Disclaimer: not mine.
Rating: PG.
Set: during Unfinished Business, during the flashbacks. Contains spoilers for them, as such.
Pairings: Kara Thrace/Sam Anders, Jean Barolay/Billy Keikeya, Anastasia Dualla/Lee Adama ref: Kara Thrace/Lee Adama, Anastasia Dualla/Billy Keikeya length: 1,300+ Notes: This is an AU. The most significant thing about it: Sacrifice ended differently. I mostly blame the season three soundtrack, really. There is not so much Billy in this, sadly. Much thanks to A.j. for the answer to a spelling question.

...said the Joker to the Blind Man.
by ALC Punk!

In the normal course of things, Sam wasn't sure he would have even talked to Billy Keikeya much less stood him a drink. It wasn't that Keikeya was too young or too naive. It was simply that he didn't seem like the kind of guy who'd hang around pyramid matches, or sit in bars with drunk and obnoxious players. Not that Sam could blame him, there'd been times he hadn't wanted to be at those bars.

But getting drunk and playing stupid tricks on the opposing team was all part of the way the game was played. So Sam strategized and did pretty well at the whole game.

Then again, Sam was here on New Caprica, and there weren't any ball clubs left let alone opposing teams to play tricks on.

Unless you counted the Cylons, and Sam wasn't planning on thinking about them for a very long while.

In the sun of New Caprica, with free alcohol and decent food filling him, Sam was inclined to feeling generous. He looked around for Kara, and saw her chatting with a group of pilots, their laughter erupting occasionally. Giving a shrug, he turned to the young man who'd come up for a glass of water.

"Hey, man. You just want water?"

Billy Keikeya gave a shrug, "I'm not really in the mood to drink myself senseless. Besides, Cottle might come beat me black and blue if I tried it before he's given me the all-clear."

"Oh." Sam raised his half-empty glass, "Been there. To Docs, and all the health they bring us."

"Or something like that," grimaced Billy, though he raised his glass and took a slow sip.

Registering that there was some sort of courtesy for the whole talking to someone in a bar, Sam hastily held out his hand, "Sam Anders." After all, sharing a drink almost required an exchange of names.

"I know." The kid looked him up and down, then shook his hand. "Billy Keikeya."

"Oh, hey--Kara talked about you. Said you were the president--"

"Ex-president," Billy corrected, glancing away, his tone odd.

Sensing a touchy subject, even in his semi-inebriated state, Sam dropped it. "So, yeah. Advisor, huh?"

"And you were a pyramid player." Billy returned.

Wondering if the kid--man. He was younger than Sam, but in truth, he wasn't really a kid. He just seemed like one, and Sam wondered if that was less true than he thought. The veiled barb had hit, after all. He tried not to wince, "Yeah. Not much call for that, after the Cylons."

"Oh, I don't know. You could organize a new league, here, start your own teams."

It was a sobering thought. Sam glanced away from Keikeya, eyes scanning the horizon. There was already a small city of tents, people having already moved gleefully to the surface, as though it were safer and better than being in a ship. Sam didn't blame them, but he also wasn't sure the surface was any safer. Or maybe that was just his paranoia talking.

He hadn't actually really given much thought to settling on the planet. His gaze strayed to the pilots again, as Kara's laughter rang loud across the space.

"She fought hard to get you back."

The non sequitor took Sam a minute to decipher, and then he realized Keikeya was talking about Kara. "Yeah?" He'd been a little busy, keeping himself alive to worry too much about the whys and wherefors of Kara's promise to come back for them. "Wasn't just me, you know. It was all of us." He didn't add that they'd made a quick survey of the other planets, trying to find more survivors, and had failed.

"No," Billy contradicted. "It was for you."

Sam shook his head. "I'm not the special," he said, then tried to change the subject, "You think I could find people interested in a league, or should I just give up and join one of the work groups?" After all, he doubted he'd be allowed to remain on Galactica much longer--the Admiral wasn't happy with his group being there as it was. Something about civilians and military on the same ship not mixing well. Sam was actually pretty certain that it wasn't because he was sleeping with Starbuck, either. Although the thought had occurred to him, early on. The man just really was a stickler.

"She spent ten months planning, having her plans shot down and getting another plan together, just to get you back," Billy said, his voice quiet. "I'm not sure any of you were worth it."

Now that hurt. Sam tried to shrug it off, "We'll be more bodies for this New Caprica thing, though."

"If she hadn't--look, let's just say, sometimes, I wish she hadn't succeeded in convincing the Admiral and the President. Because if she hadn't, Racetrack would never have found this place, and--"

"We wouldn't be settling here, thanks to our new president," guessed Sam.

It was Billy's turn to shrug, and his gaze drifted away from Sam, "Yeah. Can't have everything, though. And if never won a war."

"Very little wins wars," Sam said, feeling almost sober.

When Keikeya didn't respond, Sam followed his gaze, discovering a group at the far end of the bar, where Commander Adama and his cute girlfriend were. Sam watched them, the young woman smiling, though her eyes were guarded. And then he looked at Billy. "You know her?"

The younger man didn't jump. He turned a look on Sam, and shook his head. "No."

"Really. Because you sure look like--" Sam broke off, and shrugged, "Sorry, man. Didn't mean to get personal."

And Billy laughed, the sound not-particularly amused.

"Yo," A fist thumped Sam in the shoulder, and Jean Barolay followed it up by leaning against his back and stealing his drink.

"Barolay!"

She sucked in a breath after swallowing, and laughed. "I was thirsty, Anders." She dropped the glass back onto the bar, then held out a hand to Billy, still leaning against Sam's back. "Jean Barolay."

"Billy Keikeya," Billy shook her hand.

"Hey, Billy, has Anders been boring you? He can get like that. Man's too old to realize that he never shuts up." Jean said, her voice amused.

"Hey!" Sam objected, shoving her.

She tripped on a rock and Sam and Billy both grabbed her arms to keep her up. "Thanks. Anders, you are such an ass."

"Takes one to know one, Barolay," Sam shot back, releasing her and watching as she took the spot between he and Billy like she was supposed to be there.

Jean turned her back on him, "I know way better stories than he does. Wanna go for a walk?"

Sam's eyebrows shot up, "Barolay?"

"Stay out of this, Anders." She shot over her shoulder. "Well, Billy Keikeya?"

Billy's eyes skittered down to the end of the bar, where Kara and her pilots had joined Lee and his girlfriend. Then he grinned at Jean, "Yeah. Just don't try to get me drunk, I got shot a while ago and Doc says my heart can't handle the alcohol yet."

"Gotcha." Jean grabbed his arm and tugged him away from the bar, "First, how much of NewCap have you seen?"

Sam didn't bother trying to listen to their conversation. He was drawn to the same scene Billy had been, Kara laughing at something Lee said. Watching them, he felt... something. But then he remembered that it didn't matter. He was still wearing her dog tag, she'd never asked for it back--not that he'd offered it, either. But he'd been waiting for her to ask for it, and she hadn't.

Firm conviction filling him, Sam waved for another shot, then got up to saunter down the bar. Sam spared a brief thought for poor Billy Keikeya before Kara looked up and saw him, her eyes lighting.

"Hey, baby," he called, tone lazy.

"Hey, honey," she replied, tone mocking.

Chuckling, Sam waved his shot at her. "Thirsty?"

"Nope." Kara patted Dee on the shoulder, then sauntered towards him, "Let's take a tour."

-f-