FIC TITLE: Instrument of the Gods

WIP

Author- PTBvisiongrrl

Part- 14/?

Date- 01 31 2010

Rating – R, just to be safe

Pairings/Characters- Lee/Kara, of course!

Word Count-

Category- Short Story

Genre- Angst

Archiving- The Fallout Shelter, Apollo/Starbuck Fan Fic, . All others please ask!

Warnings- Not really- just language…

Spoilers- THROUGH FINALE OF SEASON THREE; AU after that

Disclaimers- Unfortunately, I don't own any of these characters, and make absolutely no profit from taking them out to play…

Summary- As we know, Kara didn't die in the mandela. But we don't know what happened to her yet- so here's my version. A sequel to my Malestorm Fill-Ins.

Kara found herself somehow in her own rack in her own quarters. She clearly remembered everything up to Hera's touch and knew that she had been in Hera's own temple before that. She had no idea, though, how she had gotten from the temple to here.

The answer came as she rolled over into Lee. He wasn't soundly asleep and came instantly aware at her touch. "You're awake!" he smiled, wrapping his arms around her.

"How long have I been asleep?" she wondered aloud.

"Twelve hours or so," Lee answered. "I'm glad that you got some rest. You needed it."

"I did," she smiled back a little unsteadily. "I remember falling asleep, finally, but that's about it. How did I get back here?"

Lee tightened his grasp on her, his eyes a shade darker than the mid-day Caprican sky. "I carried you."

"What?" she yelped. That must have looked wonderful, the CAG carrying his star pilot through the busy halls of a battleship mid-shift. The damage to her reputation was easily put aside as she considered something else that bothered her. "How did you know where I was?"

The answer didn't surprise her anymore. "Tierra."

"Of course," Kara yawned, unable to control it.

"Tierra gave me a message to pass along to you." Lee waited to see if Kara would give him a tell. The message was mysterious and yet not; there was something Kara hadn't told him that he should know. "She said to tell you to share." Lee pulled Kara back to him, nestling her against his chest firmly. "I don't want to share whatever it is until you are ready to tell me. Tierra can be a little-"

Kara chuckled. "Pushy? Wonder where she gets it from!"

Lee smiled and laughed lowly as well. "Not a clue, Thrace." He let the silence settle around them, listening to Kara's breathing patterns, the tensing and release as she contemplated her words. Easing himself up against the wall of their rack, he gently kneaded the tense muscles in her neck and shoulders.

Feeling herself begin to fall asleep again beneath his hands, Kara fought for the courage to tell him. She knew, intellectually, that he would welcome this baby. Be grateful for it, the chance to hold the child and care for it. But still—deep inside her fragile psyche, she wondered and worried. "Lee-"

Lee's fingers paused for barely a second before continuing, but that was long enough for Kara to pick up on his own nervousness. He had no idea what Tierra wanted Kara to tell him, and he feared it. Lee put up a good front, could bluff fairly well, but somehow she could read him. Choosing to drop the blade quickly for both their sakes, she blurted the news out with no finesse or set up. "You knocked me up again."

Lee's hands stopped completely. Kara could sense tension in his frame, leaning against him. "You're pregnant? Again?" His arms wrapped around her, his cheek rested against hers. "Are you sure?"

Wrapping her own arms around his and interlacing their fingers together, she answered, "Hera herself confirmed Cottle's suspicions."

She didn't think his voice could drop any lower. "How pregnant?"

"Enough," she tried to joke.

Lee wasn't in the mood. "How far?" he asked against, some of his desperation bleeding into his voice.

"About two months or so," Kara quickly answered, sensing that this was not a time for her usual antics or banter.

She was almost offended at his next question, but she couldn't blame the man when she considered their past. "Is it mine?" was quickly followed by, "Are you sure?"

She answered all his questions, patiently and calmly. Her temper was held in absolute check, made easier by the fact that she and Lee had not yet shifted position and were not face to face. "This child is yours, Lee. Are you pleased with that?"

His breath was hot against her neck, uneven. "Yes, Kara. Totally, supremely happy that we are having another child together." His arms gripped her tighter, almost uncomfortably so after a few moments of silence. "I guess the real question is- are you?"

Kara answered immediately, turning so that she could meet Lee's eyes. "Yes, Lee. Am I scared? Frak, yes. But somehow- still happy."

Their eyes met for several long minutes before Lee nodded. "Then I guess we're having a kid."

Kara let a small smile play at the corners of her mouth. She was feeling surprisingly content and at peace. The knowledge that Tierra was there, waiting for her again after the birth of this child, had taken care of a great deal of her anxiety; the gift from Hera in her distress took care of the remaining stress. In its place was-

Happiness. This is what it felt to be loved and love in return; to have found your place in the world and accepted it; to become what you were meant to be.

To find your destiny, and discover that it was shared.

The slight swell of Kara's stomach quickly made life difficult. With Tierra, Kara had not had to suffer through these stumbling stages of pregnancy; she was svelte and barely pregnant before leaving Galactica, and had given birth almost immediately upon reaching The Place Between. The first go round she had been blessed to skip missing sight of her toes, not being able to tie her own shoes, and the Gods-cursed blood hound scent ability that lead to unending nausea.

It seemed like this child was making up for her previous luck.

Vipers were a memory as soon as the pregnancy was medically confirmed. Standard operating procedure, Kara knew, but she still missed it. Last time, Cottle had truly cut her a break by not immediately grounding her. Even Raptors were gone as well, though, after Kara fainted in the middle of CIC one day.

It was nothing serious, Cottle assured everyone, and not an unusual event in pregnancy. Kara had never fainted before, though, just randomly, without severe injury or obvious cause. She was actually glad that Cottle took her off rotation completely, although she would never admit it to anyone, even Lee.

