Lucky, Lucky Starbuck

by Angrybee Website: http://angrybee.vze.com
Email for feedback: mindglue@io.com
Any comments you'd care to share about yourself: I hope you enjoy the story as much as I enjoyed writing it.
DISCLAIMER: This is just a work of fanfiction, and only to be reproduced for entertainment purposes. Battlestar Galactica belongs to the SciFi channel and its creators. !


"Cheeper-beeper, tweeter-skeeter."

"Oh my gods. What are you on?"

"And feeter-leader, deeder-deeder. Shot you with my peter-beater! Shot you with my peter-beater! Jeepers! Jeepers! Now you gonna die! Pow pow pow pow!"

Starbuck put her pillow over her head and groaned. Cally could -not- sing. And yet, for some reason, she persisted in attempting to do so.

"Go away!"

"Get up, sleepyhead. It's morning!"

"THERE IS NO MORNING IN SPACE," Starbuck shouted.

Cally put her hands on her hips. She didn't know why it was -her- duty to wake up Starbuck in the 'morning', but apparently Boomer had given up on the task, and Apollo...

Well, Apollo just didn't want to die.

"Gimmie a cigar."

"No."

"Liquor."

"No."

"Five more minutes of sleep, then."

Starbuck felt Cally poke her in the shoulder. "I'm s'posed to tell you to get your ass out of bed, sir. It's your off-shift."

Starbuck felt around under her covers for something to throw at the crewman. Uh. Flask. Yeah. That would work. No wait. Flask...drink...booze. HAH! One point for Starbuck!

"I'm up, I'm up, I'm up." Starbuck sat up and rubbed her hand through her hair. Yup. That would be serviceable for a grooming session on her off-shift.

"You're late for the game."

"No shit." Starbuck pulled out her flask and uncapped it. Hey, it was her off-shift. She could drink in the 'morning' if she wanted.

"I wanna use your bunk while you're out."

"For -what-?"

"Uhhhh...they're being really noisy in the crewman barracks."

"You're not sleeping in my bunk."

"I mean noisy." Cally puckered her lips and kissed the air. "Boomer...Tyrol... You know? Please, sir?"

"Ugh. Fine. If anyone asks, you're..." Damnit! The flask was empty! "Tell them you're...." Where was she going to get more? There wasn't even any coffee, it had been consumed by the third week. You have to have -something- to kickstart your day. No cigars. No alcohol. No Zack. Nothing to put you in a good mood in the morning. And when Kara Thrace woke up in a bad mood...

People got punched, and the day ended up in the brig. Literally.

"I should tell them....what...sir?"

"Grr! I don't frackin' care. Tell them whatever you want." Starbuck shoved her way past Cally and stumbled towards the lockers.

"Yes sir!" Cally curled up on Starbuck's bed and watched the Lieutenant fumble around the room. "Wow! Did you get the serial number off of the Cylon that got your leg?"

"Huh?"

"Leg." Cally pointed. "Bruise."

Crap. Right. Starbuck was only wearing her underwear. She'd conned Boomer into washing all of her uniforms last night. Three weeks out deserved a clean pair of pants.

Starbuck twisted around to try to look at the back of her leg. Right. That's why she was hobbling around. She blamed Lee. She blamed the XO. Frackin' 'moving the heavy artillery to a safer location'. If Lee had been watching where he was pushing that dolly... If the XO hadn't called out her name -right- then, she'd never have turned around, and Lee wouldn't have run the dolly into her leg.

It was like the XO had a sixth sense about...

Maybe he was a Cylon. Heh! Right. Cylons wouldn't be such phenomenal losers. The XO wasn't a Cylon. He didn't even qualify as a monkey, on the evolutionary scale. Asshole.

"Yeah, bruise." Starbuck tossed her flask into her locker. Empty. Useless. This morning sucked eggs. Oh, eggs. What she wouldn't give for eggs. And bacon! Just like Zack used to... "It's nothing. You should see the other guy."

"I bet."

Finally, Cally turned over on Starbuck's bunk and left the Lieutenant alone. Starbuck opened her locker a little wider and kissed her finger, then touched her picture of Zack. A 'Good morning' it was -not-, but Zack understood that already.

Clothing, clothing, clothing. Where did Boomer put her clothing? Ah, there it was. Hardcore rock with an electric shock. Goodbye to Zack until tonight. Starbuck closed her locker and put on her clothes.

