Pairing: Roslin/Cain with memories of Cain/Gina
Notes: This was written for frogfrizz for getyourtoaster's ficathon in celebration of the International Day of Femslash. I hope you like it, dear Froggy!
Many, many thanks to the ever outstanding and thoroughly cookie worthy nnaylime for the beta, even though I was, um, a bit last minute about finishing it.
She learned at an early age that she had two choices: regret everything or regret nothing. It was clear which choice would be the easiest. It was also clear which choice would aid her survival. She always did think survival was worth working for.
She mourned her losses, yes. Sometimes it was near impossible to stop mourning, but she despised self-pity and so she always pulled herself out of the dark to do what needed to be done. There was always something that needed to be done. Few things staved off demons more effectively than constant activity.
Mourning was, however, something she did allow herself, within certain parameters. Regret was not. Regret was crippling, and she could not afford to be crippled. Mostly, after decades of practice, she was able to cauterize any raw emotion that might be capable of producing regret, stopping the flow before a single drop reached her consciousness. Mostly, regret was something she no longer battled with. Mostly.
The thing in the brig challenged her. This was one challenge that she now knew, no matter how many steps she took toward mastering it, would never produce a sense of victory. Perhaps this was why she allowed the doctor to have his way in regards to the prisoner. If he could find some use in it, then so be it. She had long since given up hope of gaining any satisfaction from it.
And he had gotten useful information from it, somehow. She thought she might have to ask him about his methods, sometime after the mission was completed. She thought she might like to know what he gave it in exchange, because she knew there must have been something. Something.
She knew it, knew it more intimately than she had ever acknowledged to anyone, and even before it had betrayed her she had learned that there was always a cost. That hadn’t bothered her before, because she suspected it was true of every person, every lover, every relationship. She thought, with the thing that had been her lover, that she could see the cost; that she was choosing, voluntarily, to pay it.
Now she knew what the true cost had been, and that everything else that it had taken from her was merely for its own amusement - a game, not even a means to an end, because surely it could have achieved its end with far less effort and manipulation. She had allowed herself to think that her vulnerability was precious to it, and that – that was dangerously close to being a regret.
Still, if the mission was a success – if they could manage to destroy this “Resurrection Ship,” maybe she would be able to make some sense of it. There would be a victory as a result of that thing’s infiltration of her ship; maybe even a victory that, in the grand scheme, would outweigh the loss of lives that it had caused. Certainly it would far outweigh her own personal loss, and if that could not be erased, it could at least be outweighed.
It was in the midst of reviewing the details of her new CAG’s proposed plan for this mission that her aide interrupted her to let her know that the President was on board, requesting to see her.
The President. She considered sending her away, considered brushing off the visit as she had so many of her phone calls. Gods knew she didn’t have time for this right now. Yet she found herself telling her aide to show the woman in – she wouldn’t have been able to say exactly why she made that decision, nor would she have cared to try. She never was one to question her own judgment.
Perhaps it was the fact that the woman was clearly not well. No one had told her this, and the President was obviously fighting to keep it from showing, but if there was anything that she was adept at recognizing in another human being it was their proximity of death.
Her own death was waiting for her in the Pegasus brig. She knew that as surely as she had ever known anything. No matter how indirectly, somehow that thing would be the end of her. Perhaps it already had been; perhaps it had already set plans into motion that would never be undone. Killing it would only release it to its own people, thus making its imperative all the easier to fulfill. If it was her death, then best to hold it close.
The President carried her death with her. That was as visible to the Admiral as any of the woman’s physical features; as visible as thick waves of hair the color of dark rust or legs that hadn’t been informed that they were attached to a failing body. She didn’t bother trying not to notice these details, or trying to convince herself that she hadn’t – she liked to be fully aware of everything that registered on her radar.
Besides, the other thing she was certain of about the President was that the woman wanted her dead. This knowledge had come during their last meeting, on Colonial One, with the Commander. The President wanted her out of the way; wanted her pet officer to be in control once more. She knew this because, were their positions reversed, it would be her desire as well, and something about the President’s restrained ferocity in that meeting had given the Admiral a sense of sameness about the woman that she hadn’t initially registered.
So she agreed to the impromptu meeting and the President was ushered into her office, greeting her cordially and looking around briefly for a chair that she quickly realized – with a flicker in her expression that the Admiral didn’t have time to identify – was nowhere to be found.
The conversation began predictably enough – the President was cool, polite, diplomatic. The Admiral, in return, was short, gruff, aggressive. She paced, slowly, around the other woman, never taking her eyes off of her, feeling a chord of satisfaction thrum in her chest as she saw the tiny woman’s stance grow more awkward; without a place to sit, trying to follow the Admiral’s movements without growing dizzy.
When the President drew up her shoulders, tossed her hair, and began to pace as well – the confidence in her stride surely false but imitated with such well-practiced precision – the Admiral felt a different kind of chord.
The conversation itself may have been predictable, but this dance most certainly was not, and soon she realized something important, something that she should have understood from the start – the words were meaningless. She wasn’t surprised by this. Words often were.
What did surprise her was the small, shivering intake of breath that came from the President when she stepped closer, meaning to intimidate, meaning to accentuate her height, her superior strength. She hadn’t known how this tactic would play out, wouldn’t have been at all surprised if the smaller woman had simply stuck her chin up and stood firmly in place – and this was what happened, and it didn’t surprise her – but there was something in the President’s eyes besides defiance. There was something like a concession. She’d shown more of her hand than she’d intended and she knew it.
