Set Post 'Hand Of God' S1 Episode 8.
AN: Will take some liberties with the past especially Lee & Kara at the academy, raider's in the past simulators are 'revved up' guesses from the colonials, as we know that Bill Adama fought in the 1st Cylon war as a fighter pilot, so they must have had some type of aerial fighter. Complete fluff at times will try to work in some angst. AU inregards to pre mini series.
AN2: This fic came about as i wondered about the difference between Apollo & Starbuck, and Kara &Lee, in the air/space andon ground their relationship is very different,I hope to show how Lee became Apollo and Kara became Starbuck. This fic is has fluff but the underlying theme will be identity, and its importance.I wanted to mention this at the outset as the first chapter is lighter thanthe show (very much like the beginning of 'Act of Contrition' S1 ep4), but it will get darker, andwe willsee why Leeand Kara never got together, and if they can overcome their past, the danger's of the present and the uncertainty of the future to be together. I hope that helps, enjoy the fluff, hopefully I've got it out of system.
Who Are We? Starbuck & Apollo or Kara & Lee
'Apollo You Magnificent Bastard I couldn't have done better myself' 'Starbuck to Apolloin the Hand of God'
"It's been a month since we began refuelling the fleet, how are the pilots, Captain?"
"Fine, Sir" Lee replied, to tell the truth the pilots were getting bored, they hadn't detected any Cylon presence for just over four weeks and they had more than enough fuel, Baltar in one of his more coherent phases had managed to create a more efficient way to process the tylium so fuel shortages were no longer a critical issue at least for 5 years barring an incidents.
"Take a seat Lee"
"Sir? The pilots are fine, relaxed, Starbuck's new batch of nuggets are about to join the rest of the squadron, so that's good news." There wasn't much else to add, the weekly debriefings had been regular for a while now.
"Ahh, now I understand."
"I was a pilot too, remember. A relaxed viper pilot is a restless one."
"Yes, Sir" Lee felt relieved, for the first time since the attacks, Lee was able to actually carry out all of his CAG duties, unfortunately they had been running hard and been on a state of high alert that neither he or the rest of the pilots had been able to truly relax. There had been so many no additions in the squadrons that less than 20 of the Galactica's original viper squadron were still flying. Lee hardly knew the squad he was commanding other than their call signs and how they flew, they needed to bond.
"What's the matter Lee, other than a minor incident with 'Pixie' the other day everything has been routine" Bill could tell that Lee was holding something back, he just needed coaxing.
"It's that incident that has me slightly worried, I know that 'Pixie' is still a rookie, but she forgot basic protocol on a routine flight, and I know that it wasn't fatal, but what about when we face the Cylon's again, Starbuck has done incredible with all the nuggets but they still don't know ¼ of what they would have learnt at the academy. I think that we should take advantage of this down time to train the pilots more especially in theory and maintenance, Starbuck barely had time to get them flight ready before, and it's not just the nuggets and rooks, even the most experienced pilots had only flown in mock battles and battle simulations before the destruction of the colonies. This is the first extended break we've had since the jump from the colonies."
"So, what's the problem Lee, everything you've said makes perfect sense?"
"That this is the first break we've had, the pilots deserve all the down time they can get, and I don't to increase their workload."
"You just said they were bored, no, it's a good idea Lee, not only will it increase the pilot's knowledge and their chances of survival, but it also gives them something to do when they're not on CAP."
Ready Room, 2 days later. Full Squadron briefing.
"Attention On Deck!"
"As you were" Commander William Adama stated as he stood behind the podium.
"This briefing is also being sent over the wireless to the CAP, is it not?" Bill asked Tigh, who nodded an affirmative.
"Starbuck, Hawk and Kat, do you read?"
"Clear Sir, This is Starbuck we read you." Kara's voice was heard over the speaker's in the ready room. The pilots all sat up, this was not a normal briefing.
"As you are all aware, this is the first break we've had since our departure from Colonial space; the command staff has decided to take advantage of this time to refresh our training. This is your first war, by now you have all faced combat situations and survived, however we now have the opportunity to complete your training. Unless we are at condition one, either myself, Colonel Tigh, Captain Adama, Lieutenant Thrace and Chief Tyrol will be quizzing you. If you have questions, ask, there will be no penalties for asking questions. If you don't know the answer, say so. This is the time to learn and ask questions people use it wisely. The areas will be Flight, Theory, Combat and Maintenance. Any questions?" Bill asked as Chief Tyrol entered the room from the back and nodded once.
"Sir, will Captain Adama and Lieutenant be tested as well?"
"Lieutenant Thrace will be tested by myself, Colonel Tigh, Chief Tyrol and Captain Adama. Whereas Captain Adama will be tested by either myself, Colonel Tigh, Chief Tyrol and Lieutenant Thrace at any time." The Commander answered 'Hotdog's' question. He was brought short however by the sound of laughter over the speaker's, and feminine peal that he couldn't remember when he heard it last.
