Summary - This story is very dark and will contain violence and scenes that may be difficult reading.
Set after Kara returns from Caprica – oh and she never met Sam (yay!)
A/N: So here we are - the final chapter of this story. I hope you think this resolves all of the outstanding issues. Enjoy!
It had been several hours since Karl had been on Galactica but he'd just caught a shuttle back over. Surprisingly he was being allowed to spend the night with Sharon and he was eager to get to the quarters she'd been given. Even more prevalent in his mind though was the fact he was keen to avoid Kara and Lee if he could help it. He knew the Admiral would've spoken to them both by now and he could only hope neither of them knew he was the one responsible for that happening. He knew the discussion with the Admiral was long overdue but still it was him that forced the issue and Lee and Kara would more than likely not be thanking him for his interference.
He walked through the ship making his way from the hangar deck but slowed down as he got to the corridor where senior pilots' quarters were situated. He saw a small group of pilots standing outside the room, clearly gossiping and laughing about something. Interest piqued, he went to investigate. He walked up to them, a smile on his face. "What's going on?"
Kat and Hotdog smiled at one another, a look of mischief sweeping across both their faces. "What makes you think there's anything going on?" Racetrack, the third pilot present, asked.
"Maybe it's the fact you're all acting like you're ten years old." He stared at them, wondering what he was missing. "So, how come you're all hanging around out here?"
"The room's a little busy at the moment." Was all Kat would say, a huge smirk on her face.
Helo turned towards the door and looked at it closer. He shook his head; he hadn't missed the presence of any boots. 'What are they talking about?' he asked himself. He turned back around to face them, the look of puzzlement clearly written all over his face.
"Have a look for yourself." Hotdog said; a rather disturbing leer on his face.
Karl sighed and walked over to the hatch. He quietly turned the handle and the door silently swung open. He stepped through the entrance into the pilot's quarters and saw a sight he never thought he'd see again. There before him was Kara and Lee spooned together in her bunk. Both of them had peaceful looks on their faces and he could swear there was a small smile on Kara's. There was scattered clothing over the floor and he bent to pick up the stray bits of uniform, dumping them on an unused bunk. He took a step back and tripped over something on the floor. He looked down and found a boot belonging to one of the bunk's occupants. He bent down and picked up the item and then moved to place it in front of her bunk. As he cast a shadow over them Lee stirred and pulled Kara further into his arms and placed a tender kiss to her temple.
Karl stared at the two of them in contemplation and then moved back out of the room. He came face to face with Kat, Racetrack and Hotdog; who were all grinning like idiots. Karl had been getting more annoyed with them since he'd first bumped into them. "Grow up. All of you. Start acting like the pilot's you're supposed to be and not the immature idiots I currently see."
"But it's Starbuck and Apollo…" Hotdog started.
"Just go to bed. Now. And for frak's sake, don't wake them. Just let them be." Karl almost said more but knew better than to speak to any of the three before him about Lee and Kara. He pushed past them and continued to walk down the corridor towards Sharon's quarters. He was glad for his two friends and pleased they finally appeared to have made some sort of resolution to the issues between them. Although knowing the two of them, they probably still had a long way to go. Nothing was that simple. Just as he made it to Sharon's room he had one more thought which brought a smile to his face. Maybe they wouldn't be as mad with him as he'd thought they would be.
Bill Adama returned to his room about an hour after he'd left it and had found the room empty. There didn't appear to be any damage to the room or blood visible so it seemed the two of them hadn't come to blows once he'd left. He only hoped they'd managed to resolve the difficulties between them.
He was now sitting on his couch with a glass of Ambrosia held in his hand. He was tired and he really ought to be going to bed as he had to be in CIC in just a few hours time. He kept telling himself this but it wasn't helping him sleep. All he could think about was what Lee and Kara had told him. Suddenly the tension he'd seen in Lee ever since he'd been released from sickbay made sense. He should have known. Lee was his son. Kara was all but his daughter. How could he have not known that something was wrong with them both?
