Laura sat quietly in her tent. Lee and Kara were somewhere else. Gods know where. As much as she didn't want to admit it, she missed Bill. She hated going against him but he wouldn't believe her. He wouldn't listen to her. She in turn couldn't tell him why she believed in this so badly. She couldn't let him know that she was sick-dying. He might use it against her as much as she would like to believe that he wouldn't. she couldn't risk it. If he only knew how much she wanted him to be near her always. She hadn't really thought of her relationship with him. All she knew was that she needed him to be close by as though he was watching over her-protecting her.
Now she had one mission. To find the Tomb of Athena. She couldn't let herself be preoccupied with something else-something less important to her mind but very much important to her heart. Just then, Kara came to the tent. "Just checking on you, ma'am," the young girl said and smiled. "Do you need anything?"
"Yes, but I know you can't give it to me," Laura let slip. She had said her thoughts out loud. Now how would she explain it?
"What is it?" Kara asked, puzzled.
Something was bothering Laura and Kara wasn't giving up until she found out what. It was amusing to see Laura uncomfortable. It was-cute.
"Tell me. Who knows? Maybe Kobol has what you need. I mean, this was where the Gods lived," Kara said, grinning.
Laura let out a laugh. "No… Kobol doesn't have it, I'm pretty sure."
"I'm sure the Old Man's pretty pissed at you-at us," Kara said, changing the subject. She thought that maybe if Laura was distracted by something else, she would tell what she wanted the next time Kara asked.
"I'm sure he is," Laura said, swallowing a little. "But we've always had disagreements so I'm getting used to it," she said a little sadly. "I think he hates me."
"Then why did he give you Dark Day?"
Laura stared at her. How did she know about the book? "How did you know about the book?"
"Well I noticed that you had it with you when… Well never mind. The point is, he gave it to you. It's one of his favourites.
"I suppose he's being nice," Laura looked away. "I outrank him."
Kara saw a glimpse of something, she didn't know what--show on Laura's face. This was getting good. Now she really needed to know. Did the President have feelings for the Old Man? Gods… Lee should really listen to this.
"It's from his private collection. He wouldn't just give it away," Kara said, emphasizing on the words 'private' and 'wouldn't just'.
And there it was. The glimpse of something appeared and disappeared from Laura's face again. This time, Kara knew what it was. It was hope. Hope! She was right. The President had feelings for the Old Man! This was rich! Laura shifted uncomfortably. Kara was just playing with her-with her feelings. But she did feel it-hope-underneath it all. There was hope.
"Really?" she managed weakly. "I didn't know that." Gods, was she really that transparent-that readable? She was a politician for crying out loud! And another thought gnawed at her. Come to think of it, Bill hated politicians.
Kara watched the President and enjoyed every moment of it. It was so damned adorable to watch her squirm, a blush slowly blossoming on the apples of her cheeks. The President was blushing! Gods Lee, where the frak are you? You've got to see this! Kara refrained from running out and dragging Lee back from wherever she would find him.
"Of course! I doubt he-or anyone for that matter, would give away a book when reading material is so scarce onboard Galactica. And one of his favourites too," Kara said, suppressing a laugh that became a snort.
"Yes…" Laura mumbled quietly.
"And you danced together on colonial day right?"
Laura nodded, a vivid memory came alive in her mind.
"So what did you want?"
"Bill," Laura mumbled, her thoughts weren't with her, at least not when she said it. Then realization hit her and she gasped in horror. She had just admitting to wanting him, right in front of Kara, right to Kara. Frak! What if Kara told him what she'd said-if they ever see each other again-she would never dare look him in the eye ever again. She would rather frak Tom Zarek than to see Bill again. She blushed harder than before and stood abruptly. "No! I mean-uh-I didn't mean what I mean-uh-oh frak!"
Seeing how agitated the President had become, Kara decided to stop playing and spoke more seriously now. "It's okay," she said. "Calm down."
