Aquarius: (Jan. 20—Feb. 18)
Don't worry if you don't understand the complex, yet seemingly effortless, unfolding of the universe. After all, you're stupid.

Some laws are immutable, and the universe is governed by them.  Laws which everything obeys - matter and anti-matter, gravity, light, atoms, particles, strange quarks, left-handed quarks, bosuns... you name it, and if it's out there in the cosmos, it obeys.  No choices, no exceptions; just blind inevitability.

As they struggle out of intellectual darkness into an understanding of how the universe works, different lifeforms must find their own words, their own language, to share that understanding with the poor, benighted, unformed minds that have yet to see the revelation.  So depending on where you're from, everything from the Laws down to the smallest sub-sub-sub atomic particles have different names.

But whatever you call them, this is what the Laws do.  They govern the way galaxies are born and die, the way matter is formed and deformed and un-formed; govern the way that particles collide, that atoms combine and separate; they're the reasons that light can be bent and that ions spin through gravitational fields; the reasons why one particular concatenation of atoms will learn to live, to breathe, to grow and dazzle the cosmos, and the reasons that others will die back into the primordial slime without so much as an original thought polluting their brief existence.

You know.  The dead easy to understand immutable Laws.



Pisces: (Feb. 19—March 20)
You'll show that you are capable of amazing acts of self-sacrifice in order to win the favor of the dread demon-beast Ktzaal.

And then there's the immutable Law that occasionally made Strike Captain Apollo despair.  Put briefly, it was the law that said that to maintain perfect inner peace and harmony, you did nothing, said nothing, and bloody well thought nothing that might catch Senior Lieutenant Starbuck's errant and erratic attention and bring that mighty force of nature's imagination, creativity and flair to bear.  The consequences were often too catastrophic to contemplate without a shaking hand reaching for a bottle of ambrosa to help cushion the blow.

Apollo rarely bothered, these days, to find a way of putting that immutable Law into language, to share that understanding with the poor, benighted, unformed minds who thought that Starbuck was a great guy, the nonchalant lodestone of the officer's mess, the brilliant pilot and (reputedly) great lover; the prankster, the joker, the devil-may-care centre of their little world.  Apollo had learned that sometimes those who are mired in the intellectual darkness prefer it to revelationary light. 

So, instead, he conceived it to be his duty to try and mitigate the effects of Starbuck's Law.  Those effects could be summed up quite succinctly : the Devil finds work for idle hands to do.  The trick was to keep Starbuck too busy to get up to mischief.

Besides the reputation was well deserved.  Starbuck was a great lover and the Captain was no mean slouch himself when it came to exploiting that aspect of Starbuck's Law and keeping the Lieutenant busy.  Very busy.

Unfortunately, Starbuck's Law is an immutable.  Even the Captain's laudable and noble attempts to mute the Law's effects on others, through so much personal sacrifice, effort and labour, couldn't always succeed.  And then that mighty force of nature reasserted itself with all the energy and fireworks of the Big Bang.

No pun intended, of course.



Aries: (March 21—April 19)
You'll use your love of business books and your knowledge of science to write Sales Success Secrets Of The Strong And Weak Subatomic Forces.

It's a funny old business, Public Relations.

You take something – a business, an idea, a thing (any old thing, sometimes) – and make people want it, make them buy it, make it part of their lives.  If it has rivals, you make sure that people want your product, business, idea or thing and not the competition's self-evidently inferior and unworthy version.  You make that something, that brand, so interwoven with people's thoughts, aspirations and ideals that it becomes iconic.  Back when the Colonies were still there, entire planetary economies had been based on those principles.

But when your product is already a total monopoly and the only possible icon in the frame, the job then is not to make people want it or buy it, but to love it.  That gets a bit trickier, especially when you're trapped on a fleet of ageing ships fleeing the genocide of your race – there's not a lot to work with, you see, and some of your standard tools are missing from the toolbox: there's limited potential for celebrity endorsement, for example and damn few cubits in the advertising budget.  About all that's left is sitting in your cabin with a datapad full of brainstorming ideas, trying to think of ways of positioning your client as an icon of social responsibility, as a corporation that's fully rooted in its community, a business that cares.

Here's the project plan :

IFB evening broadcasts are firing up, starting another round of recruitment advertising for warrior training, using footage of the brave young men and women who protect the remnants of humanity.  Some of the warriors are very familiar: the Commander's son, the good-looking blond Lieutenant, the dark guy who's always with them, a very pretty girl with long blonde hair...


As a PR idea it's so old, it probably lives on the Senior ship, shuffling around on a walking frame and complaining querulously through ill-fitting dentures about its chronic rheumatism and the selfish inconsideration of the young.  A PR idea that is, metaphorically, sans teeth, sans hair, sans everything.

But in a refugee fleet with very limited resources, it's better to work with what you have.  This is better than nothing.  And with only a sectar to go until Yule, when everyone would want to spend a little money and the New Yahren would start immediately afterwards, this is the best idea of the lot.  It may not be elegant, but it's do-able.

A call to the Recruiting Officer, Lieutenant Omega, seems to be in order. 




