Athena suppressed a yawn and stared at her boards. She was tired. At least she wasn't hung over. She never was. She smiled slightly, remembering how unfair Apollo thought that about her and Zac: both of them had inherited Grandfather Lykos' head. Straight through their mother, though Apollo probably didn't ever think about Ila as a drinker. And she wasn't, in the sense of a drunk, but she did drink on occasion. Apollo had the Adaman head, or lack of one more like, and as he didn't enjoy being out of control even a little he didn't drink much.
At the moment Athena was wishing she didn't. Or at least hadn't the last couple of days. Though apparently there was more to it than just being drunk, which was a relief. Iblis had been messing with them, with their minds.
Athena wasn't entirely clear on the last few days, but then no one seemed to be, or nearly no one. Athena didn't enjoy that. She'd never blacked out from drinking in her life, and she hated the notion that she'd been out there doing things she couldn't remember. At least she wasn't alone in the boat: half the people she met had hangovers, and half were avoiding someone, and the two groups had major overlap. Virtually everyone's experiences could be summed up by the old uni phrase, 'I must have had a great time last night, I don't remember a thing', though most people actually had some, though vague, memories.
Of course, Apollo could remember it all. Except for being dead.
She shivered involuntarily. They'd lost him and gotten him back and not even known it. Sheba had told her at dinner. Adama hadn't been surprised; obviously he'd been told earlier, in the official debriefing. He'd looked at her with concern when she found out, and Apollo had, too, with that 'they-told-me-you-cried-on-the-bridge-for-Zac' look... Well, she would have cried for Apollo, if not on the bridge, but she wasn't on the bridge... well, not then.
She laughed a little to herself. Apollo could do this to her all the time, make her angry at him and worried over him at the same time. She'd have missed him like hell if he were dead, and it would just about have killed Adama. But... He wasn't Zac. Apollo was eight yahrens older than she. Zac was his baby brother, and he was so very tolerant of them both back then. But she and Zac were only a yahren apart, product of their father's three-yahren tour on Caprica with the Military Institute. They were close... Athena had held his hands when he first began walking, taught him to read, climbed trees with him, swum in the ocean at Natacapra, ridden equines... Oh. She clenched her jaw and angrily swiped at her eyes. She was not going to cry now. Over anybody.
And even with tears running down her face she'd done her job. She was no less a professional than her brother or father... And Tigh had wept on the bridge, and no one thought less of him.
She shook her head and did a careful scan of all her boards, getting herself back under control. She slid a sideways glance backwards at Omega, but he wasn't looking at her. She wanted to be like him on duty, all contained and imperturbable. She shook her head; she had a long way to go. She ducked her head, smiling, suddenly wondering where he'd been. Wherever, he was cool and collected now. How much does he remember? she wondered.
She supposed it didn't really matter. Tigh and her father had set the tone: the last few days were an aberration; the things that had happened had been an attack on them by the forces of darkness; no one was to be blamed for anything they'd done. But she wanted to know what she'd done, if nothing else.
She rubbed her arm gently.
And who with...
With some effort, she stopped that train of thought; it wasn't likely to be any more fruitful now than it had been yesterday. At least Iblis was... dead. Or whatever. And Jolly and the other pilots they'd lost had been returned to them. She didn't understand why they'd been taken in the first place, but they were back and none the worse for being gone. And her father didn't seem worried about it. And since he'd been proven right about the rest of it...
She'd wondered why he was so stubborn. Signs and Wonders, after all. Baltar captured. The agroship brimful of fruit. But then last night she'd been browsing the Word, looking for something to explain what had happened, and she'd run across And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of The Evil One with all power and signs and lying wonders... How were you supposed to know?
It was beyond her. At least it was over.
And why did that make her feel just a little melancholy instead of all joy? She found herself rubbing her arm again, over the little bruises someone's fingers had left.
Forget it, Athena, she told herself firmly. Whoever it was, he doesn't remember, and it doesn't count anyway.