"Sorry Sir, Did I hear that right. I get to test Apollo." At this remark Lee clenched his jaw.
"That's affirmative Starbuck"
"Oh Thank the Lords…time for payback"
"Starbuck? You do realise you're still on wireless and I can hear you right?"
"Sir, Yes, Sir!" came the amused reply along with another gale of laughter. Lee was forcing his face not to redden at the attention of the room, all of them wondering at the cause of Starbuck's amusement.
"Lieutenant, careful" Apollo's tone had sharpened.
"Commander, permission to start the tests?" Kara's question had Bill intrigued, he hadn't heard her carefree like this ever.
"Granted, Lieutenant." He could hear Lee groan behind him, as it was he could barely keep a smile of his face, he could tell Saul was curious too, they were witnessing a new side to both Apollo and Starbuck, Apollo normally remained professional at all times and Starbuck hadn't sounded this relaxed since the war began.
"Captain, how do you pull out of a tailspin, in increasing gravity with only two functioning engines and partial thrusters?" Kara's voice came across clear and sharp, with a slight edge of amusement. The entire room looked at Lee, waiting for his response.
"Pull back full on the throttle, cut thrusters, divert power to rear engine, and reduce speed whilst braking." Lee answered without pause, he knew why Kara was so gleeful, they had 'quizzed' each other like this throughout Flight School and War School. It's where he got the idea from.
"Ding, Ding, Ding. That is the right answer. Textbook even." Her amused voice crackled.
"Starbuck" Lee warned.
"Sorry, See Boys and Girls it's that easy, no need to worry." Starbuck assured the rest of the pilots.
"That was easy?" Racetrack's apprehensive voice carried through the room.
"Both the Captain and Lieutenant will be tested on a different level, to everyone else" Commander Adama assured the squadron. "Now for the surprise" At this Lee looked up, he wasn't aware of any surprise. "Chief Tyrol, Lieutenant Gaeta and Dr Baltar have worked on turning two permanently grounded vipers into simulators. Lt Gaeta and Dr Baltar worked on the Cylon enemies and have assured me that there are many added extras and increased difficulties." At this Lee smiled, until he remembered something he wished he could forget. He could imagine Kara's smile over the comm, 'he had heard her laugh more in the last 30 minutes than she had in over 2 years.' "The simulators will be used for training and competitions." William Adama finished off.
That evening…In the Rec Room.
It was during the third hand of triad that the topic turned to the Commander's briefing earlier. Crash, Boomer, Hotdog, Kat, Racetrack and one of Kara's newest nuggets 'Mouse' were discussing the quizzes.
"I wonder if the CAG would do private tuition?" Racetrack asked the table, both Hotdog and Crash sniggered as Kat and Boomer laughed. Poor Mouse just blushed; especially as she heard her instructor's laughter from the doorway, as she turned she saw the Lt. Thrace's eye's sparkle.
"It's what he's best at." Starbuck replied as she sat down and winked at Mouse, who bless her heart blushed harder, Starbuck knew that the rookie had a massive crush on Apollo as did most of the women on Galactica and some of the men too.
"Who's best at what? Hey guy's deal me in" Apollo said as he hooked a chair from another table and sat opposite Starbuck and in between Hotdog and Mouse. "So who are you guys talking about?"
"You, apparently. I just got here." Starbuck said with a grin.
"What am I best at?" Apollo asked.
"Why, private tuition, of course" Kara bantered back
"Kara" Lee warned
"What? It's what you were famous for at College." Kara teased.
"Really?" Hotdog's interest was peaked.
"Yep, he was the most in-demand student, spent all night sometimes, giving classmates all the extra attention they could need." Kara knew she shouldn't tease Lee like this in public, but she couldn't help it, she missed being with him like this.
"What? It's not like I told them about them about the time you got caught giving General Hanson's daughter a private lesson on thrust control in your viper" Her grin was cheeky, daring him to deny it.
"Kara! Would you shut up already?" Lee begged the all the women around looked at him speculatively except Mouse who wouldn't meet his eyes; Hotdog looked at him in awe and Crashdown as if he couldn't believe it.
"Is there even enough room?" Crash asked after a moment.
"The seats move back" Lee answered without thought, then blushed as he realised what he had just admitted. Kara just laughed and laughed, she hadn't seen Lee blush in years, and she would have to find a way to do it again, maybe in front of his father.
Lee narrowed his eyes at Kara, who was still laughing incidentally, "at least I didn't get caught frakking the guard while I was supposed to be in hack!" 'there' he thought 'see how you like it!' Kara stopped laughing immediately.
"Lee you got caught naked, in your viper with the General's daughter, by the General! It doesn't even compare"
"How the Frak did you get away with that?" Hotdog asked "Sir" he added belatedly.
