Pairing: Felix Gaeta/Louis Hoshi and Felix Gaeta/Noel “Narcho” Allison
Warnings: Adult situations and sexual situations
Summary: Sometimes the questions have no answers.
Original Story: Before the Aftermath by walbergr
DISCLAIMER: All characters, rights, and revenue remain with the wonderfully creative team who created this show.
“Are you sure you know what you’re doing?”
Felix scoffed at Dee’s worried question. “It’s a blind date, not an execution.” He checked his shave with one hand, followed by a small splash of now irreplaceable aftershave.
Dee raised an eyebrow. “Yeah, with a Pegasus pilot, most of whom are assholes.”
“Racetrack said this one’s okay.”
“That’s what she said the last two times,” Dee reminded him sourly.
“They were good dates.”
“They were one-night stands,” she shot back, and suddenly, Felix understood where all her disapproval came from. In the end, as much as Dee rejected most of Sagittaron’s religious zealotry, she was still a bit of a prude.
“My life, my ethics, my decisions – remember?” He reminded her of a conversation they’d had not long ago about her dating choices. She winced. “Call it sowing my wild oats,” Felix said the words lightly to take the sting from the reminder. “Besides,” he grinned, “I’d pretty much resigned myself to a life of celibacy; maybe in all the debauchery I’ll find a keeper.”
“Not likely out of the pilots. You should be checking out the command staff.”
He laughed. “Why don’t you ‘check out’ the command staff for me and make up a list,” he suggested with a wink as he walked out of their barracks.
~ * ~
“What the frak are you up to?”
Felix’s head snapped up at the snarl, automatically threat-assessing – Narcho, who looked and sounded pissed, but wasn’t carrying a weapon, at least not one he could see. “Surviving,” he said quietly. Narcho was almost certainly part of New Caprica’s resistance movement. A few months ago, he’d also been one of the better of his ‘wild oats,’ not that it mattered anymore. “I’m waiting for a friend.” Damn few of those left, and Ishay wasn’t really, but if they got busted Doc would remain in the clear, so he passed any medical supplies through her.
“Ishay told me to meet you here.” Narcho sat in the other chair at the small table. Occupied New Caprica’s version of a bistro came furnished with co-opted tables and chairs from mid-level ship lounges, watered down coffee, and Cylon-issued ration bars. “To repeat my question, what the frak are you up to?”
“Surviving,” Felix repeated. He reached a hand into the deep pockets of his coat and pushed several medication sample packets across the table. Not quite open defiance, given the Cylons didn’t hang around this particular bistro, but close enough to shut Narcho’s mouth. “Tell Ishay I’m still working on prenatal vitamins and the anti-fungal cream.”
Narcho swept the packets into his own coat pockets. “Damned little reward for the amount of ass-licking you have to do to stay alive.”
Felix bit down the desire to retort that Narcho had no idea what he’d managed to get to the resistance and no frakking clue the price he’d paid. He stood, dropping a few of the black market cubits along with the Cylon issued chits. The owners could decide for themselves which market to shop in. Another small petty rebellion. Tonight, he reminded himself, tonight the resistance could raid a supply depot and know where every guard was stationed and the exact location of every part they needed to build a transmitter. The goal – getting humanity safely off New Caprica – mattered more than his pride.
Narcho grabbed his wrist with enough force to bruise. “I hear you’re with an Eight. Didn’t think women floated your boat.”
“She doesn’t,” slipped out before Felix could think about what he was saying and what it confirmed.
The pilot loosened his grip to slide his hand down to grasp Felix’s with a supportive squeeze. “Just keep surviving.”
~ * ~
“What can you tell me about Louis Hoshi?” Felix asked Narcho as he sat down at their table at Joe’s.
Narcho passed the waiting bottle of Black Tauron Ale to Felix. “He’s a good guy, smart, more your type than I ever was.”
“I seem to remember we got along just fine,” Felix said. “More friends with benefits than true love, but nothing wrong with that.” He caught Narcho’s wince. “Or did I miss something?”
Narcho shook his head. “I’d have settled down with you,” he admitted. “Not that there was much settling to do and New Caprica was a complete bust even before the occupation.”
Felix gave him a grief-stricken look. “Tell me you didn’t follow me down to New Caprica.”
Narcho shrugged off his guilt and shook his head. “I always make my own damn decisions. I settled on New Caprica because I wanted to. As for you and me, wrong time, wrong place, and we’ll always be better friends than lovers.” He gave Felix a lewd smirk. “And given we were fantastic in bed together—that makes this one great friendship.” His smirk widened into a grin when Felix laughed. “So now that Dee’s decided to set you up with Louis—”
“Why is everyone so certain Dee is setting us up?”
