I own nothing of Battlestar Galactica, so please don't sue me.
Lee finally got a chance to go and visit Kara at Life Station. He knew his Father had already talked with her and for that he was grateful. Eventually, he thought his Father would come around and forgive her just like he had done. It was near impossible to stay angry at Kara, unless you were Colonel Tigh of course. Lee took a final breath and crossed the threshold into her room. He found her sleeping with her leg propped up and ice surrounding her knee. Lee hadn't seen her this weak since she was thirteen years old. He felt pity rise up inside of him for her but quickly released it. Kara NEVER wanted pity and he wouldn't start giving it to her now.
Pulling a chair up beside the gurney, he took her hand into his. Seeing Kara in the hospital like this brought up many uncomfortable memories from his childhood. He allowed himself to drift back to when he was a child and to when he knew innocence. Life before the war, before Zak died, before his parents divorce, and just before Kara began living with the Adama family.
The Adama brothers had met Kara when Lee had been in sixth grade with her and Zak was in fourth. Kara had been jumped by a few boys on her way from school, and in true Kara fashion, was not going down without a fight. Lee had gallantly jumped in and the others finally disbursed. After that Zak, Lee, and Kara were inseparable. They had come from complete opposite backgrounds. Kara was from the "wrong side of the tracks." Her mother died giving birth and her father was a dead beat alcoholic. The Adamas had what most would call the "perfect family." They weren't rich but they were above average. Their father was in the Fleet and known as "one of the best." Their mother was a part time nurse.
It wasn't the easiest thing being Kara Thrace's friend as the boys found out. Kara had a lot of trust issues to work out, but in time, she found herself enjoying time with them and eventually their entire family. Over the next year and a half, Kara spent more and more time in the Adama household than in her own. She went home with them after school, did her homework there, even shared their meals. Lee realized that his parents probably knew something was wrong with her home, but he was young and naive at the time.
Slowly over time, Lee started to notice some changes in Kara. She seemed even more on the edge. Starting to sport long sleeve shirts more often, he eventually caught her with a sleeve once rolled up and had noticed bruise marks up and down her arms. When he asked her about it, she simply explained that she got in a fight in her neighborhood and walked away from him. Lee had even brought up his suspensions to his parents one night at dinner. He watched as his parents shared a look but said nothing in return. As often as she did, Kara started to leave the Adama residence earlier than usual explaining that she had to get home to cook for her father. Kara never talked about him and when Lee would ask what he was like she simply shrugged and said "hard to describe." As the year went on Kara seemed to be more and more tired. She'd fall asleep during her classes and would jump when someone would touch her. Finally one day at the end of the school year, Kara came to class with a huge bruise on her face. Her lip was split open and her eye was swollen shut. Lee kept asking what was going on, and how he could help her. Kara's response had been for him to shove off and leave her the frak alone.
With that said, Kara headed straight home, but unbenounced to her, a concerned young Adama had followed. Lee had never been to Kara's house. He had never been to that part of the city. In all actuality, Lee wasn't even allowed in that part of the city. After trailing her for half an hour Kara finally stopped in front of a run down house. He watched her as she opened the door and hesitantly walked inside.
Lee waited another fifteen minutes before walking up to the door. After taking a deep breath he knocked on the crooked screen door. The look that Lee saw appear on Kara's face was indescribable. He saw hurt, humiliation, fear, and worst of all anger.
"What the FRAK are you doing here Lee? Do you want to be killed?" Kara shouted as she grabbed him by the arm and yanked him inside the house.
"I just wanted to make sure you were ok. You've been acting strange lately." He explained genuinely.
"You shouldn't have come here Lee. My father is going to be home any second and if he sees you then I am dead." She told him. "You have to leave NOW Lee!" She yelled. "NO! Not without an explanation" he shouted back at her. Kara by this time was looking scared and there was something in her voice that made him feel that he should be too. "Please Lee." She told him softly. "I am begging you. Please leave." Right as the words left her mouth; the front door slammed open causing both of the teens to jump. Brian Thrace stormed through the house heading straight for Kara who looked like she wanted to sink into the floor.
