Disclaimer: I don't own any version of Battlestar Galactica
and no copyright infringement is intended. I'm not making any money
from this and any similarity to any other story not my own is
Genre: A&R fluff/AU/Non-Canon
Author's Note: This was written in a few hours(I had insomnia) so I'm sorry for any errors and cliches. The promo only had one line of Roslin's speech, so I snurched it and ran with it.(so no real spoilers) I also made the assumption that they could at least make her an interim president, even though if it's run like the US, it would be Tom Zarek. Oh, and the poem is based on translations of Sappho's poetry, I attributed it to Lysandros of Caprica for story purposes. And it's also posted every place: my LJ, adama roslin, and Survival Instinct(fanfiction section.)
Beloved of the Gods, the happiest mortal I seem
Sitting before thee, rapt at thy sight, hearing
Thy soft laughter and thy voice most gentle,
Speaking so passionately.
in my chest, my heart wildly flutters,
And, when on thee I gaze ever so ardently,
Bereft am I of all power of utterance,
My tongue is useless.
rushes at once through my flesh, a tingling fire,
My eyes are deprived of all power of vision,
My ears hear nothing but sounds of winds roaring,
And all is blackness.
then, like as with Ambrosia, sweetly green,
Fire burns racing beneath my skin, intoxicating
And Love, the ineluctable, with bitter sweetness
Shakes my being.
courses in streams the sweat of emotion,
A deep trembling overwhelms me, leaves me
From all sense and reason bereft,
Mad in your eyes.
to me then, Beloved, loosen me from my torment,
And wrap me sweetly in thy limbs, dewed in passion,
Consummate a mortal's yearning, and Love
From aching flesh set free.
like a God, I shall die within thy lap
Content to fall before thee, trembling
All my heart's fulfillment found
In thy grace.
Dreams of Earth
"We all feel the need for justice, an answer for the voices of our dead that call out to us. But right now, our first priority must be to the living, to the daughters and sons that have survived and that must continue to survive for the future of humanity to hold any promise.
We all feel the need for justice, but in order for there to be justice, there must be reason. We must continue our journey to Earth and prepare to defend ourselves from further Cylon attacks. And we must let the system work to discover who indeed collaborated with the Cylons; to find a just solution…"
Admiral Adama reached over and turned the radio off before sighing wearily and leaning back in his chair. He slid his hand underneath his glasses and rubbed at the bridge of his nose. On the desk in front of him were Lee's reports on the continued discovery of missing persons, as well as a copy of the speech that Interim President Laura Roslin was currently presenting on Colonial One.
Next to the stack of reports on his desk, was also a slim, leather-bound volume of poetry. Bill reached for it before rising from his chair. He grabbed one of his last bottles of Ambrosia from the cabinet along with a single glass. Book, glass, and bottle in hand, he made his way over to the leather couch. He lowered himself with another weary sigh and poured himself a small measure of Ambrosia before setting the bottle on the low table in front of the couch.
Quietly, Bill contemplated the emerald green liqueur in his glass, swirling it absently and letting it warm in his hand. He lay his other hand on the red cover of the book resting on his leg. He looked over his shoulder at the radio once before turning his attention back to the glass in his hand. Bill took a sip of Ambrosia and opened the book at random.
"Beloved of the Gods, the happiest mortal I seem…" he read the opening line of the poem and took another sip from his glass. Sitting before thee, rapt at thy sight…" the verse continued.
Bill looked back to the radio and thought for a moment to set the book down and turn the speech back on. He had read the copy that the President's office had provided him, knew it by heart in fact, but still he considered turning the radio back on. He wondered how the fleet was taking it. He wondered if it would help at all that Vice President Zarek would be adding his own words to the President's, attempting to reach those elements of the populace that would respond to such an action.
Quietly, he set the open book down and rose to turn the radio back on.
"We have endured much and survived because we have worked together…"
walked back to the couch and picked up the book before settling into
the deep leather cushions. He turned back the poem.
"…hearing Thy soft laughter and thy voice most gentle, Speaking so passionately."
"We have struggled together to survive against all odds and against the Cylons, fighting against the cruelties of those that would see us destroyed. Asking for justice from the Gods…"
"Then in my chest, my heart wildly flutters," Bill read, letting the President's voice wash over him as he did so. "And, when on thee I gaze ever so ardently, Bereft am I of all power of utterance, My tongue is useless."
