Five years of climbing mountains and exploring this new
world, and he finally wanted to find a home. Lee Adama didn’t know what home
was, but looking for it alone while he slept in a crude lean-to under the stars
sure as hell wasn’t getting him anywhere. So he came back to where they’d
landed, to where he’d last seen his father. He couldn’t find home on his own;
maybe he could find it where he’d left the rest of humanity.
He couldn’t find home, but apparently he was in the
minority. There were children, babies, everywhere he looked from his vantage
point on the hill, spilling out of rough cabins and shouting into the clear air where before there had only been
savanna grass and herds of animals grazing.
Babies. We’re at war,
and that woman wants us to worry about having babies. He could still hear
his father’s voice ringing in his ears, full of disdain for the schoolteacher
who dared to call herself President of the Twelve Colonies.
He could still see her tight, guarded smile as she stood in
the CIC watching his father line up ships for water transfer, asking him for
help with the military.
He should have known then that eventually Laura Roslin would
get her way. Even as he bent over backwards to help her in the early days after
the apocalypse, he hadn’t believed that she’d actually do it, actually save
them all, but she had. In her own stubborn way, she had given humanity a fresh
Five years after he’d watched his father and Laura take off
in a raptor, five years after he’d set out on his own, he was back on a green
hillside, shielding his eyes from the sun, staring down at the new civilization
that had sprung up in his absence. No cities, no technology, but a civilization nonetheless.
He recognized some of them – Ellen, still tall and lithe and
easy in her skin, clutching Saul’s arm as he shouted and waved at the kids
blocking his path. The oldest, grown taller and thinner since he’d last seen
her, but he’d recognize that smile and those curls anywhere. Helo’s smile,
Athena’s eyes. Hera was clearly the ringleader, the other children falling in
line behind her as she teased the old Colonel. A few feet away, a tall, blonde
woman bounced a baby on her hip as Gaius frakking Baltar kneeled to argue with
a little boy who looked just as determined as he did.
Romo Lampkin was deep in conversation with a woman Lee knew
he should recognize, but he didn’t. She wasn’t a Viper pilot; she wasn’t a
refugee from Caprica. She wasn’t important to him, those days between the end
of the worlds and the start of this one. Maybe that’s why he left, all those
years ago. Humanity deserved a blank slate, but he knew he couldn’t give it to them.
Maybe that’s why Kara left, and his father too. Some of them were just too
rooted in the old ways to give them up completely.
Other faces were new. The primitive culture he’d witnessed
when they’d landed on this rock, not quite as primitive anymore. They were
communicating, and as the wind shifted, he picked up on the curious combination
of words and clicks and sounds.
He wondered who taught them,
without Laura. He remembered the white board with the numbers written in her
careful, looping hand. If anyone had deserved a blank slate, it was her. He
shifted the threadbare pack on his shoulder and made his way down the hill,
determined to find out.
Author’s note: I’m sorry for the long wait – both in general and for this story, but I honestly thought no one was so interested in it, so I figured I’d sit it on the bench for a while? Anyway, when I heard that there was actually demand for me to continue this, I got so happy! It felt incredibly nice to know that people are immersed in this after all :) This chapter doesn’t add anything directly to the main plot, but reader and Derek’s relationship needs development, hence I threw this in. Enjoy!
spend the next two days mainly gathering information. For the time
being, Derek tries to get used to the life of this century, but he
relies heavily on my guidance for that. The weather is still rainy,
which would be unusual in California if it weren’t for the fact
that it’s the end of the fall, merely a couple weeks away from the
beginning of winter.
park my car in front of the house, taking a deep breath and raking my
fingers through my hair. This time, Derek stayed home – I left when
he was still under the shower. I felt like I needed some solitude
after being together all the time. I give myself some more minutes in
the car, alone, before climbing out and heading to the front door. I
have a feeling Derek will make a comment or two at my sudden
disappearance, not necessary in a nice way.
