Pairing: er... Billy/Racetrack, ref: Dualla/Billy, Dualla/Lee, Roslin/Adama, tent/sand.
Notes: Er. I was prompted. title from Conjure One's 'Extraordinary Ways'
SPOILERS: LYDB2, etc. AU, of course.
Length: 1000+ Summary: A.j. sez: Someone needs to write me Billy fic in which he is competant, alive, and a teacher's aide. JUST SAYIN.
So much luckier than I thought I'd be.
by ALC Punk!
Sometimes, Billy thinks that this whole idea of settling on a planet is a bad plan. Usually it's in the morning, when he hurts from the bullet Doc Cottle had to dig out of him six months ago. He's healed, but Doc said it was a bad location, warned him it might always bug him.
His heart isn't what it was.
Not that he's surprised by this, given that he tortured himself and attended the wedding. He watched her up there, happier than he'd seen her since, well, he wasn't actually sure she'd ever been that happy. Not with him, and that grates. But he tries not to dwell on it. Because she is happy with Commander Adama, and he has to let that be.
Or he'll go insane.
Besides, there are other things demanding his attention. Once he's awake, and ignoring the twinges, he has to get dressed in the semi-dark (and try not to wake the other reason he doesn't regret Dee as much as he thought he would).
It would be bad for the teacher's assistant to show up in his pyjamas. Not that he hasn't been tempted before.
About the time he's got his shoes on, Meg wakes up enough to sleepily complain about the cold.
So then he has to pause and kiss her, because kissing Margaret is kind of like drinking coffee. He's definitely awake after that. In more ways than one, and he has to think about very boring things once he's left their tent and headed for the school.
Because it really wouldn't do for the kids to notice certain things. They're all old enough to get the facts of life (and living in too-close quarters made it hard for parents not to explain), but they don't need a demonstration.
Usually, the budget reports that he used to do for the president work like a charm. He always hated those. If they don't work, he thinks about their current president.
If nothing else, Dr. Baltar is good for killing any sort of happy.
He usually gets to the large tent they set up as a school first, turning on the lights and making sure the heater in the back is set to a decent temperature. Don't need the kids complaining about cold fingers, or they'll stop trying to write and start throwing pencils at each other.
When he's started the pot of coffee in the back, she arrives, sometimes with Mya and Isis in tow. Billy isn't sure what he thinks about Mya, Roslin and Isis--though he thinks Mya is good for her, he's still uncertain about the hybrid baby. Although he has to admit, she is rather adorable.
"Good morning, Billy." She says, and then she'll smile at the scent of coffee.
"Ma'am." With a nod, he'll take her bag from her, moving to the desk she uses and getting her lesson book, planner and the one pen they're allotted set neatly out on the desktop.
He does not get the newest book that the Admiral has given her out--that's for lunchtime, when she needs five minutes to herself.
The kids start trickling in, eventually, and he settles himself at his own small desk, waiting for their inevitable questions and laughter, their tears and their playfulness. It's why he's here, and not working somewhere else. If he were with the union, he'd just be another cog in the machine. Here, in the classroom, he can be part of something special.
Even if he also hates glue in his hair, wishes his shirts had less paint stains, and sometimes was certain he never ever wanted children.
After a lunch of something vaguely gruel-like, he settles the youngest in a corner for their nap time. Most of them claim they don't need it, but they all settle quietly as he tells them stories about their parents and the people who came before them. Stories about the firefight aboard Galactica always get eager smiles. Halfway through his second story about Sir Bill and his trusty pilot, Starbuck, most are asleep. Some of them even snore.
When it's time to wake them, he's very careful. Wake them too abruptly, and they cry (or in one awful instance, puke). Sometimes it's just post-nap time crankiness. Other times, it's fear.
Most of the children never consider that the cylons will come back.
Billy doesn't plan on making them believe they will. After all, that's a nightmare for grown-ups.
After naptime comes painting time, and the kids descend en masse into a kind of chaos as they play with color, argue over whether blue is better than red. Two of them fingerpaint vipers,a third splatters a cylon while the rest try for clouds and fluffy things and tents. There are parental images and one or two jumbles that he can't decipher although the beaming painter claims they have great significance.
While he's washing the paint from Sally's hair (Tommy put it there with gusto), Roslin settles them down for math and physics.
Then the day is suddenly over, tired parents show up to retrieve their equally-tired children, leaving Mya to hand Isis to Billy and make Roslin sit while she sweeps up the debris of the day. He has no clue where she gets the energy. Equally, he has no clue what to think of the baby that gurgles up at him.
"Go home, Billy, you're falling asleep on your feet."
He jerks awake, feeling guilty, then hands over Isis to Roslin, packs up his desk and leaves.
Once home, he starts dinner (rationing mean it's usually stew of some kind), settles down on the bunk and falls asleep.
Meg wakes him with a gentle kiss.
Of course, if someone had asked him, he would never have said she was gentle. But New Caprica changed her--it changed them all, really. She claims she doesn't miss flying (she's lying), that she enjoys her new job. But sometimes, at night, he can feel the tension in her, the restlessness that he recognizes from his own nightmares.
"I still want them all dead," she told him once when they were tangled up.
He didn't press then, he doesn't press now. He also doesn't tell her he wants to give her the world--he doesn't think she'd take it, anyway.
Dinner is usually overdone and tasteless. Not that he cares, really. Not with Meg mocking it in amusement. Regained strength means she's giving him that look that sometimes scares the crap out of him.
On nights when he's really feeling awake, she has to bite his shoulder to keep from disturbing the neighbors.
He likes being smug about that.
The subject of children has come up once--she's still using the birth control all Fleet pilots are issued with. They didn't speak of it again, even if he sometimes thinks they should.
When it's been a year, he decides (for the ten-thousandth time). There's no pressure. A year will give him time. Give her time.
So it comes as a shock that nine weeks, five days and twenty minutes after the first time she bit his shoulder that she pokes him awake. "Hey."
"Hey." He's sated, but willing to grope her a bit.
"Sorry." Befuddled, he tries to see her expression in the dark. "What?"
"I think..." She shifts, and her next words are obviously part of something she's thinking about, but make little sense, "I thought we were done with the bad food, that it was over and we were..."
He lets the silence fill, because this is her conversation, not his.
"Billy. I need... I need more." A laugh escapes her, but it sounds like something unamused. "I thought the worst was the never-ending worry. Now I know the worst is--look, Billy, I want kids."
Head spinning, he reaches for her again, "So do I, but..."
"But, yeah. Not now, right? Not when the planet sucks, the people suck more, and we're stuck with no frakking way of surviving long-term." She wriggles closer. "Never thought I'd miss the cylons."
"I was talking to Doc. Says we're running out of birth control. So, if you're okay with it--he's not sure how fast it'll wear off, since I've been taking it long-term."
Something that might be joy bubbles through him and he tugs her closer, "Yeah. Yeah, I'm ok with it."
"Ok. Good. Just... no stupid crap about giving me everything, all right?"
"Wouldn't dream of it," he murmurs before he kisses her. After all, just because he doesn't say it doesn't mean he doesn't plan it.
In the morning, he has to dress for work again. And she's cranky and coffee and the air bites his skin. But he's happy. And that's something Billy Keikeya never thought he'd be again.