Five: suicide bombers
She clenched her fists and kept her arms firmly at her sides. Not gonna throw a punch, Kara thought. She knew using suicide bombers wasn't right, but she couldn't explain why any better than what she'd already said.
Sam was still pressing his point. "It's like Tigh said, a high-profile target will make more of an impact."
"I'm not arguing against that part," she said, speaking over his last words. "Baltar's fair game." She considered adding a line about his death being a service to womankind as well, but she wasn't in the mood for humor. "It's everyone else. Human targets, Sam? Humans as the weapon?"
Sam kept his temper in check better than her, though she knew him well enough to recognize the signs: eyes slightly narrowed, the lines around his mouth deeper. "Frak the New Caprica police. They're collaborators, cyloncollaborators."
"You know who the first suicide bomber was that I met? A cylon. He tried to blow a hole in Galactica."
He cocked his head to one side. "Hey, I have no problem stealing tactics if they work. We stole 'em from movies back on Caprica, remember? Kept enough of us alive to do some damage."
Kara stepped back and took a breath. They'd been arguing about this since Chief and the Colonel left the tunnels. Chief had some doubts, but Tigh was adamant. He'd glared at her when she had disagreed; losing an eye in detention hadn't stopped that habit, and instead of listening to her, he shot her down with cutting remarks.
"It's just not right, Sam," she finally said, looking away. "I can't imagine praying to the Gods for Duck to succeed, or for them to take his soul when..." When he's just throwing that life away, she thought, but didn't say it.
Sam pushed his fingers through his hair again. "Back on Caprica, you know?" he started. "We'd try everything to hit just a few of them, knowingthere would be more to come, looking just the same. So we just... started figuring out how we might die and still do some damage on our way out, 'cause that was all we had left. It's not-" he faltered.
Gods, we're an inarticulate pair, Kara thought.
He finally said, "It's what Duck has left to offer. His sacrifice." Sam reached toward her and curled his fingers around her hand. When she didn't resist, he tugged her closer, his body heat warming her in the cool tunnel.
Kara pushed him toward their cot; he sprawled there and she climbed next to him. Out of habit, she put her head to his heart, ear pressed to his chest, listening like she'd done for those weeks when he'd been sick.
"I still don't like it," she mumbled against his shirt. "I still think it's wrong."
"I know, babe," he told her.
Kara turned her head the other way so she could see his face. With the short time they'd had on Caprica, she'd never seen how single-minded and ruthless he could be. She should've known, though; surviving as long as he had on a dead planet required a lot more than muscles and a sweet smile.
He was still her Sam, though, even now. He turned his gaze from the useless radio in the corner and looked at her, brushed her hair away from her forehead, then traced the frown line there with the tip of his finger.
Four: storming the detention center
Kara knew what the Chief's source probably was, but she made sure never to say in front of Cally. It was hard enough on Cally, seeing all those Eights walking around when she got to take a break from the tunnels. She didn't need to know that Boomer was sometimes passing information to Galen; she had enough to worry about with the baby.
So they knew where Colonel Tigh was... sort of. The detention center was the first thing the cylons had built when they arrived, but the resistance still didn't have floor plans. Nothing but vague descriptions from people who'd been taken there and came back out to tell about it.
Kara hadn't been able to convince Sam; no chance of convincing Tyrol, then. Deep inside Kara knew that it wouldn't have done any good to try, but...
"I just hate leaving him there and not doing anything," Kara said.
"Me too," Sam told her. They'd been having the post-argument wind-down for a few minutes now. "But blowing things up only works if you don't mind the bystander casualties."
She thought to herself, The Old Man wouldn't leave him there any longer than he had to, but Sam had never had much appreciation for the admiral.
He wrapped his arms around her, rubbing her back. She was always chilly in the tunnels; Sam had taken on the role of human heater. "We'll get him back," he told her. "We just have to get more information first."
She burrowed into his jacket; he smelled like sweat and gunpowder. "How long 'til Cally and Chief come back?" she asked. Definitely drawbacks to sharing the tunnel as a primary living space.
"Maybe an hour? They wanted to look for some clothes for Nicholas."
He slid his hands underneath the hem of her shirt, sliding them up her spine. It tickled; she shivered. "Let's make this quick, then," she told him.
Sam didn't wait to act; he slid his hands under her ass and picked her up. Kara grabbed his shoulders to keep her balance, and he carried her across the room. She shrieked with laughter as he tossed her onto their reinforced cot. "My own caveman," she told him as he grinned, climbed above her and kissed her.
