If Only She Would Ask

by Susan P.
  Fandom: Battlestar Galactica (2005)     Pairing: Laura Roslin/Kara Thrace  
  Rating, etc.: 15+, f/f Slash; some Angst, sexual situations  
  Spoilers: Up through and especially including episodes #110-113: "Hand of God," "Colonial Day," and "Kobol's Last Gleaming," parts 1 & 2. This piece begins after the events of "Colonial Day," and reveals major plot points for the series up through episode #113.  
  Summary: What if Kara Thrace had ended up in someone else's bed after the Colonial Day party? (Season 1)

  Author's Notes: I didn't much like Starbuck's choice of bed-mates, as shown in that early scene from "Kobol's Last Gleaming, pt 1," though I thought it was hilarious that she called out the wrong name. <g>  Plus, I figure I can't have been the only one to replay the Starbuck/Roslin hug scene from "Hand of God" over and over--and in slo-mo--so, I decided to 'reinterpret' canon in this particular area. :) 
Originally written for Shatterstorm.net's FemSlash Advent Calendar, Dog Days of Summer 2005 challenge, posted June 14, 2005. You can check out this and other entries at: http://fsac.shatterstorm.net/
  Disclaimers: These two characters belong to others, such as NBC, Sci-Fi, Ron Moore & David Eick, R&D, and I'm not even sure who else. I'm just having a little not-for-profit fun with them.  
  Permission to Archive: Passion and Perfection & Frisked & Conquered have it.  Anyone else, please ask first.  

President Roslin had been surprised by Commander Adama's invitation to dance, but it was hardly the most surprising thing that had happened the past few days, and given how decidedly unpleasant a few of those other surprises were, she was content to oblige him. So, Laura Roslin allowed herself to relax in Adama's loose embrace, following the music, and his lead, easily. Regardless of their frequent disagreements, they could--at times--see eye to eye.   This was a celebration, after all, and she had reason enough to celebrate. She was none too thrilled to have been forced into working so closely with Gaius Baltar--a man who was mildly unstable, at his best, and who she was sure she didn't want to see at his worst. But she had beaten Tom Zarek, for now. She could only hope to survive long enough to see someone she felt they could all trust triumph in the upcoming election.  Someone who would do everything possible to protect humanity's survivors and ensure their survival. Not Zarek, and not Baltar. She would have to start thinking about viable candidates, but that could wait until tomorrow. For now, she could afford to take a little time to enjoy the party, and be grateful that they had survived to even see Colonial Day after everything they had been through.

"Mind if I cut in?"

Roslin looked over to find Lieutenant Thrace smiling at them expectantly. No. Kara. The young woman was most definitely out of uniform, and looking positively stunning.

Adama and Roslin smiled back at her, then graciously released each other and stepped apart. Contrary to expectations, however--which was actually Starbuck's usual modus operandi--it was Roslin whom she pulled into her arms, assuming the lead easily and swaying gently to the music.

Roslin tried to hide her shock, but fell into step with her new partner almost automatically. The Commander merely shared a look with each woman in turn before saying lightly, "Don't keep her out too late." He then wandered off to mingle with some of the other guests.

"Which of us do you think he was talking to?" Roslin asked.

"Both, probably," the young woman smiled.

"You know, Lieutenant, I'd call you insane, but I suspect you'd only take it as a compliment."

"Very likely," the young woman smirked. "I have a reputation to live up to, after all. You don't need to worry about your rep, though." She leaned in slightly and lowered her voice. "There'll be speculation about you and the Commander before there'll be any about us."

"Oh, really?"

"Oh, yeah." She leaned back again as she explained, "All those disagreements you two have? Rumor mill is already kicking around the theory that it's all just sexual tension."

"Oh, my..." Roslin wasn't quite sure what to make of that news.

Starbuck shrugged. "You can use that to your advantage, you know. As long as they're looking at you and Adama, that leaves you free to look...elsewhere."

"Elsewhere?" Roslin feigned ignorance.