Taurus: (April. 20—May 20)
This week will be a series of excruciatingly painful metaphorical and physical low blows for you

It was, said Apollo, an even crazier idea than the charity auction that Starbuck had taken into his dangerous head to organise last yahren .

Boomer smiled.  "You didn't do too badly out of that," he observed.

Apollo flushed very slightly.  His mad bid to buy Starbuck at auction hadn't turned out too badly at all, in fact, and his life had been immeasurably enriched as a result.  "I suppose not."  He grinned.  "Although Starbuck provides the wholesome discipline in my life – "

"I do not want details of your unnatural practices, thank you very much!"

"What?  No, not that!"  Apollo's flush deepened, although if he was honest with himself it was because of a memory that presented itself most inconveniently when he realised Boomer's misunderstanding: a memory of Starbuck, four silk scarves and his bedposts.  "All I meant was that every time I get to feel things are pretty good – we haven't seen the Cylons for over a yahren now and I think we may have lost them, the ships are all sorted out and the people are happy, the hydroponics units are creating so much food that no-one's going hungry and we even have a surplus, Athena's still not talking to me – well, every time I get to thinking stuff like that, Starbuck does something to remind me, forcibly, that this mortal life is meant to be a vale of tears and I can only look for salvation and true happiness in the eternal life that is to come."

"You were warped by that religious upbringing, you know that?"

Apollo nodded, sadly. 

"I wondered why you'd loaned him out to Red squadron in such a hurry.  I take it that Colonel Tigh realised that Starbuck was running that illegal still down on engineering deck?"

"Not yet.  Tigh hasn't found out about that yet. That's a discipline still to come, along with that eternal life I mentioned – the one the Colonel will probably despatch me to when he does find out."

Boomer grimaced.  "I wish you could say it was martyrdom for a good cause, but I've tasted the stuff.  It has all the charm of drinking Giles's dirty socks dissolved in battery acid."

"I wouldn't know.  I have a hard enough life commanding you lot without coming into too close proximity to anyone's socks.  Starbuck's working on the recipe."

"He needs to.  So what's upset the Colonel?"

"Doctor Salik complained that his medtechs were being suckered out of their pay and then having to settle their debts by providing a regular health care service to some of the smaller ships that didn’t have a paramedic of their own.  I think the Colonel's outrage was tempered a little bit by the altruistic nature of it all, until he found out that the ships were paying Starbuck in small luxuries – fumerellos, for example – that Starbuck was then trading around the fleet.  I had to send Starbuck to Red to get him out of the way until Tigh calms down."

Boomer didn't laugh, but he looked like he was having a hard time of it.  "You'll never change him, Apollo.  You know that."

"No, but at least I got him to stop smoking the damned things himself," said Apollo.  "I can't stand the smell."

"I prefer 'em doctored myself.  So if today's woe isn’t to do with Starbuck, then what is it?"

"This stupid idea of IFB's.  Can you believe that the Commander and Colonel Tigh are taking it seriously?"

"Since I don't know what it is, I don't know what I believe," said Boomer, serenity unruffled.

Apollo took a deep breath, calming himself, letting his gaze wander around the quiet duty office, feeling how safe and familiar it was, a bulwark against the madness that seemed to be afflicting the senior command staff.  "IFB have come up with this idea about raising money for the orphan ship – "

"You mean that someone told 'em about Starbuck's auction last yahren and they  want to jump on the bandwagon," said Boomer.

Probably, shrugged Apollo.  "Anyhow, what they want to do is work with us on a project that will do something for the orphans and help with the current recruitment drive."  Apollo stopped and considered.  "You know, Omega's a good guy but he doesn't have a lot of charisma.  Have you seen the latest ads on IFB?  It's like being asked to join up by a block of wood."

"He is a bit formal.  He wouldn't have persuaded you to join up, then?"

"Me?"  Apollo stared at him, nonplussed.  From the moment he could walk and talk he'd been told he'd be following his father into the Academy and Fleet after that.  Apollo had never needed to be persuaded to join up: he'd been conditioned into it almost from birth.  What choice did he ever have about it?  "We always join up in our family."

Boomer grimaced again.  "Sorry.  Of course you do.  But if you didn't always join up in your fam – "

Apollo frowned, trying to get his head around that concept.

"Bad example," conceded Boomer.  "The point is, though, that he's doing your job for you.  Of course he's going to come over a bit stiff and wooden – he's a bridge officer.  We're trying to fire potential recruits' imaginations about Vipers and heroism and excitement, and he sits upstairs all day watching computers.  He doesn't sell it because he hasn't done it, he's not got the passion to sell it.  It should be you doing it."

"Me!"  Apollo stared at him, very nonplussed.  "Me?!"

Boomer shrugged.

"No way in Hades!" said Apollo.

"Yeah, maybe not."  Boomer grinned.  "I'll admit that you wouldn’t like doing anything like that.  You’d stutter and look like a rabbit caught in a Viper searchlight!"

"I prefer not to make a fool of myself in public, anyway.  Let Omega do it if he wants."

"And your passion's never very public," went on Boomer, slyly.  "If very wholesome and disciplined."

