The Kiss

By Portofseas (a.k.a. CMSmith, Gure-san, etc…)

Disclaimer: Battlestar Galactica doesn't belong to me because I wasn't born in the 70's… therefore I couldn't have possibly known enough about the original to write this series, now could I?

Author's Note: This is not a Roslin/Adama pairing. This is how I translated Adama's thoughts and feelings during the kiss he gives Roslin. Written in under an hour and posted right afterwards. So don't be ashamed to review and critique your hardest!

Cain is dead.

Two days ago, that was the intended outcome, of course. That Cain would die. It was intended, however, that my own officer would be the one to pull the trigger. I'm grateful for this turn of events. I'm grateful that, if it had to be someone to do it, it wasn't Starbuck. Predictably enough, it was the cylon.

There isn't a whole lot to be grateful for in time like these, and yet at the same time there's everything to be grateful for. Starbuck did not kill Cain, and so the next time I look her in the eye she'll be the same Kara Thrace she's always been. Lee is alive. Gods… I didn't show it but my stomach was rolling like a trained dog when I heard that his ship had sent out an emergency alert.

But he's alive. So I am grateful.

Standing here, next to Roslin, personal things like my feelings toward my officers seem to be all that matters. It isn't as though I don't care for our victory -it could very well have turned this war in our favor. It's simply that… a man has to stop thinking on a grand scale once in a while. For example, I find myself looking on my own feelings for Laura Roslin.

She looks weak and tired, like a withered doll sitting in the vastness of her chair. She hasn't got much longer to live. After the attack that would have given me a sense of peace; a sense of control. Now, I feel more than a little lost. My outlooks have changed since the attack. I no longer see Laura as a threat. She is not a friend and dearly important ally.

Laura nods to Billy and he brings me a jewelry box. Wryly, I wonder if she's giving me her old family heirloom, wanting to pass it on. Just a passing humor, really.

"I believe a commander in charge of two ships is called an admiral," she said, smiling slightly. I like it when she smiles like that. It helps to fool me into thinking that she's more youthful, and not about to die from terminal breast cancer. And so soon after we finally made peace with one another.

I open the box and my heart skips; my breathing hitches slightly. Just subtle things, really, slight changes only I could notice. Two admiral pins sit nestled perfectly in that box, almost too perfect to touch, to perfect to be seen by the likes of me. I'm back to those small, emotional thoughts again. I don't think of it as the power of two battlestars passing to a single man. I don't think of it as the grand event of the war; a history to be told one day to our grandchildren should they survive. I think of it as a responsibility bestowed upon myself alone. My own achievement, my own dream, how incredibly important this is to me. I had gone years believing whole-heartedly that this would never happen. I glance at Roslin, and a few words are exchanged. I know later I'll be able to recall them better, but for now I'm content to simply allow this blissful numbness to wash over me.

Laura moves to stand and I help her up, but the shock is only just wearing off as I realize how thin and frail she is under my own strong grip. It seems to shatter that bliss, while making it all the more important at the same time. I look her in the eye, still holding the case in my hands. I don't know how I can express my gratitude for this. For all of this.

She smiles back at me, as though our mutual friendship had been going on for years, not months. I haven't kissed a woman in years. Not since my wife died have I ever exchanged a true, sincere kiss. The feelings may be different here, but the gesture is similar. I tap Laura Roslin under the chin lightly, that gentle smile still pulled on my pocked, scarred face.

Leaning in, I gently touch my lips to hers in a light, short kiss, and she returns it. Her lips are chapped, her whole body shaky, and not from happiness of any sort. I know my own lips might not feel a whole lot better, but in a situation like this, it really is the thought that counts.

I pull away, smiling as easily now as I had before, and still she smiles at me. Not much else to do but smile, now. Hard times are coming soon. We both know it.

Billy leads her gently away, as though she is still the porcelain doll she had been when she was sitting in that chair. She's probably heading to bed to sleep some more. That's about all she's going to be doing with her life from now on. Sleeping mostly, only to awake to pain and burdens. And it's only going to get worse.

She isn't going to live forever. I've known that for some time, and though I feel peaceful enough about it now, I might not feel that same way in the future. A friendship as vital and trying as ours is not tossed aside so easily, but here it is; a mere disease can tear this alliance apart. In my head, I go over everything I have to worry about from this moment on.

The cylons will not take our victory lightly. In all likelihood, they will attack with a fury we have not yet known.

There is a cylon out there who has lived and served on one of our battleships, and what's more she has grudge enough against us to have killed Cain. I doubt her next performance will be such a service in our favor.

Yet another cylon is on my ship, with the face of my former crew member, carrying some half-machine

freak in her belly.

I am now responsible for two battleships full of military personel many of whom have no reason to respect either myself or Galactica.

I haven't seen Lee since he returned. Gods, I hope he's all right.

When Laura dies, someone will have to replace her. I don't know how well our vice president will handle the job.

I lean back on my heels, glancing down at the admiral pins. Life really is fracked up as of late…

And yet, I am grateful for everything.