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Twelve colony ficlets! This was such a fun challenge. And it produced such great fics. I had two, both using the same grouping (Billy and Hoshi). One was conventional, and the other was... oh good GOD, what happened to my brain????? (Fractured Family is the frakked up one- Stripped Naked is much more conventional.) I think I'd like Fractured Family more if I'd had another 1000 words to work with. ::sigh::


Title: Fractured Family
Author: [livejournal.com profile] lls_mutant
Team: Galactica
Other note: I don't even… when I was thinking of this challenge, I was not really thinking such AU territory. If it's too AU, please let me know, and I'll write another. Seriously- this one is so cracked out it makes my head hurt.



Billy remembered pain, flowering in his gut. It stayed with him as his consciousness reassembled in neat rows of zeros and ones, as the zeroes and ones became something more.

He gasped, jerking out of the tub.

"It's all right," someone said. "You're okay." Billy opened his eyes and wiped the pearly goop away. Although the face that looked back at him was so much older, the memories washed over him in a flash-

-Running outside, a toy gun in his hand and grass under his feet, looking up suddenly as the sunshine dimmed and the ships blotted out the sky-

-Not able to breathe as liquid flooded his mouth, nose and ears, but his father reaching for him, comforting him-

-sitting together, bored as the adults talked, playing video games until they started arguing over whose turn it was to pick-

-Two Johns grabbing them, pulling them apart as they fought, watching them strap his brother down and inject something that made him fall asleep, knowing that his mother and father were unable to save either of them-

Waking up, to see his brother here, now.


It all came rushing back and he stared at the man holding him. "Louis?"

Louis hugged him. "Billy. You're alive."

Billy just hugged his brother back.

***

"How are you here?" Billy asked later. "You're in the Fleet. I'm sure I met you."

Louis frowned. "Cavil," he said bitterly. "I died, back on Scorpia, seven years before the attacks. Cavil made a sleeper copy of me somehow and planted it in the Colonies. What am I?"

"You're a communications officer on the Pegasus." Louis made a noise. "He hasn't been activated, as far as I could tell." Billy frowned. "He survived Cain."

"And Mom and Dad?" Louis leaned in. "They haven't resurrected."

Mom and Dad. Billy he had to sit down. Louis's eyes widened. "Are they-"

"They're alive," Billy whispered, his eyes widening. He looked up at Louis, shaking. "They're alive and they're in the Fleet. They don't know, though."

Louis's eyes lit up. "We've got to get to them."

But the Centurion at the door told Billy that was never going to happen.

***

Louis wasn't the fourteen-year-old brother that Billy remembered. He'd been placed out in the Colonies fifteen years before Billy, and he had been in this prison for ten years. He was older, and he wasn't… all there. He paced constantly, he talked to himself, he had arguments with the walls. He forgot Billy was there to the point where he'd jump if Billy spoke, and at night, Billy could hear him mumbling in his sleep. Sometimes, he'd wake up crying for their parents.

Billy had a bad feeling that would be him in ten years as well.

***

Once, Billy had only seen Centurions in museums and history books, but before that, they'd played ball and hide-and-go-seek with him. Now they clanked beside him and Louis as they followed Cavil to a room with a one-way mirror. Cavil pointed, smirking. Another Cavil was talking, taunting a beautiful blond woman who-

"Mom." The word tore out of Billy's throat.

Louis approached the mirror, his hand on the glass, his eyes on Ellen. He opened and closed his mouth soundlessly for long moments, and then whirled to face Cavil. "I want to see her."

"You're seeing her," Cavil pointed out.

"I want to talk to her! She's my mother."

"Yeah? Well, she's mine, too, and she loves humanity more than she loves any of us. Get used to it."

Billy bit his tongue and turned away. Louis stood still, his loneliness written across his face, making him look like a fourteen-year-old boy again.

They only saw her twice more, although she never knew they were there. That was the torture that Cavil inflicted on them, to know their family could be whole, but to keep it shattered.

***

The Colony shuddered again. "We've got to get out of here," Billy said. The Centurions who guarded them were gone. Billy grabbed Louis's hand. "Come on. Let's go home."

They ran through the corridors, towards the sound of gunshots. And when they saw the Galactica, Billy couldn't shake the feeling that someone had let them escape.

***

"What are we doing?" Louis asked, as they ran past the dead sentries and onto Galactica. "We don't have the first idea what they're after."

"Come on," Billy answered, trying to remember the Galactica's layout. The CIC was this way. They burst inside, right in the middle of the chaos.