And maybe it was actually using the pronoun, but suddenly a hazy recollection swam out of her foggy memory. Pale skin, a gently rounded body, small breasts firm yet soft, clinging hands, pink nipples hard against her tongue, a warm yielding... Oh, gods. Was I that drunk?
She touched her sleeve again. The fingermarks fit her hand... She clenched her hand. Iblis. Damn him. Now she was grateful she couldn't remember more. She closed her eyes and summoned up a counter-image: Boomer's strong dark body, his large powerful hands, his lean chest, the hard angularity of his masculinity... Tonight he was staying.
Sheba signalled at the men's barracks door. After a few centons it slid open to reveal a short pilot with dark red, almost brown, hair. She couldn't remember his name, which annoyed her; how hard was it to remember names? Other people did it all the time. He waited, looking impatient. "Hi," she said. "Is Bojay here?"
He stared at her a few moments more out of stormy dark brown eyes, and then turned abruptly. "Bojay! Visitor."
After a couple of centons he was there, out of uniform, in that scruffy outfit he'd been given when he came over from the Peggy and never gotten rid of. She couldn't get used to it: Mao had been a jungle-cock for fine feathers and brilliant colors, but even cast into his shade Boj had always been very neatly put together. After Molecay, of course, pilots had practically lived in uniform but every now and then you had to let loose a little, pull your Eighthday best on over your pressure suit and turn the music up loud... He spoke before she could. "Sheba? What are you doing here?"
"Looking for a little company," she said. Convincing myself you really are alive. Again. "Unless you had plans?"
"Nothing much," he said, letting the door shut behind him. "I was going over to the Star, but that can wait. You want to go get a drink, or?"
"Come to my place," she said. "I've got ambrosa and a little Libran Delight."
"Twist my arm." He held it out and then, as they started walking, put it over her shoulders and hugged her briefly. "You okay?"
"I am," she insisted. "I'm not the one who got disappeared. Or killed."
"No..." He was quiet until they got inside her quarters. While she got down the bottle and poured into two mismatched glasses he leaned on the counter that separated her small front room from her tiny serving room and said, "You have a good time last night?"
She handed him a glass and sat on the sofa, putting the bottle on the low kava table in easy reach. He sat down beside her and put his feet up on the table; she kicked off her shoes and tucked hers underneath her. "Yes," she said. "I did. In spite of everything."
"Why don't I think you mean the child?"
She sighed and took a long drink. "Boxey's all right. He's sort of growing on me."
"Good thing," he observed.
"Yes," she smiled. "I suppose so."
"So," he raised an eyebrow over a skeptical hazel eye. "What's everything? You know: that your good time was in spite of?"
"Oh. You know, just me getting him shot."
"I didn't hear about that."
"Oh." She looked up at him. "I suppose they didn't release all the details..."
"If one of them was that it was your fault Iblis killed Apollo," his tone said he didn't want to be convinced that Apollo had indeed come back from the dead but was, "then, no. They didn't. Believe me, I'd have heard that."
She laughed a little unhappily. "I suppose you would have. But I did. It was my fault."
"He asked you to dinner last night with his family. Doesn't sound like he thinks so. Unless... Where's he tonight?"
"He's with Starbuck," she shrugged. "That's all."
"Instead of you?"
"I don't mind. I don't own him. And Starbuck's his best friend. I wouldn't want to get between them even if I could; I don't want him trying to get between us, after all."
He raised his eyebrows. "Even if you could?"
"I couldn't. Not now." She shrugged. "Someday, maybe, though it wouldn't be pretty. But I don't really want to. Starbuck's a nice man and I don't want to hurt him. Or deprive Apollo of someone who loves him enough to die for him."
"That Starbuck loves him?" She smiled at him. "Of course I know. If it wasn't fairly obvious to start with, he told the universe back on the Ship of Lights. If you'd been there instead of ... wherever," she reached out to touch him, to make sure he was back, "you'd have seen it. Anybody would have. He offered to die for him."
"Heard you did, too."
She sighed. "It wasn't exactly the same thing, Boj. It was my fault he was dead. I fell for Iblis, and then I pushed to see the truth... and Apollo died for it."
