disclaimer: ...not really mine. I swear.
notes: Er, hi. This is not Daybreakverse. Really. It could be, except it's not. It's also set in the future and AU. And was mostly an excuse to be ridiculous. (also, Allie, this is why you should suggest better names for pop tarts)
Spoilers: 4.0
Set: post-Revelations
Genre: AU, future-fic, pop tart fic.
Pairing: Kara Thrace/Sam Anders, rating PG only because of language and one or two eyebrow waggly bits.
I also blame Palmetto
Warnings: sappy.

Set Dressing
by ALC Punk!

With paper at a premium and books, and printing even, something only the military of government used, it fell to a large assortment of people to tell stories, to pass on to their children the wisdom they had learned in the flight and exodus of humanity. Some of them told stories, some showed the children lists and some taught them their letters and sums. And some were roped in by scheming ex-presidents. Arguably, she only did that for the day care section of her small school.

One of these such was Sam Anders, ex-pyramid player, ex-resistance leader and fighter, and current pilot.

The kids liked him, though. He was honest with them, never tried to talk down to them, and was perfectly agreeable if, say, they wanted to tackle him and wrestle him into submission. Sometimes, Roslin considered taking photographs for blackmail, but since he seemed to enjoy himself, she figured she wouldn't get much.

But they also wanted stories from him. Tales of being a pilot, of Caprica--sometimes, even of New Caprica. But the biggest story, the one they wanted to hear at least once a week (and which sometimes changed in the telling), was the story of finding Earth. Some of the kids had grown up traveling between the stars, born before New Caprica, and old enough to remember countless months spent in metal cans, sometimes with only algae to eat.

After a particularly long and involved retelling of how they'd found Earth and it had been a nuclear wasteland, Sam finished the tale with a quick version of the events post-Earth, "--we went looking for another, habitable planet and found one."

"That's where we are now?" A tiny little girl asked. She was five, and in ten years, Sam imagined she'd be taking over CIC. Just like her mama.

It was one thing to think about the passage of time, and another to see something that was such a sign of it. If you'd asked Sam Anders seven years before if Anastasia Dualla would produce such adorable, martinet-like off-spring, he would have asked for another shot of ambrosia and never answered.

Truth was, Sam wasn't used to seeing any of them with kids, and he'd had time to get used to the idea.

He nodded, "Yes, Trixie, it is."

One of the other children, a four year old who was more often seen covered in paint and mud, but who was mostly-clean for her current excursion, added her two cents, "You forgot the best part!"

"The best part, Allie?" Sam asked, his tone amused.

Twirling a lock of her blonde hair around one finger, she nodded, "The part where mama saves your ass!"

If Sam had ever been asked about children, he would probably have shrugged and moved on. But being presented with the evidence every day sort of made a man a little... mushy in the head. He snorted, though, and wondered that he'd ever hoped she could talk. "That part isn't about finding Earth."

"But you're special," insisted Allie, "And that's why mama had to find you, so you could find Earth."

This convoluted bit of logic was sort of true. Sam laughed and shook his head, "In a way, I guess."

"You guess, huh?"

Sam looked towards the doorway where his wife was slouching, flight suit unzipped to reveal her sweat-soaked tanks. He gave her a grin, "Who's telling this story, Major, you or me?"

With a shriek of delight, Allie jumped up and ran over to her mother. Kara scooped her up, groaning, "Gods, kid, I think you've grown a foot taller since I saw you this morning."

"Did not," Allie said, tucking her head under Kara's chin.

It always weirded Sam out a little that Kara, despite her initial reluctance to even admit to liking the child she'd born, made one hell of a mother. It was hot. Though, if anyone had told him that she'd be okay with kids when he'd first met her, he would have thought they were crazy. He still sort of thought they were crazy.

Children had been one of the subjects of discussion when the new colony was being put together. Half in the asteroid-belt surrounding the planet and half on the planet meant stretched resources and thin interior architecture. But once the pilots began to prove that human and cylon could live and survive together, there'd been others willing to try. And having Nicky Tyrol and Hera Agathon playing pin the tail on the donkey with the rest of the colonial children had tipped the balance even further.

Hera and Nicky were older now, Nicky idolizing her, and Hera a quirky, intelligent girl who could charm even Colonel Tigh. When he wasn't chasing Matilda around, at least. Matilda Tigh was as devious as her mother, and twice as boisterous as her father.

With the fleet divided, half the pilots trained and patrolled through the asteroid belt while the other half took the planet, using the baseship as their port of operations. So far, it seemed to work out, even if every two weeks Kara rotated up to run her over the rooks.

Miners worked the asteroids, producing minerals and tyllium to keep the ships running and in good repair. Several small plants for manufacturing were already half-built, their plans begun nearly a year after the settlement began. Two of the smaller liners had already been converted into use as quick shelters for anyone and everyone. A third was slowly being stripped and turned into an actual working hospital. The tiny infirmary Cottle worked out of was barely enough to treat a tiny fraction of the populace.

People were creating apprentice-ships and trades, turning a hand wherever they could and pitching in to ensure good yield on the harvest every year--the first had been lost do to bad storage facilities, and they'd resorted to algae and protein mash as Cottle's group of scientists continued to determine what was poisonous for them to eat and what wasn't.

Too often, the quickest solution sent a test subject to Cottle's infirmary, where the doctor read a tirade over everyone involved.

Most thought it was a small price to pay to keep them alive and safe. Cavil's forces had yet to find them, and even now, after seven years, it was still something they were watching for. Some might believe he'd never find them, but Sam and most of the military couldn't take that risk. There was a careful group of 'asteroids', at the perimeter of the system, which sent back data every few days, and kept watch.

If they had to run again, they would. But Cavil wouldn't catch them napping.

Sam finished with the children, leaving Allie and Kara to themselves. It was one more day until Kara's next rotation to the mining operation, and he was content to let her store up time with their daughter. The last child ran off, talking excitedly about the next day's assignment from their morning teacher about agriculture.

The next month, it would be his turn to rotate out there, though he'd just be another grunt under Racetrack's watchful eye. Sam didn't mind that, Racetrack was a good officer and a fine leader. It was just sometimes weird to have to take orders from someone else--even now, after he'd been doing it for a while, he would occasionally think about being captain of the C-Bucs.

"You done wasting our time, Anders?"

Laughing at the way both of them were looking at him, Sam finished making sure the room was packed up for the person in the morning, then pulled both of them into his arms, kissing Allie on the cheek with a loud smack. "Gonna penalize me for it, Major?"

"Dunno, Lieutenant," Kara leered up at him, "I could think up some good punishments."

"Papa gonna get a spanking?" asked Allie, her tone gleeful at the idea of someone other than her being in trouble.

Sam leered back at Kara, then snorted, "Dinner, first. Then a bedtime story--" he set Allie on the floor and straightened to whisper in Kara's ear, "And maybe a spanking after that."

A hand accurately swatted his arm, and Kara glanced at him, rolling her eyes. "Keep that up, and there won't be anything but a cold shower."

Grinning, Sam caught her hand and kissed the knuckles of her fist. "You keep saying that, and it's never happened."

"There's always a first time, Sammy."

-f-