Starbuck just smiled slyly and looked into her eyes. "Elsewhere." Then the young woman leaned fractionally closer and continued in a voice just above a whisper, "In fact, I was hoping you might be available for a...private...meeting tonight, Madame President."

"Oh...well..." Roslin stammered, embarrassed and flattered, all at once. She hadn't let herself think that there might be an encore of their previous encounter. She tried to compose herself quickly, but she couldn't help but look around to make sure no one was paying attention to their conversation. "I'll need to stay awhile longer for appearance's sake..." she trailed off for a moment, thinking.

"But, I expect Billy will be...otherwise occupied tonight." She had seen her assistant earlier with Officer Dualla and the two had looked pretty cozy. "So, my quarters should be...private enough." She couldn't help but grin, just a little, in anticipation. "There's a back entrance..." One that only a few people knew about. It was intended for use as an escape route, if one became necessary, not as an entrance, and it was well-hidden and hard to spot unless you knew it was there, so there wouldn't be any guards outside for Thrace to contend with. And since Starbuck had been part of the security detail for the events of the past few days, and had, in fact, been instrumental in thwarting a possible assassination attempt, she could no doubt explain her presence to any guards she did encounter by saying she was doing additional security checks. Roslin gave the young woman the necessary details, including the access code.

Starbuck listened attentively before asking, "when?"

"I'd like to be out of here within the hour." Sooner, if she were free to do as she wished, but she knew she was obliged to stay and mingle a while longer. "But, we should probably say an hour and a half, to be safe."

"Okay," Starbuck kept her reply short and simple, because another dancing couple executed a turn which brought them a little too close for comfort.

Shortly thereafter, the song they'd been dancing to ended and was replaced by a slower, more 'romantic' one. So, Starbuck dutifully stepped back and said, a little too loudly, "Thank you, Madame President, and congratulations to you and Vice-President Baltar. Shall I go get the Commander for you?"

"Thank you, Lieutenant," Roslin played along, "but, no. I believe I'll sit this one out."

Starbuck nodded crisply, "Then let me see you back to your table, at least." The young woman gestured for Roslin to precede her, then followed at a respectable distance until the President was safely ensconced at her table. She then bowed slightly and said, with a sly wink for Roslin's eyes only, "Good night, ma'am. Enjoy the rest of your evening."

"Thank you, Lieutenant," Roslin replied graciously. "I'm sure I will."

An hour and fifty minutes later a weary Laura Roslin said goodnight to her guards and slumped into her quarters. As difficult as the job was, it was the social obligations of political life that she found most trying.

She saw no obvious signs of Kara having been there, and she was more disappointed by that than she wanted to contemplate. She sighed heavily and began unbuttoning her jacket, stripping out of it as she walked into her bedroom. She hung it up and kicked off her shoes. She had reached up to unbutton her blouse when she felt a pair of hands land on her shoulders. She stiffened immediately and started to pull away when she heard a soft voice speak quickly, "it's okay."

"It's okay," Kara repeated, " I'm sorry. It was stupid to come up behind you like that after everything that's happened. You have reason enough to be jumpy, and I...I wasn't thinking." The young woman began gently kneading the tight muscles of her neck and shoulders, and Laura gratefully leaned back into the contact.

"It's all right. I just... I thought you..." she faltered, not quite sure how to finish the thought--or whether she wanted to.

But Kara Thrace was no fool, and she filled in the blanks easily. "What? You thought I'd left? Or maybe you thought I'd gotten a better offer and decided not to come at all?"

"Mhmm," Laura hummed, part vague acknowledgment of her own insecurities, and part appreciation for Kara's efforts at easing her knotted muscles.

The young woman slid one arm around her waist and pulled their bodies together. "This was my idea, remember?"

Laura's only reply was a sharp intake of breath when Kara's lips brushed against the base of her neck. Her breath quickened as the young woman continued kissing her way up the side of her neck.

She tried to lose herself in the moment, in the sensation of Kara's lips against her skin, and Kara's body pressing into her back, but she couldn't let go fully, and the question that had been lurking at the back of her mind slipped out before she could suppress it. "Why?" 

