Disclaimer: I own very little, and the only thing of Battlestar Galactica that I own is merchandise. No copyright infringement is intended and no money will ever be made from this. Any similarity to any story not my own is coincidence.
The poem is an adaptation of translated Sappho poems.Rating: PG
Timeline: I have a vague idea that this takes place sometime during "Hero" but there are no spoilers and it could just be sometime during the third season.
Author's Notes: I had originally intended to write a Adama character study, but Roslin insisted that she be a part of this ficlit. So, it took on a different direction and the ending just kind of showed up as a kind of surprise. Oh, and it is posted just all over the place...
Tonight I have Watched the Moon
I have watched the moon
And stars above, remembering
once you lay upon my chest
While the long silvered moonlight
Danced the plain with true passion
you sang to me in liquid
While the blue stars whispered
With rich desire above the mountain
I have watched the
And the stars above, remembering
once you were in my
While the blue silvered moon
Rose above the trees with heated passion
you sang to me in gentle
While the ancient stars trembled
With aching desire above the sea
I have watched the
And the stars above, but now
The night is half-gone, slips the hour,
And now I am in bed alone
Ancient Caprican Folk Song
William Adama shut the hatch behind himself as he entered his quarters and, with a weary hand, lifted his glasses so he could rub the bridge of his nose with his fingers. Then he dropped his arm to his side in a heavy motion before taking a moment.
"Gods," he practically groaned, feeling the weight of everything pressing down on him, even here, in the sanctuary of his quarters. He rolled his shoulders, feeling them pop as he shifted.
"Gods," he sighed again almost painfully, before heading to a cabinet standing against the far wall. Without hesitation, he picked up a glass and reached for a bottle of his ever dwindling supply of Ambrosia.
As Bill made his way over to the couch, he turned down the warm lamps that filled his quarters with golden light, leaving himself with a single one on a side table. It painted mellow brown shadows along the dark walls surrounding him, and allowed just enough light for Bill to see by as he settled on the leather couch.
He poured himself a glass of green liqueur from the bottle in his hand before setting the Ambrosia down on the low table in front of the couch. He leaned back with another aching sigh, and rolled the glass in his hand, warming the liqueur and releasing it's spicy-sweet scent into the air. After a moment, he took a sip. A few more sips, and Bill removed his glasses, setting them next the bottle of Ambrosia on the table. A few more sips, and the glass was empty.
He reached for the bottle, and poured himself another glass. As Bill leaned forward to place the bottle back, his hand brushed the curved top of the guitar case propped up against the edge of the table. He set the glass of Ambrosia down, and picked up the case instead.
After a moment of fumbling with the metal latches holding the case closed, the Admiral managed to release the lid. A small note fluttered loose, and Bill caught at it. For a moment, he contemplated it, then reached for his glasses.
"I have it on good authority, Admiral, that you have been known to play," he read in the dim light, straining his eyes slightly. It was signed, simply, Laura.
Bill removed his glasses and set them back down. He took the guitar from its case and set the note back inside before closing it and propping the case against the table in front of him.
"Good authority," Bill murmured.
He traced his fingers over the cerulean patterned and dark ivory inlaid design weaving the along the edges of the soundboard and hole, traditional designs from Caprica. The wood was warm and smooth beneath his fingers. He slid his fingers lightly against the strings, feeling the soft hum of them vibrate quietly through his fingertips. Finally, he settled back with the instrument, cradling it carefully as he placed his fingers just so along the frets.
Bill tried a few notes experimentally before he let his fingers find a melody. At first, the tune was almost random, echoes of past songs that his fingers remembered. Finally, the melancholy cords of an ancient Caprican folk song began to murmur through the dim, warm confines of Adama's quarters.
"Admiral… Bill?" Laura Roslin's cultured voice finally drew William's attention, and he stilled his fingers before turning slightly in her direction.
"You didn't answer," she offered as explanation, indicating her presence just inside the hatchway.
"Shut the hatch."
She did so, before moving toward a table with the clear intention of turning another lamp on.
"Leave it off," Bill directed, and Laura stopped her hand just short of the lamp.
