Turn The Tables
by Scy

The guards had all but thrown them into the cell on top of one another. Helo hadn't expected them to be let off without some reprisal, but when everyone realized what that smear of liquid crusting the bulkhead actually was, and from who, the situation couldn't have deteriorated more quickly if they'd handed over signed confessions.

The Chief rocked back on his heels when he realized what they'd done, and Helo saw him brace himself to go down for it alone. It was the sort of thing a commander would do, what a good man might consider the only option, and Helo knew what would happen if he did. The guard's faces were horrified, but set. The only things that twitched were their trigger fingers, and Helo watched them consider the fact that one body was easy to dispose of. Given Cain's apparent disregard for law and order where it didn't match her own priorities, Helo didn't see her objecting. It would be an accident, followed by two body bags, and so long as Helo went along with it, he might just be stripped of his rank and tossed in the brig forever. Helo got all that in the time it took the guards to search and restrain them, and then he saw Tyrol's jaw tighten and shook his head. There was no way that he'd let this man, who had loved and lose Sharon already, and then saved a Cylon who he didn't really know.

In a way, it was fortunate that Cain was summoned quickly summoned and came down to deliver a chilling reprimand. She was saving face by locking them up and convicting them without a trial or communication with the Galactica, but even when compared with all the other things she'd let happen, their executions seemed just a bit over the line. As soon as Commander Adama found out, there would be a rescue mission, they just had to hold out until then.

Problem was that while Helo had learned how to handle other people's impatience, it was never for too long. Sharon had her moments, and he'd gotten used to stepping back and letting her have the lead most of the time. It wasn't a bad way to deal with other people; his main involvement in a fight was being the one to keep his friends from throwing themselves at each other and breaking something that would keep them out of the cockpit on the next patrol. He hadn't spent nearly as much time in hack as some, so being locked up, especially under the circumstances, didn't do anything to restore equilibrium. He was still jittery from the rush to get to Sharon and the struggle.

In such a small space there was no place to let off energy and he felt as though he was dividing his attention between cooling down and staying focused enough to figure out what their next move was going to be.

A glance over at Tyrol was proof that neither of them were handling this all that well. Helo eyed the Chief closely, looking for the little signs that signaled he was ready to let loose. Tyrol's temper might not be on the same fuse as Starbuck's, but with enough reason, he lost his cool. Helo had seen it, both the prelude and the aftermath. Sharon and Tyrol had sparked off one another with the smallest gripes until they could find a supply closet that wasn't in use. It had been their way of relaxing, saying all those things in public that could hurt if they weren't barely professional, and then making up almost immediately. It worked for them, and the deck crew had approved of anything that kept their Chief happy. They'd had everyone's permission to carry on, so long as they didn't cross the line in a way that couldn't be explained. They'd been overlooked for a long time, and then when the other Sharon struck out at Adama, everyone had known who they were and what had been allowed.

If Sharon had been in the cell with them, it would have stopped him worrying about her, but neither of them would have known exactly how to handle actually talking about what had happened. She was the reason they were in the same room together, but at the same time, talking about that wasn't something they were ready for.

The Chief had been sitting against the wall next to the door. He was staring at the officer standing guard duty, and if he'd had anything close to hand, Helo would have bet that he was calculating trajectories.

"Hey, you might want to stop staring at that guy, it's probably freaking him out."

"So what if it is?"

"He's not too happy with us anyway, but if you keep on giving him the eye, it's only going to make him think you're thinking about doing something stupid."

"I don't care what they're worried about."

"You should." Helo thought that being the guy in the background was highly underrated. When he was standing out of the way it wasn't hard to watch and figure out what was going on. Sharon had been able to convince him that he could step up for what he wanted, and even though he was miles from being used to the fact that everyone in the fleet was ready to hurt the woman he loved, at least his position was clear. If that made him less popular and not welcome at the card games, it would hurt, but he would handle it. The instances where people actually wanted to talk about the situation were more difficult to cope with.

"Why did they pick you?" Tyrol demanded after the third hour.

Helo didn't look up; Sharon had calculated the number of ways someone could start this particular conversation, and he didn't need her to tell him that Tyrol had just hit on an opening line from the top one hundred.