The young woman stiffened and pulled away from her. Roslin had already begun cursing herself for ruining the moment when Kara stepped in front of her, deliberately meeting her eyes.

"Why what?"

"Why me?" Laura blurted, in spite of herself. "I mean, I'm old enough to..."

Kara silenced her by gently placing a finger on her lips. Laura was perversely grateful for the interruption, since she'd had no idea how to finish her thought. The age difference wasn't really that great, depending upon one's standards, but ever since the diagnosis, she had a profound sense of her own mortality. In addition, the burdens of her job and the desperateness of their situation all combined to make her feel old and weary. She was feeling every minute of her age, and she was acutely aware of how few of those minutes might be left.

"You're old enough to know what you want.  That's all that matters to me." Kara held her gaze, leaving the corresponding question unspoken.

In answer, Laura reached up to cup Kara's face in her palm before slowly, deliberately, leaning in to kiss her. She lingered long enough to leave no doubts about the carnal nature of her intentions, but pulled away before things could get too heated. While their first encounter hadn't exactly been rushed, it was...urgent in a way that had left her physically sated, but still...wanting. More.

Not that she had expected more. They had shared a moment--something precious, certainly--but not necessarily a firm foundation for something more substantial. However, now that she had another chance to be with Kara, she wanted to take her time and savor the experience.

"As for why..." Kara's voice broke into her thoughts, and she refocused her full attention on the young woman before her, who was now looking almost...shy. Or maybe it was embarrassment. It was difficult to tell without some clue as to what was going through Kara's mind.

"After the mission to destroy that Cylon base--the one I planned. I..." Kara continued, then faltered a moment, her eyes distant. "It was hard, you know? Being responsible for all those pilots' lives--not being out there with them. I mean, I'm responsible for them when I'm out there, too, but when I am out there, I can watch their backs. Out there, I can do everything possible to make sure they come back safely. This mission was different. I was stuck on Galactica, waiting with the rest of you, but I was still responsible for them. It's a different kind of responsibility."

"Yes, it is," Roslin replied softly, having become all too familiar with how it felt, and what it meant, to send people off to fight, and possibly die, while she herself sat back and waited in relative safety.

Kara refocused on her and smiled reflexively. "Yeah," she nodded her understanding of their common experience. Her smile grew wider for a moment, then she shrugged and ran a hand through her hair. "Anyway, afterward, I...you know I didn't mean to grab you like that. I just... When Apollo managed to pull it off, it was like this weight had been lifted. And it was just such a rush, knowing that the plan had worked--that Lee had managed to pull it off in spite of the odds! That we would have enough fuel to last us a few years. I was so relieved and I had all this energy I had to do something with, and you were there, and I... I saw you put your hand to your chest and blow out this huge breath--you looked as relieved as I felt, so I just...grabbed you. It was good, you know, but you seemed so...surprised by it that I thought I might've really screwed up. But you just smiled and said it was okay, and then you did the most amazing thing. You hugged me back. It felt really...good, and if you've heard any of the rumors about me, you know I'm all about what feels good."

Now it was embarrassment that crossed the young woman's face as she looked down to study the pattern of the carpet, Roslin was sure of it. The only rumors she had heard about Starbuck were those involving her and Adama's younger son, but she'd known enough fighter pilots in her time to have some clue as to the kind of rumors Kara was referring to, and to know that there would be at least some truth to them.

"We all have a past, Kara," Laura offered absolution for whatever it was that was troubling the young woman.

"Yeah, I guess," Kara shrugged. "Some of us just have more of it to live down..."

Laura reached out to cup Kara's cheek in her hand. "You don't have to live down anything with me."

Kara's eyes searched hers for a moment, then she shifted to place a light kiss on Laura's palm, cradling Laura's hand with her own for a few seconds before releasing it.

The young blonde continued without preamble. "You know, later that night when I found you in Galactica's galley after hours, and you told me you'd snuck out without your security detail, well, I just couldn't resist you," she smirked.

"As I recall, it was you who made the first move," Laura smiled back at her.

