Initially I didn't post this story to because I wasn't sure where it would fit in the rating system. However, having begun a sequel of sorts that it slightly "tamer", I wanted this one at least available, albeit in an altered form. I've taken out anything "questionable", but you'll still get the idea. This story has a great deal to do with sex, it's ramifications, and the varied reasons beyond love where it is a resort… consider it an exploration of friendship and trust at the very highest level. That said, if the story feels as though it has… gaps g… that's because it does.Chapter 1
Kara Thrace settled herself into the back corner of her bunk and took two deep breaths. If she could just get her breathing under control, then she'd be okay. She knew she would. If she could just get through tonight, then she'd be fine in the morning. She had to be. She just had to be.
The main pilots' quarters were horribly quiet in the stillness between shifts. There was no one else there besides Kara. Her squadron had been the first to engage the Cylons, long before they had known that their computers would be their downfall, and now her squadron was gone. All of them. Every frakking one, and she would have been dead too if she'd been with them. She almost wished that she had been. Almost.
Lords, she couldn't stop shaking. The dream had been intense – so real that she had felt the sweat dripping down her back and heard the fear in Lee's voice. She had almost lost him yesterday. First Zak, and then Lee. She didn't think she could have lived through that. So she'd done the only thing she could – she had decided that either they would come home together or they would die together. Killing him in a ship-to-ship collision seemed a hell of a lot more humane than leaving him behind to die at Cylon hands, or be captured. So she had rammed him, and through luck or skill or a little of both they had made it back. But not in the dream. In the dream she had killed them both, and William Adama had been watching.
Frak, she had to get it out of her mind. It kept playing over and over like a broken vid tape, and it was going to make her nuts. With a final attempt at a deep breath, Kara pulled herself out of bed to stand on shaking legs. She grabbed a duty shirt from her locker to cover up the running bra she was wearing, and slipped her socked feet into her running shoes. She wasn't steady enough to run – not by a long ways – but the clothing choices were both easier and more comfortable than boots and a full uniform.
The corridors of the Galactica were nearly deserted tonight. Kara supposed everyone was either asleep or at work, as they had gotten none of the former and had far too much of the latter to manage. She rubbed the material on her arms, trying to get some feeling into them and relieve the chills that were coursing through her. She had always hated nightmares, but at the very least she'd always been able to wake up. Tonight, her waking situation was little better than the fiery death that she had seen in sleep. In many ways, it was worse.
She didn't know how she wound up down in the port flight pod. There wasn't a hell of a lot left of it. The interior was blackened from the fire that had taken so many lives, and the stench was horrible. Here, she had lost almost all of the friends she'd ever made. The cleanup had not yet begun beyond moving out the bodies and closing off the entryways, but she knew ways around that. Taking a little known path that had been designed for wiring repair years before, she fitted herself though the small hatchways until she was nestled into a corner within the sealed area. There was plenty of air – the ship had sealed itself after the vent, and pressurization had been complete with the exception of the few compartments that had decompressed during the fire – but she still felt more than a little closed in. She felt that way anywhere, and yet she also felt that there was no place small enough for her to feel secure in. Ever.
She hadn't cried. Not yet. She was sure the storm would come, but she wasn't looking forward to it. Some women looked vulnerable and sweet when they cried, but Kara only looked red and puffy; her nose ran and her eyes swelled shut. It wasn't an attractive sight. And it wasn't that she cared about being attractive. If she had, she would have been sporting the makeup and high-fashion clothes that so few of them even had anymore. She didn't care what she looked like. She only cared that no one would see her fall apart. Besides, if she started crying, she wasn't entirely sure she would ever be able to stop.
So instead she sat, and she tried to turn off a mind that was in overdrive, replaying both reality and nightmare in a seamless, horrifying vision that she could not make go away. Slowly, it was driving her crazy. She couldn't help but wish it would go ahead and get the job done, so that she wouldn't know how much she was hurting.
Kara's head whipped around at the familiar voice. In the near-total darkness of the sealed bay, she had thought she must certainly be alone. The voice had come from the direction from which she had entered the compartment. If it had been anyone else, she would have seriously contemplated murder for intruding on both her privacy and her quiet, but she couldn't very well kill the man she had risked everything to save.
"Yeah," she finally croaked out. "Just great."