Unfortunately, even a woman who could do the odds to a fine decimal point and understand a machine on levels that went beyond programming or instinct wasn't certain about what to say to Galen Tyrol when he asked the question. Helo didn't even have the buffer of being close to the Chief; he knew where he rated, and being labeled as 'Sharon's partner' had cut in more than one direction. Tyrol knew that Helo had proved himself good enough to back Sharon up, and that he had his place. After all, it wasn't as though anybody had ever told him how to love a woman and work with her lover. He figured that he'd made his own set of rules and modified them according to what life threw at him. Even so, there was nothing he knew to give him a hint on how best to respond when Tyrol wanted answers to the hard questions.

"I don't know. Maybe because there wasn't anyone else around. I was the logical choice." He shrugged, knowing his reasoning was lame.

"That doesn't make sense."

"I didn't come up with the plan, Chief, the Cylons did, and I don't know how they think."

"Hard to believe, since you're sleeping with one."

"So were you." Yeah, so they had to bring that up, and Helo knew he'd fallen for it. The Chief twisted around to glare at him and there was no mistaking the look in his eyes. The deck crew learned to avoid him whenever he wore that expression, and Sharon had said that there were only two ways to snap him out of it, and those were either with a punch, or a kiss. Helo blamed the close quarters for even considering the second option. It had to be the insanity of what they were going through; and to take it to another level, not only was he losing his mind, he was stuck in a cell with a man who had every right to want to knock his teeth in. Taken in that context, the kissing might save him a bruise, and then again, it could make things worse.

The Chief's smile was sharp and had nothing funny in its angles; as if Helo had just made a point he was waiting for, and the only move Helo could make was in the wrong direction.

There was nothing else to do, they needed to settle this, and at the moment, it wasn't as if they could avoid it. Helo didn't know how or want to apologize for being in love. There were reasons and excuses, but really, he wanted to step out in the open where he'd be acknowledged and dealt with.

Pushing up off the floor, he let the momentum carry him into Tyrol's space. "Look, Chief, if you want to get in my face, I'm right here." He didn't say that they didn't know what was going to happen in the next five minutes, whether Sharon was going to be alright, or if any of them would be safe again, he knew that being aggressive would be enough to get a reaction, and he just wanted Tyrol on his feet and in the moment with him.

If he ever admitted to having considered this before, he would have said that he wasn't going to be the one that made this mistake first. If there was anything else to be said on staying out of the way, it was that he knew when to let someone think something through and when they needed a second to settle a decision in their mind. But the Chief could sink into an engine and not come out until he had studied every interlocking part. The only time he let something get patched together clumsily was when he didn't expect that it would last more than it needed to. Helo wasn't willing to let them have a patchwork truce; he needed to know that it would hold, so he knew that he had to be the one to reach out and take what was waiting.

The Chief's head jerked back slightly when Helo kissed him, but he didn't punch Helo in the stomach. All that heavy thinking gave him a few seconds to convince the man that maybe this wasn't a crazy idea, but actually a much better idea than fighting about their girlfriend.

It felt like Chief was considering the proposal; although he looked like the kind of man who wouldn't bend or give under pressure, he moved with Helo's touch like he could anticipate it. The kiss felt like a discussion, back and forth, until Helo's tongue traced the Chief's bottom lip, and that turned out to be more than he was willing to take.

"Get off."

He could have knocked Helo down; instead he shoved him back, enough for them to stare at each other, and for Tyrol to shake his head and glare. "What the frak do you think you're doing?" He was trying to use the voice that got everyone on the deck jumping to their work, but Helo wasn't falling in line.

"You weren't confused a second ago."

Tyrol made a gesture that pretty explicitly conveyed shock and disbelief. "Your solution to all of this is to plant one on me while we're waiting to get shot?"

"Could you think of something else?"

"A lot of things. Trying to come up with a plan would make sense."

"You know that we won't get out of here until these guys want us to, so we should find a way to get along."

"Your solution is to seduce me?"

"And who's the shrinking girl here?"

"We can't do this."

"Right, we can sit here until they shoot us, not talking, or fighting about Sharon, the fleet, or the time I frakked up the engine on the Raptor."

"Which time?" Of course that would be the detail he would fixate on, even at a time like this.

"Does it matter? None of that's going to do any good. I thought there were other ways to pass the time."

"Like messing with my head."

