What if KLG had ended differently? What if Boomer hadn't been programmed to assassinate Adama? What if she'd just shook his hand and graciously accepted his praise as Racetrack had done?
What was Adama going to do with Lee?
He could have yelled at him privately in the brig but he had him brought to CIC...
Adama looked with pride on the two pilots that had successfully infiltrated a Cylon basestar and destroyed it single-handedly. He shook each of their hands and then stepped back and came to attention and sharply saluted them. They immediately returned the gesture.
"Dismissed!" he ordered and they turned to go, receiving pats on the back and shouts of congratulations from the CIC crew as they left.
After Boomer and Racetrack were gone, Adama turned his attention to the SAR mission to Kobol. He wanted tactical information, where had the raptor gone down, where did they need to begin the search. Then he assigned officers to lead the rescue team and pilots to fly the raptors.
Lee stood quietly with his marine guard. He knew there was no chance his father had forgotten he was there, but he was purposely making him wait. Lee knew the commander was angry. Wait, strike that. He was past angry. He was absolutely furious. He remembered once when he was a child, he and Zak made his dad so mad that he couldn't punish them. He didn't even remember exactly what they did, but he remembered his father's anger. He had stared at them, their first experience with the infamous "Adama glare" and then sent them to their rooms promising he would "deal with them later." Zak ran to his room like the hounds of hell were at his heels but Lee had gone slowly. He overheard his mother ask his father why he didn't just go ahead and punish them then. His reply had chilled young Lee. "If I do it now it won't be discipline, it will be abuse." Lee swallowed hard remembering how awful it was sitting in his room waiting for his father to come. He wondered if what was going to happen now was going to be discipline or abuse.
Well, he wanted me to follow my instincts. Careful what you ask for, Dad. You just might get it. He couldn't help but notice the surreptitious glances being thrown his way. Everyone in CIC was trying very hard to look busy, yet it was eerily quiet. They were all waiting too. They hurried to obey Adama's orders almost before he had finished giving them. None of them wanted to draw any of their commander's ire onto themselves.
Finally Adama turned toward his son. He glared at him for over ten seconds, which seemed an eternity to Lee.
Lee braced himself for the verbal onslaught which he was sure was about to start. He knew his father was angry, but Lee was not ashamed of what he'd done. His father had taken up arms against the government, staged a military coup! If anything, he was ashamed of his dad. This was a new experience. Even when Lee had been furious with his father, blaming him for Zak's death, he'd never been ashamed of him.
However, his father remained silent, anger radiating from every pore.
Dee's soft voice cut through the silence. "Sir," She began hesitantly. "I'm receiving a communiqué from the Council of Twelve. They are demanding to know who is in charge of the government as the Vice President is stranded on Kobol and the President is..." Dee hesitated, not able to bring herself to repeat the statement exactly. "Indisposed." she finished finally.
Adama turned towards her and she actually took a step back despite the fact that there was a sizable distance between them. "Tell them to figure that out themselves. I thought the Articles of Colonization spelled out the order of succession."
Dee nodded and returned to the comm to deliver the message. She was sure it would not be well-received but that was the least of her concerns at the moment.
Adama returned his attention to his son. Lee realized that's what he was at this moment. His father's son. Not a captain, not the CAG, but a disobedient child. Lee began to get angry. Any other officer would have been thrown into the brig along with Roslin. He was brought here to be paraded about in handcuffs and publicly humiliated because his father, not his commander, was exasperated with him. He had never asked for, nor had he ever received, preferential treatment aboard Galactica. Until now. He was being treated differently solely because of who he was. He presumed his father thought he had chosen sides again. He wanted to shout that there was only one side. The right side. How dare his father mention the Articles of Colonization when he had just gone against everything they stood for!
Bill slowly walked towards Lee until he was standing only inches from him. "Just what the hell did you think you were doing, Captain? Do you think orders are optional around here? You only need to follow them if it suits you? If you're in the mood? And I must have overlooked the regulation describing how you can relieve a superior officer by putting your firearm to his head! Where was your frakking brain, Lee! You put a gun to the colonel's head!" Adama's voice had crescendoed from a low growl to a roar.