Apollo sniffed.  "We're getting off topic again here."

"I still don’t know that the topic is," said Boomer, "- apart from it being something to do with the orphanage and recruitment, and it beats me how you bring the two together.  The kids are a bit on the young side for cadet training."

"It's a bloody silly idea," muttered Apollo.

"I'm sure it is," agreed Boomer, and waited.

After a long centon Apollo said, "IFB want to produce a calendar for next yahren and sell it to the people in the fleet, all proceeds to go to the orphanage ship funds."

"Very charitable."

"Yeah," agreed Apollo.  "Very."  They grinned at each other, then Apollo let loose the bombshell.  "With us providing the image for each sectar."

"Pictures of Vipers or something?"

Apollo thought Boomer was being wilfully obtuse.  "No, you idiot.  Pictures of ten pilots, one for each sectar, with a history of his or her exploits: Warrior of the Sectar.  Sire Secundus.  Miss Nonus.  That kind of thing."

"I'm not having my picture taken!" protested Boomer.  "No bloody way!"

Apollo merely spread his hands and bowed his head.  Point taken at last.

Boomer said, sounding scandalised, "Hey, hang on a centon!  They don't mean one of those sorts of calendar, do they?  You know... I mean, with us in suggestive poses and – how shall I put this?"

"Improperly dressed on parade?"

Boomer nodded.  "Yeah  I can only think of one Warrior who wouldn't mind that!"

So could Apollo and he wasn't willing to share.  "That was my reaction, too, Boom-boom.  I've been assured that all they want are perfectly proper pictures of us, posed against our Vipers or something, and the Commander explained to IFB that I have a distressingly commonplace mind that comes under too much immoral influence."

The Commander was only slowly coming to terms with his son's relationship with Lieutenant Starbuck and it was still the cause of familial friction.  The Commander's daughter wasn't coming to any terms at all, speed of arrival irrelevant.  Athena had barely spoken to Apollo outside of the call of duty for almost a yahren now, still furious with him for getting what she'd wanted.  Despite his real fondness for his sometimes difficult sister and his understanding of her chagrin – he'd felt it himself when Starbuck had dated Athena, after all – Apollo was rather enjoying the peace and quiet.  He was definitely enjoying Starbuck, especially with the silk scarves ....

"Ouch," said Boomer, grinning, and pulling Apollo's attention back to the problem at hand.

"Yeah.  And then it got scary.  The IFB rep there said that as commander of all the warriors, they definitely wanted me in it."

"And you said no."

"Well, yes," said Apollo slowly.  "Although not in so many words."

Boomer waited.

"The Commander made me apologise," said Apollo at last.

"Did you?"

"Well, I sort of mumbled something that satisfied the old man.  IFB seemed to think that I was scared of being upstaged, or something, so they said I could be Sire Primus – to reinforce my position as Strike Leader.  I ask you!  Am I that bloody insecure?"

Boomer had a more than passing resemblance to that rabbit in the Viper searchlight that he'd mentioned earlier.  "Blimey!  Is that the time?  I'd better get going – I've got patrol – "


Boomer fell back into his chair and groaned.  "Don't make me answer."

Apollo glared.

Boomer sighed.  "Well, not about work.  You got where you are fair and square and you're not insecure about that."

"I'm not insecure about anything!  Just because I'm a little retiring and like my privacy – "

"You're shy."

"Well, so what?  I still don't need to have IFB prop me up, thank you very much!"

"What happened then?"

"I said no, again."

"And then what?"

Apollo grinned, suddenly amused by the recollection of his father's scandalised expression.  "And then the Commander made me apologise again."




Gemini: (May 21—June 21)
Venus is descending in your sign this week, but you're better off not knowing exactly what that means.

Starbuck was helping out Red Squadron on the middle shift and had heard nothing about the project until he climbed into bed beside Apollo at one in the morning, and woke him up to say hello.  Intensely interested and curious by nature as he was, Starbuck approved of Apollo's sense of priorities: the Captain waited until he had been thoroughly greeted before relaying the news.

"But how will they choose the lucky ten?" asked Starbuck, eagerly.  "Looks, luck, brilliance, charm, heroism or what?  Although I'm top of the list on all counts."

Apollo hunched a shoulder and rolled over in bed, taking most of the covers with him as usual.  Starbuck never minded.  It meant that if he wasn't to freeze to death he had to snuggle, and he liked snuggling.  He cuddled up against Apollo's smooth, broad back and dropped a kiss on the hunching shoulder, giving it a quick laving with his tongue.  The tension oozed out of Apollo almost instantly. 

Starbuck grinned into the darkness.  It was always nice to know that the old magic was still strong.

"Nine," said Apollo.  "They only want nine people."

"There's ten sectars to the yahren, unless someone changed things while I was busy out there fighting the Cylons or whatever."

"I told you, they want me to be Sire Primus."

"I thought you said no?"

"I did.  Only this time, even when I grovelled, Dad said that if this went ahead I'd do it for the sake of the fleet."

"For service, honour and duty," recited Starbuck.

Apollo growled something.

