letterstonorah: (kara/kendra by ray)
[personal profile] letterstonorah
Title: Born from Night, Exhaling Fire
Author: letterstonorah
Rating: NC17
Characters: Kara/Kendra, Laura, mentions of Kat, Laura/Ellen
Word Count: 3500
Summary: Kara and Kendra take justice into their own hands.
Warnings: mentions of suicide, rape, sex

Author's Note: I meant for this to be much longer, much more fleshed out -- but I'd been sitting on this too long, and the emotional weight of writing it has become too much. So here it is! I hope it stills feel complete in a way. Note that I used the f-word in this. 'Frak' just doesn't do it sometimes (though it's still in here a time or two to keep the BSG flavor). 

Written for [livejournal.com profile] embolalia, who prompted for a fic about sexual assault in a military context. 



Born from Night, Exhaling Fire


The Furies, known also as the infernal goddesses, are the deities responsible for retribution.


It’s night time in Delphi, the black sky hugging Kara like a cape. Her nine-millimeter peeks out from the waist of her blue jeans—just how she likes it. Guns say, don’t fucking fuck with me. Guns say, back the fuck up. Guns say, my anger issues would fuck up your anger issues in a fight.

A man stares up at Kara groggily, doped up, his eyes squinting. They’re in an alley behind a row of abandoned buildings in one of Delphi’s forgotten neighborhoods, the stench of unemptied dumpsters surrounding them. The man sits slouched up against the concrete wall, his legs sprawled out. Kara’d positioned him this way after she’d knocked him out with a dose of chloroform and drove him here in Kendra’s truck.

“The frak?” the man says, coming to. His eyes blink open. His head shifts left, right. He lets out two strangled cries—no, three.

“Aint consciousness a real bitch?” Kara says. She fishes a cigarette from the pack in her pocket, pinches it between her lips, lights it, blows smoke into the man’s face.

He coughs and jerks, stares at her with wide eyes, only now realizing her presence. He pounds his head forward, trying to lift himself, to give his body momentum.

“Don’t bother trying to move,” says Kara. “We got you on the good shit.”

She inhales another stream of smoke, lets the drug fill her lungs and soothe the rage quietly nesting at the base of her spine, spreading. As the subtle high of the nicotine settles inside her, Kara’s fury reduces quickly to a clear-headed detachment.

“Who the frak are you?” the man says. “What did you do to me?” His breaths are heavy and panting.

“Quiet him, or I will,” says Kendra. She’s standing a few feet to the side, setting up the video equipment. She works meticulously, tilting the legs of the tripod just so, adjusting the settings for the light and the focus and white balance.

Kara removes her gun from her jeans with one hand, points it at the man’s face. He hiccups out a sob, whimpers. Tears fall, wetting his face.

“Gods, please don’t kill me,” he begs. “I’ll do anything, frakking anything. You want money? I got money. Gods, please.”

Kara takes another drag of her cigarette, blows another cloud of smoke into his face, the gun in her other hand.

“This is the part where you stop talking and start listening,” says Kara. “This will go one of two ways. You do what I say, you live. You don’t, you die. One more word from your mouth, I pull the trigger. One more whimper, I pull the trigger. If you make a facial expression I don’t like, I pull the trigger. And just so you know, I am a very, very good shot.”

“Everything’s ready,” says Kendra. She’s dressed in jeans, a black t-shirt tucked all the way into the waist, her hair pulled back into a bun, slicked down with gel. She’s like a cylon, fresh off the shelf. Doesn’t sweat. Doesn’t breathe. Doesn’t need. Only wants.

Kendra drags the the tripod over to Kara. “Tell him the drill.”

Kara nods, her eyes steady on the man. His name is Joel Wexler. He’s fourty-eight years old, pale, fit, strong, handsome—but in an ugly sort of way. Every fourth Friday of the month for the past three years, he has raped and permanantly disfigured sex workers in cities across Caprica.

“It’s time to confess your sins, Joel,” Kara says. “Think of me as your priest—only less celibate and more willing to kill you. You have two choices: a bullet in the brain, or admittance to your crimes. Names. Dates. Details only you would know, not released to the public. Locations of physical evidence. Passwords to your computer. Unless the next word out of your mouth is a name, I will shoot out both your knee caps.”

Kendra clicks on the camera, shifts the light so it shines directly on Joel’s face. “We’re rolling,” she says.

Joel says, “Jayna Myles.”

#

Kara and Kendra always fuck like it’s the last time. Every thrust is angry and afraid. Tomorrow they will die. Tomorrow they will be caught. Tomorrow they will be sliced in half, the feelings inside them too big for their bodies. Only tonight. Only right this fucking second.

