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Author’s Notes: Written for bsg_hiatusthon where my prompt was The first time Laura Roslin prayed in earnest
It started as a child’s prayer. “Please, gods,” she would whisper, as her mother slept restlessly in the room adjacent to hers. “Please, gods,” she would ask as she listened to her mother’s rough, breathless cough. “Please, gods,” she would beg, as she drove her mother to a doctor’s appointment, reassuring her that yes, that scarf covering her baldness really didn’t look too ridiculous. “Please gods,” she would pray, “let her get better.”
The prayers continued even as the gods failed to listen. “Please gods,” she would whisper, as she helped her mother to eat. (Their roles had somehow become reversed, and she was now the caretaker.) “Please gods,” she would pray, helping her naked, shivering, frail mother into the shower. (There was something wrong in her mother’s nakedness—her mother’s vulnerability.) “Please gods,” she would beg, as she watched the doctors make concerned noises and cryptic notes in her mother’s medical charts. “Please gods,” she asked, “don’t let her suffer anymore.” (She really didn’t want her to suffer anymore.)
The prayer grew more urgent—more needful. “Please gods,” she asked, injecting a little more morpha in her mother’s IV, taking away the pain because the gods had failed to. “Please gods,” she prayed, touching tiny slivers of ice to her mother’s tongue, giving her the small measures of liquid that she could handle, spreading some waxy petroleum jelly over her cracked, bleeding lips to try ease the pain “Please gods,” she implored, working lotion into her mother’s paper-thin skin in an attempt to stave off bedsores, “just end this. Let her go with dignity.”
And still the gods failed to answer her, and her faith, became tested. Her mother’s body grew more and more frail—her hipbones jutting through her translucent skin, her hair gone, her lips chapped to the point that her mouth appeared to be nothing more than a dark slit in her skeletal face. Even her teeth had begun to fall out. “Please gods,” she prayed, and injected just a little more morpha into her mother’s IV (and as her mother’s eyelids fluttered shut). “Please gods,” she begged, as she continued to depress the plunger (and as her mother’s breathing grew more shallow). “Please gods,” she asked as she slipped the needle into the pocket of her trousers (to dispose of later). “Please gods,” she whispered, seeing that her mother had flatlined, “don’t punish me too severely for this.”