Fandom: Battlestar Galactica
Word count: ~900
Notes: Originally written for twelvecolonies for the unexpected pairings challenge (i.e., the take two characters who never interacted on screen and write a fic about the two of them challenge). Much to my surprise, I tied for second. With myself.
Summary: Romo is interrogated by Cavil on New Caprica.
"What do you know about the Resistance, Mister...Lampkin, is it?" The Cylon--a One--looked up from the file folder with a satisfied, dangerous smile.
Bloody bastard, Romo thought, but he kept it off his face. Calm and cooperative, that was the ticket. At least he'd had a lot of practice swallowing his anger. It was good to know that even after the end of the world, all those years in the courtroom still amounted to something. (Not much, mind you, in a world where the main concern was growing enough food to hold off starvation. But something.)
"I'm afraid I don't know what you're talking about," he said in a tone carefully calibrated to just the right degree of irritating. He braced himself as he spoke, but the expected blow never came. Instead, the Cylon leaned in close, until his face was mere inches away.
"Oh, I think you do," he said softly.
Romo met his gaze evenly and didn't reply. After a moment, the Cylon backed off and began pacing slowly around Romo's chair, hard-soled shoes sounding loudly against the floor.
"Who runs the Resistance?" Step. "Who's your contact?" Step.
Romo waited until the Cylon was directly behind him before responding. He kept his eyes forward, addressing the wall. "Why would I work with the Resistance? And what makes you they'd want to work with me?"
The One stalked back around to the front of the chair, studying Romo as if he were a not-particularly-interesting species of fern. "You might have a point there."
Romo pressed on. "I don't get involved in those sorts of things. Head down, stay out of sight. That's my motto." He watched the One from the corner of his eye as he spoke. The Cylon's lips twisted contemptuously.
"Then why did your name come up in our...interrogations?"
"A man who refuses to rebel can draw just as many enemies as one who does," Romo replied smoothly.
This time the blow did come, and he wasn't prepared for it at all. He let out an involuntary cry as the Cylon stepped back, still perfectly calm. Licking at the blood swelling out of his bottom lip, Romo wondered--not for the first time--what the hell he'd been thinking.
"Do you believe in the Gods, Mister Lampkin?" asked the One.
"No," Romo said, too startled to lie, and not sure what direction to take the lie in. He'd spent a lot of time studying the Cylons after the conquest of New Caprica, but the Ones had proven elusive. They didn't spend much time among the human population. Which told him quite a bit about them, but nothing that would help with religious questions.
"Neither do I," the Cylon said conversationally. "Most of my colleagues do, though. Well, a God, anyway." He paused theatrically. "No doubt they'd disapprove if they knew I was revealing dissension in the ranks."
This was not a good direction at all. Romo could feel his heart pounding.
"So that's what you look like when you're really afraid," the One said.
"I've been afraid since you brought me here," Romo replied honestly. (He'd thought he'd known what he was getting into. The first few hours here had told him how foolish he'd been.)
"No, not like this. You're afraid that I'm telling you secrets because I'm going to kill you."
Pride warred with the survival instinct. Survival won. Barely. Romo let the fear creep into his voice, rather than displacing it with mockery. "Are you?"
"I wasn't sure, coming in. But no. I think today I'm going to let you live."
"Because I'm capricious like that. And because there's an Eight outside this room who likes you. And because you're going to lead us to the Resistance."
"I don't know anyone in the Resistance," he insisted and wondered about the Eight. He'd spoken to a couple, here and in the outside world, but couldn't think of any who would intercede on his behalf. Had he somehow caught the attention of one? Or was it merely another mind game by the One? And did it matter now?
The One smiled slowly. "We'll see." He turned around, heading for the door. "Someone will be by to let you out soon."
Romo breathed a deep sigh of relief as he stepped into the sunlight. He reached up and touched his swollen jaw carefully. A couple of days imprisoned, a few bruises...a small price to pay, if only he'd been successful. But if there was information inside the Cylon headquarters, there was no way for him to access it. He sighed at the thought of telling Julia he still had nothing, and further, that there was little more he could do for her. The Cylons would be watching him after this, and he didn't dare make further contact with anyone who might have the resources to locate her daughter. (He resolutely ignored all associations with the word "daughter." It was an abstract concept, nothing more.) She'd have to find someone else after this. It had been a silly thought, really. She'd only turned to him out of desperation, because she had no one else. And he'd agreed because...well, better not to think on that too long. Don't think on a life spent honing skills now useless, and definitely don't think about a little girl (little girls) lost and alone. Head down and keep walking. Remember that anyone you talk to now will fall under suspicion.
He'd never been much of a hero anyway.
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