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 Post subject: Hieut, by noplacespecial; Helo/Athena, G
PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2009 6:06 pm 
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Spoilers: Through "Daybreak".
Disclaimer: Helo, Athena, Hera, Nicky, Hot Dog, and all other characters mentioned here are the property of the Sci-Fi (SyFy) Network, Ron Moore, and David Eick Productions. I make no money off of this work of fiction, and no copyright infringement is intended.
Author's Notes: This was written while I was studying abroad in South Korea, as a result of learning that Grace Park is Korean and spending so much time trying to memorize the Korean alphabet. I don't think I will ever forget this one again! You can the tattoo in the title graphic, though that's not exactly the placement I had in mind; I had imagined it right under her armpit, along the side of her ribcage. But it's really difficult finding a picture with that area exposed, unless I wanted to use a promo picture, and Grace Park's innate sex appeal just isn't in-character for Athena. So. There it is nevertheless, so that you can get a visual.

Hieut

It's a full month before Helo spots it, sitting innocently beneath his wife's right arm waiting be discovered.

"What's this?" he asks, poking at the tattoo. Its black ink stands in stark contrast against the egg-white pale of her skin; skin that easily allows him to see the flush of embarrassment when it rises to her cheeks.

"It's nothing," Sharon insists, pulling her arm back down to her side. But Helo tugs insistently at her wrist, raising it back above her head so that he can get a clear look.

They're beyond busy these days, but that's to be expected when one is simultaneously raising a three-year-old and trying to reconstruct an entire broken civilization; there are days when Helo's not sure which is the more daunting task. Sex is a pleasant bonus, having the time to fully undress a downright luxury - these days all they've managed is a few fully-clothed moments stolen in-between the daylight hours, so it's not all that surprising that Sharon would be able to hide something like this. But what baffles Helo is why.

Hotdog has Hera tonight, giving their daughter the chance to play with Nicky and her parents the time to spend an actual evening together, so Helo's movements are gentle and unhurried as he strokes the still slightly-raised skin. He tilts his head to the side, knits his brows together as he puzzles the meaning of two vertical lines, the first shorter than the second, an 'O', and a number 8. He traces his index finger over the markings again and again, but still the mystery remains.

"I don't get it," he says finally. "Is the 8 your model number?"

He's not sure if he likes this idea. He made peace long ago with the fact that he married a Cylon, but it was because in his eyes, she was just Sharon, as she had always been. Sharon, who gave him crap and frakked up her landings and had a left hook that stung like a bitch when she caught him off-guard during sparring matches. Sharon, who hugged him so fiercely in her tiny embrace and was the only person that could make the combination of tylium, engine grease, and industrial soap an aphrodisiac. Sharon who had a habit of tapping her thumb in indiscernible patterns against her leg when she was dealt a good Triad hand, and who right before the worlds ended had given him a gigantic bag of lollipops for his birthday that he had slowly savored one by one. Sharon was the woman he'd fallen head over heels for within two weeks of being assigned to be her ECO, and if she was a machine he really didn't care, because she still had the same laugh and the same thick hair that tickled his cheek and she still hugged him just as ferociously as she always had. But to see it emblazoned upon her skin, taunting him with its mere presence...Helo isn't sure if he can deal with that.

Sharon's smile is soft when he finally meets her eyes. "You're looking at it wrong," she chuckles. Helo tilts his head again, so that now the characters are all stacked on top of one another instead of running side-by-side; little line, big line, 'O', sideways 8. His frown deepens.

"I might just be an idiot, but I still don't get it," he confesses. His wife raises an eyebrow.

"You are an idiot," she shoots back easily. Helo pinches her side until she squeals with laughter. "You were asking for it," she says primly, and rolls them over in order to settle atop him. Helo slides a hand up her side, fingers resuming their position tracing the indecipherable figures.

"OK, playtime's over. Out with it," he demands. Wide hands splay across her slim hips, holding her firmly in place. Sharon ducks her head forward, and through the curtain of her hair he can see the shy smile on her lips.

"The first part is Korean," she says, lifting her arm and placing his fingers beneath the "O". "I know it's not really who I am, but the memories I have - of my mother, teaching me the alphabet, making me practice every day... They were given to Boomer when she was activated, and I was allowed access to them when I was trying to impersonate her on Caprica. I know they're not real, but I just...latched on to them, so hard, because I wanted them to be. Once I realized how I felt about you, all I wanted was to be human, be loved. They say it's a flaw in our model's design. I dunno, maybe it is. But it's important to me all the same." Sharon bites her lip. "I know that sounds kind of crazy," she admits.

"The past few years have taught me to redefine the word crazy," Helo murmurs. "If it's real to you, that's all that matters." Sharon peeks at him from beneath her lashes, and he sees her eyes shining happily. "So it's Korean, but what does it stand for?" he asks. Her bashful smile curves into a knowing smirk.

"Basically, it's the letter 'H'," she informs him.

Helo draws in a slow breath. They have rings on their fingers, a marriage certificate carefully stowed away in the trunk beneath their bed, a daughter playing happily several tents over. But paper is easily burnt, metal bent and broken, and as much as he loves his daughter, her conception was never a conscious choice. But this...he blinks slowly in awe. This is permanent, unchangeable, forever. In this moment, he feels deeply guilty for all the times in the past that he ever doubted her, doubted her commitment to him and their family.

"What does the other part mean?" he asks reverently, fighting to be sure that his voice does not waver. He moves his finger down to reveal the full tattoo.

"Well, if you look at it one way, it is an 8, and that's kind of why I found it funny. Because if you look at it the other way..."