"If you said that, I'm not surprised he made you apologise," remarked Starbuck.  "So you'll do it?"

"What choice do I have?  What choice have I ever had?"

"True.  What about the rest then?"

"Volunteers," mumbled Apollo, sleepy now he'd been very thoroughly greeted.

"Oh good," said Starbuck, happily.  "Now you only have to find eight."  He sighed.  "Shame we have to keep our clothes on.  It would sell one helluva lot better if we were, you know, more artistic about it."

He was intrigued to note that when Apollo shuddered like that, the entire bed shook with him.  My, did that have potential for future greetings.




Cancer: (June 22—July 22)
This is a great time to start new projects, as long as they don't involve a router, a band saw, or tungsten inert gas welding

And there you have it.  The conditions were right, the Universe heaved a little on its axis (presuming it has one somewhere) and Starbuck's Law came into operation.

The Commander decided that the calendar should go ahead.  Maybe he'd seen the wooden Omega commercials too, said Boomer, miserable as sin when he was told that calling for volunteers had left a couple of holes and he was going be Sire Octavus whether he liked it or not.  And maybe he just wanted his revenge on his son for whatever Apollo had done to annoy him recently and whatever it was, Apollo richly deserved it in Boomer's opinion, and not just because the Captain had told him to stop whining and be grateful he hadn't been volunteered to be Miss Nonus. 

Starbuck, of course, was delighted.  As Sire Tertius - behind Lieutenant Bree as Miss Secundus, and very pretty she looked, too, leaning up against her Viper to have her holopic taken, the warrior's uniform making her look like even more than usual like a doll cast out of fine porcelain and not at all as if she had the highest kill rate in the whole of Green squadron (which she did) - Starbuck had enjoyed the entire photoshoot, watching every chosen Warrior being put through their photogenic paces.  It was lucky he was there, he pointed out, given the difficulty the photographer was having with a Strike Captain who persisted in being so grim and unsmiling that Starbuck was reminded of those ancient pictures of recanting heretics demonstrating their devotion to the church by watching all their friends and relations being burned alive while waiting stoically for their turn for the pyre. 

Everyone acknowledged the aptness of the description when Starbuck shared it with them, although all the martyr himself did was glower even more blackly at the Inquisition as embodied by IFB's photographer.  And everyone acknowledged that no-one else other than Starbuck could have got Apollo to stop looking as if matches were being tossed about perilously close to large piles of ecclesiastical firewood.  Of course, no-one else other than Starbuck would have thought to stand behind the photographer where Apollo could see him, and catch the Captain's attention with the most lascivious, licentious display of lip-licking and a slight (but meaningful) hip rotation, accompanied by a hand moving in a long slow stroke down one thigh in a manner that just shrieked shameless abandon. 

The sudden, blinding brilliance of Apollo's smile astonished the photographer and the rest of the on-lookers.  Indeed, one or two bystanders of a more nervous disposition even started and almost fell over backwards, so powerful was the contrast, and had to be revived with soft words, cups of strong sweet tea and sworn oaths that the Captain wouldn't do it again without fair warning. 

But it was only when the photoshoot was over and the photographer back on IFB's own ship that Starbuck's Law hove into view and thundered down upon the Universe's unprotected head.  That mighty force of nature had an idea.  An idea that would allow him to bring all of his imagination, creativity and flair to bear.  An idea that combined his disappointment in the inartistic nature of the calendar with the desire to see Apollo smile more often.  An idea that was Starbuck's Law incarnate.

It was nice, seeing Apollo smile like that.  The Captain rarely smiled so freely, being, as Starbuck said, too bloody serious by half.  Apollo took his duties and responsibilities to heart.  Every pilot and warrior knew that their Captain cared about them, worried over them, protected them from The Management and generally would never, ever desert them.  Such seriousness didn't make for a jolly, light-hearted personality.  Apollo needed to lighten up.  Apollo deserved to smile more.

The mighty force of nature smiled to itself and went off to find Lieutenant Greenbean, who had quite an interest in photography and a fine collection of good photographic equipment.  Two games of Pyramid later and Starbuck was the temporary owner of a holo-camera, and Greenbean was passing on earnest and careful instructions in its use, totally unaware that he'd had about as much choice in what he was doing as a strange quark has as it rattles energetically around inside its atom.



Leo: (July 23—Aug. 22)
The movement of planets in your sign foretells amazing romantic events this week. The stars, however, just pour out endless amounts of electromagnetic radiation.

Apollo slid his hands down the surprisingly smooth skin of the inside of Starbuck's thighs to the soft little spot at the back of Starbuck's knees, that if he got the touch just right, would reduce his lover to a boneless mass of pleading moans.  He'd already checked that the silk scarves weren't too tight, and that there would be no unsightly chafing of wrists and ankles.

That little spot at the back of knees did it, all right.  Starbuck writhed prettily, breath coming in short, urgent gasps.  Apollo grinned, straddled his lover and reached for the tub of chocolate sauce.

"You'll get fat," gasped Starbuck.

"I'll risk it." 

