"She pouted until he was gone, but after that, she put on her dancing shoes and went into town." Ellen prefers her stories with happy endings. (Spoilers through "Tigh Me Up, Tigh Me Down".)
/Disclaimer: /Battlestar Galactica and all associated characters belong to people who are not me. I'm just borrowing.
Notes: I really don't like this woman, but this plot bunny invaded my mind and would not go away until I finished writing the fic. It's done now and should go away, so that's all good, right? Never again will I write this character, I think; it's not easy at all.
All Bette's stories have happy endings. That's because she knows where to stop. She's realized the real problem with stories -- if you keep them going long enough, they always end in death.
- Neil Gaiman, Sandman #6
She married him because it seemed like a good idea at the time.
He married her because he was hopelessly in love with her. She liked that; it made her feel powerful, and she was a woman who had known very little power in her life. He married her, but soon after he was off on another tour of duty, a year-long mission he could tell her nothing about. She pouted until he was gone, but after that, she put on her dancing shoes and went into town.
She knew he was due back from his latest mission (classified -- always that word!) in a few days, but he'd talked about retiring now that the Galactica and his old friend Bill Adama were both leaving active duty, and she knew that would mean less opportunity for self-gratification. Maybe she cared about him; maybe there were some altruistic reasons. Most likely, it was just hedonism, however, that had her accept the offer from her latest lover for a weekend in a luxury suite on a new star-liner.
She brought her dancing shoes along.
It was fun up there -- fun in a way that things never quite were with Saul, who was, if not old, so -- military -- most of the time. There was dancing, and her current was wildly inventive in bed, and didn't mind that she was just a little older. She'd found she liked being the older woman, maybe because it, too, made her feel powerful -- that a younger man would still want her. The thrill of being desired was better than the rush from the ambrosia.
When the world ended, she was dancing. The news came across the speakers shortly thereafter, and they shut down the club, but she'd dragged her lover back to their suite in spite of his protests. If the world was going to end, she wanted to die happy and fulfilled -- and surely someone was exaggerating. The Cylons couldn't possibly be back.
Only they were, and that changed everything. Her lover, who seemed to have rediscovered conscience in the aftermath of the attack, was soon busy with -- whatever -- and she was left largely to her own devices. There was little to do on the ship, and by the time Bill Adama showed up days later, she was bored almost out of her wits. Realising he'd survived (and Saul, more importantly), and that she was now wife of the second most important military official in the entire Fleet put the world into an entirely new perspective. When Bill offered to reunite her with her husband, despite the usual rules about spouses on military ships, she pretended to consider for a few days, but she had already decided.
That evening, she packed up her last bottle of ambrosia, her clothes, and her dancing shoes. With luck, there would still be need for those where she was going. She did not bid her lover good-bye. That was simply not how things were done. Their story was done; it was time to write another.
By the time she boarded the wretched little military transport, her mind was already hard at work assessing the new situation and the possible value of being an XO's wife. The only possible wrinkle in her plans would be if Saul no longer loved her.
When they docked, and she stepped off the Raptor and saw his face, she knew that she had been a fool to fear that. Soon, she promised herself -- soon, she would need those dancing shoes again.
- finis -