wait patiently until the song is done playing before pulling the key
out of the ignition and jumping out, only to head for the back to get
the two paper bags out from the seat – I made sure to buy three
times more meat than I usually do, then try to approach the door
without dropping anything to the wet pavement. My brain is reeling to
try to figure out a way to get the bags inside somehow, I just don’t
know how to open the door.
it opens up on its own the second I step in front of it. It throws me
for a loop, making my grip loosen around one of the bags, but before
it would fall to the ground, Derek catches it – talk about
exquisite supernatural reflexes.
you’re a lifesaver, thanks,” I let out a brief breath that I
haven’t noticed I held back. I want to enter the house, the
inviting warmth that’s seeping out from inside, but I have to
realise I can’t make it over the threshold just yet. I give Derek a
confused look with my eyes open widely, only to be faced with his
disapproving glare. “What?” Derek’s eyes narrow at me.
vanished,” he says curtly. I still need to get used to his
tight-lipped talking patterns. To his declaration, I nod and shoot a
say, Captain Obvious’ look at him, before making another attempt to
get through the wall of muscles, but it doesn’t waver.
maybe I should have let you know that I was going out, but here I am,
unharmed,” I say, opening my arms to demonstrate my well-being.
nostrils flare, presumably because he’s discreetly smelling me.
Apparently he doesn’t find any sign of injury, because the next
moment, he steps aside.
you,” I say, tone just this side of insulted, squeezing my body
through the thin crack that was opened up between Derek and the wall.
Arriving to the kitchen counter, I swirl around to check if he
followed me. Sure enough, it only takes a couple seconds for Derek to
show up, bags laying on his forearms. “For your information, I
bought an extra amount of meat, just for you,” I add.
the tiniest sparkle of surprised satisfaction gleams on Derek’s
face, it echoes back into my body as happiness that washes everything
away. “Help me put these to their places.”
finish within minutes, then I lean against the counter with the small
of my back. I rub my face with a hand, and when I look up, I yelp,
trying to scoot back; Derek still hasn’t abandoned his habit of
walking around barefoot, hence I still can’t hear him approaching.
I grab fistfuls of my shirt over my heart, complaining, “Don’t…
don’t just show
nods by way of signing me he understood, but he doesn’t make any
move to put distance between us, just keeps watching intently my
shape, my face. I arch a brow, “Derek?”
he was hauled out of some kind of a trance by calling him by his
name, his entire body trembles. He shakes his head twice – first to
reboot his brain, and for the second time to tell me without words,
‘It’s nothing important.’ Then Derek turns on his heels and
heads to the living-room. I stay and make a quick dinner for my dad,
who, if nothing comes up, will arrive within an hour.
I do follow Derek, I find a huge direwolf-like dog laying on the
couch instead of a human. The black outfit that he wore are now
cascaded haphazardly on the fluffy white rug stretching next to the
sofa. I pick them up and hop down next to Derek’s head to fold them
neatly in my lap before putting them away. I turn to him, “Wanna
cracks one scarlet eye open to glance up at my face. He remains like
that for a while before exhaling a long breath slowly, which I take
as a yes. “Alright then,” I say, immediately pushing the button
on the remote control. Soon, Bucky joins us as well, automatically
taking the spot on my other side, resting his head in my lap. I kiss
it, allowing him to use my thighs as pillows.
briefly contemplate indulging Derek with stroking his fur, too, but
my rational part is telling me not to – up until now, he’s always
been hurt and tortured, so probably it’s not the wisest choice of
me to create physical contact unless Derek himself initiates it.
o O o .
wake to someone shaking my shoulder meekly, trying to wake me up. I
blink my eyes open lazily, until my sight clears up and I’m able to
make out actual sharp images instead of blurred ones. That is when I
realise that my dad is in front of me, calling my name.
he says. “Wake up.” I yawn.
up,” I slur in the middle of a stretch, even my toes curling by the
satisfying feeling of it. “What’s the time?” I ask before
past midnight,” comes the answer. “Derek is in your room, asleep.