Two shakes of her dogtags. An old luck charm, to make sure they were still attached, and you were still alive. One shake for a safe takeoff, one for a safe landing. Of course, Starbuck didn't rely on luck, even on her days off, or at least, that's what she told herself. But, these things were practically protocol, and you never wanted to spite the gods.

Clothing. Now what? Chits. Right. Starbuck pulled her pack off the peg on her bunk and rummaged through it. Ration chits, ones she didn't mind using in a gamble. Not the regular food chits. You kept those, unless you were an idiot. Frack! A hot-water-shower chit. What else could she gamble? Printing chits? Practically useless, but someone might want them to print out some porn or something. Nope. Not much left. Thank the gods that payday was coming up soon.

Starbuck shoved the chits in her pocket and headed out. The lounge. If she was lucky, the entire shift could be spent in -her- chair at -her- table, playing cards. She could only think of a few better ways to spend eight hours, and almost all of them involved Zack or pummeling something, be it with gunfire or her fist.

Off to play cards!

'Please don't let the XO be in the lounge. Please don't let the XO be in the lounge...'

Tap. Taptaptap.

Footsteps.

Someone was following her, and it smelled a great deal like an undercooked pork product.

"Please, Lieutenant! C'mon, let me in the game."

Look right. Look left. Hot Dog.

"Eat my fist with a side of golden-fried 'frack off', newbie. No one gets in the game that easy."

"Awww." Costanza didn't stop, nonetheless. He kept up with her, step for step, through the halls of the Galactica. "What'll it take?"

"Toll."

Costanza winced. He really liked the Lieutenant, but she could be a real damn bitch, sometimes. "Chits?"

"You wouldn't happen to have a cigar, would you?"

"Uh. No."

"Liquor?"

Costanza looked around. Did the Lieutenant just ask him if he had alcohol? Did anyone hear that? Was this a test of some sort? She was trying to get rid of him again, wasn't she? "Um, I haven't seen any, sorry."

"I guess it's chits, then. Pay up, and pay good."

Costanza handed over two vitamin chits, and a whole slew of tea chits.

"Tea! Caffeine! Good work, Hot Dog." Starbuck didn't actually like tea, but maybe she could acquire a taste for it. "You're in."

"Yeehaw!"

"Shut up, newbie. You ain't no cowboy. You ain't nothin' but a little worm in Starbuck's game."

"Yes, sir. A worm." Hot Dog smirked and fell into step.

The lounge was already filled with off-duty pilots and crewmen. Several of them looked up and waved when the pair entered. Several more scowled and left.

"That's right. Run with your tail between your legs, cowards!" Starbuck laughed a little. It was all in fun, anyway. Maybe this 'morning' wouldn't suck after all.

"Hot Dog is in the game," Starbuck said.

Groans ensued from Starbuck's usual table. Hot Dog tried not to choke as he pulled out a chair. Everyone looked up suddenly, stricken. Apollo caught his wrist.

"What? What did I do?"

Apollo pulled Hot Dog down closer, "Don't. Sit. In. Starbuck's. Lucky. Chair. Seriously, if you know what is good for you..."

"Uh...alright." Hot Dog chose another seat.

The crisis averted, Starbuck slid into the aforementioned chair with a smirk. "Hey, who's got the radio?"

"Frack," Kat muttered. "I do."

"Don't you owe me...?"

"Yeah." Kat put the radio up on the table and switched it to a 'Click Crack Boom' CD, Starbuck's favorite band.

Yes, yes. It was going to be a good 'morning', after all.

"Do you even know how to play cards, Costanza?" Apollo asked. "I mean, this isn't some wussy game. You could end up losing your underpants."

"Who says I wear underpants?"

Starbuck smacked Hot Dog on the head with the back of her hand. "Gross. Lemme guess. Your blazing stupidity melted them off."

"They were so scared of your face, sir, they crawled up my ass."

Starbuck smirked. This was the way a shift of relaxation should be spent, trading insults, laughing it up. Hell, who knew? Tomorrow, a Cylon might take your head off. Might as well live it up today.

Starbuck arranged her chits off to the side, and poured herself some water from the pitcher on the table. Ice would be nice. But, who had ice chits, these days?

"Someone frackin' deal already," Starbuck grumbled. "Let's get this show on the road."