He got to his feet, feeling restless. Maybe walking would tire him out. He was tempted to walk the length of the ship until he couldn't walk anymore but the last thing he wanted was to bump into someone. There was really only one person he wanted to talk to about this.
He walked over to the wall and picked up the handset. The line connected to CIC instantly. "Put me through on a secure channel to Colonial One. I need to speak to President Roslin." Minutes passed before the line buzzed briefly and then connected to the other ship.
"Admiral Adama, I wasn't expecting a call from you." Her voice sounded as tired as he felt.
"I know it's late. I'm sorry to disturb you. I couldn't sleep." He paused as he took a gulp of his drink. "Frak, that's not why I'm calling, I needed to talk to you."
"Is everything okay, Bill?"
Concern was in her voice and it reassured him somehow. "Laura, I spoke to Lee and Kara tonight. They told me what happened when they were on Kobol. They told me what the Cylons did." Tears welled in his eyes as the memories of what they'd said once more came to mind. "The Cylon's broke my children, Laura. The things they did were barbaric and they did them to my children." His voice faltered as he came to the end of the sentence. He put down his glass and wiped his hand across his face.
"How are they doing?" Her voice was quiet and he could hear the emotion in the words as she spoke.
"I don't know. I left them in my office. Lee wanted me to give them some time alone. So I did." He sighed loudly.
"What are you thinking, Bill." She paused, waiting for him to say something. "I know you, Bill. I can almost hear the cog's turning over here."
"I'm thinking I must be an awful father."
"Why would you be thinking that? I'm sure neither Lee or Kara think that."
"How could I not know something was wrong with them both? How could I not see it?"
"You knew, Bill. You may not have wanted to admit it, but you knew. Knowing and being able to do something to help them deal with it are two completely different things."
"I know. I feel like I've let them down somehow."
"Well you can stop thinking that right now. There was nothing you could have done any different. You were unconscious when they ended up on Kobol and as soon as you woke up you started trying to find them. What do you think you could have done any different?"
"I know. I know you're right but it doesn't make me feel much better."
"Maybe now they've talked about it, things will be better for the two of them."
"I hope so. Let's face it they can't get much worse." He was finally able to smile as he spoke and that reflected in his tone.
"I think you're understating that, Bill." Bill could hear the grin in her voice. "Now, go and get some sleep, Admiral. I'll speak to you again tomorrow."
"Night Laura. And thanks."
"No thanks necessary, Bill. You know that."
Bill put down the handset after the line disconnected and finished his drink. His body was beginning to give in to the tiredness that had been ebbing through his body for the last few minutes. Knowing he wasn't going to be awake much longer, he quickly made his way to his bunk and soon enough drifted to sleep.
Cole Taylor slowly opened his eyes. He'd woken up a couple of times since his return to Pegasus, but this was the first time he'd really been able to fully wake up. The drugs he'd been given had begun to wear off and he was almost at the point where he might have to ask for some more. On a previous waking moment, the doctor had filled in him in on his injuries – fractured arm, collarbone and skull and a torn tendon in his right leg. Given the strength of the female Cylon and the length of his imprisonment, he'd been extremely lucky.
He thought back to the last couple of days and a look of dismay was written all over his face. The Cylon had been quick to tell him about how she'd killed Admiral Cain and she'd somehow managed to learn about Lee Adama being made Pegasus' CAG in his absence. That thought alone had left a bitter taste in his mouth which he'd then had to stew about for the rest of his time with her. Lee frakking Adama – Fleet hero all over again. The guy could do no wrong… and it frakked him off so much.
He thought back to the last time he'd been on this ship. He'd thought things were taking a turn for the better; that he'd finally got one over on Captain Adama only to have everything ruined by an escaping prisoner. "Just my luck." He muttered.
His head was beginning to pound quite badly now and it was making it harder for him to think about anything at all. He struggled to think back to the standoff between the Cylon and the pilots from both battlestars. He did remember the heated words between the Cylon and Adama. He actually could understand where Lee was coming from when he said he wasn't that bothered about rescuing him. He had to admit if the situation had been reversed and Lee had done the things to him that Cole had, he would've felt exactly the same.