He paused to take another sip of Ambrosia and again rub at the bridge of his nose beneath his glasses. He listened to the President's speech, knowing that at some level, she understood what the vigilantes responsible for the disappearance of the suspected collaborators, felt. Bill could hear it in her voice. But he also knew that she was tired of violence and he heard that in her voice too.
Thoughts still on Laura, Bill turned back to his book. "There rushes at once through my flesh, a tingling fire…"
Suddenly, holding his place with his thumb, Bill flipped the book closed to read the cover. "Dreams of Earth The Lyrical Poems of Lysandros of Caprica" He tried to remember who had given him the volume but was distracted from his thoughts a moment as he heard Laura end her speech and introduce Tom Zarek. "Thank you Madame President. I would like to add my own words and support…"
Adama still didn't trust the man, but Laura and he had seemed to come to a new understanding. For a moment, Bill felt a flash of unexpected emotion, that if he hadn't known better, he would call jealousy. He took the last sip of Ambrosia and shrugged the feeling off. He opened his book again and read, "My eyes are deprived of all power of vision, My ears hear nothing but sounds of winds roaring, And all is blackness."
"And then, like as with Ambrosia, sweetly green…" Bill looked to his empty glass. He leaned forward and reached for the bottle of liqueur, pouring himself another small measure. After placing the bottle back down on the table, he once more contemplated the Ambrosia in his glass.
Almost unexpectedly, the image of Laura's eyes flashed through his thoughts. Bill swirled the drink in his hand, watching as the Ambrosia captured the light. He turned back to Lysandros' poem.
"Fire burns racing beneath my skin, intoxicating …" It suddenly occurred to Bill then who had given him the small volume of poetry. It had been Laura, just before she had joined the rest of the colonists down on New Caprica. He had mentioned to her once how he had never understood the appeal of Lysandros' poetry. The comment had lead to a lively discussion of literature, and much latter, to her presentation of the book to him. And still latter, to her remarking on its presence on his desk just before their meeting regarding how best to handle the situation involving the missing people.
His train of thought was interrupted, "That will be all for now," Torri announced to the clamoring press.
Bill set book and glass down so that he could rise and walk over to the radio. He turned it off with a quiet hiss. He looked to the reports waiting on his desk He knew that Roslin would join him soon and that she would want to see the latest reports from Lee. He turned back to the cabinet and grabbed another glass before heading back to the couch.
After he had poured Ambrosia into the second glass and set it on the table, Bill grabbed his own glass and settled back once more with his book in hand.
"And Love, the ineluctable, with bitter sweetness Shakes my being…" He read, idly wondering if Lysandros had written his verse with someone in mind, some mortal muse, or if the poet had been merely writing of some lyrical ideal. "Down courses in streams the sweat of emotion, A deep trembling overwhelms me…"
Unbidden, the thought of Laura came to Bill again, but he shied away from it, not wanting to examine too closely why the thought of her should seem so natural when he considered the subject of Lysandros' poem.
"You're a foolish old man, Bill," he muttered to himself just as a call came. He rose to answer the ring of the phone.
"Sir, the President's detail is requesting permission to board Galactica."
"Grant them clearance," the Admiral responded and placed the receiver back in its cradle. He grabbed the reports from his desk and returned once again to the comfortable leather couch. He glanced at the copy of the President's speech on the top of the pile. Bill set it down and reached for the poetry book instead.
"…leaves me From all sense and reason bereft, Mad in your eyes," he read just as a knock came at the open hatch, announcing Laura Roslin's presence as she stepped through. She shut it behind her before addressing Bill.
"Admiral Adama," she greeted him. Her eyes glanced first at the abandoned reports on the table in front of him, then flickered to the slim volume in his hands, before noticing the Ambrosia and the second glass also on the table.
She smiled slightly and took a place opposite the military commander, straightening her white and blue pinstriped suit as she settled in the leather chair. She accepted the glass of Ambrosia that Adama offered her and took a sip of the green liqueur before cradling the glass in her hands.
Bill watched as Laura sipped her drink and the thought came to him abruptly, that he had only kissed Laura Roslin once; a kiss as she lay dying. The sharp, almost unexpected desire to kiss her again blindsided him.
