[personal profile] embolalia
Title: On Whom the Pale Moon Gleams (Chapter 8)
Characters: Kara, Daniel, background Kara/Lee
Rating: PG-13
Words: ~15,500 (1,700 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
Chapter Six
Chapter Seven


Chapter Eight

There’s never been anything more beautiful than the planet spread out below them as Athena eases the Raptor through the clouds and Helo turns to hug Kara as hard as he can. She hugs him back, looking past him to Lee, whose eyes are shining as he takes in the view. Kara could laugh or sing - she wants to paint this moment, to live in it forever.

Yet the first breath of air fills her with icy dread, the weight of destiny creeping up her spine. Kara whirls, looking for an enemy, for some last trick. Recognition churns through her, but she doesn’t understand. Her beacon led them to that other Earth, there’s no reason she should know this one. She closes her eyes tightly. This has to be the ending.

“Kara,” Lee whispers, and she feels him take her hand. She opens her eyes gingerly. “Come on,” he murmurs, and leads her out of the ship.

She can almost feel his joy. As they begin to explore, it rises in Kara, too. If she’s had a destiny this whole time, it was a good one. They’re here. She lets the feeling carry her through the next two days, as she says her goodbyes to Sam, as she leaves her home on Galactica for the last time. Lee Adama believes that they’ve found some kind of bright shiny future, and Kara has always believed in him. Still, the nagging sense of foreboding doesn’t go away. She doesn’t want to be a harbinger of anything. But she doesn’t quite believe that she’s not.

Even watching Adama and Laura fly off into the distance can’t dampen Lee’s spirits entirely. Kara aches as she walks with him across the grassy hills of their new world. She wasn’t wrong when they landed; there’s something that’s still coming. It’s calling her now, memories stirring in her mind. This time is over, and as she watches him stare out at their new world, Kara wants to cry, but he’s happy and she isn’t afraid.


Kara opens her eyes and gasps as knowledge floods through her, layers of memories integrating themselves over and around everything she’s lived through for the last months. She whirls to find Daniel standing at the transporter controls, grinning at her proudly.

She opens her mouth to shout but can’t come up with words. If anything had happened but what’s happened—as knowledge rushes back in a wave it’s too hard to imagine another future. So many people might be alive still, even the Galactica unbroken. Or they could all be dead.

“You did it,” her father says, and he’s still smiling at her, and Kara could cry.

“What happens now?” she asks. She doesn’t wait for an answer. “Come back with me. There are so many people who’ve landed from across the fleet no one would know the difference if you appeared—I could even say you were my long lost father and they’d probably believe it.” Excitement rises in her chest as she turns and sees the resurrection chamber nearby. “We can save Sam!” she says, agitated and hopeful all at once.

Daniel’s eyes fill with sorrow, and he shakes his head slowly. “We don’t have a body for him.”

Kara looks upward, a last wash of grief flowing over her. Her husband will be dead soon. Her father takes her hand, and she can feel it: Sam is in the stream, already washing away, flowing around them like water or music. She closes her eyes and says goodbye again, truer this time because she knows he shares it.

Blinking tears away she meets her father’s eyes. “He said—he said he’d find a perfect world for the end of Kara Thrace. And it was his song that brought us here. But I don’t understand—”

Daniel shrugs. “Maybe it was his destiny,” he offers. “There was a prophecy once about a dying leader who’d lead his people home but never set foot there. From Pythia.”

Kara gives half a laugh. “I know it,” she says, and her heart eases as she feels the ecstasy of the peace Sam’s found.

Her father crosses the room, lifting a control panel away and beginning to take apart the delicate machinery. He looks down at it fondly, the friend of his youth. “If the other Cylons found this place—the temptation might be too great.” After a moment he reaches in, ripping out a handful of wires, rendering them useless. Kara gasps at the waste, on top of everything else, but Daniel shakes his head at her. “We’ll start this new life as equals.”

Kara watches him and a chill comes over her as her memories settle further. She’s a Cylon. “He called me the harbinger of death. Sam. So did the hybrid. Was this what he meant, or—” Loss tightens her chest. “Is the war really over?” She’s been holding this in for weeks, for months, and somehow in her father’s presence all her fear and uncertainty are pouring out.

Daniel stops working and puts his arms around her, presses his lips to her temple. Kara clings to him the way she suddenly remembers doing at four years old, when he stopped twirling her and just held her close. Her father’s breath lifts her hair.

“Thinking too hard about your destiny won’t stop it coming, Kara. And sometimes it’ll stop you from seeing when it’s gotten here.”

“What do you mean?” she demands, pulling back to see him.

He hums softly, a familiar note. “Two races will die here, Kara, wiped out forever. But a third will be born. Is born already, in you and Hera.”

“Lee’s going to die?” Kara whispers, the words lodging in her throat.

