Bill Adama waited outside as President Roslin spoke with the press. He wasn't always 'Admiral Adama' though. Earlier just now, about 20 minutes ago, the President of the Twelve Colonies of Kobol announced that Commander William Adama was now Admiral Adama. He was shocked. He never expected it but he was glad about it. Then he thought about the President, Laura Roslin. He thought about her often although their relationship was still President and Admiral. Friends maybe. The closest they had been together was on Colonial Day party when she had announced Gaius Baltar, as the elected vice president and Bill had asked her to dance with him which she agreed to.
It was then that he noticed she was beautiful. He had never actually given her looks much thought. Appearance yes, but not her looks. They had started dancing at an arm's length but the longer they danced, the closer the stayed to each other. She had given him her small shy smile which he had often seen and liked. He had felt something. He didn't know what but it made his heart beat faster. He wondered if she had felt it too.
He snapped back from his thoughts.
"Admiral." She was walking towards him. She smiled slightly.
"Madam President." He acknowledged.
"So," she said. "What do you think?" she asked.
"I don't really know what I think," he said truthfully. "All I can say is thank you." He took a step closer and caught her gaze; her eyes were pools of jaded green.
She smiled again. "I know you would perform your duties very well, Admiral." Bill, she silently called him by his first name. She didn't dare to say it out loud.
Without thinking, he bent down a little and gave her a simple affectionate kiss on the lips. She was pleasantly surprised and returned the kiss gently with a little hesitation; one hand placed one his strong chest. It had been so long since a man had kissed her, she didn't know if it was right. She was blushing furiously when the moment ended and she fought to control her racing pulse. The man whom she had intensely disliked during the early stages of their acquaintance which was after the attack of the cylons on Caprica had become the man she was attracted to but she kept it to herself. She had felt that way since she had danced with him on Colonial Day. But now that he had kissed her, surely he must feel something for her.
Or was it just to thank me for promoting him, she wondered.
They stood in silence gazing at each other, their minds pondering what just happened between the both of them.
Finally, she broke the silence. "I think I should be returning to Colonial One. I still have reports to go through." She smiled at him again. The smile he liked. "Admiral," she nodded.
She turned and started walking away.
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Bill allowed his mind to wander through the memory of what happened between the both of them as he had a quiet time alone in his quarters. Admiral and President. It wasn't much, the kiss, but it was enough to reinforce the attraction that the both of them obviously felt. He knew she had felt it too. She had returned his kiss.
He hadn't always liked her though. They had frequently clashed in opinions of matters regarding the fleet. She was stubborn and strong headed and it annoyed him that she was a woman. And he'd pretty much always made the decisions. President Adar never questioned him. But then, it was different then. They were on Caprica. There weren't any cylon attacks to worry about then. It was President Laura Roslin now. And Laura Roslin was a strong woman. There were cylon attacks now and then, and thousands of civilian lives depended on the everyday decisions the President and Admiral made. The Fleet came before anything else. But they slowly became friends as they understood each other's position and decisions that had to be made. The only people in the Fleet they could relate to was each other because of the heavy responsibilities they both carried. An attraction slowly developed but they ignored it.
It wasn't professional, they both thought.
Laura was thinking of the same thing as Bill on the way back to Colonial One and back in her quarters. A warm feeling enveloped her body as she remembered what happened. She liked it but at the same time, she fought to suppress the feeling. Everything that was happening between them was happening totally at the wrong time. Wrong place.
"Madam President," one of her aides said coming through the hatch. "You have a call from Galactica. It's Admiral Adama."
Bill. Why was he calling?
"Thank you. Put him through."
The aid nodded and put the admiral through to the President's line. She picked up the phone. "Hello, Admiral," she said.
"Madam President. I have a few reports here that I think we should discuss," he said.
Just hearing his voice made the feelings she fought so hard to suppress return again. "All right, Bi- uh-Admiral. Is it urgent?"
"No," he replied. "Don't worry, it isn't urgent. But perhaps we could discuss it over dinner tonight?" he asked, holding his breath and waiting for her answer which was hopefully a yes.
Dinner? she thought. "All right. Why not. "
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Laura walked round the corner to find herself in front of Bill's quarters. She was wearing a dress. She had been wearing suits since she became President and she would use any excuse she had to wear something different, in this case, dinner with the Admiral. But subconsciously, she had worn the pretty black sleeveless dress for him. She even made an effort to wear a little make up-lipstick and a tint of colour on her cheeks.
