SUMMARY: Revenge is a dish best served cold, Tory thinks as she steps off the shuttle onto Prometheus, but she doesn't have the time or the patience to wait for her anger to cool.
SPOILERS: Guess What's Coming to Dinner?
AUTHOR'S NOTES: This is a gift to trialia for bsgficexchange. I hope you enjoy it! I have played a bit fast and loose with the timeline of Guess What's Coming to Dinner, adding several days in the middle of the episode timeline.
THANKS to icedteainthebag for the awesome beta read.
Revenge is a dish best served cold, Tory thinks as she steps off the shuttle onto Prometheus, but she doesn't have the time or the patience to wait for her anger to cool.
It's simple. Laura Roslin deserves to be hurt. Tory will gleefully hold the knife and whistle a happy tune as Laura bleeds.
She finds her guy at his stall, smoking a cigarette and drinking something out of an unmarked bottle. Tory sweeps the room with her eyes to make sure no one she knows is around. The market is crowded, but only with faceless, nameless civilians.
"Do you have it?" she says under her breath to the dealer.
"Yeah, I got it. Lemme see the ring again."
Tory reaches into her blouse and finds the chain. She sweeps it over her head and hands it to the dealer. On the chain is her mother's engagement ring—tiny, glittering diamonds and emeralds surrounding a two-carat diamond solitaire.
Her mother's engagement ring.
What a joke. She's never had a mother. She's a machine.
It's easy to trade away something that never really belonged to you.
The dealer hands over a package wrapped in brown paper. "It's yours, then."
Tory narrows her eyes. "This better work," she says.
"It'll work. This is top of the line Aquarian technology. Piggybacks right onto the wireless signal, straight from one ship to the other. Seamless and untraceable, I tell you."
"If it doesn't work, I'll be back. With Marines." An empty threat, but sometimes empty threats are better than none.
"It'll work," he sighs, exhaling a cloud of malodorous smoke. "Comes with the user manual and everything."
She's back on Colonial One before her boss notices that anything is amiss.
For the leader of the supposedly free world, Laura Roslin can be awfully clueless.
It's laughably easy to access the Admiral's quarters. Every three days or so she has to pick up Laura's clothes at the Galactica laundry and personally deliver them to Adama's place. The President's Chief of Staff is nothing more than a glorified errand girl. She's not valued for her skills or expertise anymore. Maybe she never was.
Once inside, she has to work fast, lest the Marines stationed outside the door grow suspicious. She's able to install one camera with a view of the sofa and one with a view of Admiral's rack.
The cameras are tiny. They'll never be noticed, until it's much too late. Until Laura Roslin and William Adama are exposed for their collusion. Until they're the laughingstock of the entire fleet.
This feels so good. Her skin prickles with anticipation.
After all, she's committed murder. This is nothing in comparison.
A conscience, she decides, is something reserved only for humans.
That night, she sits down at her computer. The offices are empty but if anyone were to wander in, they'd think she was merely burning the midnight oil. That Tory Foster, they'd think, she's such a hard worker, so devoted to the President.
She has to suppress a laugh.
She opens the program she loaded onto the computer and crosses her fingers. This had better work or she's going to kick that guy's skinny ass.
A window opens on her computer and holy frak, does it ever work. She has a crystal-clear view of Adama's sofa, in living color. The resolution is incredible. Those Aquarians and their technology. There's no sound, but the picture is so good one could almost read lips.
Tory takes off her shoes, opens up a packet of algae chips. She's in this for the long haul.
She's excited. Tonight's the night. She's going to get the goods. Laura soon will see how much she's underestimated Tory. She'll pay for the disrespect, the shaming. She will pay.
She keeps half an eye on the camera window while she tries to make coherent prose out of a junior press officer's attempt at a press release. She's making her tenth correction of its for it's when she spots movement in the corner of her eye.
Laura Roslin, walking in view of the camera. She's wearing her suit and wig, carrying a plate. She sits down on the sofa and begins to eat whatever's on the plate, no doubt some form of algae formulated to look, if not taste, like real food. Laura opens and book and reads while she eats, taking a neat bite every page or so. Adama is nowhere to be found.
Tory's eyes nearly cross with boredom as she watches Roslin daintily eat her dinner. Finally, Laura rises and walks out of the camera's view. Tory toggles the window so it displays the camera in the sleeping area, but no Laura. After about twenty minutes, Laura reappears in the sofa area, now dressed in a white bathrobe, her head wrapped in a scarf.
Yawning, Tory watches Laura settle on the sofa with a book, watches her read herself to sleep.
This isn't as thrilling as she'd anticipated.
