This story will obviously become AU as season 2.5 progresses, but it is my take on what would happen as things stand after Resurrection Ship.

"I hate this place." Kara said as she sat next to Lee in the sickbay waiting room.

"Yeah." He answered inattentively.

"Seems like every time I'm in here, I lose something." She closed her eyes as memories invaded her mind.

That knee of yours is like a smashed melon, Lieutenant. I know you don't wanna hear this, but you may never fly again.

I don't know everything that they did to you on Caprica, Lt. Thrace. But your test results are pretty clear. One ovary is gone; the other has been damaged severely. It would be a near impossibility for you to ever conceive a child.

Helo's gone, Starbuck. He was dead when they brought him in here. There was nothing I could do.

"Yeah." Lee mumbled, tearing her away from her thoughts as he looked at the clock on the wall. "I hope this doesn't take too long."

"Gods, Lee." Kara sneered at him. "Do you think if you really dug deep down, you could be a little less callous?"

"What do you want me to say, Kara?" Lee hissed back.

"Sharon's dying, Lee."

"Sharon doesn't exist." He pointed to the room that they stood outside of. "And that thing in there is not dying. Her system's failing, her hard drive is crashing, so you'll excuse me if I'm not exactly tearing up here."

"Fine." She said quietly as she gestured to the door. "Then why don't you just go?"

Lee looked to his chest. "The Cylon asked to see both of us. And for some reason, the President feels it's important that we grant the request."

Kara sighed and let her head fall back to the wall behind her. "Is the baby okay?"

"Are we actually gonna call it 'the baby'?" He muttered under his breath.

"Frak off, Lee." Kara rose from her chair and walked to the other side of the room before turning back to him. "That's Helo's child that you're talking about."

Lee looked up at her. "What's your point?"

"Gods." Kara choked, tears threatening to form in her eyes. "How could you have switched gears so fast? You were sad when Helo was killed. And you were compassionate when we went to the cell to tell Sharon."

"I was sad and compassionate because you were upset. Now, Helo was your friend and he was a good man, but he made a mistake by getting involved in this freakshow. I don't harbor any deep-seeded connection to the Cylon or the………….."

"Baby." Kara affirmed. "And yes, we are actually gonna call it 'the baby'."

Lee breathed deep, realizing that he had gone too far, and moved to placate her. "The nurse tells me that the baby is fine."

"Is she going to stay that way?" Kara asked sadly. "What is Roslin planning on doing with her?"

"I don't know." Lee responded truthfully. "I don't even think she knows what she's going to do."

"Do you know how hard this is for me? Helo was one of my best friends. Hell, he was one of the few men in this world that I ever trusted that didn't have Adama as their last name. And he was killed protecting Sharon and their child. When those Pegasus goons came for her, he killed rather than let anything happen to her, and then he was killed because of that. And she………." Kara sucked in a harsh breath and pointed to the next room. "She was my friend too. Maybe that Sharon wasn't the one that I knew for two years, but she saved my life. She saved all of our lives."

"I'm still not entirely convinced that she didn't do those things for her own benefit." Lee said simply. "And do you know how hard it is for me? Looking at the same face that shot my father right in front of me, and allowing her to save our lives?"

Kara sat back down next to him and exhaled. "Okay, so your bitterness is justified. But at least try to suppress it while we're in there talking to her, would you?"

He smiled slightly. "I'll do my best. But I can't make you any promises."

"Do you think you could promise me?" President Roslin's voice spoke from where she stood in the door frame with Billy and Dr. Baltar standing behind her. Lee and Kara rose from their seats as she came to stand before them. "We still have questions that we need to ask her, information that we need to glean from her. Information that may be vital to our continued survival, and the Cylon seems willing to help us if we grant her requests before she dies."

"What were her requests?" Kara asked nervously.

"The only thing she asked of me was the opportunity to speak to the two of you."

"Did you get the feeling that she wants something out of us?" Lee asked, just as nervously as Kara.

"Absolutely." Roslin nodded. "And I don't know what she wants, but whatever her request is………….I want you to grant it."

Lee and Kara's eyes both widened in shock. "Excuse me?" Lee chuckled skeptically.

"I don't care if she wants one of your internal organs; tell her whatever she wants to hear. The Cylon will be dead soon, she won't be around to see if we really keep our word. And I assure you, I have no intention of keeping our word. But she will not help us until she thinks she is getting what she wants."

"What are you going to do with the baby?" Kara whispered.

"I don't know." Roslin let her eyes drop down. "I'm ashamed to admit that part of me was relieved when I thought that I would be dead by the time we were faced with that decision. But then the pregnancy was accelerated and now the baby's fate rests in my hands, instead of my successor." Roslin subtly looked over to where Baltar was standing. "Perhaps that is a blessing."

Baltar crossed his arms over his chest in defiance of the President's underhanded insult. "The child would be an invaluable test subject. A half Cylon- half human specimen that gestated in her mother's womb at such an increased rate. We've never encountered anything like it. The data that I could collect from studying the child would be astounding, and it would help immensely in our struggle against the Cylons. If I could be allowed to take the baby—."

"I'd rather the President toss it out the airlock then let you have that child!" Kara hissed looking directly at him, her face distorted in rage.

Out of Baltar's view, Roslin covered her mouth to hide a slight grin.

"Kara." Lee placed a hand on her arm as a warning.

"Are you going to let her talk to you like that, Gaius?" Number Six whispered in his ear as she wrapped her arms around his neck and looked back to Kara.