Lee Adama obliterated all light that was coming from the passageway behind him as he forced himself through the repair hatch and into her space. He settled down next to her as though they were best friends, rather than the long-distance memory that he had become in the past two years.
"What are you doing in here?" he asked softly.
He was sitting at her side on the floor, his back against the bulkhead just as hers was. Lords, if it had been anyone else…
"Looking for someplace quiet," she said in a raspy voice. She stared resolutely at the opposite side of the passageway, into darkness and the echoes of death. She hadn't looked at him since she'd realized who had come to invade her temporary sanctuary.
"I saw you come in," he told her, his voice still oddly soft. She felt as much as saw the shrug from the corner of her eye. "I wondered if you were alright."
"No one is alright, Lee," she told him. "Not anymore."
He didn't say anything to that. She was grateful. They sat that way, silent and still, for a very long time. Kara didn't bother to wonder how long. The only alternative to this would be either work or sleep, and neither held any appeal. She was tired, but the nightmares were waiting and she had no desire to make their job easier.
She heard a slight sound to her right, and it took her a moment to place it. Lee sniffed again, and she turned to see him facing the same wall she'd been intently trying to analyze in the dark. There were shining trails down his cheeks that were revealed by the vague light coming from the hatchway he'd left open. He wasn't bawling, nor was he sobbing. He was essentially silent, except for the continuing trails of tears that descended his cheeks.
She knew how he felt. A part of her wished for the release that tears would give, but if she gave in she wasn't entirely sure she would be able to stop. But neither could she deny Lee the luxury of grieving. She sincerely hoped that it helped him; he deserved to heal. But, as a friend, she felt that she had some kind of duty to do something to ease his burden. She didn't have a clue as to what, but she had to do something.
Kara eased herself to her right, and rested her body against Lee's. She slipped her right hand into his left, and held on tightly. His returned grip was nearly painful in its intensity, but she didn't withdraw. Side by side, their hands interlocked and their legs and bodies parallel, they sat there. Time lost its relevance, and the darkness became their shield. Together, she hoped that they could be strong enough that at least one of them might survive it.
She had no clue how long Lee cried. Gradually, the occasional sniffles stopped, and he was left with the dried white trails of salt from where he hadn't bothered to wipe away the tears. Kara rested her head on his shoulder, squeezed his hand slightly to let him know that she was there, and she waited. Silence stretched between them once more, but Kara didn't move away. Even as she had given comfort, she had received it in return. Besides, it had been a damned long time since she had touched anyone outside of fighting or playing around, and his warmth felt good against her.
Long moments later she felt his body shift. She released his hand, thinking he was going to pull away, but instead he turned to her. In the dim lighting she could see pain in his eyes, and a quiet desperation as well. He faced her then, looked at her for a long time, and then he did the unimaginable. Lee gently laid his lips on hers.
Kara had been kissed before. She had dated and screwed around just as much as any of her friends at the academy, and at one point she had even been engaged, but she had never – never – felt a kiss like this. Warm and soft and damp, Lee kissed her just as meticulously as he did anything else. Given that level of dedication, she could do no less than return the gesture. She kissed him back.
She had to assume that the kiss was given in thanks. She had been a friend, and had helped him out of a tight spot. She had sat next to him in silence while he grieved. She had shared a moment of pain, and he must be grateful. Either that or it was forgiveness. Perhaps he was telling her that he understood what she had done two years before, or at least that he wasn't holding a grudge as he had done with his father. Or maybe he just needed some simple human contact. Lords knew she did on occasion, even if the instances had become few and far between in recent years.
Whatever his reasons, he gently and thoroughly kissed her, and she kissed him back to the best of her ability. And then something shifted. When exactly the kiss went from innocent friendship into something more, Kara was uncertain. But it most definitely did. No longer either innocent or merely friendly, the pressure of Lee's mouth increased, the invitation of his tongue was felt, and Kara realized that there was more happening than a simple declaration of anything.
She was lost long before his hand cupped her cheek and his tongue traced her lower lip. Capturing his upper lip gently with her teeth, she heard his faint gasp and sharp intake of breath. She had played his game, and now she eased back to see if he would come to his senses and retreat.
He did nothing of the sort. Instead, he put his left arm had behind her back even as the right hand held her in place, and he pulled her close. His tongue delved into her mouth, seeking and searching and finding something he must have liked because he groaned softly and pulled her even more tightly against him.