“Someday.” Daniel takes her hands in his and the stream flows before them, its eddies and currents running clear as they stand on the shore. Children with her hair and Lee’s eyes dash laughing through a breeze, among others of their new kind, a race mixed of human and Cylon and the people of Daniel’s creation. Kara’s mouth falls open in a silent breath of surprise. Slowly she smiles.


She's just gone.

Lee sinks down into the grass. He could wait here for an eternity and no one would come for him. Everyone is gone. He rests his forehead against his knees as the tremors come, and then the tears.

The sky overhead is blue, the sun bright. It no longer matters. After some matter of hours, the grass parts and Hera appears. As Lee lifts his head, he sees Helo on the path they’re beginning to wear away along the bottom of the hill. The other man waves cheerfully.

“Who are you waiting for?” Hera asks.

Lee shakes his head. Words have left him.

The child smiles and darts back to her father.

There’s no one left, and he can’t even move. His whole family, all the women he’s loved in his life. Laura once told him how guilty she felt worrying about her personal catastrophe on the day of the apocalypse. Lee can’t quite get his own mind around his catastrophe coming, out of nowhere, on the day that the rest of the world is finally restored. He can’t ruin it for them, can’t fathom moving from this spot. He’s alone in this.

Once he floated through the darkness of space and thought it shared his despair. Only Kara called him back. As night descends, Lee stares up into the starry sky, a view they thought was a promise back on Kobol that has turned into the worst kind of warning. His tears blur the stars into meteors streaking across his vision, or enemy nukes shooting towards him. Lee closes his eyes and lets them come.


Daniel packs his things with an aching tenderness, stroking the bulkheads of his little ship, saying a farewell to his home. Kara hangs back, studying the murals that hold all of her history, the colors visceral swirls of emotion and longing. She tries to commit them to memory before they’re gone.

In one scene, she’s a child, her father spinning her in his arms on a street corner; in another she’s shocked to see Lee, standing at her father’s elbow as he cradles a bundle of blankets. Surely that’s new since she was last here? Great swirls of blue and silver and gold wrap from one image to the next, the stream in all its glory. Kara turns away before she sees too much, humming to herself at the thought of the future already on its way.

There’s not much tylium left in the tanks, but it’s enough to get the ship out of orbit, on its path to join Sam and the human fleet: an act any peace treaty would have demanded, made in silence.

Daniel and Kara stand together as it takes off into the darkness, and then she tilts her head toward the human encampment and smiles. “Destiny’s calling.”


A breeze is blowing strands of grass or hair across his cheek, and his has gotten long but not that long. Lee’s eyes flutter open and he reaches to brush the hair away, but there’s something weighing down his arm. He turns to see, and his heart stops. It’s the opposite of that morning on New Caprica on the sand. This time she’s here, when he didn’t expect her to be, curled into him.

He doesn’t want to breathe, doesn’t want to risk this being a dream, but somehow she stirs, looks up at him beatifically. The moon sets her hair gleaming, brightens her eyes.

“Kara?” he asks in wonder.

“Yeah,” she says, then her eyes grow worried. “I’m sorry I left. But I’m back now. I’ll explain it all in the morning.”

“You’ll be here in the morning.”

She grins, nodding, love in her eyes that soothes everything aching in his heart. “I will.”


It feels like a moment out of time. It always has been. Before he was born, Daniel’s sure there was this: amorphous night on a world of his own creation, surrounded by peace and the music of the heavens. Recognition ebbs and shifts as consciousness expands: to his brothers and sisters, his parents, his child and on to the generations that will come. In time there will be multitudes, and war, and peace. And all of it will happen again.



Date: 2013-08-10 10:48 pm (UTC)
lanalucy: (Default)
From: [personal profile] lanalucy
What a marvelous bookend to the morning-after scene on NC. A perfect ending, in all its heartbreaking glory.

Date: 2013-08-11 02:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] embolalia.livejournal.com
Thank you so much for reading! I'm so glad the ending satisfied :)

Date: 2013-08-11 02:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kdbleu.livejournal.com
OMGs! I just realized that I read this morning and got interrupted before I could leave a proper comment. I am remiss.

I love this. I love the play on the poof and the morning after on NC. And that final paragraph pulls everything together so nicely! LOVE!

Date: 2013-08-11 02:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] embolalia.livejournal.com
See! Magic wand!

Thank you SO MUCH for reading and commenting! I'm so glad the ending worked - and pleased myself that the last paragraph wrote itself at the last minute! Seriously, the poof really did bother me mostly for the Lee-related reasons all the years - I was glad to give him a happier ending. :)

Date: 2013-08-11 02:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kdbleu.livejournal.com
As much as I dislike the poof for Kara, it breaks my heart for Lee in ways I can't even describe. He was my boy from the moment his viper rolls on screen and the idea that he ends up with nothing and no one in the end kills me. That's the thing I hate the writers for. I wouldn't have had to think about all the other details if the ending hadn't made me seek out fandom and find closure. :)

Date: 2013-08-11 02:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] embolalia.livejournal.com
Agreed. All their choices for Kara in season 4 still frustrate me, but Lee's ending is tragic. But now he gets her back!

