[personal profile] embolalia
Title: On Whom the Pale Moon Gleams (Chapter 5)
Characters: Kara, Daniel, background Kara/Lee
Rating: PG-13
Words: ~15,500 (2,200 this chapter)
Summary: On the other side of the maelstrom, Kara wakes up to truths she never expected.

Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter Three
Chapter Four


Chapter Five

A stick snaps and Kara jerks awake, gasping for a moment before she recognizes Daniel settling himself beside her on the grass.

"Do you remember the first time you ran away?" he asks with a smile. "You were four, I think. I was flying in from a gig on Aerilon and your mother had told you you couldn't come to the spaceport with her to pick me up. She left you with a babysitter. And we got this frantic call just as I landed that she couldn't find you. We raced home, and just as we turned off the highway onto Colonial Boulevard, there you were, running toward us as fast as you could go. More than two miles from home."

Kara's brow furrows. "I don't remember leaving the house, but some of it...I remember you spinning me around and around by the side of the road. It must have been then."

"Yes." He smiles, reaching out to stroke some pine needles out of her hair. "I wanted to tell you, I'll try, Kara. I'll see if I can find them in the stream."

She nods, but things aren't so dire today. This is where the Gods have always been sending them.

"I remember what it was like to say goodbye to my family." Daniel stares into the distance.

Kara sits up and reaches out to touch his hand. For a moment the field vanishes, is replaced by swirling images. She jerks back, shocked. "What was that?"

Daniel narrows his eyes, looking at her carefully. "Give me your hand."

She reaches out tentatively, hesitates before resting her palm on his.

The images resolve and it's like they're suddenly in another place. Standing inside a ship, inside the one that a moment ago was beside them. Goodbye, a woman whispers softly, and Kara turns in horror as she recognizes the voice. There beside her is Ellen Tigh.

She hurtles away and finds herself gasping, several feet from her father, who is looking at her in sudden concern. "What was that?" Kara pants.

He resettles himself. "The Cylons use something called projection to see the world. Our optic nerves are on some level just like humans', but they can also be stimulated vividly by what we choose to imagine. I was remembering, seeing, the last time I saw my mother."

"Ellen." She’s paralyzed by it for a moment. "Ellen Tigh is a Cylon. Gods. And Tigh..." She shakes her head. How can it be the Cylons still have new horrible secrets?

"Who is Ellen Tigh?" Daniel's eyebrows have narrowed as he tries to understand Kara's panic.

She shakes her head, then reaches out. "Will this work the other way?"

He shrugs. "I don't know." He moves toward her, takes her hand.

Kara takes a moment, searching for something she remembers vividly. Then she grins.

They are on a beach of sorts, sunlight warm on their hair as they sit at a makeshift bar.

I've always wanted to date a ball player, Ellen says beside her. But I guess he's kind of taken.

Kara tries not to roll her eyes. Kind of. She looks past Ellen to Tigh, to Sam.


She is jostled out of the memory to find Daniel grinning foolishly, throwing his arms around her.

"You found them!"

She pats him on the back, trying to calm his unexpected outburst. "What? Found who?"

He sits back on his heels. "When John hid them from me, from the stream--he said he wanted them to suffer. It must be why he's chasing your fleet, because they're still among you."

"They?" The planet starts to turn too fast beneath her.

"The older man, that was Saul. He and Ellen were a couple among the five, as well. They were two of my parents."

She should be shocked, but all that comes out of Kara's mouth is laughter. She laughs and laughs, toppling over onto the grass. Tigh is her grandfather. She can’t wait to tell him.
She finally sobers, tempered by another thought. "Then where is Ellen now?"

Daniel frowns in confusion.

"She died. Tigh--Saul--" her face tenses at the memory of his pain and in sudden disgust. "They found out she was sleeping with Cavil on New Caprica, giving him information about the resistance. They killed her."

Her father turns his face away. "John," he spits out, sickened. "He must have her now. Again."

She nods, waits for him to finish processing.

Finally he turns back to her, his smile grimmer but returning. "But the others are still among you? Saul and Sam?"

Kara clutches fistfuls of grass as the world spins. “No,” she pleads in a whisper.

"They died too?"

She closes her eyes. "That man in my memory, my Sam. That was my husband." She rips out a handful of grass and smashes her fist back down against the ground. "Frak!" Kara protests. She blinks back more tears. She has no patience for them now. Giving herself a hard shake, she turns back to her father. He's staring at her in sympathy.

"They believe they are human," Daniel says softly. "They only know themselves as whatever John made them think they were."

She shrugs, unable to deal with it. "Whatever. Show me the other two, now. I need to know."

He watches her another moment, then reaches out.

As Kara's eyes close again she sees them arrayed before her, on the day he was first born: Ellen and Saul, John and Leoben, Sarah and D'Anna, Doral and Simon, Sharon and Sam. And beyond him, in the ring of the family, Tyrol and Tory.

Her breath rushes out, one last shock. But after Saul and Sam, even the chief can't overwhelm her.

"Fine," Kara manages. "Fine. All the more reason we need to go back. We have to..." She trails off. What, tell them what they are? How could she ever tell the old man that Tigh was a Cylon? Or that she was herself? She looks up at Daniel, sees the longing in his eyes, and knows what he, at least, needs to hear. "We have to find both our families."

"Alright," he promises. "We will."


