Disclaimer: I have no claim to ownership of the Battlestar Galatica. Never have. Never will.

Author's Note: Okay, so here goes, an actual story. As I've said before I've only just started watching BSG so there'll be mistakes, maybe even some pretty obvious ones. Spot 'em and tell me and I'll go back and correct. Also the prefaces to each chapter will be stanzas from a collection of Indian Love poetry and some of Sappho's work as well. Some of the Indian poems will be slightly edited to better suit the chapter. For full text email me and I'll send it to you. Also, if anyone knows where I can get any clips of the show for a video I'm making I'd be grateful.

In Hell's Despair

By Theiry

Your lover sits

dejected.

Your friends won't eat

their eyes are swollen from crying.

There's no silly chatter

and you're a wreck.

Stubborn girl,

isn't it time to quit sulking?

-Fragment of the Amarushataka

Chapter One

Ignoring protocol and safety Starbuck leapt from her Viper, indifferent Callie's startled expression as she shot across the deck. She didn't see the chaos around her, didn't hear the alarms and the shouts of confused concern.

And she reached him before almost anyone else. Before Tyrol, before Helo and Athena, before his wife, who shouldn't have been there.

Almost before the medics who'd been prepped and waiting for his arrival.

As it was they'd barely secured him on the stretcher when she shoved someone out of her way to get closer to him, slipping her hand into his as she did. Blind to the havoc surrounding her, partially caused by her, she devoured the sight of him, cataloguing his injuries at a glance.

The left side of his face was a swollen, mottled purple, coved in the blood seeping freely from the gash just above that eye.

His breathing was shallow, harsh, labored.

The left side of his flight suit was soaked black with his blood.

Something inside of her broke at the sight, then, in typical fashion, hardened.

"Don't you dare think you can just give up on me now you suicidal son of a bitch!," She snapped, jerking her shoulder from the grasping hand trying to pull her away.

His eyes were closed and, save for his breathing, he was still. So Gods-damned still.

"Starbuck! We have to get him to the infirmary! Now!"

She heard the words, was beyond identifying the voice, and leaned in close enough that she could almost taste the blood matted in his hair., "You are going to be fine," she hissed into his ear," aren't you."

She didn't make it a question. Wasn't willing to risk a question which implied multiple answers when she wanted only one.

"Starbuck, damn it MOVE!"

She locked her fingers with his, squeezed. He would say it. She needed him to say it. Lee Adama never broke his word. ," Say it. You're going to be fine. Say it."

Hands came around her waist, ripping her away from him. Voices shouted at her from every side.

The Admiral.

Roslin.

Helo.

Dee.

"Say it! Damn it, say it!," she shrieked, clutching frantically to his hand, her grip slipping, as they hauled her back, "Apollo! Lee!"

His lips moved, almost imperceptibly, but she saw and head butted whoever was pulling her away, slamming her elbow into their solar-plexus as she slipped free of their grasp.

"...fine.," it passed his lips like a dying breath as she leaned into him, the slight nod that accompanied it hardly more discernable than that precious, fragile word.

"Damn right.," she declared, returning the slight squeeze of her hand, catching his gaze his through barely cracked eyelids.

This time she let them pull her away as they rushed him off, surrounded by a crowd of chattering half panicked medics who realized all to well the consequences of losing him.

Still, she shook of the constraining hands at her elbows, which turned out to belong to the Admiral himself, letting her gaze drift to his heavily damaged ship.

"Damn right.," she repeated, her eyes glinting in the overhead light.

&&&

"Will he come out of it?"

Bill Adama was an imposing man at the best of times and having to tell him his only suriving son might not wake up again was a unique position Cottle would never have wished to experience.

It was just too bad the Gods didn't care overmuch about his wishes.

"More than likely.," he stated, already knowing how the man would react to his words and sighing in anticipation. This was never easy, never had been and never would be, but he couldn't imagine it being much more difficult.

"More than likely.," Bill repeated, making it clear that this was not an acceptable answer.

"He has a seventy five percent chance of recovery, and there are signs of improvement."

"Such as?"

"Certain visitors illicit an increase in brain activity. Yourself," Cottle continued, cutting him off even as he opened his mouth," Laura. Helo. Dee.," He hesitated there, wondering if there were anything resembling a tactful way to phrase what came next, doubting it would come as much of a shock to this man who seemed to miss nothing. Tactful or otherwise.," The greatest increase seems to be in response to Captain Thrace's presence."

"Kara.," The Admiral breathed, almost sighed as his gaze drifted to the floor.

No, there was no shock, only a kind of sad resignation; as if he'd expected this revelation and saw no hope in its tidings.

"She's been to see him?," There was no expectation in the question, no anticipation of comfort to be found in the answer.

Here at least was a thing he was almost, but not quiet because there was still the one who hadn't left the Major's side in three days, glad to impart. Something if not hoped for then unexpected. And he'd learned that sometimes the unexpected made all the difference.

"Religiously.," he stated, almost gratified by the surprise which lit the man's eyes. ," She's here every day, but she never stays long. Hasn't crossed the threshold though since Dee took up her vigil. But she'll look in, badger us until we let her see his file, as if she hasn't memorized the thing by now, harasses the nurses for updates, as if any wouldn't be in that file.

The surprise is plain, as is the slightly amused disapproval that colored his voice when he said, "You let her see his file?"

"Nothing confidential. Diagnosis. Treatment."

He nodded, his eyes going distant.

Then," She doesn't sit with him?"

"Not for the last three days. But she's here and he knows it. Responds to it.," Deliberately he stopped himself from saying anything more, letting the implication hang between them, ripe with all its possibilities, like a badly delivered insult.

Which, he supposed it almost was.

After all there was nothing simple in his observation, nothing innocent in his phrasing. It was a statement, covert yes, but a statement nonetheless . And a request. A request he couldn't bring himself to simply speak because that would necessitate the Admiral, explicitly, granting or denying it.

Too often a patients care revolved around the game of politics, their life dangling by the thread of your verbal and manipulative skills.

"I'll have a talk with the Lieutenant ," And there it was, the silent and necessary endorsement of what had once lain so heavily between Lee Adama and Kara Thrace; the slight and underhanded encouragement of its rebirth.," we're shorthanded as it is and she's not doing anybody any good sitting there day and night watching him breath. And he wouldn't expect this of her, wouldn't want it."

"No, he wouldn't.," Cottle agreed, understanding that they both knew perfectly well who, if not his wife, Apollo would expect, would want, such devotion from. ,"Will you make it an order?"

"If I have to."

"And if that doesn't work?"

Bill met his eyes, the weight of hard, unkind decisions plain, almost overwhelming in that gaze., "Anastasia Dualla doesn't strike me as the type to risk a visit the Hack."

No, she didn't, Cottle thought after the Admiral had gone.

Maybe that was part of the problem.

And maybe she never had a chance.

Anastasia Adama, he reminded himself, not for the first time. Anastasia Adama.

Then, Kara Anders