He put his arm around her and pulled her up against him. "Don't blame yourself, Sheba. From what I hear, everybody fell for Iblis."
"They didn't all go off with him."
"From what I hear, anybody he'd asked to would have. He happened to ask you. Not your fault."
"Well, maybe not Apollo," he agreed. "If Iblis was Diabolus, then that," he paused. "Isn't Adama supposed to be descended from the Lords of Kobol?"
She looked at him gratefully. It wasn't something she'd thought of. Still, "Starbuck didn't."
He shrugged. "Starbuck's in love with him. Has been for yahrens. That probably helped. Besides, he's like me. Has a little problem with authority figures."
"Even benevolent avuncular ones?" Though she didn't think avuncular was the right word for Iblis.
He smiled wryly. "Especially them." Something in his tone told her he did.
She sighed and leaned a little closer to him. "Maybe you're right."
"I know I am. You're a little lost now, that's all. Need to get your feet underneath you, get used to things as they are. Then you'll be okay."
"Gods, I hope so," she said wearily. "Things just hurt so much, as they are."
"Oh, girl, don't I know it."
They sat quietly together for a while.
"I'm guessing his family don't think it was your fault," he offered finally. "Or you wouldn't have had a good time with them. Orhe didn't tell them?"
"He told his father, I know for sure, I was there. So I didn't have to. And I told Athena; she brushed it off, saying no harm, no foul, and anyway everyone was a little crazy... Which," she admitted, "was true. But it was my fault."
"If they don't think so, and Starbuck doesn't blame you, let it go, girl. They'd hold you to it if it was real. You're just borrowing trouble."
"And I've got enough without doing that?"
She sighed. "I think I was just the biggest idiot on the battlestar."
"New feeling," he teased lightly.
She elbowed him. "Very new, thank you. And I don't intend to get used to it."
"You won't. Anyway, from what I hear, you were hardly alone."
She looked at him. "I missed you."
"Sorry. I didn't plan it."
"I know... Boj, what was it like? Where you were?"
He shook his head. For a moment, something moved in his eyes, something almost haunted. She'd never seen anything like it and she'd seen a lot in those clear hazel depths. She caught his hand in hers as he answered, "I can't say."
"I don't know," he said with frustration. "I can't really remember. None of us can. I remember ordering a four-point peel-off and... that's it. After that it's just this... nothingness."
"You lost all those days?"
"No. That would be like there was no time gone. Like we went straight from evasive manuevers to the landing bay. But we didn't... we were someplace. There's a... hole. A gap. I know it, I know we were somewhere, but I can't remember a frackin' thing." He sat up and poured another drink. "None of us can. Some of us don't... they don't have that hole. Most of them. Jolly and I got good and drunk last night talking about it." He laughed shortly. "Didn't help the old memory any."
"You're back," she said. "You're all right. That's what counts."
"I suppose." He didn't sound convinced.
"They were angels, I think," she offered.
As she'd half guessed he would, he snorted. "Angels? Might have helped if they'd dropped by with a warning beforehand."
She smiled. "I don't think angels do. They mostly come around after to tell you your city's about to be wiped out, don't they?"
He smiled reluctantly. "Yeah... I guess I'd rather be here with a hole in my memory than not."
"Boj, don't talk like that, please."
"Sorry, sweetheart. I don't mean it." But his eyes were still bleak.
"Boj." She tried not to sound pleading. "If you and Jolly were drinking together last night..."
"Jolly's okay," he conceded.
And she did. Athena was okay, and so (amazingly) was Cassie. But neither of them were Freya or Isobel. "What about Hereward?"
"He's made friends here. And we weren't that close before anyway."
"No..." That was true. And he had always been a bit prickly, hard to get to know. Not that she was going to put it like that tonight. "You are an acquired taste."
He laughed. "So you don't mind Apollo being out with Starbuck?"
"No. I told youOh. No. Apollo's not in love with him. How long has he had to do something about it, and he hasn't? I feel sorry for him in a way."
