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Memento Mori

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Summary: We born, we live and we die. This is the moment before death when every second comes in perfect clarity. Some FFA, some not, where a Scooby is either the loved or the lost at the moments before and after death.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Multiple Crossings > Multiple PairingsSyriopeFR1524,572019858 Mar 098 Mar 09No

Let Me Go (Connor/Kara Thrace - BSG)

Memento Mori

Rating: 18, for adult content, language and violence
Disclaimer: I do not own the genres I write about. Joss Whedon owns Buffyverse and the respective owners of the crossovers own the other half. I just own a piece of the plot.
Summary: We born, we live and we die. This is the moment before death when every second comes in perfect clarity. Some FFA, some not, where a Scooby is either the loved or the lost at the moments before and after death.

Pairing: Connor/Kara Thrace (BSG) – 2190 words
Spoilers: From ‘Sometimes a Good Notion’; do not read if you don’t want to be spoiled.

~ ~ ~
Stop this crazy carrying on
It's gonna be the death of me
It's gonna be the end you see
It's gonna be the death of we
~ The Ramones

~ ~ ~
Let Me Go

He had known her since his first day at Flight Academy. She had been just as cocky then as she was now and she hadn’t had a day of flight over him. He’d loved her for nearly as long. He supposed when he looked back at it, he loved her inner beauty. The outer part wasn’t bad, either, but there was just something so brilliant about her, it gave him something worth holding onto.

He remembered staring at her image on Galactica, the picture of her next to other dead pilots, and trying to figure out why he couldn’t just let her go. It was rumored that her dying words were to let her go. Connor knew he didn’t stand a chance. He may have been Connor ‘Destroyer’ Reilly, Viper pilot on the now-dead Pegasus, but he was nothing here. Well, not nothing. He had a lot going for him. He was still alive, his Viper was still flyable and he still had his pride. Not to mention the warm, fuzzy memories that pulled him from one day to another.

They had started shortly after New Caprica. They were dreams of places he had never seen, peripheral views of faces he knew but didn’t know. Dreams that left him feeling loopy and flailing, like a leaf on the wind, just wanting to land somewhere and not knowing where that somewhere was.

And then she was alive again, soaring into battle like a godsdamned phoenix. He’d heard her voice over his headset and began to realize that sitting there staring at her picture day after day wasn’t going to bring her back. It had to be a battle the Colonials would never win.

After they made it back, a few thousand Colonials less and a whole lot more freaked out, Connor could only watch as Lee Adama grabbed Kara in a crushing embrace. Connor held his tongue as he stood with the rest of the pilots, silently watching as Kara pulled back.

She looked almost the same. She still had that silly smile that had always cheered him up, no matter how down he was. But there was something almost surreal about her. Even as she carried on, he tucked his tail between his legs and ran for cover.

And so began the journey to Earth, a mysterious blue ball that was populated by the missing Thirteenth Colony. He’d volunteered for Demetrius, the disastrous frakked up mess that it was. He’d watched the mutiny with Barolay and didn’t speak up. It just didn’t feel right.

With the cylon rebels in tow, the road to Earth continued.

Only then did it lead up to that moment.

Connor Reilly walked with purpose on the dead, grey soil. He bent down, lifting up a handful of dirt, only to let it slip through his fingers. The planet wasn’t only dead, but it smelled dead.

What he hadn’t counted on was the bitter disappointment that filled him. The dreams had kicked in a bit lately. He had seen the man, the woman, another man, another woman, all in a hotel he knew he had never stayed at, in a city he didn’t know existed. Maybe it was too much to hope for. Maybe it was enough to keep him from hoping again. But this would never be accepted by the rest of the fleet. He knew enough of the lower corridors to know that people were desperate leaves hoping to fall onto something. This wasn’t it.