"I think that anything would be better than letting that child's life end." Baltar spoke, looking at Kara, but speaking to both blond women.

"Nothing is going to happen to the child, Gaius." Six purred reassuringly. "Events have been set in motion, something stronger than the people in this room will protect our daughter."

"That's good to hear." Baltar mumbled as he nodded to himself. Then he looked up at the other people in the room that were staring at him like he had lost his mind.

The President turned to Billy to give him a pointed look and Kara shook her head at Lee before turning back to the President. "Madam President." She said. "Just promise me that you'll consider all of the options before you make any decisions."

"I will." Roslin assured. "And certainly, some options…………" She again looked at Baltar out of the corner of her eye. "………will only be considered as a last resort."

Cottle walked out of the room. "This isn't exactly the best place for a social gathering." He said as he took a drag on his cigarette. "There's a woman dying in the next room."

Roslin nodded in understanding. "Exactly what is she dying of, Doctor?"

"She's just dying, Madam President." Cottle answered. "Her body is just giving out."

"Based on everything that Doctor Cottle and I have uncovered on Cylon physiology and reproduction, it is entirely possible that they were just not built for the trauma of pregnancy and birth." Baltar interjected. "It may have been too much for her body to take. The life, or whatever it was that kept her alive, it just draining from her."

"She's ready for you now." Cottle pointed at Lee and Kara and then to room that he had just come out of. Lee and Kara reluctantly walked into the room and Cottle closed the door.

"Doctor." Roslin said softly. "What's going on with the baby? Where is it?"

"In the diagnostic center." Cottle replied. "We got her cleaned up and now we're running a few tests. Non-evasive tests: bloodwork, a couple of scans."

"And what is the status of the child?" Baltar asked, interrupting the President and Cottle's conversation.

"Healthy. Perfectly healthy, albeit with some unusual differences from most newborns."

"Like?" Roslin asked hesitantly.

"She seems remarkably aware, almost communicative." Cottle puffed on his cigarette. "And she's gained half a pound since the last time we weighed her, just 45 minutes ago."

"Meaning?" Roslin questioned.

"Meaning," Baltar answered for Cottle. "That the accelerated development was not just a gestational abnormality. If things continue like this, the child will age rapidly as well.

"My gods." Roslin said as she looked at the now closed door to where the Cylon was resting.

On the other side of the door, Lee and Kara stood at the foot of the sickbay bed.

"My gods." Kara whispered. "She looks so small."

"Is she dead? Or just asleep?" Lee asked softly.

"Neither." The Cylon answered, her eyes still closed. "I was praying."

"I think your God has given up on you, Sharon." Kara said gently, coming to stand beside her bed as Lee stood on the other side.

"Maybe I wasn't praying to that god." Sharon replied as she opened her eyes and gave a small smile.

Lee breathed deep to try and still the rage that he felt coursing through him. "You wanted to see us?" He questioned brusquely.

"Yes." Sharon answered simply. "I want you to know that I………….." She looked at Kara. "I genuinely loved Helo. I know that it originally started out as a deception, but it didn't end that way. I was given a task, and I thought that I was doing the right thing by working to accomplish it. But then I saw how much Helo loved Sharon," Tears started to fall down her face. "How much he loved me. I'd never felt that kind of love before, and I wanted my child to be born into it. I wanted to raise my daughter with Helo, and I wanted to share that love with her."

"Can we skip the touchy-feely crap and just get to the point?" Lee sneered.

"Will you shut the frak up?" Kara hissed back at him.

Lee ran his hand over his face and through his hair. He then turned away from the bed and sat down in the chair against the wall.

Sharon watched him walk away and closed her eyes again. "I realize that is not a possibility now. Helo's gone and I'll soon go to meet him in the afterlife."

"What makes you think the afterlife will even take you?" Lee mumbled.

Kara faced him, her whole body flushed red with anger. "Lee Adama, so help me gods, you say another word like that and I will hurl you out of this room!" She screamed.

"No." Sharon pleaded, grabbing Kara's arm and looking her in the eye. "I want him to, I need him to stay." She then looked to Lee. "I knew what I was; I knew what we had done. I don't expect to be forgiven for my sins. But Apollo, they are my sins. My child did nothing; she is innocent of all of this. And she needs to be given a chance."

"I feel no animosity towards your………baby." Lee stated as he looked at Kara.

"Good." Sharon smiled, wiping away a tear on her cheek. "Do you remember that day two months ago? When the two of you came to my cell and told me that Helo had died?"

"Yes." Kara whispered, almost to herself as her face crumpled in pain.

"You were hesitant with me, formal even. Almost as if you didn't quite believe that the grief I felt was real. You both just stood there as I cried."

"Are you trying to make us feel guilty that we didn't console you?" Kara asked in disbelief. "What were we supposed to do? Put a hand on your shoulder and tell you that everything would be alright?"

"No. I never expected you to do that." Sharon confirmed. "You're missing the point. The point is that you were consoling each other. I saw what would happen when it all got to be too much for one of you. You would give each other a look, and instantly you were comforted, fortified." Sharon paused and looked at Lee. "And then I looked at you and asked you: 'do you know what it's like to lose the love of your life?', and you looked away from me and said 'no'."

"What does any of this have to do with anything?" Lee asked incredulously.

Sharon looked to her hands. "I saw it that day, looking at the two of you." She looked back up. "I can't raise my child. But I still want her to be raised in love." She took a breath to steady her resolve. "I want the two of you to raise her."