Lee resolutely stood his ground, not looking away.
"What you did was mutiny!" Adama shouted, his neck veins bulging.
"What you did was treason!" Lee shouted back.
No one in CIC dared to even breathe.
It was a toss-up as to who was more shocked, Lee or Bill. Lee had no idea what made him open his mouth. The first thing one learned as a nugget at the academy is not to answer back during a dressing down. He already knew that lesson well from growing up as the son of Husker Adama. You never answered back. Not if you knew what was good for you. Now he'd made things worse, if that was even possible.
"What did you say?" Adama's voice was almost a whisper but it contained all the fury of a thousand hells.
Lee quickly reacquainted himself with silence.
"I asked you a question, Captain!" Adama roared, not at all satisfied with his son's response, or the lack thereof.
"You heard what I said," Lee responded evenly, deciding after his father had used his first name that this wasn't at all a typical dressing down, but a family argument. One that should have been private, but the venue was not his choosing. If it was a fight his father wanted, however, he could give it to him. "You took up arms against the government! Grandpa Joe must be spinning in his grave!"
Before he realized what he was doing, Adama backhanded Lee across the face.
No one would have thought it possible for CIC to get any quieter, but somehow it did. Jaws dropped all over the room. Even Tigh's mouth fell open.
Bill moved from fury into rage. How DARE Lee speak to him like that, and how DARE he make him so angry that he lost control and struck him right in front of everyone and how DARE his son be...right. Lords of Kobol, Lee was right. He couldn't admit that, though. In fact, the idea infuriated him. He found he had nothing else to say in response to Lee's words or his own actions.
"Get him out of here," he growled and turned away, not watching as Lee was hustled away.
He suddenly realized he had made a very large mess and had no idea how to fix it. He had in fact, committed high treason. He had illegally removed the President from office, was holding her without due process, and on top of all that he had driven a wedge between himself and his son that might never be overcome. All because he was angry that the President had sent Kara to almost certain death on a radioactive world controlled by Cylons. Damn.
He looked around at his slack-jawed staff. "What are you all staring at? Get that SAR mission launched!"
A chorus of yes sirs responded and suddenly CIC was bustling with activity.
Bill decided he needed to go somewhere and cool off. "You have the conn, Colonel." He left CIC without any further explanation.
Lee focused on putting one foot in front of the other as the marines led him down the winding route to the brig. He had been expecting the lecture, if you could call it that. It was more of a tirade actually. But he had never expected his father to hit him. His father had never hit him. Not like that. Sure, he'd had his backside warmed a few times when he was a kid, but his father had never just hauled off and done it. He'd certainly never slapped him before. He hit pretty hard, too, Lee thought, working his jaw. Was it only that morning that he'd been sparring with his dad and been clocked pretty hard? At least then they were in private...and his dad had on gloves. In CIC, he nearly lost his balance from the force of the blow. He wasn't sure but he thought one of the marines caught him. Maybe they were just holding onto him in case he were to try to fight back. A lot of good it would have done him to try. He wasn't that stupid. Although throwing his grandfather in his father's face was not the brightest thing he'd ever done. For awhile it looked like he and his dad were going to be able to move on past Zak's death and rebuild some kind of relationship. Now that hope seemed as dead as the worlds they had left behind.
He knew he'd gone too far by drawing a gun on Tigh, but at the time he couldn't see any other way to get the man to shut up and listen to him. He tried to tell him that what they were doing was wrong. They couldn't shoot unarmed civilians, the ones they were supposed to be defending. Now it seemed he had sacrificed everything he had for an ideal, yet been unable to affect the outcome. Yes, he had stopped the potential bloodshed, but the president was still in custody. The government in shambles. Would his father declare martial law? He had sworn he would not do that. Who could tell what would happen now, though. If someone had asked him yesterday if his father would stage a coup and he would mutiny to try to prevent it, he'd have accused them of being drunk or high on stims.
They arrived in the brig and he was unceremoniously shoved into a cell. He held out his hands, expecting his shackles to be removed but he was afforded no such luxury.
"Captain Apollo? Are you all right?"
