Memoir: Abhilasha, Yashodhara, Jayashree.

"You failed." Asha's voice. Jaya knows before she opens her eyes that Dhara will be standing half-behind her, a step to the right, with her spot, half-behind and a step to the left, remaining empty. Waiting.

They watch her push up, sag back against the damp cedar bark, forearm tight against the gunshot wound in her stomach. Their robes, tattered and white, singed at the tips, show the same blossoms of blood, red-black petals growing slow but surely. Long trickles of blood draining down their left thighs, twisting around anklebones before soaking into the moss. Such is always the way, when one of them is wounded.

It is always Jaya who is wounded, anymore. They have been tall and slim and forever thirteen for many, many, many days.

Flax-field blue eyes, golden hair blowing waist-long and unplaited in the mist-moistened air. The first girlish blush of women's curves where Jaya is gangly. She was always the pale reflection, kept on the left. Such was always the way.

"I- tried," is Jaya's reply, a thin and frayed ribbon of sound. "I, I-" Her head sags forward, shorn bare, no veil of hair to hide the stabbing twists of pain. "I swear. I tried."

"Tried and failed." Dhara's voice, sweeter and softer than her sister's, but still as cutting. "We told you it would work-"

"-told you it would work-" chimes in Asha, gentle sing-song against the hard eyes.

"-as long as you trusted us," they murmur together, heads tilted just so as Jaya's shoulders start to tremble and skid against the crumbling bark. The wind picks up, keening, snarling their hair around their faces, the bloodstained tips drawing brushlike strokes across their shoulders and throats.

"I did." Jaya's voice is a whimper forced out past her clutched arm, sleetstorm eyes wet with tears as she looks up. Pleading. "I. I-"

"You didn't, or you'd be here with us, littlest sister." Dhara's feet are silent in the thick moss, bringing her to Jaya's side. A gentle hand strokes over the bare scalp, around behind one ear where there was always a rebellious lock of hair poking past the headscarf, once upon a forever ago. "You tried to warn them and failed. They won't listen."

"We told you, we told you," hisses Asha, arms folded, unmoving.

Dhara continues, gentle sing-song again. "Fight and fly and die, flight and fought and we miss you so much." Her huge eyes, darkened nearly to indigo with emotion. "It was time to come home, and you remained."

"Leaving us here," picks up Asha, "waiting, incomplete, for the sake of a man who sees his wife, not you, whenever he puts his eyes on you." Spit out, as if the words will sear the moss with their acid. "You stoop further and further, smallest sister, sell yourself cheaper and cheaper, the lonelier you get."

They wait and watch, watch and wait, as Jaya sinks down against the tree's roots, panting and chalk-faced, nails dug into her side as useless distraction against the pain. They have all the time in her world.

"It's- it's not like that," she finally whispers.

"But it is," croons Dhara, crouching down beside the weakening form. She reaches out and lifts the drooped face by the chin, flaxfield gaze to melting slush. "It was all so clear, and then what did you do?" A gentle headshake, sad and utterly damning. "What did he do? He ran his hand down your face, and you blushed-"

"-you would have, too-" come the thready, white-lipped words.

"-and he told you your eyes were beautiful, and you believed him-"

"-you would have too, if you- if he-" Sun-paled lashes droop, flare and drag shut.

"-and then he sang your song and you-"

Jaya doesn't quite hear the rest, her senses ebbing away into the pool of her lifeblood, soaking into the sodden moss. It's warmer than she thought it would be, dying. "Hurt," she murmurs, before the darkness closes over her.

Paff. Tisiphone's nerveless fingers are batted away. She was just trying to play Rock-Paper-Scissors with the Sergeant, honest. No, make that Man-Cylon-Gun.

Gun was supposed to beat Cylon. It's in the RULES.

"Hurts," she whispers to Constin, when the gutshot's pressed on — just in case you couldn't tell, you know, just being helpful — before she shudders and goes limp. Still breathing, heart still beating — and still failing to pump the rest of her blood out of the fresh holes punched through her.

"Going into shock," Constin reports on Tisiphone's condition, loud and even. Seriously, the lengths to which Tisiphone will go to avoid giving the marine his promised hits of brandy are getting impressive. "Yeah, sir- gunshots tend to hurt," the sergeant returns tersely to the wounded pilot's complaint before she shudders and goes limp. "Heart-rate is still stable. Where the frak're those medics?" the big man barks aloud, narrow blue stare still fixed on the bloody business of Tisiphone before him. the compress on her gut wound is leaned on, while the big man's jump knife is drawn and put to use to cut open the leg of her duty fatigues, to get at the thigh wound.

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