Date: 2013-08-11 03:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kdbleu.livejournal.com

Date: 2013-08-11 05:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dragoninthecup.livejournal.com
Beautiful. Heartbreaking. Perfect. I absolutely love how you've brought it all together in a way that makes all the pain and suffering both plausible and understandable. I am so glad you brought this fic to my attention. LOVED it! Thank you!

 photo 175-LeeHandCheek.gif

 photo excited.gif

 photo 137-MyEmotions.gif

 photo 124-KaraEyesRoll.gif

 photo 123-GoesOnForever.gif

Date: 2013-08-11 05:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] embolalia.livejournal.com
Thank YOU for reading and commenting! I set out to write this to settle my own frustrations with canon, but I'm thrilled people like it so far! :)

Date: 2013-08-12 04:18 pm (UTC)
ziparumpazoo: Tree covered in pink frost (The End)
From: [personal profile] ziparumpazoo
Oh wow. This was gorgeous. The one thing I could never reconcile with the series ending was how Kara came to accept that that was how it had to be, but this - this is the missing piece that makes it all work. Fantastically heart breaking, but it pays off in the end.

Date: 2013-08-13 12:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] embolalia.livejournal.com
Thank you! I struggled with that too, and I'm glad this satisfied the need for a different ending!

Date: 2013-08-12 07:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rirenec.livejournal.com
Okay, so I read on. Sweetie, this is gorgeous and satisfying in a way I can barely describe. I love how you resolved it, made it happen, and didn't make destiny always synonymous with death.

Original and like a breath of air on a grassy savanna, but with no poof.
Edited Date: 2013-08-12 08:08 pm (UTC)

Date: 2013-08-13 12:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] embolalia.livejournal.com
Yeah, I noticed ;)

That's a lovely way of putting it! I'm so glad you enjoyed it, and thanks for hosting the big bang!

Date: 2013-08-12 08:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] newnumbertwo.livejournal.com
Oh, wow! So very beautiful. And I'm glad the "poof" wasn't permanent. I like the idea of Kara's and Hera's descendants being the new race that will live on in the new world.

Date: 2013-08-13 12:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] embolalia.livejournal.com
Thank you! If we had to have a future race of cylon-human-whatevers, I'd like to think we're descended from this one :)

Date: 2013-08-13 05:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] deborah-judge.livejournal.com
Oh lovely. And Lee as, despite himself, father of a new people. Very nice. This is a great take on Kara's destiny that really makes sense given her arc.

Date: 2013-08-14 02:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] embolalia.livejournal.com
Thank you! I so appreciate you reading and all your thoughtful comments <3

Date: 2013-08-13 08:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] finalparadox.livejournal.com
This was so fantastically awesome! I loved how you fleshed out Daniel's character and gave him so much depth. Despite knowing him for such a short time, his interactions with Kara make him so genuine. This was such a great alternative to the canon storyline and it makes complete sense as well! I was particularly fond of the imagery. The ending stayed true to the 'all this has happened before, all will happen again' theme, but it was much more optimistic. I'm glad Kara abd Lee got their happy ending:)

Date: 2013-08-14 02:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] embolalia.livejournal.com
Thank you! I really enjoyed exploring who he might be and how I could fix everything, at least a little :)

Date: 2013-08-15 12:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] scifishipper.livejournal.com
OMG I ADORE THIS STORY! I've been reading this all day during all my breaks and cursing when I had to go back to work. What a marvelous conversation between Kara and Daniel. SO believable and profound and so damn sad. You thought of everything and interleaved the details in inside beautiful prose and a lilting melancholy that echoes the show so well. I love that you remained mostly in Daniel's POV, which felt so real and perfectly him even though he barely existed. I welled up with tears when Kara thought of how she left Lee and how she loved him. So beautiful. Just touching every so gently on their relationship made it all the more special and significant. Beautiful.

Date: 2013-08-15 01:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] embolalia.livejournal.com
Thank you! If I had gotten to write a series finale full of flashbacks, this is what it might have been :) I'm so glad it resonated - your comment made me grin! <3

Date: 2013-08-16 12:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] marzipanilla.livejournal.com
Finally an ending where things get to be pleasant and you aren't wondering what the frak just happened.

Having Daniel really does just help to stitch things together, doesn't it?
Great story.

Date: 2013-08-16 01:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] embolalia.livejournal.com
Thank you! I'm glad it felt more satisfying - he turned out to be a good tool for that :)



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