"Yes." She shook her head. "You should have seen him on that ship, Boj. He was so grief-stricken, like" She paused before saying, like you. "Like he'd lost his reason for living. And then, when Apollo was brought back to us, he was like joy itself. I was feeling so guilty, I didn't even think about him when I kissed Apollo. And he kissed me back. And then I did look at Starbuck, and he was just so happy Apollo was alive he didn't care. He wants Apollo to marry me if that's what Apollo wants."
"It must be hard on Bucko." His tone was unreadable. "But at least Apollo is alive."
He smiled. "That's good for you both. I'm glad for you." His eyes were bright.
Damn. She'd known three sectons ago, when she'd sat up all night with him drinking and talking about Mao, that he was hurting still. He'd told her about a club he'd found on the Star, worried but not sure what about, as drunks sometimes are. She'd hated the idea of the club but hadn't said so; Bojay's life was miserable enough, after all.
"Boj," she said. "You said you were going to the Rising Star. Are you planning on that still?"
He blinked and looked away, trying to think of an answer.
"Stay here tonight," she said.
"Sheba," he started.
"I mean it. I can't stand the thought of you going off again, lost among strangers. Stay here."
He smiled sadly at her. "I wish it wasn't going to be a stranger, myself. But," he shrugged. "I'm not exactly wading knee-deep in offers."
"I just made you one."
This time the smile was more amused. "I know. But lately... I miss Mao, but I want to get laid."
"I know that. Stay here. You close your eyes and I'll make you forget I'm a woman."
"I mean it," she said. "I know I could, and so do you."
"No," he shook his head, reaching out to thread his fingers through her hair; he liked it long, and yet he'd told her once he'd shield her from her father if she cropped it off. Someday she just might go through with it. "Thank you, sweetheart; I love the offer. But no. If nothing else it'd screw up you and Apollo in a major probably not fixable way if he found out."
"I don't plan on telling him," she said, wondering why the possibility of losing Apollo didn't bother her more than it did. Didn't bother her more than letting Boj go off for another meaningless encounter with someone who didn't even know who he was. Weren't you supposed to care more about your lover than you did about your best friend? Though she and Apollo weren't lovers, not yet, and Apollo and Starbuck... Apollo cared more about him than he did her.
"No," he said again. "If he found out, or someone else... Besides, it would probably screw us up."
"Nothing could screw us up," she stated, but she knew he was going to go. She reached out and touched his cheek. "Please" She wasn't sure what she wanted to say. She settled on, "Be careful."
"Hey," he smiled at her. "It's a perfectly civilized club."
"Like Hades," she riposted, and knew she meant it more ways than one. "Just watch out for yourself, Boj. Don't lose your soul there."
"Not likely," he said. "I don't seem to carry it around with me anymore." She flinched and he saw it. "I'm sorry, Sheba, I don't mean to distress you. It's all right, really; I'm better. I am."
She sighed. "Just don't you forget where I live."
"I won't," he said. "Promise."
And then he was gone. She sank back onto the sofa and poured herself another drink. She wasn't doing her men any good lately. Any good at all.
Starbuck raised his foot and dragged one of Apollo's old tech journals off the pile, and then put his feet up on the table, ankles crossed and heel on the journal. Apollo had gotten even fussier about his furniture since he'd gotten married, didn't want Boxey picking up bad habits, but he couldn't complain about that journal.
"Starbuck! You're destroying that journal. Get your feet off of itand don't put them on the table, either. Oh... Just don't move." Apollo vanished back inside the service room.
Starbuck froze obediently, his feet five or six centimetrons off the table. "You do realize that it's got to be ten yahrens out of date?"
Apollo came out and put the drinks down on the table and then stuck a towel under Starbuck's feet. "Of course I do," he said, settling down on the couch. "That's why I'm saving it, for Sagan's sake."
"Not because it's out of date," Apollo said. "Because it's an invaluable resource." He smoothed out the cover and placed the journal back on its stack.
"Don't I even get credit for saving the finish on the table?"
"You'd get more credit if you'd keep your feet where they belonged."
