The nights were the worst.
During the day, the tasks necessary to simply survive on the surface kept her busy, the days full from dawn to dusk. Despite the fact that officially she was just another common citizen now, her status as the former president could have come with many perks- a newer tent situated closer to the school, more amenities (such as they existed) being graced to her, and various other helpful things and services that a people grateful for her work on their behalf would offer to do and give to her.
She declined them all, politely, instead relishing the physical exertion brought on by lugging her own buckets of water from the source to her tent across the settlement, the burn in her arms and shortness of breath the task brought on a daily reminder of times when the pain had been a sign of something far more sinister.
On cold mornings the brisk walk to the school tent warmed her, and once she was there the endless list of tasks associated with teaching (and in fact, trying to rebuild the entire educational system itself) kept her focused until nightfall when she would head home reluctantly, lest risk the ire (and accompaniment) of Saul or Tyrol or one of the other "minders" that Bill swore he hadn't dispatched to keep watch of her, though their appearance at the school tent to escort her home anytime she dared linger past the sun said otherwise.
But once she was in for the night, once a small meal had been eaten, or occasionally shared, once she had read and reread the books gifted to her until her eyes ached, once she blew out the candles and tried to rest, once the hustle and bustle of their small settlement turned into the quiet of the vast landscape, once there was no noise to distract her thoughts, that was when her mind would wake, cycling rapidly through the events of the past few days, months and years.
Sleeplessness wasn't a new problem for her. For as long as she could remember, sleep had never come easy. As a child, she would often sneak into her parents bedroom in the middle of the night after hours laying awake, the rhythmic, soft snoring of her father becoming a lullaby that she could focus on to carry her away for the night. Later, music became her constant companion, and as she moved from dorm to apartment to house, the radio by her bedside was a constant, set just loud enough to give herself something to focus on besides nothing.
She had slept well in space. The engines of Colonial One were unnoticeable during the day, but at night their soft, precise humming created just enough white noise to keep everything else at bay and allow her to rest. She had been warned about staying on Galactica, that many of the uninitiated found the ship too noisy for a good nights sleep; instead, she found comfort in the air vents that crackled lightly, in the low moan of the engines and the faint creaking of the hulking vessels metal structure as it settled into the space around it.
The sputter of a generator coming to life across the settlement signaled dawn's imminent arrival and she turned to find a more comfortable position on her cot. Closing her eyes, she focused on the loud, angry hum of the machine, and let it lull her towards a short but welcome rest.