The day she finds out Lee married Dualla she picks a fight with Sam over nothing, and storms out of the tent. After screaming her throat raw, about what she has no idea, even though it happened mere seconds ago.

Sometimes she misses doors.

Leaving a tent flap bristling in her wake just doesn't result in the desired effect when she's storming off in anger. Some things just happen, she thinks. Sometimes they are just what they are, and if Lee went off and got married what was it to her?

A heap load of frak all, that's what.

He was free to do whatever he pleased. He's not a civilian. He's not planet side with the rest of them trying their best to eek out a living. Her eyes shoot upward, and at this moment, he's not there either.

Her boots kick up dust as she walks, and she tears her gaze away from the skies to look down at her feet. She can still see the sting in Sam's eyes, and tries her best to shrug it off with each step of distance she puts between herself and him. The look she's been inflicting him on and off ever since they said "I will."

The look she remembers in his eyes.

She sighs and walks and shoves past people she may or may not know.

Sometimes that bright, shiny self-destruct button that's always in front of her is just too tempting not to push.


"So it was your idea?"

They way he says it is almost pathetic. His eyes are beaming into hers and he looks like he's going to cry. Maybe she is a little sorry. Maybe the ache in her own action is apparent to him because he looks like he's waiting for her to say something.

"Yeah, it was my idea."

Don't you see? She doesn't say, can't say with Sam right there. Do you get it? It was a mistake, a moment of weakness. There is nothing here because there can't be. I was in love with your brother you stupid frakker. Don't you know how sick this is?

Her anger is subtle, because the emptiness inside keeps swallowing it all away, but somehow it's still enough. Enough to let him go when he brushes past. Enough to not give him the satisfaction of turning her head to watch him go.

Instead she just listens to the sound his boots make as he walks away.


Most people get out of her way as she stomps down the causeway. The legend of Starbuck still carries a lot of weight as a civilian, even though Kara herself is just as, if not more, frightening.

The bottle bounces off her hip, resting in the oversized pocket of her jacket, a constant reminder that she's probably not going to remember these thoughts she has flying around in her head if she can help it.

She takes deep breaths as she walks, still not quite used to fresh air or the feel of real soil under her feet. The lack of cold steel walls surround her is a welcome change. Though occasionally she does miss the old bucket more than she thinks she should.

She misses the old man. And flying, and bucking authority for the hell of it. Not much call for that down here.

You frak around, you don't eat, simple as that.

Closing her eyes briefly, she can't remember the last time she was this tired without pulling double shifts. It's not as if the work is so hard down here, just that whenever she closes her eyes she sees him. She thinks about and misses him to the point where she doesn't want to sleep at all.

The bottle keeps bouncing off her hip.

She's so thirsty.


When she dreams it isn't about the man she sleeps next to. It isn't about building a life, or a family, or a bright shiny future. She dreams of her old viper. Of being in the cockpit with her hands at the stick, and most of the time it's so vivid she wakes to find her hands commanding invisible controls. She dreams of raiders ducking and diving in front of her, and bright bursting gunfire. She dreams of space and endless stars.

She dreams of a cocky grin and the bluest eyes she's ever seen. She dreams of the indignant way he's always said her call sign, of shouting to the skies.

She dreams of life during wartime and wakes to life that can only be disappointing in comparison.


She walks by Cally, who she notes has been making appearances on the surface quite a lot lately. The deckhand is standing there watching a couple of people Kara doesn't know erect a tent, looking just a little too wistful, with her hands clasped suspiciously over her belly.

She doesn't stop to make small talk, though she's been known to do so whenever she runs into anyone from Galactica. Today she knows that she wouldn't be able to help herself in steering the conversation away from the bucket and toward the beast.

When did this place get so big? She wonders as she keeps moving on. Her first week here she could walk away from Sam and everyone else in just under ten minutes. Now the commute beyond the city limits seemed to stretch forever.

The setting sun shines in her eyes and she squints against it.

The stars will be out soon, as well as her own wistful feeling she hopes to bury beneath warm amber liquid.

She doesn't even pretend that she has no idea where she's headed.

It's the only place she finds herself at peace, and the irony of that little fact is enough to make her laugh aloud and incite stares from the people she passes.


"So it was your idea."

His eyes, the sad frakking "what the hell are you thinking?" gaze that burns straight down in her heart.

She's pushed before. She's gotten him to stay away, for a little while, at least. Never once did she think he'd actually fall down from all the shoving. Never once did she think he'd just stand there, teetering from side to side, while she told him she married another man.

"Yeah, it was my idea."

The statement is just the right gust of wind to send his love for her toppling over. And when it comes crashing down all she can do is stare at the dust rising from the ruins of his heart.

And she keeps staring at those ruins, even when he brushes past her, she doesn't turn her head to watch him go.

Instead she just listens to the sound his boots make as he walks away.


She's standing in her 'kitchen,' though now the idea of a house in this spot is one long lost. Pulling the bottle from her pocket she takes the long awaited drink, not stopping until she has to gasp for air, the sweet liquid burning all the way down.

The cap falls somewhere in the dirt but it doesn't matter; there was never any intention of putting it back on. The sun has fallen barely below the horizon and she takes another drink and huffs impatiently. As a kid she never did like twilight, sitting on the roof of her mother's old apartment, always far too impatient to wait for the stars to come glittering across the sky.