They’ve barely tossed Joel out the truck when they start grabbing at each other. They’ve released him by the third district precinct, instructing him to turn himself in. Tomorrow they’ll mail in the disk of his confession. If he decides to make a run for it—and they often do, they’ll know. Kendra’s cousin Felix already has traces on all of Joel’s electronic devices, is monitoring all of his computer activity.

“I need to do something,” Kara says. She’s still keyed up, high on adrenaline.

Kendra nods. “Let’s go.”

They head to Siren, an underground club buried in the subdermis of Alphabet Park, Delphi. Stone walls. Leaking pipes. Sweating bodies.

It used to be an atomic bomb shelter, but those days are long gone. For the last decade, the former shelter has served as a mecca for folks who’ve not so much fallen as jumped off the wagon. Their drinking is as desperate as their frakking. Another round and then another and then another. More, more, more. Harder, harder. Only climax never comes.

As soon as they enter, Kara pushes Kendra hard against a wall. There will be bruises tomorrow. It will hurt. Kendra doesn’t care. All that matters is Kara’s tongue on her neck, her fingers sliding underneath Kendra’s shirt, caressing the bare skin.

Around them, men and women dance lewdly, grinding into each other to the beat of electronica. The club is every Red Light District in the Twelve Colonies bundled up into a single 100-foot by 100-foot building. Men dance in cages hanging from the ceiling. Women writhe together topless on the bar, drugged on ecstasy. It is, for all intents and purposes, an orgy. With music.

Kendra moans when Kara begins to rub her through the fabric of her jeans. Kara’s watching Kendra, gaze intense, pupils dilated, mouth slightly agape, heaving desperate breaths. “Want to fuck you so bad,” Kara says.

“Do it then.”

“Here?” Kara asks

“You afraid?” Kendra lifts an eyebrow, challenging her.

It works. In seconds, Kara is smashing her lips into Kendra’s, pressing their bodies together. The contact is suffocating in the best of ways. Kara’s tongue is hot in her mouth, drawing out sensation.

“Gods, Kara,” Kendra moans.

Kara laughs, the sound short and almost sarcastic. “Gonna make you say my name so many more times tonight,” she says, unzipping Kendra’s jeans, slipping her hand down her underwear, lacing her fingers through the damp, dark hair, then brushing them quickly over her clit. “You’re already so fucking wet for me.”

“Need you now,” Kendra says, pushing her body into Kara’s, lifting her leg.

Kara’s fingers sliding into her cunt, hard and insistent, feel so incredibly good. Kendra bites Kara’s bare shoulders, licks the salty skin. She loves the sensation of being filled, loves the way the energy builds in her body, humming, like a promise.

“How many times do you want to come tonight?” Kara’s moving her fingers in and out of Kendra, touching her just how she likes to be touched.

Kendra shoves her hips into Kara’s hand, fucking the woman’s fingers, driving her clit into her palm. “The question is, how many times can you make me?”

Kara makes Kendra come two times against the wall at the club, one more time in the empty subway car on the ride home.

#

They met each other at a rape survivor’s group. Kara had recognized immediately that Kendra was military—something about her movements, the type of boots she wore, the stiffness of her walk.

Kara stared openly, expecting Kendra to turn away. She didn’t. She met Kara’s gaze with ease, licking her lips, nodding her head over to the door. Neither of them were the type to flinch, to back down. Before the meeting even started, they slipped into the hallway, found a washroom, and fucked each other. Kara lifted Kendra onto the sink counter, dropped to her knees, yanked down her trousers, and licked her off, her head buried between Kendra’s slim, soft thighs. Being there, lips wet with Kendra’s cunt, as the woman trembled and shook, was the moment Kara remembered she was alive. She was a body. She burned hot. She wanted things, needed things.

“Follow me,” Kendra said after coming, voice raspy, sliding off the counter.

“Where?” asked Kara.

“I’ve got a strap-on in my car. I want to fuck some more.”

When they made it to Kendra’s transport, Kara got on all-fours in the backseat of the SUV. Kendra sat back behind her on her knees, grabbed Kara’s waist, and slid into her. Kara clawed her fingers into the upholstery of the seat, her cheek rubbing up against the coarse fabric as Kendra pounded into her.

Neither went back to the survivor’s group ever again, but they traded numbers. For a month they devoured each other, every free moment spent in one of their beds, on one of their couches or tables. It was Kara who suggested they get something to eat together.

“Why?” Kendra asked.

Kara shrugged. “Because I like you. I’m pretty sure you like me. Not that complicated. You want to or not?”

They ended up going to a taco joint in downtown Delphi. Kara pulled Kendra to a table near the back, away from the hustle and bustle of the main dining area. They sat next to each other in a booth, hips touching. They angled toward each other as they settled in so they could talk, each of them sipping ice water, forcing conversation.

“You know, you’re really beautiful,” said Kendra, face neutral, almost frowning. Had it been anyone else, the compliment would’ve felt trite; but Kendra stated it without sentimentality, like a conclusion she’d drawn following careful deliberation.