"Exactly. If I'd been able to resist you, I wouldn't have," the blonde countered smugly.

"Ah, I see," Laura replied in mock-seriousness. She then stepped forward to pull Kara into a loose embrace. "Lucky for you, I couldn't resist you, either."

"Lucky for your reputation we were already in the cook's pantry when I pounced," Kara joked.

"I'd hardly call it a pounce. You gave me plenty of time to back away, if I'd wanted to."

Kara laughed and replied, "I wasn't talking about the kiss. I was talking about..." her voice lowered several registers, "later..."

"Oh," Laura breathed, flushing at the memory. "Now, that...was...a pounce." She couldn't quite suppress the giggle that bubbled up from her chest at the thought of someone spotting them both at that moment, while they were both tangled together on the floor. "You're right. It is a good thing that no one walked in on us then, because I don't think I could've stopped. There's something...infectious about you, Kara."

The young woman laughed, but there was a hint of uncertainty in her voice as she asked, "You mean like a disease?"

"No," Laura shook her head, smiling, "like...laughter."

There was just something irresistible about the young woman. She was so confident, so full of life, she just charged through it, determined to have her way. 

Laura pulled back slightly, questioning her own motives for the first time. Is that what I'm doing? Is that what I've become? The dying woman trying desperately to cling to life any way she can--even vicariously? Is that why I'm so drawn to her, because I want to be able to grab onto life like she does?

"Hey," Kara's voice broke into her thoughts. "Now's no time to start developing an immunity to me." The young woman pulled her closer, reminding Laura that it had been Kara who had initiated things all along. Whatever this was, it was clearly mutual. 

"I don't think there's much chance of that," Laura answered honestly. With the ready temptation of the young woman pressed against her, warm and willing, it was hard to find any compelling argument to pull away from what they both wanted.

"Good." Kara squeezed her more tightly for a moment before releasing her and reaching up to undo the first button on her blouse. She then leaned in to kiss the patch of skin she'd just exposed. "Very good." Other buttons were quickly conquered, but before Kara could remove the garment altogether, Laura gently grabbed her hands, kissing one of them. "Hold that thought."

Laura then stepped away to turn on the bedside lamp and switch off the overhead light. Unlike their previous encounter, she couldn't go through this almost-fully clothed, nor did she want to. But she was still a bit self-conscious about exposing herself to the young woman. The tumor in her breast wasn't exactly visible without close inspection, and Kara would be far more likely to discover it through touch, but she hoped that the low lighting and some skillful maneuvering on her part might prevent its discovery, for now. She wanted to be able to enjoy this night, and for Kara to do the same, and there were some questions she didn't want to have to answer just yet.

Feigning a boldness she didn't quite feel, she tossed her shirt aside as she walked back to where the young woman was standing, watching her every move.

Kara reached out to pull her close, long fingers resting on the exposed skin just above her skirt. They shared a gentle kiss, though it soon escalated until they were both breathless.

When they parted, Kara undid the catch and zipper on Laura's skirt, quickly pushing it to the floor. She then spent long, enticing moments removing Roslin's stockings, using light, teasing strokes that left Laura weak-kneed, and trembling. 

Kara looked up at her from her crouching position, and she reached out a hand to help the young woman up, or maybe it was she who needed a steadying hand--she wasn't quite sure. Kara took the offered hand and slid upward easily, her eyes smoldering with desire.

"You look lovely, Madame President, but you're still a little overdressed."

"Laura," Roslin breathed, "call me Laura."

"Laura," the young woman smiled seductively. "Help me finish what I started?"

Her hands shook as she reached back to undo the clasp on her bra and slide it off, leaving Kara to remove her underwear. She steeled herself against Kara's gaze upon her breasts, against the feel of Kara's hands on her most intimate areas, against Kara's reaction to her body, against her own reaction to the young woman.

Kara made no move toward her, just smiled as she reached behind her back to untie the sash that held her gown together.

Laura gasped as the dress slid to the floor, revealing every glorious inch of the young woman's flesh. "Oh, Lords!" Laura whispered, unsure of how or why she managed to keep breathing, much less how she could remain standing. 