"Oh, I guess that's me." Apollo smiled and shuffled. "Hey, did everyone hear about the President's new privacy policy?"

"Shut up about the President's privates." Starbuck made a lewd gesture with her finger and her mouth. "Unless you've seen them personally. You -have- been spending a lot of time on Colonial One recently, after all."

"Is that some sort of insinuation?" Apollo asked.

"Dude! The president is totally sexy! I'd do her," Hot Dog said.

-Both- Apollo and Starbuck hit him on the back of the head this time.

"Stop it! You're gonna brain damage me."

"Too late," said Kat.

The cards were finally dealt, much to Starbuck's relief. Cards in hand, she leaned back in her chair. Now, if only she had a cigar... Or some alcohol.

Even the XO was out of alcohol, and if anyone could sniff out a drink, it was that bastard.

"Punk. Hit me."

"I've got nothing."

"That's what your girlfriend said."

"Hey! I don't have a girlfriend."

"No shit? What an astounding revelation."

"I'm out."

"Deal."

"I'll bet."

Hours passed in a predictable manner. Hands were won and lost. Stories and insults were traded. Hot Dog's brains were repeatedly jostled. Eventually, Boomer and Tyrol showed up. Starbuck could only laugh at the fact they both looked like they were dehydrated, but glowing.

Still, today -could- get better, if only...

If only she could extract some sort of revenge on Apollo for running into her leg with that dolly. It wouldn't be too bad to get the XO, too. But, he wasn't around. She'd have to be even -more- clever than usual to get back at him.

It would take...one good hand.

Gods, just one hand, and Apollo could suffer.

"Does Starbuck always win?" Hot Dog asked Apollo.

"No, but she never loses," Starbuck answered.

"What the frack? That makes no sense."

Starbuck looked down at her chits. She had far more than Apollo. Now was the time to make her move. Time for a special good-luck charm.

'Circle, circle, pylon, pylon, I'm gonna destroy you like a Cylon,' Starbuck though as she traced the good luck charm into the table with her fingertip.

"I'll raise you everything I have," Starbuck said.

Apollo looked up from his cards. "I can't match that."

"I guess you're out, then."

"No, wait..."

Starbuck couldn't help but smirk. Apollo must have a -very- good hand. Good. Now was the time to give him a sucker punch he wouldn't soon forget.

Apollo shifted his weight in his chair. Squirming. Squirming like a little worm. They were all just little worms in Starbuck's game. The gods were on her side. Lucky lucky. "There's got to be something you want, eh Kara?"

"Yeah. C'mere."

Starbuck leaned over and whispered in Apollo's ear. "There's a rumor that President Roslin has a bottle of Caprica Andalucia Vindel aboard Colonial One..."

Apollo's eyes went wide. "You can't be serious! She's saving that for...something special!" Everyone who didn't hear Starbuck's whisper just stared at Apollo. "I mean... I can't steal..."

Starbuck smacked her lips and leaned back in her chair. "Guess you fold, then."

"No, I..." Apollo checked his cards again. "I'll take the bet." He laid out his hand on the table with a boastful smile. "This time, Kara, you lose."

Starbuck pretended to be shocked for a second. Then, she calmly put her cards down, face up and replied, "I told you. Starbuck -never- loses."

-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-

The story became legend almost immediately. Apollo tried to steal the Caprica Andalucia Vindel three times before finally breaking down and making up an elaborate lie about some newlyweds on the touring ship "Cassiopeia". President Roslin, always a sucker for those sorts of stories, handed over the expensive bottle of wine without blinking. A present for the newly married couple from the President herself.

Attempted theft -and- lying to the President. Starbuck's revenge was sweet, indeed. Apollo would now completely berate and punish himself for his own idiocy, and Starbuck wouldn't even have to lift a finger.

She was a better pilot, but above all, she was a better card player. And Apollo would not soon forget it.

-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-

"Cheeper-beeper, tweeter-skeeter."

"Oh my gods. Not again."

"And feeter-leader, deeder-deeder. Shot you with my peter-beater! Shot you with my peter-beater! Jeepers! Jeepers! Now you gonna die! Pow pow pow pow!"

Starbuck put her pillow over her head and groaned. How long would she have to endure this sort of treatment? Surely, she could win an alarm clock off of -someone-.

"Go away!"

"Get up, sleepyhead. It's morning!"

"THERE IS NO MORNING IN SPACE."

