DISCLAIMER: Battlestar Galactica is the property of Glen A. Larson, Sci-Fi Channel, R & D TV, Sky and NBC Universal.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
SPOILERS: Up to episode 2x14
A Woman Left Lonely
Laura would prefer to be alone right now, and it is entirely possible that Cloud Nine is not the best place for that. It is morning, though, and there are not many people out yet, so she does not have to deal with a crowd eager to meet the president and offering their congratulations on her sudden recovery. The few people that are around don't seem to notice her, leaving her free to enjoy the ship's facsimile of nature in peace. She has always found the outdoors to be soothing, and after weeks lying in the cold and sterile sickbay of the Galactica the feeling of grass under her feet is welcome. She needs something to remind her that she's alive, that she didn't really die.
As she walks slowly across the grass, trying not to notice the flaws in the horizon, a woman approaches her, and Laura sighs heavily when she realizes that it's Mrs. Tigh.
"Laura! How are you?" she says, far louder than necessary and attracting the attention of the other people in the garden. Laura squashes the familiar urge to strangle the woman, and thinks that she should be grateful that she is at least sober enough to walk straight.
"I was so glad to hear you're over the whole cancer thing," she says as she comes closer, putting a hand on Laura's shoulder.
"You didn't seem terribly concerned when I was sick," replies Laura sharply, but quietly, because the people who had been minding their own business earlier are staring at them now.
Ellen completely ignores the hostility, though, and continues on as if Laura hadn't spoken. "Why are you out here? All the good stuff's inside."
Laura wishes that Ellen were the sort of woman to know when to back off. But she's starting to find the staring and whispered gossip surrounding her annoying, and the grass and the simulated sky don't seem as comforting as they were. Now that she's noticed the support beams showing through the horizon she can't stop noticing them, and the whole garden is turning into an unfortunate reminder that they are all traveling through dead space. The imperfections are showing everywhere, the air still tastes as stale as it did on Galactica, and the pathetic attempts at realism are just making the loss worse.
"Yes. Let's go inside," she says.
Ellen grabs her hand and pulls her towards the bar before she has even stopped speaking, as if it was never even in question that she would follow.
The bar turns out to be even less crowded than the garden. Laura isn't surprised, since it's still only ten in the morning, but as Ellen says as she orders a drink, "There's no morning in space. Day and night are what you make of them."
Coming from Ellen, it's probably just a shallow justification for drinking in the morning. But Laura is reminded of the fake sky over the gardens, and how it mimics the rise and fall of the sun over Caprica, and it's chilling reminder that they are a society clinging to the illusion that nothing has changed.
The bartender offers her a drink and she accepts it, and tries to think of other things. As Ellen talks at her, she looks around the room at the few sad looking single people guzzling their drinks down in the corners. Laura wonders if they started out like Ellen, or if they only started drinking after the world ended.
She turns back to Ellen, because watching alcoholics self-destruct isn't really helping her mood. She leans forward a little as she puts her drink down on the bar, and Ellen must have leaned forward too, because suddenly they're both way too close together.
"I think we should move someplace a little more private. Don't you?" says Ellen, smiling coyly at her.
Laura hates how smugly sure of herself Ellen looks. In fact, she hates almost everything about the woman, and so she is more than a little surprised with herself when she accepts Ellen's hand and follows her into the bathroom.
Once they've closed the door behind them, Ellen doesn't waste any time in pushing Laura against the wall and hiking her skirt up.
It's a bad idea - Lords, Laura knows it's a terrible idea. They haven't even bothered to lock the door, and anyone could walk in at any time, and she can't believe that she's here with Ellen, of all people.
But as much as Laura dislikes her, she has to admit that Ellen knows exactly what she's doing. She's hard and fast with her fingers, which Laura appreciates, because she's tired of feeling frail. Ellen speeds up, getting even more forceful, and Laura finds it difficult to focus on her worries and reservations as the tension coiling inside her builds.
She moans into Ellen's shoulder as she comes, trying to stay as quite as possible, because she still hasn't forgotten the people just outside the door. And after that, she returns the favor.
Ellen leaves fast after she's done, which is another thing Laura has to be grateful for. Laura takes her time, washing her hands and making sure all of her clothes are straight in the large mirrors by the sink. Her skirt is obviously wrinkled, and she has to comb her hair out with her hands, but after a few minutes she thinks she can pass for a woman who hasn't just done something incredibly undignified in the restroom of a bar.
As she walks through the bar she studiously avoids making eye contact with anybody, and silently thanks the Lords that it's still mostly deserted. Billy is already waiting for her when she reaches the shuttle.
"Let's go back to Colonial One," she says. "We have work we should be doing."
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