Starbuck laughed out loud. "It's not usually my feet people say that about," he explained to Apollo's raised eyebrows.
"Oh, for..." His friend shook his head. "You're worse than Boxey."
"Hey, I'll accept more intense, but not everybody sees this obsession with furniture as the good, you know. It's not like this thing" he thumped the towel-covered surface with his bootheel " is a priceless antique, or even a treasure that's been in your family for dozens of yahrens. It's just a standard QM-issue table."
"It's the principle of the thing. And I admit you were a lot more careful when you were at home. Though," he added with a grin, "I think that was because you were scared of my mother."
"I wasn't scared of Ila," Starbuck corrected him. "I just didn't want to upset her."
"But you'll upset me?"
"Somehow that's so very different."
They sat quietly for a few centons, drinking ale.
"So," Starbuck said, "what's really got you upset?"
"What do you mean?"
"I mean, this isn't about a wrinkle on a tech journal or a scuff on a table. What is it? The whole being-dead thing?"
A long pause, and then, "No." Apollo's green glance came sideways at him and then he smiled a little. "No, seriously, Starbuck. That part doesn't bother me. I admit that's weird, but... Maybe I only believe it intellectually. I was dead. They brought me back. I mean, doctors do it all the time, don't they?"
Starbuck thought of a dozen ways that what had happened on the Ship of Light was oh so very different from what happened in a life center, but he didn't say any of them. After all, he didn't want Apollo having nightmares over it; it was enough that he did. "Yes."
"And I don't seem any the worse for wear, either. So, no, that's not bothering me."
"Then what is? Come on, Apollo, you just said 'that part' doesn't bother you. What part does?"
Apollo sighed and leaned back against the cushions, resting his head on the couch back and staring up at the ceiling. "Sheba."
Ah. "You know, she was very upset you were dead. Very. And while she was kinda sorta the, what do you call it, proximate cause of his zapping you, she didn't want him to. She was just trying to find out the truth. It wasn't her fault."
"What was she doing there in the first place?" Apollo demanded of the ceiling. "Why was she with him? And don't give me that look, I know what was going on... I just don't know why."
Starbuck kept his tone under control: a little on the light side, without losing the concern. "Got the lost your girl to a better man blues? Oh, wait: a worse man. Actually, a worse supernatural being. In fact, the Prince of Darkness, ruler of the seven hells. You didn't stand a chance."
Apollo didn't say anything, but Starbuck didn't mind. Though they weren't touching they were close enough that he could feel the change in the air between them, the shifting of the cushions, as Apollo relaxed, the tension beginning to drain out of that lean body.
"I'm not saying she's completely blameless," he went on, "but virtually everyone on this battlestar was under his spell."
"You weren't," Apollo observed.
Starbuck shrugged. My object-of-adoration slot is already filled, thank you, was not the right thing to say. "It's opposites that attract, isn't it?"
"Starbuck," Apollo protested. "Don't talk like that."
"Okay." He felt unreasonably warmed by the order. "But I could see through him. Takes one to know one, though I'm nowhere near his league, and I just mean the smooth-talking charming front he was putting on."
Apollo shook his head. "I wish you wouldn't," he said without force. But with meaning.
"The point I'm trying to make is, Sheba's human. She's a nice, ordinary, good person who takes people at face value, at least at first. She made a bad mistake with him, but so did most people. And she got over it; she wanted to see the truth. He was losing her, Apollo, and he knew it. That's why he had to kill her, while she was still his."
"And she offered to die in your place, just like you jumped in the way to save her. That means something, Apollo."
"So did you."
"I've known you sixty times as long as she has. You're my best friend. Are you hers?"
"No. It's different."
"Yes." Apollo had that tone in his voice again, the wondering I-can't-believe-it tone.
"So, you're not going to hold this against her, right?"
"No," Apollo agreed. "You're right. I mean, he is the Father of Lies, isn't he?"