"Who the FRAK is this Kara! Huh?"
"Nobody Dad. Just a friend from school. He was nice enough to bring me a book that I had forgotten."
"Is this one of those boys that you were hanging out with? Huh? ANSWER ME KARA!" He shouted. "Are you FRAKING HIM? ANSWER ME DAMMIT!"
Then Lee saw something that he would never forget. It was forever embedded into his mind. He saw Kara get struk across the face so hard that she fell to the ground. Lee had never seen an adult strike a child before. What amazed him even more was that Kara stood back up and looked him straight in the eyes with her answer.
"No." She told him firmly.
Brian Thrace moved so fast that Lee couldn't even register what had happened. He had grabbed Kara by the throat and lifted her off the ground like a rag doll and said directly in her face that he didn't believe her. Kara managed to kick him in the stomach and got him to loosen the hold around her neck. "LEE RUN!" And he did. Lee ran as fast as he could. The last thing he heard was Kara's dad screaming "you bitch" and her scream.
Lee had never been so scared in his life. He had wanted to call the police, but he didn't actually know where here was in order to get them here. All he knew was that he had left Kara in that house. His best friend and he had left her. Lee ran as fast as his legs could take him back home. By the time he got to his house he was crying, sweaty, and out of breath. He didn't even realize that he had been late for dinner and his parents were waiting for him to get home.
As if on queue, walking through the door his mother began her speech. "Lee Adama you better have a good explanation" until she finally registered what he looked like.
"Lee what happened? Are you hurt?"
"No," he gasped between breathing and crying. He then heard his father's steady calm voice.
"Lee." He said. "It's ok. Take a breath and calm down." Lee did as his father told him and actually felt like he could breath again. He hadn't even realized that his father had carried him to the family room couch and a glass of water was in his hands.
"Now what happened Lee?" Adama asked.
Lee once again explained that Kara had been acting differently at school lately and had bruises on her face. So he followed her home to confront her about what the matter was. That while her was there Kara's dad came home and hit her. That he accused Kara of sleeping with him. How he picked her up by her throat and he just stood by in shock like a coward until Kara yelled for him to run. And that was just what he did. "I left my best friend and ran." He explained to them in shock and sadness.
As his mother went to comfort her scared son, William Adama was already grabbing the keys to the transport and squatted down in front of his son. "Do you remember the way back son?" he asked.
Can you show me?" Lee nodded and then left his mother's embrace to stand by his father. He wasn't going to abandon Kara this time, he thought. Putting a hand on his shoulder, William led Lee back out of the house explaining to his wife that he would call the authorities as soon as he knew the address.
On the drive over, Adama noticed Lee shaking beside him in the front seat. William reached out his hand and rested it on Lee's knee. The touch seemed to jar Lee out of his thoughts as his father assured him that everything would work out. That Kara was a strong girl and that the Lords of Kobol would look after her.
When they finally arrived at Kara's house, Adama pulled out the wireless set and called the authorities. Then he told Lee to "stay put" while he went to go see what was happening.
Lee watched from the car as his father walked up to the door and knocked. A few seconds later the door opened and a very pissed looking Brian Thrace answered the door. "What the frak do you want?" he yelled. Lee could hear his father asking to see Kara and Kara's dad telling him to "frak off" and "stay the hell away from his daughter." Then before Lee even realized it, his father had punched Mr. Thrace in the face then again in the head. Right before he hit the ground, Adama connected his knee with his face. Lee watched from the car as Kara's Dad hit the ground and didn't move. He then ran to his dad and followed him into the house screaming for Kara. The father and son searched the house and then came upon the basement where they found her unconscious on a mattress on the floor in a corner. The sirens could be heard as William carried Kara upstairs with Lee beside him.
