Disclaimer: Not mine.Rating: PG13, mostly. Violence, some language, a little sex.
Pairings: er... Kara/Anders, Kara/Lee, Dualla/Lee, Sharon/Helo? Mostly, they're just mentions, not really the focus.
Words: 3,000+ Notes: I was actually trying to write 'Five Times Sam Anders Killed Kara Thrace', but my brain was metaing away on Sam, and, well. Also. It's really HARD to get Sam to actually kill Lee. So. Some of these are shorter than others.
SPOILERS THROUGH CROSSROADS TWO. (er, season three, anyway)
Five Times Sam Anders Killed Lee Adamaby ALC Punk!
He's a Cylon.
Sam lets that refrain pound through his head as he staggers around the deck. Not that it looks like he's staggering. To others, he's moving just fine, swaying from the movement of Galactica and the Cylon ships screaming around her.
It's frakking ironic. The Cylons want their brethren to live, but attacking the Galactica is dooming four of them.
He's a Cylon.
And he's got to stop frakking thinking about that, or he'll go insane.
Fine. Shelve it. Like he shelved death after death on Caprica (43 dead in one raid, because the sweet little girl with them was really a Cylon. Thirty dead when the man named Leoben went on a killing spree, claiming he was cleansing in the name of God). Like he shelved the pain of watching Kara walk away from him.
Like he shelved the pain of Kara being dead.
He falls into the groove of work on the deck, gets used to following the orders of one of Tyrol's kids, hauling metal and prepping for the return of vipers and raptors. So he's not ready when the marines pile in, and he tenses and thinks frantically that now it's too late for cover, too late too flee--
But they're not here for him.
Thirty seconds later, the viper comes in, pulled by the hydraulics almost too fast. When the canopy pops up, and the pilot yanks her helmet off, Sam can't quite believe it.
It hits him that the marines aren't there for him.
He has time to escape.
And while Kara Thrace climbs out, shouting that she's not dead, not a Cylon, and here to lead them to Earth, he fades into the background.
Sam doesn't visit Kara in the brig, because even though he wants to know, he also doesn't. And if she's really Kara, then he's really a Cylon. And if she isn't Kara, he's still a Cylon. And either way, it doesn't matter.
It's not like she ever loved him, anyway.
He tries to convince himself of that as he works on the vipers.
Even though the Cylons ran off (again), they have to keep them in semi-working order. And the one he's on has a coolant leak that Chief told him to track down. Once he has, he tries to find the paperwork, realizes he got it covered with coolant, and curses. The writing is illegible, and not going to pass muster.
Not that it matters, anyway.
Later, he'll find out it was Lee Adama's viper, and wonder if he'd known that. He tries to pretend that he didn't.
Sam's not on the deck when Apollo's viper develops a fault, so he misses the drama of Chief trying to talk him through getting it back to Galactica before the engine overheats. But Sam hears about it for days, afterwards, while people walk the corridors, expecting them to explode.
The Admiral eventually emerges from his quarters a different man, and the fleet goes on. He's lost something, though, and every day, the possibility of following Kara's path to Earth seems more remote. The jury's still out on her being a Cylon, but 'Track has a stack of bets for both sides, and the odds keep getting better every day.
At night, Sam wonders if he should visit her, in the brig. Then he remembers what he is, and what he's done. Irrevocably, he can't really regret it.
After all, Lee Adama killed his wife.
Sam Anders was waiting, and he almost felt calm about it. The chair he'd dropped into in Lee and Dualla's married quarters was hard as a rock, and his ass was numb, but he didn't care. There was something he had to do, and he was going to frakking do it.
He'd promised, after all.
Time passed, but he only noticed it in the stiffening of his muscles and the continued numbness in his ass. His fingers occasionally moved restlessly, toying with the edges of the papers he'd brought, or brushing against the gun in his lap.
Footsteps passed outside the hatch from time to time, but only one set stopped.
