Title: The Broken Road
Summary: The road to Earth is a journey of the heart.
Spoilers: WARNING! Season 4 speculation, promos, and possible spoilers running amok!
Word count: 3100
Disclaimer: I have borrowed these characters for my own personal enjoyment. No monetary gain or copyright infringement intended.
Special thanks to my wonderful betas CranberryJei and Samstareagle.
A/N: My sincerest apology to my readers who have waited so very long for me to continue this story. I can honestly say that it has taken me this long to decide what it is that I wanted to say. I had held my breath throughout season 4 with the hope that the ending for Lee and Kara would make it unnecessary for me to finish it. Then I was so completely devastated by the finale that I didn't think I had the heart to write another word about pilots. Well, I have grieved, moved on and become more determined than ever to give Lee and Kara what they deserve.
Lee nodded to the marines standing guard and knocked on the hatch of Galactica's guest quarters. After a moment, Romo Lampkin peeked around the side of the heavy door.
"Watch out for Lance." Lee carefully made his way in and secured the door. When he turned back to face Romo there was a curious look on the other man's face.
"You look like you could use a drink," He said starring at the place his rank pin should have been.
"What I need, is a suit," Lee said dryly.
"Care to tell me what happened?" Romo asked in the tone Lee had already come to realize was his way of asking a question he already knew the answer to even when he couldn't have.
"The admiral is not real happy with you is he"
Lee looked down at his feet, suppressing an annoyed frown with the light already glinting behind Romo's shades "No, I'm not real happy with him either."
"Well, Mister Adama, I know just the person to see about a new wardrobe." He replied, barely hiding an accomplished smile "He might even throw in some free sunglasses."
Lee walked into the mess to find Kara playing with her food by herself off in the far corner.
"Hey." He smiled, grinning at the way she was amusing herself by swirling her spoon into the center to stand on end then watching how long it took to overcome the viscosity of the green-gray mash to fall over on its side.
"He-." She barely got out before he swooped in for a quick kiss.
"Oh, what's for dinner?"
"Mystery algae. The mystery being what it's supposed to be imitating" Kara grinned. Lee chuckled as she gave him a sample.
"I don't even know how to describe that." He looked away for a moment in order to shift gears. No one nearby seemed to be taking any interest in them. "I only have a few minutes before I have to get back to babysitting."
"Enough time to tell me why you are out of uniform?" Kara asked. Lee unconsciously placed his hand where his pin should have been.
He lowered his head to keep his voice from carrying. "He questioned my integrity. Mine. After he admitted Baltar didn't deserve a trial that he just happens to be a judge for. I don't know how to get through to him. So I pulled a Starbuck."
Her eyes went wide for a second as her lips curled to a smirk. "Sounds to me like you need to vent. We could meet in the gym later or…."
That got a full smile from him. "Actually, I'm ok. I wore it for the wrong reasons, at least in the beginning. Would never have admitted it at the time, but I did it to prove something to myself... and to him. This trial may have been the trigger, but I've felt this coming for a long time. I need to move on."
"I couldn't be more proud of you Lee" Kara cooed in a way that only made Lee feel unsure of himself once more.
"Really? I was afraid you were going to kick my ass all the way back to the admiral and have me beg forgiveness..."
"You stood up for what you believed in" she replied flatly "You're your own man now Lee. The child steps out from the shadow of his parent."
He reached out to stroke her cheek. Looking past the sincere smile and ease he heard in her voice he saw the darkness in her eyes. "So enough with my pity parade, how are you holding up?"
She shrugged, unwilling to ruin the mood. Wishing she could push aside her worries and not let him see it, she placed her hand over his. He didn't buy it as evidenced by the concern in his voice.
"I promise when the trial is over, we can spend more time together. We'll figure this out."
"I have to go. Prosecution is calling Laura as the next witness. Lampkin is looking for an angle." He kissed her again, slowly dragging the pad of his thumb across her lips as he withdrew his hand.
After fidgeting, shifting and staring at the bunk above hers for an hour Kara flung the sheets back and sat up. She glanced at the pill bottle on the shelf and contemplated the medication that could possibly help her sleep. She hated taking pills.
Cottle had been even more than his usual brand of smoke-tinted-vague as to what exactly they were for but he seemed to think her violent head aches were part of a psychotic episode. So, could be sedatives or antipsychotics, antidepressant? All of the above? Special Kara Thrace formula?
She started a list in her mind: Suicidal tendencies? Questionable. Post traumatic stress disorder? Quite possible. Chronic migraines? Check. Special destiny? And then some.
