PICKING UP THE PIECES
"What the hell is going on? What did you do to Lee?" Kara demanded as she stormed into the waiting area of the Life Station.
Adama turned to look at the visibly agitated young woman, but before he could offer any response to her questions, she went on.
"And what is up with Tigh? He comes down to the ready room and tells me that I'm taking over CAG duties until further notice. When I asked why Lee wasn't doing them. All he would say was that Lee had been taken to the Life Station. No explanation, no details, nothing! Who does that? Does the man even know the definition of the word tact?"
"Tigh didn't give you any details about Lee because we don't have any yet. Dr. Salik is still with him."
Kara's irritation with the Galactica's XO abruptly evaporated as she saw the obvious strain on Adama's face and heard the weariness in his voice. And, calmer now, it belatedly occurred to her that she had no business speaking to her commanding officer in such a tone and she was thankful that there were no witnesses to her insolence.
"What happened?" she asked quietly. "I know he had a headache earlier, but he seemed okay."
"Yes, he seemed fine when he first came into my office," Adama agreed. "Tense and a little nervous, but that's to be expected, under the circumstances. Then he started shivering, like he was cold, but it's not particularly cold in my office. I could tell from the expression on his face that something was wrong. And then, he just collapsed. That was about an hour ago."
"An hour? What's taking Salik so long to figure out what's wrong with him?"
"They've been running a lot of tests. Salik has no medical history to work with. Lee was only supposed to be assigned to the Galactica for a few days. There was no reason to transfer his records over from the Solaria."
Kara moved to sit on the padded bench beside Adama. The crews of the Galactica had always affectionately referred to him as the Old Man, but never had she seen him resemble that nickname as much as he did now. The dark circles under his eyes made them look bruised and his shoulders were slumped and heavy. It grieved her to see this man, whom she had always thought of as unbreakable, look so fragile. She reached out and laid her hand on his forearm and gave it a reassuring squeeze. Glancing up, he rewarded her with a wan smile. They sat and waited in comfortable silence.
It was only another quarter of an hour before Dr. Salik entered, but to Kara it had seemed like an eternity. She had no idea how Adama had been able to remain sane for an entire hour. She and the commander both stood as the doctor walked into the waiting area.
"Well?" Adama asked.
"Capt. Adama is suffering from complete, physical exhaustion. A side effect of which, is a lowered immune system. This has left his body vulnerable to viral attack. He is running a high fever and his body simply shut down. The good news is, that according to the tests I've run, aside from the virus, there are no signs of further complications."
"Is he going to be alright? How long does he have to stay here?"
"Unfortunately, other than treating him with antibiotics and fever reducers, there's really not much I can do for him. Now, normally I would prefer to keep him for a day or two, or until the fever breaks, but right now, with all the sick and injured from the civilian ships that I'm dealing with, in addition to our own wounded, I really can't spare the bed. He doesn't need constant supervision, but he does need someone monitoring that fever. I can supply the meds, but I need someone to make sure that he's taking them and to make sure that the fever doesn't spike.
"But I am also hesitant to have him return to the pilots' general quarters. I know, as CAG, he has a private room, but it's still too noisy and crowded, and there's too much likelihood that he would be disturbed. What he needs is a quiet place where he can get some sleep and plenty of it. Any suggestions?"
"Actually, yes, I do have one."
Within the hour, Dr. Salik and two of his orderlies had Lee settled in the commander's quarters. The captain had not awoken during the transfer and Adama was grateful. He was sure that if Lee had known where he was being transferred to, he would have put up an argument. Adama had made arrangements with Col. Tigh, so that the two men would work opposing shifts as much as possible, so that the commander could spend more time away from the CIC. Adama and Kara would also work opposing shifts so that one of them could always be in the room with Lee. Hopefully this situation would only last for a few days before Lee's fever broke and he was back on his feet or, at least, could be moved back to his own quarters.