"I take it you approve?" Kara asked. Laura could only nod dumbly as Kara finally removed her underwear. To her surprise, and disappointment, Kara's fingers took a relatively chaste approach to the task, sliding the material down just far enough for gravity to take over, and then resting her palms on Laura's hips. "I decided to 'go commando' tonight, in case I got lucky."

"And are you feeling lucky right now?" Laura croaked.

"Mhm-hmm," the young woman hummed, pulling their bodies together, flesh to flesh for the first time. Laura's arms slid around Kara's back immediately and clung tightly, as though afraid the young woman might slip away. Kara nuzzled into the embrace before speaking again. "I'm feeling very..." She placed a kiss at the base of Laura's neck, "very lucky at the moment."

"Kara," Laura breathed. It was her only coherent thought. 

The young woman began placing a series of kisses along her jaw-line until she could whisper in her companion's ear, "Take me to bed, Laura."

Laura almost laughed at the absurd notion of her taking the young woman anywhere when she was convinced that she might well need Kara's assistance to move at all, lest they wind up tangled together on the floor--for the second time in their brief history. Luckily, she barely had time to wonder at the young woman's ability to inflame her senses with as little as a look, a gesture, or a few choice words, when Kara seemed to recognize her dilemma and took the initiative in propelling them toward their destination.

Once safely ensconced in the center of her bed, she knew nothing other than Kara. Kara's warm, lean body pressed against hers. Kara's breath flowing across her skin. Kara's fingers mapping her body. Kara's lips and tongue igniting her passion and sustaining her through a long, slow burn. Kara's name on her lips as she came. And then,... Kara's scent, and the texture of her skin, and the taste of her sweat, and the salty-sweet flavor of her arousal. Kara moving beneath her. Kara's hands in her hair. Kara's moans and sighs. The sound of her name on Kara's lips as she coaxed her over the edge.

Afterward, they burrowed under the covers and lay together, Kara curled against her right side, head on her shoulder. Laura wasn't sure how long they had stayed like that. Long enough for one of both of them to have fallen asleep by now, but she hadn't yet managed to drop off, and she suspected Kara was still wide-awake, as well.

Her suspicions were confirmed a few minutes later when the young woman carefully shifted to look up at her face. Once Kara realized she was awake, she pulled back slightly and rose up on one elbow, looking troubled.

"Kara?" Laura asked, afraid things were about to become awkward. Had she misread the situation so badly? Was the young woman trying to find a way to make her escape gracefully?

"I need you to promise me something."

"If I can." It was the only thing Laura could agree to without knowing any of the details.

The young woman looked even more troubled, but couldn't seem to say whatever it was that was on her mind. She squeezed her eyes shut tightly for a moment, then ran a hand through her hair and took a deep breath.

"Zak Adama, the Commander's other son... He and I were involved, and I... I let my feelings for him get in the way of my duty. I made the wrong choice, and because of that, he died in the cockpit of a plane he should never have been in."

"Oh, Kara..." Laura started to reach out to her, but Kara shook her head.

"No. I'm only telling you this so you'll know why I can't let anything like that happen again. I know what happened when my viper went down. I know that Lee and the Commander kept the search going longer than they should have, and I know you managed to talk some sense into them. Not that I'm not glad Galactica stuck around until I could make it back, but... You did the right thing, and I need to know that you can do that again." Kara rested a hand on her upper chest. "Whatever this is, whatever happens next... If you're ever faced with a choice between me and doing your duty, I need you to promise you won't choose me."

Laura knew what she was asking, and she knew how difficult a promise it would be to keep. Kara had already managed to worm her way into her heart, and it would be difficult to set aside her natural instincts to protect those she cared about. But she also knew what her answer had to be.

"I can make you that promise, but only if you can promise me the same thing."

Kara nodded grimly, making it clear that she, too, would find it a hard promise to uphold. "Deal."

Only then did Kara settle back into her place at Laura's side, and if they both held each other a little too tightly for a moment, neither of them made note of it.

