Disclaimer: This is an original story is based upon the characters of Battlestar Galactica. No profit will be made from this story and no copyright infringement is intended.
Author's Note: Thank you to all who have read and reviewed my last BSG stories. I've really been enjoying writing them. This is my first attempt at a longer BSG fic and I hope you enjoy it. It will be told in two parts. The first part takes place during the year on New Caprica and is somewhat AU. But...what else is fan fiction? Anyway, I hope you enjoy!
Each night, after the papers had been graded and the lesson plans written for the next day, she would go outside her tent and watch for Bill. She was never sure which of the bright rotating stars was Galactica, but sometimes it seemed as though one of them was winking at her, as if to say, "I'm still here, I'm watching over you." She had been feeling particularly lonely one night and stayed a little longer, wondering if he was thinking about her as well. She felt a little silly, staring up into the sky, twisting her hair in her fingers. Did he think about her? Did he miss her? Shaking her head, she went back in her tent and took out her hairbrush. She almost didn't pack the hairbrush when she left for that fateful trip to Galactica, but she was forever grateful that she did because it was the only thing she had of her mother's. It was a beautiful brush, silver plaited with ornate birds and flowers. On the back of the brush were engraved the words, "To Bridget, all my love eternally, Adam." Her father had given it to her mother on their first wedding anniversary. When she was a child, she loved to have her mother brush her hair with the beautiful brush. Now, as she brushed her thoughts once again turned upward to Galactica and to Bill. She smiled contentedly as she thought about the day they said goodbye.
"Do you have everything?" Bill, always the gentleman, asked as he carried her bags to her shuttle.
"That is everything I own," she replied.
"When do you start school?" he asked as he loaded them onto the transport shuttle.
"A week from Monday. That will give me time to unpack, meet some of the children and parents and get the school ready. Teaching in a tent...how exhilarating."
"It won't be a tent for long. Baltar's promising a school is one is the first buildings to come."
"And the day that I trust Gaius Baltar to do anything he promised is..." she started and then stopped, looking away. She turned back and smiled sadly, "I need to brush up," she went on as if she had never mentioned Baltar, "I've never taught high school grades before."
"You'll be fine," he said confidently, "You had never been the president before either."
No, she hadn't been the president before, had never wanted to be the president, but now..."That's true," she said smiling sadly.
The bags were all aboard and suddenly it occurred to her that she was really leaving and she had to say goodbye.
"Excuse me sir, mam, I think I'll go get some water before we take off," the pilot said smiling slightly and made a discreet exit.
They turned towards each other, and for a moment the only sound on the deck was the gentle hum of the transport ship's engine.
"So...be careful," he said gently placing one hand on her arm.
"I will be, you too." she said smiling. There was a long silence between them again
"Are you sure...you want to do this?" Bill asked shyly and she smiled. She reached up and brushed a few strands of his hair back.
"President or not, Bill, my place is with my people," she replied.
He gently reached up a hand and placed it on her cheek. She leaned into it. "You could come too," she said softly, looking up at him.
He caressed her cheek with his thumb, "Cylons or not, my place is on Galactica," he replied.
They heard the pilot's footsteps returning and she drew in a sharp breath, "Bye," she whispered.
"Bye," he replied and smiled.
He placed a hand on the small of her back and led her aboard the transport ship. She sat at the window and waved until the ship was ready to take off and he had to leave.
"Madame President?" Tory's familiar voice shook her out of her daydream.
Laura turned and opened the flap of her tent up wider, "I'm not the president anymore Tory, you can call me Laura," she said as her former aide stepped in.
Tory smiled, "I don't think I could get used to that," she said taking the chair Laura offered to her.
"What can I do for you?" Laura asked smiling, happy for the company. When Tory had first come to work for her, the girl had only served to bring bitter pain to Laura in the wake of Billy's death. In everything Tory did, Laura compared her to Billy. As time went on, she began to appreciate Tory more and missed her as her aide
"I thought you'd like to know, a transport ship is coming from Galactica tomorrow with supplies including the school supplies you wanted," Tory said smiling.
Laura felt her heart flutter. A transport ship from Galactica! She smiled and then noticed the amused look on her former aides face. She felt ridiculous; there was no reason to suppose that Bill would be coming although she had a feeling he was behind getting the much needed school supplies. Tory was still grinning and the school teacher raised her eyebrows at her, "Thank you Tory, was that all?"
"Yes mam," Tory said and walked towards the door.
"Tory," Laura called after her and Tory turned back around to face her.
