Disclaimer: Not mine.
Rating: er, R? sex, language, adult situations
Paring: Kara Thrace/Sam Anders, ref: Kara/Leoben, Kara/Lee
Length: 3000+
Notes: Future spec fic, caused by reading this little booklet on Stonehenge. Yeah, I don't know, either. Consider it full of spoilers.

by ALC Punk!

Every few weeks, Kara walks to the stone circle. It's a mile or two of fairly even terrain, as long as one watches for holes under the brush. Sometimes she's alone, sometimes Sam goes with her. But he's getting more weathered, as the years go on, and Kara wonders that he's still alive after all this time.

They know Cylons can die of old age, because Saul Tigh did, his face drawn but finally at peace when they laid him to rest twenty years into the settlement on Earth.

But Sam is... Sam is younger, as Tory is younger. And so Kara has hope that he will live as long as she will. Sometimes, after they've made love particularly strenuously (she's not as young as she was, either, and she misses being felixible far more than Sam cares), she can hear the rasp of his breathing. It occurs to her then, that somewhere deep his lungs are damaged and she wonders if it wouldn't be there if he'd never gotten pneumonia on New Caprica. She'll never ask him, and he'll never let her see that it hurts.

The stone circle is something of an anomaly. Baltar's harem claim it's the work of their precious God, but Kara thinks it has more layers than he dreamt of. She's not entirely sure it's the cause of her Gods, either, and sometimes wonders at her own audacity at doubting the beings which made her. But then, doubt always lurked under her faith, even when she was young and standing in front of Laura Roslin, disbelieving her story of a golden arrow that would lead the way.

Kara's been keeping track of the way the sun falls. Some nights, she'll lie in the grass and try plotting the stars, correlating their relationship to the stones.

Of course, Gaeta did it long before, but Kara doesn't care.

It's something to do.

His records are in the colony archive, some of the last things written on the old colonial standard paper, with its corners squared off. Nowadays, everyone uses the whole page. And that's if the batch of paper hasn't decided to mold.

There's talk of starting to scrape animal hide and use crude dyes as ink, but Kara would rather the inks be saved to dye the drab from their clothing, or the rare times she's allowed to paint with it.

Not that there's time for such things as painting. The fields need to be tended, and game needs to be shot. Now with bows and arrows and less with pistols. Ammunition is saved for the dangerous creatures, at least until some of the metalworkers under Tyrol's stern hand work out a reliable method for smelting bullets. The refinery is downriver from the settlement, of course. Roslin and the Old Man planned far better than Gaius Baltar ever had.

The path to the stone circle is well-worn by the feet of the colonists. The place is, after all, something that is different, for all of them. Not quite as old as the ruins on Kobol, not as young as the ships they landed when they arrived. Some find the place peaceful, others find it creepy.

Kara just finds it somewhere to be.

She's always needed that, even now, with a house to call her own, with wooden slats that she helped shape with her hands and a husband who shapes her with his.

A shriek from ahead distracts her from her thoughts, and she quickens her pace, old instincts pulling her along faster. Her hand drops to the knife at her waist before the land rises enough to see that the shriek came from Hera Agathon, and is followed by laughter as her current boyfriend chases her across the grass.

If asked, Sharon claims she doesn't recall dating being quite so full of sex. Karl is always silent on the subject, he just makes certain all prospective men understand that his daughter will rip their balls off, his wife will skin them alive, and he'll help bury the body.

The youngsters spot her and Hera brightens, bouncing across to join her on the path, chattering a mile a minute, her smile bright in the late afternoon sunlight.

Kara misses being this young and carefree, then wonders if she ever was. A flash of memory, walking along a dusty lane on New Caprica, Sam's arm slung over his shoulder as they both vibrated from the newness of "I Do" tells her she might once have been.

Eventually, she sends Hera off, after the young woman teases her one too many times about the lover she's meeting at the circle of stones.

Claiming she's too old for such shenanigans never works with Hera.

Kara watches Hera chase Nicky Tyrol back across the grass, and wonders what Cally thinks of it all. Possibly nothing good. Since the establishment of the settlement, of course, there have been more half-breed children. The intermingling of the blood that Leoben once predicted when he talked long hours at her in an airless apartment with no escape is still new to them all. And old prejudices die hard.

It's a good thing. Statistical analysis is something Gaius Baltar will still deign to do, and a widened gene pool will keep the population from stagnating after three generations.

Not that Kara plans to be alive in three generations. Even she isn't that immortal. Plus, it would be frakking boring, staying alive to watch their level of technology crumble further--already, the ships they once traversed the stars in have become little more than scrap heaps, used to make houses and buildings. Somewhere up there, the Galactica is still circling with its passive sensors on. Someday, it will run out of tyllium and begin a descent to the planet's surface that will hopefully, be negated when the long-ticking self destruct rips it apart in the upper atmosphere.

