A/N - This fic was originally titled 'Can You See That I Have Loved You Silently?' Reading it again, I was unsatisfied and thus, I decided to rewrite it. So here it is, rewritten and with another title. There is smut in this 'revamped' version and it's in the second part. For now, enjoy!
For Just This Moment
Bill waited impatiently as the Raptor was secured and Laura emerged from the hatch, it took her a moment to register his presence and quickly looked away when she did, pretending that seeing him didn't effect her as much as it actually did. Why in the world she had agreed to come was beyond her own comprehension. If he wasn't the most infuriating man she had ever known, she didn't know who was. She fought the urge to go to him and deliver a hard smack to his face. President Roslin knew that the Admiral made the right choice, in a way. But Laura wanted Bill to love her, Laura wanted Bill to handle Baltar for her.
He strode towards her wearing a tight smile. "Madam President," he acknowledged. Please look at me Laura…
"Admiral." Her voice was kept cool and calm, just like her. It was a tiny acknowledgement and Bill was relieved that she wasn't giving him the cold shoulder. Well, knowing politicians, they were always polite. Falsely most of the time. Was Laura being the politician now? Or the woman?
"Shall we proceed to my quarters?"
She nodded and followed him, not quite walking beside him but rather slightly behind him so he could not see her face. When they approached Bill's quarters, she felt a growing frustration for allowing herself to enjoy his presence, to want his presence, even to draw strength from him. Now just because of one simple vote, she wondered if she could bring herself to be close to the Admiral again. The familiarity of Bill's quarters send her thoughts down another road.
She loved his quarters. It was the closest to home it could get. She loved his books, his furniture and the lighting. She loved everything about his quarters. Including the occupant… Did she love Bill?
She didn't bother to sit down as she felt perhaps standing might allow her to escape if things got slightly more emotional than what was acceptable. What was acceptable anyway? She fidgeted slightly and held her hands together in front of her to keep her hands from shaking.
"You should know that it wasn't personal," he said before she could say anything. He didn't move to sit.
"You freed the man who signed my execution order," she said, already feeling the whirlpool of emotions that she feared would spin out of control. I would've been dead!
"Like I said-" he started but she spoke first, cutting him off.
"It wasn't personal," she finished his sentence. "You've said that already. After everything, you voted for his acquittal. Weren't the lives of so many people lost enough to convince you?" Wasn't my suffering enough to convince you?
"It wasn't his fault. Not everything was his fault, Laura." His voice had become more gentle now, sensing that she was already upset. "He didn't ask for the cylons to come. He wasn't exactly dancing when they came." Finally, he sat down and pinched the bridge of his nose.
She looked down onto the floor and swallowed. "It wasn't your fault either." She settled her gaze on him. "Why do you keep on doing it?" She inched closer to him.
"Doing what?" he asked, allowing some annoyance to creep up his voice.
"Blaming yourself. You're still doing it, Bill. And you don't realize that when you do it, you do it to me as well." She cursed herself for the tears that had apparently sprung up from nowhere. "Do you understand? It pains me when that happens." She was supposed to be a good politician. President Roslin was in control. Laura wasn't. She fought herself until finally, the threat of tears disappeared.
"Then don't let it pain you because I don't blame myself. And I don't blame Baltar, either." He looked up at her. "Don't blame Baltar."
"I can't help it. I can't help blaming him. You weren't down there with us," she said. You weren't down there with me… "He didn't-"
"He didn't what, Laura?"
She held his gaze. "He didn't do anything. He was a coward. He was a coward wielding the power he achieved through charm. The people voted for his charm, for his talk about building a new life and he didn't deliver it."
Bill gazed at her and saw through her pain. Laura Roslin had, in fact, held a little hope that the cylons wouldn't come back. She had wanted to build a cabin after all. A cabin that might have been where he would be should he come down from Galactica to settle. Settle with Laura.
When he said nothing, she cautiously sat down beside him. "I wanted to be free from the cylons as much as anyone else."
Bill watched her look at him. "I know. We all did. Baltar shouldn't pay for what he didn't do."
Laura wasn't sure as to what he was referring to, the new life or the invasion of the cylons. She decided that she didn't want to ask. Either way, the invasion of the cylons on New Caprica was why there was no new life. The woman in her didn't want to know that. The woman in her wanted Bill to do what he said he could do. He had said that he could make Baltar disappear. And it was for her.