Dr. Salik had left very strict instructions before he left. Adama was to closely monitor Lee's temperature. If it spiked up above 41 degrees (that's Celsius, btw), he was to notify the doctor immediately. He was to administer meds every 4-6 hours to keep the fever down and he was to administer as much fluids as the patient would tolerate. Salik had debated putting an IV in, but decided that it was unnecessary at this point.
Now, with everyone gone, Adama sat at his desk staring at this paperwork. It was late and he knew that he really should get some sleep. With Lee in the room's only bed, Adama would be sleeping on the long, leather couch that was built into one of the bulkhead walls of his room. It wouldn't be the first time that he would have spent the night there, just the first time he would do so intentionally. It was actually quite comfortable.
He leaned back in his chair and glanced over to the bed. Lee had still not woken up yet. Dr. Salik had said that this was not a cause for concern, yet, but Adama was still anxious. He had never seen his eldest son look so defenseless. Hell, he had never seen Lee ill before. He knew that, of course, Lee had had the usual childhood illnesses, but he had never been home at the time to deal with them. He had always been away on duty.
He was finding it oddly difficult to deal with this confirmation of his eldest son's mortality. Even when everyone had thought Lee dead, destroyed along with Colonial One during the Cylon attacks, it hadn't truly seemed real. There had just been small, lighted blips on a computer screen. And he had had so many other things to deal with at the time that, although the presumed explosion had shocked and upset him, it hadn't truly registered.
But actually seeing Lee so vulnerable now, he could not deny that his son was mortal and, so long as the fever remained high, not yet completely out of the woods. Even despite having lost Zac, Adama had never really considered the possibility that Lee could also die. Adama had never worried about Lee the way he had Zac. Lee had always been the stronger brother, physically and psychologically. Even as a small child, he had displayed an almost alarming level of maturity and self-assurance.
Adama remembered when Lee had been a baby, shortly after they had brought him home from the hospital. There were times when Adama would stand over his son's crib and simply watch him. The infant would calmly return his father's stare and it had always seemed to the man as if all the wisdom of the universe was contained right there, within the depths of those wide, blue eyes. Adama remembered feeling incredibly helpless and overwhelmed at the thought that he was supposed to be responsible for this tiny, mysterious and complicated being. And despite his wife's assurances that it would, that feeling had never seemed to go away.
It had been different with Zac. With three years of parenting under his belt, Adama had felt much more confident with Zac. And Zac had always made his job as a father so much easier. Zac had frequently sought out his father's help and/or advice. Lee had not, preferring to handle his problems on his own. And while Adama had always been proud of it, Lee's almost defiant independence had often left his father feeling inadequate and unnecessary. It was with much discomfort that Adama realized that perhaps, because of these things, he had given up on his elder son, telling himself that Lee did not need a father, just a guardian to look after him and ensure that the child did not inadvertently get himself killed before reaching maturity. So, instead, he had concentrated most of his paternal attentions on the much more receptive Zac.
I have made so many mistakes with Lee, Adama thought despondently. And instead of trying to fix them, I always just told myself that I wouldn't repeat them with Zac. Ilya had tried to warn me that I would one day regret those mistakes, but as usual, I didn't listen.
He remembered an evening several years ago, when he had been home on one of his extended leaves. It had been during the semester break at the boys' secondary school. The boys' grades for the previous semester had arrived in the mail that day. Zac had earned his usual A's and B's. Lee, who generally got straight A's, had one, lone, glaring B, in physics, a subject he normally excelled at. Adama had not been pleased and he had given his first born a lengthy lecture about the importance of grades when applying for entrance to the Officer's Training Academy. Lee had responded by pointing out that it was entirely possible that he would not even be going to the Officer's Training Academy and had angrily stormed out of his father's study.
Ilya, who had been sitting by, silent and unhappy, during the heated exchange between father and son, sighed and said, "Why do you always push him so hard? You don't push Zac like that."
