Her knees and arms were starting to hurt and the wind was whipping her hair across her eyes and into her mouth. Diana wondered what they would do if she just fell forward to the ground. Keeping her hands behind her head as ordered, she watched the group of cylons arguing about her. Thank the gods she'd already gotten her job done before getting nabbed. Apparently proximity to potential Resistance fighters was enough to get arrested now.
One of the Cavil models stepped closer, mouth quirking upward as he leaned forward and stared at her. "She's pretty. Nice hair." He pushed a strand away from her cheek. Clenching her jaw, she tried to ignore the nausea curling in her stomach. She told herself not to react; staring straight ahead, his gray hair and lined face becoming a blur as she focused past him.
Beyond the first Cavil was another copy; he had a faint look of distaste. "You've been corrupted, brother." He was wearing a hat. She wondered if they did that to look different when they were in a group together.
"I was making an observation... showing my appreciation for the diversity of humanity."
The second Cavil snorted, a skeptical expression on his face. Diana glanced at the Eight. Was it Boomer? For a moment she caught a flash of uncomfortable awareness on the cylon's face during the discussion about her looks.
"Enough of this," interjected the Three. She walked behind Diana and grabbed her hands one at a time, pulling them downward and binding them in plastic cuffs behind her back. "We'll take her to the detention center now and discuss what else happens later."
The Cavil wearing the hat looked at his other copy. "Sorry to put an end to your fun, brother," he said with a half-smile. He pulled her up; she staggered as the blood rushed back to her feet. "Let's go." His grip was firm and she had to walk fast to keep up with him. The Three kept pace, looking around carefully as they walked toward the detention center.
She was thrown down at the same time she heard the first shots. Her face was in the dirt; the Cavil had fallen across her back and was bleeding onto her neck. Turning her head and blinking to get the dust out of her eyes, she saw the other cylons on the ground as well.
She coughed. Nobody moved. After a moment she rolled away from the cylon's body and tried to stand up, but couldn't quite manage for a moment with her hands still cuffed. Sam and Rewind stepped out from between two tents; using a long knife Sam cut the plastic away from her wrists. They quickly walked out of the path into the space between the tents again. Rewind gave a cocky salute in her direction, stowed the guns in his coat and left. Diana stood still for a moment; it felt like the ground was shifting under her feet, then Sam reached over and grabbed her arm to steady her. "You okay?"
"Yeah." She took a deep breath and started to walk again.
"Hey, hold on." Sam grabbed a piece of cloth out of his pocket and leaned in. "Got some blood on you," he said, wiping at the skin of her neck and collarbone.
They walked quickly toward the campsite; Seelix tried to act normally but she felt jittery. It was a relief when they finally entered the caves.
"They nabbed me after I hid the bomb, I don't think they saw anything," she blurted, words stumbling out of her mouth in a rush.
Sam looked at her, face serious. "I'm glad you're okay."
"Yeah, me too. Cutting it kind of close, weren't you?"
"I figured you'd be better off dead then going to the detention center." She knew what his unspoken words were--that if she'd been hit in the crossfire she couldn't reveal anything. She was used to those unsaid conversations by now.
"Any word on the Colonel?"
"Nothing we want to hear," he replied, turning toward the table covered with maps. She didn't bother asking him about Starbuck by now. After fourteen weeks she'd given up hope of any news. Besides, that would've been the first thing out of Sam's mouth if he'd finally heard something.
She started toward some of the weapons--they all needed maintenance and she was good at it. Sam called her name and she stopped.
"Rewind's going to do your next run."
Sam looked apologetic. "Three different models saw your face. They know you're connected somehow. Let someone else take the risk for a while."
She sighed and turned back to the weaponry. Gods, she was tired of this.
- - - - -
Diana asked Jean to do it because she knew Jean wouldn't pester her with questions or ask her if she was sure. It was a good choice. Handing her the scissors, she said, "Make it short." No reply in return, just a quick arch of the eyebrow, then Jean pointed to the chair.
She sat, head tilted forward. "He touched it... my hair. Said I was pretty." Jean kept cutting and didn't reply, but Diana didn't expect a response. A lock of hair fell onto her leg; she brushed it off and traced the dirt stain left on the knee of her trousers.
"I frakking hate them." No response again, but Jean rubbed her shoulder for a moment before making the next cut. Her neck felt exposed in the damp air; blinking back moisture she watched more strands of her brown hair drift to the floor. She closed her eyes and told herself that next time it would be different.