Tomorrow Always Coming
Fandom: Battlestar Galactica
Disclaimer: Moore’s the man with the master plan.
Summary: It’s the night before everything ends.
The Cylons have finally reached New Caprica. Laura thinks she should be surprised or horrified, somewhere deep in her soul, but all she finds in herself is a weary finally as the centurions march down the main “street” of their shantytown that pretends to be a civilization.
The slow, rotting death of humanity on an inadequate planet that will not support a future has hurt her more than she’s wanted to admit, because Laura could pretend otherwise. Laura had almost convinced herself it would all come out right in the end.
For there is some joy in her new life here. There is the school, and if President Baltar’s reign of ennui and self-indulgence has been entirely useless in most other ways, including even attempting to pave a street or two, the children of New Caprica are well-taught and happy. In fact, one of the few things no one on New Caprica complains about is the educational system, and when Laura needs supplies, they are there.
Then there are Maya and Isis, and Laura’s heart beats faster to think of them and what this new danger will mean for all three of them.
The Cylons have finally reached New Caprica, and for all of Laura’s other sins and crimes, the one she has never regretted was forcing Cottle to give her the child.
But it’s thin comfort. There is always the possibility of if. If if if. What if Tory told her secret, what if someone figures it out, what if the Cylons come for her because Baltar still hates her?
Laura is at the school until long after sunset as worried parents seek counsel and comfort from her, stumbling home in an eerie backlight that comes from the Cylon ships. It’s the easiest walk she’s had since they’ve landed on this godsforsaken planet, as President Baltar isn’t much on public safety or lighting the streets.
She pulls back the flap of her supposed home and immediately fastens it closed before a draft can get in. Before she can say a word, Laura is quickly and fully embraced by Maya, whose hot tears run down Laura’s face and sting, as Maya kisses her with the urgent terror of someone who clearly feared the worst.
“I was so afraid,” Maya whispers, running her hands all over Laura’s face and arms. “I was afraid they’d taken you, and you didn’t come home.”
Laura forces a smile. Oh, gods, Maya is so good and innocent sometimes that it makes Laura’s heart ache. Maya is the one in danger, not Laura; nobody pays attention to the failed leaders. She is the little schoolteacher again, a kindly madwoman who overshot her strengths and is doing her part in genteel retirement.
Laura presses a kiss against Maya’s mouth. “Has anyone come by, sweetheart?” she asks lightly. It has been so many months since Laura’s heard that voice from her own mouth, that almost-innocent lie of a voice.
“No,” Maya says, resting her head against Laura’s shoulder as though she’s comforted. “Do you know what’s happening?”
“Baltar surrendered,” Laura says. “The Cylons will start changing things. I don’t need to be a prophet to know that much. And we are going to have to be careful and safe. Do you understand me?”
“Of course careful,” Maya says. “I was so afraid, Laura. What if they take you?”
“They won’t pay any attention to me,” Laura says. “If we keep our heads down, who will notice? It’s not like anyone in town notices us anyway…”
A genuine smile lights up Maya’s pretty face, and she puts her arm around Laura tighter, almost lustfully.
“I do think it’s pretty amazing,” she admits in a naughty voice that begs for physical affection, “that nobody realizes that we don’t live together just because I need help with Isis and it’s convenient.”
Laura feels a bit of an ache about that, too. After how many years…how many decades of hiding that part of her life for her political career…she’s still hiding her lovers from an indifferent world?
Maya doesn’t care — she loves secrets, she claims, not having any of her own, and she’s so flattered to have Laura in her bed. It makes Laura feel old and sad.
“Is Isis okay?” Laura asks instinctively.
“She’s asleep and as happy as a little girl can be,” Maya replies. “She missed having her mama sing her to sleep, though. Fussed a little.”
Laura takes the two steps it takes to get to Isis’s tiny bed of blankets and touches her carefully so not to wake her. “She had her mama here,” Laura says. “I’m sure she didn’t fuss long without Auntie Laura around.”
“None of that Aunt Laura stuff. You’re her mama, too,” Maya says, tugging Laura down to their couch-bed and putting her arms around her. “I’m sorry. I’m all touchy-feely tonight. But I’m scared. Are you scared? You just seem…tired.”
“I am. And I’m a million years old tonight,” Laura admits. “I saw those Cylons and all I could think was finally. I knew they would find us, Maya. I knew this was coming, and I couldn’t stop it…”
“It’s not your fault,” Maya insists, nuzzling against Laura insistently. “You do everything you can. You can’t save the world if they won’t let you.”
Laura desperately wants it to be not her fault. But her muscles are all tense listening for the footfalls of Cylons. The footfalls of Cylons coming to take her lover and their baby and laugh at her for trying to save the world even a little after Baltar’s rise to power.
This is all her fault. She should have killed Baltar the moment she knew he was too dangerous to live. And now Laura has something to lose, she’s let herself fall for being a teacher and a mother and even someone’s lover and it’s going to make what she has to do harder.
It was always easier for Laura to make the hard decisions when the worst outcome was crucifying herself.
“Oh, gods,” Laura whispers, shocked at the sharpness of her reaction.
“What?” Maya asks. “What’s wrong?”
“I was thinking of what I would do if they come for you, and I realized I think of you…both of you…as mine,” Laura says.
Maya’s whole body relaxes against Laura’s. “I want to be yours,” she says ardently. “Isis is ours, and I’m yours, and I don’t care what tomorrow brings because I want that, you know?”
“Tomorrow,” Laura says. “We have to talk about things.”
Maya nods, suddenly straddling Laura and pulling off her sweater. “Tonight, I don’t care,” she says. “Please. I need you. I want you. Please”
“Oh,” Laura breathes out, letting herself be drawn into Maya’s smile and bare skin. “Yes.”
She can give them tonight, because tomorrow will come, because there will be days more painful than Maya can ever imagine coming. She can give them tonight.
Because Laura wants this, too. Wants the story to be simple: she’s found a new home, she’s the teacher of children, and now she has her own family and it’s happily ever after for her.
But this child is not hers, and it’s not Maya’s, and this is not their home, and she is not the simple schoolteacher.
And there will be no happily ever after if Laura doesn’t fight for it.