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andrastewhite organized Multiverse 2006 (multiverse5000). I was assigned phiremangston, who requested Doctor Who and anyone from Battlestar Galactica.

Title: That Magical Sum We Were
Author: voleuse
Fandoms: Doctor Who/Battlestar Galactica
Characters: The Doctor & Laura Roslin
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Summary: We meet after years of separation and mildly affectionate unconcern.
Notes: Spoilers through BSG 2.20



Laura would say he haunted her, but even ghosts are more substantial.

*


She's still in college the first time he appears. In the library, in fact. She looks up from The Twelve Histories and there he is, a great gaping grin on his face.

"Oh!" she says.

"Hello," he replies. "Are you Laura Roslin, then?"

"Yes." She shuts her textbook, scoots her chair back an inch. "And you?"

"The Doctor," he says. "It's what everybody calls me." He holds out his hand, shakes hers firmly.

There are calluses on his hands, and his skin is slightly cool. His fingers are long, and they cage her palm.

Laura smiles. "What can I do for you, Doctor?"

"Nothing, actually." He releases her hand, and his smile disappears. "I overshot."

"I'm sorry, what?"

"Missed the target." He backs away. Motions with his hand, as if he is tipping an imaginary hat. "But we'll see each other again."

And like that, he's gone.

*


It's years before she meets him again, not until the evening before the teachers' first strike. (She doesn't see the significance of the timing until much later.) She's in a small coffee house, newspaper spread across the table before her. She's set it down for the moment, set her cup of tea over the angry faces in the frontispiece. She's taking a break from reality, turning attention to pre-Colonial poetry from Aerelon.

Then fingers are tapping against the spine of her book, a syncopated drumming. She looks up, and she doesn't recognize the man before her. His nose is familiar, and the crease in his jacket collar. She frowns.

"Always your nose in a book," he says. "I like that. Unexpected."

Then he smiles, and she remembers. "Doctor."

"May I?" he gestures, and at her nod, he slides into the seat opposite. He places his mug next to her tea; it smells of honey and coffee.

She marks the place in her book, and he traces the words in the newspaper, upside-down.

She should ask him what he's doing here, but it feels natural. Inevitable.

His boot brushes against her foot, and he's edging her tea away from the photo.

"You aren't there," he says. "Why not?"

There's no accusation in his voice, as she's heard in others. No smug pride, either. Just curiosity.

So she answers. And he asks more, and she tells him more. They talk long into the morning, just before the glass starts breaking, and shots are fired.

*


The Doctor is there one minute, gone the next. When Richard Adar first takes office, when she first takes office. One year after her mother dies, and the day she acts as guest lecturer at Tauron's university of law.

His hand, sliding over hers, and conversations that wind around history and mythology and time. A moment, before he disappears, when she thinks she wants him to stay.

He never does, so she never asks him. She doesn't mind, not past that first minute of empty space.

Laura has more important affairs to conduct.

*


It's difficult for her to concentrate, amidst the bustle before the Galactica's decommissioning. When she sees a familiar set of shoulders across a corridor, her footsteps stutter.

When Billy asks her what's wrong, she shakes her head. Three pilots walk past the spot towards which she's staring, and then it's just empty corridor.

"Nothing," she says. "I thought I recognized someone."

They continue walking, and she thinks wishful thinking won't turn her back to health.

Then the ceremony is over, and the bombs are falling. She has little time for nostalgia after that.

*


She can't sleep, not when there are pilots out there dying to protect the fleet. She excuses herself to the washroom, splashes water in her face, against her neck.

She exits into an empty corridor, except it isn't. The Doctor is there, and she knows him even without his smile.

"Laura," he says, and it sounds like an apology.

"Madam President," she corrects, and then giggles. She feels woozy, and vows to try closing her eyes after the next jump. "Isn't it ridiculous?"

"Right." His smile flashes, only for a moment. "And just think, I can say I knew you when."

She shakes her head, leans back against the wall. He's watching her, and she lets him. "You look exactly the same," she mutters. "How is that possible?"

"I age well," he responds. "And might I say, not so beautifully."

Her hair feels grimy and she misses her toothpaste, but she accepts the compliment with a smile. "Under the circumstances, you mean," she remarks.

"Under any circumstances," he avows.

"Even the end of the world?" she asks, half-joking.

All expression leaves his face, all solemnity, all hope of a grin. He's just blank.

"Doctor?" She reaches out a hand, but then the comms open up, and the next jump is beginning.

"You should go," he says, and he's already backing away.

After the jump is done, she looks for him again, but he's not there.

Maybe, she thinks, he was never there at all.

*


Months pass, and months pass. She loses her mind, and then her freedom. They put her in a cage, with only Apollo and Billy for occasional company. And sometimes, she is alone.

She wakes, screaming, because everything is burning. She can see Caprica aflame, but when she blinks, it's only the light overhead.

"Laura," says a familiar voice. She turns her head, and the Doctor is there, on the other side of the bars.

She sits up, pulls her knees against her chest. "I see so many things sometimes," she whispers. "They all mean something."

"I'm real," he says. "I'm sorry you're in here."

She uncoils, stalks forward. He doesn't draw back, and she puts a hand on either side of his face. Under her gaze, he doesn't shift, but her vision doubles, triples.

"I only have one face," she tells him. "You have nine."

He shudders.

"How many more will you need?"

He pulls back, and there are voices in the corridor. There is a blue box in the corner, and he fades into it.

She closes her eyes, and she feels the universe pulse, pulse, and disappear.

*


This planet is muddy, churlish to its new inhabitants. They call it New Caprica, and it's not even a shadow of its predecessor.

But it is their home, claimed. When the Cylons come again, Laura grits her teeth together and vows a hundred things.

She recedes into her tent, and when she finds the Doctor there, she doesn't even blink.

"I don't know who you are," she says, "but I believe you can help us."

He clears his throat, and above that sound, she hears people screaming.

"Will you help me?" she asks.

She holds out her hands, and as he watches her, she waits.


###

A/N: Title and summary adapted from Hayden Carruth's Auburn Poem. Link courtesy of breathe_poetry.

Originally archived here.

Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
svilleficrecs
Aug. 15th, 2006 04:32 am (UTC)
OMG yes! That was just...*sigh*. Oh Doctor. Oh Laura.

And your Roslin voice was spot on. ;)
moodfic
Aug. 22nd, 2006 05:49 am (UTC)
Yay! Thank you so much. I'm glad you liked it!
jennyo
Aug. 15th, 2006 09:04 pm (UTC)
Excellent. Great tone -- wistful, a little creepy -- and good voices for the characters.
moodfic
Aug. 22nd, 2006 05:49 am (UTC)
Thank you so much!
(Anonymous)
Aug. 16th, 2006 02:16 pm (UTC)
Oh... that's just perfect. Lovely!
cybermathwitch
Aug. 16th, 2006 02:17 pm (UTC)
Sigh. Computer didn't sign me in. The fic's still lovely though! ;)
moodfic
Aug. 22nd, 2006 05:49 am (UTC)
*g* Thank you!
anno_superstar
Jul. 31st, 2008 08:08 pm (UTC)
FANTASTIC!
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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