It's a sad way for the ancient war ship to go, but it's almost fitting that she'll fall, still defending her people.

The threat of an invasion seems so remote, though. The few Cylons that were left after their civil war ended settled with the humans. All that would be left would be some random, alien race that decided to come wandering by. And for all that Kara did believe there is more life out there, she doesn't think they'd see a point in disturbing the tiny colony.

One of the current popular theories was that the original colony that left Kobol had created the stone circle, as as a sort of monument to the life they'd had and what was to come. If they had, they'd left no trace of themselves. All aerial surveys of the planet had produced no humanoid life. There was plenty of animal and plant life, but nothing that walked on two legs and talked.

Finally reaching the circle, Kara brushes her fingers against the Heel stone, wondering if the electric crackle she pulls from it is all in her head.

It takes her more time than she'd like to walk from the edge of the plain to the center, where she shelters inside from the breeze and stares up at the gigantic rocks that must have taken thousands to move. Or equipment that no longer exists. Walking counter-clockwise, she touches each stone in passing, ending up near where she began and then moving to the center.

Dropping cross-legged down on the grass is less easy at her age, and she grimaces when her joints protest. Damned things. Probably rain coming, though.

With her eyes closed, she can hear the breeze whistle between the monoliths, and almost taste the rock dust they once shed as their makers hammered away, shaping the stones into what they are now.

You have a destiny, Kara...

The ghost of her memories drags her eyes open, though she's less frightened of him than she was when she couldn't escape. She reaches out and traces the curve of his cheek in the air and he fades away again.

It's here, in the stone circle, that she feels closest to the Gods, closest to the woman she was before she stepped through the mandala and found the path to Earth. Old fingers press along her skin, raising the hair at the back of her neck and then dancing away, nothing but chuckling breezes.

A soft laugh escapes her.

Perhaps she's losing her mind, as she grows old. Perhaps they all are.

Pulling her notebook out, she runs her fingers over the cover page, half-smiling at the amateur workmanship. Hera had made it for her, long ago, for some art project. Kara had laughed and thanked her, tossed it in a box and never remembered it until her restlessness started leading her to the circle. Now, it was always in her pocket, waiting for the bits and pieces of her mind to jot themselves down on it.

The stub of her pencil will need sharpening soon, and she sticks her tongue out at it before settling down to work, the scrape of pencil against rough paper the only sound above the breeze.

When the wind changes directions, bringing the scent of rain, she finally stops. Without bothering to look at what's written and scribbled, she carefully closes it up and tucks it away.

A sound catches her ears, and she listens for a moment, before half-smiling again.

The halting, careful step comes again and then Sam follows the sound he made, limping only slightly. His leg has been bothering him worse, of course, not that he'll admit it. And sometimes, Kara wonders if he lies just to make her feel better.

Neither of them would be fit to fly a viper now, though she wistfully wishes they could.

It was hot clambering down her ladder to shout at him for his frakkin' hijinks and maneuvers she'd pulled off the day before or the day after. His answering bellows would get lost in the crowd of people mocking both of them. By the time they'd be shoving at each other, it wouldn't be anger, just pure unadulterated lust. Chief sometimes had to herd them into the tool room with Helo's help, back then.

"You look exhausted," she says, looking up at him, her eyes light.

"I'm an old man," Sam begins, dropping to the grass next to her without seeming to have any transition between standing and being flat on his back, "My wife keeps frakking me near to death every night," he finishes, hand reaching out to tug at her belt.

"Yeah? Must be hot, your wife."


Shaking her head at how ridiculous they've become, Kara shifts closer and lets him tug her some more until she's sprawled over his chest, elbow propped in the grass.

"You ever think..." Sam stops, his hand brushing through her hair.

She stopped trying to keep it short, years ago, though she doesn't let it grow too far past her shoulders. A woman has to have some limits, after all. Guessing, she answers, "About what might have been, if me and Lee...?"

"He's younger, more fit." His hand fists in the grass, then releases, "Not falling apart."

The practical nature of his words pisses her off a little, and Kara shifts, rolling so she can face him. It's true. Sam isn't as healthy anymore as he should be. Doc Cottle once warned him he might never live as long as the others--none of the Caprica resistance survivors would. Too many of them had suffered massive doses of radiation that had destabilized their tissues. Sure, they'd had anti-rad meds, but the constant radiation had taken its toll.

"Shut up," she suggests.

A chuckle escapes him and he reaches up to brush his fingers through her hair again, "How did I earn you?"

"You didn't earn me. I won you," Kara replies, her tone edged with acid. "Won you from the Gods for my faithful service and valiant heart. Or did you miss that part of our vows, you idiot?"