"Lee is strong. He needs to be pushed. He needs to be challenged in order to be motivated. Zac is different. He's not as confident. He needs more encouragement. A good officer recognizes how to get the best out of his warriors. I know what I'm doing."
"Listen to yourself, William! These are not your warriors. These are your sons. And if you keep pushing Lee the way you do, eventually you are going to push him away completely."
But in his arrogance, Adama had not listened to his wife's advice, not yet realizing how prophetic her words had been.
A soft, low moan brought him back to the reality of the present and Adama turned toward the bed. Lee was stirring at last. Moving to his son's side, Adama saw that the younger man's eyes were unnaturally bright with the fever and he seemed confused and disoriented. Dr. Salik had warned Adama that Lee might show signs of delirium and not to be too concerned.
"Where's Mom?" Lee asked, his voice sounding small and very young.
"Sh-she's-." Adama had to stop and clear his throat, which suddenly felt painfully tight. "She's downstairs with Zac," he said softly.
Lee accepted this response without question. He nodded slightly and started to drift back to sleep, but Adama gently shook him awake again.
"No, no, Lee, I need you to sit up for minute, just for a minute."
The commander helped his son up to a sitting position. The doctor had left several bottles of a glucose-electrolyte maintenance solution. Adama opened one and handed it to Lee.
"I need you to drink this. As much of it as you can."
Dutifully, but half-heartedly, Lee took the bottle and sipped the clear liquid. While he did so, Adama took the small, electronic thermometer that Dr. Salik had also left and inserted it gently into his son's left ear. The device was designed to take a core body temperature reading from the tympanic membrane located within the ear canal. After several seconds the device gave a soft beep. Adama removed it and read the display, 40.6 degrees (105 F), still high, but not enough to warrant summoning the doctor.
Taking a vial of pills, he shook two of the small, white tablets into his hand. Placing them in one of Lee's hands, Adama said, "I want you to take these. They'll help keep the fever down."
Lee nodded and obediently swallowed the pills with a mouthful of the electrolyte solution. He handed the bottle back to his father.
"May I go back to sleep now, sir?"
"Yes, you may," Adama said, smiling at his son's formality. When he was younger Lee had often sarcastically spoken to his father in an overly formal military style. He had always done it purely to irritate his father, but this time, Adama hadn't sensed any sarcasm.
He helped the younger man get settled back into a comfortable position. Lee was asleep long before his father had finished fussing with the blankets to his satisfaction.
By late afternoon of the next day, Adama was ready to climb the walls. He was thoroughly sick of paperwork, not that he'd made much of a dent in it. He found himself calling up to CIC at least once every hour to check on things, but so far everything seemed to be running fairly smoothly. He didn't know whether to be glad or concerned that no one seemed to be missing him.
"Just think of it as some well-earned time off," Tigh had told him. "Relax, get some sleep."
But after a full night of sleep, the commander felt rejuvenated and was antsy to get back to work. He glanced at his watch. He still had another hour and a half before Kara would come to relieve him. Having never had to care for a sick person before, Adama had assumed that he would be playing a much more active role in the healing process, when he had volunteered for the job. But so far, there had been very little for him to do. For the most part Lee simply slept. Occasionally, he would wake long enough to use the room's bathroom facilities, drink more of the electrolyte solution, take more meds, and go back to sleep. And while his fever was still high, so far, it had not risen any higher.
Quite frankly, concern for his son aside, William Adama was bored. He had not had such a long period of forced inactivity in a very long time and he simply did not know what to do with himself. He had begun pacing about the room as a means of distracting himself with movement, but since the room was fairly small, this activity was hardly satisfactory. He was about to take another turn around the room, when his attention was drawn to a knock on the hatch.
"Come in," he called.
The hatch opened and Col. Tigh entered, bearing several reports.
"Is everything alright in CIC?" Adama asked.
"Yes, everything's fine. I just thought I'd come down and see how you were holding up. Are you bored yet?"
"You don't know the half of it."
