DISCLAIMER: Battlestar Galactica is the property of Glen A. Larson, Sci-Fi Channel, R & D TV, Sky and NBC Universal.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Thanks to frogfrizz for doing beta duty (any errors were me playing after she'd done her bit). Written for viciouswishes.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
SPOILERS: Occupation and Precipice

Before I Die
By selenay_x


Ellen Tigh had long come to the conclusion that life really wasn't fair. New Caprica was supposed to be good. She was supposed to have a home again instead of being stuck on the ship. She and Saul were supposed to be happy

And for a while it had been good. She had the old Saul back, there was hope. The only slight downside was Laura Roslin; who didn't have the good grace to be miserable and instead was the happiest Ellen had ever seen her teaching the children. The few times she and Saul had run into her, mainly at Tyrol's, it was like a weight had been lifted from her and she displayed a downright evil sense of humour. Not to mention she had a lot more good hair days than Ellen.

More worrying for Ellen was that she had begun to feel a grudging liking for Laura, much against her will it had to be said. But the situation on New Caprica had changed a lot of people.

In fact she and Saul had one of their frequent rows about the former president following an evening at Tyrol. Cally, being close to term had roped Roslin in to cook.

Saul ducked as a pillow came flying at his head and made a mental note not to interrupt one of Ellen's rants about the President again. With hindsight, pointing out the woman had a fantastic pair of legs was not one of his finest moments.

"You want to frak her, don't you?

Saul sighed and wondered what the appropriate response to that was. A flat out no wouldn't be believed and a yes would get him emasculated.

But then the rain and cold set in. The houses weren't built and food and supplies became scarce. And people started to realise this wasn't the paradise they'd been promised. And there were more and more people saying that they should have believed the prophet.

And then the Cylons had come. And the world went to hell again. Roslin became the martyr, spending time shuttling between Detention and running the school.

And Ellen had spent her time placating Cavil and saving Saul, who had taken on the mantle of Resistance Leader. Once again she lost Saul to sobriety and implacable bloody-mindedness.

Saul lost another part of his soul in Detention as well as an eye; and for the first time in their marriage Ellen felt it was threatened. Knew that Saul would never understand why she had gone to Cavil, why she had co-operated; sure in his own mind of the rightness of his actions, unable to see another side. For the first time in their marriage she was afraid he wouldn't forgive her. That was one thing she had to give Laura credit for, she still saw the human side of the equation and Saul had been torn between being angry she didn't support the suicide bombings and impressed that she'd hit him.

Looks like the school teacher had hidden depths. Not that she was even close to appreciating them at the moment. Not when she was almost positive she was going to be killed. In her heart, she had to admit that in a similar situation she might have been tempted to do the same; because she'd put the lives of 200 people in danger just to save Saul. Swings and roundabouts.

All of which had bought her to her current situation, effectively a prisoner of the Resistance. And Ellen was sure that things were not going to work out well.

The cave system was cold and dank and uncomfortable, though they'd done their best to make individual caves have a few comforts. Her particular cave had a couple of chairs, a pallet, a cracked mirror on the wall and candles for light. The slight downside was the armed guards that made it patently obvious that she was not to leave.

Ellen didn't deal well with tension and was fast losing patience with waiting for a decision to be taken on her fate. Not that Saul had said anything. He was still being reassuring. But she was rapidly losing what little self control she had left because the longer he was gone, the less certain her fate. If she had to face one more look of veiled contempt she was not going to be responsible for her actions.

Ellen looked into the mirror trying to see herself, reassure herself. But the mirror was really just a cracked piece of shiny metal and Ellen found herself sobbing in frustration and the mirror found itself hurled into what passed for a corridor. Ellen heard the crash as it hit the wall before she realised she'd actually thrown it. As she stared at the wall a very recognisable figure bent down to pick the metal up.

Frak, figures it would be her and she'd be perfect and pick the litter up. Laura Frakking Roslin. She who was now moving back into her revered prophet role as opposed to fallen president now that the Cylons had a grip on the populace.

Looking into the redhead's eyes, she was startled to see a flash of understanding and a look of sympathy and sorrow in them before it was hidden by her mask.

"I think this could be yours." Laura held out the offending mirror to Ellen.

"Thank you." Ellen managed to put an awful lot of sarcasm into two words.

Laura sighed softly and made no further attempt at conversation and was leaving when Ellen came to a decision. It might have been of the causes of her being in this situation, but Ellen wasn't going to apologise for her love of sex, her ability to use her sex appeal as a means to an end, or her love of Saul. Roslin might be strong enough, or willing enough to be able to separate herself from her human side, Ellen wasn't. And more importantly she didn't want to.

"Stop." Ellen made it a command rather than a plea and was amused to see the faintly irked look that resided all too briefly on Roslin's face. Maybe that was why so many people wanted her, from the Adamas, to Zarek, to Baltar and even Gods help her Saul. Maybe what they actually wanted was to shatter her reserve.

Laura turned and quirked an eyebrow at Ellen, not really wanting to be there, she'd just lost the argument with Tigh and Anders about Ellen and preferred not to be around.

"Do I get a last request?"

Laura slapped her mask on quickly, knowing she'd underestimated the woman.

"Yes, I know Saul." Ellen bit back a sob. "He won't let me live. Not after betraying the Resistance."

Laura sighed. "Shouldn't you be having this conversation with him?"

Ellen laughed bitterly. "He won't tell me anything. He'll let me believe everything is ok."

"So what is it you want?"

In answer Ellen stepped forward wrapping her fingers into the auburn hair before pulling the other woman almost painfully into a kiss. Ellen was good at kissing and Laura, apart from the first startled squeak didn't protest the caress.

When she broke the kiss for air Laura looked at her, an indecipherable look deep in her eyes. "Oh. You want…" for a teacher that was surprisingly non-coherent. Laura swallowed and tried the sentence again. "Unless I've misinterpreted totally…"

In another time and place Ellen would have been amused by the response. But now she just needed a release, a distraction. "I want to frak one more time before I die. And I don't think it's fair to put that burden on Saul."

Ellen could almost see Laura's dilemma; caught between wanting to give the woman her last request and calculating the fall out if they were caught. And Ellen could read the desire in Laura's eyes.

In the end the decision wasn't really a decision, more of a foregone conclusion once they'd kissed.

It wasn't pretty, wasn't seduction, it verged between pleasure and pain, more often on the pain side. But it made forgetting reality easy. Bought its own kind of sanity out of the insanity of life.

President Roslin sat at her desk, staring into space. After so many months of being allowed to be Laura, the people wanted, or was that actually needed her to be the virgin/prophet/leader again.

And all she could think of Ellen. Flawed though she was, Ellen truly loved Saul. In a frakked up, weird way admittedly but it was love. And all she had done was for him. Even her last request of Laura had been to spare Tigh. So maybe it had been wrong on a few levels. But Ellen had wanted her, in that moment, under those circumstances, Gods help her she had wanted Ellen as well.

And now, long after Ellen was dead, Laura could still see the bruises that proved Ellen had lived. The bruises that proved Laura had lived

The End

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