I.Of course Kara would be the one to try flying this thing. It's all Lee can think as the whole crew celebrates the commission of Tyrol's stealth fighter masterpiece. Sometimes it almost seems to him like she is so attached to the familiar, easy feeling of being in a Viper that she forgets she herself doesn't have wings and couldn't survive outside of one in space. And it's sometimes easy even for him to forget that she isn't invincible, just a human inside the hard, protective ship.
He doesn't forget that today.
Later after she's made a big fool out of him out there he wonders, fleetingly and only half-consciously, if you can possibly be in love with a person for the same reason that they would be completely unattainable. He and Kara sometimes seem to most easily show that they give a flying frak about each other when they are in the almost secret blackness of space and covered in the protection of helmets and cockpits.
Thinking you're in love is what being in love is. This was what Adama told Tyrol after he lost Sharon. That's all it is.
It was not enough to make him stop wondering about all the questions that would keep haunting him until they were familiar shadows in his everyday life. Why is it so hard to let go of something that might as well have been based on conscious lies? How can he really still love what only ever existed in his own perception of someone?
Perhaps that is all anyone ever has of a person they love. Having nothing to hold onto but memories and a face to touch in a photograph when someone is gone. Never having any real proof of another's loyalty and faithfulness but not needing it.
Even if people pray to empty and nonexistent gods, the belief in them still gives them something to turn to. That's all they have, but for some it's enough.
One of many things almost completely forgotten: a cool and still night in Caprica City years ago, Kara and Lee waiting outside a 24-hour diner they'd just come from while Zak was still inside using the bathroom.
She sighed, reaching back and pulling a band out of her hair and then shaking her head to toss her hair around with her eyes closed. Soft eyelashes resting on smooth skin above strong cheekbones, white arms reaching up to tie her hair more neatly back again as her shadowy, dark eyes gazed down. It all neatly came together in one brief glance he took in her direction when she moved. It was the first time he noticed she was beautiful.
She yawned and met eyes with him, breaking the silence with "I get to ride shotgun this time."
He met this with a challenging grin, saying back, "Like hell."
When Zak came out, they kept tiredly arguing over it, not quite sounding like either of them even cared terribly much, until he told them to shut up and flip a coin over it or something.
Gaius Baltar is a rational man. He has never believed anything that is not a testable calculation. It was early in his youth that he decided scripture is nothing but fairy tales and started devouring all the scientific reading material he could get his hands on, studying anything real and concrete. The unspiritual explanation for such beauty in nature as electric storms, how a bomb is made, the chemical reactions in the brain that make one feel like they are in love.
When he first saw her, he never could have imagined she would end up challenging everything he had ever been sure about. He met the most beautiful woman he had ever seen, more like a fantasy than a real person. She made his dreams come true every time they were together, somehow always saying exactly what he wanted to hear, and he didn't even have to try or pretend in order to impress her and make sure she would keep coming back.
He should have known all along that there was something she meant to take in return. There wasn't anything quite logical about this prolongued affair he'd been swept into with a woman who still had never told him her name. But perhaps for the first time in his life, he wanted so much to believe something illogical. That she was all real and not just a seductive facade meant to be impossible to resist. And so he believed every word she said.
Zak, Kara, and Lee used to go a cheap theatre in Delphi that showed old movies all night and sneak in a bottle of ambrosia. They always sat in the back row, far away from the few other people there in the theatre. It was always Kara sitting in between the two brothers, her legs curled up resting on the seat, where she could hit either one of them to get their attention.
They would pass the bottle and take drinks every time something happened in the movie. One drink for every explosion or gunshot, one for every use of the f-word, one for any time somebody dies, one for every scene in a car. They always ended up snorting and giggling so loud they would never have gotten away with it at a nicer theatre. For some undecided reason, this was something that none of them ever did with any of their other friends.
One time, just a month after Lee and Kara had first been introduced, Zak left to go get more popcorn and the atmosphere calmed down a little and felt very different with him gone, but not in an awkward way they couldn't adjust to. Kara and Lee murmured to each other in the dark, talking about the high schools they went to and what they'd thought about doing with their lives before ending up at the academy.
"Ooh!" Kara then said in a much more hyper voice, pointing to the screen where two characters were now undressing and falling onto a bed together. "I see frakking! — Dammit, where is it?"
As she was looking around on the floor, Lee pointed to Zak's chair, where the ambrosia bottle was sitting partially obscured under his jacket. It only felt a little strange at first for them to do the drink without him there; she took one and passed it to him, seeing his smirk in the dark where the colored light from the screen was accentuating certain features of his face that it seemed she had never noticed before, and then it was easy.
There was another time they went, when this had been a favorite thing for them to do for months, and near the end of the movie the film somehow became aligned wrong so the actors' heads were all chopped off at the top. This made the three of them all crack up laughing, and then Kara got up and stood on top of her seat, facing the back.
"Hey, dumbass falling asleep up there!" she yelled, her speech wavering a little into a slur. "You need to fix the projector!"
Zak and Lee were both laughing hysterically, even as Lee was the one who reached up and grabbed her arm to quickly pull her back down from the chair before she got them into trouble. Zak, the youngest of the three of them and never the one to think of being careful like that, was the one whose lap she then collapsed sloppily into, now giggling with them.
Another time, when Kara and Zak had been engaged a few weeks, she fell asleep in her seat before the end of the movie. Zak and Lee let her be, talking to each other quietly and not paying any more attention to the rest of the movie than her.
She started leaning to one side as she slept, her head resting against Lee's arm. They let her be. Then when the credits started rolling, they both leaned in close to her face and yelled her name at the same time to wake her up with a start. She bolted upright before she would have a chance to see where she'd ended up, sighed loudly and said, "Oh my gods, frak you guys."