"Kara!" Adama was shouting. "Get us out of here!"

"Where, sir?"

Numbers flashed in Billy's mind. He remembered sitting on the causeway, feet dangling off, Sam teaching him jump math. He ran over and pushed Kara aside, putting in the coordinates Sam had made him memorize. Kara stared at him for a long, baffled moment, and then turned the key.

The ship jumped.

***

The parents must die for the children to come into their own. It had been said over and over again. But when Admiral Hoshi stepped off the Raptor and pointed a gun at Saul Tigh, the real Louis rushed him, taking the bullet. It wasn't a surprise to Billy, and that didn’t make it hurt any less.

***

The planet had been where they were going all along. Billy stood in the fresh air, remembering that day so long ago when he and Louis had been playing with toy guns in the field behind their house. They buried Louis in a field much like that one, and Billy stood between Saul and Ellen, his father's hand on his shoulder and his own arm around his mother's waist.

Family. It was such a foreign concept any more, even as he stood there with them. But although they'd never be put back together, Billy looked up at the sun in the sky, and he thought maybe there was a way they could at least be a family again.




Title: Stripped Naked
Author: [livejournal.com profile] lls_mutant
Team: Team Galactica



The smoke was terrible, but the liquor was flowing and the jazz was good. Billy got a drink and then looked around uneasily, trying to find a seat. The thing was, this wasn't the sort of club where you just walked up and sat down. In fact, Billy wasn't really sure what the protocol was- every time he'd been to strip club, he'd been with friends, and they'd known exactly what they were doing.

The saxophone wailed, and on stage, a small, dark, pretty girl was dancing. She reminded Billy of Dee, and he sat down defiantly in the first empty chair he found. He took a sip of his drink and grimaced: the liquor was rotgut.

The man at the table he'd plopped down at looked over at him speculatively. He pushed the ashtray to the center of the table, and then extended a box of cigarettes. Billy shook his head, and then rethought it. Why the frak not? He took one. The man lit it for him, and Billy took a deep drag and promptly began coughing.

"My thoughts exactly."

"Why do you smoke them, then?" Billy gasped.

"Have to have something to calm my nerves. It's better than some of my other options." As he said it, Billy noticed that he held the cigarette awkwardly, like this wasn't something he did often, either.

"Right."

The man was still staring at him. "You're Roslin's aide, aren't you?"

"Huh? Oh. Yeah." The Dee look-alike up on stage was undoing the buttons on her shirt. Billy's eyes were drawn, and the man made a go ahead sort of gesture with his cigarette and sat back. The girl noticed, too, and moved towards him, an extra shimmy in her hips. Billy flushed, shaking his head. She didn't seem to be offended and backed away. Up close, she didn't look anything like Dee.

His companion hadn't reacted at all to the stripper at all. Billy raised his eyebrows. "She's pretty," he said, more for something to say.

"She's not my type," the man said wryly. He finally extended his hand. "Louis Hoshi."

"Billy Keikeya," Billy said needlessly. "So what is your type?"

Hoshi's eyes roamed over Billy, and for a moment Billy panicked, realizing what Hoshi was probably thinking. But something must have shown in his face, and Hoshi looked away and nodded towards the stage. "Hopefully the next act."

"Erm," was the most intelligent thing that Billy could think of to say. Hoshi smirked.

"So what's a nice boy like you doing in a place like this?" he asked mockingly, stubbing out his cigarette.

"Excuse me?"

"You don't seem the type to frequent strip clubs."

Billy took a better look at him. Hoshi was military; even though he was wearing civilian clothing, it was clear from his posture and his haircut. He didn't look very relaxed himself, sitting stiffly and his eyes watchful. "Neither do you," Billy ventured.

Hoshi's smirk deepened. "Oh, I am," he said bitterly.

The song ended, and the girl left the stage. The music turned harder, and Billy realized he shouldn't have been surprised when two men took the stage. Hoshi didn't turn away from the conversation, but his attention was definitely distracted.

Billy wondered what the etiquette was in this sort of situation. He had no interest in the act, but Hoshi obviously did. He cleared his throat and sat back, trying to give him some space and desperately considering becoming agnostic if the gods proved themselves by not making Hoshi go for a lap dance. To his great relief, when the blond looked their direction, Hoshi shrank back into his corner, avoiding eye contact. Billy relaxed a little. "So why do you come? Oh, wow. That sounded bad."

