Author: To Be Revealed
Characters: Kara, Leoben, female OC
Summary: Leoben has watched Kara fulfill her Destiny. Now it’s their daughter’s turn.
Original Story: Three Paths to Peace & Four Roads to Earth by deborah_judge
For the first six years of his daughter’s life, Leoben sees her only as a smudge of blankets in her mother’s arms or a flicker of movement among the crowd of children outside Laura Roslin’s schoolhouse. He looks for her out of the corner of his eye when he’s at the place on New Caprica that’s come to be known as Ships’ Landing. He travels often, out among the other communities and the frontier settlements that can’t even be called communities yet. He tells his stories, the words that fill his heart, and when the humans and Cylons of those places open their ears to him, Leoben feels her close by. She may never know, but he is making the world for her.
When he returns to Ships’ Landing, he finds Kara every time, drawn like a magnet, eager for her lips and her touch and her laughter as they lie together in the grove they’ve claimed for their own. Leoben has asked to see Sophia many times over the years, and always Kara looks away into the distance. It is a look he remembers from the first weeks he held her during the war. He can feel her heart struggling to accept, yet again, that however they came by it, their love is love.
He walks into town for bread one morning, after waking alone, and sees the back of Kara’s head in the distance. Her hair is long and still tangled from his hands. Beside her walks a child, her own glossy head level with Kara’s elbow. Then Sophia twists and gazes back at him.
The piercing look she turns on him is a realization of his own vision, but it brings an instant knowledge that thrills and stuns, something he never anticipated: he is also the realization of hers.
The loneliness of his own youth howls in his ears. You are not alone, he wants to tell her, but her mother is pulling her by the hand, pulling her away.
She glances back again and smiles, and the noise recedes. He was born of war, she of love.
His journeys take him far and wide, across the plains where more and more farms have been planted and into the deserts where he walks many days without seeing another soul. Always his heart tugs him back.
On one return he kneels by the spring that feeds the stream that curves around Ships’ Landing. It is the border now between two rudimentary provinces.
“What are you?” a voice asks.
Leoben looks up and finds a girl standing on the opposite bank. Her hair is pale as straw; her eyes blaze blue. “I am a Cylon,” he answers without shame, though he hears Kara’s lingering anger in her what.
Sophia’s eyes narrow, considering. She’s eight years old, but her expression makes her seem older. “Prove it.”
He blinks, then laughs. She is her mother’s daughter. There are no wires to show her, no silicon, no download chambers or data ports. “I was made,” he says.
“The Gods made all of us.”
He studies her. “Did your mother tell you that?”
“God told me.” She raises her eyes to the clouds. “Once there was a war, a long war between two peoples that were almost the same and completely different. One of them knew that by making love between them, their children and their children’s children would be one people.” The words are older than her lips; he can feel the throb of the vision in his own mind. Her eyes meet his. “But love isn’t made, it’s given. One man and one woman gave each other their love, and it was the next step on the journey of them all.”
Joy suffuses him, bubbles up like the stream passing on its way between them. He doesn’t ask if she knows the darkness that resides beneath her words. Her story is a story about love. “I’m your father,” he says.
The girl nods and smiles shyly. “She told me that, too.” She sings as she walks away, a song that raises goose bumps on his skin. She’s been part of him since long before they were born.
In the fall when Sophia is eleven years old, Kara comes to find him. He’s spent a month on Gaius and Caprica’s farm, helping to bring in the harvest, watching their children climb the trees and race through the fields.
“Why now?” Leoben asks, even as his heart swells with excitement.
She shakes her head. “It’s just time.” Then she rests her hand on her stomach. When she presses her loose shirt close to her skin, he can see the roundness of her body. “We’re going to have another child.”
Kara’s voice is soft. It means something different this time. In villages across the planet, Leoben has seen children born of human and Cylon unions, children with his brothers’ eyes and his sisters’ smiles and yet all variation humans possess. At first their mothers faced the questions and accusations Kara must have learned to ignore: were they raped, or traitors, or have they forgotten the war?
In the last few years, life has been hard enough that the voices have quieted. Every new life is precious and protected. Every child is loved.
He knows Kara still has no answers about Sophia’s origins. Did she really love him then? Did she do so freely? He is no more certain than she is. The love was there because it had to be. This time there is no question. Leoben reaches out and rests a reverent hand over hers. Kara smiles, a tear slipping down her cheek.
“Come home,” she says, laying her other hand over his.
They find Sophia waiting on the steps of the cabin she and Kara share. She rises as they approach, her eyes on their clasped hands.
Kara pulls him forward and stops. Sophia has grown tall and lithe, and as she stands on the second step she is nearly his height.
“I knew you were coming,” she whispers in wonder.
Kara laughs, and Leoben folds them both into his arms.
After dinner, more often than not, Sophia walks out the door of their cabin and lays down in the grass, gazing up at the stars. Leoben watches her through the window as he washes dishes, while Daniel flies model Vipers through the kitchen, a familiar melody in the buzzing of their flight. At four years old, he is enamored of his sister and dreams of flying. He loves his father’s stories. His own don’t make sense yet, but Leoben can feel their truth. Outside, Sophia searches for her own among the stars.
“Do you think she’s alright?” Kara asks one night as they lie in bed, wrapped around each other lazily after sex.
He hears what she doesn’t ask: is their daughter like him? Is she more than human, her mind beyond the scope Kara can understand?
The next evening he joins Sophia, leaving Kara to put Daniel to bed. The grass tickles the back of his neck as he rests beside her.
“Can you hear them singing?” he asks.
Sophia sobs, a gasp of relief.
When he looks over, her eyes are closed. “What do you see?”
“There’s somewhere I have to go. It’s calling me.” Her voice is small, and awed, and afraid.
Leoben takes his daughter’s hand. “You’ll find it. But it may not be what you think.”
Sophia squeezes back. “Tell me the story.”
He takes a deep breath, feeling the stream flood through both of them, letting the words flow past his lips. “Love creates. Love creates peace, and children, and worlds, places that have never existed before and could not have existed in its absence. Once there was a song that God planted in the heart of every woman and man, every human and Cylon. Only through love could they learn to hear it, or to understand its deepest meaning. It was a song but it was also a map and a message, and it would lead them all home.”
She laughs in wonder, and it fills his heart with a parent’s fear and a prophet’s joy.
“I know how to get there,” Sophia murmurs into the night air.
The world breathes around them in its gentle rhythm, its harmony of people and nature, its endless cycles. The journey will not be what she imagines; his visions of her never captured this. Still Leoben holds her hand, and knows that she will lead them home.