Nevertheless, Lee's aim had been dead on when he'd shot the Cylon and his back had been turned to the target just before he fired. Cole was man enough to know Lee was a great marksman and quite obviously a well respected CAG – even if the Pegasus pilots didn't realize it. It was coming to this conclusion that angered Cole more than anything now; despite everything he despised about the man, he was grateful to him for releasing him from his captivity. He ground his teeth as another stabbing pain shot through his head. He finally gave in and called for a nurse and asked for something to take it away. Within minutes of receiving the much welcome medication, Cole Taylor was asleep once more.
Lee woke several hours later to a slightly pounding head. He flexed an arm and it was then he realized he was alone. Bile rose from his stomach as betrayal swam around his body. He noticed the curtain on the bunk was now closed and he knew that wasn't the way it'd been left the night before. He still couldn't understand why Kara wasn't here with him now if she didn't have issues with everyone seeing them together. Why had she run? He couldn't believe she'd done this again. More importantly he couldn't believe he'd fallen for it. Again.
He rolled onto his back, staring at the bottom of the bunk above; the fingers of his right hand absently fingered the bandage still encompassing his left. Thoughts were spinning around his mind as he contemplated just what had led him to be in this situation. Every time he opened himself to her further, he was let down once more. The disappointment was more than he knew how to deal with.
Kara Thrace had a smile on her face. Today was a good day. She was making her way back along the corridor to her quarters and was eager to get to her destination; eager to get back to Lee. She hadn't wanted to leave him this morning but there was something she needed to do. Now, though she'd finished and could get back to him. Entering the room, she was pleased to see there wasn't anyone hanging around who'd try to talk to her. She pulled back the curtain to her bunk and quickly climbed into it, closing it once more behind her.
As soon as she'd shut the curtain she noticed Lee staring up at the bunk above. She looked at his face and her heart fell when she saw the impenetrable look that was present. "I thought you'd still be asleep." She said quietly.
He didn't say anything for quite a while and she let the silence grow between them. Eventually he broke the silence. "I thought you'd be here when I woke up so I guess we were both wrong."
"Lee, don't do this."
"Pull away from me, from this." A hint of desperation was evident in her voice. Again he was silent. "I was gone less than an hour. I went to see your dad. I needed to see your dad." His eyes moved to look at her but silence remained. "We had another chat. About everything." She paused collecting her thoughts as the short conversation filtered back through her memory. "It felt good. He spoke to Commander Fisk while I was there."
Lee's eyebrow rose at her words. "About?" The word was much harsher than he intended. She looked down and a blush swept across her cheeks. Lee sat up, pulling her up his legs and into his lap, lifting her chin so her eyes met his. "About?" he said softly. Unable to leave the intensity of his eyes, she was unable to speak and she self-consciously bit her lip. "Kara…" His hand was still at her chin and he moved it so it now caressed her cheek before sweeping into her hair and pulling her face towards his. Their lips met and Kara was quick to deepen the kiss. Lee eventually ended it and whispered, "Please stop running away from me, Kara."
"I wasn't running away, Lee. I managed to get us a few days off; away from everything and everyone. I asked your dad to give us a chance to try this out. He took a little convincing. That's why it took so long." Lee stared at her. She took a deep breath. "He's going to speak to the President about relaxing the fraternization rules. Get her opinion and advice on the issue."
The look of shock was obvious on his face. "You were serious last night."
"Of course I was. I'm not taking this lightly, Lee. I want a relationship with you." She paused, taking in what he'd said. She pulled back from him slightly. "Are you sure this is what you want?" She moved further back down the bed, needing to give herself some breathing space if he said it wasn't. "I'd understand if it wasn't… I mean, we both know I'm not exactly the kind of girl you'd want to take home to meet your family…"
"Kara, my dad probably loves you more than he loves me." He smiled at her as he took her hand in both of his. "Do you really think I wouldn't want you because of what's happened to you?"