It wasn’t enough that he had just lost his one chance at having the life of his dreams. It was hearing his voice spoken by someone else and the great feeling of love and support that threw him. Looking around the decayed ruins and the icy water lapping at the shore, he knew that chance was all but gone.

Connor retreated back to the pilots’ bunk the moment he set foot on Galactica, sidestepping other pilots, an entire flight deck of curious, wondering faces and even his own kind, who reached out for him. They didn’t know how it was for him, how he had been holding everything back. He knew Earth. The dream was a fantasy, just like the rest of his godsdamn life.

He sat heavily on his bunk, cradling a bottle. He stared at the amber liquid inside for a moment and considered throwing it against the wall, just to shatter the illusion.

There was a soft knock on the door. Connor looked up with a pained gaze. “It’s open.”

The door opened and Kara peered around the edge. “I was hoping you’d be in here.”

“I’m right here,” Connor replied, setting the bottle down heavily. “Didn’t realize you were back, Starbuck.”

She looked at him for a moment and he realized that something was wrong. He’d seen that look before, that little hesitation. “What is it?” he pressed.

“I need to tell someone,” she started in a low voice, pushing the door shut behind her. “I feel like I’m losing my mind.”

“Join the rest of us,” Connor said, holding the bottle up as a salute. He pushed himself over to give her adequate space to sit and offered her the bottle. She took it, but she didn’t drink. “What is it? The last time you were like this, it was because—“

“My mother invited you over for dinner,” Kara said softly. “I remember. You wanted to impress her so much and I didn’t want to go, but something…” Her tone faded as she leaned back. “You know, we’ve got history.”

“It’s crossed my mind,” Connor replied. “Did a lot of my growing up with you.”

“If that’s what you want to call it,” Kara replied saucily, finally taking a drink from the bottle. At his dry, sarcastic look, she cleared her throat. “I remember the first day I met you, on the bridge, looking like a lost puppy. Now look at you.”

“I thought we were talking about you losing your mind.”

Kara fell silent.

“You don’t have to tell me,” Connor said after an awkward pause as he grabbed the bottle from her hands.

“I have to tell someone.”

“Why not tell your husband?” Connor was surprised his voice wasn’t as bitter as he felt. “Or the Acting President?”

“They’re not you,” Kara replied. “You’ve known me ten years, with change.”

“Doesn’t mean I know you.”

“Connor, stop acting like an idiot.” Again, Kara fell silent. Connor leaned forward to look at her, to see the cogs working in her mind. Normally, she was so straight-up that this was starting to unnerve him a bit. “Have you ever wondered what you are?” she finally asked.

Yes, was Connor’s automatic answer. Ever since he saw himself in the dreams, he wondered. Maybe he wasn’t a cylon and maybe he’d been given false memories, but they were so real he could taste them. “I’m an orphan from Leonis,” he replied instead. “Kara, you scared everyone to death when you got off that Viper that day, me included. It doesn’t take someone with a lot of brain to add two and two and figure you’re a cylon.”

“That’s the thing,” Kara whispered. “I don’t think I am.”

Connor stared at her for a moment before shrugging. “If that’s what you think.”

“It’s not what I think. It’s what I know.” She reached inside her pocket and pulled something out. “That signal was from a downed bird on Earth.” She unfurled her fist and a set of dogtags dangled. “There was a body inside. There was my body inside.”

Connor’s head whipped around and he looked at her, eyes filled with suspicion. “What the frak are you talking about?” he asked, snatching the tags from her hand. “These are your tags!”

“Mine are right here,” Kara replied, pulling out the set she wore around her neck. “That… whatever that was… was wearing those. And the ring… it’s the one Sam gave me.”

Connor’s head was a whirl of questions as he stared at Kara’s name engraved on the metal. “You’ve lost your frakking mind,” he murmured.