Apollo eyed the body spread-eagled underneath him, considering, swirling the little brush in the sauce while he thought about it.  He nodded.  He loaded the brush with rather more chocolate sauce than one Captain ought to take in a single dose, and leaning forward, let it drip to fill the little hollow at the base of Starbuck's throat.  A little trickle of chocolate oozed down Starbuck's neck.

"Uh-oh!" said Apollo, and swooped down to catch it before it could get too far and mess up the bed linen.  He didn't mind messy bed linen, but chocolate stains were sometimes a bit hard to get out in the wash.  But mainly it was because his puritan soul abhorred waste.

Starbuck heaved under him when Apollo licked his way back up his neck to lap at the little pool of chocolate.  Starbuck's eyes were closed, but he was smiling in a way that suggested to Apollo that he was enjoying being used as a dessert plate.  Apollo rather liked the sensation too, although in his case it was more likely to have been caused by the way that as Starbuck heaved, he rotated his slim hips to grind his increasingly urgent erection into the sensitive area between Apollo's legs.

Apollo almost dropped the chocolate sauce in his agitation.  It took all his forbearance to put the bottle carefully to one side before abandoning dessert for – well, dessert.  Starbuck was sweet and sticky and more than happy to be licked like ice cream.  Apollo settled in for some serious tasting. 

Starbuck's lips, first, of course, so that Starbuck could get some of the lingering sweetness from his own.  Starbuck liked the taste, but Apollo, working very hard in the sacrificial manner he'd put such effort into, soon diverted Starbuck's attention from demands for real amounts of chocolate to demands for hot sex instead.  Apollo was more than willing to comply.

So, Starbuck's lips first and then licking down the chin and, as Starbuck tilted his head back invitingly, long, long sweeps of Apollo's tongue down the stretched throat, pausing at the little hollow just in case there was a chocolate molecule there that he'd missed.  The little bony collarbones came next, working them over until Starbuck was wriggling and murmuring, pulling prettily on the silk scarves; and as soon as Starbuck got to begging, a swift swoop down the breastbone to lick and kiss and pull on each small nub of a nipple.

Starbuck didn't have a lot of body hair, thankfully – Apollo had never really liked spitting out hair when he should be concentrating on sucking tit – but there was the lightest dusting of light golden hair over the muscles of Starbuck's chest, thickening in a line down his abdomen, darkening as it went into a wonderfully tawny, almost golden-bronze colour, to merge into the thick bush of hair above what Apollo couldn't help but think was the most delightful cock in the universe. 

By the time he was licking and sucking on that, Starbuck was incoherent.  Starbuck never just moaned and groaned when Apollo was taking care of things south of the equator.  Oh no.  Starbuck yelled and cursed and screamed and shrieked and demanded more and right there, oh yes, right there and right now and don't you dare stop, Apollo!  He also tended to do an awful lot more of the writhing.  Unfortunately, that sensitive space between Apollo's legs was, understandably in the circumstances, out of reach no matter how much Starbuck wriggled.  That, Apollo concluded, was rather a shame and his own cock was reminding him of its needy existence with increasing impatience.   Time to do something about it.

A flash of light made him blink. 

He realised, abstractedly, that the lights had been doing that for some time.  The lights were low and dim, of course.  Apollo liked enough light to see Starbuck's expression and watch him writhe, but didn't like so much glare that you may as well be making love under the arc lights in Engineering.  He'd powered down the lights in the bedroom until they gave out just the right amount  - worse than an anaemic candle, said Starbuck, who preferred the clear light of day so he didn't miss anything.  The flicker must have been a power surge, not unusual with the strain on Galactica's internal systems.  It had been happening a lot recently, he remembered.

He ignored the next lot of flashes.  He didn't let go of Starbuck's cock out of his mouth – that would be rude – but he had long arms and could reach the little tube of lube without too many gymnastic contortions.  He only abandoned Starbuck's cock with his mouth when a well-lubed hand was ready to step into the breach: if nothing else, Apollo had been brought up to be a gentleman and be thoughtful to the wants of others. 

And what Starbuck wanted, Starbuck was going to get.  The silk scarves had more than enough play on them to allow Starbuck to bend his knees, of course, and Apollo had merely to turn his head and start licking and kissing the inside of one of them.  As joints go, knees are useful, if utilitarian.  They're not usually considered to be terribly sexy elements of anatomy but in Starbuck's case, they turned Apollo on no end. 

He turned his attention to licking and kissing his way down the inside of Starbuck's left leg from knee to the soft skin of the thigh, nipping at it gently, making progress across the Promised Land and up the inside of Starbuck's right leg, all the time working the fingers of his other hand into Starbuck's backside, stretching and, he hoped, pleasuring him.  And back again.  And back, and back... until Starbuck was babbling like an idiot, making more of that extremely satisfying demanding noise.  When the decibel level became painful, Apollo pulled out his fingers, slathered lube over his own increasingly exigent cock and surged home in one exultant thrust. 

