It had been an exciting few days, with Starbuck returning and Kobol and the map to Earth and everything. Finn kind of wondered why, if they had a map to Earth, it was going to take so long getting there, but no one else was really asking that so he kept his mouth shut. Besides, right now, the mood in the ready room wasn't one where you asked questions. It was positively cold, and the reason for that was sitting in the front row, next to Starbuck.
His name was Helo. Finn had heard a lot about Helo, because everyone thought he was dead, and apparently, Helo had been the kind of guy everyone would mourn. But now that he was back- and with a Cylon in tow- no one wanted the first thing to do with him. Which Finn totally got because, hey, genocide, but still. It did kind of suck for Helo.
Not enough that Finn went down at sat with him, of course.
He hadn't really thought about it, or what he wanted to do about it, until he was sitting alone in the mess hall. Mercedes was on the night shift and Santana was still flying drills and Puck was off getting his ass kicked by the Marines or something, and Finn knew that he'd better eat when he was given a chance, so he was eating alone. That was when Helo came over to him balancing a tray, trying not to look frantic. "Hey," he said. "Mind if I sit here? It's the only table open in the mess."
The only table, but not the only seat. But Finn could see the way the other pilots sat, their backs turned very deliberately to Helo. What else could he do? "Yeah, sure," Finn said.
"Thanks." Helo looked relieved. "I'm Helo, by the way."
"Yeah, I know," Finn said. There was an expectant pause, and then Finn realized what Helo was waiting for. "Oh, right. Finn Hudson. 'Twinkletoes.'"
"Nice to meet you," Helo said, and an awkward silence descended for a few long moments.
"Look," Helo said, after he'd eaten a few bites, "I don't mean to make things awkward for you."
"You're not," Finn lied. Helo gave him a 'you're full of it' sort of look, and Finn sighed. "Okay, yeah, so I'm kind of glad there's no Slushie machine on the Galactica right now, but I'm sure there's something like it."
"Yeah. Back at my old school, when people didn't like you, they threw Slushies in your face."
"The frozen drinks?" Helo asked incredulously. "Did that happen to you a lot?"
Finn nodded. "Sure. No one likes the glee club," he explained. "And I used to play Pyramid so…"
"What position?" Helo asked eagerly.
Oh, shit. Finn had a bad feeling he was going to like this guy. "Yeah?"
"Yeah." Helo frowned. "We didn't have a glee club though. It was the marching band that got picked on in our school."
"What did you play?"
Helo flushed. "I didn't. I was one of the guys that shoved them into their lockers."
Finn cringed. "Before I joined glee, I was one of the guys who threw the Slushies," he admitted. "In fact, I used to toss the guy who's now my step-brother into the dumpster."
"Ouch." Helo winced sympathetically. "Good thing we grew up a bit, huh?"
"Yeah," Finn agreed. He poked his food with his fork.
"You're thinking about something," Helo prompted when Finn didn't say anything.
"Can I ask you something?" Finn said.
Helo spread his hands. "Ask me anything."
"Yeah. Is she really pregnant?"
"Oh. Man." Finn frowned. "That's got to be kind of hard."
Helo snorted. "It's complicated."
"I know about complicated. I mean, I never knocked up a Cylon," Finn rushed to explain, "but my girlfriend, she sort of convinced me that I was the father of her baby when I wasn't."
"I'm definitely the father," Helo insisted, jutting his chin out.
"Didn't say you weren't. Just… you know, I don't know what I was trying to say," Finn admitted. "It was kind of stupid to bring it up." He stabbed his food viciously.
"How'd it end?"
"Your girlfriend. How did it all end?"
"Oh, I found out before the baby was born. She had the baby and gave her up for adoption, and we even got back together for a bit. And Puck and I are friends again."
"So it all worked out in the end," Helo said.
"Yeah. Yeah, I guess it did," Finn realized, and smiled. "Maybe that's what I was trying to tell you? I don't know. I know it's nothing like this, but I guess at the time I thought it was all going to hell and it worked out. Maybe the same thing will happen for you?"
"Maybe it will," Helo agreed, although he didn't smile. "But thanks."
"For what?" Finn asked.
"You're the only one who's said anything like that to me since I got here."
"Oh." That sounded really, really lonely now that Finn thought about it. "Hey, listen," he began tentatively. "Me and a couple of friends, we're playing Triad tonight. If you want to play…."
"I can't," Helo said. "I've got duty. But another night, definitely."
"All right." Finn finished his food. "I hate to run, but I'm gonna get killed if I'm not back in time."
"You are," Helo agreed. "I'll see you around, Finn."
"Yeah. Take care." Finn waved as he headed out of the mess. He didn't turn back around, but if he had, he would have seen Helo smiling.