Fandom: Battlestar Galactica
Pairing(s): Helo/Sharon, Lee/Kara
Word Count: 1809
Summary: There's a serial killer on board the fleet.
Notes: Completely AU. Written for the all_hallows_fic Halloween ficathon. My prompt was "serial killer or mass murderer."
The word seemed wrong out here, somehow. There had been deaths in the fleet, of course. Most accidental; some not. Maybe some had even been premeditated. But none had been called murder; it seemed so base, so petty, so like a remnant of a world that no longer existed and so ridiculously out of place in their current situation. But there it was.
"Murder," Kara repeated, and Helo just stared at her. Beside him, Sharon had crossed her arms over her chest, and he fought back the instinct to wrap his arms around her, to hold her close to him and promise to keep her safe. It was ridiculous, he knew, but he couldn't help the feeling that this was all going to get worse before it got better.
Across the table, Crashdown snorted, and Helo tore his eyes away from Sharon to look at him.
"What are we, afraid of a serial killer now?" he asked. Nobody answered him, and Helo thought their silence was ominous enough.
"It's been two deaths so far," Lee said, and it was difficult to tell whether or not he was more serious than usual. "Same M.O. The killer hasn't been found."
"So it's some civilian with an axe to grind," Crashdown continued. "We'll find him, we'll arrest him. Problem solved."
"As long as people don't get too panicked before we can do anything about it," Lee said.
Beside him, Sharon shuddered, and Helo had a feeling that this wasn't over by a long shot.
By the time they began to really escalate security, it was too late. Five more deaths, each of them the same, all otherwise unconnected. Doc Cottle had begun to act as an unofficial coroner, and he confirmed the belief that they were dealing with a single killer. Of course, that wasn't before the media had got hold of the story, and panic had already begun to spread throughout the ships.
They had started small, at first, not wanting to alarm the population. Security checkpoints had been tightened, security teams doubled. Unauthorised transport between ships was restricted. Short of requiring people to mark a box titled "are you a serial killer?" Helo thought the new measures probably weren't likely to be of much use. Unfortunately, he was right.
Citizens were already panicking; when ship to ship transport was suspended altogether, effectively cutting off food and fuel rations to ships without their own stores, the riots got worse. And the media broadcasts continued.
When four more people were murdered on board Persephone, things really got out of hand. Eleven deaths escalated to twenty-three, an unknown number critically injured. Even military personnel were no longer allowed to travel, and a few ships had already run low on supplies.
On board the Galactica, the pilots still drank and gambled and frakked in supply closets, because there really wasn't anything else to do.
Nobody laughed, though.
When the murders started showing up again on the Baah Pakal, things had already escalated. The media was shut down as effectively as it could be, and word spread that they were dealing with a copycat killer.
That didn't help when three other ships suffered the same problem. All consecutively; none overlapped, and as far as it was possible to tell, they were all identical.
The last ship to be hit was Colonial One. That was when the Commander started drinking with Tigh in his quarters, and operations on board Galactica, such as they were, shut down altogether.
Media communications ceased. It was quiet, and people were already going stir crazy. With no other outlets to release their energy, they started congregating in common areas; the mess, the racks. People steered clear of the deck and the CIC, as if those places reminded them too sharply of the things they had lost, the things they were supposed to be doing instead of sitting around drinking themselves to death and hoping that was the closest they got.
By the time rumours began to circulate that they were dealing with Cylons on board the fleet, it no longer really mattered.
"Raise," Kara said. Her voice was loud, but it barely carried across the table. "Fifty cubits."
Helo took a swig of moonshine, and passed the bottle to Sharon, who took it eagerly. She was sitting so close her thigh was brushing his, which was no longer unusual; everyone seemed to need to touch someone, these days.
Helo grinned. "Call," he said.
Kara won, which wasn't surprising. Even if money hadn't been effectively worthless these days, none of it seemed to matter any more, and Helo didn't feel the loss.
"I'm out," he said, trying to stand. He was more unsteady on his feet than he had anticipated, and he crashed back down onto his chair as Sharon clutched at his arm. She passed the bottle back to him, and he took another swig.
"Okay," he said, reassessing the situation. "I guess I'll just watch."
"Pervert," Kara said; beside her, Lee laughed. His hand was resting on her thigh, and Helo knew enough to avoid the rack when they were in there.
