Of course, I'm currently sitting in the last grad class I'm ever going to take, so maybe I should be paying attention, but actually this is a prof I've had for about a third of my classes and I've already heard pretty much everything he has to say since this is ... AND ANYWAY WHO CARES. I love this guy but I AM SO DONE.
It is completely fascinating to track the enormity of fail that occured on BSG. Instructive, too. Not that I'm going to get into it in much depth, since it is sooo much more fun to read everyone else's issues with it all.
But it did remind me that in fact I did do a comment-fic over there, ages ago, trying to come to terms with Dee's actions in Sometimes A Great Notion (because just because at that point pretty much nothing made sense any more, doesn't mean I didn't want it to). Nothing particularly groundbreaking, except that it's my first second-person fic. Well, and it explores something of my conviction that there was a fairly clear stratification in BSG of characters who were human and characters who, for all intents and purposes, created a pantheon of gods. I mean, the mythos alone would suggest this EVEN IF in the first few episodes you didn't have the [Hades-character] EXPLICITLY CALL Adama "Zeus" to Lee's "Apollo". And question whether a man can encompass the dual roles of that god, which Lee then goes on to do....
The point being, that dynamic was in play when I was puzzling through what was going on in Dee's head, and this is all pure speculation really because if BSG is anything, it's: not big on consistent characterization. So who the hell knows what she was thinking? But maybe it was this. Well, it probably wasn't, certainly not in so many words, but whatevs. So: have some BSG fic.
Title: what it takes to believe
Series: one shots
Rating: M (darkiness)
Length: 1200 ish
Characters: Dee, Lee
Teaser: You sit across from him, this gleaming golden man, indestructible amidst the rubble of the world, carrying its weight on his unbowed shoulders, and everything finally makes sense.
Warning/Spoilers: Spoilers through "Sometimes A Great Notion", such as this warning: this is me attempting to track her thoughts pretty much right up to her canon suicide. So. Read or don't.
Disclaimer: Not mine, yada yada. Also, I wrote this to understand, NOT to condone.
Notes: When I first comment-posted this, I actually cut out the last two paragraphs as being too dark, but it made the ending pretty clunky and inelegant compared to how it felt like it should end. So I recrafted them and stuck them back on. Yay?
You sit across from him, this gleaming golden man, indestructible amidst the rubble of the world, carrying its weight on his unbowed shoulders, and everything finally makes sense. You know the secret, the secret that is so big and so obvious that everyone lives it and no one really notices it.
He laughs, in this momentary release from the revelations of the day, and the light in his eyes blasts clear to your bare soul, and you know that you didn’t understand before. Not really. You always wanted something to believe in, and knew that believing in something was to belong to it, become a part of it. But somehow, you assumed it would go both ways. Should go both ways. That you should own what you believed in, just as wholly as it owned you.
You watch his deft, expressive smirk, a thousand data points coiled into a single knowing glance, and realize that Sam had known better than you. Sam had known the secret. Now, so do you. There were times that you despised Sam for his weakness, lacking the will, the courage, to fight for all or nothing. But you were wrong.
You both take a simultaneous drink, flirty eyes across rims, while distantly you think it should hurt more. This laying down of your whole self on the altar of another, and not receiving a whole self back. But you’re drifting now, in the calm far beyond the breakers, that violence of hope dashing itself upon reality’s shores, and have discovered that in the total freedom of despair is the gift of freedom from disappointment, too. Maybe that’s why you can bear it enough to see it, now. Why you can accept the stark, terrible beauty of it.
Creases dance across his face, aurorae gracing his expressions, finding no purchase even where there should have been permanent etchings of grief and responsibility. It struck you in the ready room, how youthful, how bright and clear his face was still after these long, cruel years, and that was probably when you knew. When you saw all of it, laid out, perfect like a batch of communication signals in an orderly queue. Saw him in that instant in his difference, his otherness, where you always thought you were the same. Saw him standing in the crashing breakers and the wash of flotsam, feet planted, immovable, straight, glorious. Saw that this was his domain, this frenzied boundary you could no longer endure and had fled for safer, more human waters.
You bask in his attention, at last able to simply be in his presence. No longer buffeted and spending yourself simply to remain upright, pushing and pulling to grasp at what you can never have. You can see him, as you couldn’t when you sparred with him as his comrade, lay beside him as his wife, stood across from him as his XO. See his heart and his head in blazing unity in his blue eyes, the temple flame undimmed. He holds the hope and the healing of the entire human race within the powerful sweep of his chest, the elegant strength of his arms and legs, holds it so naturally even in the turbluence and the doubt that he doesn’t even notice that’s what he does. You wonder how you ever thought you could encompass all of that.
A soft, wistful smile plays the music of some old memory on his lips, a smile that was never yours, and you can smile back because this is your secret. For years, now, you spent yourself here, tended this altar, singing its hymns with more-than-faith because you know. And now you were called on once more, for the last time. You, the only one who knew the sacraments for this rite, who for your devotion had been granted entrance to the inner sanctum in which to make them real.
His eyes snap back to yours, and you are filled with gratitude, flying with it. You never want to come down. Your father would be incensed, probably, at this acknowledgment of inequality. If it had merely been a matter of man and woman, you’d agree. But now you see beyond that, see the truth of it, and know that the curse of inequality can also be the blessing of the greater taking in the smaller. You know you were claimed. You were sheltered under the wing of his strength. You were cherished, in your way. Sometimes you were even needed. And, you understand now, you were protected.
The soft caress of his fingers across the back of your hand speaks this secret so plainly you’re surprised no one else can hear it. Such a small, easy gesture from him, and this connection of skin-to-skin is the world to you, far beyond the reach of rusting starships and ruined planets. You were never religious as most of Sagittaron was religious, but you have heard enough of the lives and quick deaths of the humans who became consorts of the gods. You always imagined it would be worth it, to pay so much and yet receive more; so much it could not be contained and it eventually destroyed you. He drew you into his world but shielded you from all of him, and you resented him for that, resented the one who always had all of him and was so careless with it. But now you know that might be the only reason you lasted as long as you did.
He leads you home, swaying with you, teasing and humoring you, and you are at peace. Euphoric, utter peace, clinging to the secret wrapping you safely up in its inhuman truth. This is what it is to love a god. This is what it takes to believe in something, this no longer trying to stand in both worlds as they tear you apart, trying to possess something that swallows you whole. You made your choice a long time ago, and you didn’t realize that it would ask all you had until now, when you look back and see that you have given everything.
You kiss him, his lips passionate but somehow chaste. A precious tender of his respect and thanks, and you savor this reward of your faith, your sacrifice, a benediction at the end of your unending dedication. This is all you ever needed to believe in, and if you now know you’ll never have all that you want, in this moment you have all you can ever hope for. Not the military. Not the Old Man. Not the lies of the pantheon who led you to a ruined dream.
You float into your barracks and wonder if it hurts poor Gaeta that your feet aren’t even touching the ground. Maybe it does, no matter how amused he seems to be at your mood, because he leaves straight away. But that’s okay, because this moment is yours, yours alone and you don’t want to share it.
You open your locker and see your smile and relief washes over you and your fingers close over your cool, metal service pistol and you smile, because you know that this will last forever.