They head back into the ship, Daniel’s arm around his daughter’s shoulders to keep her warm in the chill morning air. As they pass through the hatch Kara pulls away, looking more closely at the murals that mark the walls. In one there’s a Centurion planting a tree, gazing at it with love. She shakes her head. If this was something he saw in the stream, maybe he never understood it at all.

“They’ll search a long time,” her father says softly, “but they’ll find their world.”

Kara blinks at him in wonder. Maybe she still doesn’t understand.

Along the rest of the hall she finds herself again and again, pale renderings of a child shape, a halo of golden hair, wandering through mandalas and among a family of Cylons. “I used to be a painter,” she murmurs to her father.

“I know.”

He sounds so proud that Kara turns, tears rushing into her eyes. Daniel smiles at her like he loves her, like he’s her father. It’s too much; she looks away.

There’s a bathroom across from the kitchen, and while Kara showers Daniel makes breakfast. As they eat they both savor the new silence that rests between them. When she was seven years old, they’d do this some mornings, when Socrata had been drinking heavily the night before and they could still hear her snoring in the bedroom. They’d go for a morning walk, and then Dreilide would make them waffles or pancakes or French toast and they’d eat without speaking, only smiles and glances and an occasional burst of whistled notes to tell each other that the world was perfect for a few minutes.

This morning there’s toast with honey. It quiets Kara’s turmoil for a little while.

“Does the stream show you how this will all end?” she asks as her father chews his last bite of the rich brown bread.

He swallows and meets her eyes. “It’s not like that. You don’t get to ask your own questions, not in literal words. It’s about being open, and seeing.”

Kara nods, thinking. “Could I see it?”

Daniel blinks, then pushes their dishes to the side and rests his hands, palms up, in the center of the table. “We can try.”

Her shoulders shudder at the strangeness of this, but Kara reaches out and lays her hands in his. Her father’s hands are strong and warm, holding onto her. She wonders if his fingers remember how to play the piano, and even as the thought drifts through her mind, he starts to hum, his fingertips pulsing against her wrists as if he’s playing unconsciously. The music raises the hairs on the back of Kara’s neck as it flows out of him and into the air, staining the edges of her vision as if a storm is rising around them.

“What are you singing?” Kara gasps, her voice resonating more than it should in the small room.

“My father's song.” He answers her, but the music doesn’t stop.

Sam's. It's oddly comforting, even if the familial relationships are something she's glad aren't genetic. She's no stranger to borderline incest, but she really doesn't want to think about it.

“Close your eyes.”

Kara looks at him for one more second before she obeys. They used to play this together on the piano. She trusts him. She closes her eyes.

It's a bit like waiting for the oracle to speak, knowing there are mysteries you're just not part of. And then suddenly, with a sort of surge, Kara is seeing things, flashes of images slipping away from her before she can catch them: The maelstrom again, swirling around them, crackling with energy. The old man's wooden ship, broken into pieces. A Viper slinging through the clouds of a nebula. A comet streaking across the rings of a gas giant. A bonfire. Lee's face the night they met, full of awe and joy as he held out a bouquet of flowers.

She pulls her hands back, her eyes wide, as recognition shudders through her.


“You showed me that, once. When I was a little girl. Just that.”

Daniel’s eyebrows flare in surprise. “The night I left. You were sleeping and I thought you might not see, but—I wanted to make sure you knew about the storm. I didn't think you'd remember. What's wrong?”

“That was Lee.” Gods, he was so young then. She’d almost forgotten his beauty, his earnestness, back before they lost everything.

“You don't believe in destiny.” There's a hint of a tease in his voice and she snorts softly.

“I don't like the idea that we don't get to make choices.”

“Would you choose him?”

Kara sighs, the answer twisting through her, certainty shaded with longing and regret. She misses him with a visceral ache. “What does the rest of it mean?”

“What does it mean to you?”

“Well, the storm we've already seen. And Lee. And the model ship is on Galactica. The rest I don't know.”

Daniel nods. “I've seen that nebula before. It's not even that far from the gas giant where the storm was. But it didn't feel—” He frowns. “It's hard to explain. It didn't feel like something about to happen feels. Not like the storm suddenly felt when it was time to go find you.”

“We'll have to keep checking,” Kara says simply. She looks at her arms thoughtfully, slipping into CAG mode. “There are a few other things we'll need to do first, anyway.”


“If I show up there, like this, saying I'm half Cylon--it won't matter if Lee and Adama believe me, I'll be airlocked on the spot. They have to believe I'm me.”

“You are you,” he points out. “Your body has the same DNA, the same blood type--there's no way they could tell the difference.”

She looks at her hands. “X-rays. But new breaks would look different than old ones, so it can't be helped.”

“Old ones?” His voice is tight.

Kara shakes her head, looking down.

“Kara.” He grabs her knee to make her look at him.

She doesn't want to hurt him. Somehow in the space of a day he's become her father again. She gets it over quickly. “I played a trick on her. She slammed my hands in a door.”

Daniel recoils and she realizes suddenly that he shared her memory. Her glee at Socrata jumping around, then the sudden terror as her mother wrenched her toward the door. Then the pain. Kara purses her lips. “Anyway, we can't change that. You'll have to give me my tattoos again, though. And scars.”

He starts to object but Kara cuts him off. “We have to. Believe me, I'd go through worse for these people. I already have. I’m going to bring them home.”


Chapter Six
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