She straightened her shoulders and took a deep breath. He had never seen her dressed up before and she was nervous thinking about what he would think of her appearance. Relax Laura, she told herself. She knocked on the hatch. Moments later, Bill opened the hatch and greeted her, motioning for her to go in.
She looked so different-so beautiful. He couldn't keep his eyes off her as she walked inside. The bottom of her dress swaying to an inner rhythm.
Where are the reports? Laura thought, looking around. Then it dawned on her that he might've used it as an excuse to get her over to his place. But he could've just asked her straightforwardly and she still would've come. She decided not to ask about them.
"Have a seat," Bill said. She sat on the chair and took a sip of ambrosia that he offered her. Dinner was already on the table and he sat right across her. He didn't mention the alleged reports that they were supposedly going to discuss.
"How was your day as Admiral?" she asked him.
"It was the same as any other day. Work." He was watching her move, taking her first bite of the food.
"Delicious," she said, chewing slowly.
"I'm glad you like it." He was glad that she bothered to dress up for this. She didn't seem like the President. She was more like Laura Roslin, a beautiful woman. He wanted to talk about what happened between them earlier that day. But he didn't know if she did. He needed to know what it meant to her.
"Madam President," he started. "When I-" he paused, lost for words. He didn't know what to say. How to say it.
She let her gaze settle on him. "When you…" she hesitated. "When you kissed me?" She felt blood rushing to her cheekbones. "Is that what you wanted to say?"
He caught her gaze and locked on it. "When I kissed you…" he said. "Did you feel anything?" He had to know.
"You mean other than your lips?" she asked jokingly, trying to ease the rising tension. She laughed lamely. He smiled at her. He's serious, she thought. She couldn't possibly convey how she felt to him. It was too awkward. And yet, she wanted to tell him everything. She wanted to be in his embrace. "Admiral," she said softly. It was becoming increasingly difficult to speak without becoming emotional.
"Did you feel anything?" he repeated his question.
Laura felt her heartbeat quicken. "Yes," she said, breaking the gaze and opted to look at her glass of ambrosia instead. "I felt something."
Bill felt a wave of relief wash over him. So she did feel something.
They sat in silence each finishing their meal. Wasting wasn't advisable. Not when supplies weren't in abundance. Laura stood up and went over to the couch taking her glass of unfinished ambrosia with her. Bill followed her.
She took a sip of the drink and set in on the table. She turned to face him. "I care for you, Bill." Even though he had threw her into the brig. Realizing that she had used his first name, she corrected herself. "I'm sorry. I mean Admiral…"
Bill had closed in and planted his lips on hers. Her eyes widened in surprise but she didn't protest. She gave in wholeheartedly and returned his kisses - passionate and desperate. They were driven by all the pent up tension that had collected little by little since they danced together on Colonial Day.
Then, just as quickly as it began, Bill pulled away gasping for air. She giggled a little and moved in to kiss him again but this time, he resisted her by pushing her away. She looked at him hurtfully. Was there something wrong? Was it because she was not what he expected? Less than what he expected?
"I'm sorry," he said, his voice husky. "I can't. I keep on thinking about how you're sick." He looked away.
"What?" she asked, unbelieving.
"I don't know really. I mean, you're dying."
"And that is a problem?" she asked quietly although it was more of a statement.
"Yes-no," he said without looking at her.
"Well," she said, her voice threatening to break into a sob. "I suppose I better go now." She quickly stood up and smoothened her dress. Don't lose it Laura, she told herself in her mind. Don't cry! she practically screamed in her mind. You're better than this.
"It's been wonderful, this dinner," she forced herself to say. "Thank you," she said before leaving his quarters.
On the way back to Colonial One, Laura sat quietly, clenching her fists on her lap. The hurt she felt was real, almost physical, and it travelled in her body right until the soles of her feet. He didn't want to touch her because she was sick.
The moment she stepped off the Raptor, she already had her presidential mask on and her lips portrayed a tight smile. All traces of any emotion was well disguised. When she reached her quarters, she went in and shut the hatch. Making sure that all was safe and that she was alone, she let her emotions tumble out of her, her tears spilling down her face. She cried quietly without a sound. She went through the curtains that separated her sleeping place and her office. She curled herself up onto her bed and cried into the pillow, just like she had when Bill threw and locked her up in the brig.
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After what happened in Bill's place, they still saw each other but not frequently, mostly because she was avoiding him. Official meetings couldn't be avoided; neither could crises that were bound to occur. But Laura always avoided making eye contact with Bill, addressing him only when it was necessary. She had to work hard to focus during the meetings. A lump seemed to always form in her throat when she saw him. She didn't blame him for her hurt. She saw it as her problem. She was the one who was sick, not him. He wouldn't start a relationship with someone who was dying. It wasn't his fault. He had tried to call her but she'd always talk to him in a cool and collected manner, nothing to indicate that she was going to talk about affairs of the heart. He didn't know how hard she worked to keep her voice like that. So detached.