“Trust me, I’ve got nothing on you,” said Kara.

It was the first time Kara saw the woman blush.

Kendra thumbed through the menu, avoiding eye contact. “So forgive me, I don’t do this often. Should I be telling you my life story or something?” she asked.

Kara smiled. “How about you tell me what you do? Military, right?”

Nodding, Kendra looked up from her menu, closed it and set it neatly to the side. “I’m a doctor on the Delphi base.”

“Hot shit,” said Kara. She smiled broadly, lips stretching into sweeping curve.

“You a pilot?” Kendra asked. “I saw a picture of you in your apartment with your wings.”

“Ex-pilot, to be exact,” said Kara.

“Were you any good?”

“I was the best—am the best,” Kara said, and it was the truth, a piece of herself no one could take away.

“I don’t doubt it,” Kendra said. She waved her hand to grab the attention of the waiter. He came over, asked them what they wanted.

“Steak tacos for me,” said Kara. “Cooked medium. No onions. Extra tomatoes. And I’d like extra plantains on the side instead of rice.”

“And for you?” asked the waiter, looking at Kendra.

“I’ll have the black bean tacos, please. May I get half with corn tortillas, half with flour?” Kendra asked.

“Yeah. You two want anything to drink?”

“Whiskey, neat,” Kara said.

“The same for me,” said Kendra, handing her menu to the waiter.

When he was out of hearing range, they began to talk to each other again.

“So what happened?” Kendra asked.

“With what?”

“With being the best pilot? An accident? Can’t fly anymore?”

Kara snacked on the tortilla chips that sat in a basket at the center of the table, dipping them in spicey, green salsa. “Discharged,” she said. “Kind of went crazy there for a bit, you know—like people do. Had some bad shit happen.”

“Bad shit like what?” Kendra asked.

Kara smiled, shoved a couple more chips into her mouth. “Nosey, much?”

Kendra folded her hands neatly over her lap, pushing her lips to the side of her face. “You brought it up. You’re not going to be a tease about it, are you?”

“I’m sure you can put the pieces together,” Kara said.

The waiter arrived with their drinks and a fresh basket of chips. Kara took a long sip of her whiskey, closing her eyes.

“Does it have to do with why you came to the survivor’s meeting before?” asked Kendra.

“Yeah.”

“A fellow officer?” Kendra asked.

Kara focused on her meal, on her drink, on the flicking light of the candle at the center of the table. “A superior officer. Pressed charges.”

“And what happened?” Kendra asked. And again—no sentimentality, certainly no sympathy. She was collecting data.

The lack of obvious emotional shows surprised Kara, but she found herself relaxing back into the booth, setting down her drink. “They found him guilty, reduced his rank, reassigned him to another ship.”

Kendra snorted, shook her head. “Fuck that.”

“And here I am, six months later,” said Kara, shrugging. She missed flying more than anything, but she was done with the military the day a judge showed her they didn’t give one frak about her.

“So what do you do now?” asked Kendra.

“You mean besides frak you?”

“Right.” Kendra smiled, kind of.

“I’m a tattoo artist.”

“Really?”

“Yep. It’s what I did before I enlisted, too.”

Kendra asked, “And you any good at that?”

“The best.”

“So I guess you’re the best at a lot of things?” said Kendra.

“I’m willing to admit I may be only second best in one thing.”

That was the second time Kara made Kendra blush.

#

At home, after Joel, after the club, they shower together. They love being bare for each other. They love it that their nakedness can mean something other than humiliation.

#

Kara meets Laura for a hike at a nature reserve outside of Caprica City. The two of them get together monthly, sometimes weekly. Kara’s not sure if that’s normal—for lawyers to become friends with their former clients, but Kara’s never been particularly good at normal.

Kara stretches, grabs her ankles, stretching her hamstrings.

“You’re in a good mood today,” says Laura, starting on the trail. It’s four kilometers up to the look-out point where they’ll settle to have a picnic, and they want to get there before the sun is at its highest.

“I’m always in a good mood,” Kara says, sticking out her tongue, matching her pace to Laura’s.

“Uh-huh.”

“It’s true!” Kara protests.

“So this has nothing to do with the news story that’s all over television?” asks Laura.

Kara plays innocent, though she doesn’t know why. Laura never buys that shit. “You mean about the cops finding the guy responsible for the Friday Night Killings?”

Laura speeds up as she grows more limber, hiking up the incline with ease. “You know exactly what I mean, Kara. You know how I feel about bullshit, even when it’s coming from someone I love—especially when it’s coming from someone I love.”

Kara smiles. “Aww. Laura Roslin loves me.”

“Don't be a twat, Kara.”

Kara laughs, undeterred. “Did Laura Roslin just call me a twat? I think I need to call the Feminist Police.”