"Thank you," Laura said and remembering that she had no girlfriends to share secrets with, allowed a glimmer of the excitement she felt to cross her features in a smile. Tory smiled back, and the small interchange between the women seemed to bind them together as real friends for the first time.
"Goodnight Tory," Laura said.
"Goodnight..." Tory started.
"...Laura," Laura prodded.
"Laura," Tory said smiling and left the tent.
Laura returned to brushing her hair, twisting the ends around her fingers. A transport ship coming from Galactica...She bit her lower lip in excitement and wondered what Bill was thinking at that very minute.
She would have been surprised if she could have known what he was thinking. He missed the pale blue cashmere sweater. It was the color of the sky back home and once when she had worn it, she had accidently brushed up against him and her softness touched him. He had wanted to hold her close to him then, as he had other times but once again had buried his feelings. He felt ridiculous even now, waiting in the hangar deck to meet Lee's incoming transport and letting his mind drift to Laura's sweater. His mind had been drifting too often lately, remembering what it felt like to dance with her, her glowing smile, how scared he really had been when she was dying, and the dizzy relief he felt when he saw her open her eyes after the transfusion. It frightened him a little, not sure of what his true feelings were. No woman had really occupied his heart since Carolanne and the loss of her, the loss of their dream had wounded him deeply. He had been married to his duty for so long anyway, if Laura was indeed interested, she wouldn't stick around for very long.
"Permission to come aboard Admiral," Lee brought him back to reality. He smiled, returning Lee's salute, "Permission granted Commander. It's good to see you." They were admiral and commander as they walked out of the hangar deck and then relaxed when they came out to the corridor.
"So," Bill said as they walked towards his quarters, "Are you really here to have dinner with the old man or do you have more important things on your mind," he asked, referring to a raven-haired lieutenant who had been watching the clock in CIC for the past few hours.
Lee smiled, "Dinner with the old man, then after that...who knows."
They had a nice quiet dinner, both reporting on the status of their ships and crew morale and Bill enjoyed it. It hadn't been two years ago that the look in Lee's eyes was bitter, so filled with hatred that it took his breath away. If there had one blessing that had come out of the attack it was that his son looked at him differently now. He had got one of his boys back.
"So," he asked pouring Lee another drink. "How are things between you and Dee anyway?" He didn't expect much, his son had never been open with him about his love life, even in second grade with the little girl with the red hair...what was her name? Carolanne had met him at the door when he returned home on leave with news that eight year old Lee had a girlfriend and had kissed her in front of everyone on the playground at school. Lee had said nothing when Bill talked to him about it that night, just smiled contentedly. He almost had to chuckle as that same smile crept into Lee's features.
"Good Dad, it's going really good." Lee replied.
"That's good son," Bill said smiling.
A few moments of silence passed between them and Lee took a drink. "So..." Lee said slowly. "I heard that there's a transport ship going to the surface tomorrow, are you going?"
"Wasn't planning on it," Bill said sitting down. "Why?"
"I just heard there were supplies for the school."
"Thought you might want to deliver them personally."
He suddenly felt his face burn as if he had been caught coming in late. "The pilot can deliver the supplies."
Lee smiled, "But...I don't think the pilot is who she wants to see."
"Don't be ridiculous," he mumbled to his son and at the same time remembering the sweet smile she had given him when he was about to kiss her, remembering the way her lips felt against his.
"Come on Dad, this is me," Lee said, "I've seen the way you look at her."
Bill missed the sound of her voice, the grace she had even in the way she formed words. He missed the sound of her laughter, the sparkle in her eyes... "The pilot will make the trip and deliver the supplies," he said abruptly. "Was there anything you wanted to send along?"
He sighed, "Maybe in another life son."
"Dad, she's not the president anymore. She's a school teacher. She's Laura Roslin. I think you've got your other life."
Bill looked up at his son. He had never expected this much encouragement about Laura from Lee. "What about your mother?"
"Dad," Lee sighed exasperatedly. "I'm not saying to propose to the woman tomorrow."
"What are you saying?"
Lee paused for a moment and then continued, "I'm saying...go with the transport ship. We can handle things up here."
There was a long pause and then Bill finally spoke, "If I promise to think...think about it, will you have Dee back at a decent hour?"
Lee chuckled, "Yes sir."
They said goodbye, and Bill went to CIC to check up on things. He waited until he was just about to go to bed, and then called the hangar deck to tell them he would be on the passenger list for the transport ship in the morning.