Title: So This Is What It Feels Like
Author: sydneysmoms
Feedback address: sydneysmoms@msn.com
Date in Calendar: 16 June 2006
Fandom: Battlestar Galactica
Pairing: Laura/Kara
Rating: PG-13, I guess
Summary: Dreams and reality
Spoilers: Fragged and Farm

Disclaimer: "Battlestar Galactica," the characters, and situations depicted are the property of Ron Moore, David Eick, SciFi, R&D TV, Sky TV, and USA Cable Entertainment LLC. This piece of fan fiction was created for entertainment not monetary purposes.

Laura was, once again, in the woods in her night clothes, looking for something. She knew she would find it, but didn't know when or where. Her attention was drawn by the distinct thudding sound of skin hitting skin accompanied by grunts and groans of pain. Moving toward the noises, Laura saw two figures across a clearing.

A tall blond in a black outfit circled a figure huddled on the ground. As the fallen one got to her hands and knees, the tall one lifted her head and looked across the clearing at Laura. As their eyes met, Laura saw a cruel grin appear on the blonde's face and, without breaking eye contact, she delivered a crushing blow to the midsection of the woman on the ground, sending the bloodied woman sprawling on her back, gasping for air. The tall blonde looked down at the broken figure with satisfaction before beginning a torturously slow walk toward Laura. As the woman she now recognized as a Cylon approached, Laura's heart rate picked up and a chill ran down her spine.

Coming face to face with the President, the blonde spared a sympathetic, almost admiring, glance over her shoulder at the fallen figure across the clearing. "She's very determined, but she'll never come back. Not to you." Then the blonde continued walking past Laura and disappeared into the forest.

With tears in her eyes, Laura ran to the broken, bloodied body and dropped to her knees, gathering Kara in her arms.


"Laura," Kara rasped as she tried to open swollen eyes. "I did it. I got it for you." With some effort, Kara turned her head and looked to the edge of the clearing.

Following her gaze, Laura saw the Arrow of Apollo leaning against a tree. Returning her attention to the woman in her arms, Laura kissed her forehead and said, "You did very well, Kara. Thank you."

"I did it for you. I did it all for you." Suddenly, Kara's pain started to increase as her cuts and bloody injuries began to transform into horrible burns that threatened to envelop her body.

Startled by the sight of Kara's once healthy, vibrant body deteriorating before her eyes, Laura asked, "What is it? What's happening?"

"Radiation," Kara replied, clinching her teeth against the pain racking her body. "You knew Caprica had been nuked before you sent me here. What did you think was going to happen to me?"


"I hope it was worth it, Laura," Kara said as the burns began to overtake her face.

With a scream, Laura woke up. She sat up and tried to remember where she was. She could still smell the musty scent of a rainy forest combined with the unmistakable odor of seared flesh. She vividly remembered holding Kara's broken body. She could still feel the young woman's weight in her arms and blood on her hands. Distantly she heard a voice calling to her, but it wasn’t the voice she needed to hear, the voice she craved and feared she would never hear again. It was someone else, someone familiar. Dazed, she saw a young man standing on the other side of the bars. She knew she should recognize him, but didn’t know why. Her rational mind fought to pierce the haze that surrounded her consciousness.

“Madam President?”


“Can I get you anything while you’re in the brig?”

“Oh.” Though still foggy, her mind cleared slightly. Looking at her surroundings, she recognized her cell on board Galactica and Billy, her assistant. “Billy. No, Thank you.” She watched the guard return to his post. “I’m sorry. I’m finding it hard to think. It’s withdr-drawal.” Even in her fugue, she knew she was in withdrawal from the Chamalla. She needed more of the drug if she had any hope of remaining lucid. She needed Billy to get it for her. “Go fast.”

Images swirled in her head as reality mixed with images from her dreamscape. An image of Kara’s smiling face as she looked down at her in bed aboard Colonial One, their bodies pressed against one another, morphed into a grimacing horror of radiation induced burning and pain. She closed her eyes, but the image of Kara dying a horrible death still burned in her memory. She backed away from the bars and huddled in a corner, ignoring the concerned looks from the guard. She buried her head against her knees and began to pray to whatever gods would listen. She prayed with all her strength that what she had just seen was a dream, not a vision. The thought of Kara's death left a gnawing ache in the pit of her stomach. She panicked at the thought of losing the love she had only recently found -- the kind of love she never thought she would know. 'So this is what it feels like.'


In all her years in colonial service, Kara Thrace had never been shot. For all her risk-taking, daredevil behavior in the cockpit, she had never sustained an injury more serious than that of her knee -- at least not at the hands of anyone other than her mother. She felt like she was underwater. She could hear gunshots and shouts to pull back, but she couldn't process any of the sounds through the cobwebs that were quickly overtaking her mind. In slow motion she looked down and saw a pool of red soaking her shirt. 'So this is what it feels like.'

As she crumpled to the ground and into the arms of her subconscious, images began to flicker in her mind's eye.

Comfort. Security. Warmth. So loved. So safe.

Sitting in her father's lap, she watched his hands move effortlessly over the keyboard. She closed her eyes and listened to her father's music as it flowed out of his soul, through his hands and into the keys. That energy tranferred from the keys to the hammers. The hammers struck the strings and notes rang out that blended and melded together, making waves of sound that floated through the air, into her ears and came to rest deep within her own soul.

