Pairings/Characters: Apollo/Starbuck, Cassiopeia
Category: Third Person POV
Summary: Cassiopeia observes her favorite couple in the Officers’ Club.
Date Of Completion: June 16, 2007
Date Of Posting: June 16, 2007
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, Universal does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1548
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
She should have known.
After all, the two of them were joined at the hip. If you wanted to find Starbuck, you sought out Apollo, and Starbuck would be there. If you wanted to find Apollo, you sought out Starbuck, and Apollo would be there.
Cassiopeia smiled slightly as she drank her ambrosa in the Officers’ Club. She watched as Apollo and Starbuck were holding court at their usual table in the corner, attended by Boomer, Jolly, Greenbean, and a few others. Sheba was not among them.
Poor Sheba. She’s not used to being rejected.
Cassiopeia had been fooled at first about them. After the Great Destruction, she had fallen in with Starbuck, who had a reputation with the ladies. He had helped her escape the Gemonese freighter, a shudder going through her as she remembered that awful place full of religious fanatics who hated sex and socialators in general and her in particular.
Apollo had spent most of his free time with Serina and Boxey during those mad days, and while she had observed Starbuck and Apollo’s easy relationship with each other, they were not joined at the hip.
But then Apollo began to pull away slightly from Serina, and began spending more time with Starbuck. Except that she had learned that was the norm, and that spending time with Serina had been the anomaly. Serina knew it, too, and had maneuvered her way into becoming Apollo’s wingman, upsetting Starbuck so much that he had taken off on the mission that Serina was supposed to fly and gotten himself captured by the Cylons. Apollo had been so numbed and upset that Cassiopeia suspected that he had agreed to Sealing with Serina without even realizing it.
Of course, then it was too late, and a grieving Apollo had allowed himself to be wed without his best man at his side. When Starbuck had been returned to him, his joy had been obvious.
Cassiopeia watched as Apollo’s hand rested briefly on Starbuck’s arm. The captain always looked relaxed when he was with his favorite lieutenant, and Starbuck was always at his brightest when with Apollo.
She should have known.
Cassiopeia recalled all the times that one had endangered his life to save the other: when the Galactica had been on fire and both had gone out in space to set the explosive charges on the hull to stop the fire, and Apollo had missed a handhold and spun out into space, doomed to die, Starbuck had deliberately launched himself away from the ship and caught Apollo, or the time that Starbuck had been accused of murder and Apollo had risked his own life to prove Starbuck’s innocence, and time after time of saving each other in battle, or while on a mission on a hostile planet, and the concern!
Cassiopeia vividly remembered all the times that one haunted the Life Center when the other was hurt or ill, and it was like trying to pry durasteel apart to get one to leave to get his own rest when the other was in a lifepod.
She also remembered the looks on each man’s face when the other was hurt or sick, and the handful of times they had come close to dying. Hands had wrapped around other hands, stroking back hair shining-blond or gleaming dark-brown, eyes anxiously scanning life readings, and haunted expressions touching her heart.
She should have known.
The two of them had set up shop as a nice little family with Boxey, Starbuck spending so much time in Apollo’s quarters that the kid began calling him ‘Uncle Starbuck’ and no one was ever surprised to see the blond warrior in those quarters at any hour of the day or evening. Now, of course, he had moved in as the relationship was public knowledge.
Starbuck had already been a member of the family. Whenever a family dinner or special occasion had come up, Starbuck was automatically invited. He was there as Apollo’s best friend and for a time, as Athena’s boyfriend. Now he was Apollo’s betrothed as they planned their Sealing.
All of the Sealing planning on the quiet, of course. Same-sex couplings were frowned upon by the Colonies, only Libra, Caprica and Gemini allowing such couples to Seal. Every other colony had passed laws forbidding it. Luckily Apollo and Starbuck were Caprican-born and so they would be legal, but this Sealing would not be televised over IFB and no one was supposed to know about it except for the very few the family trusted.
Cassiopeia was honored to be among that select group.