Laura's eyes were just starting to drift closed when Kara spoke, her voice once again full of light-hearted sarcasm and cocky self-assurance, "Of course, in all other things, I should come first."

"Oh, is that so?" Laura didn't even try to hide the amusement in her voice.

"Yes." Kara turned her head to face her, laying a hand on Laura's shoulder and propping her chin on it. "I think you should indulge my every whim." Kara's roguish smile was almost impossible to resist. Almost.

"Oh, really?"

"Well, okay..." Kara appeared to reconsider. "Maybe only when we're alone together. Lee'd kick my ass if he knew what we were doing, and 'dating' the most tarnished pilot in the fleet wouldn't do much for your reputation."

"Well," Laura smiled, "I guess I should thank you for that concession, though I suspect there isn't much that can be done to enhance my reputation, these days." She reached over to brush a stray blonde lock from Kara's forehead. "But tell me, why is it that I should indulge you at all?"

"Because I'm charming," Kara replied with just a hint of irony.

"Not to mention impertinent."




"Brazen," Laura countered, enjoying the banter and knowing that Kara would, no doubt, take every word she'd said as a compliment.

"Not to mention sexy as hell and very, very good in bed."

Laura did laugh then. "Well, I guess I'll just have to concede those last two points."

Kara smiled at her. "I thought you might."

"So, what 'whims' would you like me to indulge at the moment?"

"Oh...well..." Kara shifted and rolled over on her back, gently tugging at Laura's hip until she got the message and draped herself across the young woman's torso. "You're the President, and I'm the fighter-pilot..." the blonde continued, as though describing a sexual fantasy.

"Oh-ho!" Laura exhaled before dissolving into laughter. Once she could breathe and speak properly again, she just shook her head and muttered, "I forgot to mention 'incorrigible,' I see."

"Ah, the incorrigible fighter pilot. I like that even better."

"I'm sure you do," Laura grinned down at her.

"Seriously," Kara reached up to run her fingers through Laura's hair, "I'd just like to stay here a while. If that's okay?"

Laura just nodded once. "Saves me the trouble of having to ask."

Kara pulled her in for a brief kiss. "Barring any major catastrophes, what's the earliest anyone is likely to expect you to make an appearance?"

"I'm usually up by six-thirty and meeting with Billy by seven."

"Which means I should be up and out of here at 05:30, which..." Kara turned to look at the clock on the bedside table, "doesn't leave us much time. Maybe you should get some sleep." 

Kara's concern was evident, but so was her disappointment. Laura was tired, but this night with Kara was too precious to her to want to spend the remainder of it unconscious. 

"There will be time enough for sleep. Later." And with that, Laura sank into the welcoming haven of the young woman's embrace.

What have I done? Laura Roslin stood looking out the view-port in her office, berating herself. 

Berating Laura Roslin seemed to be the order of the day, however, so she was in good company, it seemed. She'd already had confrontations with Colonel Tigh and, surprisingly, or perhaps not, Captain Apollo had taken time from his vigil in Galactica's medical bay to shout at her about sending Starbuck 'on some crazy-assed mission against orders.' He'd even used Kara's exact phrasing. Colonel Tigh had made liberal use of the word 'insane.'

People kept calling the plan crazy--calling her crazy. She was beginning to wonder whether they might be right. Everything had gone to hell so quickly. Their military commander was in surgery, fighting for his life, one of their pilots in the brig for shooting him down in cold blood, and suspected of being a Cylon agent, and she had sent one of their best pilots off on 'some crazy-assed mission.' A mission that might come to nothing, prophecy or no. A mission from which she had no way of knowing when, or if, Starbuck would return. A mission that might get Kara Thrace killed. Kara, a woman who had come to mean a great deal to her in recent days, her lover.

She thought about Kara's request to keep the personal and professional separate. She had thought she was doing just that. She'd thought she'd asked Lieutenant Thrace to go back to Caprica to retrieve the Arrow of Apollo because she was the only pilot who'd had experience flying that captured Cylon raider, because she was one of their best pilots, and because she was likely the only one crazy enough to even consider it.