Starbuck kicked her feet furiously until her blankets were wadded up in a tight ball, and then proceeded to throw them at Cally. "Get out of my barracks, or you will die a horrible, flaming, wretched, screaming death."

"Are you up, sir?"

"I'm up, I'm up!"

"Okay! I gotta get back! See you soon!"

Cally, perky as perky could be, danced her way out of the barracks and left Starbuck to her morning routine. The irascible Viper captain ran her fingers through her hair. Grooming. Yup, her grooming habits weren't getting any better.

Starbuck sat up and blinked. Dim room. But, silent. Morning, or what passed for it in space. She hated waking up. She hated waking up...alone.

Without...Zack. He was a morning person. He was even more of a morning person than Cally. Waking up had never been so easy as when Zack kissed her on her ear, pulled her into a sitting position between his legs, and handed her coffee. Their little apartment would smell delicious, with bacon and eggs already waiting in the breakfast nook.

Mornings, or what passed for them in space, only meant the end of happy dreams. Dreams of the times when they'd play flight-simulation video games together. She'd always win, of course. But, Zack was a good loser. He always paid up. A toll. A neck massage. A beer. A...roll in the sack.

Nobody won like Starbuck.

Nobody lost like Zack.

Kara leaned her forehead against one of the posts holding up the bunks. How she hated mornings. Even all her good luck charms couldn't ward off the memories of better times, of a face that always smiled, just for her.

He'd gotten her into a dress. A damn dress, for frack's sake. And that restaurant. She felt like a real girl, like a sexy cat on the arm of her truest love. They had...some sort of pasta. She couldn't remember what sort of pasta, but frack it was tasty. Zack had lost, big time, but he always paid up, and a night out was more than any toll. Really, he didn't have to take her to some place so nice...

And that box, that little black box. Inside, there was this little furry thing. A lucky rabbit's foot, he explained. He'd had it since he was a boy. Always pulled him through any spot of trouble. Together, they would pull through anything. He wanted her to have it. His lucky rabbit's foot. He didn't need it anymore, because he had her. Kara Thrace was all the luck he would need.

Underneath the good luck charm, was her engagement ring. How she loved him, desperately and yearningly. With all of her being. They kissed. They laughed. They promised to be together forever.

They drank...and drank...

They drank a whole bottle of Caprica Andalucia Vindel.

Starbuck fumbled under her covers for her flask. Everyone needs something to wake them up in the morning, something strong, something vibrant. A cigar. Bacon and eggs. Arms wrapped around you. Or, in a pinch, some very, very, very good wine.

She held up her flask towards her locker, toasting her beloved, saluting the only time Starbuck had ever, ever, lost. Starbuck never loses, except for once... Just that once, she gambled and lost the most important thing in her life.

The flask hit her lips, and the wine slid down her throat, burning a memory of a happier time into her flesh.

Only Zack would understand...

There is no 'good morning' in space...

But, you still have to wake up.

-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-

Tigh stomped out of the bridge. Another day, another argument with Adama. Sure, they were friends, maybe. As much as Tigh could be friends with anyone, which wasn't much. They just didn't always see eye to eye on things.

At least he hadn't been forced to deal with that cowboy of a Viper pilot lately. Someone had been scheduling their shifts in such a way that they never had to be at the same place at the same time. All the better. Damn Starbuck and her wily troublemaking. Maybe she was a Cylon. Heh. Wouldn't that be great? And it would explain why she flew better than anyone else on Galactica. And explain why she could fly that Cylon ship she captured so easily...

No, that would just be too easy. Besides, on the evolutionary scale, that bitch ranked no better than a monkey, throwing dung and smiling while doing it...

Tigh opened the door to his quarters. One week without booze. Ugh, if only he could find some...

Tigh blinked. Had the gods suddenly smiled upon him? There, on the table in the center of his room, stood a bottle of Caprica Andalucia Vindel. Who could have possibly...? How did....?

Who cared? It wasn't every day that you receive a mystery gift of some of the most expensive wine ever made. Tigh walked across the room and stared at the dark-colored glass. Wine. After such a long day, who wouldn't mind relaxing with a bottle of wine?

He reached out to pick it up and found the bottle lifted far easier than he would have suspected.

It was...empty.

Empty.

Someone gave him an empty bottle. Someone was...taunting him...someone...

"STARBUCK!!!!! YOU FRACKING BITCH!"