The Life Within is a particularly clever study in the psychology of Baltar, Six and D'Anna. Partially based on season 3 and the Basestar events, partially imaginary (Six carries Baltar's child, which really is much better than carrying Tigh's child), the story explores the relationships between Baltar and the two cylon ladies. In my favorite scene, D'Anna asks Baltar - just to torment him - if he doesn't feel guilty at all for helping with the destruction of the twelve colonies:
She makes a soft line over his tightly folded arms, down his sternum. “Billions of people – your people – dying a horrific death, all because you couldn’t stop thinking with this?” She stops short at his pelvis.
He hates the terrified way his feet trip over themselves to get their distance from her. “No,” he yelps. The sound of his own voice embarrasses him.
“You don’t ever think of them?” she presses, walking into him while he retreats, their bodies falling into a rhythm not unlike a dance. “Corpses on fire? Half-dead, screaming survivors, their burned and scarred bodies stumbling about blind? Flaming cities? Ash-filled skies? The thought of all that doesn’t bother you in the…”
“Oh, so there is a conscience in there after all?” D’Anna mocks him, clearly thrilled with her victory.
“Frak you,” he rasps at her, turning away, afraid to close his eyes.
I was amazed at this, because I can imagine the characters saying these lines. The visual way in which it's written also helps one to imagine how their movements would look on camera. D'Anna's cat and mouse routine is always enjoyable to watch on the show, and it's enjoyable to read here. Of course, she doesn't give a frak about Gaius' conscience, she just loves being able to torture him. And Gaius, of course, tries to deny all guilt and run away from it as well as he can - and is not always entirely successful. I cut some of the longer paragraphs out of my quote, but I was intrigued by the mention that he'd have experience, "going back as far as childhood", of images haunting him when he least expects it. Is ignoring his conscience something he's been practicing since he was a child? I found this thought fascinating.
In Life in Mono, Gaius wanders around the Basestar and meets Boomer, who asks him about the cylon test and why he lied to her that time. It's an interesting scene, and like the author says, we don't often see them together on the show, despite the two important scenes in season one.
More astute analysis of Gaius:
Gaius sees himself in a pretty flattering light, and his lack of compassion with most people comes across well here. "Much smarter than anyone else he'd ever met" cracks me up, partially because it's so what he would think, partially because I think Six, in his lover's form, was probably smarter than him ("I re-wrote half of your algorithms"?). He would never admit that, though. I also like the sexism in that paragraph.
But Gaius didn’t do sympathy well with women, or with anyone for that matter. Despite being charming, articulate, and much smarter than anyone else he’d ever met, he had a hard time paying attention when women got like this– sentimental, brooding, angst-ridden. Generally, in these situations, he either extricated himself as quickly as possible, or else he tried distractions.
What sums up Gaius better than that paragraph? Nothing was ever his fault. It was just the frakking cylons! He made mistakes - yet he couldn't have done anything any other way, because it was all destined to go that way, and he was between a rock and a hard place. All of this is implied on the show, which is what makes this such good fan fiction. It doesn't stray too far from the characters' reality as we see it on the show, but rather expands on it and offers a more detailed view of their personalities.
“I … I didn’t know what you would do if I told you the truth about your nature. You might have killed me, snapped my neck before I knew what hit me. I was afraid you’d destroy the fleet.”“Were you?” Her harsh laughter ran him through like a sword. “You know what, Doctor? So was I.”
His head smacked the back of the chair. He closed his eyes. So many mistakes, he thought.
So many mistakes since the destruction of Caprica. And yet, none of them had been his fault, not really. What was he supposed to have done? Go around telling President Roslin that well yes, it was true he’d been in a romantic relationship with a Cylon just before the Attacks, but that he hadn’t actually known it? Or that an imaginary version of said Cylon lover was constantly in his head, chattering at him about his destiny to help the Cylons supersede the human race? That Hera was actually his baby, and that his imaginary lover was threatening to kill him if he didn’t keep their hybrid baby alive at all costs?
Crossed Frequencies chronicles a brief mail exchange between Baltar and Felix Gaeta. It takes place in season 4, when Gaius has already acquired his cult-leader persona. The delicious bickering and Gaius' incredibly condescending attitude - "Felix, Felix, Felix: You've got to let go of this anger" - are spot on. It's a shorter story with no ambition to show the characters' inner motives, but it still manages to portray both Gaius and Gaeta deliciously in character.
The only time I don't agree with Millarific's take on the characters is when s/he writes gay porn about Gaeta and Gaius, for instance in Muscle Memory. I've tried to put my finger on why it doesn't work for me. It's not that Gaeta wouldn't want Gaius - he surely would. It's not that Gaius wouldn't sleep with him, either - I think he'd sleep with anyone, to be honest, and he certainly has no moral considerations about sex. But would he be submissive in a sexual relationship with Gaeta? No, I don't think he would. I don't think Gaeta would command him to undress, and I don't think he would do it. It'd be too much for Gaius' giant ego. He may be submissive in his sexual relationship with Head Six, but she's a cylon, and she has a choke hold over him because of his guilt. I don't think Gaeta would be that domineering, and I don't think Gaius would be that submissive, and I think some of the dialogue beomes forced as a result. Some of the porn fic is good though; I quite enjoyed the Six-Head Six action in Aperture.
All of Millarific's fan fiction can be found here.