"That's what I thought. Here, I brought you some more paperwork. Just what you wanted, right?"
With a rue smile, Adama accepted the sheets and began flipping through them. While he did, Tigh walked over to the bed and looked down at the sleeping figure. Lee had wrapped the blankets tightly around his body, creating a sort of cocoon for himself. The only part of him that was visible was a small tuft of dark hair.
"He can breathe in there, can't he?" Tigh asked.
Looking up, Adama smiled and shook his head. "He's always slept like that, even when he was a child. Ilya was always worrying that he would accidentally smother himself, but she could never seem to stop him from doing it, no matter how tightly she made the beds… Tell me something, Saul, do you ever regret not having had children?"
"Knowing what I know now about the fate of the world, no, I don't. But, I know what you're asking, and yeah, sometimes I think it would've been kind of nice to have had a daughter. You know, someone with Dinah's eyes and smile, and my Viper skills. Of course, with my luck, she'd have turned out to be just like Kara Thrace, mouthy and undisciplined. No, it's probably all for the best anyway. We both know I'd have been a terrible father."
"Well, you couldn't have done any worse than I did."
"What are you talking about? You had two terrific sons!"
"I'm not really sure how much credit I can take for that. Ilya did most of the work. I was rarely ever around."
"Oh, I don't know, both those boys were good warriors. Lee is proving himself to be a damn fine CAG and a pretty decent pilot to boot. And, from everything that I saw, Zac had the makings of a good officer. Somehow I don't think Ilya did all that by herself."
"Maybe not, but I'm still not sure how much was my doing. Lee is a born leader. From the time that he learned to walk, he's been going his own way and doing his own thing. And as for Zac, Lee taught him to ride his bike. Lee helped him with his homework, and Lee taught him to drive his first hovercar. Granted, I think Zac was only 12 at the time. No, Lee was a better father to Zac than I ever was."
"Yeah, but who showed Lee what a father was supposed to be?"
"Oh, probably Ilya's father. When the boys were younger they spent a lot of time with their grandfather. He was a Colonial officer as well."
Tigh sighed and rolled his eyes to the ceiling. "Fine, have it your way. I understand what you're trying to say, but I'll be damned if I'm going to feel sorry for you. You have no idea what a lucky son-of-a-bitch you are. Okay, so you made some mistakes with Lee. Well, guess what? You have the opportunity to fix those mistakes, an opportunity that everyone else in the fleet doesn't have. The Lords of Kobol have given you an incredible gift: 'here is the son that you screwed up with. Deal with him.'
"Will, no matter how long it takes, you do whatever you have to do. But you have to make things right with your son. You have to do it for all of us who now can't make things right with our loved ones."
Understanding the sorrow in his friend's voice, Adama put a hand on Tigh's shoulder and gave it a squeeze. When Tigh spoke again, his voice was somewhat huskier than usual.
"Lords, listen to me. I sound like a frakking priest."
"Well, not any more you don't," Adama chuckled. "But you are pretty good with the advice when you want to be."
"Yeah, now if I could just listen to my own advice once in a while, I'd be all set."
The moment was spared from becoming too emotional and awkward by another knock on the hatch door.
"Enter," the commander called out.
Kara stepped into the room, smiling brightly.
"So, are you going stir crazy yet?" she asked.
"You're early," Adama said. "I wasn't expecting you for another hour."
"Yeah, I got Boomer to cover the last hour of my shift. I kind of figured you'd be pretty bored by now."
"Thank you, Kara. You're an angel."
"Yeah, I am."
The commander took a few moments to gather up the reports and other papers that he would need for his shift in CIC and turned back to Kara.
"Alright, well, if he wakes up make sure to-."
"Give him some meds and some fluids and take his temperature, I know. I was here for Dr. Salik's lecture, remember? Don't worry, I've got it covered. Go on."