The hatch opened and Lee Adama stepped in, looking tired. The tunic of his uniform was already half-unbuttoned, as though the plan had been to come home, strip and fall into bed until his next duty shift. On seeing Sam sitting there, he blinked and dropped a hand in a vague gesture that might have been hello before turning to close the hatch. "Hey, Sam."
"Lee." Fingers again toying with the folder, Sam said, his tone careful (as though if he weren't careful, he might do something rash), "I made you a promise, once."
"Yeah?" Turning away, Lee pulled his tunic off, hanging it in his locker. His manner was still that of a man who'd been worked too hard and never had the chance to recover.
The silence stretched as Lee waited for Sam, and Sam waited for Lee.
Or maybe he was just waiting for the right moment. Sam's finger pressed play on the digital recorder he'd gotten from a friend of Barolay's. It had been a black market find, one which Jean had passed to him with a strain around her eyes that had only been explained when he'd listened to what some random civilian had caught, listening to illegal channels.
The words which rang out into the married quarters made both men twitch. Kara Thrace, saying goodbye, was never an easy thing to hear. Especially not for the two of them. The crunch that followed seemed to echo forever, even after Sam hit stop, made Lee lean forward, his forehead against the locker door.
::Let me go...::
Sam watched Lee, as he would a spider crawling across a web. "'Despite my reservations, Captain Thrace is cleared to fly.'" he quoted, flipping the file open to the appropriate page. "The CAG, of course, goes on to note a few other things about her performance in the air. The words are quite efficient, really. But then, I suppose you always are efficient, Lee."
Turning as though he were unwilling, Lee faced him, head down. "I still stand by my assessment, Sam. I couldn't take that away from her."
"Right. You couldn't ground her until she had time to get her head on straight." Sam made it sound perfectly reasonable. As though anything about this had been reasonable. "You let a suicidally-depressed pilot fly. Because it would have crushed her further."
"It would have been worse for her," replied Lee, his tone brittle with guilt and something that could have been anger. Though whether it was directed at himself, Sam, or Kara, was anyone's guess. "You know how she was, Sam. You know that it would have pushed her to find some other way to--"
"To hurt herself." Sam finished for him. He tilted his head back, blinking slightly, pretending the sudden stinging in his eyes wasn't tears. "I know. But I'm still keeping my promise."
And still Lee didn't seem to really register what Sam meant, what he was referring to. "Kara is dead," Lee said, frowning and finally raising his head to meet Sam's eyes. "Any promises you had..." he trailed off, finally getting it. Memory apparently reaching through the thick fog of grief and exhaustion. His eyes widened. "Sam. I don't think you want to do this."
"Let me guess. It's not a good idea?" Sam suggested, his tone mocking. His expression turned ugly, "Tell me having an affair with my wife was a good idea, Lee."
Lee's mouth clamped closed and his eyes dropped.
Something that should have been a laugh escaped Sam. "Now you're getting it. Maybe. You're not as dumb as you look."
It wasn't a compliment.
"No. But you could be, Sam." Exhaustion coloring his words, Lee raised his head. "Don't do this."
"Why not?" A simple question. Convince me not to kill you for murdering my wife.
"You'll be throwing your life away."
Now, the laugh escaped Sam. He rubbed a hand over his face, and looked at Lee, "The Cylons took care of that for me, Lee. It's just inertia that's kept me from going down completely."
That made Lee frown more, "The Cylons didn't kill Kara, Sam."
"Oh, I'm aware of that." Even if, indirectly, the blame could also be laid on Leoben. And Sam himself, not that he wanted to consider that. Not when he was so close to her death, and it hurt so much to even contemplate.
"Then what? New Caprica? You and Kara--?"
And suddenly, he wanted to explain. To tell someone the things that only Barolay knew now. "Nah. My daughter. She would have been five this year."
Looking shocked, Lee asked, "Daughter?" His eyes were full of surprise.
