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Second Fiddles
By trancer


Crewman Specialist Cally was good at her job. Damn good. One of the best, even. But, she wasn't the best. That honor reserved for the Chief. Her rise above the ranks less because of talent and more because those who were better, who were the best, outside the Chief, died in a fire.

It's not that she didn't enjoy her job, she loved it. But, she didn't join the military out of some sense of duty, or honor, she did it as a quick way to make a buck. A stepping stone to her true calling - dental school. Somehow, it made her feel less than. Like she wasn't supposed to be here, hadn't earned the right to be here. She showed fear. She questioned. She doubted.

When she pulled her gun and plugged a hole in 'the betrayer', she wasn't held up high on their arms while the trumpets sang and confetti rained down upon them. They didn't see her as a hero. Instead, they looked down upon her with scorn, with anger, with hate. Saw in their eyes, even though Sharon attempted to kill Adama, betrayed Tyrol, betrayed them all. Even though Sharon may have been nothing more than silicon wires and programming, even though she was a toaster, she was still better than Cally. It cut her to the core. The realization that she was not one of the favored children. Nothing more than a bastard step-child, a child meant to be seen but not heard, liked but not loved, needed but not wanted.

A second fiddle.

Junior Lt. Margaret "Racetrack" Edmonson knew she'd never be the best pilot in the fleet. She was good, damn good. But, she'd always be second fiddle to those who were better than her, more favored, more loved. As Raptor pilot, she'd always be second to Boomer. No matter how many times the woman betrayed them, played their men, played them all, like a cat with a toy. As Viper pilot, she didn't have the cockiness of Starbuck, the stoicism of Lee, nor the fighting skills of either.

She'd always be dragged down by her guilt, her anger. Her mind always plagued by doubts, washing out during training, her dependence on stims, her almost pathological need for it all to be over. Even if 'the end' meant that of their race.

She was a Viper pilot, a Raptor pilot, friend, comrade, confident. When, in the end, it all meant nothing. Learned a painful lesson the hard way - it was okay to call your XO a drunken loser in front of the squad, but it was not okay to point out, in front of that same squad, that one of their was sleeping with the enemy. It was okay to be a rebel, a leader, a fighter, as long as you weren't -

A second fiddle.

Their relationship started like all things second fiddle, not out of desire, or lust, or a need for companionship, but, out of loneliness.

Cally found her standing alone in an empty corridor. Arms wrapped around herself, leaning against the bulkhead, the unmistakable shaking of a person wracked with sobs. The emptiness, the loneliness, palpable in the canned, circulated air around them. It was why Cally approached her, unable to stop her own tears from welling in her eyes. Draped her arms around the woman. They shared each other's heat, their pain, their isolation. Until the warmth between them crescendoed. The desire to not feel alone morphed into a desire to be touched, kissed, wanted. To be the best, even if it was in the eye's of one.

Kisses that started as soft and tentative turned to hurried and demanding. Until the corridor turned to a supply closet, where zippers unzipped, buttons unbuttoned, and hands searched for wetness and heat. Where they held each other, panting into the other's mouth. The frustration at being alone at the end of the world released from them in guttural cries echoing off the walls.

Afterwards, when the thing between them was still tentative, still uncertain, the days became a little brighter. Neither intended to search out for the other, they just did. The tiny moments between sleeping, working, fighting, became prized possessions. Hope, where before had been a construct, an ideal that kept them going but not enough to keep the tank from always hovering around empty, now it was real. It had a face, a name. A pulse that beat faster from the slightest of touches, from secret smiles, and stolen kisses. Hope now something worth fighting for, worth living for.

Cally became Racetrack's. Racetrack became Cally's.

The unspoken word amongst the Deck Crew - no one touched Racetrack's ship except Cally. Cally used her talents, talents not quite the best but damn good enough. Racetrack might not make it home, Kobol knew if she were stranded the entire fleet won't turn around for a second fiddle, but, Cally made sure, it wouldn't be the fault of her ship.

Racetrack always made it back. She had to. To the point of routine. Her eyes would search the deck for one face in particular. Unable to hide the smirky smile at the relieved one returned to her. Where anticipation turned to relief. And the drawing well of desire became secret kisses in rare empty corridors, to hushed moans in the even rarer instances of an empty bunk and quality time alone. Time that never seemed long enough. But really didn't matter as long as it was time spent together.

When the history books would be written, and history turned to legend, to myth. Maybe their love would be skipped for more grander affairs. Tales about the best of the best, heroes and villains. Love and hate. Something grander than a simple relationship created from loneliness that turned to something more. It didn't matter to either. Because theirs was one unmarred by conflict, complications, politics, or old wounds still unhealed. And, in this instance, the second fiddles -

Were second to none.

The End

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