She raised an eyebrow, and for a brief second, Bill wondered if his sudden thought had shown on his face.
"I was under the impression that you didn't understand the appeal of Lysandros' poetry," she half teased, indicating the slim red book now closed in his hand, his thumb marking his place.
"When it's this, or dozens of reports that I've been studying for hours and come no closer to knowing how to solve the problems in them…" he shrugged wearily.
"I just keep reminding myself that we're still alive; everything after that has started to become negotiable."
It became Adama's turn to give her a look, and she gave her own weary shrug in response. "All of this is bigger than just any one of us, Bill; it's life." Laura gave a glance to the waiting reports on the table, then to the book still held closed in Bill's hand.
"Beloved of the Gods, the happiest mortal I seem…" Laura recited, and Bill knew why the book had fallen open to that poem first. He flipped it open again and showed her what page it was on. She smiled in response.
"I've always wondered if Lysandros wrote the poem for someone," she said quietly, unknowingly echoing Bill's thoughts from earlier.
"Someone who, 'wrapped him sweetly in her limbs, dewed with passion'?" He asked with a rare lop-sided grin.
Laura returned the smile with an almost mischievous one of her own and Bill felt the sudden quick stab of desire again as he looked into her laughing green eyes. He took a sip of Ambrosia to cover his expression, in case anything of his thoughts showed on his face.
"The speech should have bought us some time," Adama said then abruptly, attempting to ignore the sudden need to kiss Laura by focusing on the problems at hand.
"People are scared and angry. It was bad enough when we were worrying about Cylon agents in the Fleet," Laura said grimly, and again Bill heard the dark, weary undertones in the President's voice. He regretted saying something then that had taken the brightness from her eyes, it was so rarely there.
"We're alive," he reminded her, taking a sip of Ambrosia.
"We are alive," she replied, taking a sip from her own glass.
Adama glanced for a moment at the stack of papers on the table before setting down his glass and book. He reached for the reports and rose from the couch. Without a word, he took the papers back to his desk and set them there before returning to his place across from Laura. He smiled slightly at her raised eyebrow as she watched him.
Bill reached for the book again, flipping it back open. "Why this poem?" He asked.
"Because it was scandalous," Laura answered after a beat. She gave him a slight grin. "While his contemporaries were writing in sober, dignified verse about politics and the State, Lysandros was writing about life, and beauty, and love."
"Consummate a mortal's yearning," Bill read aloud.
"…and Love From aching flesh set free," Laura finished the verse. "Lysandros' poetry is a celebration of what it means to be alive, really alive. His poems were banned on Caprica for many years and only survived because one Quoram senator's daughter was a high priestess and kept the verses safe in the Temple of the capital city."
Bill watched as the light came quietly back into Laura's eyes, and smiled slightly at seeing it.
"Why keep the book?" She asked suddenly, watching him carefully. "If you've 'never seen the appeal of Lysandros' poetry'?"
He debated with himself if he should tell her that he had only kept the book because she had given it to him. Then he grinned. "Well, there may be some merit to, 'And like a God, I shall die within thy lap Content to fall before thee, trembling…"
Laura laughed in surprised response, a sound that Bill wasn't certain that he would ever get used to hearing from her, but delighted to hear it nonetheless. She drank the last sip of her Ambrosia and set her glass down on the table before rising.
"And on that note," she said lightly.
Bill rose and walked with her toward the hatch.
"Good evening, Admiral."
There was still a smile in Laura's eyes, and Bill found himself suddenly thinking about how he had only ever kissed her once. He reached his hand to her chin as he had done then, and kissed her softly. For a moment, she was as surprised as she had been on the previous occasion, then she said softly, "I'm alive."
Bill took a moment, then kissed her again, this time not releasing her until they were both a little breathless.
"I'm glad that you're finally starting to appreciate the appeal of Lysandros' poetry, Bill," Laura teased.
"Me too," he replied. "Thank you for the book, Laura." He gave her one of his rare grins before she said goodnight once more with a smile and stepped out the hatch.
Bill walked back over to the table with the glasses and bottle of Ambrosia, cleaning up quickly. Then he returned for the book of poetry and set it by the table next to his rack with a small smile.