You should… sleep there, too.”
know my father isn’t the least avid to advise that, it’s just he
thinks it’s better if I
sleep in my room, in my bed. Also, I’m aware that Derek isn’t
asleep, he just seems
We cleared it up in the previous days that hellhounds don’t need to
got home now?” I ask, changing the subject. He nods slowly.
got a report of a four-eighty-seven,” he explains. “We sent more
units, but it still took long to catch the thieves. The data
gathering took more time than we thought, so…” he shrugs.
should sleep,” I point out. “If you’re hungry, there’s the
dinner I made for you, but don’t eat too much; it wouldn’t do
good, and you couldn’t sleep properly.”
kiddo,” he smiles fondly, ruffling my dishevelled hair
affectionately. He stands and makes a beeline for the kitchen,
whereas I take a look around – I instantly realise that Bucky isn’t
around any more.
walk to the stairs, still riddled with sleep, but before I could put
a foot on the first stair, I decide to approach the kitchen, where my
father is. I peek in from the entrance. I don’t want dad to notice
me, I just want to see him, revelling in the fact that I
can still do this.
God knows how many times, I vow to myself that no matter what, I will
protect this man.
a satisfied smile, I ascend the stairs, knowing that dad liked the
dinner I made for him.
stroking my fingertips over the wood of my door, I open it up to let
myself in to my room. There, the dim light coming from the corridor
collides to Derek’s laying shape. His eyes flash open, irises
pointed directly at me. They are in their natural colour, yet they
are glowing in scarlet in the dark. After closing the door behind me,
the warmth of the light is replaced with cold, silvery gleaming
coming from the Moon.
celestial body is nearly full on the night sky, and I approach the
telescope standing next to one of my windows with soft, noiseless
steps. Leaning forwards a bit, I stretch my neck to look into the
object glass. After a couple editing, I step back and turn to Derek.
watch?” I ask. He sits up on the bed, but doesn’t move otherwise.
I have a feeling this means I need to give an explanation. “This is
called a telescope,” I say quietly, patiently going on. “There
are more types of it, but this, right here,” I point at it, “is
an astronomical one. The point is that it enlarges everything, so it
allows you to see the planets. Unfortunately, with mine, you can only
see Mars and Venus, but later on, I want to buy another one.”
stays seated on the bed for a little longer, mutely surveying the
object, but his curiosity takes over eventually; he stands with an
easy, lithe motion, stepping next to me. He stretches his hand to
touch the telescope, but I stop him.
don’t touch it.” My arms spasm, but I refrain from touching him
in the last second, still refusing to break my inhibition regarding
Derek. He gives me a questioning look. “I set it, so it’s focused
on the Moon. After you checked it, you can move it, but right now…”
don’t get to finish it, because Derek moves towards the telescope
again – however, this time, he only nears his head to it. I smile,
and while he’s busy watching the Moon, I get lost in his perfect
he starts, voice barely above a whisper after standing up straight.
He takes a deep breath, steeling himself to go on talking. “When I
was still alive, I was interested in astronomy, but back then, we
hardly knew anything about these,” he says, nodding towards the
inky blue sky pierced by small shining starts. I nod in
had a really huge impact: he was the first to use a telescope to his
observations, so the theories were strengthened by evidences and
facts,” I tell him. “He lived in the 1500’s and 1600’s.”
when I was alive,” Derek comments.
obviously couldn’t have heard about his discoveries.
