclusion.
The other models could see the information if they wished to access it, but Leoben was all too aware of their lack of faith. The others simply did not have his gift of discernment. They could see the information, yet they lacked the power to interpret what they saw. They were, collectively, disdainful of the information the hybrid gave. His model however, knew the wisdom of the hybrid.
He waited until those present had taken in the information. "Well?"
"Samuel T. Anders must be treated," one replied.
"I agree. Why?" Leoben crossed his arms.
"There's too much confusion," another said with a shake of his head.
Their voices rose, a jumble of sound. Within several minutes, they had quieted.
"He's important," came a voice from the back of the room.
"Yes," Leoben agreed. "But how is he important?" They had questions and answers both, but which answers matched which questions? Did the answers they had answer the questions, or were they given more puzzle pieces?
"He's tied to Kara Thrace," the same voice replied. "He is important on some fundamental level."
Leoben sighed. "Common sense tells us that. She would not have married him unless it were truth."
"No," the copy returned, stepping forward. "Two thoughts. I mean he is important to her and he is important otherwise."
"Ahh…." They all breathed collectively, considering that thought.
"What of Kara," a copy to his right asked. "Why should we go forward?"
"Because they will resist." Leoben rubbed a hand along the back of his neck, massaging. "We've all seen that. Even the other models, though they refuse to acknowledge the truth. There will be resistance. The time for our co-existence is not right. If Kara were free, she would embroil herself in rebellion and she would get hurt, perhaps even die before it is her time to meet her destiny. Her death would be senseless. It would usher in darker times with no dawn to break the night. She must be ready to meet her destiny when it comes to claim her, but that destiny is not here yet. We have to prepare her."
It wasn't as though they had not considered these things before. They had spent a long time both together and alone ruminating upon the things they all saw. Days, weeks, months. These sessions had to happen. They were supposed to happen. Leoben saw the patterns. He could see the cycle continuing forward as it had for millennia after millennia. They asked these questions of each other to clarify their visions.
"The wind begins to howl," the copy on his left replied.
"The lights will all go out," two of him said together.
"Time is running out." Leoben looked at each face in turn.
"She needs us to show her."
There was silence for several minutes.
The copy who had stepped from the back of the room slipped his hands in his pockets and cocked his head. "Who is he? Sam Anders. Can he be one of our own? One of those we don't speak of?"
Leoben glanced at the doorway. "Whatever or whoever he is…makes no difference." But did it make a difference? If Sam Anders was a Cylon brother, then what did it mean to the rest of them? It meant…. He rushed on rather than complete that line of thought. "The vision and hybrid are clear that he must be treated. We have seen him in a future time and he lives, so we must step in."
"Is it our role in his life to step in? Are we the reason he lives that later date? For that matter…. Was it later?"
Which were good questions. "It was later. Recall the clothes he wore." Leoben waited while they all nodded. "We cannot allow him to die. And Simon believes he will without the medicine. Sam Anders, like Kara, is special."
"And the other three in the vision with him? Who are they?"
He looked away. "Special as well in some way. Perhaps answers on them will come. We can only see what God allows us to see. Perhaps we will be given their identities as well." The original question was circling in Leoben's thoughts and he couldn't stop the return to it. Was it possible Sam Anders was a brother Cylon? Simon had mentioned nothing unusual about the man's exam and surely he would have mentioned something that important. If Anders was, then where were the rest of his model? For that matter, which model was he? Were the other four here as well? Had those long gone returned in secret? The other three they had glimpsed with Sam…. A shiver worked through him. Trust in God, he told himself. Trust in the cycle, in the ultimate plan for us all. Do not lack faith in these hard times.
But if Sam Anders wasn't a Cylon, what role was he to play?
One by one, they gave their decision.
"Our way is clear."
"We will take Kara down a quick path to readiness."
"By the time her destiny comes, there will be little resistance to meeting it."
"We will see that Sam Anders is given medicine."
They were agreed and Leoben left them. He would take the medicine to Sam himself. There was no need to bother Simon with it.
He held the syringe in a tight grip, fighting the surging of emotions inside of him. The part of him that loved Kara Thrace wanted Sam dead. Sam was a rival. Sam was in the way. However, the part of him committed to the ultimate plan knew he must play his role as he should. He could not turn the flow of the tide on a careless, selfish whim.
There was a power in his knowledge and that power could be terrible. Seeing the patterns of the universe could be a curse as much as a blessing. For just a moment, Leoben was tempted to let Sam Anders simply die. Let whoever or whatever that one was expire in the night. He was tempted to dam up this river and let it flow another way. The course would change. He would let Sam die and wade into the waters to claim Kara as his own. He would have his own will rather than following God's.
But that was his heart talking. This was so much bigger than he. Leoben had to remember that. He had to put his own longings aside. He had to remember. But would it harm anything to let Kara know of his feelings for her?
Kara was going to say she loved him. She would marry a Cylon. She would kiss Leoben. He had seen it. The remembrance of the vision of that kiss kept continuing butterfly wings fluttering in his belly. He had seen that passionate kiss. Were all three the same? Or were they separate? Was it really him she was professing love of? Had she already married the Cylon? What was the truth of Sam Anders? Was he a Cylon or a man and did it matter in the end?
He swallowed hard, heard the man's feverish mutterings and reminded himself that this was merely an aside. It had nothing to do with his part in the plan. It was Kara, not Sam, who concerned him. He was only performing an act of…friendship.
"Too much confusion," Leoben whispered, and bent over Sam. He administered the antibiotics.
The decision hurt. He wanted Kara with a desperateness he didn't want to acknowledge. Leoben didn't want to be torn in two between his feelings and his duty, but he wanted what Sam had with her. He wanted to be the one Kara came back to. Leoben had a duty though. His duty was to prepare Kara for her destiny. He would do that. He would accept his role, take the kiss she would give him and maybe, one of these cycles, he would be Sam and she would once more be Kara. Maybe then he could love her as he wanted.
He covered Sam with an extra blanket, mopped Sam's brow with a cool cloth, then stepped outside, turning his eyes to the sky. There were dark times ahead. "A storm is coming," he whispered, staring at the sky. It would be dark for awhile, but as the saying went, it was always darkest before the dawn. And when that dawn came, it would be glorious.
With a last glance back at the tent, Leoben strode away into the night.