Above Us Only Sky
Fandom: Battlestar Galactica
Spoilers: Resurrection Ship II
Pairing: Gina/Cain, Starbuck/Cain
Disclaimer: Moore’s the man with the master plan.
Summary: A love story, of sorts, and how love can’t save anyone after all.
Gina was one of the engineers. That should have been her first clue that something was wrong. Nobody that blonde and beautiful and perfect would be hanging around with knuckledraggers. Someone would have scooped her up. Some instructor would have noticed her and gotten her out of the military. Something. She shouldn’t have been there, not Gina.
But Helena Cain chose to take it as one bit of good luck after the end of the world, that something could endure the frakking Cylons and their gods-damned treachery. What with the mewling civilians bitching about rationing and water and showers and supplies while Jack tried to get it together and person after person died, despite all she did, nobody really noticed the good admiral had asked the pretty engineer to dinner.
“This is really pretty good,” said Gina, gobbling down ground beef like she was starving. “Never would have thought a bun-less burger would hit the spot, not without ketchup and fries, but frak, this is tasty, sir.”
“I’m glad,” Helena said, feeling unsure of what to do. Propositioning the woman would maybe be inappropriate, but she had to know that this was some kind of date. “Would you, ah, like something to drink?”
“Yes, sure,” Gina said. “Do you have any red wine?”
“No red,” Helena said. It had been gone within the first week of their trek. “I have a dessert wine. It’s sickly, but you’re welcome to it.”
She poured it in a glass meant for brandy, and Gina took it, the liquid fruity-sweet and ruby as it was raised to Gina’s lips.
Helena was lost when the drop of the sickly-sweet fluid found itself resting on Gina’s bottom lip and their eyes met.
“You’ve got something there,” Helena said, uneasy and shaky.
“Get it for me,” Gina had replied.
Captain Thrace is nothing like Gina; there’s no art to her. But the artlessness is comforting to Cain (and she is not Helena any more — that thing called her Helena, screamed Helena as Helena’s tongue swirled inside her, smirked Helena as the severity of her crimes became obvious) because the girl has nothing to hide.
Adama is a bit of a fool, not understanding what he’s got with Starbuck, but Cain could almost understand — there’s his idiot son, the mewling little backstabber, whom Adama desperately wants to believe is worth a damn.
And there’s the Roslin woman, the wild card. Cain doesn’t get her even the tiniest bit, nor why Adama puts up with her and her requests and nattering bullshit about civilians. There is a war on, there are Cylons to kill, there is no time for these polite fictions of a civilian government.
If that woman had pulled her civil disobedience shit on Cain’s watch, Cain would have put the bullet in her head herself.
“There are people alive on the Colonies,” Thrace tells her. “Good people. They saved my life when I went back to Caprica.”
Another dinner, another awkward feeling in Cain’s stomach, but she’s not the patsy she was four months ago. Thrace is sleek and sexy and a firecracker. Cain will frak her sooner or later, but she’ll be the one on top.
“We need good fighters,” Cain says. “Every last one. Consider it on my agenda, Captain.”
Thrace smiles, just a quick tiny grin that she forces away, but Cain catches it and files it away. Somebody else had rejected Thrace’s desire to return to the Colonies, and it’s definitely problematic. But a rescue mission is possible, and they need replacements. People who understood what the Cylons could do, what they were capable of, were better than this liberal bunch of sympathizers and fools.
“Thank you, sir,” she says.
“Thank you, Captain,” Cain replies. “For the work you do. For understanding what we’re really fighting for.”
They look at each other, strange and awkward and hungry, because they can see the need in the other.
It’s dead silent, and then, finally, Thrace looks away and coughs, a nervous chuckle-cough that would have never come from Gina’s lips.
“I guess I should go,” Thrace says, abashed. “Sir.”
Cain stands up, walks right up to Thrace, and shakes her head. “Stay right where are, Captain,” she orders.
Pegasus knew, of course. Who couldn’t know that the Cylon was the admiral’s bit of hot blonde pussy on the side? And if they hadn’t known before, they knew the moment Gina yelled her defiance at Helena Cain, smirking.