"Exactly." Starbuck took a long drink. Weren't things supposed to get easier when you faced facts and stopped lying to yourself? All he knew was, 'things', meaning 'Apollo in love with Sheba', weren't any easier than Apollo in love with Serina had been. But at least Sheba didn't mind him, didn't mind him spending time with Apollo. "So, you're going to call her?"
Apollo laughed. "You don't write that Advice to the Lovelorn column in the fleet rag, do you, by any chance? Yes, Starbuck, I'll call her. Just not tonight. Tonight I want to just sit here and do nothing except drink ale and relax."
"Sounds like a plan." He sat up, swinging his feet off the table. "I'll get some more."
"Don't mention it." He headed for the service room, smiling to himself.
Omega looked at himself in the mirror. He looked fine, he decided, considering where he was going. His hair was good, and his clothes... They were the most nondescript he owned, but that didn't mean cheap, which would be to the good tonight. He closed his eyes just for a moment.
"You're the only man I know who washes daggets in a fifty-cubit shirt."
"I happen to like wearing good clothes. Is there any legitimate reason I shouldn't?"
"None in the worlds, big guy."
"I really wish you wouldn't call me that..."
Omega sighed, glancing at the picture of the grey-eyed redhead laughing at him from the table next to his bed. "If you were here," he said softly, "you could call me that in public."
Ruaraidh, of course, didn't answer, just looked at him over the head of a massive gold-ribboned dagget that weighed almost as much as he had. It was a still picture, the only one Omega had left. He'd had more, including a hologram, but two sectares ago he'd come back from the Club Cibola drunk and, if truth were told, more than a little disgusted with himself, and the sound of Ruaraidh's lost voice (don't forget to come home, a ghràidh) had been the last straw. Fortunately this shot had been in a different album, the one Ruaraidh had given him of the daggets, and had escaped destruction. When Omega had found it the next day he'd nearly cried with relief.
But he couldn't go home, because home wasn't there: not his parents' place on Natacapra, or his own townhouse in Caprica City, or Red Cervus Kennels out in West Lillicap. And Ruaraidh was dead. Omega hoped he'd died in the first attack; he could make himself sick thinking of him dying slowly of injuries or hunger, or being taken prisoner, or serving some twisted Cylon purpose. And that wasn't counting the occasional nightmare that featured his death by the jaws of his great gentle cervhounds, driven to desperation by hunger... Much better to think of Ruaraidh dead right off, best if he'd not even had the news on, not even known what was happening.
Stop worrying about me. You'll make yourself crazy.
He laughed shortly. "Like I'm not already?"
No answer. He touched the picture gently and then swung away from it, sharply, to leave the room.
He paused, his hand on the door switch.
You're a lot like Lucky, here, you know. Your pedigree may go back seventy-three hundred yahrens, but you're only human after all.
He shook his head, shutting out the soft voice that wasn't really there, the words he'd heard before in a better time. "You were supposed to be safe," he said savagely.
It's not your fault that I wasn't. That we weren't.
"I know that."
Silence. In the room and in his head. He opened the door and left.
On the shuttle he looked out the window into the darkness and thought. Usually when he went to the Club, he was wishing he wasn't, that he had the willpower to stay away and the nerve to actually make a decision: get on with his life or not. But tonight that wasn't on his mind. Tonight he needed the Club Cibola on a whole different level, needed the astringent honesty of plain sex to take the taste of the last few days out of his mouth, the sickly sweetness of too much alcohol and out-of-control indulgence. He needed to do this because he chose to.
He could go back to hating it later, after all.
But when he got there, he found himself simply sipping old ambrosa and watching. There were fewer men here than usual, but otherwise it was business as usual for a late evening. He turned down a threesome, as he always did, but somehow nothing else seemed to appeal either. Maybe tonight just coming here was enough. Another drink and then...
A sharpish tenor he hadn't heard before asked someone at the table behind him a question. It was phrased in the usual Cibolan style: I'm looking for... But it was an odd question. Distinctly odd. So odd that Omega couldn't help turning around to see who'd asked it. Blue-grey eyes met his, an oddly clear color against the dark blue mask, and the slender figure in the nondescript jacket and trousers moved to his table. Good shoulders, slim hips, long legs, and those clear eyes...
