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This will be a collection of stories exploring the BSG miniseries and first season. The collection can be found here.

Title: That Inch of Lacerated Skin
Author: voleuse
Fandom: Battlestar Galactica
Character: Gaius Baltar
Rating: PG-13
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Summary: Repeat with me the punch line.
Notes: Spoilers for the miniseries

Anyone here had a go at themselves
for a laugh? Anyone opened their wrists
with a blade in the bath? Those in the dark
at the back, listen hard. Those at the front
in the know, those of us who have, hands up,
let's show that inch of lacerated skin
between the forearm and the fist. Let's tell it
like it is: strong drink, a crimson tidemark
round the tub, a yard of lint, white towels
washed a dozen times, still pink. Tough luck.
A passion then for watches, bangles, cuffs.
A likely story: you were lashed by brambles
picking berries from the woods. Come clean, come good,
repeat with me the punch line 'Just like blood'
when those at the back rush forward to say
how a little love goes a long long long way.

--I Say I Say I Say, Simon Armitage




"Get down!"

She's shoving on his shoulders while he's still taking in her words, the bare impression of them, before the fury of sound and heat and dark engulfs them.

And everything

stops.

Gaius' entire existence becomes this: the concussive ringing of his ears, the raw abrasion of his skin, and complete, abject fear.

Slowly, or too quickly, his mind rockets back into his skin, and he begins to know more.

He isn't deaf, just deafened.

He isn't dead, and yet...

He smells blood.

Is it his own? It could be.

He can't breathe. The air is clogged, thick. Something is pressing against his chest.

Familiar.

He raises his hands, he still has hands, and touches. Hesitant. It's--

She's not breathing.

She's not

She

He tries to push her off, but his muscles disobey him. He takes a shaky breath, coughs, tries again.

Her body rolls limply off him.

He sits up. Opens his eyes. Sees her.

He screams.

*


When next he can think, he's across the room from the body, crouched next to what used to be the wall of his home.

His ribs hurt.

His ears are still ringing.

There's blood on his hands. From his hands. The air stings.

The body is a huddle of flesh and glass and cloth.

He looks away, withdraws into memory, recalling and rearranging the cascading effects of radiation poisoning. Is it too late for him? Can he still run?

He thinks, thinks back, estimates the distance of the blast. The sky is already dark; how long has it been?

He stands, turns his head from the body.

There's time for him, he thinks.

Another blast detonates on the horizon. Nearer the city proper?

He flinches, cowers from the flash, biting his lip.

He can still run.

He picks his way across the rubble of the floor, makes his way to the bedroom. He needs sturdier footwear. And a jacket.

It will be cold. He'll feel it soon.

As he shoves his feet into boots, tying the laces, he considers what else he might need.

There's another explosion. Closer.

There's no time.

He sees his briefcase, toppled sideways under his bed. Grabs it, almost marvels at its wholeness.

Outside, the shriek of plummeting aircraft.

He stumbles to the door, his feet sliding over loose debris. He catches a hand against the sofa, regains his balance.

And looks, directly, at the body on the floor.

Her face is turned up, and there's still a smile on her lips.

He vomits, messily, on the floor. Wipes his mouth on his sleeve, closes his eyes.

But he has no gods to entreat.

He leaves the door open behind him, and runs.


###

Originally linked here.

Comments

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
bantha_fodder
Apr. 8th, 2005 01:41 am (UTC)
I like your Baltar.
voleuse
Apr. 11th, 2005 05:05 pm (UTC)
Thanks!
(Deleted comment)
voleuse
Apr. 11th, 2005 05:28 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
padfoot721
Apr. 8th, 2005 08:23 am (UTC)
Umm, this is totally unrelated to the story, since I don't watch BSG and wouldn't know the characters anyway. But the guy in your icon....isn't he in Bridget Jones's Diary? One of Bridget's close friends. The name escapes me at the moment.
voleuse
Apr. 11th, 2005 05:29 pm (UTC)
...he totally is. I didn't even recognize that! He's so very, very a different character in BSG.

Now I have to watch BJD again.
ltlj
Apr. 9th, 2005 02:22 am (UTC)
Oh, that was good.
voleuse
Apr. 11th, 2005 05:29 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
scribewraith
Apr. 15th, 2005 12:57 am (UTC)
wow - that's so vivid and just captures the mood of the moment perfectly! Thank you for linking me!

voleuse
Apr. 15th, 2005 08:06 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I'm glad you liked it.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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