“You’re telling me,” Kara replied in a tired voice. “I don’t know what the hell I am, Connor. I don’t know if I’m human or cylon or what. I scared Leoben and I thought nothing would ever scare him off. But something… something’s happening…”

Connor lowered his hand, his mind ablaze. The drifting feeling of gliding on the wind was becoming more like a ship surging for a waterfall and it wasn’t going away. “We’ll just have to figure it out,” he heard himself say. “We just have to figure it out.”

“I knew you would understand,” Kara said, giving him that small smile, the one that normally made his cares disappear, but this time, he felt more like he had just swallowed a gallon of lead. “You know me better than anyone here. And that’s saying something.”

Connor knew about Starbuck’s history with the Adama family, starting with Zak. That had been a few years after their time. “What’d you do with the body?” he heard himself ask.

“What the frak do you think I did with it?” Kara asked, her smile turning slightly sinister. “If anyone saw it besides me and Leoben…”

She didn’t need to finish that. She didn’t have to. Connor knew the repercussions of such news. He could assure her all she wanted until she left and he stood, alone in the bunk, clutching a dead woman’s tags.

Everything was falling apart around him. Earth was destroyed. Kara, the woman he had loved for so long, wasn’t even human. Or, if she was, she was the most frakked-up human he had ever had the pleasure of knowing. He could feel his anxiety kicking up, even as he pushed his locker door open and stared at haunted eyes reflecting back at him.

There was nothing left. Earth was an illusion. Kara was an illusion. His dreams were driving him insane. He pressed his hands to his face, trying to blot out the insanity.

He looked up again, reaching inside the locker. His eyes had filled with tears. Of pain or of agony, he didn’t know which.

“I thought this one was better than the others,” he whispered.

His eyes rolled right. His firearm was aimed for his temple. His finger was on the trigger. Turning, he forced his trembling hand up into a brisk salute. Goodbye to human nature. So long to bittersweet endings….

~ ~ ~

The blast reverberated throughout the decks. Halfway back to the flight deck, Kara Thrace paused, hearing the echo of a gunshot. She heard the cries of people rushing for the pilots’ bunk and she wasn’t far behind them.

~ ~ ~

Through the haze, Connor saw people reaching for him. Over them all was Kara. Her eyes were wide and full of startled tears, even as her hand reached for him.

“Please,” he heard the voice inside his head speak. “Please… just let me go.”

As his eyes rolled up, he saw himself walking through the doors of a hotel and looking around, surrounded by a feeling of both warmth and contentedness. There was Fred and her books; Wesley and his intellect; Cordelia and her charm; Gunn and his edge; and, at the center of it all, a tall man in dark clothes that stepped over the threshold of the office doorway and turned to him. “Hey, Connor.”

Connor felt the door he held slip from his fingers and shut him inside, like a tomb. “This…” he whispered. “This isn’t what I wanted….”

~ ~ ~

Kara pulled through the pictures she’d tacked up over the years, finally ripping one from the back. Connor Reilly, standing next to a bridge. His hair was longer, then. He always looked so good with longer hair.

She remembered the way her mother had looked at him, like he was something to be spat or stomped on. Never mind the fact he was second in their class. Never mind the fact that he had more medals pinned on him than Kara ever hoped for. He would always be the Leonis orphan to her, even if he’d been made President of the Colonies.

Kara pushed the picture onto the wall with the others, seeing that shy smile next to Kat’s. It was fitting for him to be there.

She didn’t understand much, but she understood death. There were demons one had to face. Maybe Connor had finally made peace with his. It was the one thing that had set her free. She just wished he could have done it with less blood.

She looked up as Apollo joined her. “I just heard,” he said quietly.

“Just like Dee,” Kara replied, her tone just as quiet. “Hard to believe.”

“You alright, Kara?”

She tried to smile, but she couldn’t. “No,” she finally said truthfully. “No, I’m really not.”

Lee put a comforting hand on her arm, but she made no move towards him or towards anywhere. She was frozen, staring at a picture, wondering when things had become so simple and, yet, so complex.
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