"All right," she said, taking a drink from her own bottle. "You can play for your clothes."
Helo shook his head, and then stopped, the movement making him dizzy. "No way," he said, trying not to slur his words. "I'm out."
"You can't be out," Kara said. Though she was smiling, her tone was serious; or as serious as it could be, under the circumstances. "You're in, or you leave. No voyeurs."
Helo opened his mouth to make a crack that that wasn't what Gaeta had said the other night, when Kara was either passed out or too drunk to overhear, but thought better of it. Even wasted, he suspected Kara could kick his ass, and he was too drunk to even consider fighting back.
"Lee will do it," she volunteered, and Lee looked almost comically shocked. Kara moved his hand higher up her thigh, and even through a haze of alcohol Helo could see him squirm.
"I've still got money left," Lee protested, and Kara shrugged.
"Lee will do it," she repeated more insistently, and they shared a look that Helo was almost embarrassed to witness.
Instead, he looked at Sharon, passing her the alcohol as he did so. She raised an eyebrow in a way that was almost a challenge, and he smiled.
"Okay," he agreed. "I'm in."
Sharon won his tanks that round, and Helo almost faltered at the look she gave him as she picked them up. He sat back, and held her gaze.
When it was her turn to bet the next round, Kara threw her own tanks on the table, her cubits forgotten. Helo stood, more carefully this time, and stepped out of his pants.
Sharon was the last to bet, and Kara looked at her with a familiar smirk on her face. After a beat, she threw Lee's tanks back on the table.
"Wuss," Kara snorted.
Helo won that round, and some unspoken agreement told him that he wasn't allowed to put his pants back on.
Lee threw in some cubits the next round, and Kara shook her head, but didn't challenge him. When it was her turn, Sharon stripped off her tanks, and Helo's eyes never left her.
He took another drink.
Helo was first to bet, and threw Lee's tanks on the table. Lee was last, and he threw in his underwear. Helo turned deliberately away, which left him facing Sharon, clad only in her underwear. Helo's tanks sat on the floor beside her.
When Lee announced that he was out the next round, he strode out of the room unconcernedly, muttering something about taking a shower. After a beat, Kara followed him, and Helo turned back to Sharon.
She was definitely blushing, Helo thought, and it was only then that he realised they were sitting at the table alone, precious little between them. Their legs were still touching, and her naked skin on his felt entirely different than it had a few moments before. Around them, the noise of the room continued uninterrupted. It seemed like an anomaly, somehow.
"I hear the rack's free," he said, and cringed at how it came out. Sharon didn't seem to notice, or didn't seem to care. She touched his arm again.
They got up without speaking, and Helo didn't know where this was going, but he didn't care to stop and ask. Sharon picked up his tanks as they left the table, stumbling a little, and his fingers slid across the fabric of her bra as he reached to steady her.
The corridors were deserted as they made their way to the rack, and Helo tried not to think about the reason everywhere else was so empty. The scream that came from the direction of the head could have been one of pleasure or of terror.
Sharon's lips were on his before they reached the bunks, and now that he knew where this was going, nothing else seemed to matter. He clutched at her frantically as her tongue slid into his mouth, and he tried with limited success to unfasten her bra. She reached up to help him, and he broke away long enough to stumble backwards onto the bed, pulling her down on top of him.
Her breasts were soft against his chest, and Helo lifted himself off the bed long enough for her to pull his underwear down over his hips. He returned the favour, his fingers sliding against her skin, then back up to feel her warm and wet against him.
Sharon moved on top of him, breaking apart from their kiss; and then, in a rush, she was sliding down on top of him, and Helo lost whatever coherent thought he had left.
She felt amazing around him, and his fingers clutched harder on her hips as he thrust up into her. Her hair hung down over her face, brushing his chest, and he reached up to tuck a lock back behind her ears. His eyes never left hers as she moved, grinding into him, and he only looked away as she threw her head back and his eyes rolled back into his head.
As his orgasm washed over him, he could feel Sharon shuddering on top of him, and he never wanted to let go. Where his fingers had marked her hips, he thought he'd see bruises begin to blossom in the morning.
She sank down on top of him, and Helo closed his eyes only for a moment as she kissed him, soft and sweet and everything he'd ever hoped for. He ignored the shuffling of feet over by the doorway.
When he could finally tear his eyes away from her, Helo glanced at the gun he'd taken to keeping beside his bed.