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Battlestar

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At first Skye was sure that it was just the sleep deprivation. And then she remembered. She rubbed her bleary eyes, fighting off sleep desperately.

Ward smiled at her, but it didn’t reach his eyes. In moments like these, she tried to recall if it ever had, before she realized what he really was. But now especially, she couldn’t remember a thing. If she could only sleep, maybe she could remember.

“I saw them kill you,” Skye said aloud. Ward would come to her in her dreams sometimes but he especially liked appearing when her defenses were down. “The radiation.”

“I remember that,” Ward said. “But then you have to remember what I told you." 

She could feel his hand on her face even though in her rational mind, she knew he wasn’t really there.

But there was nothing rational any more. 

“We have twelve models,” Ward continued. “The one that you saw die in that station, that was number four.”

Skye blinked rapidly and looked around. No one was staring in horror at the sight of Grant Ward. She was hallucinating again. The Ward in her mind didn’t call it that. He claimed he had a chip implanted in her brain that broadcasted his consciousness to her. But as of right now, it didn’t matter one bit. Her sleep deprivation could account for her apparently talking to herself. But if Commander Coulson, or god forbid, even May found out what she had done and that there was a known Cylon creeping into her every thought, she would be put away for good. It wouldn’t matter their personal feelings for her.

“Why are you here?” Skye asked, conscious of how loud she was talking.

Ward sighed sadly. “I told you that too.”

Maybe he did. Maybe he didn’t. That was the last thing that mattered as of this moment.

“I want to help you.” 

“Help me?” Skye asked savagely. “Why would you do that?”

“We keep having this conversation, Skye.”

“Don’t.” Whenever he was close she tried to pull away. And then she remembered he wasn’t really there. And he kept coming and it was only a matter of time before she let him. Or his mental projection or whatever this was.

There was a time when she just accepted it for what it was and couldn’t keep driving herself crazy with seeing psycho ex-boyfriends who turned out were just robots made to look human.

“Because I love you.”

“I said don’t.”

Each time he said it, it got harder to hear. Could a Cylon even love? That was the question, wasn’t it? If Fitz was whole, it was something he could tackle. But he was still recuperation from when the Cylons had attacked their world. Simmons had been so distraught that she couldn’t handle seeing him that way.

Skye would be lucky if she saw any of her friends again. Now it was just a fight for survival. 

A fight for sleep.

“They are limits, you know,” Skye said. “There are limits to what the human body can take. We’re not like you.” 

“Isn’t that the point?” Ward kneeled next to her. She was allowed a moment of weakness. Every thirty-three minutes, she was allowed her weakness. His hand wasn’t really there, but she leaned into his touch anyway, her head lolling on her neck. 

And then it was over. This wasn’t nearly as fun as being drunk. 

“You’ll make a mistake,” Ward said. “Human error.”

“And then you’ll come and kill us all.” It was just the truth of the matter. And he knew it too.

She wished she really was sleeping. Or hallucinating. She wished it wasn’t this easy.

“Someday, you’ll understand,” Ward promised. 

She was lucky this time. This time he didn’t move to kiss her. This time, she couldn’t lose herself in him for those few moments and forget the world around her.

“No,” Skye said. “I won’t.” 

“Skye?”

Skye snapped her eyes open. May was looking at her, dark eyes filled with concern. But with May, it was just never one thing. It was layers up layers of different meaning. And Skye knew that second to her concern, May was suspicious. She couldn’t have that. They could never know what was happening in Skye’s head.

Skye looked out of the ship into space.

“Are you alright?” May asked.

“I’m tired.” 

“We’re all tired,” May said. “They’re back.” 

Every thirty-three minutes, the Cylon ships would appear, and then would begin the next cycle of the crew trying to evade them into the black space.

And still, Skye couldn’t help but wonder if Ward’s new model was on that ship.

Chapter Text

The first time Skye threw up, she was off duty. It came hard and fast. There was no controlling it. For a moment, she was confused. She could only compare this to a massive hangover of which she'd had plenty. But she hadn’t drunk last night. In fact, she couldn’t remember imbibing anything in the past few weeks. She was lucky she could get away from the card table before Trip and his annoying perceptiveness asked the clichéd question. 

The second time she threw up, she realized it wasn’t a fluke. She realized she had been in denial. She realized she hadn’t had sex since Ward. Six weeks ago. Had it only been that long? It seemed like decades since he had revealed his true nature.

Skye returned to the card table. Trip was grinning like he had already won.

“What’s up, girl? You pregnant?” 

Skye knew how to not fall apart. That was the one good thing about the Ward situation. He taught her to keep her emotions in check. Or he was at least the first. She had never been very good at it. But with May’s influence, she had perfected it. 

“Don’t you know I’m saving myself for you?” Skye teased as she eased herself back to the table.

Jemma was eying her closely. In all the chaos, she had forgotten she and Trip had been together once. It was kind of difficult to remember the fighter pilot and the doctor’s relationship when the guy she had honestly thought she had loved turned out to be an evolved robot killing machine. For now, Skye would just keep on the face she had mastered. There was nothing else she could do until she figured out how this was even possible.

She was in the cargo bay when she happened to double over at the exact same moment Commander Coulson walked by. “You sick, Quake?” 

Coulson only called her by her call sign when they were in front of other people. They hadn't been alone since Ward absconded. Ward's call sign was too chilling to even be uttered by the commander. Skye was fine with just thinking of him in the detached last name sort of way.