"You weren't down there," she said, and regretting it instantly when she saw how his features clouded over.
He stiffened. "Do you think because I wasn't there I didn't see the suffering?" He was beginning to get frustrated. "You think I didn't know what was going on? Trust me. I knew. And when I left all of you down there…"
"Don't blame yourself," she quickly said. "It isn't your fault." Her voice became a whisper. "It worries me that you do," she told him, allowing herself to admit that she did care for him. Just not how much.
Bill felt his frustration turn to anger and he didn't like that it was making him weak. He didn't like that she could see through him. "Nobody told you to care if I blame myself or not. Don't let it pain you because it is none of your business," he snapped. He watched her eyes that were reflecting a wounded look, Laura immediately disappearing and President Roslin taking her place. The hurt was immediately hidden behind her exterior just as the woman had been hidden. She seemed to be contemplating what she was going to say. Finally she stood up, smoothening her skirt although it wasn't in need of any.
"You're right," she said, her voice regaining its strength. Her calmness frustrated him even more. Her coldness made his spine tingle with dread. Had he made their relationship worse? "I should probably leave seeing that this isn't going too well. We wouldn't want to make it worse, would we?" There was a hint of sarcasm in her voice but it spoke mainly of well-hidden hurt. Hurt caused by his words. "After all, we need a good working relationship."
He couldn't bring himself to say anything and she opened her mouth to speak.
"Goodnight, Admiral." She turned and walked towards his hatch.
Bill briefly wondered if he should apologize or do something before she left until she turned to him again.
"I would have liked to believe that-" It was at this point that her voice quivered just for a fraction of a second. "I would have liked to believe that I mattered even if it was a little bit-that I meant something to you at all." Like what you mean to me, she wanted to add but didn't. She wasn't about to be made a lovesick fool, pining for the affections of a man.
Laura Roslin never pined.
Bill looked at her retreating form and wondered what she could have meant. Was she saying that-no, no… Laura Roslin does not suggest… Did she? When it had dawned on him what she meant, he stood up and in the most dignified way strode across the room to her retreating figure and grabbed her arm with much more force than he had intended, stopping her.
She turned around, startled.
"What?" She was momentarily confused and seemed dazed but did not avert her eyes to look at him, instead, averting her gaze to her shoes.
"You do mean something to me." You mean a lot to me.
Her head shot up, surprised. They had always managed to avoid the topic of 'them'. She, always the politician, was good at dodging questions and he, the stoic Admiral, was always good at remaining emotionless even if he felt a whirlpool of emotions. Whatever they had between them was always ignored and sometimes, the tension was unbearable and quite comical, especially if they'd just roamed into dangerous waters. One of them would always change the subject, fearing what would become of the situation if they had let it play out by itself. A sudden vivid image of her and Bill in a compromising position assaulted her and she fought to keep the spreading blush from invading her cheeks.
"I do?" she asked him, knowing what his answer would be but to afraid to let her guard down. They were so close and she could feel his breath on her cheeks but yet, she refused to move closer. She was still wary.
"Yes." It was certain and entirely too nerve-wrecking for Laura. He was sure and he was in front of her. So close…
"Why are you doing this?" she demanded with force. The hurt that he had inflicted earlier was already starting to melt.
"Doing what?" Laura shuddered when she felt his breath caress her cheek.
"This. Telling me things that would change the moment things go wrong. The moment we disagree."
Laura's heart pounded awfully fast in her chest and the temperature around her spiked. Blood was rushing to her cheeks and she didn't do anything to stop it.
"My feelings towards you have never changed no matter what you did or said. It was always temporary. I've never stopped-"
She looked at him, waiting for him to finish his sentence. In all the time that they had realized that there was something more than friendship between them, they had never ever been this close to the topic of them.
Never in such close proximity with each other as President and Admiral. That night on New Caprica was different. She wasn't President and didn't have to answer to the people. Plus, they were high on weed. It was really different. Those were good times.
Bill seemed lost for words.
"Your feelings towards me?" her voice came in a rush of sweet, hot breath on him. Bill could even smell her hair, the sweet, faintly flowered scent of her hair. Her perfume. He could smell everything on her and it was intoxicating. The flush on her cheeks were affecting him and her eyes were pools of glittering green.
To be continued...
A/N - What do you think? Reviews are like gifts and I would love to hear what you think! Just click on the little button below and make my day! ;o)