The two of them stood staring at each other for a moment. Ten minutes earlier Adama had been counting the seconds for his chance to escape the confines of this room, but now that his moment of freedom had arrived, he found himself reluctant to leave his defenseless son in the care of another, even Kara.
"Right, well, I'll come back in a couple of hours to check on you."
"Okay, that's fine. You do what you have to do. But in order for you to come back, you have to leave first."
"Come on, Will, let's get you up to CIC," Tigh said, taking the other man's arm and leading him out the door.
The next two days followed in much the same pattern. By the third day, Lee's fever broke and gradually he was able to stay awake for longer and longer periods. On the fourth day, he even managed a long, hot shower. Stepping out of the small bathroom, still toweling his damp hair, and wearing only a pair of loose, flannel pajama pants, he moved to sit on the bed. Although he felt more alert than he had in days, his body was still irritatingly weak and shaky. He could only stand for short periods before he got light-headed and his legs started quivering. But he was once again managing solid foods and Dr. Salik was confident that his strength would return quickly.
Glancing down, Lee noticed that his father had changed the linen on the bed while he had been in the shower. It felt wonderful to feel clean again and the fresh sheets would be like heaven. He knew he should thank his father, not just for the sheets, but for the past four days. But he wasn't accustomed to accepting help, particularly not from his father, and the words always seemed to stick in his throat. It was not that he wasn't grateful; he simply had no idea where to begin, so he just stayed silent.
"Uh, sir, I'm feeling much better now," he said finally. "I'm sure I could go back to my own quarters and get out of your way. At least, let you sleep in your own bed."
Adama looked up from his paperwork to gaze intently at his son. "And If I let you go back to your quarters are you going to promise me that you will not get involved in any of your squadron's petty squabbles? That you will sleep, no matter what noises you might hear outside your door?"
"Well, I'll try, sir."
"Not good enough. You're still running a slight fever and your body still needs sleep. I do not want you having a relapse. Get back in bed, Captain."
With a sigh, Lee obeyed. Adama smiled slightly as he watched his son climb into the bed. He felt a momentary flash of malicious joy at the thought that now it was Lee's turn to feel bored and confined.
Lee dozed off and on throughout the afternoon. Kara came down to relieve the commander sometime in the early evening. Not having any schedule to keep to and having had his watch taken away from him, Lee had long ago lost all notion of the time. Kara had entered the room with her usual strut, and seeing him awake and sitting up, had flashed him a wide grin.
"I come bearing gifts!" she said, cheerfully handing him the stack of papers she was carrying. "Paperwork! Your father said you were starting to get bored, so I thought that as long as you're just sitting around, at least you could be productive."
"Yeah and then you don't have to do it," Lee said dryly, taking the papers from her.
"Hey, he's quick!"
Giving his outstretched legs a light shove, she gestured for him to move over so that she could sit on the narrow bed beside him.
"Oh, don't mind me. I'm just convalescing here," he said sarcastically, but still scooted closer to the wall to accommodate her. "Please, make yourself at home."
"Don't I always?"
They sat in silence for a few minutes as he shuffled through the papers. At the bottom of the stack, he found something long, flat and rectangular-shaped, wrapped in plain brown paper. He had thought it was simply a clipboard, but he could now see that clearly it was not.
"What's this?" he asked.
"Well, open it and see."
Tearing the paper away, he found it was a name plaque for a door. It read, Capt. Lee Adama, Commander Air Group. He looked up at her confused.
"We took Ripper's name off the door," she explained. "We'll put this up tomorrow. A bunch of us also packed up all of Ripper's things. We even put clean sheets on the bed. Hopefully we exorcised all the ghosts at the same time. It's your office now."
"Thank you," he said softly, running his fingers lightly over the raised lettering on the plaque.
"Well, we probably should have done it sooner. And it really was our job to do and not yours. It sort of gave us a chance to say good-bye to him."
"So, what's the mood like down there?" Lee asked, almost afraid of hearing the answer.