Not one of these things was going to help get her back in the cockpit anytime soon. Not that she was all that itchy to do so but she knew she ought to be.
She also should feel guilty for not pulling her weight and earning her keep but thinking about the extra time she had been able to spend with Lee, when he was not working with Romo Lampkin, brought a devilish smile to her face.
Now that the trial had begun, though, he had been busy. Kara had overheard some of Tigh's shocking testimony that day over the wireless. With the President taking the stand tomorrow, it was sure to be a big day as well. Consequently, Lee was sleeping in his quarters alone so that he could get a good night's sleep. Unfortunately curling up with him would be even less conducive for sleep than what she was doing already.
And that was another thing. The entire fleet was wrapped up in the trial and most conversation was centered on it. Kara, however, was more and more aware of the steady progress they made towards the nebula. With each FTL jump was causing her increasing amounts of pain, she was convinced that something needed to be done.
One day she hoped she could question the divinity that thought it was a great idea to tell someone that they had this incredible thing to do without giving them even the slightest clue how to do it.
Give her a target to shoot at, and enemy in her sights and she was your girl. Prophesies open to interpretation and vague statements on the other hand were for the likes of Baltar and Roslin.
Inside the clear glass container, the harmless-looking white pills promised escape. If only it were that easy. With a determined shake of her head, she jumped from her bed, quickly dressed, and strapped the double gun holster to her hips.
Lee heard a commotion out in the corridor, heavy boots double timing in the direction of the Admiral's quarters. He hastily donned some sweats and got outside in time to hear orders to secure the area.
It was fairly common knowledge that the President had been spending time on Galactica and staying with his father so when he saw that it was a marine detachment he became increasingly alarmed. He thought he heard Kara screaming as he rounded the corner and began to charge down the hallway, jolted to a stop by Colonel Tigh grabbing him round the arm.
"This is a military matter Mr. Adama!" Tigh put heavy emphasis on the mister and sneered very close to Lee's face.
"What the frak is going on?!" Lee spat as he jerked his arm from the older man.
"That girlfriend of yours has really done it this time. Waved a loaded gun in the President's face, then the crazy bitch hands her the gun. Good thing Roslin has lousy aim or we'd be hauling Starbuck out of here in a body bag."
His father appeared at the hatchway and Lee was briefly met by his very angry eyes for the second time that day. He fought back an apology that would likely have been rebuffed anyway, as the old man carefully escorted the President in the direction of life station.
He inclined his head back to the XO "Where are they taking Starbuck?"
"To the brig to cool her heels…same as where you should be for what you pulled on your father."
Lee bristled at the words but decided that right now, Tigh probably had more than enough motivations and marines for him to loose his shit if given the opportunity.
"How's Roslin?" Lee asked with genuine worry.
"Shaken up more than anything. Don't worry I'm sure she'll be 100 percent when she condemns that little weasel." Tigh spat out as he rounded up the marines and strode out of the room.
Lee watched them go while fighting back the urge to set the record straight with Tigh. Not the time he told himself, simultaneously resisting the desire to follow Kara to the brig. As much as the man pushed his buttons he knew that Tigh was probably right about Kara needing to calm down right about now and he knew it would probably be a few hours before he would be allowed to see her. That left him with one other option. He stalked past the guard at the door and stepped into his father's quarters to look around.
What was Kara thinking? A picture behind the desk of the Admiral and the President was cracked with bullet hole squarely between them. He turned to where he assumed Laura had stood when she fired the gun. There, by the couch he noticed a suitcase on the floor. Various bottles of pills and a tall mug with cooling contents were on the end table. He stared at them for a few moments before picking the mug up and sniffing it as he looked at the book that had fallen to the floor. Blind instinct pulled him back from the extremely bitter fumes still wafting from whatever had last filled the mug. Is that Chamala? he wondered.
He could not summon the emotion to be mad at Kara for not confiding her plan to him when he himself had acted rashly in the heat of the moment. That very day he himself stood up to his father and turned in his wings when his integrity was questioned. Kara had come here to confront Laura Roslin because she believed in what she was doing. He had to respect that.
"Nice suit." Kara grinned hungrily at Lee as he walked into the brig.
"You think so? I think it belonged to a funeral director."
"Defense counsel has never looked so good. Might have to hire you to defend me when you're done with Baltar."
A burley marine opened the door to the cell and closed it after Lee stepped inside. Lee looked the man in the eye and tilted his head in the direction of the hatch. The other man responded with a nod. He may have resigned from the military but he still was still held in high esteem by those he had fought beside. The outer hatch clanged closed and the wheel spun from the outside giving them some privacy.