Starbuck screamed, most excitingly.  His eyes rolled up in his head, and his breath came short and fast.  Starbuck yelled and cursed and screamed and shrieked and demanded more and right there, oh yes, right there and right now and don't you dare stop, Apollo, and do it harder and harder, yes, just like that and oh God I love you, Apollo and please don't stop, not ever and do it harder, oh shit I love you ...  and Apollo shifted the angle so that he wasn't rubbing up against Starbuck's prostate but banging onto it like a hammer on every upthrust, loving the tight, velvety heat that enclosed him, making sure (because he was, as we've noted, a gentleman born) that the hand that held Starbuck's cock fisted it to the same urgent and demanding rhythm.

They came together, with enough noise to make the faint of heart believe the ship was under attack and with enough exchange of bodily fluids to drown half the ship's company.  Starbuck's back arched at the appropriate moment and he somehow got his legs, despite their silk bindings, in behind Apollo's knees and used them to pull Apollo in tighter and harder, squeezing the muscles in his backside as he did so.  Apollo came, yelling the same babbling nonsense as Starbuck, and collapsed, exhausted onto his beautiful blond lover's chest, returning the I-love-you favour by saying it over and over until he was hoarse. 

"I keep getting these flashes in my eyes," he said blearily, much later, when he had recovered enough breath to kiss Starbuck into sated sleepiness.

Starbuck smiled.  "I always make you see stars," he said, complacent.




Virgo: (Aug. 23—Sept. 22)
This week will bring you a healthy, fulfilling romance in the workplace. That will motivate you to get a goddamn job

A couple of sectons before Yule, IFB sent every participating warrior a complimentary calendar with their best wishes for the season.

Starbuck thought the calendar was pretty good, considering.  Primus and Tertius were the best, of course, and he only regretted that they were separated, even in paper form, by the doll-like Miss Secundus.  The rest of the sectar images were so-so, he said, but that smile of Sire Primus's would ignite solenite.

Apollo only grunted when he opened his copy, but Starbuck noted that he turned straight to Tertius, carefully removed the picture and stowed it in the desk drawer where Apollo locked away all his other important and personal items, like his secret stash of chocolate bars and the bottle of real forty-yahren old ambrosa that he'd liberated from his father's quarters one day when the Commander's guard had slipped and about which he'd successfully denied all knowledge in the face of a suspicious Commanderly interrogation. 

Apollo, said Starbuck, was a Romantic.  Apollo, retorted Apollo, was a Romantic Fool and he knew it, but he let Starbuck kiss him even though they were in the Duty Office.  The rest of the calendar went straight into the recycling bin, unlooked at, dropped there by a nerveless hand while Starbuck got settled in to taking gross advantage of this unusual indulgence.

Starbuck had been waiting impatiently for his copy of the calendar: he needed to know the size before he could complete his little project.  Completion involved getting himself into the duty office in the quiet early centars to use the printer, while Apollo was sleeping the sleep of the just (or the just thoroughly greeted), and hoping that neither Apollo nor anyone else came looking for him.  A couple of fiddly centars with scissors and a bottle of glue, and he had Apollo's Yule present all sorted.  He was a little sorry at covering up the Primus picture of a brilliantly smiling Apollo, but the one he chose to replace it would, he thought, give him that smile for real.  Besides, he rescued the remnants of Apollo's calendar from recycling and removed the Primus picture.  He may not have a drawer full of chocolate-bars to stash it in, but folded carefully, he could get it into the breast pocket of his flight jacket, just above his heart.

It was entirely possible that Apollo was not the only Romantic Fool on the premises.

Starbuck put the data crystal that contained his pictures into his belt pouch and closed it securely.  He had enough there for a dozen calendars.  It would be a shame to delete them before Apollo had seen and appreciated the artistry of each and every one of them. 

And then they could be Romantic together.




Libra: (Sept. 23—Oct. 23)
All signs point to you having a quiet, uneventful week, but the stars' gut feelings nonetheless say different.

Commander Adama had watched the breach between his two surviving children with sadness and considerable disapproval but had stayed his hand for several sectars, hoping they'd resolve it between themselves.  It didn't do, sometimes, to interfere.  But Yule was a time for families, for closeness.  He wasn't going to allow two squabbling children to spoil it for him.

He summoned them separately to his office and Spoke to them, and then oversaw the resultant reconciliation.  If Apollo looked smug while Athena looked sulky, it didn't matter.  What mattered was that his children had been reminded of their familial bond and their familial obligations.  Yule could come as usual and be celebrated as usual.

With the addition of Starbuck as part of the family, of course, although not quite in the role that Athena had once anticipated.  The Commander had rather dreaded Starbuck in that role as much as his daughter had looked forward to it.  The Lieutenant's new and unexpected place in the family wasn't that much of an improvement.  But Adama was getting used to it, Apollo was happier than Adama had ever seen him, and Boxey accepted it all as a matter of course.  The Commander could only bow to the inevitable.

Yule Eve dinner in his quarters were agreed upon, Colonel Tigh to be a guest as usual, with Yule Day itself to be held at Apollo's.  At Apollo's and Starbuck's, to be totally accurate, but the religious spirit in the Commander still shied away from this level of accuracy, even in his own private ruminations about the state of his Yuletide planning. 