"Pretty good, actually. Well, except for Horus. He's suddenly found himself on the outside, looking in. Everybody's pretty much avoiding him."
"Well, I guess, being mouthy and insubordinate is one thing, but evidently, punching the CAG is going just a little bit too far."
"Wait a minute, you punched Col. Tigh and they didn't turn on you."
"Of course not, everybody loves me!" Kara said dramatically. "And nobody likes Tigh. Besides, Tigh started that fight. He deserved to get punched. You didn't. You were just trying to do your job."
"So, they don't hate me?" he asked, still not quite daring to believe this.
"No, they don't hate you. In fact, most of them are feeling kind of bad about the way they were treating you. Of course, the fact that you got sick certainly helped your cause."
"Well, yeah, there's nothing like a guilt trip to sway public opinion. Now, I'm not saying that your job is suddenly going to be smooth sailing from here on, but I don't think anybody will be giving you too much flak anymore, at least not to your face, and certainly not when your hands are free."
"Yeah okay, drop it, already."
"No, no, this is great! I get to give you flak for a change. This is fun. I like this."
Some time later, Lee was awakened by the sound of soft knocking on the hatch door. Rubbing his face and sitting up, he glanced around. He was alone in the room. Wow, he thought, I could make a break for it. He pushed the thought aside. It wasn't as if he could really go anywhere.
"Come in," he called out.
Expecting to see Kara or Col. Tigh, Lee was surprised when President Roslin entered. She seemed equally surprised to see him.
"Oh, Capt. Apollo, I'm so sorry I disturbed your sleep. I know that you haven't been well. I was just looking for your father."
"It's all right. I'm feeling much better now. If you'd like I can give him a message for you."
"Oh, no, it's not urgent, I just…" Her voice trailed off and she seemed to lose her train of thought, as if she had become distracted by something.
Suddenly remembering that he was still not wearing a shirt, Lee felt a slight blush creep up his cheeks. Walking around shirtless in front of Kara and the other female pilots in general quarters was one thing, but doing it in front of Pres. Roslin was another. He glanced around for something he could quickly pull on, but there was nothing. His father hadn't even left a spare uniform shirt lying out. Lee pulled the blankets higher up on his chest self-consciously.
Seeing this movement, Laura smiled and said, "Please, Captain, don't feel you need to cover up on my account. You look fine just as you are."
Lee was horrified to feel his blush deepening. He had no idea how he was supposed to respond to that statement. If any other woman had made that comment to him, he would have been sure that she was flirting with him, but he just couldn't tell with Pres. Roslin. He could never seem to figure out what was going on in her mind. The half smile and the mischievous twinkle in her eyes seemed to indicate that she was only teasing him, so he relaxed slightly. Stepping further into the room and closing the hatch behind her, she seemed to come to some decision about something.
Moving closer, she gestured toward the foot of the bed. "May I sit?" she asked.
When he nodded, she settled herself gracefully on the bed. He watched as she automatically smoothed the back of her short skirt under her as she sat. He had become so accustomed to only seeing women in the asexual, loose-fitting uniforms and flight suits of the Colonial fleet, that he found himself admiring the purely feminine cut of her suit, as well as, the ample amount of leg that it displayed. He had to admit that for a woman who was probably old enough to be his mother, she had very nice legs.
"There was something that I wanted to discuss with your father," Laura said, her mention of the commander, bringing Lee jarringly back to the matter at hand. "But I think, perhaps, I'd rather have your opinion first."
"All right," he said, flattered that she would ask for his opinion.
"I'm thinking of asking your father to organize a presidential election. I feel that he should be the one to organize it, since he should not be allowed as a nominee. And well, let's face it, he's the only one who could enforce a fair election."
"Yes, but why even have one? Everything's running fairly smoothly, isn't it? Well, as smoothly as can be expected anyway."
"Yes, and no. There is a great deal of discontent on the civilian ships. The people are frightened and they feel helpless. Everything that has happened to them has been completely beyond their control. I think they're beginning to feel a little bit like herded sheep. That's a very demoralizing thought, don't you agree?"