Laura seemed to calm down before she sat again. "Oh gods… " she groaned. Stupid Laura, she scolded herself. Stupid, stupid, stupid… "Please don't tell him-anyone. Please!"
Kara put an arm around her shoulder. "It's okay to be human," she said.
"Human?! This is not human! I like a man who most probably wants to murder me! A human being isn't that stupid!"
"So you do have feelings for him?" Kara asked, more cautiously.
"Unfortunately," she said. "Don't tell him."
Kara nodded but didn't promise. She knew that she had one big mouth and it would only take seconds before she blurted it out to Lee.
"Remember, it's totally normal to have a crush on someone," Kara said, winking and left the tent.
Bill had given her one of his favourite books according to Kara. So maybe she wasn't the one with secret feelings. Stop thinking about him, she scolded herself.
Later, she would see him right in front of her embracing his son. Later she would continue to think of him.
Bill heard a knock on his door and went to open it. Laura had come to discuss the some reports over dinner. Since Kobol, their relationship had improved a great deal and he found himself thinking about her. Was it wrong? She was his Commander-in-chief. But gods that woman was really something. Something no woman he'd ever known was.
"Madam President," he said and shook her hand.
She smiled at him. "Admiral." she sat her briefcase down on a nearby table and brought out a stack of reports. "Here," she said, walking over to the dinner table still holding the stack of files.
They had dinner and discussed everything there was to discuss. And finally, they strayed from the reports and talked about their lives before the Cylons attacked-when they weren't floating in the middle of space. Although they were still flipping through reports absent-mindedly, bothering to glance only once in a while.
That was when Bill flipped open a file to find that there were sketches-mostly caricatures of Quorum members-in the empty space on the foot of the page. She was doodling? even strong stubborn presidents got bored in meetings sometimes. He flipped the page and saw something that caught his full attention. There was a small rough sketch of himself and below the drawing, she had written in a flowery writing; My Bill. His heart did a somersault as he realized that she had drawn little hearts around the sketch. "since when had I become your Bill, Madam President?" he asked, amused.
Laura looked confused for a while and then she gasped in horror. She had forgotten about the drawings she had done. And he'd seen it. Oh Gods… How was she going to explain that-and the little hearts? She turned bright red, visible even in the dim lighting of his quarters. "I-uh-I was bored." she stood up and yanked the file from his hands. He grinned maliciously at her. She prayed that he wasn't going to make fun of her. Please Gods have mercy, she silently prayed.
"And you decided to think of me?" he asked, still grinning at her.
He was taunting her. She felt like she would rather sink into the floor and never rise again. It was too humiliating. She had to escape.
"Chamalla," she squeaked, hurt that he didn't consider how she was feeling at the moment. He raised an eyebrow, grin firmly in place.
"I'm sorry. I better leave." she got up abruptly and stared shoving the reports into her nearby briefcase-her hand trembling slightly. "You weren't supposed to see that," she choked. The humiliation was too much to bear and tears were forming in her eyes. "I'm sorry."
"don't be," he said gently, uneasy that he had made her cry.
She paused and threw him a glance. "Don't taunt me, please. I know I'm stupid-foolish. Just pretend you never saw anything, okay?"
He stood up and went to her. She refused to look at him and focused on her briefcase.
"Laura," ha said, reaching out for her hand. She flinched from his touch but didn't move.
"I'm sorry. It's my fault."
"No, don't be sorry," he said. "I know that I'm not sorry."
She looked up at him, confused.
"I'm glad I saw it. Now I know you won't slap me if I do this," he said and cupped her cheek, slowly kissing her. Her lips were soft and better than he had ever imagined.
"Bill, really? 'she asked softly.
"Shh," he said, placing a finger on his lips. He nodded at her and caressed her cheek with the back of his hand. "You're beautiful," he said. She smiled and her eyes danced with joy.
Laura had never in her wildest dreams thought that this was ever going to happen-that it was even possible. She thought she was the only one with feelings. "I never thought this was possible," she said. "I thought I was the only one who felt-"
He stopped her talking with another kiss and lead her to his rack.