Kara climbed up off the floor to greet him but was suddenly aware that he was moving forward in an aggressive manner. He took a hold of her shoulders and pushed her against the wall, making her gasp in shock. A pair of intense blue eyes bored into hers and she held her breathe as she tried to figure out how the light banter had lead to this. She was suddenly afraid that maybe this time she had gone too far and lost his trust. She waited for him to explode.
"Stop doing that. Stop putting yourself in harm's way like that!" He spat in her face. There was a time, not that long ago where she would have gone toe to toe with him…even relished it. Thrived on it even. But not anymore. The need to fight with him was gone, she needed to focus on finding Earth, and she needed his help.
He seemed to read this in her face because his features softened and the veins in his forehead started to disappear. Strong hands went to the sides of her face and he smoothed his thumb over her cheek bones. Tears began to well in his eyes and his voice dropped to a whisper. "Next time we go in together, ok?"
His forehead met hers and she closed her eyes to allow her other senses to take over. He pulled her away from the wall, fully against him and his arms became like a blanket coming around her.
"Ok" she replied and she knew this time that she meant it. She would stop testing and pushing him. For too long she thought she could never really be happy but this was a lie. She deserved this. This man knew all her faults and sins and yet he was standing by her like no one else. And he was far from perfect either. The imperfect soldier, the imperfect son but so perfect for her. Two frak ups standing in the brig.
A smile stretched her lips and she hungrily flicked her tongue out over them. His wasted no time replying to her invitation and he all but sucked the air out of her lungs with his desperate kiss. Very practiced hands had her out of her BDU's in fleet record time. She took a moment to consider the buttons on his second hand but still very nice shirt. Part of her wanted to send the little plastic buggers flying in one fantastic maneuver but that would be very selfish she decided. Instead she locked eyes with him and teased his lips with her tongue and her teeth while she slowly undid them one by one.
"How much time do we have?" She asked as she pushed the starched shirt from his muscular shoulders. It hit the floor behind him and she watched him glance back at it.
"Enough," he laughed.
She laughed too as her busy hands made their way down to his defined abdominals. Leaning in to kiss him again she felt his heat and the welcome prickle of his chest hair on her bare breasts.
"Good." His pants pooled at his ankles as she grabbed is ass with one hand and his erection with the other.
She smiled. Even better, two frak ups frakking in the brig.
Helo's large frame filled the hatch as he stalked into the cell. Flanking him were two marines, one of which was Mathias. All three were silent and expressionless. Kara had a bad feeling about this.
"Lee. I need to talk to Lee." When Helo didn't answer she raised her voice. "Helo?! Karl, don't do this, you were always my friend!"
Mathais cuffed her from behind and then the marines marched Kara out ahead of them.
"I am Kara." Helo stoically replied "This is for your own good."
Kara's escorts brought her before president Roslin.
"Kara, I need you to look at me."
"I'm not sure if you heard my testimony in court yesterday…" Roslin's voice trailed off with her thoughts, almost breaking before she snapped herself back into the moment. "This is a wig, my cancer has returned and the treatment caused my hair to fall out. I do not know what my role is in the fulfillment of the prophesy but I am indeed dying."
She now had Kara's attention as she looked up, once again confronted with chaos where there should have been solid ground. "But you beat it before…." She stammered, not wanting to accept what she was hearing.
"It has spread throughout my body and there is no cure this time. The reason I am telling you this is that I need for you to understand how important it is that we find Earth. Nothing can get in the way of this, do you understand, Kara? Nothing."
Kara stared into Roslin's sternly fixed eyes and let out a frustrated laugh, held in for far too long already. "Then maybe you shouldn't have missed…but you prefer an airlock don't you? Is that what this is? Deep space and no one will notice?" she gritted looking away again. Kara was too busy trying to fit this new information into her theory to even consider that she was about to be airlocked. The one that was guiding her actions and giving everyone she loved a reason to hate her. Everyone except Lee.
Laura took a deep breath and Kara was sure the elder woman was suppressing her temper.
"You and I have the same goal and I think that we should be working together not against each other."
Kara eyed the president warily. Laura's fear was channeled into a desperate determination that Kara had to admit she admired, but she couldn't bring herself to believe the woman who tried to put a bullet in her head not that long ago was now having a change of heart.
"What are you saying?" Kara tested, eyes darting back and forth between the Helo and the President.
"Adama is giving you a ship and a crew and a chance to follow your vision but in return I will require that you do not undermine my leadership; spiritually or presidentially. And you will not insubordinate Admiral Adama again. Is that clear? You have got to pull yourself together and act like someone these people can follow. "