She had not been hurt by discovering the truth. Truth be told, it had given her a chance to gently break things off with Starbuck. Her socialator skills had divined that he was deeply in love with another and not her. She didn’t want him on those terms. She hadn’t realized Apollo was the lucky one.
She should have known.
Cassiopeia sipped her ambrosa. Before Apollo and Starbuck had been outed, Sheba had talked with her about the events on the planet with Count Iblis. She didn’t remember much, just that she had dreams about Iblis killing Apollo and Starbuck going crazy with grief, shooting Iblis and crying over his lost friend.
Cassiopeia was good at dream interpretation. It was a skill cultivated by her family for generations, and this dream indicated that Sheba had known the truth on a subconscious level. Cassiopeia had refrained from telling her that, though, knowing that the pilot would not have appreciated it.
Then there had been the dream that Starbuck kept having, about a strange white world where even his uniform had been white, and Apollo had been risen from the dead, like some tale from the Book of the Word. He had been reluctant to tell her about it but it had been so disturbing that he had to tell someone, and he trusted her. Cassiopeia felt pride at that.
The fact that some glittery angel-like beings had given Apollo back to Starbuck didn’t surprise her. If Apollo was to be given to anyone after his resurrection, it would be Starbuck.
When they had been outed, Cassiopeia had stood by them, valuing their friendship and helping divert some of the worst that bigotry had to offer. She had heard the slurs of “What would you expect of a socialator?” and “Those two are disgraces to the uniform” and other choice tidbits from people happy to consider themselves morally superior but she was used to it and knew how to handle such attacks. During one confrontation she had seen the look of respect and gratitude in Apollo and Starbuck’s eyes, and she felt proud to be one of their protectors.
Just as she was watching them now, observing the other occupants of the room from her corner vantage point. She saw Bojay and a cadre of pilots from the Pegasus sitting three tables down from Apollo and Starbuck’s table. She saw the looks thrown her favorite couple’s way and the smirks and laughter that were not of the light-hearted variety. No one made a move or said anything aloud to the whole room, so Cassiopeia kept her peace.
Laughter of a different kind came from the other table. Starbuck was smiling and the rest of the table’s occupants were laughing at a story he’d just told. Apollo was smiling, too, and looking at him with the soft eyes of love.
Cassiopeia appreciated male beauty, and while her eyes had been for Starbuck for a long time, Apollo was just as beautiful to look at. The cheekbones, the dark hair, the green eyes…! They were a good pair, all that dark-haired beauty contrasting with shining blond hair and sapphire-blue eyes.
Starbuck waved his fumarello around. It was unlit since he’d given up smoking, a concession he had made to his future husband who had worried about his health. When the reports about second-hand smoke had come out, Starbuck had promptly quit, not wanting to endanger Apollo and Boxey.
Cassiopeia smiled as she took another sip of ambrosa. Who knew that Starbuck could be so considerate? Well, she had. And she had wanted someone as good and kind as Starbuck after they had gone their separate ways, someone with some fire but who would love her with tenderness and respect.
She had envied Apollo and Starbuck’s deep, abiding love, and had despaired of ever finding it for herself.
“Hi. You haven’t drunk up all the ambrosa, have you?”
Cassiopeia looked up with love shining from her eyes. “No, I haven’t, smarty-pants.”
“Good.” Brilliant smile, then her companion sat down. “I see our most famous gay couple is having a good time.”
“Yes.” Cassiopeia signaled for fresh drinks. “They’re really pioneers, you know.”
“Yes. Well, the Fleet could use a good kick in the butt and look at their prejudices.”
Cassiopeia laughed. Yes, someone with fire.
The drinks were delivered and Cassiopeia handed a mug over. She smiled and clinked her mug to her companion’s.
“To a good butt-kicking.”
Athena smiled and laid her hand on Cassiopeia’s.
She should have known.
Author’s Note: Okay, not a huge twist here, but I thought it would be a nice little surprise so that’s why Athena isn’t in the Characters/Pairings line. J
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