Gaius Baltar sat up there in Colonial One and didn't save her people. Twenty-four hours a day, the only thing we know for sure is that he didn't save them. It's the one thing he did constantly for more than a year. He shoved her in a box, just to prove he could; he signed away her life, and took the child, and walked away from 8,000 dead. How do we measure loss? 8,000 names, scrawled across her heart. And how many people in the Colonies, if he tells her this? How many millions, children and students and lovers and friends? Seven million in Caprica City alone. He is a Hub. And now he's on his back, bleeding out, and he's not begging. He's high as a kite and he thinks she's pretty, and he needs to confess.
"I gave the access codes to the Cylons. They wiped out most of humanity."
Her eyes roll back; she nearly faints. Her eyes go glossy. This isn't his trial. It never was.
"Of course, I didn't know that's what I was doing at the time, exactly, but that's what I did. And when I realized what I had done, the magnitude..."
He is back there for a moment, he lives the story. The magnitude. Down in the water, when she tortured him, and his million burnt and burning children kissed him. Up in the head, when he finally understood how Kevin Connor could be seven years old, and nine, at once. As Jeanne's boy lay gasping in the arms of his family, in the presence of God. The magnitude. Try to explain it, it slips through your fingers like Hybrid speech. Try to share your salvation with a woman you've hurt this deeply, and it turns into riya. Because there is no relativity to sin, nor to guilt, or to redemption: you throw your salvation in her face, the one thing she can't have. Because even if your sins are washed away, those are still her people, still written on her heart, and her guilt is here to stay. Your salvation is cruelty:
"In that moment, I was saved. I was loved. By God. Looking back... I think I was rewarded."
"Rewarded," she says. So scary.
Well, a sober Gaius would probably have fucked this up even more, but yeah: rewarded. To reclaim your soul from your own self-hatred, to touch that divinity for even a moment: rewarded. For laying down the burdens of your own guilt performance for five seconds and realizing that you are loved. For hearing your master's command and snapping at that treat, finally, after thirty years; the sweet taste, and how it fades so quickly? Rewarded. But this isn't a love story; all she hears is hate.