disclaimer: not mine.
rating: er... R? God, I suck at ratings, sex, language, naked people, gossip mills, coffee.
length: 1500+
pairings: Sam Anders/Leoben Conoy, Kara Thrace/Sam Anders, a little Kara Thrace/Leoben Conoy
spoilers: Revelations, Palmetto's (.) 'Daybreak'
notes: sort-of vaguely Daybreak-verse. Everyone should have a Punchline. I blame this entirely on a conversation with Palmetto

Celebrity Skin
by ALC Punk!

The first time, they're not drunk. It's late and maybe Sam's a little tired, but he's feeling weird and philosophical and Leoben knows that shit, like it's his first language.

They're drinking coffee and half-watching the perimeter and talking.

It's weird, because Sam thinks he hates the other Cylon, kinda thinks he wants to put a bullet in his brain (Kara might not forgive him, since it's her right). But here he is, having a rational conversation with him about the nature of being a Cylon, the differences in individuality and souls (which is almost straight-talk for Leoben).

But it's fascinating, too. There's so much Sam doesn't know about what he is. He mostly knows who he is, even if he isn't so sure every memory is real.

Nider and Lemon relieve them, Lemon bitching about pilots being pulled for sentry duty when there's nothing the frak out there and Sam and Leoben share an identically-amused look, letting her words wash over them as they pass over the half-filled thermos of coffee and head back towards barracks.

The conversation doesn't stop until Sam leans over and kisses Leoben. He doesn't know why he does it until later, but it doesn't matter. Leoben doesn't object, and they're making a detour, sliding into the shadows up against the side of the half-finished building that should house showers and laundry facilities. It's weird, quick and dirty and Sam doesn't feel surprised at the flash of red from Leoben's back, just wonders if he does it, too.

Kara had never said anything, so he figures he's not a model that glows in the dark.

Sweaty and sated, he laughs a little, leaning up against the wall. It creaks a little when Leoben joins him, still panting a little.

It's not until they've parted ways, Sam stopping to wash his hands in the small creek running behind the barracks that it occurs to him that he's just been unfaithful to his wife.

That stops him cold. He never wanted to before, never saw the point or anyone who could even approach Kara. And it scares him a little that he was so easy and casual about it. But in the dark, Leoben's mouth and hands on him, he wasn't thinking about anything but how good it felt. Gods. He wonders if it's revenge, decides it isn't in the next second.

It was just something that happened. Something he's over and done with.

The second time, they're still not drunk. There's less conversation. It's been four months since the first time and Sam doesn't know why he seeks Leoben out, why they end up back in the storage shed behind the barracks. Just that, like before, it's something that he needs.

It's not like he avoids Leoben afterwards. That would be difficult to do, not to mention pointless in a community as small as the settlement.

He just makes sure he's not alone with him until he's pretty sure there's nothing to worry about. It's not like he's an insane, Cylon-crazed sex maniac, after all. And Kara's not exactly letting him off the hook or kicking him out of bed, either.

When a rash of double-shifts keeps them from seeing each other for nearly a week and nothing happens with Leoben, Sam heaves a sigh of relief and fraks his wife senseless in the shower before they fall into a heap of tangled limbs to sleep.

He's starting to think there's a pattern, the third time. That maybe he's a little addicted to the rush of frakking his fellow Cylon. Of feeling Leoben hard and ready under his hands, saying things in his ear that make him laugh against Sam's neck.

Maybe it's something about being a Cylon, some need for individuality (which makes no sense, Sam was a person long before he was a Cylon).

They actually made it to a bed, this time, so it's the perfect location for Kara to walk in on them. They've finished and Leoben is half-draped off the bed, digging for his socks on the floor when she does.

It's such a perfect silence, that Sam hates to break it. But he does, standing and opening his mouth to say something stupid. "This isn't what--"

"Cute." It's all she says, before turning around and walking out.

Sam's not stupid enough to go looking for her that night.

It's three days later that they have a shouting match that ends with him slamming out of the barracks. He doesn't go to Leoben or anywhere in particular, he just sets out, jogging until there's nothing but desolate wasteland around him, and the settlement is only a smudge in the distance.

A broken pile of stone is perfect to sit on and he stops, elbows on his knees and stares at the ground while he thinks about it all. About why he's done it and why he's angry. He knows why Kara is, but it's not simple, dissembling his reactions.

It's not that Leoben is some exotic piece of fish, to be had only at great expense. Sam considers that argument from all sides before dropping it.

And it's not that he's not perfectly satisfied with Kara--frak, he's more than satisfied with her.

It's ironic that it doesn't occur to him that a small part of it is Kara, until after he looks up to find her standing there, watching him. He wants to know why Kara seems fascinated with him, what she sees in Leoben that lets him stay alive day in and day out. Sam knows if it were him, Leoben would have been dead long ago, bullet in his brain.

They ask why at the same time, and Sam doesn't laugh, though she does, a little.

He tries to explain, awkward and still uncertain about his reasons. Kara listens, but doesn't help. When he's fallen silent, tired of stumbling over things he can't quite articulate, she reaches out and pats his cheek before punching him in the nose.

With his fingers catching some of the dripping blood, Sam glares at her. She glares back.

Racetrack, Outlaw and Seelix mock the frak out of him for the next two days, before abruptly stopping. Sam doesn't know if he has Kara to thank, or if they just got bored. There's no real fresh meat for the gossip mill, though, not even with Boomer and Lee Adama hanging out in her greenhouse with Tyrol's kid running all over the place.

He wonders when the idea of human-Cylon interaction became common-place for so many of the pilots and military, and if he should find that wrong.

The part of him that remembers being a pro-athlete thinks of it like being best friends with a member of a rival team. The general public thinks you hate each other, when, really, you drink each other under the table and once frakked the same girl. At the same time.

Nearly a week later, Kara tackles him into the mud during a particularly violent pilots vs. marines pyramid game. The crackling energy coming off her skin makes Sam roll them, kissing her before she can object.

Amidst shouts of annoyance, mockery, and Sergeant Hadrian hauling them out of the mud, Sam figures one thing out: his wife still wants him.

"It was hot."

The words are the first thing she's said since she shoved him ahead of her into the showers, slamming the door and throwing the bolts before pulling at his belt. Their clothes are in a heap, still covered in mud and grass, and the tile under Sam's ass is mostly-warm. Kara's sprawled against his chest, legs to either side of him.


Her thumb flicks against a patch of his skin, nail digging in a moment later. "Yeah." She tilts her head up, eyes flat and uncompromising, "It gonna happen again, Sammy?"

"You wanna watch?"

"I'd give critical commentary," she suggests, one side of her mouth lifting in a smirk.

But Sam can see she's serious--as serious as she ever gets--and maybe a little uncertain. He touches her cheek and sighs, "Not gonna happen again."

She lets him kiss her, real soft and slow, then bites his lip a little and chuckles, "You are so my bitch, Anders."

With the gauntlet thrown down, Sam doesn't reply with words--and they're a lot longer in the showers than they should be. Punchline even adds them as a slight topic of interest for the next week, if only because Hot Dog finally got annoyed, got the keys and walked in on them.

It only happens once more.