"Please, He's Apollo, he got away with everything, but after the incident with the General's daughter his nick name at the academy was Golden B--"
"Kara I swear to the Gods if you complete that sentence I will ground you permanently," Lee shouted in desperation, thank god he was the CAG.
"Whatever you say GB" she bantered back; she didn't think he'd do it, but really hated that nick name, so she didn't risk it, plus she could just torture him by calling him GB.
Slowly the word got out around the ship, that interesting facts were being revealed at the card table in rec room 3, neither Starbuck nor Apollo noticed the gradual increase in officers in the room. The Battlestar Galactica had heard such interesting gossip since the beginning of the Cylon attacks.
"Starbuck, DO NOT PUSH ME, I've got some stories of my own, remember.
"How long have you and the Lt. known each other Captain? I thought you were only assigned to the Galactica for the decommissioning ceremony and then got stuck here…" Mouse trailed off as everybody turned to her most had forgotten she was still at the table.
Kara and Lee stared at each other, communicating silently debating exactly how much of their shared past should they reveal, after a few seconds Kara nodded slightly and let Lee know he could answer Mouse, to tell the truth she had been anticipating the question a hell of lot earlier, they hadn't hidden their friendship but the assumed her laughter had increased speculation.
"I've known Lt. Thrace since Flight school, we were in the same class, and then we were partners for War College and Officer's Candidate School, so we've known each other for nearly 10 years now, wow I hadn't realised it's been that long." Lee broke off.
"I told you, we're getting old" Kara replied, echoing her words from their reunion in the brig months earlier.
Mouse liked to observe, it's partly why she got her call sign, add to her petite body, she was indeed mouse like, but she also excelled a quick analysis of information, all viper pilots had to be, so she was the first to realise that something didn't add up in the Captain's explanation, she knew that Captain Adama was 28, as was Lt. Thrace (she knew as she had practically stalked the Captain when she first arrived 2 months ago), and she also knew that Lt. Thrace had been an academy flight instructor on Picon before joining Galactica's squadron, Captain Adama had been stationed upon the Atlantia for a while she had heard, so the timeline didn't add up somehow, she didn't understand why the Captain who lie about something like that. "That doesn't make sense…" she spoke to herself.
"What doesn't make sense Mouse?" Starbuck asked the shy nugget, something about Mouse called on Starbuck's protective instincts, she was also painfully shy, which a viper pilot could ill afford in Battlestar accommodations, so Starbuck tried her best to always include Mouse whenever she could, right now however she was chewing slightly on her bottom lip, as she calculated something in her mind, so when she quietly mumbled something Mama Starbuck picked up on it.
"It's just that I thought you were a flight instructor for 2 years before you joined the Galactica" Mouse asked.
"Yep 2 years at Picon, why?"
"And you've been on the Galactica for…?"
"Almost 3 years where are you going with this Mouse" she couldn't see her point, Hotdog's expression showed comprehension, as it was he was one the most recent from the academy, even if he had dropped out, so when he mentally calculated what Mouse was getting at he was amazed.
"You completed Flight School, War College and Officer's Candidate School in 5 years! That's impossible." Hotdog exclaimed he looked at Starbuck and Apollo in disbelief.
There was a gasp from somewhere in the room, Apollo internally cursed Mouse and Hotdog's ingenuity; he had forgotten how unusual their training had actually been compared to other pilots.
"I don't get it? What's the big deal," Kat asked, she one of nuggets that had been a civilian pilot before the attacks.
It was Crash who answered her however, "The deal is that Basic Flight can take up to 2 years, Viper flight is another year, War College is at least 3 years long and Officer's is an extra 2 years. So that's 8 years total, 6 even if you cut Basic. It's just not done."
"It took us 4 years" Starbuck answered, she like hated to be different, but it was too late for that.
"Starbuck!" Lee was amazed she was actually offering more information.
"What? It's not like they hadn't figured it out already" with that she turned to the rest of the table, "when you get to the academy, one of the very first things they do is a quick 1 hour basic flight theory, then they throw you into group sims immediately, so that they can cut the slackers almost immediately, nobody lasts longer than 10 minutes in these first sims since they were introduced to the training program. However in our first simulation 2 cadets were still flying after 20 minutes, after which the instructor cut the sim. After that little display we were put on an accelerated course, that only a handful in the history of the academy have ever been selected for. We worked hard, learning everything, we both completed basic flight within a month, (she ignored the gasp that followed, and Lee's raise of his Ambrosia, he was impressed she had told this much, plus he rarely heard her 'instructor' voice.) we then moved on to Viper's." She stopped suddenly with a small smile of remembrance.