"Bill," she started to say, her voice tinged with a measure of confusion, and perhaps some concern.
"Please," he added in a low thoughtful tone.
She said nothing more as she carefully made her way over to where he was sitting, taking her own place on a chair opposite him.
"You're sitting in the dark," she said simply.
"May I ask why you're sitting alone in the dark?" Laura asked carefully.
Bill's fingers moved along the guitar strings again, picking the folk tune back up and playing it softly. He made no other answer, and after a few moments, Laura let the question go.
"Well," she said instead, as lightly as she could. "It's good to hear that my source was correct."
"Sometimes Lee talks too much," the Admiral replied, without rancor, his fingers falling still along the guitar strings. He felt, rather than saw Laura's small smile. "Where did you find it?"
"I had Torri ask around the fleet," Laura answered. She quietly removed her shoes and tucked her feet up underneath her.
"It's old; a Husontias."
"It takes someone…" Bill searched for the right words. "Skilled and capable to appreciate an instrument like this and to be able to play it properly…"
"I know," Laura replied simply.
"And you were that sure…" He asked carefully, his words trailing off quietly.
Laura's only reply was a small smile.
Bill's fingers began to move deftly then over the guitar strings, and for a few moments, only the soft melancholy notes spoke between them. Finally, he began to lay the words of the song along the quiet thrum of the guitar.
"Tonight I have watched the moon and stars above, remembering…Where once you lay upon my chest, while the long silvered moonlight danced the plain with true passion…"
Bill wasn't entirely certain why he chose to play the ancient Caprican folk song, and for a second, he considered changing the tune. Then he felt Laura listening intently. He saw her close her eyes with a soft smile, opening herself up to the music, listening with her whole body. He sang the second verse, his voice catching at the notes with a rich rumble.
"Once you sang to me in liquid tones, while the blue stars whispered with rich desire above the mountain…Tonight I have watched the moon and stars above, remembering…"
It had been a very long time since he had played this particular tune. When he had been younger, it hadn't seem quite so melancholy. But then, he thought ruefully, a lot of things had changed since his youth. He risked a quick glance at Laura across from him. She had opened her eyes, and they were a warm, deep green in the dim light, as they watched him with some as yet unacknowledged emotion dancing in their depths.
"When once you were in my arms, while the blue silvered moon rose above the trees with heated passion…
Bill looked once more over to the woman across from him. She was watching his hands and her presence was like a flame near him. Bill's skin tingled with his awareness of her.
"And you sang to me in gentle rhythms, while the ancient stars trembled with aching desire above the sea… Tonight I have watched the moon and stars above, but now…"
Again the moment suddenly felt larger than he had intended. His fingers tripped slightly on the strings of the instrument, calling Laura's attention up to his eyes. Bill felt the overwhelming sensation of loosing his grasp on the situation, and briefly considered fighting it.
"Go on," Laura urged him. "Please…"
The simple prompt undid him, and Bill sang the last verse, letting his own sense of melancholy and deep yearning enter the low rumble of his voice. It wound its way into the notes, almost unexpectedly intimate.
"The moon is gone and the stars go down. The night is half-gone, slips the hour, and now I am in bed alone…"
"You're not alone," Laura said gently, as Adama played the last chords of the song and stilled the guitar strings.
"You're not alone anymore, Bill."
Laura rose from her chair slowly and closed the short distance between the Admiral and herself. Gently, she took the guitar from his unresisting hands, and set it carefully down on the table. She turned back to Adama, pressing herself lightly against his knees until he opened his legs enough for her to step between them.
"You're not alone in the dark anymore, Bill,"Laura assured him, kissing him softly on the forehead. She pulled back just enough to look him in the eyes a moment before cradling his face gently in her hands. Then ever so softly she kissed him, a brush of lips against his own.
Bill traced her lips with his thumb when she pulled back from the kiss, her hands falling to his shoulders. "Not all the darkness is from outside," he said in a rough voice.
"I know," she replied, stepping back enough to take his hand. She lead him to his rack and pulled him down with her.
"But you're not alone, Bill…"FIN