fic: terminus, rated r. kara/leoben, battlestar galactica
Fandom: Battlestar Galactica
Warnings: Knifeplay, though mild.
Spoilers: Up until mid-season 4; story is set while Kara is on the Demetrius and trying to find Earth...through finger-painting. :D?
AN: Written for the C6D porn tag. Thanks to spuffyduds for the beta. My apologies this was not a)pornier and b)more cheerful. If your version of porn is emotional masochism and angst with very little sex and knifeplay....um, this may be right up your alley.
Kara is lying on her stomach, her face turned towards the wall of her bunk. The smell of paint is thick in the air, and the dirty metal walls of the Demetrius are covered in bright, vivid color. Leoben watched for hours as Kara grew increasingly frantic, painting with her hands when the brushes proved too slow, going to war with a half-formed memory and the faint melody of a song she couldn't quite hear. She wears the battle scars on the smooth skin of her back, and Leoben traces the tip of a knife between the spills of color, connecting them in thin arching lines of red. He's thinking about the randomness of the shapes on her back, the harsh circles and vicious swirls of paint on the walls and the distant stars beyond the confines of the ship.
Galaxies within galaxies, one universe on the back of another. He finds it a comforting thought, but he doubts she would appreciate his observation. Experience has taught him that she usually doesn't.
"What the frak are you doing?" Kara's voice is as hard-edged as the edge of the knife; there is no give, no bend. She lifts her head and cranes her neck to see. "Are you going to scrape all that paint off me?" Her voice is tired and hoarse.
"Is that what you want?" Leoben asks, ducking his head to hide his smile when she glares at him. She's never been one to appreciate shows of affection when angry, especially from him. "It won't do anything."
"If I want the paint off me, I'll take a godsdamned shower," she grouses, but she puts her head back on the pillow and doesn't tell him to stop.
He places the tip of the knife just outside the largest smear of paint, a bright red circle that looks like blood, and traces the edge with slow, careful deliberation. "You wear God's plan for you on your skin, Kara. The map of what you have been, what you will be." Leoben watches her shiver as he continues tracing, making a tight spiral with the the knife tip as he moves towards the center. He watches her fingers grasp at the twisted sheets of her bed. "Anger, blood, love," he murmurs. "You are God's angel and you rage against it, but you are God's angel because you rage, because you burn bright where others would fade to nothing." Leoben presses the knife harder into her skin and watches, mesmerized, as her blood mixes with the red paint until he can't tell the difference between the two.
Kara snorts in derision. "That's really nice. Pretty. But if you cut me again? I'll kill you, you frakking weirdo. It's happened before and it'll godsdamned happen again."
Leoben leans forward to kiss her on the back of her neck, then nips gently and licks at skin tinged with sweat and paint. "You killed me with a knife." One hand slides down to her side, fingers drifting over hot skin and rubbing over her ribcage. "Here." Leoben feels her shiver, presses his mouth reverently against the quick beat of her pulse.
"I remember." She turns to look at him again, something tired and ageless in her eyes. Their time together in this life is drawing to a close, and he knows this even if God has not seen fit to show him how it will end. "You frakking deserved it."
"I didn't say that I didn't," he says simply. "You killed me five times on New Caprica, Kara. Each time I died in pain and was reborn in agony, but each time I came back to you. Blood and anger. Blood and love. That is how it has always been between us." Leoben moves and bites at the back of her neck again, harder this time, one hand resting low on her back to hold her still. When he straightens and looks at her, she is staring at him with blurry eyes and parted lips, and whatever she is feeling is not anger.
Leoben sits back up, brings the knife up and moves it to the patch of blue paint across from the red. He presses the flat of the blade against her and rubs it back and forth. "Water, life." The caress pulls goosebumps from her skin, and Leoben watches them rise within the blue paint. He uses the knife to trace waves inside the paint. "This madness that has you, Kara, it is because you are fighting the will of God. We haven't much time left. Swim with the current before you are drowned in the undertow."
Predictably, Kara rolls her eyes and ignores him. "Are you getting off on this or something? The knife, I mean. Gods know I figured out you've got some kind of fetish for metaphors a long frakking time ago. But I didn't know knives got you so hot. Is it because they make you think of me?"
The question is rhetorical, but Leoben answers her anyway. "After New Caprica, yes."
"That's frakked up." Kara inhales sharply, looking back at him again. "Though I really shouldn't have expected anything else from you."
Leoben smiles and leans forward to kiss her. "You really shouldn't have." He closes his eyes and tastes her, himself, and something indefinable that is greater than them both. "No one has ever known my soul like you, Kara."
"Gods, can you can it with the destiny-speak already? All that bullshit about my destiny makes me want to punch you in the frakking face." The curve of her smile is as sharp as the knife in his hand, and Leoben sees a glimmer of her former self peeking through the God-touched mania that has plagued her as of late. "If that's how you're programmed to get a girl to cuddle after sex, you're gonna need a software update." Her eyes drift down, watches the knife as it touches gently against the last smear of paint on her back, a bright yellow smear at the base of her spine.
Leoben begins moving the knife, drawing a straight line through the yellow. "Bright, hope. You are the star that burns in the darkness for us all to follow."
"And what happens after that?" Kara asks quietly, and for once there is no hint of mockery in her voice. "What happens to stars when they're done burning, Leoben?"
To know the face of God is to know madness.
Her question hangs in the air, a discordant echo in the quiet of her quarters. Leoben looks down at the line he's drawn on her skin, which stops at the very edge of the paint before the yellow fades away.
End of line.
Leoben pulls the knife away and sets it on the bed next to her. "They die."
Kara nods, swallows hard, and then sits up and shoves him away. "Get the frak out of here," she growls, swinging her legs over the side of the bed. "You didn't frakking help me find anything, but at least you were finally useful for something. Go talk about destinies and streams with the circuit boxes, if you want." She rakes her hand through her hair, disheveled and messy.
Leoben stands up and buttons his pants, finds his shirt lost amidst hers and pulls it over his head. The taste of her is still on his lips. He can still feel the marks from her nails on his chest, where she'd scratched him hard while astride him. He remembers how her body felt, warm and tight around his as she shuddered and cried out in pleasure. This is all the time together they have been allowed, the only time her kisses will not end in death. Despite his soul-deep faith and certainty that God will deliver all that has been promised, Leoben spares a moment of sorrow that this is the end.
His eyes touch on a smear of a paint on her chest. Instead of a single color, this one is a mix of red and blue and yellow, the colors swirling together and yet still distinct. It's right above her heart. Leoben smiles at her, oddly comforted that this isn't the ending, just an ending.
Somehow that makes all the difference.