"Not exactly." He knew that he had a certain reputation among the crew; his habit of having something in his mouth hadn't gone without notice, and the comments had been pretty graphic. His smile was unapologetically speculative as he ran his tongue over his top lip, and he caught Tyrol's eyes following it.

This time when he moved in closer, Tyrol watched him and not the guards. Given what already went on without comment on this ship, Helo doubted that two prisoners getting physical would even warrant a report, and at the least, they would probably have selective vision so long as it suited them. When Tyrol deliberately shifted into his space, Helo didn't care whether or not they were being watched, because he was watching Galen Tyrol changing the rules. Whether because they really might be on their way to that eternal rest, or he just couldn't stand sitting around without doing anything, Tyrol was sure enough about what he was doing to keep moving until he was standing inches away from Helo.

Rolling his shoulders against the ache in the middle of his back; the one he got whenever things got really tense, Helo stepped into Tyrol, and walked him backward until he hit the wall. Tyrol, he wasn't the Chief when he had him pinned against a flat surface and their legs were shifting to the best position. The other man was a big guy; Helo hadn't been able to keep himself from noticing that, even with all the times he carefully kept from watching the happy couple, but now he was letting Helo figure out what to do with his body. So Helo reached out, and Tyrol was going along with this; his hands went easily over his head, and even if Helo only tightened on them ones, his wrists stayed crossed, and he didn't move. It was quite a picture, Galen Tyrol leaning against a wall, not moving, not directing, just waiting for whatever Helo was going to do with him, and for a moment, he just wanted to enjoy the view.

Of course, it didn't take long for Tyrol to twitch a bit; Helo could see the outline of his cock pressing against his pants; seemed he didn't mind being watched. Sneaking a look to the side, Helo made sure that they weren't being watched and then moved against Tyrol so that if somebody did happen to get curious, all they would see was his back.

Tyrol was eyeing him and fidgeting as if he was thinking about sliding away from this, and so Helo mentally gave the guards the finger and grabbed Tyrol's face and kissed him. Nothing sweet or gentle like the way they both probably envisioned kissing Sharon when they had time to linger, but hard and bruising. Tyrol's lips were swollen and Helo thought of marks and stories in bruises that nobody outside of their triangle would take the time to translate.

Helo didn't think he could keep Tyrol safe, and was sure the thought wouldn't be appreciated, but he could give them a little privacy. Tyrol didn't seem to care whether anyone was staring or not; as Helo leaned close and blanketed him from chest to thighs, Tyrol let out a long breath and relaxed. It was almost as if not being able to move made it easier for him to let go. Still, that didn't mean he wasn't actively participating and trying to short out Helo's brain; the blunt teeth on his neck were either giving him a bruise or writing a message, and Helo wasn't picky about which it was. Just beyond the pain was the tease of the other man's tongue as he worked his way up the side of Helo's neck. Tyrol wasn't acting like a man unsure of what he wanted, and his methods put Helo in a slump against him, trying to angle his head out of the way so that Tyrol had as much access as he wanted.

Moving to return the favor in some way, Helo reached for Tyrol's pants and yanked the zipper down. As his fingers began to stroke Tyrol's cock, the Chief delivered a particularly hard bite. Helo grabbed him by the nape and yanked him off.

"Ease up, man, you're gonna draw blood."

Tyrol arched his hips up and resettled himself.


He wasn't going to worry about whether Tyrol was going to look at him sideways later; at the point where Sharon had ceased to matter as more than a resource, Helo had stopped caring what anyone thought of his bad decisions.

"Just don't break the skin, I can't see the ship's doc making a house call." He guided Tyrol's head to the crook of his neck and felt his collar being wrenched aside. As he found a rhythm that Tyrol liked, he got a series of appreciative bites. Tyrol trembled and Helo stroked his back and held onto him.

Feeling wetness on his hand, he knew that he was going to have a few interesting stains, but that'd be okay. More important was the way Tyrol was letting Helo support him. It didn't last longer than it took for him to recover, but it was something.

He hadn't been looking to apologize or play the pity game with Tyrol, and if he'd gotten that across, then maybe some small part of this mess had led to something good. When Tyrol held his gaze and deliberately set to work on Helo's uniform, he thought that there was a chance that his message had been received and the terms accepted.


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