Sitting in the dirt on the spot, their spot, it's the familiar feeling she hasn't quite grown out of.

At certain times of the night you can see the floating remains of the fleet, making their protective circle above. She stares up, waiting, and whispers his name clenching mounds of dirt in her fists.


Sam is easy because there's no history. There's no mountain of angst to conquer. Or dead betrothed brother whose death she was responsible for. Sam was, is, a breath of fresh air to the old stale world of military service.

There is no opposites attract thing with them, there's just attraction. When she feels she knows he feels the same way. When they but heads it isn't literal. When they fight he will actually back down every once in awhile.

And despite all that there is no honeymoon period. No endless happiness and nauseating displays of affection. And yes, she knows it is all her fault, and although Sam never has the balls to say it, she knows he questions why she ever asked him in the first place.

With Sam it isn't dirty, isn't messy, isn't a cavalcade of conflicting emotion.

It just is.

And most nights she finds herself praying to the gods that it's enough.


It isn't cold so she takes her jacket off and lies back on the ground.

Almost masochistic, she thinks, shedding her clothes likes this and tilting her head back to let a hushed breath out.

Drowning old wounds in the familiar numb of alcohol isn't enough to shake the empty feeling inside.

One thing she can say about Sam Anders, he can't hurt her like an Adama.

She stares up at the stars, waiting for the beast to come into view, and imagines pretty and proper Dee all suited up at Lee's side as he commands a skeleton crew. She feels the snarl forming on her lips, as her hand reaches for the lone dog tag still dangling from her neck.

You're not still frakking Dualla are you?

No, now he's wearing a ring that matches hers and sharing a boring life of lots of training and endless CAP's.

The rest of your life Kara. Is this how you want to spend it?

Another drink, another burn, another day of still not knowing the answer.

Is this who you want to spend it with?

The bottle is empty suddenly and she tosses it blindly in the air, the warm sensation in her body taking supreme satisfaction in the sound it makes as it shatters against some unseen rock.

The stars twinkle down on her, almost mocking. Lee is up there somewhere, married, happy that Kara Thrace is finally out of his life.

She's gripping the dog tag so tightly in her palm the points feel as if they will soon draw blood.

All your fault, she thinks. All your frakking fault.


"So it was your idea."

The way he says it isn't angry, bitter, or accusatory. It's just Lee in his calm yet hollow tone. Looking at her with empty eyes and fighting against what appears the last beat of a broken heart. He can't believe she's done what she's done.

Maybe, just a little, she can't quite believe it either. But it's real. It happened. In the eyes of the gods she belongs to another man.

It's over and done with, and making Lee realize it is the final step in pushing away the night before. Pushing away what finally happened between them.

"Yeah, it was my idea."

And just like that, Lee's broken heart shatters like glass in front of her, and she's sorry.

Gods she has never been so sorry.

But it's over, it's done.

Lee brushes past her without another word and she feels the tears threatening to fall, and fights them with every fiber of her being, never turning her head to watch him go.

Instead she just listens to the sound his boots make as he walks away.


When the fleet finally comes into view she can barely lift her head back up to see. Her body feels so heavy, her mind so slow. The goal of drinking away any feeling is partially accomplished because the anger is all but gone, though the catch seems to be that the emptiness of his absence still glows brighter than the stars above.

She says his name quietly.

He doesn't, can't, reply because he's gone. Because she couldn't handle the idea of him like that, of them together, because this time she made damn sure he would stay that way.

The dog tag she's been squeezing so vehemently finally does break the skin, and she looks into her palm with bleary eyes, small drops of crimson start to pool like tears she won't let fall.

Pulling the chain from her neck she takes one last look at the octagon that bears her name, and decides it's time to let this Kara, to let Starbuck, slip away just as she had let Lee.

That life is gone.

Lee is gone.

They're both up in space no longer giving a second thought to her at all.

She finds the spot where his head rested the last time he looked up at her, and digs her fingers into the dirt, dropping the tag inside and whispering her good-bye.

When she shouts to the skies this time, it isn't about love.


She honestly doesn't know how she makes it back to their tent still standing on her own two feet. The alcohol still holding on tight to all motor function and brain power, she's pretty sure she waltzed into many a tent that wasn't right before finally stumbling on her own.

Sam doesn't move when she opens the flap, his eyes never clench against the stray moonlight she lets in. He doesn't hear her stagger across the floor, bumping into the table, and one of his old gym bags.

He was probably blowing off steam at the pyramid court from the second she left him standing here, working out all his frustration out to the point of exhaustion. She smiles down at him sadly, wondering just what he has inside that allows him to put up with her.

Shrugging her jacket off, she tosses it across the way onto the table, then does the same with her pants. He doesn't shift when she settles onto the double sized cot next to him, nor does he wrap his arm around her when she settles her back against him.

Whispering, she calls him Sammy, and promises his sleeping form that she'll try harder. She'll be a good wife, and that she will love him like she promised to on the riverbank. Grabbing his arm she drapes it across herself and sighs before finally falling still.

When she closes her eyes she doesn't think about Lee.

And when she dreams it isn't about stars.