So there he was on Yuletide Eve, looking around the table, feeling every inch the pater familias.  After the best dinner the ship's cooks could manage, his family was at the delightful stage of nibbling at the luxuries just because they were there: sweets, nuts, cake, the sorts of things that none of them had ever expected to see again.  He saw, with a touch of disapproval, that Apollo was on his third bowl of chocolate mousse.  If Apollo wasn't careful, he'd end up rounder than Lieutenant Jolly, and that was saying something. 

"Save some for later, Apollo," said Starbuck, giving Apollo a look that the Commander decided he didn't want to decipher.  Some things were best left to a haze of blind and wilful ignorance. 

Athena looked glum, he noticed, suspecting that she wasn't in such a stage of wilful blindness about Starbuck's meaning, but he refused to consider further any association of his son, his son's lover and mousse of any flavour.  Instead he suggested they move away from the table and further temptation.  Apollo obeyed, as Adama always knew Apollo would; despite his – peculiarities, should he say? – Apollo was a good and dutiful son.  But Apollo obeyed with many a regretful glance at all the sweet things that were left over.

Boxey joined his father and Starbuck on the sofa, squirming his way in between them.  And there they were for an evening of talk and laughter and silly games and family togetherness, only slightly marred by Boxey getting into mock fights with his two fathers and having to be suspended by his ankles by Apollo while madly tickling Starbuck into submission.

Commander Adama watched the battles with a paternally indulgent eye, ignoring Tigh's patient sighs and Athena's distinctly less patient complaints about the noise.  It had never crossed his mind to be concerned about anyone but Athena if Starbuck had been added into the family in the way that Athena had anticipated.  But this was different.  He had been a little concerned about the effect on his grandson of the addition of Starbuck into the family circle, at least in the unanticipated fashion in which Starbuck had entered it.  It was evident, though, that Boxey was as happy about the arrangement as Apollo was.  When Starbuck had stopped rolling around the sofa to evade Boxey's tickling hands, and Boxey had been returned to the right side up orientation that God had intended, Adama found his eyes blurring with sentimentality as he smiled mistily at his nearest and dearest.

He just loved Yule.  It was such a family time of the yahren.  He loved them all, so dearly.

Even Starbuck.




Scorpio: (Oct. 24—Nov. 21)
The overwhelming sense that everything is falling apart around your ears will be reinforced by painful sonic and tactile cues.

"That was a good evening," said Starbuck.  "I enjoyed it."

"I enjoyed parts of it," agreed Apollo, thinking with satisfaction of the chocolate mousse and the pained look on Athena's face whenever she saw how close Apollo sat next to Starbuck or vice versa.  Of course they couldn't really do much more than that, not in his Dad's quarters, but they were home now and the thought of Yuletide sex was very much uppermost in Apollo's mind.  Only the child to see to, first, so he kissed Starbuck lightly, as a kind of deposit and promissory note for future activity, and bundled Boxey off to bed.

Boxey was almost asleep on his feet, exhausted by the late night, the rich food and the games and by being used as a lethal weapon against Starbuck.  Apollo thought it was both touching and irritating to have to undress a child who was almost boneless with sleep and unable to be anything but a helpless tangle of arms and legs that flopped in all directions when you were trying to coax shirts and pants off them.  Boxey mumbled a goodnight and planted a wet kiss somewhere near Apollo's ear.  Much as Apollo loved his son, it was something of a relief to roll Boxey into his blankets and depart for his own bedroom.

He had every intention of rolling Starbuck into the blankets as well and was tolerably hopeful of reducing his lover to a boneless tangle of arms and legs.  Kisses would be good, too, and thankfully Starbuck wasn't a slobbery kisser.  Starbuck was a champion kisser and Apollo intended that Starbuck should be kept in practice, all the better to be able to retain his title.

Starbuck was already lying across the bed when Apollo got there, naked, upright and most definitely ready.

Apollo smiled, shedding all of his clothes while traversing the four feet that separated the edge of the bed from the door.  "I just love it when you've been thinking of the same things I have."

"All evening," said Starbuck, in his sultriest tones.  "I've got something for you, Apollo."

"So I see," crooned Apollo, reaching for it with both hands.

"Not that," said Starbuck, wriggling away.  "I mean, yes, of course that, but something else first.  A present."

"I thought we were giving presents tomorrow when Dad and Thenie get here."

Starbuck smirked.  "This is one present you do not want to share with Thenie.  Believe me."  He rolled over, giving Apollo a very fine view of his arse, and brought a flat package from under the bed.

Apollo, once he could think again – the very fine view having interfered with his blood circulation, cutting off supplies to everywhere except his groin – thought he recognised the shape and size.  "The calendar?"

"Well, you liked Tertius, I believe," said Starbuck with becoming modesty.

"Yeah, but I've got the original.  I don't have to look at the pictures."

"You do, this one.  Open it up."  Starbuck snuggled up close, causing a further rush of blood to where it could do the most good – which wasn't frankly, to enhance Apollo's ability to manipulate ribbons and bows and Starbuck got impatient.  "Hurry up!  I made it specially for you."