Tory plugs away at the press release and plays a few hands of single triad on the computer, waiting for Adama to come home. Finally, just after 0100 hour, he does. She watches him wander into sofa camera view and adjust the blanket covering Roslin. Then he's out of view until he reappears in the sleeping area. Tory blinks away sleep as she watches the Admiral crawl into bed, rub his eyes and eventually sleep.
This is definitely not as thrilling as she'd anticipated.
She falls asleep with her head on the keyboard. When she wakes, three hours later, she has keyboard marks on her forehead and a hell of a crick in her neck.
The next night, Tory is not quite as excited as she was the night before. Maybe she had the whole thing wrong. Maybe there will be nothing to expose. She sighs as she sits at her desk, water and algae chips at hand.
Tory can hardly keep her eyes open. It's a total repeat of the night before—Laura comes into view, eats dinner, reads, falls asleep. Good gods, she's the most boring person in the human race. Tory is about to shut her computer down and go to bed when Adama returns.
Instead of adjusting Laura's blanket, Adama kneels by the sofa. The breath catches in Tory's throat as she watches him bend towards Laura and kiss her forehead.
She knew it wasn't just some kind of platonic quarters-sharing deal. Tory's heart begins beating rapidly. She leans back in her chair and pops a few chips in her mouth.
Laura stirs and her eyes flutter open. She says something, but, of course, Tory can't hear what it is. She watches Adama smile, and brush his hand against Laura's face. Laura smiles, too, and Tory notices how much younger she looks when she smiles, how she doesn't look sick anymore. Laura sits up and she leans towards the Admiral, kisses him, her hand wrapping around the back of his neck.
This is more like it. Tory begins tapping her pen on the desk with excitement.
Adama stands and helps Laura up. She leans against the Admiral's chest for a moment and he rubs his hands between her shoulder blades. The two walk out of frame.
Tory switches the camera view to the bed area and the two of them are there, sitting on the edge of the bed, animatedly discussing something as Adama removes his shoes and socks. "Less talk, more action," Tory mutters, but dear lords they're a couple of windbags, having a drawn-out conversation that involves some serious looks and nodding of heads from both of them. This is almost more boring than watching them sleep.
Finally, Adama breaks the seeming impasse. He kisses Laura, long and slow. His hand slides to Laura's headscarf and sweeps it off her head, baring her bald head. Tory watches as Adama kisses Laura's temples, her closed eyes. He tenderly kisses Laura's bare scalp as if it's the most beautiful thing he's ever seen.
Tory lets out her breath in a long exhale.
Laura begins unbuttoning the Admiral's uniform jacket. Tory has a list of about a million things she'd rather see than Adama without a shirt on, but there he is and Laura smiles at him like he's a buff young pyramid player.
She loves him, Tory thinks.
There is no such thing as love. It's a human illusion. Something that mortals use to get through the endless march towards death.
She watches the two of them kissing, Adama's hand slipping inside Laura's bathrobe. Laura's head dips low and she giggles. The camera resolution is so good that Tory can swear she can see a blush spreading across Laura's cheeks.
Tory's stomach clenches. She finds it difficult to look at the screen. She shouldn't be watching this. This is none of her business.
Adama unties and opens Laura's robe, baring her slender body to the unmerciful stare of the hidden camera.
There is no mercy, Tory thinks. Not for Laura Roslin. Not for any human, really.
There comes a time when you have to choose side, she sternly tells herself. It's so much easier now that she knows what she is.
She's a Cylon.
The Admiral and the President fall to the bed. Tory is sure that something has gone wrong with the camera when the screen becomes wavy, blurry.
No, it's not the camera. It's her. She has tears in her eyes.
Weakling, she tells herself. This is merely a programmed reaction, like when she cries during sex. A response to a certain kind of stimuli. She wipes away the water falling from her eyes.
Revenge, she reminds herself.
She looks at Laura on the screen, Laura who is smiling with her eyes closed as Adama touches her everywhere, kisses the prominent ribs on her torso, her indrawn navel. She has never seen Laura Roslin look like this.
Tory wonders if she's ever looked like Laura does.
No one has every touched her, loved her the way Adama is touching and loving Laura.
More tears slip down Tory's face.
She finds herself closing the window on the computer and clicking to the folder that contains the camera software. She selects Uninstall Program.
And she sits at her desk watching the program delete with her cheeks hot and tears still running down her face, silently swearing at herself. What the frak is her problem? Cylons do not have attacks of conscience. They most certainly don't cry at the sight of two middle-aged people making love.
Revenge, the voice in her head screams. Laura Roslin is human, she's weak, she needs to pay for how she treated you.
Tory walks to the head, splashes her streaked face with cold water. She's failed.
But then a smile spreads across her face. Revenge is a dish best served cold, she thinks. She'll have another chance. Surely she will. And this time, she will show no mercy. None at all.
She's a Cylon, after all.