Lee had no answer for the president. The former president. Whatever she was. He was furious with her for caving in to his father. That's how it looked to him, anyway. He stood up to Tigh and those marines and what did she do? Told him to put down his gun and surrendered herself to them. In a flash of anger, he wished he'd done nothing, let the civvies die for their principles. At least he would still have his career. He would still have his father. He sighed. But he wouldn't have his own self-respect. Despite everything, he still had that. But he was almost as angry with Laura as he was with his father, and chose to remain silent rather than risk telling her exactly what he thought, not just of her surrender, but also of sending Kara back to Caprica in that raider. How could she have been so stupid as to think anyone could survive that mission? Kara was going to die because of the president's misguided delusions.
Laura Roslin was unaware of the young captain's inner struggle. She thought maybe he didn't hear her. "Lee?" she spoke again, a little louder, and used his first name instead of her private nickname for him. She never called him Lee. That should get his attention. She had noticed the mark on his face. "What happened to you?" she asked with concern.
Again, Lee couldn't answer. He couldn't begin to describe his discomfiture in CIC. He moved to the small cot and lay on his side with his back to her. Certain that she couldn't see, he rubbed at the still-stinging place on his cheek as best he could with his manacled hands. Irrationally, he wished for his mother. He remembered how she would comfort him when his father had been too overbearing with a lecture. Sometimes Bill had forgotten that his sons were children and not yet officers. He sometimes expected too much. Caroline had hugged Lee and told him that his father didn't mean to be so hard on him, he only wanted the best for him. "You know your father loves you, Lee." He could hear her voice whispering in his mind. No, Mom, I know nothing of the sort. Maybe I never did. Lee stopped short. Frak me, I'm talking to my dead mother. He bit his lip at his own thought "dead mother." Gods, she's dead. He had never really properly grieved for her, he had pushed her death out of his mind. It was as if she were back at home waiting for him and he could call her anytime he wanted. Suddenly her death hit him hard. She was gone, gone forever. The colonies were gone. His friends on Atlantia were gone. Kara was gone. His career was gone. His father wasn't gone but he might as well be. Lee was crushed with his overwhelming loss. Hot tears stung his eyes, but he stalwartly refused to give in to them. However, he couldn't seem to stop them either. He laid there in silent agony, ignoring the President's calls, until he finally fell into a troubled sleep.
William Adama entered his quarters and slammed the hatch shut behind him. What the hell had he done? Lee was right, he'd committed treason. Treason! He hadn't seen it like that at all until Lee had said it. He had been furious that the president had broken her word. They had an agreement that she wouldn't interfere in military matters and he would leave the civilian government to her. He wanted no part of governing civilians anyway. All their whining about supplies, perceived slights, trivial issues. He didn't need that. But still, they had an agreement. He had never been able to stand it when someone didn't keep their word. How many times had he lectured his boys about the importance of that. A man's word is his honor. A man says what he does and does what he says.
He sank onto his couch and dropped his head into his hands. Gods, Lee. What had he done to Lee. Lee had been wrong, too, but until he pulled the gun on Tigh he was upholding his vow to defend the Articles of Colonization. Illegal orders were not to be followed. Every warrior was taught that. But Lee should have relieved Tigh of command instead of resorting to using his weapon. Two wrongs don't make a right. And platitudes don't mean much when the world has ended. I wonder what three wrongs make? Did I actually hit Lee? Right there in CIC? Bill was mortified. He'd never hit his boys in anger. He'd punished them as children, but never out of anger. He felt it was his obligation as a father to teach them right from wrong. Sometimes he'd had to force himself to do it. He remembered his own father saying the old cliché, this hurts me more that it hurts you, and thinking it was a crock. He found out differently when he had children of his own. He hated punishing them. But not today. Today he'd hurt Lee and he'd done it intentionally. He looked down at his hand, noting that his fingers were still red. He presumed Lee's face was as well. He remembered his son's expression. For a moment, there was shock and pain. Lee had quickly hardened his expression but not before Bill saw something else. Disillusionment. His son had realized long ago that the war hero he had worshipped as a child was just a man, a man with shortcomings, but today he discovered that his father was a man who didn't stand by his principles, didn't honor his word. Who gave in to his emotions. How could he ever hope to regain his son's respect and trust?