She looked at their hands and then looked him in the eyes. "Technically, you haven't actually answered the question."
"I love you Kara and yes, this is what I want. It's all I've ever wanted." He pulled her forward again so she was closer to him once more. She was now sitting on his knees rather than his feet. He leant back in his bunk and planted his feet on the mattress of her bed. His slight movement caused her to move further forward, losing balance slightly and falling down on him. He smiled up at her.
She wanted to smile at him but she knew she needed to discuss other things with him and she couldn't afford to be distracted from doing so. She took his injured hand in hers and ran her fingertips over the grazed knuckles that peeked out of the top of the bandage. "Lee, what's happened to you while you've been on Pegasus? You've changed and it's not just what we went through on Kobol. Talk to me, please."
He stared at her intently, fairly sure she didn't want to hear what he'd gone through in the weeks since he'd left Galactica. "I'm fine, Kara."
"That's just it, Lee. You're not fine. You really scared me yesterday." His eyes showed his shock at her admission. "I'll admit it; I was worried you were going to get yourself killed. At one point I was so angry I almost shot you myself. That's not you, Lee. You can't just pretend everything's going to be how it was a few months ago because I can tell you now, it won't be. We've both changed too much." There was almost a hint of desperation in her voice.
He was beginning to worry. Was this the beginning of the end? Was she pushing him away? "What are you saying, Kara?" He could barely string the sentence together he was so scared about what her response would be.
"I don't want things to be like they were. One thing the last few weeks have shown me is I can't go back to what I was before. I'm not that same person. I can't be her anymore. I don't want to be her anymore? Do you understand what I'm trying to say?" She looked at him and knew in an instant that he wasn't getting it. "I'm frakking this up so badly…" She took a deep breath and looked at him again, placing the palm of her hand on his cheek as she stared into his eyes. "Lee, if this is going to work between us, we need to be different to how we were before. If we aren't it'll never work; we need to talk to each other; not hit first and ask questions later and yes I know that was more me than you but I can't do that anymore. I want this to work more than I've ever wanted anything in my life but we're going to have to work at it and we need to do that from now. We need to tell each other the truth, not what we think the other wants to hear. I need to know what you happened over there, Lee."
He finally understood the point she was trying to make and knew he wasn't the only who'd changed. As she lay in his arms, he haltingly told her what had happened to him during his time on Pegasus and he saw the look of devastation on her face as he spoke, so he pulled her closer to him. After he'd finished, he was at a loss for what to say, more than anything he wanted to see that look gone from her face. He acted on instinct and pulled her face up towards his, kissing her softly on her lips.
"I'm sorry, Lee." She said softly as she pulled away from him a little.
"For what?" Again he was confused.
"For being the way I was after we got back from Kobol. I wanted to be with you so badly but it just seemed wrong then for some reason."
"But it's not wrong now?"
"No. What was wrong was me pushing you away. I felt like I didn't deserve you somehow. I thought you'd be better off without me. I was wrong on so many levels. You're all I need, Lee. Nothing else matters as much to me as this does. If people don't like it, then that's their problem."
"I'm glad you feel that way, Kara. I want exactly the same thing. I love you more than I've ever loved anyone."
"There are no take-backs, Lee."
His eyes had a glint to them and a smile appeared on his face. "No take-backs." He kissed her on the nose, before moving to her mouth once more. When the kiss eventually broke, his voice was little more than a whisper as he spoke to her again, "Lee Adama loves Kara Thrace."
She smiled at him tenderly, "I'm glad about that because Kara Thrace loves Lee Adama as well."
A/N2: Thanks to everyone who's reviewed this story (so far... hint hint!!). I found all of your comments really useful and the story wouldn't be what it is without it as it made me realise there were bits I needed to look at. I've got a couple more stories on the go - but it may take me a while before I start to post them. I'm even being really different (for me anyway) and trying a not too angsty one!