Telecommunication wasn’t as developed as it is nowadays.”
is telecommunication?” he asks, eyebrows drawing together in
I scratch my nape, trying to find the proper words to explain it to
him. “Technically it means we are able to communicate even in long
distances.” Derek nods in acknowledgement.
my time, people still believed that the Earth was flat.”
chuckle, “Yes, the first theories to prove that wrong appeared
around 1492 around Portugal and Spain. I’m guessing those theories
failed to make it to where you lived,” I say. “That’s also when
America was found – which is where we are right now –, and that’s
the time when people started to take sciences more seriously. Point
is that they realised the first thing they saw was the mast of the
approaching boat, hence they concluded that the Earth isn’t flat.”
reasonable,” approves Derek. I grin as I nod to him. It feels nice
to find someone finally who is willing to listen to what I have to
say, who is equally interested in these facts. With the others, I
could never talk about these, only with Stiles and Lydia. The rest of
the pack is more interested in sports.
the way, if the Earth were flat, the gravity would gradually grow the
further away you would go from its centre. Oh, and you could never
fall down at the edge, because gravity would pull you back to the
starting point,” I add. “Just another evidence that we’re
living on an orb.”
point at my telescope again, “Let me show you something else.” I
glance in it, then start to reset it. “Also, in the distance
between the Earth and the Sun, all nine planets of the Solar System
would fit,” I say, only to share another interesting fact. When I
find the focus is fine, I step back and gesture for Derek to look in
it again. As soon as his eyes find the orangey planet that is the
size of a spot, I keep talking, “That’s Venus. It looks small,
but I told you that was the last celestial body that I can see with
can see it perfectly,” Derek comments. For a flashing moment, I
think Derek maybe wants to calm me down, but as fast as that thought
came, it leaves my mind.
just wanted to say that’s the morning star.”
asks Derek, standing up to give me a disbelieving look.
I nod. “Not many people know, but it’s true.” For a while, I
just watch Derek’s face; apparently, he’s digesting all the new
information I flooded him with. “And do you know what else they
call the morning star?” Derek shakes his head. “Lucifer.”
Satan’s name,” he protests. “He’s locked in a cage.”
in Dante’s Inferno, he’s in the ninth circle of Hell, frozen into
ice in the middle of a lake,” I argue, making Derek blink at me in
confusion. I just smile at him. “I have a lot to explain to you. I
just wanted to let you know that Lucifer means morning star, or the
carrier of the light.”
was God’s favourite, but he rebelled against him,” Derek points
a reason,” I add. “Sue me, but at certain points, I agree with
Lucifer.” Derek’s head lolls to the side curiously, mutely
requesting further explanation from me, which I give to him
willingly. “When God asked the twelve archangels to glorify him for
his work during the Genesis, Lucifer was the only one to say he
wanted to be acknowledged, too. Now tell me, wouldn’t you want
others to acknowledge everything you’ve done for a purpose? The
archangels helped to create the Universe, however, God acted like it
was his merit only. I actually respect Lucifer for his guts to stand
up for himself.”
hums. Hoping that I won’t cross any kind of line, I ask, “How
much did you know about astronomy back then?” Derek turns to me
with a sharp motion, like my question took him by surprise. He averts
his eyes to the ground, clenching and unclenching his jaw. I hold a
hand up, assuring him, “You don’t have to say anything if you
don’t want, I understand that. I was just curious.”
too much,” he replies, ignoring my previous ramble, like he wanted
to convey to me that I don’t need to apologise for asking
questions. My shoulders slump as I settle. “That man’s name, for
instance, that you mentioned, I’ve never heard before. The one who
used the telescope first,” he adds. “I could already recognise a
couple constellations, which helped me find my way, and I had random
knowledge about the planets, but mostly I know their names only.
I had the time, I read, but my family wasn’t noble, so it was hard
for me to lay my hands on books,” he shrugs. “As far as I can
tell, nowadays it doesn’t exactly work that way.” I shake my
head. I stare at Derek in awed silence, with my mouth open, as though
entranced by the man. “Often times, it was one of my sisters,
either the elder or the younger, to bring home various books. They
were maids in noble people’s houses, and from time to time, they
brought home this and that.
my family, only my sister and I could read; I learnt that on my own
when I was younger by paying attention to educated children. When I
could do it fluently, I taught it to Laura – my sister –, too.”
was your job?” I ask after a bit of contemplation.