The little bitch had expected to die, Helena knew then. Thought that out of shame and betrayal, Helena would overreact, shoot her in the face, and then Gina would be free to move on to her next body and brag just how good she gave it to Helena, and how fooled Helena had been.
That shame, that fear, that was enough for Helena, despite feeling murder in her heart, to tell Jack to stop what he was doing.
“But she’s a Cylon!”
“And we will execute her,” Helena said. “But not until she — it — gets a taste of justice for her crimes. Take it to the brig.”
They all knew, then, that it was true. Every last one of them knew that the admiral had been licking Cylon pussy and loving it for weeks, and it was on such things commands rose or fell.
She locked herself in the room for the night to ponder the situation, and it wasn’t until two of the deck officers came to ask what her new orders were that it dawned on her what she intended to do.
“It lives,” she said coldly. “But it’s not human. You do what you want with her. Get it to talk if you can.”
“What we want, sir?” Wheeler, the communications officer, asked. His eyes were pop-eyed, and it made Helena flinch a tiny bit. Wheeler was a known troublemaker, an ass-pincher, a serial harasser who’d seen the inside of the brig more than once.
If she did this, there was no going back. Wheeler would take permission and turn it into a way to sate his loathing of women, and worse. They’d never get anything useful out of Gina.
But then again, they’d know. They’d know that Helena Cain was no frakking sympathizer, that there was no quarter given to Cylons and treason.
“Whatever the hell you want as long as you keep her alive,” Cain repeated. “Now get out of my sight.”
There. She’d keep her command. It would know there was no frakking with her. It would learn what it felt like to be raped and left to live with it forever.
And she didn’t feel bad about that, either. It would live with the pain the way that Cain would live, and that was plenty fine by her.
It’s only when she sees the look of relief on Starbuck’s face while she’s talking to Adama that Cain realizes that the girl was sent to kill her.
Adama, she supposes, flinched. It doesn’t really seem like something Bill Adama could do anyway. Cain seriously doubts it was his idea, as a matter of fact — no matter how much the man personally dislikes her, and it’s very mutual, he’s not a killer.
He’s a father and a protector. He’d only kill if it was for the good of…of course. Cain’s blood pressure rises a little as her opinion of Adama shifts down at how easy he is to manipulate. That damnable woman playing president is something else; words are going to be exchanged.
But not today. Today Cain is looking at Kara and thinking about how beautiful Starbuck was, how she’s honest like nobody has been honest with her since before Gina.
There is a chance to undo what she’s done to her soul today. By remembering that it’s the Cylons who are the enemies, not old fools like Adama. Adama thinks he can save the world by being a good father to it, the way he wasn’t to his insubordinate failure of a son.
Cain knows that the Cylons don’t care if he’s a good daddy or a child rapist; they’ll kill every last one of them if humanity doesn’t kill them first. But she’s never going to convince anyone if she can’t repay Starbuck with a little mercy of her own.
So she tells Jack not to do it. Obliquely, anyway, and hopes the son of a bitch decides to get drunk instead.
Captain Thrace will be waiting for her after dinner tonight. Cain will make her tell the whole sordid story of the assassination plot, because she needs to know how deep it goes to be safe. Adama may have to spend some time in the brig to make her point, and gods only know what she can do with Roslin.
But she thinks Starbuck will have ideas. She thinks Starbuck will be glad to hear that victory is possible, that they will work it all out without gratuitous violence between humans, because Cain knows who her enemies really are.
And Cain’s enemy is waiting for her, battered and destroyed and looking like the inside of Cain’s soul those terrible weeks after she’d ordered it raped.
It’s almost funny, how sad it all is, what a waste her death will be. Cain can’t say she doesn’t deserve to die, but that it’s now, now when she’s realized that love and victory are finally in humanity’s grasp, that they’re going to be taken away from her.
“Frak. You,” Helena tells Gina in response to the opening taunt. Gods, she loved this woman. She loved her so much, and it’s such a waste that it’s all going to end like this after all.
“You’re not my type,” Gina replies.
And then she flinches.
She flinches and pulls the trigger and Helena dies glad, but dies knowing that Gina loved her, and that it’s never going to be enough, just loving, until both sides realize there’s more to living than just surviving.