Ever since Skye had transferred to this battlestar, she had formed some sort of kindred spirit with the commander. And in that moment, she couldn’t bring herself to lie.

“Stomach flu, sir.” Fitz was working on one of the vipers. “I can’t tell you how times I had to clean up after LT.”

“Well go get some rest, Lieutenant,” Coulson said. “Can’t do the sweeps without you.” 

“Yes, sir,” Skye said to his retreating form. When he had finally disappeared she turned towards Fitz. He was casually fixing a panel on the bird, but he could never really pull of casual anyhow. “Stomach flu?”

“You’re vomited approximately twenty-four times in the past week,” Fitz said informatively. 

“And?" 

“And it’s none of my business.” Fitz continued screwing on the panel. 

“Why did you just help me?” Skye asked. Fitz had become this quiet presence, but he never lost his powers of observations.

Fitz paused for a moment, mulling over her question. He had been doing that more and more. “Basic math.”

“Does everyone know my private business?” Skye couldn’t help but be annoyed. It was easier to pretend her past with Ward had been just a dream. Some fabrication that she made him to make Cylon Ward seem human and the pain less. The truth was, she couldn't even think about the things they had done together without it tearing a hole inside her. Her memories of him didn't make it better. It made it worse.

“You’d have to be blind not to see the way Ward looked at you.” 

“Then he turned out to be a robot hell-bent on our destruction,” Skye said. “He was a good liar.”

“He might have lied about who he was,” Fitz said, “but no one can fake that.” Fitz spoke with the wisdom of someone who had lived for a hundred years. Skye knew better. He was just good at perceiving people. And as strong as his love was for certain people, he never let it destroy him. Not completely. She wished she had half of his courage.

“That doesn’t make me feel better.”

“Sorry,” Fitz apologized.

Maybe that was her cue to leave. But she didn't. “Aren’t you afraid?” 

Fitz finally turned his entire attention on her. “What should I be afraid of?” 

“Me.”

“I could never be afraid of you,” Fitz said. “Look at me. After Ward detonated that bomb I never thought I’d work again. And here I am.”

“Then how can you of all people look at me the same?” Skye asked. Somehow, it was okay to talk to Fitz. He wasn't looking for chinks in her armor like everyone else. He wasn't waiting for her to detonate like some sort of emotional time bomb that Ward had set. He was truly her friend.

“Because you’re you,” Fitz answered. “And nothing could change that.”

“He did,” Skye said. “I didn’t even think this was possible.” Even if getting impregnated by a Cylon was possible, who was to say what would come out after nine months? That's what really scared her.

“Cylons have evolved,” Fitz shrugged. “It’s fascinating, really. You’re proof of their technology.”

Fitz was the only one who consistently called them Cylons. He respected their technology too much to do otherwise. Skye was too bitter to call them toasters now. Every Cylon she dreamed about now had Ward's face. His arrogant smirk. His efficient killing. They even kissed like him.

“Fascinating.”

Fitz smiled abashedly. “Think of what it took to get them to look like us, think like us, feel like us.”

“Cylons don’t feel,” Skye said. “They’re machines.”

“Machines with organic material,” Fitz said. “Organic enough to reproduce with humans. Whose to say they can’t love?”

“I do.” Because she had to. Because there was no other alternative. If those machines could love, what did that make her? She was still some robot’s play thing. She still had been manipulated. Still had been used. “He just did this to me and left me to deal with the consequences. When he could have just killed me.” 

Why didn't he kill her? That was the real question that kept her up at night.

“But it’s the fact that he didn’t,” Fitz protested. “You’re right. He could have killed you. Should have, even. So whey didn’t he?”

“I’m the incubator for his weird hybrid child,” Skye deadpanned.

“Do you think that was his plan all along?” Fitz asked.

“Why not?” Skye answered. “What else could he have wanted?” 

Fitz looked at her expectantly, but she refused to answer the question the way he wanted her to. That was weakness. Ward taught her that but then again, so did May. May’s husband perished in the Cylon attack of their homeworld and she was still kicking ass and taking names. Maybe it was a front. Well Skye could have a front too.

“They’ll kill me,” Skye said. “When they find out.”

“The Cylons?” 

“No,” Skye said. “Our people." 

“That’s not logical.”

“It doesn’t have to be,” Skye said. “You’ve seen Simmons since we realized Cylons looked human. She’s been on a warpath. Better to cut off the head of the monster.”

“You’re not the monster,” Fitz said. “And Jemma wouldn’t do that.” He didn’t sound so sure anymore. Then again, Fitz wasn’t quite the same since the explosion anyway. “I think there’s something more pressing anyway.”

“What?” 

“If you’re hypothesis is right,” Fitz said, “and Ward did plan this, then he knows about you already."

"And?" Skye asked.

"And…" Fitz said, "he’ll be coming back for you.”

It wasn’t something Skye had thought of. It wasn’t something she wanted to think of.

“What happens then?” Skye asked softly.

“Then… We’ll protect you.” Fitz said it like it was the only choice. The only thing anyone would dare think of.She appreciated him for that. She gripped him tightly, the first real physical contact she had in six weeks. He returned her embrace comfortingly.

“And until then?” she whispered.

“Until then,” Fitz said, “you have a decision to make.”