Three: the C-Bucs defense
It was probably one of the best moments they'd had since the cylons had arrived: trash-talking her pretty husband's Pyramid team while they played on the court, a rare moment of sunshine coinciding with a rare sortie out of the tunnels.
Sam didn't make an acceptable opponent, though; for a former pro, he wasn't much good at talking smack while playing. She'd been riling him about the C-Bucs' defensive line for the last several plays and he hadn't had a good reply yet. (Unless you counted the two times he'd actually scored. Maybe he couldn't trash-talk, but he really could play.)
"Face it Sam. The C-Bucs' defense couldn't compete." She dodged his attempt to grab the pyramid ball from her hands as she said it. "Tauron Bulls were always gonna-." She stopped talking for a moment to take aim. "-kick your ass."
The last part of the sentence would have sounded more triumphant if she'd actually made the shot. Sam snagged the ball on the rebound and tried to slip past her to take a quick shot, but she made an illegal tackle and they both ended up in the dirt.
"Like that!" she crowed. "Just stopped you from scoring."
"With an illegal tackle," he pointed out. "What about my penalty shot?"
"There are no penalty shots with the cylons in charge," she intoned, then poked his stomach with her chin and tried to wrestle the ball out of his hands. He anticipated her move and rolled them both over so he was on top; she used their momentum and kicked out her legs to keep rolling until she ended on top of him again.
Breathless, they grinned at each other. Sam coughed for a moment, sputtering at the dust they'd kicked into the air. Automatically she put her head on his chest to listen to his breathing.
"There's nothing to listen for, Kara," he said.
"So you're heartless now, Sammy?" Weak come-back, but it was the only thing she could think of at the moment.
"Well, this is quite a ruckus." Kara turned her head and saw Laura Roslin walking toward them. Something about Roslin's schoolteacher look made Kara want to stand and dust off her clothes. Either that or roll around some more until she was completely covered in dirt.
"You're just the people I need to talk to," Roslin told them. She had a faint smile on her face as she looked down at them.
Sam stood up and stretched out his arm. "Come on, Thrace," he said. She took his hand and let him pull her up.
They walked over to the stands and sat down, Sam next to her, his long legs stretched out in front of him.
"C-Bucs still suck," she whispered to him, right before Roslin asked a question about the wireless.
Two: guns in the temple
Chief had been the one to persuade her; he was a son of the temple, and if he could accept storing the weapons there, she'd deal with it. She even ended up trying to persuade Jammer, who had some of the same doubts she had.
(One more surprise about working with the Resistance: she never thought Jammer of all people would have the guts to actually follow through with plans to fight the cylons up close.)
Sam had been the one to suggest moving the statue of Ares to the top of the crate after they hid the weapons; his way of placating her, she knew. It sort of worked at the time.
Ares hadn't been amused, though. Nora was dead; nine others as well. Kara had flown missions with Nora, had fought over the last of the tampons with her, had prayed with her.
The Gods had witnessed their sacrilege and exacted their retribution. That was a language Kara understood.
"I can't believe I let you talk me into it," she shouted after they got back to the tunnel. She paced up and down the small space.
Sam didn't answer her right away; instead he checked the wireless for a signal. Still nothing.
Finally he said, "I'm sorry, Kara."
"Sorry for what?" she yelled. "Sorry we put them there or sorry we got caught?"
"Sorry about Nora," he told her quietly. He pulled something out of his jacket. "I think you should keep these for now, until Duck decides what he wants to do with them."
Nora's idols. Kara's eyes watered and she blinked quickly. She'd watched Duck push them to the ground when they'd told him the news. Sam must've slipped them inside his jacket when Cally was trying to console Duck.
"Yeah," she said, voice only trembling slightly as she took them from his hands.
She set the statues next to her own on the nightstand while he went back to the table, took out their list of weapons and starting crossing things off.
"I'm not done being mad at you," she finally told him.
"I know," he replied.
Kara thought about going to help him with the list; instead she sat on their cot, picked up Nora's statues again, and quietly began to pray.
One: going into the tunnels during the invasion
She stood outside the grounded raptor and stared up. Dull gray skies overhead; no sign of the cylon fleet, though she knew they were coming. That was the last thing Lee had told her before saying that the ships had to leave. He'd ended the call right after that, not answering any of her questions.
A cylon fleet coming here, where they were supposed to be safe. Cylons still chasing after them.
It would never stop; they just got new bodies and came back. Sam had killed so many of them on Caprica: had shot them, had bombed them. Had confessed his sins to one without knowing what it really was...
Kara looked away from the sky and saw Jean Barolay walking nearby; that was when she knew what she had to do.