More troublesome was the several times a day ritual that quickly developed. She would break out in a sweat- not a mild one, but drenching her clothes and rolling off her scalp kind of sweat- and then have to make a run for the head. She had trouble figuring out just what set the horrible nausea and dry heaves off; it seemed to be everything. But definites were the smell of algae cooking, and cigar or cigarette smoke. Not being able to stomach the mainstay of fleet rations was a problem.

Cottle put her on an even nastier mixture of nutrient mush, but at least it stayed down, unlike the algae. She dutifully showed up twice a day at Life Station to retrieve her "food," and by some miracle, it was always during Cottle's rare smoke-free moments. Kara suspected it wasn't really a miracle, but she'd rather not acknowledge the kindness openly. She knew he'd deny it. Instead, she thanked him by following his orders for once without question or rebellion.

Motherhood could change a girl, Kara noted to herself as she rose and headed back towards her quarters. Twice daily trips to Life Station and general inability to keep her eyes open had lead to modified shifts for her, split between CIC and maintenance. CIC was not a comfortable place to be. Her time was spent being carefully studied by the Admiral, clearly in concern but still annoying, and fighting dirty glares at her back from a pissed-off Duala. The woman couldn't accept defeat gracefully, although the rancor was confined to looks and a sharp word here or there. Still, only advancing pregnancy kept Kara from calling her out and ending the issue once and for all.

All this time to herself- Lee had to keep up with his own work, and some of hers as well to keep the Galatica running- had left Kara somewhat at a loss, especially without Tierra to talk to. In between naps and her shortened shifts, she began sketching again. Paint was the medium her fingers itched for, but creating her own pigments was beyond her capabilities. There simply weren't the necessary supplies available, and the substitutes that had been created in their absence were a hodge-podge of nasty smells and even worse ingredients. In her current state, a simple pencil and blank paper had to be enough.

Keeping in large part to her quarters to avoid unnecessary and unexpected additional trips to Life Station, Kara was limited in her choice of subjects. Her mental images were the only models she had, other than cold metal and colder space, so she turned to those. The one image she felt compelled to get down on paper before it faded was Tierra.

The immediate recognition of her subject by Lee, who had come into their quarters as she was entranced by her work and surprised her with a gentle kiss on the cheek, delighted her. The sketch of nearly-grown Tierra had so excited Lee that Kara was determined, before the arrival of their second child, to do what she could to share the time in The Place Between she had spent with the infant Tierra with him. Kara's free time was now a frenzy of creativity, carefully reigned in and hidden to keep it from Lee. She didn't want him to see the baby album she was creating until it was complete; in the meantime, he had her initial drawing of their daughter framed and on his CAG's desk.

Kara also found time to sketch a portrait of Tierra for the Admiral. She had noticed, during her short mini-CIC shifts, a certain tension surrounding Adama that had nothing to do with Cylons or command. The tension rose as the President's absence became more noticeable, yet Kara wasn't quite sure how to put the question to him. Instead, she did what she could. She made sure to talk to him beyond the confines of duty several times a day; visit him at his quarters once or twice a week; fill him in on how the baby was doing after her weekly formal visits with Cottle.

At one of their visits, sans a CAP-flying Lee, Kara presented the Old Man with the simple framed picture. "I made something for you, sir-" she said as she placed the wrapped package in front on him.

"For what occasion?" He looked pleased, though surprised.

"A just-because," Kara smiled her shy smile, sipping her glass of water.

Raising an eyebrow, the Old Man unwrapped the frame carefully, flipping it over to look at what the frame encased. The look on his face caught Kara's attention. "Who is this?" he asked.

"Meet your granddaughter."

Adama's usual stony facade cracked. "Tierra?"

Kara sat back, pleased with herself. "She's beautiful, isn't she?"

"I can see Carolanne in her." The words floated around the room, heavy with meaning and emotion. Kara, unsure how to respond to the ghost of a woman she had never actually met but whose presence she had felt looming large in the background for years, held her tongue. The Old Man rarely spoke of Lee's mother; less often than even Lee himself. He sighed deeply, rose, and placed the framed sketch lovingly amidst his collection.

When he didn't speak again for a few moments, Kara asked quietly, "Is that a bad thing?"

Adama blanked rapidly for a moment before facing her. "I believed you, Kara. Lee believed you, and I thought I did, too."

Confusion played across Kara's face. "You thought you did?"

"I did."

"And now?" Kara could sense bitter bile climbing up her throat.

"I realize that before, I only wanted to believe. Very, very badly." Bill reached out and pulled Kara into a hug. "But this- this makes it real. Tierra is part of us. Tierra is a continuation of what was before the Cylons attacked, as well as our salvation."

Still slightly stunned, Kara admitted to not understanding. "I don't get it. You didn't really believe me?"

Leading Kara to the sofa, Bill loosened his uniform collar as he slumped down, patting the cushion next to him for Kara to join him. "I had belief in you. I looked at all the facts presented, and those supported you as well. But I didn't have faith."

"I still don't understand," Kara admitted, feeling ill at ease and the joy at the Old Man's initial reaction completely lost.

"No matter how talented an artist you may be-" Bill paused and swallowed sharply. "The subtle shadow of Carolanne- you couldn't have done that on purpose. You didn't know her well enough-"

Kara let out a shaky breath. "At all. I never met her."

The Old Man nodded. "You couldn't have just created this. Tierra-" he cleared his throat. "She has to be real, has to exist, then."

And Kara understood. Belief- pure faith- could only sustain one for so long before proof was needed. Somehow, Kara had given him that proof, just as Tierra had given Kara her own.