[personal profile] embolalia
Title: The Other Side
Pairing: Caprica/Boomer
Rating: PG-13
Words: 965
Summary: At the end of Downloaded, Caprica and Boomer face their future together.
A/N: I’m bending the Pentathalon rules about not pining for other people just a little bit - but I don’t think either of these two would exactly think of this as conflicting.

The Centurions clear back the concrete slabs and Boomer supports Caprica as they climb out of the rubble.

“Come on,” Boomer commands, surveying the devastated area. “My apartment looks intact. I have medical supplies.”

Caprica nods and moves as quickly as she can. The others are turning to stare at her, probably thinking like the Three did that she should be put out of her misery. Pain is shooting through her leg but she can’t face regeneration again, still has nightmares of pushing Gaius down, one last - first? - act of love, and waking among strangers.

When they finally reach the apartment, Caprica is pale and gasping for breath. Boomer practically carries her to the couch, and rushes to the bathroom for painkillers and bandages. She works quickly and surely; as her mind wanders in pain Caprica thinks Boomer might be the only Cylon on the whole planet who’s ever needed to heal.

Finally the drugs take effect and her mind regains clarity. “Thank you,” Caprica whispers.

Boomer nods, then sits back at the end of the couch. “What are we going to do?” she asks worriedly.

“Convince them,” Caprica answers.

“What, one at a time?” Boomer’s anxiety is rising. “They’ll box us before we reach a dozen of them. You heard the Three’s objections - her whole line will be like that.”

Caprica pauses, thinking, glancing around to see if Gaius will have the answers. He doesn’t appear. “We either need to get to a Baseship, and the mainframe,” she says after a moment, “or download and let our memories reach them all.”

Boomer bursts into motion, pacing the room. “No. The last time I downloaded - they were all there - and all I could remember was being human -”

“This time you’ll know,” Caprica interrupts her. “You’ll open your eyes and they’ll all understand.”

Boomer looks out the window, at the Centurions below still putting out fires. The two women are both still covered in ash and bruises; any attempt they make to get to the baseship will be met by questions they can’t answer. “And if they don’t, they’ll box us,” she says quietly, miserably.

“Yes.” For a while they’re silent with the truth.

Finally Boomer turns back, settles herself on the couch by Caprica’s knees. “They may not be able to understand,” she says. “They let us have our own names but they don’t know. We’re the only ones who are really ourselves, with our own stories.”

Caprica stretches her fingers out toward the carved elephant on the table. “What was it like?” she asks. “Having a family? Being...human?”

Boomer picks up the carving, stroking its trunk before passing it to Caprica. “It was...it was different than the way Tyrol loved me, or the others on Galactica. There was nothing I could have ever, ever done to make my parents not my parents anymore.” She glares fiercely at the windows. “They are so deep inside me, even now, and they never existed.” Boomer blinks angrily. “And they had no idea, when they made me like this what it even meant.”

Caprica sets the elephant down gently on the table. “They didn’t,” she confirms. “I don’t even think I did.”

“What do you mean?”

Caprica shakes her head, staring at her hands. “You said before that...that I was a really good liar. But I wasn’t.” She looks up, eyes bright with tears. “I was starting to understand, but it wasn’t until Gaius died-”

“Hey,” Boomer says, reaching out, “It’s alright. I shouldn’t have said that.”

“No.” Caprica pulls back. “I killed a baby.”

“What?” Boomer snaps.

Caprica shrugs helplessly. “So many died, but that little boy - I just, I thought it was some small gift, for him not to die in the attacks. And I killed him with my own hands.” She wrings them together, a twisted punishment. “His parents were screaming, but until Gaius died, I didn’t -” She breaks off, crying in earnest, the shame she’s carried for months finally exposed.

“Come here,” Boomer murmurs, moving closer to hug her, holding Caprica with an Eight’s fierce strength. “This is why we have to do this,” she says after a few minutes. “We have to show them that there are amazing things that we can learn from the humans. Art and music and pyramid-” She laughs when Caprica grins. “And love.”

Caprica’s smile weakens. “Do you think they’ll forgive us?”

“The humans?” Boomer leans back in horror. “After all -”

“No.” Caprica shakes her head. “Gaius. And - and Tyrol. Could they forgive us, if we give them peace?”

Boomer looks away, something in her face softening, remembering the look in his eyes as she died. “Maybe.”

Caprica studies the other woman’s face, her expression so intimate, so unlike any other Eight in the universe. “You’re very beautiful,” she whispers, reaching out to run her fingers down Boomer’s cheek.

Boomer smiles shyly and leans in, answering Caprica’s words with a kiss.

Sex was programmed into them once, in a time before memory, but this is something else: recognition. Slowly, tenderly, careful of each other’s injuries the two women make love - the only two Cylons who possibly could.

Afterward, stretching elegantly as she rises, Boomer crosses the room still naked and goes to the kitchen. She brings back two glasses, a bottle of ambrosia, and a pillbox. “It took a few days to really understand I was a Cylon now, and couldn’t commit suicide,” she says softly, pouring two glasses of the liquor and adding a pinch of white powder to each. Caprica rubs her back in sympathy, watching the powder dissolve. “It’ll be quick,” Boomer adds.

Caprica smiles as she takes her glass. “I’ll see you on the other side.”

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