Sam.Sam who was lying in their bed, waiting for her return. "Barolay," she shouted. "They're coming back!"
Kara must have looked horrified enough that Barolay didn't demand to know who she meant. She stopped and shuddered. "No," she said. That was her only verbal reaction; after that she shook her head once, then looked at Kara and raised her eyebrows.
"I need to get Sam down into those tunnels until I can find out what's going on." Barolay nodded.
"Can you help me with him? He's so sick and I came here to ask for meds and that was when-" Kara stopped when she realized none of her explanations mattered. She had to move. Her heart was racing and her fingers shaking; she shoved them in her pockets and started walking purposefully toward the tents.
"What do we know?" she asked Kara.
"Multiple cylon ships jumped into dradis range and our fleet is jumping away. That's it." Almost nothing, but at least having that small piece of information now gave them a momentary time advantage. Kara started running, Barolay easily keeping up with her.
Thank the Gods that they didn't see many people as they ran back to her tent. Breathing hard once they got inside, Kara almost missed the sound of ships breaking atmosphere.
"They're here," she said.
Sam coughed and blinked. "Who's here?"
"The cylons. They came back, and we gotta get you out of here now."
"What? No, give me a gun." Sam started to sit up, but had to stop when he coughed again. "Barolay, give me a gun," he repeated when Kara ignored his demand.
Barolay was grabbing weaponry stowed in a box; she checked one pistol for ammo, but instead of handing it to him, she prepared it for firing.
"Grab him and let's get out of here," Barolay told her.
Kara didn't bother arguing; she could manage Sam's weight with a bit of cooperation and Barolay was right-they might need protection to make it to the tunnels. She had him half pulled out of bed, him still arguing about needing a weapon, when she heard it.
"I'm looking for Kara Thrace."
Kara knew that voice. She turned and saw him: Leoben. He started to smile when he recognized her, the same manic glint in his blue eyes that she remembered from before.
Barolay shot him in the forehead; his smile stayed fixed as he fell to the floor of the tent.
"Better get moving," said Barolay. Sam didn't try to argue again; instead he leaned a bit on Kara as they hurried to the tunnels.
Chaos surrounded them; people were running frantically as cylon ships buzzed overhead. Kara thought about all the people she wanted to round up as they headed toward the tunnels. How could they keep everyone safe? The tunnels weren't big enough. They'd been built on the military's instructions; most civilians didn't know about them, because everything in New Caprica city was under construction.
Barolay held the tent flap open for them, gun carefully draped under the folds of her jacket. After Barolay made sure they hadn't been followed, Kara pulled the rug and opened the trap door into the tunnels.
Sam resisted again. "I can fight, just let me have a gun," he said.
Kara started to reply that he needed to get well first, but before she could finish, Barolay gave Sam a look. He stopped arguing and walked down into the tunnels.
Damn, how does she do that? Kara wondered. She had her Starbuck glare, but that had never fazed Sam like it did the Nuggets.
The military had stocked the tunnels with a few basic supplies: ammo, a wireless set, some decades-old MREs, cots in need of repair, which was the only reason they weren't already being used by the civilian population.
Kara grabbed two less-broken cots and stuck them together to form a makeshift bed for Sam. She guided him to it while Barolay went over to the weapons cache and stowed more ammo in her jacket.
"Grab me a gun, will you?" Kara said. "I'll go on recon while you stay here with Sam."
Barolay gave her the same look. It didn't work on her (mostly), but Sam grabbed her hand and said hoarsely, "That cylon was looking for you."
Barolay stowed another gun in her jacket, grabbed a knit hat from her pocket and shoved it on her head. "Back soon," she told them, and climbed up the stairs leading out of the tunnel.
Even with the lamps lit, it was dark inside the tunnel. Dark and cool. Sam coughed again; she felt his forehead. Still too hot.
Kara remembered what Doc Cottle had said about fluid in his lungs. She sat on the ground next to his cot, legs curled under her, and put her head to his chest.
"What're you doin'?" he asked. This time the words came out as a wheeze.
"Listening to your breathing," she told him. She didn't know what she was listening for, exactly. Plus no stethoscope, but curled up next to him like this, she felt a bit less frantic than she had before.
He coughed again; it made her head bounce for a moment.
Kara wrapped her fingers around his and tried to think of something encouraging to say. Maybe the cylons have meds, she thought. That wasn't something to tell Sam, though.
Didn't matter for the moment; he'd finally fallen into a light sleep, a sign of just how sick he really was.
She stayed there, feeling his chest move with every small breath, waiting for Barolay to tell her that the war had started again.