Now, she wondered whether she'd thought their personal connection might be the thing that would allow her to convince Kara to go through with it. She'd been careful to maintain a professional distance and demeanor during their meeting, but on some level, she might have been counting on the young woman's desire to please her to tip the scales in her favor.

She'd been so sure when she'd made her request. It's easy to be sure when you're not risking anything. But she was risking something. She was risking a great deal. She was risking Kara's life, not to mention her military career. She might well be risking her own career, too, if Tigh and the others decided to go public with the knowledge that it had been she who'd 'encouraged' Kara Thrace to go AWOL, and why. She might be able to convince a select few that she might, in fact, be the 'dying leader' of prophecy--the one destined to lead them to Earth--but she had no hope of convincing the masses of that until she had the Arrow in hand and was able to use it to that purpose.

She wanted to be that leader. If she really were dying, if she really would not survive to see Earth herself, she wanted to be able to give that to her people--even if it were the last thing she was able to do in this life.

But, more than anything at this moment, she wanted to see Kara Thrace again. She gently placed her palm against the view-port and sent one fervent wish across the stars.

"Come back to me, Kara."

What the frak was I thinking? What the frak am I doing? Kara Thrace asked herself for the hundredth time since she'd engaged the raider's FTL drive.

There's no guarantee this crazy plan will work. No guarantee I'll even be able to find the Arrow, even if I do manage to land on Caprica and make it to Delphi without getting myself killed. No guarantee the Cylons haven't already taken it. No guarantee I'll even make it back to Galactica if I do find it. 

Even if I do make it back, Tigh will take great pleasure in busting me down so far I won't even be able to pilot a shuttle, if he doesn't just court-martial me or have me shoved out an airlock, that is. Lee will kick my ass, and I'm not even sure the old man would be on my side. I don't know why I'm doing this.

But she did know why, really. It wasn't because she wanted to believe in the prophecies. It wasn't even because the old man had lied to them all about knowing the location of Earth. The betrayal stung, yes, but looking at it rationally, she could understand why he did it. He wanted to give them something to hope for--a reason to pull together for a common goal. No, this wasn't about getting back at him. She was doing this for her. It was all for her.

She did want to believe. She wanted it to be true. Well, she wanted parts of it to be true. She'd read the Pythian prophecy. She wanted Roslin to be the one to lead them all back to Earth, but she very much wanted Laura to make it to Earth with the rest of them. She wanted the opportunity to walk its surface at her side.

Terminal breast cancer. She'd said it all so calmly, as though she'd made some kind of peace with it. Maybe she had. Maybe the prophecy had given her some way to make sense of it all. If so, Kara envied her that. The thought of Laura Roslin dying still made her heartsick.

She thought back to their night together, how she'd asked to stay the night. It had been the first time in a very long time--since Zak, if she were honest about things--that she had even wanted to linger in someone's arms after sex. She'd hardly been celibate since Zak's death, but she'd always been careful not to get too close, and not to let anyone else get too close to her. She wondered at Laura Roslin's ability to get past her defenses and under her skin so quickly, without even trying.

Maybe that was it. She hadn't tried. Even from that first impulsive hug in the Command Center, Laura had seemed surprised, though pleased, to find anyone touching her in that way, as though it were some gift she hadn't expected to receive. And ever since, she had seemed equally surprised and pleased at every overture Kara had made, and Kara had had the sense that Laura was determined to savor it all, for as long as it lasted.

Kara now understood why. That it was more than the mere pleasure-seeking that usually drove her own encounters. Laura was trying in her own way to hold on to life while she could.

Kara again thought back to that first encounter. The small laugh that had bubbled up from Roslin's chest when she'd grabbed her. The small, slightly embarrassed smile they'd shared for a second. The way Laura had deliberately pulled her back into her arms, and held on. Truth be told, she'd known in that moment that she would do anything for Laura Roslin, if only she would ask.

That was why she was here, she thought as the raider dropped back into normal space and Caprica--her former home--loomed before her. That's why I have to complete this mission. 

I have to get back to her.

The End

© June 2005