Disclaimer: Not mine.
Length: 1,000. Rating: R, sex, language Pairings: Kara Thrace/Sam Anders, Kara Thrace/Leoben (referenced.
Set: between Rapture and Taking a Break... somewhere.
Notes: I was going to spam you with the Pet Shop Boys, but I wrote this instead and LJ was down. (NEVER LEAVE ME LJ). Title is... ganked from Depeche Mode's Clean, sorta.

Riding the Tide by ALC Punk!

Kara was using Sam. Arched above him, pulling back to take him in deeper, she wondered if he knew that.

There's a system to the way they worked now. She had a dream, memory, or moment where she remembered something about New Caprica and then she called him.

And Sam just came over, like some dog on a leash. Except that he wasn't. Except that he kissed her in a way that wasn't mindless or stupid, and his hands on her skin and his tongue in her mouth weren't the same things she saw in her nightmares (dreams).

They played by her rules, and sometimes he pushed. Sometimes, he stepped out of his appointed role and Kara would run.

Soaked in sweat, she would pull on her clothes and walk out, her words and voice cutting. Saying anything to make him stay away for good. Sometimes, he said things back, and sometimes he didn't. Not that it mattered. He kept coming back to her so it wasn't like he meant it when he tried to leave her.

The snap-drag of Leoben's fingers across her skin pulled her into a memory of a dream (nightmare), and she clawed her way out of it, fingers digging into Sam's chest.

He gasped, his hands climbing up her sides to her breasts, fingers pressing against them. Kara leaned forward, letting him take more of her weight. She could smell him, could feel him straining against her. Sweat-soaked and salty and human. It was enough. With Sam wrapped around her and inside of her, she couldn't feel Leoben anymore. Couldn't taste the phantom in her mouth, only Sam.

Sam... Falling off the edge, she shuddered and went limp. Bracing her hands against him, she kept moving, dragging him with her.

Blunt nails dug into her side and then he was grunting and climaxing as his body jerked against hers.

Trying to steady her breathing, she noticed the faint red marks on his chest and traced one with her finger. She didn't apologize for it, only dimly remembering causing them. He shivered a little under her touch, but didn't say anything.

When his hand nudged her hip she shifted to let him climb out from under her. He sat on the edge of the rack, bent forward to catch his breath a little.

It was his turn to leave, since she had nowhere to be. Those were the rules. Show up, frak, argue or ignore each other, leave. Kara sank down against the top of the rack, not really paying attention to her pillow or the rucked-up sheets.

Her rules. And suddenly her rules didn't matter so much, not when she had confessions and things she wanted to say (but couldn't vocalize, because then he might really run and never come back). But her hand reached out for his shoulder, and he froze as she stroked down and caught his fingers. His hand turned over, fingers interlocking with hers in a way that's too easy and yet just what she needed.

Neither of them said a damned thing, but Sam stopped reaching for his underwear.

"Leoben, he, uh," Kara cleared her throat and leaned back, pulling him into the rack a little more. But not against her. More than his hand might be too much. "He never raped me."

But the threat had always been there. She'd known he could do it if he wanted. He could pin her to the floor--a shudder went through her and Sam's fingers tightened on hers, but he still didn't say anything. She was glad, because she was afraid if he said something, she'd tell him that Leoben frakked her in her dreams.

Kara shot a quick glance at his eyes, then dropped hers again. She wasn't sure what she'd seen there, but it was enough (had to be). Her mouth opened again and in halting, careful words, she told him. About the apartment and the pastel-blue walls that she wanted to beat her hands bloody on, of perfect dinners and bedtime stories, related after lights out, with Leoben so close she could smell his skin.

Cylons shouldn't smell human.

Sam listened without saying anything, simply letting his presence give her what she needed. It was all he could do, because it hurt to hear what she'd gone through, and it hurt to know how much longer this was going to destroy her. Sam wasn't going to lie to himself that this one little conversation would make her better.

When Kara fell silent, Sam didn't try to fill the silence with words. Instead, he rubbed his thumb against her hand and reached out to touch his fingers to her cheek. When she didn't pull away, he cupped her cheek and said softly, "We had three assaults planned for the detention center, but none of them would have worked and Colonel Tigh shot them down. And then he was taken, and Barolay and I realized we were all that was left of the resistance."

"It was more important," Kara muttered, pulling away from him.

"Yeah, it was."

The words were cold and logical, but they hurt to hear. The freedom of New Caprica had been more important than Kara Thrace. She hunched her shoulders and started to pull her hand free of his.

Someone banged on the hatch, and Racetrack shouted through to them, "Time's up, Starbuck!"

"I should go." Sam separated their fingers and began hastily dressing.

Kara grabbed the bottle of ambrosia from the shelf above her pillow and downed a shot while Sam buttoned his shirt.

He studied her a moment before he moved to the door and opened it for 'Track. The two exchanged brief greetings before Sam walked out into the corridor.

Grabbing the curtain, Kara yanked it closed before she could do something stupid. Following Sam, asking him for more than she was willing to give, would be stupid. And Kara prided herself on not being actively stupid, if she could help it.

At least she would dream of a human in her bed now instead of a Cylon.

-f-