It felt thicker and heavier than the original calendar, Apollo thought.  The cover was the same, a picture of a Viper, trailing an improbable plume of smoke, streaking across a star field.  The title flowed across it in Italic script: Warrior of the Sectar. 

"Open it at Primus," ordered Starbuck.

Feeling unaccountably nervous, Apollo did as he was told.  For a centon he stared in open mouthed astonishment at the picture.  Unmistakably Starbuck, unmistakably himself.  If he hadn’t known better, he'd have thought that it was anatomically impossible for him to be at that particular angle and still, as was patently obvious, be impaled upon Starbuck's thick and glorious cock.  Face heating up, he was bloody glad that this didn't come with sound effects.  If the expression on his photographed face was anything to go by, he was making a lot of noise.

"Oh my God," he breathed, and turned the page.

Bree had gone back into whatever doll-like universe she inhabited.  Instead here was Starbuck, only a thin sheet between him and the world, and that had somehow got so far down his slender body that all it covered was his right knee.  Now as we’ve already noted, Apollo liked Starbuck's knees.  He liked Starbuck's knees more than he liked anyone else's anything at all.  But there wasn't much point at looking at knees when a large and rampant cock was taking up a disproportionate amount of the frame, and not even the hand wrapped around it (which wasn't Starbuck's unless he really was an octopus, and besides, Apollo recognised the ancient family signet ring his father had given him for his twenty first birthday) was enough to hide its immodest demands to have attention paid to it.

Tertius was another fine view - of Apollo's arse, this time, framed by what was indubitably Starbuck's bent legs.  Apollo appeared to have decided against taking Starbuck in hand and was applying a little oral persuasion.

"Oh.  My.  God."

"Good, aren't they?"

There was absolutely no denying that.  Amazed, delighted, appalled, terrified, turned on like buggery – a whole host of emotions swirled through Apollo and settled themselves into the last mentioned one.  He was indeed turned on, so much so that the brief unease melted away.  This was the most astonishing present.

Apollo swallowed hard.  "Do I really look like that from behind?"

Starbuck stared, then laughed and kissed him.  "Best bum in the Fleet, after mine," he said. 

Apollo flicked through the photographs.  Every single sectar was him and Starbuck in what could only be described as a compromising position.  He turned the calendar on its side to be sure that some photo-manipulation hadn't been going on.  It didn’t seem that it had.  He hadn’t realised that he and Starbuck were quite that athletic.

"Of course, I realise you'll have to tape this one to the inside of your closet and hide it.  Shame, isn't it, when you see what I meant by how much better artistic is over boring.  They'd have no trouble selling these."  Starbuck seemed to understand Apollo's expression, because he added hurriedly, "Of course, I don't mean to sell this one, never even crossed my mind to do that, not really, but just the idea of more artistic.  You do see?"  He waited for a micron, but Apollo had lost the power of speech.  "Do you want to see the rest?" he added hopefully.


"I took loads of pictures."

"Oh," said Apollo.  He swallowed again and took another look at the Septimus picture.  If Starbuck was willing to stand on his head again, he might suggest that one for tonight.  It had been quite invigorating, as he remembered. 

"Don't worry.  I've got them all safe."  Starbuck's voice became slightly indistinct as he rolled over again, giving Apollo another opportunity to admire the best bum in the fleet, while he fished around in his pants for something – his pants being on the floor as usual.   "I only printed out the ones I wanted for this, and the rest are all on this data crystal."

Apollo waited. 

Starbuck wriggled until his head was hanging over the edge of the bed and did some more fishing.  "It's right here..."

Apollo waited. 

He flicked the calendar to Quintus.  That one was good too.  But getting hold of that much strawberry jelly again in these straitened times was problematic.

"Won’t be a micron," said Starbuck.

Apollo waited.

Decimus might be a possibility, and seasonally correct.  But Apollo wasn't entirely sure about it.  It wasn't so much the Yuletide pudding, but the holly got everywhere and was bloody sharp.


Apollo looked at Starbuck, still hanging over the edge of the bed, so red that even his buttocks were blushing.  He knew, with sickening certainty, what Starbuck was going to say.

Starbuck's Law let out a whoop of joy so titanic in volume and timbre that the Universe trembled and stars went out all over the place, swooped down upon Apollo like a giant and shook him like a terrier with a helpless rat.

Starbuck's Law is an immutable.

And the Big Bang isn’t always pretty.




Sagittarius: (Nov. 22—Dec. 21)
You may have started looking forward to your own death, but trust the Zodiac—it'll be no picnic.

"Is this yours, Dad?  I just found it behind the sofa cushion."

Commander Adama glanced at the data crystal Athena was holding out to him.  "I don’t think so.  Yours, Tigh?"

The Colonel shook his head.

"Oh well," said Adama.  He turned to the monitor on the desk at one side of his living room and switched it on. "Give it here, Athena, and we'll take a look."




Capricorn: (Dec. 22—Jan. 19)

You're technically in favor of people exacting bloody revenge, but everyone trying to do it all at once will seriously inconvenience you, even though you'll be integral to a process that will win your funeral director an award for unique approaches to challenging problems.


Horoscopes courtesy of The Onion.