A/N: A snippet from a much longer possible BSG/Mass Effect crossover. Context is that Roslin is about to go/is just coming from a meeting with the Council and Vega has been asked by Shepard to escort her/be her bodyguard of sorts around the Citade.
The Memorial Wall in the section of that the Citadel the refugees have claimed reminded Laura distinctly of one in the Galactica. The pictures were spread along the great spanse of the wall, military, civilians, all smiling and perfectly captured in the moment the picture was taken. There were no candles, she realized. In fact she hadn't seen a single candle used in this new universe they were in. Like the delicate pages of a book, they had gone out of style. She knew she would never get used to reading books on a datapad, and was incredibly grateful for the existence of Bill's small collection. She held gripped her glasses loosely with her fingertips as she continued to scan the wall.
But the scene, the people. Crying inward and softly or causing the sobs to echo along the walls and leaning against the wall for support, gathered with their families, praying maybe, although she didn't know for sure. Alien race or human, they didn't even realize the similarities in their haunting features. (Gods, races beyond that of human and cylon, something still remarkable after nearly a year of being here). They had gone from one war to the next, but the effects, the traditions of grief were nearly the same. A part of her wanted to put Billy up there, a signal to wherever he was that they had all made it, and with another push they would all be safe. She would make sure of it.
Next to her, Lieutenant Vega was looking at her with a curious expression. She realized it must have been an odd request to come down here instead of staying at Apollo's Cafe in he Presidium,-she'd have to tell Lee about that-but she'd felt so uneasy in the Presidium. Amongst other humans, the ones from Earth. She needed a tie between the Fleet and these new people who were still so wary of them all. And here it was, through pictures, and grief, the letting-go, the praying, and newspaper clippings. She peered in particular at a particular photo of a young soldier, a girl who looked barely older than eighteen. So solemn and tenacious. Like the pilots of Galactica. Sophie Malcom, we love you dearly sweetheart, rest in peace.
"Madame President?" She turned her head at the sound of the Lieutenant's voice. "You alright there?"
She nodded, glancing around the space again. She smiled at him, although it did not quite reach her eyes. "I'm fine, Lieutenant. Thank you for your concern." It was sincere. Vega was one of the more accepting Earth-originated humans she'd met, as well as a pleasant person to be around. She'd heard him call Kara Thrace, "Cousin," as a nickname for the Fleet's official nickname, "The Cousins from Afar." She had a feeling he didn't particularly like her, which was fine. She had been a politician for more than four years now, people's opinions of her would always vary.
She peered at him closely, placing her glasses back on the bridge of her nose.
"I happened to notice, Lieutenant, that when we were down here you immediately began to relax."
He shrugged. "I come down here when I get some shore-leave, usually go play poker. Here ..I don't know, you know there's a war, but then you see people laughing, cheering each other up...it's like they're aware of it but can keep the spirits up." He paused, gaging her expression. She nodded at him to continue. "Some of the time, I mean you see the ones who've lost hope entirely but...up there? It's like they're playing make-believe. The wars not here yet, so why bother I guess." He looked at her again, a bit stricken. "Sorry, Ma'am, if I offended."
She lifted a brow. "How would I be offended?"
He shrugged again. "I don't know. This doesn't seem like your kind of place."
She smiled, more kindly then she would have thought. Truthfully the docks resembled Galactica more than any other place had. It gave her a slight home-sickness, for that was true. The Galactica was her home, no matter how crowded, or loud, or messy.
"You'd be surprised, Lieutenant. I've been on and off a Battlestar for years now. This is more my scene than the one above. And I agree, there was this non-reality about the Presidium. It was...unsettling." She glanced around again, took in the various species milling about, lying down, conversing, a crowded poker game starting up.
"Not all of us politicians love to pretend that the world isn't in terrible danger." She looked back at him again, meeting his eyes.
He broke out in a wry grin. "Well that's good, I think all of us have had enough of the Council's bullshit to last a long long time...er sorry."
"Need I remind you I'd been living amongst seasoned marines and pilots?" She nearly mentioned her own usage of swear words.
He chuckled and gestured with a cock of his head to the elevator doors. "C'mon Madame Pres, Lola'll kill me if we're late."
She gazed once more at the wall, the people, the young solemn girl in the picture. She had a feeling that the wall, like Galactica's, was far from full.