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ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
SPOILERS: Post 5x14 “I See Dead People”

Bedtime Story
By trancer


"They spoke of distance and space, the rounding of the earth before love," Kara's voice trailed at the opening of the bunker door.

After their entire civilization was destroyed leaving nothing but a ragtag fleet of hope to search amongst the stars, when they looked up and pointed towards their new home, it never occurred to any of them that earth would have its own wars, its own pains.

They looked up to the stars, saw hope, salvation.

They looked up to find only death and despair.

They had the Cylons.

They had the Chigs.

And now -

They had both.

Kara eyed the woman entering the room over the top of her book. Shane Vansen stepped into the quarters, hair dripping wet, slicked back over her skull. Dressed in nothing more than standard issue top and shorts.

The new girl made Kara twitchy. There was a hardness in her eyes, a callousness, as if she'd been to Hell and back, stripped of her hope, her empathy, with nothing left but tattered shreds of her humanity. When she spoke, if she spoke at all, the words were short, curt. When she entered a room, the temperature dropped by ten degrees.

It would be easy to call her an unfeeling shell of a human being. But, the demeanor of her crew said otherwise. They treated her with a pack-like reverence. Wildcards, they called themselves. Shane their Queen. 'Semper Fi' was their battle cry. 'Never leave a man behind' etched upon their souls.

She wielded her stick in ways that made Kara breathless. Not quite suicidal, not exactly regulation. Stalked the skies like a predator. Ruthless and unyielding.

Shane nodded something of acknowledgement before clambering onto the bunk above Kara's. Kara watched from beneath, listened to the soft squeak of worn and tired bed-springs. Moments ticked by, the silence clinging uncomfortably in the air. Kara returned her eyes to her book, turning the page to lip-read silently.

"Don't stop," Shane spoke with a soft honey-graveled voice.

"Excuse me?"

"You were reading aloud when I came in," Shane's face emerged over the edge of the bunk. A softness in her eyes Kara had never seen before. Bee-stung lips pulled into the soft curve of a smile. And Kara had to quell the urge to even think about kissing them. Because, normally, there was a hardness in Shane's eyes, like she could see into your soul. And Kara was pretty certain Shane didn't look too kindly upon people thinking of pinning her to a wall and kissing her breathless.

"Figured you were trying to get some sleep," Kara mumbled.

Shane's face went blank, jaw muscles twitching as if trying not to remember some dark memory. "The quiet here is weird. Like a gnat buzzing in your ear. Hard to get used to."

"Hadn't really noticed," Kara shrugged.

"What's it about?"

"Nothing really."

Shane smiled, a real smile, not the subdued smirk normally formed upon her lips. "A book that old and dog-eared? Must be a very interesting nothing."

Kara chuckled. Held it up, turning the well-worn, no longer legible spine towards Shane. "It's about a scientist who build's the world's biggest telescope," she rested the book on her chest, drew her hands behind her head. "It's so powerful, he can see a planet from across the universe. He sees a woman on the planet. Falls in love with her. Becomes obsessed with her. Watches her for hours, days, years. Until, one day, he decides he needs to be with her. So, he builds himself a ship. Travels across the galaxy. Except, when he gets there, there's nothing but the ruins of a civilization that died off thousands of years ago. He goes mad. Spends the rest of his life wandering the planet searching for her until the day he dies. A thousand years later, another ship arrives, and a woman emerges searching for a man she saw in a telescope. The end."

Shane cocked an eyebrow. "And the moral of the story is?"

"I don't know. Love doesn't really exist?"

"Now there's a depressing thought. Do you believe it?"

"Hadn't really thought about it. Do you?"

"I guess," Shane retreated from Kara's line of vision, rolling onto her back. Allowed the silence to slowly descend over her, over the both of them. "I guess I'd rather go mad searching for love, than live without it. Not everyone who searches for something comes up empty handed. It's like you and your people. I guess it's not what you expected, but you found what you were looking for, right?"

"Yeah, I guess we did," Kara continued staring at the bunk above her. She pulled the book off her chest, opening it once more, began reading the page before her aloud. "All sober thoughts grew drowsy.."

The End

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