disclaimer: not mine
fandom: newBSG
characters: Seelix, Cally, Chief
length: 1200+
set: during the year on New Caprica, vague spoilers.
rating: PG, language
notes: another one of the notes I had sitting around. The three-hundred-word ficlet evolved. Time on BSG is a bit sketchy, but I think this fits pretty neatly into the show. Title from Fuel's "Hemorrhage"

memories are just where you laid them
by ALC Punk!

One year to the day.

Diana Seelix sat in the tent the ex-Chief of the Deck and his crew had taken over for themselves and watched everyone around her as they laughed and drank. They were celebrating, but she couldn't remember what.

A year ago, she'd been crouched in dirt and mold, feeling things crawling across her skin and wondering if she'd get out alive. She'd just wanted to sleep, to pause for an instant and pretend she wasn't trapped in a nightmare that wasn't going to end.

Tarn had died before she could tell him so many things, Socinus... Socinus had died under her fingers by inches, his life coughed out in inches of blood until there was nothing else she could do. And then there was Crashdown. Diana harbors no illusions about the lieutenant. If he'd survived, if he'd lived, he would never have been fit to step back into a raptor. Not after he'd killed someone under his command for refusing an order.

There were rumors about Cain and her crew, of course. But those were just rumors and Diana had learned long ago not to ask for the truth. Laird's eyes had told her that truth would cost her more than she wanted.

Cally drifted over after a while, leaving Galen where he is. Galen. Seelix still can't get used to calling the Chief that. He's just the Chief. Though Laird holds that position now, having refused the offer to come to the surface that Adama had extended to so many.

"No ambrosia for me," Cally muttered, sounding disgruntled.

She looked like a house was growing from her small frame, and Seelix was at turns fascinated and repulsed by the idea that her friend was having a baby. "Yeah?"

"Doc's rule." Cally eyed the full mug in Seelix's hand. "Just a little?"

Seelix shot Chief a glance, then shrugged and held it out, "You get caught, you bribed me."

"Of course," Cally shoved at her shoulder, then lowered herself next to Seelix with a sigh and a curse. Then she took the mug and sipped it a little. "Gods. Bleh. Here."

Accepting it back, Diana's lips twitched. "That bad, huh?"

"Maybe I've lost the taste for it," Cally said, her tone mournful. She leaned in against Seelix. "Sucks to be me."

"You're the one who had to go and frak the Chief," Seelix pointed out, "I got no sympathy for you. All you have to do is look at the man and you know he's pretty frakking fertile."

"Hey!" But Cally's protest was mostly weak.

Seelix grinned and took a sip of her ambrosia before falling silent, contemplative.

"I wish..." Cally said after a while, her voice trailing off.

"You know, I was thinking about the day." Rubbing her thumb against the lip of the mug, Seelix detected a slight imperfection. It hadn't been thrown properly, apparently.

"The day?"

"Where we were--a year ago."

It took Cally a minute, and then she stiffened, pulling away a little and looking away. "Oh?" Her voice was strained.

Seelix half-grinned, the look sardonic on her face. "Yeah." She fell silent again, then, wondering about Tarn and Socinus. What they would have thought about New Caprica, what they would have said about Cally, her hand protectively cradling her belly. Probably nothing polite.

"Everything good over here?" The Chief beamed down at Cally obviously as proud now as he'd been the first day she'd found out.

"Yeah. Yeah, Chief." Seelix said.

"We were thinking about Socinus," replied Cally, her tone distant, her gaze lost in the tent wall. Even now, only a few months after it had started being used, there were patches and distinct colorations indicating mold incursions on the fabric.

Dr. Baltar's hope of a new future was such a load of bullshit.

Even though she'd known what he was capable of (pulling the trigger and ending a life with one decisive move), Seelix had still voted for Roslin. New Caprica was a dream that seemed too-distant, with the Cylons still out there. Sure, that Cavil piece of shit had said there was a cease-fire, but Seelix believed that like she believed Chief was a toaster.

The joviality drained from Chief's face and he looked down, "Yeah?"

"It's been a year," Seelix explained, toying with her mug again and not really looking at him. "Just seems... Time flies, you know?"

"Tarn was going to get married," said Cally, her tone as distant as her eyes. "Back before the Cylons, he had this little blonde on Tauron. I expect she's dead now."

"Jemma. Yeah, I remember." She remembered more than Cally probably thought she did. Even now, it still bit deep. Hey, Seelix, you're my best friend. You'll stand up with me, right? Yeah. She would have, then, even if it hurt. And now there was nothing but the remembered bitterness mingled with a sense of loss that might not ever go away.

"Frakking Cylons. Frakking war."

Chief's words were almost rote, by then. Cally laughed a little, "Frak Baltar."

"In the ear," suggested Seelix, unable to keep herself entirely depressed.

"Frak, that has to hurt."

"Bet it does," Cally agreed, her voice a little vicious. Then it shifted, almost blank when she murmured, "Frak Crash."

For a moment, Seelix could taste the blood at the back of her throat. That incessant terror, the fear that they were all going to die and Crashdown was going to start the killing. She swallowed, then blindly brought the mug to her lips, taking a sip of the rather awful rotgut. The burn pulled her back to the present.

"Cally, you know I--I wouldn't have let him..."

Chief stopped talking and Seelix looked at him. He wouldn't have let Crashdown shoot Cally for desertion of duty. But he hadn't been the one who'd fired, had he? He hadn't been decisive enough to pull the trigger, still caught up in the chain of command. For a moment, Seelix looked at him, realizing how flawed he was, how human. Then she dropped her gaze again and told herself it didn't matter.

"We're all alive," she said, breaking the silence. "And that's what counts." She raised her mug, "To Socinus, Tarn and Crashdown. Three of the stupidest idiots ever."

"Here here," Cally replied, a little too quickly, her head down. The cup of water in her hand was steady as she clinked against Seelix's mug.

"Yeah. Yeah," agreed the Chief, reaching out with his own mug, before downing it in one gulp.

Seelix and Cally sipped.

A year ago, all she could see for her future was death. Sweat and blood and death on a planet from the mythologies of her childhood. Today, Seelix wasn't sure things were much better. New Caprica was a joke, Baltar spent all of his time sequestered and stoned, and the people she'd fought with were drifting apart, aimless without vipers and raptors to repair.

"Hey, Chief," she said, looking up, trying to start a conversation that would divert her thoughts, "You given any thought to Zarek's proposal about a union?"

-f-