Kara decided that she had two choices. The first was to return to reality, pull back, and probably punch him in the face for his trouble. Her second option was to accept the sensual oblivion he was offering and see just how far he was willing to take this. Wrapping both of her arms around his neck, she took the second option. She knew she would regret it, and had absolutely no illusions – this was definitely not the right thing to do. And yet she held tight as she let him pull her under.
Lords, but he could kiss. Kara wasn't a novice, but this was another league entirely from what she was used to. Somewhere between desperate and crazed, he was devouring her with a single-minded intensity that she'd never experienced. His mouth covered hers, lured her in, and then he pulled her deeper. She was faced with a sensory onslaught that she wasn't sure how to cope with, and damn-it she liked it. There was no thought in the kiss – no reason – only fire. He tasted of warmth and salt, and a sweetness beneath it that was addictive. She couldn't have stopped if she had wanted to, and she didn't want to. She wanted this to go on forever.
His hand was no longer necessary to hold her head in place because she was doing a fine job of staying there without assistance, but when she felt his had leave her cheek, she thought that the wonderful kiss was over. Instead of pulling back, Lee simply slid his hand down and began to toy with the top button of her work shirt. She pulled him closer, sucked on his lower lip for a moment, and then sighed as she felt the first button, and the second, and the next give way. As his hands worked their magic, the groan she heard that time was her own.
Another button opened, and another, and then his hand was eased beneath the elastic supporting her and his warm fingers found very sensitive skin. Kara tried her best to catch her breath, but it was damned hard. His mouth was over hers, and there wasn't any space in between, his hand on her chest was doing amazing things to her equilibrium and the hand behind her back was slipping down, down, past the loose waistband and inside her military-issue sweats. When his fingers clenched against her skin, she began to wonder if it was possible for a being to really spontaneously combust. Had she really been cold earlier?
How and when she was shifted so that he was over her she really didn't notice. But Kara found herself on her back, Lee's hand between her butt and the flooring, and her shirt wide open. He finally pulled his head away long enough to take a gasping breath, and to give her the opportunity to do the same. Before she could turn the inhalation into words, she heard his voice, and her world spun away from beneath her.
"God, Kara," he murmured, his lips never quite leaving her face, her jaw, her neck. When he nipped at her collarbone and then licked away the sting, she thought she was going to go completely insane. How in hell did he do that?
She wasn't used to being a passive participant in much of anything, and if the truth were known she had been half in love with this man for longer than she could remember. He had been someone she hadn't even considered getting involved with – he'd been Zak's brother, for Lords' sake – but Zak was long dead and Lee's actions were showing her without a doubt that she was very much alive. He had started this, but she'd be damned if he was going to finish it without her enjoying every frakking step along the way.
Moving her hands from around his neck, she slid them down his solid chest until she could pull at some buttons for herself. He wasn't protesting, and in fact he raised himself off her just a bit to make the task easier. Almost. She managed to get beneath the one shirt only to find two more in her way.
"Frak," she muttered, clawing at the material. Lee just laughed, shrugged strong shoulders, and then his hands were off her body for just a moment.
Seeing the flex and play of muscles, however dim the light she was watching by, was worth the momentary cessation of sensation. His work shirt slid away, and then two regulation undershirts disappeared quickly up and over his head. By the time he managed to get his arms free and back to her body, she was already doing some exploring of her own. Damn, but the man had a fine chest. He wasn't huge, but what weight he had was perfectly distributed, solid, and fairly screamed strength. He wasn't bulky, but rather lean and tight, and his skin was both smooth and warm. She closed her eyes, just enjoying the feel of the warm expanse of chest. He gasped and she had to smile. She knew the feeling.
Despite her preoccupation with his upper body, he had expanded his exploration of hers. She had a moment's hesitation when she felt the waistband of her sweats give way, but swallowed it even as the fleece material slid down her legs. She kicked off her running shoes as he pulled the material off her legs, too far gone to be embarrassed, and too entranced by his body to argue. Her hands went straight to his buckle and began a tug of war with the stubborn catch. To his credit, he didn't do it for her. But he watched, and that kept her off balance and slightly clumsy. It wasn't a feeling she liked, nor one she was used to. But she stuck with it, and soon the belt gave way, and then the buttons that were holding his pants in place.