It was a family tradition. In all her six years, she couldn't remember a time when they hadn't done this -- her mother on the couch with a soft smile gracing her lips and Kara on her father's lap as he played his latest creation. Her mother and father had done this every night since they had been together, every night Kara had been in her mother's womb and every night since she had been born. After dinner, the three would begin their nightly ritual. Soon Kara's eyes would begin to droop, her father would cradle her in the safety of his strong arms and carry her to her room. He would lay her on the soft bed, she would receive gentle forehead kisses from both her parents and she would fade into the waiting darkness, knowing she was loved unconditionally and irrevocably, reassured by the music that had settled in her soul and images of her father's strong fingers as they caressed the eighty eight keys of the piano. So loved. So safe. 'So this is what it feels like.'

Tendons. Muscles. Bone. So strong. So fragile.

Small hands on a keyboard plucking out a discordant and disjointed melody, trying to recapture those halcyon moments when her father was still with them -- when her mother was still a mother and not a monster. The girl of nine, so focused on trying to summon a time long past, didn't notice the Grendel that approached her from behind, intent on making the girl pay for the absence of her soul mate. Still focused on the eighty eight keys, the girl froze as a voice she hardly recognized hissed in her ear, "I told you never to touch your father's things." She was still frozen when the wooden keyboard cover came crashing down on her fingers with astounding force. So strong. So fragile. 'So this is what it feels like.'

Sweat. Concentration. Strategy. So focused. So intent.

Bodies colliding, pushing each other to the brink. Athletes searching for the opening that would allow that for which they had trained. Elbows flying, searching for freedom. The goal is simple -- the ball through the opening in the backboard. The execution is more difficult -- weaving and twisting through the other bodies on the court who want to stop you. A head fake fools one or two, but not the other three. Spinning and ducking, eyes intent on the goal, she pushed through, around and over her competitors, reaching for that elusive and important opportunity. Lungs and legs burning and a smile on her face, she planted a foot and took flight, the ball rolling off her fingertips, now in the hands of inertia and gravity. A brief moment of joyous accomplishment flared through her as the ball flew exactly where it was meant to and the crowd let out a wild cheer. She smelled the fresh aroma of sweat and victory. She saw the mass of tangled bodies beneath her. She heard the freakish pop of tendons tearing and cartilage bursting. She felt the agonizing pain tear up her leg and settle in her knee. She tasted the blood in her mouth from her teeth sinking into her tongue. So focused. So intent. 'So this is what it feels like.'

Darkness. Stars. Speed. So relaxed. So free.

Gravity meaning nothing, she is soaring through the open blackness at speeds that release far more than G forces. A soul determining its own destiny. Banking. Turning. A taste of freedom like she has never known. A melding of pilot and ship -- human and machine. An epiphany of belonging, a peace born of knowing, finally, who she was meant to be and what she was meant to do, settled in her soul like a melody long forgotten. Blazing through the infinite darkness, her mind screamed one truth. So relaxed. So free. 'So this is what it feels like.'

Tenderness. Touch. Contentent. So safe. So loved.

Her hands exploring divine flesh, she held her breath, waiting for her senses to betray her, waiting for this vision to disappear. While she waited, though, she would give herself over to this heaven for as long as it lasted. Her mind tried to remember what she had done to deserve the beautiful creature underneath her. Her subconscious returned no answer, because she was utterly undeserving of this gift. She had done nothing in her short life to be worthy of such a remarkable woman. If anything, the converse was true. Her life, in her mind, had been a series of question marks and mistakes. A string of lovers that meant nothing. One lover who should have meant more than he actually did -- the same lover whose death rested solely on her shoulders. No, she was most certainly undeserving of the woman beneath her. A woman of indescribable worth. A woman who reached past her tough, cocky exterior and touched a part of her soul that had remained closed for so many years. A woman who made her feel so secure that nothing could ever touch her again. So safe. So loved. 'So this is what it feels like.'

Eyes blinked drowsily as consciousness returned. Hazy images slowly came into focus. Her eyes landed on a leather jacket. It was one of the only things she had left of her father. She had taken it the night before she escaped her family home for the freedom of the Academy. She had waited for her mother to drink herself into oblivion, had sneaked into her mother's bedroom and had found it in the back of the closet. As she had caressed the worn leather with her fingers, she had half expected to hear her mother's furious whisper in her ear, "I told you never to touch your father's things." Slipping the jacket on, she had turned and left the room. She had grabbed her duffel and made her way to the front door. As she passed her mother's drunken form on the couch she had spared the woman a glance of goodbye and good riddance.

Her eyes passed over an old lighting fixture. 'Why do hospitals insist on lighting that makes people look worse than they already feel?' Continuing their journey, her eyes landed on a dirty broken mirror in the corner of the room. Before she could comtemplate its blatant symbolism she felt movement to her left and a cool rag soothing her brow. She closed her eyes briefly and clung to a remnant of hope that the rag was in Laura's hand -- that the older woman was with her, taking care of her when she most needed it. She fought to open her lids and look into the sparkling eyes of Laura Roslin. Instead she found the sympathetic gaze of a black man in a labcoat.

"Shhhh...You're OK. You're in an aid hospital. They brought you in yesterday morning. You were shot in the abdomen."

'So this is what it feels like.'