“Possibly because she wrote a compatibility program complete with matrices and crosschecks for sufficient geekiness and a dearth of asshole qualities; the latter of which means that I will never qualify and Louis is the only human in the universe with a higher geek index than you.”
“She did. Drink your ale. It will make you feel better about the fact that your female best friend is setting you up with your male best friend’s ex.”
As suggested, Felix stopped sipping and took a large swig of the ale. “How did she even get the computer time?” The ale and computer time equally precious commodities with the later doled out in negligible increments for anything not directly related to survival.
“Maybe the XO is feeling guilty about something?” Narcho said sardonically, referring obliquely to the Circle and Felix’s near death at their hands. “And by the way, my offer to beat the crap out of Tigh and company at the next dance is still open.”
“No,” Felix said hastily. “Louis Hoshi?” he desperately got them back on track and away from the idea of beating the crap out of Tigh and Starbuck, which would only piss off the Admiral and do nothing to help the underlying friction between any of the people involved.
“You’re wrong; beating the shit out of them would clear the air, but I’ll let it go so long as you go on that date with Louis. He really is a good guy. He might be the real deal for you if you let him in.” He shrugged. “He won’t understand about New Caprica, but no one who wasn’t down there really understands what it was like and Louis, well he won’t understand, but he also won’t push.”
“I guess I have a date.”
~ * ~
“Are you sure?” Narcho whispered the question in the exact tone he’d whispered “You can pretend I’m him if you need to,” just minutes earlier. He was giving him one last chance to go back to Louis – to back out, back down and just ride this occupation out like he’d ridden out the last – survive and work to sabotage the Cylons around the edges.
Rather than answer, Felix pulled Narcho’s head down until their lips met. He pushed them into the same rough, frantic ‘thank the gods I survived’ pace they’d had together before New Caprica when survival only meant fighting back hard enough, fast enough, smart enough to outfly and outthink waves of Cylons before the last ship jumped and Galactica and Pegasus could recall their fighters and regroup with the Fleet. Narcho’s mouth moved from the kiss to Felix’s neck chewing a huge bruise into the sensitive join of neck to clavicle. Sensation overwhelmed him and he pushed instinctively into the blunt pressure of Narcho entering him. He didn’t pretend he was Louis. He couldn’t pretend. Their friendship, even during the occupation, had always been too honest for pretense. It was why he’d let slip about the Eight.
Orgasm came too fast, shattering him apart only to drop him back in the quagmire of betrayals. A tally that began with the election fraud cover-up and ran through abandonment on New Caprica all the way through giving the Cylons who destroyed their worlds a seat on the Quorum. His own betrayals started the same place; going along with the cover-up to protect Dee, ran through New Caprica, and ended here in a choice of oaths. Now he could protect or he could obey, but he could see no way of doing both.
He dressed in silence. Narcho spoke only once, “Louis would help.”
“I need a friend who will follow me, not a lover to protect me.” He remembers the Eight and all the reasons he slept with her - cover and information, a chance to save a few souls and a chance to save himself if he got caught. He’d lied to himself before. He wouldn’t do that again. “You know why I slept with her. You always did. You were right; he never understood New Caprica and he loves me too much. He thinks I’m a hero. I’m not, I never was. I just did the best I could and survived.” Felix squared his shoulders at Narcho’s sharp nod of acknowledgement. He left with a purposeful swagger in his step, a bloom of hickeys on his neck, ready to meet his lover’s eyes with one more move on a final layer of do not forgive me before he slogged through his last betrayals.
“Why didn’t you tell me?” Louis snarled the question, knowing there would never be an answer. Could never be an answer. Slowly he leaned over ignoring the marine detail to take Felix’s cold hand. “Why the frak didn’t you let me in, let me help?”
“Would it have changed anything?” Tigh’s unwelcome voice came from behind him.
Louis considered telling him the truth; he would have killed Adama in CiC, like Admiral Cain had killed Belzen, but decided to let Felix have the only remaining victory he could and survive. “No, sir, I suppose it wouldn’t have.”
Tigh looked at him as if he knew he’d just lied and he let it go. Maybe because of whatever happened on New Caprica and after that. All the things Felix never confided and now Louis would never discover. Maybe simply because no one had clean hands anymore and Tigh couldn’t quite forget the blood staining his. Or maybe he just wanted to keep their last surviving tactical officer working. It didn’t matter. None of his questions mattered. Just duty and survival.
Silently, Louis released Felix’s hand and trudged back to CiC.