"Yeah. Funny, huh? I was all ready to settle down--I wasn't retiring, but I'd promised I'd stop pushing so hard. Maybe even move to coaching--and raise my kid while--" But even that brief thought of Caprica and the people who'd died in Delphi hurt too much. Sam stopped talking, sucked in a breath, and stared at Lee.
"Gods, Sam." Scrubbing a hand over his face, Lee dropped into the chair across from him. "I had no idea. Did Kara?"
It was obvious that Lee wanted to ask him more, to know everything, but was restraining himself. Sam shook his head, "No. No, there was no point, y'know? It was over and done with, and Kara..." He knew he was crying, then. He didn't want to be, but thinking about it, without Kara there to hold between the old pain made the new so much worse.
"Kara was a new starting point for you." Lee said, his tone sounding ashamed.
"Yeah." Put like that, it sounded like Sam had used her. But then, she'd used him, and it hadn't mattered. They'd understood each other and they'd loved each other, and someday, Sam would have told her. He would have let her in, would have shared her mother and his daughter, and maybe it would have been ok.
"I'm sorry," Lee said.
"Not that it matters," replied Sam, wiping his nose on the back of his hand and sniffling. "I made you a promise, once."
Lee stiffened, eyes widening in surprise. As though he'd thought maybe Sam would forget. "Sam--"
"You took all I had left, Lee."
"C'mon, Sam. If you really wanted to kill me, you--"
The gunshot was loud, making Sam's head hurt. It rang in his ears for far too long after he'd set the gun on the table and slumped back in his chair, ass still numb. But it had been worth it to shut Lee Adama up in mid-sentence.
Sam wondered if his legs would be numb by the time someone came for him. Sooner or later, they would. Someone would have heard the shot and reported it.
He wondered if he'd go out an airlock, like Jammer had.
Baltar is alive. Sam thinks that's frakking ironic, and somehow wrong. Because there are people who aren't--Hillard's blood is still on his hands, although Barolay's pants are spattered worse. Good people are dead, but the man who sold their souls to the Cylons is still alive.
Standing on the wing of the raptor, Sam glares after the body bag, wondering why he let Adama make that decision. Why he didn't casually shoot the man.
::My war is over.:: He remembers saying that, once. Maybe he was wrong.
An intake of breath from Lee distracts him, and he looks at the man, then glances over, tracing his line of sight to find Dualla limping towards them. She's bloodied and looks exhausted and like she could fall over, but she's moving. Sam tracks from her to the raptor she came from, just in time for the two men hauling the body bag out of it to cross his line of sight.
It's all he can do to keep breathing as he stares at it.
From a distance, he can hear Lee catching Dualla in his arms, can hear him telling her he was so glad she was alive, can hear him choking as he asked about Kara.
"Starbuck was already dead. Her neck snapped when the raptor hit."
::That::, Sam can hear.
Reality snaps back into place, and he's breathing again. Breathing and moving, feeling almost coldly mechanical as he lands on the decking. His boots clang, and that sounds ::wrong::, but it doesn't matter, because there's a marine who's not policing his weapon.
Lee Adama is directly in front of him, turning, eyes blank as he starts to talk. Trying to tell Sam that his wife is dead, when Sam already knows.
::I'll let you.::
Yeah, he will.
Sam doesn't need to raise the pistol to get an accurate shot, and Lee drops, coughing up blood and looking resigned.
But he fires again, anyway. Just to make sure.
Dualla's side-arm nails him between the eyes ten seconds later.
Half-drunk on nothing more than Kara Thrace's kisses, Sam misses the door opening until she's pulling back and bouncing up to hug the person who walked in.
Sam looks up, feeling pleasantly fuzzy and nearly-sexed.
Kara is hugging a Cylon.
The alcohol in Sam's blood freezes to ice as he watches them. His mind tries frantically to work through it--there are no weapons in here, and there's no way to get past the Cylon before he can take one or both of them down. Sam's not drunk enough to want to risk his life now he's safe, and he's not risking Kara's.