Hoshi laughed - a real laugh. "It did, didn't it?" He lit another cigarette, and offered it to Billy, who accepted. Hoshi lit another one for himself, looking a lot more relaxed. "You know, I don't know. It's kind of stupid, really. I mean, some nights I meet someone that I… but it's not really my style, you know?"

Billy believed it. There was something about Hoshi that screamed relationship, just like he knew that sort of air hung about himself. "I've only ever been to strip clubs for stag parties," he confessed.

"Why'd you come tonight?"

There was an honest, open interest on Hoshi's face, and Billy found himself responding. "My girlfriend. Well, ex-girlfriend. I proposed. She said no."

"Oh. Ouch." Hoshi winced. "You need a drink."

"A drink," Billy agreed. "I do. You do, too."

"I do."

"Why?"

Hoshi took a deep drag on his cigarette. "I'm a Pegasus officer," he said in a clipped voice. "Reason enough."

Between Laura and Dee, Billy had heard enough rumors that that didn’t need any clarification. And the expression on Hoshi's face… Billy was fairly certain he wasn't supposed to see the flashes of emotion and guilt and regret and hate.

"Hey, look," he said. "I'm not meaning this to come off as anything, but do you want to get out of here and go get an actual drink?"

"A drink?" Hoshi asked, baffled.

"A drink. You know, like sit at a table and have a conversation drink. We could go up to the Starlight Lounge. They've got better liquor, too."

Hoshi nodded. "Yeah, all right." He glanced at his watch. "Let me just go to the hangar bay and tell the shuttle pilot I'll be on the next one so they don't wait for me."

"All right. I'll go grab us a table," Billy backed out. "See you in a few."

He left the smoke and the darkness of the strip club and headed for the stairs, feeling oddly like he was ascending. For the first time all day, he could breathe. He entered the Starlight Lounge, feeling lighter than he had since Dee had pressed his ring back into his hand.

Then he saw her, and it all came crashing right back down.

Date: 2010-08-09 02:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] korenap.livejournal.com
I liked both. I agree that fractured family could be better longer, but you did a great job with an AU in a thousand words.

Date: 2010-08-10 01:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lls-mutant.livejournal.com
Thanks! These were fun to write- glad you enjoyed :)

Date: 2010-08-09 08:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kappamaki33.livejournal.com
That moment when Billy and Louis see Ellen but can't be seen by her really struck a chord with me. It would be interesting to see that AU in a longer context, but it still came off well and made sense in the short space.

And the other one, well, obviously I really liked the idea. ;) In all seriousness, it is fun to see that we still came up with fics with very different tones, even though we accidentally shared a brain on the concept.

Date: 2010-08-10 01:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lls-mutant.livejournal.com
Thanks! If I had the time, I'd expand on the first one. But I do NOT need another big bang. ::sigh::

I think it's hysterical we shared the brain again. I actually wondered if that one was yours, just because the idea was so similar. I think it would be hysterical if we were matched on the picspam thing, although we won't be. :)

Date: 2010-08-10 01:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] millari.livejournal.com
Oh, I liked these! The first one especially! It pinged exactly what I like about AUs, when they tell us really new stories about the characters we feel we know really, really well.

I too loved the moment when Louis and Billy could see Ellen but couldn't get to her. That's such an archetypal parent-child moment of horror. It can induce such frustrated anxiety in children sometimes, and you really channeled that.

I also liked the observations Billy made about how Louis was different than he remembered. For me, somehow, that was one of the most poignant sections of the fic (along with the seeing-Ellen-behind-the-two-way-mirror scene). Overall, there's such a sense of loss throughout most of this fic that only gets resolved right at the very end.

The Stripped Naked one is nice too, but honestly, the first one was just more up my alley. What I liked about this one though was Hoshi. His character really shone through, even though the fic was from Billy's point of view.

Fun ficlets! I'm glad you're going to host this idea as a ficathon!


Date: 2010-08-10 01:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lls-mutant.livejournal.com
Thanks so much! The AU one really hit me, and I had to write it then or I'd turn it into an epic, which I totally do not need. ::is >40K on the Dollhouse/BSG crossover.::

I'm glad you enjoyed Hoshi here- I know he's not one of your favorite characters, but he's really made himself at home in my head. :) Which is surprising, given everything I've ever done to the guy.

Thanks again! :)

Date: 2010-08-13 05:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] prophetkristy.livejournal.com
What was the challenge / prompt for these??

You're right, it is really cracky! But AWESOME.

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