When they placed her daughter in her arms, Laura didn't cry.
Bill, sitting beside her on the bed, his arm around her shoulders, had wept openly, his tears soaking into the tangle of her hair.
"Look what we did," Laura whispered, looking into their child's tiny face, the baby's blue eyes peering back at her, wide and curious.
"What you did," Bill whispered back, pressing a kiss to the top of her head. "Laura, she's beautiful."
The baby opened her mouth, and Laura gasped in wonder at the sight. All these months, this is what she'd been carrying inside of her?
She wasn't sure how long they'd been sitting here; time had stopped having any meaning for her. All she could think about was this beautiful little girl in her arms, with her tiny perfect eyelashes and her tiny perfect fingernails.
"Laura," Bill whispered.
The baby batted one miniature fist; Laura couldn't tear her eyes away. "Mmm?"
"I know this is isn't your cabin in the mountains," he said. "And I know that I have a lot to make up for. But…we could be a family, Laura. If you give me a chance—"
There was a cough from the other side of the curtain.
"Can I—is this a bad time?"
"Speaking of family," Bill muttered.
Very gently, Laura touched her daughter's cheek. "That's your big brother," she whispered to the baby. "I don't think he was expecting you, either."
"Come in," Bill called, resignation coloring his voice.
Lee was still in his flight suit, his hair still mussed from his helmet. "I heard—on the flight deck—I thought—" He broke off, shaking his head.
Laura watched Lee's eyes go to her on the bed, then to the baby in her arms, then to his father's arm around her shoulders.
Color rose in Lee's cheeks. "Oh," he managed.
Laura decided to take pity on him. She was feeling generous, after all.
She smiled. "Thanks for the rescue," she said. "None of us would be here without you."
Lee Adama, former commander of the Pegasus, shifted his feet, like a little boy in the principal's office. He cleared his throat. "That didn't come out right," he admitted. "What I meant was—"
"Lee," Laura offered, "would you like to hold your sister?"
A smile broke free on Lee's tired face, lighting up his blue eyes. Her baby's eyes, Laura realized.
She loved them both the more for it.
"I have a sister?" Lee asked, his voice cracking, ever so slightly. He came closer, gingerly easing himself down onto the very edge of her bed. Very, very, gently, Laura transferred the bundle in her arms to Lee's.
Lee stared down into the baby's face. The baby stared solemnly back. "She's beautiful," Lee whispered.
No matter what ever happened between them, Laura knew that she would always love Lee Adama for this moment.
"I haven't even gotten to hold her yet," Bill muttered.
"Well, you did leave me marooned on that planet for nine months," Laura pointed out.
A muscle twitched in Bill's jaw. "Laura…" he began.
She laughed, gently. "Not funny yet?"
"Never, so long as we live," Bill replied, passing a weary hand over his forehead.
"Does she have a name yet?" Lee asked.
Bill looked at Laura, waiting, she guessed, to hear what she had decided on. She had thought about names, of course; played with a hundred combinations in her head, flirted with a few…but on this day, in this moment, Laura knew.
"Aurora," she said.
Bill smiled. "Goddess of the new dawn," he whispered. "That she is."
"Aurora Adama," Lee said, trying the name out. "I like it."
Bill coughed and shot Lee a warning look.
"Aurora…Adama-Roslin?" Lee guessed, knowing he'd misstepped but oblivious as to why. "Aurora Roslin-Adama?"
Bill's face was very still. Laura decided to take pity on him, too.
She reached out, brushing his cheek, her thumb smoothing the deep creases in his face. "Adama sounds good to me."
There were things to be said, Laura knew, conversations to be had. A serious discussion of their relationship was long overdue, as was a thorough hashing out of responsibilities—towards the baby, towards the fleet, towards each other—not to mention a definitive talk on sleeping arrangements—
Then Bill was kissing her, and she realized that they didn't have to say anything, after all.
I met your father at the end of the world.
"Rory awake again?" Bill whispered, coming up behind her and peering over her shoulder.
Aurora was the name on the birth certificate, but the ink had barely had time to dry before Kara Thrace had shown up in sickbay, tossed a smug smirk at Bill, and demanded to meet her new baby sister—and immediately christened the infant 'Rory.' By the time Kara had left, even Bill was using it instead of her full name.
Laura hadn't minded. The name suited her.
"Just barely," Laura whispered back, her eyes still on her daughter's face, on her perfect peachy skin, on the red fuzz sticking up on her head, on her sleepy blue eyes, just drifting shut.
They'd brought a crib in here, to what had been Bill's quarters, nestling it in between their desks, where Rory would always be within reach. Laura wasn't sure what they'd do when their daughter got older...if they were still on this ship by then. In spite of everything that had happened, Laura still believed—more strongly than ever, now—that they were going to find Earth, make their home there.
Stranger things had happened.
Your father's name is William Adama. He is an Admiral in the Colonial Fleet. He is the best man I have ever known.
Bill had asked her to marry him the night of the exodus, Rory fast asleep in Laura's arms, sickbay finally hushed and quiet around them. Once Laura had smothered her giggles—with their child cradled between them, the formality had seemed ridiculous—she'd kissed him, gently, and told him that becoming a mother and assuming the Presidency in the same week was about all the change she could handle. Bill had agreed, and then kept asking her anyway: before leaving sickbay, as she was moving into his quarters, on their first night at home, together as a family.
Laura found that she wasn't averse to the idea…once things calmed down a little.
Whenever that might be.
We met on a ship called the Galactica. Someday, you'll see it, too.
Three days after Rory's birth, Laura was sworn in. Zarek had offered to hold onto the Presidency a little longer, give her a little more time…but Laura barely trusted him as it was, and anyway, it was time for her step back into her place, lead her people.
There was work to be done.
I told him we needed to start having babies.
The fleet had adjusted to the idea of the President and the Admiral having a baby together, more quickly than Laura would have believed possible. Maybe after the exodus, she figured, everybody was just too tired to fight.
Or maybe it was just nice to believe in something happy, for a change.
I met your father at the end of the world.
Bill's arms encircled her waist. "What are you telling her?" he whispered in her ear.
Laura smiled. "A bedtime story," she murmured. "Her favorite."
Bill kissed her hair. "Do I get to hear?"
Gently, Laura eased the baby down into her crib, and then turned back to Bill, wrapping her arms around his neck. "It's a long story," she whispered. "But it has a happy ending."
Bill pulled her closer, gently leading her back towards their bed. "I can't wait to hear it."
Now we're all back together, and everything's going to be okay.