Following his lead, once the material loosened she slid her hands towards his backside and cupped firm, warm flesh. His breath sucked in as she slid her hands from his back to his front and discovered just how serious he was about this little encounter.
Lee stopped breathing; she did too. She slid her hands over his body in fascination, amazed at how hard he was, and how hot. She might have seen bigger men in her life – one of the hazards of military life was co-ed living conditions – but she'd never seen anyone so… obviously ready to… well, ready. She had to wonder just how this was going to work. What was she supposed to do next? She couldn't have formed a coherent thought if her life had depended on it, and she felt like it just might.
"Are you okay with this?" he asked her. His voice was shaking, and he had gone from not breathing at all to breathing about ninety miles per hour.
"I swear if you stop I'm gonna put a knee where it will do the most good," she muttered, reaching up and pulling his head down for another long, deep, wet kiss. However this was going to work, she needed it to happen. Now. Whatever his reasons, whatever the consequences, she would deal with it later because at that very moment she didn't give a flying frak about anything except getting him inside her.
He seemed just as eager. She felt his hands beneath her arms, and then her bra was gone. One hand moved down between their bodies, and then he was there. She had expected discomfort – he'd been really ready, and she hadn't bothered to do this in quite a while – but all she felt was smooth, slick stretching. She was filled, not slowly but not too quickly. Perfect. That was it… he felt perfect. If the sigh he'd given upon entering her was any indication, it felt pretty damned good to him, too. God, she hoped so. Nothing this good should be one-sided.
He was still for a long moment. Then his breathing steadied a little, and he was moving. Kara, who had just begun to catch her own breath, promptly lost it again. The pressure was unbelievable. Not painful but just… building. Lee braced his arms on either side of her head, and somehow managed to keep enough of his weight off her that she wasn't crushed between him and the flooring, and yet the weight that she did feel was pretty amazing. He set a steady pace, not rushing and yet not lazy. But it was the very consistency of the movement that was driving her higher, and higher, and oh God if he didn't move faster she was going to go insane, but she wanted this to last forever because it felt so frakking good and she didn't know if she was going to be able to stand much more but if he stopped she'd come apart and if…
Lights and colors burst in and around her as she reached the top and slid over. Her hands clutched at Lee's back as the war and the death and the hurting were eliminated in favor of a peace that pervaded every part of her. Nothing mattered except this comfort, this rightness that she couldn't understand or explain or express. So long as he was in her, and around her, everything was fine. She was safe and secure, and damn-it she was even happy. Despite everything that had happened, she was happy.
At some point he must have hit the top, too, because he had stopped moving, and was breathing heavily next to her face. His body felt a little heavier, but not uncomfortable, and the pressure that had filled her was less. Not gone – not exactly – but not as intense. While she had loved the ride he'd taken her on, she did regret not seeing him go over that same precipice she had.
After several moments of lying that way, Lee lifted himself up to look at her. With the angle he was at, she couldn't really see his eyes, but his expression was far too serious for what she was feeling. She reached up and placed a hand along his cheek, and she smiled. He looked so very serious, and she felt so wonderful. She didn't want reality to intrude just yet.
So she closed her eyes, and she tugged him down towards her until his head was resting against her neck and he slipped his arms under her to roll on his side. The way he was holding her, she went with him. And he held her then, right up against him, and she knew that she should be cold. They were lying naked – or mostly so – on the floor of a deserted compartment that had been the site of numerous deaths, and yet she felt more alive than she'd been in… more alive than she'd ever been. She smoothed her cheek against his chest, feeling the warmth and resilience of him, listening to the steady slowing of his heartbeat.
She needed to move. She needed to get up before she did something stupid, like falling asleep. But he was so warm, and he felt so very right tucked in against her. Still, she needed to get back to her room so that she could get some rest. But then he kissed her, gently, right on the top of her head. It was a tenderness totally at odds with the passion they had just shared, and it touched her. How could she leave when he felt so good? How could she leave when this felt so perfect?
One minute, she promised herself. One more minute, and then she'd get up and get her clothes back on. She'd think of something to say to him – some way to thank him for getting her through this night – and then she'd leave so that they could still be friends. One more minute, she decided. One more… and then she was fast asleep.