disclaimer: not mine
set: Faith insert, stretching the timeline juust a little.
notes: people wanted cuddling over sex, but I couldn't even make it to cuddling. Technically, this was written before 'late delivery from avalon', but finished after. (though they have nothing to do with one another)
Lack of... by ALC Punk!
He's out of cigarettes. Pike won the last pack off him in a card game, and Barolay was sharing hers with him, but now? Now he's out. Of course, there's the practicality of stripping the dead, adding to their supplies. It was a task for those who weren't squeamish, and Sam had done it time and again, sometimes with her taking the body next to his.
Jean... She probably wasn't even cold yet, and he's thinking of swiping the last of her cigarettes. Anything to get his hands to stop shaking, to dull the snap-rush of the adrenaline that spiked hours ago and hasn't let up since. She'd mock the frak out of him for being so stupid.
The Eight's blood is still on his fingers. Just a little, but he can feel the tackiness, and every time he tries to clean his fingers off on his pants, it does no good.
He hadn't even felt the recoil, this time. The Six, her darker blonde hair still vaguely distracting him, had moved. He hadn't expected--
She was dead, too. As dead as Barolay, as dead as Hillard, on that Gods-forsaken ball of rock. As dead as Sue-Shaun, tied to a machine. Jean had been the last C-Buc, the last of the people who'd been close enough that he'd called them a friend. She'd held him, gotten him drunk, frakked him, taught him to hit a target with a rifle--and there's nothing left of her, but the taste of stale cigarettes.
The sound of footsteps warns him before she stops nearby. Half-obscured in the dark, Kara waits too long before saying anything. "The Six--Natalie said she'd seen you come this way."
"Yeah?" He's not interested, not really. His fingers shift on his knees, scraping the fabric, trying to remove the blood he can still smell.
She crouches, just out of reach, and he can feel her trying to read him in the dark. He'd laugh, but there's no humor left in him right now. He used to read her in the dark, gage her moods by the shift of her skin against his or the way she'd breathe out, huffing in anger or something else.
"I wouldn't have just let it go."
He stops rubbing his fingers against each other, and laughs, "Right. You would have shot her yourself, later. Maybe had her tried for war crimes."
He knows that tone, knows the tilt of her head, the angle of her body. She's impatient. Angry that he won't believe her. Well, frak. Sam's been believing her since day one. She can just kiss his ass if she's going to hold this one tally against him. "Look. I don't want to talk about it, all right? It's over, done."
"You gotta let this one slide, Sam."
The echo of his own words back to him make him tense. He wonders if he could have seen the same dying of the light in the Six's eyes that he saw in the Eight's. If that would have made her more real to him, less a thing to put down--
Sometimes, he wonders if he's a thing to put down.
A laugh escapes him, the sound ugly. "Let what slide, Kara?"
She doesn't say anything for too long again, like she doesn't know how to talk to him anymore. And maybe she doesn't. Maybe neither of them remembers how to communicate with each other. Sam thinks that should scare the shit out of him, but then again, once she finds out he's a Cylon, she'll be glad she can't talk to him.
Her hand touches his knee, like she can't quite see him in the dark and then she moves, sitting next to him, her back against the wall. Not-quite leaning against him, but close enough that he can feel the heat from her skin.
"I didn't know Barolay liked me."
Sam doesn't answer. He's not sure what to say to that. Hell, Kara's not the only one who doesn't know how to say the right thing anymore.
An impatient sound escapes her. "Sam."
"You didn't have to come find me, Kara. I know we're ready to jump back, so, go and jump." He'll be fine, really. In a few minutes, he'll get up and go back to the light. He's not thinking any further than that. There's too many things that could happen once they're back with the fleet--if Adama doesn't just blow their basestar to hell and back, that is.
"Asshole." she says, but there's not much heat in it. Like it's something she remembers she used to say, but doesn't anymore.
There's truth in that. Sam shrugs, his elbow bumping hers. They did used to insult each other. Now it seems rather silly.
"Would you have shot me?" he asks, idly curious. He can remember the scene happening as a blur, but looking back, there are moments of clarity. Moments where things blossom into stark relief. Kara, her hand on her side-arm, frozen in mid-draw is one of those.
"To save the life of the Six, to save your alliance, would you have shot me?"
She's silent so long, Sam's not sure if she'll answer. He's half-afraid that he already knows the truth, though. So it's not really a surprise.
"Yeah." She shifts, her shoulder bumping his arm. "But not in the leg."
Gaeta. The guilt crashes into him, swamping him for a moment. He wonders if he'll always feel this guilt, always know that there might have been another option. Probably. He swallows against the dryness in his throat, but can't think of a reply. She would have shot him for that. He's pretty sure she will shoot him for what he is. Especially when he can't give her Earth.
The silence stretches again, the blood on his fingers making him scrub them against his pants again.
Kara's hand grabs his, stopping the movement.
"Here." Her fingers leave, them come back, pressing a cigarette into his palm. "Would you frakking smoke this and then stop being so twitchy, please?"
The last of Barolay's stash, Sam figures, before he lights up, head tilting back against the wall.
At least he won't have to search her pockets for 'em.
Kara's fingers are still resting near his. Carefully, he reaches for them, sliding their fingers together, linking them. A sound escapes Kara, but she doesn't say anything.
Maybe she doesn't have to.