worked in a mine.” I note in my mind that according to Derek’s
physicality, I should have figured that one out on my own. “We had
a lot of collapses down there. Those times, I was the one to help the
people survive, because I had the best chances of survival. Sometimes
some of the others got stuck under a set of rocks, but I called some
men over and we lifted them off.”
guessing you wouldn’t have needed their help,” I say. Derek
shakes his head.
but I couldn’t have let anyone know about my family. Since there
were more people, no one could find out I was the one to lift the
rocks on my own.”
a hero,” I grin at him.
wouldn’t say that,” hedges Derek, but I shrug.
are to me,” I declare with determination. “You refrained from
killing me, for which I’m especially
corner of Derek’s mouth involuntarily twitches momentarily in the
shape of a half-smile. It was barely there, vague, and tiny, but my
heart flutters in bliss at the sight of it. From now on, I want to
count every single smile that blossoms to Derek’s face, no matter
how small they are – if they are coming from the bottom of his
heart and they are genuine, then they are worthy of preserving, like
every rare miracle. The fact that he lolls his head forward to try
and hide it from me makes it that much more valuable.
didn’t do it for a selfish reason,” he points out relentlessly,
empty nonchalance invading his features. My eyebrows pull together.
of all, I don’t care why you didn’t do it, the most important
thing is that I’m still here, alive and breathing. And second of
all, don’t ruin this moment.” Derek arches a brow at me, making
me giggle fondly. “Yes,
this is one of those
moments, and I want to take joy in it, thank you very much.”
just rolls his eyes at me, but it’s no longer a secret to me that
it’s just an act that he puts on for the show, and he doesn’t
find my behaviour exasperating.
o O o .
dad is puttering in the kitchen when we descend the stairs the next
morning. Like always, Derek spent the night laying on the floor in
his animal shape, while I clunked out on my bed like a starfish. I
crawl over to the table, yawning, whereas Derek proceeds to approach
I help with anything?” he asks, making me perk up. My dad’s voice
hitches in his throat at first, making it obvious that he wasn’t
expecting any offer like that, but then he answers with a modest
smile, shaking his head, “No, but thank you.” He gestures towards
the table and me, “Just take a seat, son.”
takes the seat neighbouring mine. The next moment, Bucky starts
nosing at my thighs, licking my hands and fingers, too.
is it, big boy?” I coo, ducking down to rub our noses together as I
hold his head between my hands. The top of my nose gets damp, but I
love it. Derek watches us without a word, and for the time being, my
dad wipes and puts away the remaining dishes. The lunch is done; he
cooked it a while ago, because he has to go to the station by one.
music is being played from the radio. After my father joins us at the
table, we eat our breakfast, and while Derek and I are busy cleaning
the dirty plates and forks, my dad is reading a newspaper. When Derek
is done wiping the last of the plates dry, I lay the blue cloth on
the tap and nudge the man to leave. He approaches the stairs with
Bucky hot on his heels, however, before I could follow them, I’m
stopped by my dad, who folds the newspaper in half.
a word,” he says. My heart jumps into my gullet, and my brain
starts reeling what excuse to make in case I get an order such as,
‘Tell Derek he can’t stay for any longer’.
I ask, turning to him, only to see him beckoning me over. I walk up
to him obediently.
just want to say…” he starts, but an involuntarily, vague smile
cuts him off. “So let me just say that I’m glad you found someone
so nice for yourself.” My eyes widen in surprise, and it takes less
than a second for my cheeks to heat up. Heart switching to an erratic
rhythm, feeling dizzy, I question myself how the Hell will I ever be
able to look Derek in the eye again? I have to explain my father that
he misunderstood the whole thing.
don’t… we don’t…” I stutter warily. I swallow. “You
misunderstand, we don’t… so… there’s nothing going on,
nothing like that,”
I tell him. He looks at me with his eyebrows furrowed.
thought you two got to know each other on a website,” he says. My
fingers begin to fidget with the hem of my T-shirt.
