Disclaimer: Don't own a single bit.
Notes: Though this is now a chapter/installment piece, it did not start out that way. This and the next chapter were merely companion pieces, but now they've been expanded into an ongoing thing, which I've never tried before.
It was always the smell that hit him first. Whether he was awake or pretending to be asleep, the familiar aromatic combination of sweat, cigars, whatever cheap liquor was being served at Brim's that night, and, usually, sex filled his nostrils just before the mattress sagged beside him and a warm body draped itself across his. She was practically dead to the world as soon as she crawled into his bunk, and he might have believed that if not for the snoring. Now those smells and sounds could lull him to sleep, and in the morning she would be gone.
The first time Lee found himself an unexpected early morning bunk host was in their second semester. By that time Kara had already loosened up the notoriously restrained Apollo enough that he was quite as intimate with hack as she was. She might have ruined his reputation early on, but he never slacked in his studies and therefore never went out on week nights. So when Party Every Night Starbuck fell into his bunk at three a.m. the night before a Tactics exam and promptly passed out across him with the snore of a Gemonese black elephant, Lee stayed awake trying to focus on that rhythmic sound rather than the breasts barely contained in a thin tank top that were pressed against his bare chest or the arm thrown across him or the smooth leg wrapped around his. He closed his eyes and tried not to move while telling himself over and over again that the only reason she was there was because she was too drunk to climb up to her bunk above his. Gods, was she always this warm and heaving and soft? When he finally fell asleep it was near dawn, and by the time he woke up hours later she was nowhere to be found and he had missed his test.
It started becoming a ritual a few nights a week, and Lee made a point of learning when Kara was going out so he'd at least have some kind of warning that his bunk would be servicing two that night. And it was always the same routine: Kara would pass out in the bunk below hers and be gone before its official occupant woke up. Neither of them ever said a word about it or even acknowledged it while it was happening, but by their third year they were StarbuckandApollo, and Lee was pretty sure everybody else was talking about it.
So that night, when Kara tossed him her dirty socks and said, "I'll be at Brim's with Karl and Pie Face," Lee almost expected her to add, "so don't wait up." Instead she winked at him and left him to his books. He smiled to himself at their little routine and decided once again not to think about what exactly it was or what it meant to have his best friend snuggle up with him, but to just look forward to having his dreams interrupted by the smells and sounds of Starbuck.
Try as he might, Lee Adama couldn't get to sleep. They had been up in the air all day and he had turned in early exhausted. He tried reading and going over formation drills in his head, but he mostly just listened to his classmates come in and gossip or bitch about an instructor or drunkenly giggle before retiring to their own bunks.
Long after every light was out, Lee had almost drifted off when he heard his curtain being pulled back and the mattress shift beside him. He smiled and didn't even open his eyes as he waited to be engulfed by pleasant weight and warmth and skin. After a moment he opened his eyes expecting to see her dark shape falling towards him, but what he got instead was Kara staring at him directly across the pillow.
"So Karl asked me a weird question tonight," she whispered. Lee rubbed the heal of his hand over his eyes and blinked at her. Was she actually talking to him? This had to be a dream. She couldn't be lying beside him talking about Helo.
"Oh?" was all he could manage.
"Yeah. He wanted to know if he was a better frak than 'the Great Apollo'."
"What?" he coughed out.
"You been writing it in the sky with your viper?"
"Writing what exactly?"
"Try again," she said as she punched him in the arm.
"Shut the frak up! Some of us are trying to sleep!" someone across the room whisper-yelled. Trying to sleep. He had been doing that all night. Only not with her.
"Ya know, I didn't think you had it in you. Guess you're not the gentlemen I always pegged you for." He still just gaped at her, but she grinned. "Gods, and a liar too!"
"It's kinda hot." Whatever he was about to say in his defense completely slipped from his mind as she rolled towards him and pushed him down into the mattress.
"Don't you think it's weird that I always end up here with you," she swung her leg over both of his to straddle him, "right after I've frakked some poor first year senseless."
Lee had stopped breathing. Any minute now he was going to die from the lack of oxygen, he just knew it. He laid there immobile, gripping the sheets hoping she didn't actually sit all the way down on him. Kara put her hands on either side of his head and leaned in so that her mouth hovered over his. He could feel the heat of her breath, and as he finally sucked in some hot air, he realized that there was no alcohol on her breath. She was stone cold sober, and he was screwed.
"Kara, I don't—"
"Come on, Lee. Don't you ever wonder why you get the cuddle and they don't?" She leaned in again and their lips bushed lightly against each other. Before he did something he couldn't take back, he grabbed her shoulders and pushed her back.
"Shouldn't? I thought we already had. Couldn't possibly do any harm now." He could see her smirk even in the darkness of his cramped bunk. She leaned towards him again and kissed him hard and deep. He responded by slipping his tongue into her open mouth and tasting just how sober she really was. When he heard a small moan come from her throat and he grabbed her shoulders again and pushed her off of him.
"I never said anything to anybody. You just snore. It wouldn't take a genius to figure out you were in my bunk three nights a week. Besides, Helo's the one who always used to brag about frakking Starbuck," he said with a slight edge to his voice.
Kara didn't respond for a moment. It was just long enough for Lee to realize she'd never crawl into his bunk again.
"Well, I guess that's too frakkin' bad, 'cause at least Helo knows what to do with Starbuck when she's on top of him in his bunk." She glared at him and he made to lie back down but she stopped him. "Uh uh, Flyboy. You're sleeping up top. This bunk's mine now." When he didn't move she leaned toward him as if she were going to kiss him but stopped short. "Get. Out. Now."
When Lee woke up the next morning he not only had a new, higher view of the bunkroom, but also a nice view of his books and clothes and other items strewn across the floor and table and bench and most of the room. As Lee jumped down to retrieve his wayward pants, he noticed Kara had already gone but saw Helo coming through the door grinning from ear to ear.
"Frak Apollo. The wife kick you out of bed? " Helo said laughing.
"Don't let her hear you say that. I wouldn't want you on the receiving end of her wrath too."
"Damn straight. I only told her what you asked me to tell her. So I scratched your crazy back last night, where's my itch relief?" Helo asked cocking an eyebrow. "You know my price."
"Keep your shirt on Karl. You'll get your lollies and beer."
"You know, people have got you all wrong around here. They think Starbuck is the crazy one messing with you, but you are truly frakked in the head. No person in their right mind would purposefully piss Starbuck off that badly. So you could what? Tease her a little?"
"Who said anything about teasing? " Lee smirked.
"Holy Gods! Is that why I just saw her punching the hell out of a bag in the gym?"
"Let's just say I got her right where I wanted her."
Helo laughed again and slapped Lee on the shoulder. "Frakked in the head," he said as he pointed to his temple and made for the door. "Oh, and Lee," he turned before reaching the door, "I'd sleep with one eye open for a while. Starbuck has a nasty sense of humor when it comes to revenge."