Bill hadn't really meant it the way it sounded. He didn't have a problem with her or with her illness. He was afraid that he would hurt her. She seemed so fragile, she was dying and he didn't think it was right for him to lay a hand on her, afraid that he might hurt her, break her in any way. He had the feeling that she was like glass, and that she had to be treated gently. She couldn't be dropped for fear she would shatter into a thousand tiny pieces.
But he didn't know how to tell her how he really felt and he had allowed her to leave, probably with the impression that he didn't want to touch her because she was sick. Oh gods… He had seen the way she looked at him when he resisted her. The hurt in her eyes were so real and painful. Just like the look she gave him when he had locked her up. He had been surprised when she had reconciled with him in Kobol, surprised that she didn't hate him forever. Then it occurred to him that he wasn't attracted to her. He loved her. He had told himself that he returned to Kobol to get Starbuck and Apollo. That was partly true. He did return to get them. And Laura. He loved her and the mere thought that she was dying suffocated him. How long did she have, he wondered. When would it be when she would be confined to sickbay, weak and drained of life.
He wasn't going to lose her. He was determined to stay with her until her last breath which was hopefully a long time to come. So when phone calls didn't seem to indicate a change in their deteriorating relationship, Bill decided to just see her face to face.
Laura was unprepared to see him. He had dropped by unannounced and she was caught of guard.
"Madam President," he said after the aide had left and closed the hatch.
"Admiral," she nodded, swallowing a lump that had formed when she saw his face. "This is a surprise. How can I assist you?" she said, struggling to sound detached. Why come here? Why come here now? Didn't he know how painful it was for her to see him?
"We need to talk. I need to explain things."
"If this is about that night, don't worry about it," she said, not looking up from the documents on her table. "I-I understand."
"No, you don't understand. I didn't mean it like that."
This time she looked up, removing her glasses. "What do I not understand? If you don't want to be involved with me which was pretty obvious, it's ok. You don't have to explain why."
"That's not it," he said. "I didn't want to hurt you."
"Hurt me?" That was unexpected. Did that mean he wasn't interested in a relationship? That he just wanted it to be a one night stand kind of thing? She forced herself to not think of that possibility.
"Yes. I mean I was afraid I would hurt you if I laid a hand on you. I felt like I needed to protect you." There. He'd said it.
"You wanted to protect me?" Her voice had suddenly become warm, not detached like before. "Really?" That was it?
She stood up and left her glasses on her desk, walking towards him.
"Well, you're sick and I thought it wouldn't be right to…you know," he continued. She was standing in front of him, gazing intently at him. "I'm sorry, Laura."
He had called her by her first name and she realized how much she really missed being called that instead of 'Madam President' or 'ma'am' all the time. She gazed into his cobalt blue eyes. She wanted to be in his embrace, for him to caress her gently. She couldn't hold back any longer and touched his face with her slender fingers. She had ached to tell him how much she loved him all this time but she wasn't sure if he felt the same. And if he didn't, she wasn't sure if she could bare working with him.
She hadn't expected to fall in love with this man, especially this man. She had absolutely abhorred him in the beginning. And when he had thrown her in the brig, she didn't despise him or felt anger towards him. Instead, she felt hurt. She was smart enough to know that the only reason she was hurt and not anything else was because she cared for him. Loved him even. But she had denied it to herself. You don't love him, Laura, she had told herself every time she found herself starting to think of him. You can't love him. He locked you up and staged a coup. When it had failed to stop the increasingly frequent images of him invading her mind, she resorted to telling herself that he had no feelings for her whatsoever. He doesn't love you, Laura. That's why he locked you up. He hates you and thinks you're incapable of running a government. But evidently, that didn't work to banish her feelings for him either for if it did, they wouldn't be right there, right now in her office.
He held her hand against his face. Then he kissed it, breathing in the sweet scent of her skin.
"You do know that I love you, right?" she said softly, smiling.
He responded by pulling her close to him and hugged her tightly, breathing in the intoxicating smell of her burgundy hair. That was enough. She didn't need him to profess his undying love for her. All she needed was a sign that he felt the same way as she did. And he gave her exactly what she needed. Standing in the middle of her small office, they hugged
She had never felt so happy in her life before. They loved each other and that was all they both needed.
To be continued...