"I think, that if the sheep were allowed to elect their own sheepdog, they might feel a little more in control, like they had more of a voice with the shepherd. I wasn't elected to this position. I got it by default. I think the people would have more confidence in someone that they had chosen themselves."
"I don't know that now is a good time for this. Everyone's still trying to get settled into their new roles."
"I understand that and I don't expect this to be done any time in the immediate future. But I know how your father likes to think about things, so I wanted to bring this to his attention now. You know, give him time to get used to the idea."
Lee chuckled at that. "Wow, you're taking a page right out of my mother's book. I couldn't tell you how many times I heard her say those exact words."
"Your mother must have had the patience of the Lords themselves."
"Oh, she did." He was silent for a moment before asking, "Are there even any candidates who could take your place?"
"There are a couple in the civilian fleet that I can think of, but if we made it known that this was in the works, I think more would step forward to distinguish themselves. There is one candidate that I think would have a pretty good shot at it, Dr. Baltar."
"Baltar?" Lee repeated.
"Yes, he's already well-known. He's ambitious and he's very charismatic."
Evidently Lee did not hide his look of disapproval as well as he had thought. Laura tipped her head off to one side as she regarded him speculatively.
"You don't like Dr. Baltar?"
"No, I don't," Lee said bluntly.
"May I ask, why not?"
He shrugged. "I don't really know. He's always got all the answers. A problem comes up. He's right there with the solution. It's all so…convenient. I don't trust him."
"You think he's hiding something?"
"I know he is. I just don't know what it is. Do you trust him, Madame President?"
"No, I don't," she said quietly. "But I do believe that if there were an election, he would run and he would be the candidate to beat."
"All the more reason to put off having an election as long as possible."
"Yes, well, that point could become moot, very soon."
For a moment a look of such profound sadness passed over her face that Lee was prompted to ask, "Is something wrong, Madame President?"
"No, nothing's wrong, Captain, nothing's wrong."
Her voice was soft and fragile, contradicting the denial of her words. She reached out a hand and laid it on his nearest leg, just above the ankle, and gave it a slight squeeze. He supposed that she had intended the gesture to be reassuring, but instead, he had a sudden impression of a person drowning and clinging to a lifeline. Their eyes met and, in a flash of insight, Lee knew that this impression was somehow accurate.
The strange intimacy of the moment was abruptly shattered as the door to the room opened and Commander Adama entered. He was clearly surprised to find President Roslin sitting on the bed with his half-naked son and touching his leg. Adama saw a look verging on panic momentarily flash across the president's face as she turned to face at him.
"Am I interrupting something?" the commander asked, perhaps a bit more brusquely than he had intended.
"Oh no, not at all," Laura said, getting quickly to her feet. "I had just stopped by to see how Capt. Apollo was feeling, but I don't want to overstay my visit and tire him out. So, I'll just be leaving now."
Turning back to Lee, she said, "I hope to see you on your feet again very soon, Captain. Have a good evening."
"Thank you, ma'am."
"What was that all about?" Adama asked, after the president had completed her hasty departure.
"I'm not really sure," Lee answered, uncertain of what he should tell the commander. Since the president had not brought up the idea of the election, he didn't think that it should be his place to do so. He would let her discuss it with his father in her own time.
"How are you feeling?" Adama asked.
"Are you tired?"
Sensing some tension in his father's voice, Lee wondered why he was being so solicitous. "No, not really. I just woke up from a nap not too long ago."
"Good," Adama said, seating himself on the bed in the spot that Pres. Roslin had just vacated. "I think we need to talk."
Seeing that his father was quite serious, Lee nodded. "Yeah, I think we do."
Author's note: Yes, I know the story was a little rambly (if that's not really a word, it should be), but there were certain things that I wanted to cover as foreshadowing for possible upcoming stories, so please indulge me.