Pairing: Kara/Kendra BSG
Setting: In cannon, somewhere at the beginning of Razor
Warnings: Drug use
Prompt: Adapted from one by wicked_sassy about Kendra asking after Kara’s tattoos.
Beta: The lovely and wonderfully supportive, newnumbertwo
For the bsg_epics Pentathlon, slash.
It's a small thing, a tiny character at the base of her neck, but it looks like something she should recognise if she thought back hard enough. It was certainly familiar, an image from a book, or a painting maybe, and one she’d found interesting enough that she'd not lost the shape of it completely to the wasteland of her mind along with all the other ephemeral nonsense thrown at the brain every day. Before the fall, that was. Now hardly anything is ephemeral, even as much as Kendra tries to make it so; blurring the edges of reality as she does, stabbing the confusion away with teeny pinpricks of escapism, shaken with apathy, filtered through the hard arsed notion at her core that the frakkers tried to kill her so she's damned well not going to finish the job for them, even if she's not willing to participate and be fully alive.
Kendra stares at the tattoo, taking in every other detail at the base of Thrace's neck while the other former Galactica pilots file in after food, where they’ve been left with shitty seconds. The galley is Kendra's punishment from Garner for insubordination. In reality, it's because the man's a waste of space. Kendra rather suspects if she'd have been on duty and done the same to Cain, it'd have been the firing squad. Her mouth forms a grim smile. Same as if Cain had have found out how else she's been coping since the Admiral was murdered. But Garner's not Cain. He's soft and without direction. A micromanager in a time of war. Kendra rubs the edge of her stiff neck, her hard smile disappearing. The man's all for one and one for all... which you can't be from C-frakkin'-I-C. Decisions come in the moment, and there’s no one person who is more than another, and no one who outweighs the mission. She moves from touching the mole by her ear to tracing an echo of Thrace’s mark at her nape as her eyes follow Thrace across the room. She’s squaring off with one of Pegasus’ Wing. The way she eases her shoulders back and forth causes her short ponytail to bob to and fro. Kendra wonders what it would be like to touch that hair and the ink below. She narrows her eyes. The tattoo’s not the first feature about the mouthy Viper pilot she's noticed. When Thrace had first arrived, Kendra had been on the receiving end of that sharp tongue, and the shape of Thrace's lethal smirk was etched into her eyelids. She closes her eyes. Kendra’s not surprised by her interest. Thrace is physical, a challenge and she's easy to read. After months of being fooled and yanked around by her superiors and the Cylon, Kendra's good at seeing people and she’s also not about to be fooled by one. She’s interested, and by admitting it, there’s nothing to get excited or het up about. She's not ruled by her heart or by youth anymore. She's a weapon. She the slightly duller version of the razor she carries in her pocket. The one picked up, coated in the blood which surrounded Cain's cooling body.
The sparking vessels behind her lids echo Thrace’s smirk over Cain’s wide, sightless eyes. So much red. So much blood. Kendra blinks open slowly, becoming lost in the repetition of distributing ladles of food and the sway of blond hair, and time jumps a few seconds forward for her until the lieutenant's now standing before her with an empty tray. She's got her outer shirt off and there's another tattoo on her forearm. This one Kendra can read. 'Public property' she says out loud, not caring if Thrace understands to what she's referring or if she thinks it odd. However, it seems Thrace follows her wavelength. Just like the first time when they met in Cain's office, when Kendra knew that the lieutenant wasn't going to offer herself over without a fight to her new posting. When they'd sized one another up and both been smart enough to assess that they were going to annoy one another more than Thrace would Cain or Kendra would Galactica's senior staff.
"What of it?"
"Nothing," Kendra smiles, making it appear she knows more, or reasons more about it than it actually reveals. Thrace narrows her eyes defensively. She’s flushed from her sparring with the Pegasus pilot and very much alive.
Kendra dollops a congealed lump of freeze dried something or other into Thrace's plate with aplomb.
"Want any more?" Kendra smirks.
Thrace disregards physical boundaries, and is up in Kendra’s face like it's the only thing she knows how to do: attack. Her neck, and those silken tiny hairs sheltering that tattoo, end up right by Kendra's mouth as Thrace comes close to her ear, and cat soft whispers, "Do you?"
Kendra barely breathes, controlled, while her mind tracks that half-forgotten painting or book for the answer. "Choice...” she finally murmurs, sounding a little awed at her recall despite herself; “Choice," she repeats, clearer. Thrace stills, and pulls back looking confused. Kendra drops her guard a little and twists so their lips are an inch apart. “Do you know, in the end, you are your choices,” she hears herself adding.
Thrace stares at her for a long moment, and for a second, loses her own mask. “Yeah,” she whispers, then clears her throat. “I know.”
As Thrace walks off, Kendra makes a note to find out what other meanings are detailed in the lines of Thrace’s form. She touches behind her ear again, and then down her thigh to where a line for every soul aboard the Scylla is marked into her skin.
She leaves her station and makes her way towards her tin. Kara’s words carved into her ears.