"I'm looking for someone to go to bed with," he repeated.
Go to bed with... Omega found himself on his feet without conscious volition.
The door had barely latched shut behind them when the man moved to kiss him. Omega sighed into his mouth and held him close; he hadn't kissed, really kissed, in so long it was almost enough by itself. Almost. The lean body pressing against his wanted more, promised more; hands slid his jacket off his shoulders and he let go long enough for his own hands to slip out of the sleeves. Those hands, strong and sure, made their way under his shirt, warm on his skin, and lips and tongue caressed his throat.
The rest of their clothes came off slowly and the man pulled him down onto the bed. They hadn't spoken, hadn't made an arrangement, but Omega could tell what he wanted and was happy to give it to him. He took some time getting there, caressing the rangy body offered up to him. A soldier, he thought, unable to keep his mind from drawing conclusions from the scars on shoulder and thigh, plasma weapon burns and surgical interventions, but then the strong hand in his hair distracted him from forbidden curiosity and brought him back to the matter at hand. One last kiss on the scarred thigh and then he took the man's cock in his mouth, working him until he came, thrusting and moaning, a hot explosion in Omega's mouth. Then he reached for the lube in the bedside drawer and found himself pulled in for more kisses. He paused, momentarily unsure, and the man moved his talented mouth down along Omega's body, teasing and sucking. Omega was ready to fall back and let the other take over when he felt the lube slipped into his hand. The other didn't need a lot of prepping, which was just as well; Omega positioned the long legs on his shoulders and pushed inside, seeking his own deliverance. It came with a cry and a hand clasping his with bruising force. He collapsed, trembling, on top of the man, feeling arms come around him, stroking and soothing. After a few centons the man reached for the towels next to the bed and they cleaned each other, still in silence, with gentle strokes. Then Omega kissed him and sat up.
The man reached out, at the last micron changing the movement to a caress of his shoulder. "Do you have to go so soon?" His voice was neutral, but his eyes...
Don't stay, big guy, Ruaraidh's voice whispered in the back of his mind. It'll just lead to trouble... But the other man's eyes wouldn't let go of him and Omega found himself lying back down and gathering him up, holding him close. It was the complete antithesis of the Cibola experience, but he couldn't resist it. Cibola only took the edge off. This, even if it was only for tonight, was what he craved. He closed his eyes and rested his cheek on the man's hair. If someone else wanted the room, well, they could... they could frack in the hall. That was the Cibola experience.
He wasn't sure how much time had passed when he woke. The other man's chrono alarm had gone off and he was already up and dressing. He glanced at Omega and said, "Sorry. Didn't mean to wake you... I have to be on duty by five-fifty, so I have to get back to the Galactica." He paused, probably realizing he'd just violated a rule by saying something that could identify him, and then shrugged.
"That's all right," Omega said. "I'm surprised we didn't get turfed out."
He smiled briefly; it was a nice smile and made Omega wish he could see his face. "It's Fourthday," he said. "Not many people off, I guess." He picked up his jacket and stood.
"I suppose not," Omega said, thinking about that.
The man paused at the door and then visibly decided to say it. "This was nice. Thanks." And then he was gone.
Omega waited a few more centons before he dressed and left, making sure to be late for the shuttle the man would have caught. No sense making a bad decision worse... but as he waited for the next shuttle he felt better than he had in sectares.
And how crazy is that? he wondered, but he had no answers.
|Prolog||Chap 1||Chap 2||Chap 3||Chap 4||Chap 5.1|
|Chap 5.2||Chap 6.1||Chap 6.2||Chap 7.1||Chap 7.2||Epilog|
|Autumn Afternoon | Ilya's Wedding | Something... | Last Corner | Morgans|
|Original Fan Fiction|
Star Wars |
Power Rangers |
Battlestar Galactica | The A Team
Space 1999 | Alias Smith and Jones | Jurassic Park III
|Go Back to List of Karen's Fiction|