Miniature Disasters and Minor Catastrophes
Disclaimer: None of these folks are mine. I just play with other people's stuff.
Spoilers: Season 2, through The Captain's Hand.
A/N: This is complete speculation. I don't know any spoilers.
Summary: Election night blues…
He found her sitting on his sofa, dressed in a pair of military issue sweats with her feet tucked under her while she read a book. He noticed a nearly empty glass of ambrosia sitting on the table in front of her.
Closing the hatch, he said, "They told me you were here."
Laura looked up and smiled a little but said nothing.
"Shouldn't you be on Colonial One on election night?" Bill tried again, coming to sit next to her.
She shrugged. "I was in need of some solitude."
He raised an eyebrow at her. "Should I leave?"
Laura shook her head. "No. Now I could use the company." She frowned and looked down at her hands, curled around the book. "I'm going to lose."
Bill frowned at the flat tone of her voice. "How are you so sure?"
Closing the book, Laura leaned forward and placed it on the table. She picked up her glass instead. "I haven't played this very well," she admitted quietly. "It started with the Kibby girl."
Bill settled back and watched her face carefully.
"I should have gone with my first instinct and upheld the legality of abortion." She rubbed her forehead. "I let Gaius Baltar manipulate me. I've made other mistakes along the way but damn if that wasn't one of the biggest." She looked at him with a wry smile. "I'm sorry, Bill."
"The results won't be in for hours," he reminded her.
"The latest projections have him ahead by more than two thousand votes."
Bill fought the urge to laugh. Here she was sitting in sweats, drinking and reading a book but she was still in complete command of everything.
"Do you remember what I told you I saw?" she asked suddenly.
Bill nodded slowly. She'd told him about it weeks ago and then, as now, he had hoped there had been some proof of Baltar's treason other than the epiphany of a dying woman.
"Once he's president, he will turn his attention to trying to discredit you," Laura said carefully. "He knows that you're not likely to be a willing participant in his rule. He knows that you support me. With me out of power, he'll need to try to remove you and the only way to do that –" she paused and held his gaze intensely – "is to remove the support of your crew."
He nodded, having deduced that much as well. Bill had made no secret about his preference for president, even though Baltar tried to twist it into "the military wants a weak civilian leader who can be controlled." Bill had laughed in the reporter's face that had brought him that particular sound-bite. Nobody controlled Laura Roslin, least of all him. But she was right. Baltar was already trying to gain favor with the crew; promising them special rights, privileges and goods "for their exemplary and brave service." The next step was to sow the seeds of mutiny and then the madman would control it all.
"You'll have to be careful, Bill," Laura said sadly. "I frakked this up for both of us and I am so sorry."
He couldn't take this version of her, so he turned on the sofa and reached for her hands, squeezing them tightly.
"If you lose – if – I will not let that lunatic destroy what we have fought to preserve," he told her fiercely. "He'll have a tragic accident first."
Laura gave a short, wry laugh. "What's gotten into you?" she quoted. "You've become so bloody-minded." She smiled at him with tears shining in her eyes.
Bill smiled back. "I've gotten used to having you around," he told her warmly. "I just want to keep you where you are."
Laura sighed and squeezed his hands. "I'm going to miss working with you."
"You don't have to."
"How do you mean?"
"This was actually Colonel Tigh's idea," Bill said with a grin. "He was saying something about if you lost the election that if I wanted to keep you around, I could always tap you to be my civilian liaison."
Laura's eyes widened incredulously. "You can't be serious …?"
"Why not?" Bill asked, rubbing his thumbs along the backs of her hands. "You'd be moved to Galactica and you can advise me about when Baltar needs his wings clipped."
"Oh my," she murmured, clearly considering the idea. After a few long moments, she got that impish, sly smile back. "I've been such a pain in your ass, I would have thought you would be well rid of me," she teased.
He laughed. "Never. Besides, there's an upside to you losing the election."
Laura looked skeptical. "Upside?"
Bill nodded, his heart pounding. "Yeah," he began with a dry mouth. "If you're not the president anymore, then this won't be completely inappropriate."
Still clasping her hands, he leaned forward and pressed his lips to hers.
The kiss was warm and brief. Bill pulled back slightly, just enough to see her eyes. Same as the first time he kissed her, all those weeks ago, her eyes were still closed and she was smiling. Feeling encouraged, Bill closed the distance again.
But Laura stopped him with a word. "Bill?"
He froze, his lips barely grazing hers. "Laura."
She grinned. "It's about time," she said and captured his mouth deeply.
I totally hate WIPs but this might be one because of the potential for hilarity with Laura, Tigh and Ellen all on the same ship! Hee!
Oh, and if you get a chance, listen to KT Tunstall. She's a UK artist and wow, she's good. :)