Helo's breath comes rushing back with the flash of clarity.

"It means eternity," he finishes.

~*~

"So who decided to use valuable Fleet resources to open up a tattoo parlor?" he asks later - much later. The sun is peeking over the horizon and Sharon is snuggled firmly in his arms, a blanket draped around both of them, tent flap propped open to take in the view. They haven't missed a sunrise since their arrival.

"Jania, one of the Sixes," Sharon responds. Helo's hand is tucked inside the arm of her tanks, resting over the tattoo and letting her body warm his fingers. Helo. For eternity. Just remembering the meaning of the symbols painted there is enough to keep a wide smile stretched across his mouth. "A lot of the Cylons are getting them - kind of a way to distinguish. We're not just parts of a whole anymore, we're our own people, individually. And if any of us dies...it'd be nice to know who we're burying, you know?" This comment earns her a light smack on the shoulder. It's an age-old game of theirs, born long before they ever became intimate - back when their days were nothing but goofing around in the rec room and long, quiet hours getting to know each other in a Raptor cockpit. Rule #1: Talk of death gets the speaker slapped. Only now a kiss follows closely behind, soothing the offending skin.

"That's what you have these for, remember?" he teases lightly, pinky stretching out to hook around the chain of her dog tags. Sharon reaches up, fingers tangling with his between the metal strands.

"I'm thinking of not wearing them anymore," she confesses. Helo frowns, even though she can't see his face.

"Why wouldn't you wear your tags?" he responds, genuinely confused. Sharon sighs.

"I'm not a pilot anymore Karl," she says, so quietly he has to lean his ear closer to her mouth to hear the words before the wind steals them away. "You're not either," she continues. "None of us are - there's nothing to pilot. And if you think about it, we really only were for a few years, in the long run. Do we really want to let that define us for the rest of our lives?"

Helo tightens his arms around his wife, as if she's suddenly going to fly away from him, ship or no ship. He thinks about life among the stars, his days a mess of control panels and jump coordinates. He remembers his parents, his sisters, his friends, all lost back on Caprica. When the worlds ended, Karl Agathon became a soldier; he became Helo, fully and entirely, his life devoted to the pursuit of freedom and his duty to the Fleet.

But Karl, the tall, gangly goofball with the mop of sun-bleached curls, had never wanted to be a soldier. Flying was just something he happened to be good at (and not even that good, as he'd never made Viper certs). His favorite part had always been the camaraderie of the bunkroom, the sense of belonging. Kara grinning at him from across the Triad table. Lee cracking jokes during the morning briefings. Crashdown kicking his ass at Pyramid. The Old Man delivering his rousing speeches. And a wingman that could curse like a sailor and blush like a schoolgirl.

But Kara is gone, Lee is off the deep end, Crash is dead, and the Old Man has abandoned them. As for his wingman, however...

"So that's it then?" he asks. "We just stop being pilots?" Sharon cranes her neck back so that she can smile at him.

"Yeah," she says. "Because now, we get to just be parents."

Helo sees movement out of the corner of his eye; the rustling of tent flaps as others join them to welcome the new day. It's something they’ve all begun doing unintentionally; a tradition borne out of so many years surrounded by the dull metal walls of Galactica, morning known only by the brightening of the timer-set UV lights. To their left, Hotdog is striding towards them behind their daughter, his own son cradled in his arms. As the trio approaches Helo extracts his fingers from the chain of Sharon's tags and lifts them over her head, then does the same to his own. She twists in his arms to watch him take one of her tags off the chain, and add one of his own.

"Daddy!" Hera cries, launching herself into Sharon's arms. Helo mock-pouts.

"What, you're not going to say hi to me?" he demands. Hera reaches out a tiny hand and spreads her palm against his cheek.

"Hi Daddy," she says exaggeratedly. Helo grins.

"That's better." He waves to Hotdog, who drops onto the grass and lets Nicky curl into a ball on his chest, small face pressing into his neck. Helo watches them for a moment, then turns his attention back to his daughter.

"Stand up for a sec, nugget - I've got a present for you." Hera's eyes light up, and she obediently clambers out of Sharon's lap, fingers outstretched. Helo loops the long chain so that it fits around Hera's small neck, the well-worn octagons dangling in the center of her chest. Hera threads them through her fingers, handling them as if they were made of spun glass rather than rugged, battle-scarred metal.

"What's it for?" she asks.

"It's for you," he says showing her each of the tags. "This one's from Mommy, and this one's from Daddy, and it means that we love you very much." Hera smiles, leaning over to plant a wet, sloppy kiss on her father's lips before dropping back down to her mother's lap.

The sun is coming quickly now, warming the muted blues and purples of dawn into the fiery reds and yellows of day. Just before it breaks the horizon Helo flings the remaining tags into air. He watches watches with them glint gently in the morning light as they scatter into the never-ending sea of grass.

Karl takes Sharon by one hand, Hera by the other, and squeezes. He has spent so long measuring his life in light years, but here, now, with the sun rising in the sky and the earth solid beneath his feet, he finds that all he needs fits comfortably within the span of his own arms.


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 Post subject: Re: Hieut, by noplacespecial; Helo/Athena, G
PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2009 9:38 pm 
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Cylon Bible Thumper
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Joined: Mon Apr 20, 2009 9:56 pm
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Wonderful, totally wonderful

:sad:

Loved it!!!!

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Sharon, Helo and Hera Always


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 Post subject: Re: Hieut, by noplacespecial; Helo/Athena, G
PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2009 9:42 pm 
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I'm so glad you brought this over here, even if you did tear up weissman. Thank you. It really is a tender, thoughtful piece and I love it.


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