It occurs to him, then, that Kara could know. He hopes she doesn't.
If she does know, then it means she's one, too. That all of them on Galactica are, and this is a lie or worse.
::Cold blue::, he reminds himself. They have a code for a suspected Cylon. They have a president who likes to throw them out airlocks. So, Kara isn't a Cylon, he convinces himself.
Kara disengages from the Cylon and then she's introducing him to Sam, laughing at him. And he has to act like he's drunker than he feels. If he gives it away, the Cylon could kill them both right there, and that would be pointless.
Looking into Lee Adama's eyes, Sam isn't even sure he realizes what he is.
Unfortunately, Sam's too busy distracting Kara from being rude to a Cylon (though why he's being kind to a frakkin' Cylon, he has no idea) to notice when he leaves the room. And then he's more than busy, because a horny, alcohol-laden Kara Thrace is enough to require every nuance of a man's conscious thought processes.
In the morning he tells her. She doesn't believe him until the alarms blare and the two of them head down to the brig. There they find Adama locking Barolay into a cell, the woman completely silent. Sam does some fast talking, and suggests the man expose his 'son' to the rest of Sam's group.
The results are pretty much as he expected--although none are quite as vicious as Barolay's. But then again, none of the rest of them had their brother murdered before their eyes by a smiling Lee Adama.
Sam explains they'd just called Lee's model Eleven, and never paid much attention.
They lock Eleven into the cell with Sharon, who isn't thrilled and claims she really didn't know about him. Sam believes her, but then, the Eights have helped the resistance since the beginning, even if not all of them remember that. And Sharon saved Kara. As far as Sam's concerned, that put her far ahead of Eleven in his book.
As the people settle on New Caprica, Sam finds out that Adama isn't going to have his 'son' killed.
It's enough to piss him off, but he kind of understands it. In the same way that Helo would object to Sharon being dead, the Admiral can't quite kill the son he thinks he loves.
But Sam's seen the devastation from far too many Elevens, seen the women they've tortured, and dodged more than enough bullets from them to not be happy about it.
Ironically, it's Helo that gives him the idea. They're drunk and joking while Kara's on CAP one night when Helo starts rambling about having had to learn all sorts of environmental systems on Galactica. Sam gets him to talk more about them, getting details of decks and more than he wanted to know about atmospheric scrubbers until Helo spills the knowledge he needs.
Ten days later, when Helo and Sharon are sitting--very guarded, as always--in one of the less-secure cells, the Cylon-occupied cell has a little malfunction.
By the time anyone notices, Eleven has been without oxygen for too long.
Sam feels a little sick, when he sees the look on the Admiral's face. But in some ways, he doesn't care. Fifteen-year-old Jack Barolay deserved it.
Kara had stayed on Caprica.
It meant long days and longer nights spent taking down the farms and causing the Cylons as much trouble as possible. Sam wasn't entirely sure how she'd convinced him to let her stay. But Helo had left with Sharon, the arrow in their possession, and a promise to come back for them all.
Sam wasn't going to count those chickens before he could fry the eggs.
It didn't matter, though. Having Kara meant their death rate went down a little, as they incorporated what she knew into their tactics. They got better, working as a team and perfecting their strategies until taking down the farms became almost easy.
He tried not to dwell too hard on the fact that Kara was probably going to die on Caprica, with him. In the dark of the night, with her face buried in his shoulder and his hands on her skin, he wondered if this was such a good idea. If there was something else she'd been destined for. And then she'd shift, aware in some way that he was awake, and kiss his neck, grumbling about stupid bed-hogs and her lack of a blanket.
Lee Adama, the Galactica and the ::Pegasus:: could have answered Sam's question, as they played chicken until one of the pilots cracked. It didn't matter which side did, it was simply the end result that made a difference.
A Galactica viper winged the raptor Lee was aboard, it spun, and then exploded a little violently.