The Admiral cocked her head and watched her. Studied her. Took her time; the seemingly fixed timeline of this encounter had been thoroughly derailed by that one tiny gasp and she felt no reason to rush this next stage.
The President met her gaze. The defiance was still there, yes, but the other element – the brightness that had been hiding behind the defiance – was there now too, out in the open. She must have realized that that particular misdirection was no longer an option; that this was one of those moments when a well measured dose of honesty was the most effective tactic. The Admiral smiled. In another lifetime she might have grown very fond of this woman.
In this lifetime she took the President’s hips in her hands, pinned her against the wall and gave her a kiss that left no questions about her intentions. The President’s raised leg hooking around her, pulling her closer, was equally direct.
She thought, briefly, that she had never frakked in this room before, and was glad for the lack of familiarity. She thought, briefly, that the President’s fingers were stronger than they looked as she felt them digging into her shoulders. She thought, briefly, that it was comforting to know from the start that this woman intended to see her dead.
And then she felt the President’s hips grinding against hers with a rhythm that had no time to waste, and she decided that there would be time for thinking soon enough.
The trip to the nearest table was awkward, filled with near stumbles and stilted movements as the Admiral held the President close to her and continued to devour her as she pushed on across the floor. The thump with which they hit the edge of the table might have resulted in giggles from more friendly lovers, but in this case resulted only in the President biting down on the Admiral’s lip as she shimmied up onto the table, following the guidance of the hands that pressed against her thighs, lifting and squeezing.
Up until now it had been the Admiral driving the action, but when she saw the President scoot herself up onto the table, toeing her heels off impatiently (gods, how much tinier would she seem without them?), and plant her feet on the edge, she knew that the other woman was very clear about what she wanted. She wondered if the President had ever been this bold with the Commander, and doubted it. She suspected that this woman would be reluctant to put so much on the line with someone she saw as having a longer lifespan.
She grinned at that thought, and maybe the President thought she was grinning at her wanton display; it didn’t matter. She pushed the woman’s skirt up, bunching it at her hips, and swiftly removed her intimates, setting them aside and wasting absolutely no time in diving in to feast on what was presented to her.
She could be an exceptionally demanding woman, but she also thrived on surpassing expectations, and the squirming of the President’s hips, pushing soft, wet flesh against her face, was a challenge she met gladly. It could have been a choreographed attack, her methods were so relentless. She lapped at the other woman with a focus and a ferocity that had the legs that were draped over her shoulders tense and trembling within moments; the fingers buried in her hair tightening, and gods was this woman vocal. She was used to sounds, to gasps and whimpers and low pleas, but this, this was extraordinary. Ragged breaths drawn noisily and exhaled with round, resounding moans that made her want to learn, without delay, what sounds would be produced by her climax.
She did not stop until she found out. Twice. She did not slow, did not tease; did not give the other woman time to rest when her moans turned to cries turned to low pitched screams turned to whimpers turned to gasps; she kept going, pressed on, until the cycle began anew and this time each sound was not only unrestrained but unguarded. She wondered if either of them had ever had it so good as this.
When she felt the other woman collapse against the table, heard her scraping for breath, she stopped, finally, and let her recover. Stood up, began to unfasten her jacket. Watched the rising and falling of the President’s chest - rapid at first, then more even, her body still twitching intermittently – as she divested herself of jacket, boots, trousers, underwear. Saw the President watching her curiously, not moving from her place, waiting.
Finally she climbed up onto the table as well, climbed up and straddled the other woman’s hips. The President wasn’t the only one who knew exactly what she wanted. The Admiral took hold of the President’s right wrist, raised her hand, folded down her thumb and pinkie so that three fingers stood out; she then pressed the woman’s hand between her legs.
It was the President’s turn to grin now, and she wondered, in passing, if she had any idea, really, what this woman was thinking. She doubted it, just as she doubted she would ever truly find out, and at that thought a brief pang of something echoed inside her and she pushed it away with an almost angry distaste.
Fortunately she soon had something else to focus on. The President’s hands were small but strong and those three fingers were soon pushed as deeply inside of her as they could manage, and she bore down on them, letting her head fall back for just a moment, letting her eyes close.
Almost immediately she felt her earlier intensity and drive mirrored in the fingers buried inside her; felt them thrust in and out with a force that she would not have expected that thin wrist to be able to bear. When she felt the pressure of a thumb against her it was all she could do to keep from flying to pieces on the spot.
She did, of course, fly to pieces eventually, and with something that she might have wanted to call dismay she felt this woman pushing her past her own guard as skillfully as she had herself been pushed. Briefly she wondered how they had learned each other so quickly. Briefly she wondered if this would ever happen again, which she doubted. Briefly she wondered how masterfully they would dismantle each other if they were given the time to do so.
And then her nervous system took over control, sending her into a jolting, rending spasm of pleasure that left her slumped over, sweat slick and gasping, her nose against the President’s hair. Soft, she thought. Soft.
Slowly she rolled over, off of the smaller woman, and lay on her back beside her until her breath returned. She felt the heat of the woman’s body so near, felt the light brush of skin in the places where they touched, but neither woman scooted closer, neither reached, neither spoke.
They lay there for a few moments, and then, seemingly simultaneously, they rose, dressed, straightened.
The business of the meeting had reached no functional conclusion, but that hardly mattered. The purpose had been achieved.
As the President turned to go the Admiral reached out, took hold of her elbow, and, in the last acknowledgment either would ever allow of this encounter, spoke.
“Whatever happens – no regrets.”