The discussion day meta topic over at [livejournal.com profile] bsg_epics asks us to consider what things one has to keep in mind while writing a character to keep them in character. My first prompt was Billy, sweet thing, and I've taken [livejournal.com profile] astreamofstars format of detailing the five things that I need when I read and write Billy.

1. Billy is mentally older than his actual age and has been for most of his life. He's incredibly awkward, from the way he dresses to how he takes up space in the world, but the fact that he doesn't let it define him negatively speaks to a confidence in his intellect and personality that's unusual for someone his age. He's far more comfortable with older people because they're more likely to recognize his brilliance whereas he lacks an innate understanding of the social cues and even cultural knowledge required to fit in comfortably with his generational cohorts. As he is more interested in, say, attending a strategy briefing with high level advisers than playing a game of Triad, this doesn't bother him much at all and he considers his ability to be the youngest in a room of powerful people an immutable, and positive, characteristic.

2. Billy has above average intelligence and his worldview is highly informed by what he learned in school rather than personal experience, which is age appropriate. He has a strong sense of justice as taught in books but is mentally flexible enough to change his opinion when confronted with real life situations, like changing his high opinion of Tom Zarek after the incident on the Astral Queen. His idealism is equally informed by intellect but, similarly, it begins to shift when he gets a front row seat to the hard decisions that have to be made at the end of the worlds. His disdain for religion is also rooted in the intense practicality of someone who prefers tangible things, like science and numbers, rather than myths and prophecies.

3. Billy is emotionally perceptive when it comes to practical matters, like how to best serve his boss and how other people's emotions and beliefs inform their political actions, but he's dense when it comes to his romantic life. He hasn't had much experience with dating and his inability to see that Dee isn't really in love with him is a product of his almost singular focus on what he would term the 'important things' like doing his job well. His connection with Laura, while intensely personal, is filed in his head as part of his job and is part of why he does it so well.

4. Billy is almost freakishly in tune with Laura Roslin which suggests he's been well mentored before her and is used to being trusted and relied upon by older people. He's incredibly respectful of her position -- he would never call her anything other than Madame President -- but he knows true respect means treating her like a human being. He jokes with her because it makes her feel normal; he pushes back on decisions he disagrees with because he knows she doesn't want him to be a 'yes man.' It pains him to watch her suffer through her illness but he knows he's better able to take care of her by treating her as fully capable at all times rather than as a fragile, sick person who needs to be protected.

5. Billy is, at this point in his life, almost entirely defined by his relationship to Roslin and he's fine with that. He appreciates her mentorship and the trust she places in him but, while ambitious, he can't yet see past making her administration the best it can be to consider what's next for him in life. However, he's developed enough and comfortable enough in himself not to lose his personality or beliefs next to a very charismatic and powerful woman. His deference to her isn't self-deprecating or born of a lack of confidence or even goddess worship but rather a sincere belief that his best contribution to what's left of humanity, right this moment, is to make sure Roslin is supported both professionally and personally.
What did I expect when I came to a fandom 11 years late? Certainly not the warm, wonderful welcome I've gotten or the multitude of opportunities to play around with awesome people, talking, writing, and creating around our favorite show and characters. I'm grateful for both and excited (ok, and a little overwhelmed) by all the things I've signed up for/am taking part in this spring:

First, the [livejournal.com profile] twelvecolonies land comm is still taking applications here -- Go Team Colonial One! -- and if you do decide to come join us please mention you joined because this ever so very compelling promo post tugged on your heartstrings and you just HAD to sign up. (READ: because I get points and I'm already behind due to my complete inability to make a header without dissolving into season four Kara, holding a gun on my computer and screaming, "why won't you lighten that waaaaay?!")

Secondly, you have until March 15th to sign up for the SIXTH [livejournal.com profile] bsg_remix and this time it's a duello, meaning you get to choose two or three stories you'd like to have remixed. I've never done this before and am part excited, part terrified and can't wait to get started!

Finally, there was an amazing multi-ship war over at [livejournal.com profile] bsg_epics this past weekend that netted some really interesting (ok, some strange) pairings and some really funny, heartwarming, and hot new fic! You have until Sunday to VOTE for your favorites. Check out all the stories here and leave the authors some love!

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