"Viper's?" Boomer prompted
"If the instructors were impressed with our Sims, that was nothing compared to us in Viper's." Lee had picked up the story, it had been a along time since he had thought of their training, not since Zak. "So we flew through Viper's so we trained on anything that could fly, raptors, destroyers, frigates, bomber's anything and everything if it could fly, we flew it. But we had still completed 3 years of training in 9 months, so they moved us to War College. Where we both worked as hard as we could, non-stop, we doubled up on modules, we learned everything we could, combat, tactic, command, rescue, intelligence, navigation, communication, they made us learn everything, they didn't let us near a viper for 6 months, but that took us 2 years. After that we were asked to join Officer's, so we spent a year there and then we were released, Starbuck was asked to teach and Atlantia offered me a position."
"That satisfy everybody's curiosity, no lets get back to the game, I'm in for 20," she threw the chits as everybody groaned.
Lee was beyond annoyed, he was pissed off, it had been over a week since the Kara had told half of Galactica about his exploits at the Academy, he had to have the chief put a lock on his mach 7 as it was the only viper left that could have its seat move back, thank the lords the mach 2 birds didn't have the capability or the chief would have his head for letting that piece of information out. But he was sick of the looks; the absolute worst were the one from the men who had previously written him off as the commander's uptight by-the –books son, now they almost bowed for him. Kara was so bad that he had ended up scheduling her for the majority of patrols, just so he could avoid her and her smirk; her laughter was almost always ringing in his ears nowadays. She had actually been back from her patrol for 30 minutes now, once she was in the shower he could implement his revenge, ok it was incredibly childish and not very well thought out but it was all he could come up with, especially with his limited resources. The plan was simple; he had already switched her shampoo, now all he had to do was wait for the screams. He should probably make his way to CIC, his father would probably be the only person that could stop Kara from killing him and it's only fair that Tigh get to see Kara in all her glory, but he'd wait for the first scream, just so he could enjoy the entire experience. 5 4 3 2 1
Yep that was worth waiting for, he laughed hard, "LEEEEEE!" Oh Frak she heard him, time to run. The crew of the Galactica got to witness their CAG being chased by a very wet-towel-clad angry Starbuck, with bright pink hair; it was a rare sight indeed.
There 5 metres ahead, his salvation CIC door, he had miscalculated Kara's speed whilst holding on to her towel, it seemed her anger made her faster, as it was he just beat her. If he had been concentrating on who was ahead of him he may have regretted the timing of his actions as it was he barely had time to avoid a collision with the President of the Colonies, he had just managed to choke out "Dad-help"
Commander Adama barely had time to react to his CAG running into the CIC as if he had the hounds of Hades at his heels, let alone what could have happened, he hadn't been notified of an emergencies, in fact he had brought the president in to the CIC because they had run out topics during their bi-weekly meetings. Of all the situations he could have imagined a furious towel clad very angry pink hair Starbuck was nowhere on the list.
"Lee- I am going to beat the frakkin crap out of you for this where are-" Starbuck had stopped, she realised a few things quickly, that she in the middle of CIC, wet and holding on tightly to a rather small towel, and Lee the frakking coward had run to his dad, Oh Lords she was naked in the middle of CIC with pink hair, in front of Commander Adama, Colonel Tigh, Oh Lords is that the frakking President! Oh she was really gonna kill Lee for this. Witnesses or no.
"What in the 9 hells is going on here!"
She saluted, "Sir! Lee put dye in my hair Sir!"
Lee stiffened 'plausible deniability' he reminded himself, "Sir, I have no idea what Lt. Thrace is referring to Sir."
"Liar! Who else would it be! You're just getting me back because I let slip about the time you got caught frakking General Hanson's daughter in your viper!" 'Hah' see how you like that!
"KARA, for the love of the Gods, shut up!" Lee shouted, his plan had backfired; now he was embarrassed in front of father and the president!
"Fix it!" Starbuck took a step towards Lee threateningly.
"I don't know what you're talking about, anyway pink suits you!" Lee said then quickly stepped back as Kara lunged for him. "Didn't you paint Major Walker's office pink as a leaving present?"
"Lee!" Kara blushed and avoided looking at the Commander's eyes.
President Laura Roslin had survived the holocaust of the colonies, she had taken on the mantle of president as she was the highest ranking political cabinet member to survive, but before the holocaust she had spent many years as a school teacher, so she recognised the scene in front of her immediately, the fact that they were currently on a battleship, at war with the Cylon's and the pair of squabbling children were actually the two leading pilots barely registered. She glanced at Commander Adama and was shocked, he looked like he was just about to choke, or burst into peals of laughter, she suspected the latter but he was trying t maintain some form of military decorum.
"Lt. Thrace, go get dressed then report to my office" Starbuck saluted then almost ran from the CIC at the Commander's words, "Captain go to my office now and wait for me there." Lee left the room with his tail between his legs. Once he had left William lost it and burst out laughing. The sound of his laughter and the rest of the room echoed through the ship.