The chuckle becomes a laugh, and he tugs at her shoulder, pulling her closer so he can push up on his elbow and kiss her.

"Didn't miss 'em," he whispers, eventually.

"Then your memory's not going."

"Not yet."

Kara shifts and pushes up to straddle him, feeling her back protest the lack of a stretch. So she stretches, feeling it crack a little, relieving the pressure. With a sigh, she puts her hand on Sam's chest. "It's going to rain, you know."

"I saw the clouds in the east," he confirms, his hands sneaking up inside her shirt.

"Sam--" Kara shifts, not particularly surprised anymore at how fast her body will react to his. She bites her lip, and narrows her gaze when he doesn't stop. "It's going to rain."

"You mentioned that." Voice almost bored, he slides his hand up further, fingertips brushing the bottom of her breasts through her bra.

Laughing, Kara bends down and kisses him, then whispers, "I'm not frakking you in the grass, mud and rain, Anders. So stop tempting me to."

"You afraid you're too old for sex in the middle of nowhere, baby?"

It's the mocking tone that does it. It always did, and Kara glares at him, even as she starts pulling her shirt off. "You are so going down, pyramid-boy."

The incongruity of calling the old man between her legs a boy isn't lost on either of them, but then, she's not a girl anymore, either.

"That a fact, viper-girl?"

"Shut up, honey," Kara suggests, rolling to one side and wriggling out of her pants. She takes a moment to stow pants, shirt and notebook in the hollow under the altar stone and then comes back to help Sam with certain matters.

Even old, he can still get it up, though, and Kara's laughing and sweaty when the rain finally hits, the cool water soaking both of them in an instant. With the rain pounding down on them, Kara mocks Sam for not getting his pants off, since they're now soaked and probably liable to annoy him a hell of a lot on the way back home.

A clash of lightning makes Kara's skin tingle, and she wonders if the stones will protect them from getting hit before Sam's fingers on her skin finally take her brain away.

This was what Hera and her friend were probably doing, Kara figures. Sex in the middle of the circle is a current fad amongst the youngsters in the colony. It's said to cause fertility. Probably, it's the act itself causing the new crop of babies.

Hair plastered to her skin, Kara stares down at her husband as they both try to catch their breath.

With their shirts off, Sam's having been tossed somewhere, at some point, the stark black of their tattoos are more visible. It's weird, but Kara finds it comforting to reach out a finger and trace the edge, Sam following suit a moment later.

They grin at each other before Kara leans down to kiss his mouth again.

"My ass is in mud," Sam informs her.

"Old man," threatens Kara, "More than your ass will be in the mud if--"

He shifts, trying to move her, "Don't make empty threats, baby."

"Empty, my ass," Kara replies, slapping a handful of mud on his chest.

"Sometimes, I wonder why I married you." The laughter in his eyes and the smirk on his lips soften the rudeness of his words.

"I know why," Kara assures him, very smug as she wriggles against him, and considers that maybe they should get dressed and make a run for their cabin. Her knee is beginning to twinge, and the shoulder she wrenched on the moon is aching again. "You wanted to frak my ass six ways to Sunday."

"Hell, yeah," he agrees, patting her ass.

Kara kisses him again, then pulls away so she can start getting to her feet. "You gonna be able to get up, old man, or should I send someone back from the settlement for you?"

"You keep waving your tits at me and we'll see."

It never surprises Kara in the least that Sam's mouth gets even more dirty the more ancient he is. "Frak you."

"Just did," he shoots back, smug.

Laughing, Kara pulls herself to her feet and glares up at the still-falling rain. It's lightened considerably, but she's not sure she wants to chance that the pages of her notebook will survive. Still, she can't exactly leave it. Compromising, she pulls her pants and bra on, but wraps her shirt around the notebook. She's mostly decent, and if anyone wants to complain, she'll mock them.

Sam is on his feet, searching for his shirt when she tosses it at him. He shoots her a glance and snickers, "Like the new look."

Flipping him the bird, Kara heads for the entrance-way. It's a good fifteen minutes back to the settlement and another five to their cabin. And at least another ten before he'll have hot water ready for tea.

Somewhere in her past, Kara Thrace was probably making faces at the very idea that one day, she'd sit around and drink tea with her husband like it was the best thing ever. Currently, though, Kara's bones are cold, her ass is soaked, and her husband is bitching about his leg.

"Don't know why I married you," she mutters, nevertheless moving closer to him and slowing her pace.

"To frak my ass six ways to Sunday," he parrots.

"Shut up."

He laughs, his arm slinging around her shoulder.

They're walking in the mud, with rain still falling on them. Kara feels ancient and worn-down, and she's not entirely sure what will become of the colony settled on Earth. But suddenly, she doesn't care. There's almost dust beneath her feet and sunlight over her head and this is a bright, shiny new world...