“All right, all right—I take it back. I meant to say that you’re a dick.”

“Phew,” says Kara.

They continue at a brisk pace toward the top, silent. Kara enjoys the burning in her muscles, the way her limbs become more awake as she moves. Their spot is empty when they arrive—thank gods—and they settle on the ground for an early lunch.

“You okay, Kara?” Laura asks, chugging down some water.

“I’m great. Why wouldn’t I be?”

“It’s just, only one more week until the anniversary—”

“It’s fine, Laura. Don’t want to talk about it,” Kara says.

Laura places her hand over Kara’s, squeezing it. “I know how close you and Kat were. What happened to her shouldn’t have happened, and I just want you to know it’s okay if you still feel angry. The world expects us to get over these things; I’m here to tell you that you never have to.”

Kat had been nothing short of Kara’s sister. They’d both been in and out of group homes since grade four—from familes who could just never seem to get it together. They’d hated each other at first, too damn much alike. Somewhere along the way they became best friends, though Kara couldn’t say the fuck how.

“My being angry doesn’t make her any less dead,” Kara says, pulling her hand away.

Laura nods, dark brown hair tumbling over her shoulders. “I thought you might like to know Thorne died.”

“What? When?” Kara shifts around so she’s facing Laura more directly on the picnic blanket.

“Last week, in prison.”

“Why didn’t you tell me sooner?”

Laura looks away, pushes her glasses up the bridge of her nose. “I didn’t want to remind you of things you shouldn’t have to be reminded of.”

“What happened to him?”

“Raped, beaten, left for the dead—the prison trinity. His attorney said he’d been getting threats, tried to get him into protective custody.”

Kara thinks—she hopes it hurt really fucking bad. Then she thinks—not too bad. Nothing unbearable. Nothing too disfiguring. Nothing that would make it so his mother wouldn’t get to see her son one last time in an open casket funeral before they stuffed him into the earth.

Kara doesn’t realize she’s crying until Laura is smudging the tears from her face with her thumbs The past she tries so hard not to remember is making itself known. Kat had been stationed on the Pegasus, the same ship to which Lt. Thorne was reassigned following his sentencing from Kara’s trial.

He raped her. She killed herself some several months later, after they finally put the bastard in jail. Laura had been Kat’s lawyer, too.

Kara had been seeing Kendra for almost a year by that point. She’d been ready to exact vengeance in any way she could, on any one she could. Kendra had been the one to hold her back, to offer a slightly less morbid vision of taking justice into their own hands.

“This was supposed to be a happy hike,” Kara says, wiping the back of her hand across her wet eyes.

Laura grins widely. “Us two don’t always do happy so well.”

“How are you doing with all this?”

Laura smiles, leans back onto her palms, eyes cast up toward the sun. “It’s hard some days to accept that sending a man to jail might mean sending him to his death. But I’m fine. I’m here with you. The sun’s shining.”

“How’s Ellen?”

“She’s…Ellen. Beautiful and smart, but—”

“A tad psychotic?” Kara offers.

“A tad wild, I was going to say. But that works, too. She keeps me young. And Kendra, how’s she?”

“Perfect, et cetera,” says Kara.

“Good,” Laura says. “That’s what you deserve.”

#

For a while, things settle. Joel Wexler won’t be the last man on which Kara and Kendra exact justice, but it’s summer now and they both need to turn away from the ugly things—just for a bit.

Sunday night, Kara paints Kendra’s back with the figure of Hippolyta slaying Hercules. She drags several coats tenderly across her back, golds and reds and teals. Dipping her paint brush into a jar of almond oil, she begins to dilute the deep purple pigment at the nape of Kendra’s neck, an impressionistic storm cloud.

“Don’t move,” she says, as Kendra shivers from her touch. She’s lying on her stomach, naked, and she’s straddled over his waist in a tank top and a pair of briefs, her knees digging into the mattress. Paint, oil, and turpentine drip onto their bedroom sheets.

“You almost finished?” she asks.

Kara checks the time on the clock radio sitting on the bed side table. She’s been working for two hours. “Almost,” she says. “The paint takes forever to dry on your skin. We’re getting there.”

“Don’t worry about it,” Kendra says. “Feels good.”

“It’s gonna hurt like frak when I do the tattoo,” she says, using a fine brush to outline Hippolyta’s dark eyes.

She’s glad Kendra insisted she do this—paint the image she wanted on her back before committing to the tattoo. This way, Kara gets her all to herself, naked, away from the harsh lights and bustle of the tattoo studio.

“Gods, I want to frak you,” Kara says, setting her paint brush into the can of watered-down turpentine, running her hand up Kendra’s thighs, grabbing her ass.

“By all means, Kara,” says Kendra.

Kara fucks her from behind with her fingers, the image of the victorious Amazon queen on Kendra’s back moving up and down with each thrust.
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