that what I said?” Seeing my dad’s more and more worried
expression, I continue. “Sure. Yeah. On a website. But not on a
dating site or anything. I mean, have you seen Derek? He’s the last
person who’d need something like that to find someone.”
my babbling is working again, because my father’s shoulders slump
as the tension seeps out of his frame. “A couple days ago, there
was this woman who tried to hit on him, but he blew her off,” I
tell him, demonstrating Derek’s magnetic attractiveness. I’m
getting more anxious by the minute; I’m saved from this
conversation, but I’ve just made my relationship a thousand times
more complicated with Derek – after all, there’s no
he didn’t hear what we were talking about.
father smiles at me gently.
just saying, that if anything happens, you’re with a nice guy,”
he says. Even the tips of my ears go red at those words.
I exclaim, but he just holds his hands up in surrender.
kiddo,” he waves to me kindly. “That’s all I wanted,” he
says, then goes back to reading his newspaper. As for me, I have no
idea how to behave the next time I’m face to face with Derek.
o O o .
Derek is polite enough – or rather pities me enough – not to
bring up my conversation with my dad. I make a beeline for my desk
and hop down on the chair, cheeks still burning and burying my face
in my palms. Even the fact that I washed myself with ice cold water
twice on my way here doesn’t help.
a couple minutes, I let my hands down with a sigh, and wake up my
laptop. The first thing I see is the browser with many and much more
tabs that I opened, all of them connected to Celtic knots, Hell,
demons and mystical boxes. Bucky nestles himself next to me, curling
around my socks-clad feet, yawning contently.
remain like that for nearly one and a half hours – Derek reading on
my bed, while Bucky and I are searching on the internet for any clue
we can get our hands on.
the research?” comes a low voice from directly next to me, words
spoken right into my ear. I yelp as my body shivers in fright,
effectively hauled out of my thread of thoughts. I stare back at the
man standing approximately half a metre away from me, straightly at
his nonchalant expression. Derek slowly blinks once or twice
innocently, as though not knowing I don’t fancy him doing this.
I gotta get used to sedatives with you around,” I say dryly. My
heart is still yet to calm down after this incident, and the fact
that as soon as I turn back to my laptop I feel Derek’s face next
to mine isn’t helping me calm down, either. I turn my head to give
him a questioning look, only to notice how his nostrils are flared. I
have no idea what Derek smelled on me – presumably my fright and
frustration –, but instead of asking him about it, I answer. “Not
too bad, but to be honest, it could be going better.”
I help?” he offers, but I shake my head. From the corner of my eye,
I can see Derek reading the names of the open tabs.
don’t think you know much more than this. I thought we could go to
the university’s library, too. I have a feeling I’ll be more
successful there,” I say, making a face.
are we going there?” Derek asks. The plural throws me for a loop at
first, but then I remember that Derek is as good as forced
to come with me, no matter where I happen to wander – he’s unable
was thinking a couple days. I’m still going to be on a holiday, but
to my father, it’ll be enough if I say that I want to tidy my flat
there, and that I need to check up on this and that,” I shrug. “He
won’t have further questions.”
a short while, Derek asks, “Why are you so sure we’ll find the
wouldn’t I be?” I turn to face him with my entire body.
one has found it before.” I grin at him.
chances alone have never discouraged me from achieving my goal,” I
tell him. “By the way, I want to be first in something,” I wink
playfully. Derek straightens up, turning around with quick movements,
yet he fails to disguise the fact that he’s merely trying to hide
his smile from me.
Rating:M (CHAPTER WARNING: blood, violence) Words: 3,831 Summary: After years of isolation and loneliness, Anna sees her whirlwind marriage to the handsome widower Lord Hans Westergard as her long-awaited happily-ever-after. But her troubled relationship with her sister and her growing closeness to a gruff but kindhearted stablehand loom large, and her husband’s darkest secret behind an eternally-locked door threatens to destroy everything Anna holds dear. [AU of The Bloody Chamber]