Kara was brought to the nearest Life Station Center where she was treated for a severe concussion and exhaustion, a broken arm, and for the bruising around her neck that was in the shape of a handprint. Lee didn't leave her side even at his mother's insistence to come home promising that he could come back tomorrow when she was awake. But Lee was adamant. He wasn't going to leave her like he did before. So he stayed with his father at Life Station while his mother took Zak home. The two men sat quietly waiting for Kara to wake up.
Kara didn't awake until the next afternoon. When she finally did awake, she saw Mr. Adama sitting at her bedside holding a sleeping Lee in his lap. A gentle smile came upon his face when he realized that she had awoken.
"Hey Kara." He told her softly. "Do you know where you are?"
"A Life Station." She whispered. Adama nodded his head and then asked her if she knew why.
"I remember my Dad coming home and seeing Lee there." Kara's eyes got so wide with a sudden realization. "Is he ok?" she asked. "Did my Dad hurt him?"
"No. No. Shhh. Calm down." He told her. "Lee is fine. He's just tired. He had a long night also. Kara nodded through her tears that she refused to shed and then asked the question she was afraid to hear the answer to. "What is going to happen to me? She asked him softly. William Adama smiled at her and she then heard exactly what she secretly wanted to hear. "You can come live with us." But the words didn't come from William Adama's mouth. It took her a moment to realize that Lee had awoken and had been listening. With hope in her eyes, Kara looked over at Adama for confirmation. With a smile and a nod to her Kara drifted into a peaceful sleep.
BACK TO PRESENT
Lee hadn't realized that he had dozed off slightly. Kara began to move in her sleep as if trying to escape a bad dream. Leaning over and stroking her cheek with his hand he whispered to her. "Kara. It's only a dream. Wake up." Kara's body jerked slightly before she opened her eyes. "Hey you. How are you doing?" he asked her, once again taking her hand into his. "My knee kills" she admitted "But it beats being dead. And thanks for waking me up." She paused for a moment considering what she should say. "Well this is a real deja-vu moment." She admitted. "Yeah for me too" he told her softly looking sad.
"What's wrong?" she asked him.
"Nothing. Just memories from the last time we were like this." he admitted to her.
"Ahhh. Are you ok?" she asked him timidly. Lee let out a little laugh. "I should be asking you that." he told her.
"I'll be fine." she assured him. "I've had worse."
"Yeah well I better get going" he told her starting to stand up "I'll let you get some rest." Not letting go of his hand just yet, Kara stopped him from standing straight up.
"Yeah?" he asked looking down at her.
"Could you stay for awhile with me?" she asked him apprehensively, her eyes nowhere near making contact with his. With his free hand, Lee tilted Kara's chin up until her eyes met his. "For as long as you like." he answered her. Then he watched as Kara drifted back into a peaceful sleep. Lee allowed his mind to wander back to being a fourteen year old kid. His parents explained that Kara had nowhere to go with her father now in jail and wanted to make sure that he and Zak would feel comfortable if she came to live with them. Lee could remember rushing to Life Station to give Kara the good news. When her arrived at he room she was asleep but thrashing about in her sleep. Lee gently took her hand in his and woke her up. When she woke up, he explained that he had come by with great news. She was to become a part of the Adama family upon release. She had given him a shy Kara smile and he watched as she drifted back into sleep. This time though her face only showed peace. Unknown to her, Lee had then sat by her bedside and held her hand as she slept. He wanted to be there in case anymore nightmares plagued her sleep.
Lee has always been there for Kara. Nothing would ever change how much he cared for her. Not even with her confession about Zak. They had ways to go, but they were starting to become the family that they once were. With a sad smile on his face, Lee realized that it always seemed that they could only realize this when Kara's life was in jeopardy. With a final thought of having to make sure they changed that Lee got comfortable in the hospital chair right where he belonged. By Kara's side.