Title: Circle Round Again
Fandom: Battlestar Galactica (2003)
Summary: They can't help hurting.
Notes: Spoilers for the miniseries and "33."
Disclaimer: Not mine.
We are made to bleed,
And scab and heal and bleed again,
And turn every scar into a joke.
Buildings and Bridges -- Ani DiFranco
Lee can recount their entire history in scar tissue and broken blood vessels.
Sparring, half in training, half in jest. The tap of his fist against her ribs. The roll of her shoulder as she retaliates, a slug to the jaw that sends him reeling backwards. The follow-up, a punch to the gut, and he falls flat on his ass.
They both laugh.
Next time, it's a draw.
At a bar, catching each other's eyes across the room, but not drawing close. Keeping to their corners.
Not until voices are raised, some jerk who spilled his beer on her boots, maybe after she knocked into his arm, and whose fault is it?
He gets distracted from the girl in front of him, sees Kara shoving the guy back, and the guy's friends eyeing her, and no one's got her back.
They both go home alone that night, but somehow, it doesn't feel that way.
Picking her up from the brig, on the nights when he wasn't there to cover her ass.
Bruises on her face, blood on her knuckles, and he tries to be angry at her, instead of at himself.
That one night, after too much beer and too much ambrosia, they stumble out of the bar and he walks her home, ever the gentleman.
He finds himself walking closer than usual. When she stops, he doesn't, and almost trips over her. Catches her shoulders to steady himself, and she looks at him just so, tilts her head.
He isn't sure what happened next, except her teeth worrying his lower lip, and when he pulls back to breathe, he tastes copper on his lips.
And after that, and after that, and after that.
The wounds inflicted afterwards bleed less, but the scars never go away.
"This looks familiar."
At first sight of her, he feels that click of camaraderie, feels like nothing's changed at all.
For a minute.
Then they both remember why it isn't so.
The worlds end.
Sometimes, she looks at him, her eyes wide and her voice entirely serious, even if her words aren't. Those are the times that throw him off-balance, because he doesn't know how to respond to her.
Actually, he does, but not in any way she would accept.
Not in any way that would keep that look in her eyes.
If he tried to talk to her, tried to take her hand, he knows what would happen.
She would blink. She would laugh and look away.
And then they'd be right back where they started.
They don't sleep for five days. Nobody on the ship does.
At most, they can manage to switch shifts, pretend to nap, instead of stare up at the bunks above.
They don't look at each other, except by accident.
Kara rolls to her side, just as he turns away from his locker.
The shadows under her eyes are deep, purple. She smiles at him, tightly, and it shoots through him, presses against his chest.
He offers her a hand up.
She doesn't take it.