cupidsbow (cupidsbow) wrote,
cupidsbow
cupidsbow

Fanfiction: fractures

Title: fractures
Author: cupidsbow
Fandom: Battlestar Galactica 2003
Pairing: Withheld
Rating: PG-13
For: scotsnow -- happy birthday, sweetheart!
Disclaimer: No canon was injured in the making of this fanfic. No corporate profits were injured either.
Spoilers: "Mini-series," "Act of Contrition," "You Can't Go Home Again."


*********************


"There's no such thing as total control," Kara tells Hotdog during de-briefing, in response to one of his particularly hair-brained stunts.

He just stares at her, not getting it.

It's something nuggets always have trouble with: the idea that total control is a myth. They always start out thinking that if they can just master the viper's controls, they can be the best. The best pilot; the best at killing cylons; the best at not dying.

Kara knows better. She knows that it's not about control at all, because in combat anything that can go wrong will go wrong.

It's Kara's job to teach the nuggets the counter-intuitive truth: that the best pilots aren't those in total control of their machines, because that would make the cylons the best pilots in the galaxy. And if that were so, humanity would be very, very dead, instead of hanging on by one last fingernail.

No, total control isn't possible. Not for humans anyway.

The best a pilot can hope for is to have good training, good instincts and the good luck to live long enough to avoid making the same mistake twice.

* * *



Kara's falling.

She wonders if falling is always like this... if it's happened to her before, but the knowledge has slipped away somehow. Because this giddy, endless rush is so familiar. So fracking familiar, like the fear from a half-remembered nightmare juddering down her spine in the bright reality of daylight.

Everything's swirling around her in unidentifiable colours, shapes, sounds, and she's just a mote, a random particle spinning through space at the will of the Gods.

And the only reason she even knows that she's not suspended in some timeless cosmic whirlpool is because under the chaotic centrifugal spin, there's a deeper pull that tells her she's heading for an impact with something immense and intractable.

* * *



"Kara," Zack whispers, his breath warm against her ear, "don't ever stop."

She's caught up in the endless now, now, now of passion. Lust twists her inside out, wrenching things from her that she's never suspected her body contains.

She loves it. Loves the feeling that at any moment something totally unexpected might happen. She could come. She could die. She could love like this forever.

* * *



She wakes, drenched in sweat. There's nothing familiar to tell her where she is.

The air is yellow. Her body feels like it's been hammered all over. It's hard to breathe.

But at least she's stopped falling.

* * *



"He didn't make it."

The words never go away. They keep circling back to hit her again.

Always, always, just as she thinks she's safe. There they are.

"Oh," she says. She can't stop the sound falling out of her. "Oh."

* * *



The air is yellow. Her body feels like it's been hammered all over. It's hard to breathe.

She levers herself up from the grass, blinking in the early-morning brightness of the sun. Her hangover makes it hard to breathe without retching, and every step back to the barracks jabs splinters of pain into muscles she didn't know she had.

The gloom of her quarters has never looked so good, and she swears, by all the Gods, that she will never make this mistake again.

Never again.

When the knock comes, the painkillers have almost kicked in. She's just about lucid when she opens the door to Zack's father.

* * *



Kara cuts at the cords as the chute drags her across the ground, all too aware of the sharp edge of the knife, the graze of the rocks beneath her ass, the thin envelope of fabric keeping her insides in, and this alien atmosphere out.

As she cuts, cuts, tries again, she's already decided that she's going to have to save herself if she's going to be saved.

Because she won't wait around for an Adama to save her.

Not this time.

And she won't give an Adama a chance to fracking well leave her behind.

Not again.

And maybe walking aimlessly across an alien planet isn't such a fantastic plan, especially with a bum knee, but at least she'll die with the satisfaction of knowing that she never makes the same fracking mistake twice.

* * *



She looks up from beneath the viper and sees him standing there. Standing there. The light bright behind him, making him glow. And it's like everything in the universe has contracted to this one moment: this swirling, familiar sensation that rips through her, untrammelling her insides from inessential forces like gravity and time.

There's no point in fighting freefall, so Kara lets go; let's herself spiral out of control for that endless moment as she looks up at a man returned from the dead.

Falling is always like this.

Kara's been trained for it; she knows to go with it, because there's no such thing as total control in zero-g. She knows that there's a good chance that anything that can go wrong will go wrong. She knows that under combat conditions, the best a pilot can hope for is good training, good instincts and the good luck to live long enough to avoid making the same mistake twice.

They were lessons learned the hard way, during her first and most personal end of the world, the moment her lover died.

But it seems that every end of the world has a new lesson, because Lee standing there is living proof that sometimes the impossible is possible. That occasionally a strong enough will can overcome chance. That maybe it's not a fluke that humanity is still hanging on by one last fingernail.

As Kara slides out from beneath the viper, the cavernous launch bay pulsing around her in time to the fizzing thrum of her blood, as she stands up, so close to Lee she could reach out and touch the short, sharp spikes of his hair, understanding crashes through her. Because the real difference between a human and a machine isn't perfection, it's perspective, and it's right here, right in front of her, an immense and intractable truth...

...some mistakes are worth making twice.

* * *



"Kara," Zack whispers, his breath warm against her ear, "don't ever stop."

* * *
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