Title: Captive – Chapter 1 (Also posted as New Caprica as part of the "Lee Steps Up" series)
Summary: What if Lee had pursued Kara the morning after they shouted their love to the sky? What if he'd challenged her marriage to Sam?
Disclaimer: It's not mine, it will never be mine.
A/N: This chapter is exactly the same as "New Caprica," so if you read that as part of the Lee Steps Up Series, there's really no reason to read it again (unless you just want to). You can continue on to Chapter 2 directly.
I really hope you like this … really, I do. Leave me comments!
The Morning After the Groundbreaking Ceremony
For a split second, Lee could barely breathe. His father's words had seemingly punctured a lung and Lee stood there desperately trying to draw breath. This wasn't happening.
But then there she was, smiling and laughing and walking arm in arm with him. Lee wanted to vomit. He wanted to kill her. The violent thought took up residence in his brain and he thought of beating her face into a bloody pulp. Thought of ways to make her feel as much pain as he did right now.
He stalked across the open space toward them. He knew the second Kara caught sight of him. Her whole body stiffened and she actually turned into Sam, as if he could protect her. As if anything could keep her safe from the rage Lee felt pounding in his blood.
"Hey there, Apollo." His voice dug into Lee like that frakkin' sand he'd slept on all night. He could feel the little pits in his back from where the grains had scratched him, embedded into his skin by the rocking motion of Kara's body over his.
Anger again white hot, Lee barely growled a greeting in the man's direction before taking Kara forcibly by the elbow and dragging her away.
Sam's outraged cry was cut off as Lee saw Kara give him a small shake of her head. Well, it was obvious who wore the pants in that relationship.
He had no idea where he was going, but he didn't stop until they had left the small tent city in their wake and he was sure they wouldn't be overheard. There was a small stand of trees, pale, sickly things to one side, and Lee shoved her behind one, chest heaving with unrestrained rage.
As he fought to form words, he watched Kara. She was staring at the ground, toeing her boot in the gravel, looking anywhere but at him. It made him angrier.
Pushing her back against the nearest tree trunk, he trapped her there with his hands on her shoulders and hissed, "What the frak?"
She didn't even flinch. No, she just raised her eyes to his face and shrugged. "Aren't you going to congratulate me?" Her voice was even, betraying no emotion and Lee found his grip on her shoulders tightening. "I got married."
"After you slept with me," he reminded her, stepping closer until his body and hers were in full contact from knee to chest. "After you said you loved me. So I'll ask again. What. The frak?"
She actually rolled her eyes, a gesture so reminiscent of Starbuck it made him want to punch her more. With clear disdain, she said, "It was just sex, Lee. Gods, don't get all girly about it."
He squeezed her shoulders so tight he knew she'd have bruises. Good; Sam should know he wasn't the only man with claim to Kara Thrace. "Bullshit," he bit out, eyes searching hers. "Last night was more than just sex." Lowering his voice, he tried to push down some of his anger. Being this close to her, feeling her skin beneath his hands reminded him of everything they'd done and said in the last twelve hours. Despite his anger, his desire for her would not abate. "You said you loved me, Kara. You shouted it to the sky."
Her face became a smooth mask, her eyes empty as she looked up at him and said evenly, "I take it back."
And Lee knew he had her. He knew something more was going on here than Kara being the bitch to beat all bitches. She wouldn't invoke those words—that day—and not know what it would mean to him. "There are no take backs," he reminded her, with a sly grin spreading across his face.
He leaned in and kissed her as she stared at him, uncertain what to say next. His mouth possessed hers hotly, lips and teeth and tongue gliding over hers, plunging in, laying claim. Gods, she was the best thing he had ever kissed and the best frak of his life. Lee knew it had to do with the depth of emotion—with how much they meant to each other. He couldn't shake the memory of how perfect it had been.
He felt her give in, felt the way her hands stopped pushing him away and instead drew him closer. She curled her hand around the back of his head and pulled her body flush to his. He groaned his approval into her mouth, hands trailing to the small of her back and caressing the flesh there. How could she deny this?
And then, it was done. Kara's hands rested on his chest and she shoved him, hard, causing Lee to stumble back, breathless. He stared at her, her kiss-swollen lips, the hint of tears in her eyes and then watched her put Starbuck's façade back into place. Wiping at her mouth as if he'd just violated her, she hissed, "Gods, Lee. What are you doing? I'm married!"
"To the wrong guy!" His shout had nothing to echo off of and later he'd be glad that no one else had heard it. Advancing toward her once more, Lee watched as Kara scurried out from the tree, determined not to be backed into a corner again. "The only person you should have gotten up and married this morning is me. And you know it!"
Crossing her arms over her chest in defiance, Kara tilted her chin in challenge. "No," she said firmly. "I love Sam."
The desire to strangle her was back in spades. "I don't accept that," he told her.
She actually smirked now and Lee felt his heart race. "Well, too frakking bad. It's done."
Kara turned to leave as if they were done. No frakking way. This was not over; they would never be over. He caught up to her in three steps and grabbed her elbow, whirling her around to face him. She let out a small yelp of surprise, but didn't take a swing, so Lee tightened his grip.
"Have the bands dissolved." It was the only way.
Her eyes widened, mouth agape for a moment as she stared at him. Finally, she breathed, "What?"
Lee saw a hint of something, something that gave him hope and he barreled ahead. "It's not too late. It's only been what? A few hours? Have it annulled, Kara." Gods, what was he doing? Did she really hold this much sway over him? Could Kara Thrace really frak with his heart this badly?
As he looked back into her hazel eyes swimming with fear and uncertainty he had his answer—hell yes. Nuking the rest of his pride, he insisted softly, "Marry me."
She gasped, one hand flying to her mouth as she stared at him wide-eyed. He refused to give her any space, keeping their bodies as close as he could. The hand around her elbow was still tight, but he allowed his thumb to make lazy circles against her skin, remembering the delicious moans of pleasure he could draw from her just by touch. A flare of desire burned in his gut, but he held it back. After she was his, he'd remind her once again of how perfect they could be.
Minutes stretched, the silence taut between them. Lee wanted to press her for an answer, but he knew better than to push. Did Sam know that? Did Sam know that sometimes backing Kara into a corner was the only way to gain any ground? Did Sam know that sometimes giving her space was the only way to win a fight? Did he know the difference, because Lee sure as hell did.
The longer she hesitated, the more hopeful he became. Risking her rejection, Lee took another step closer, using his free hand to cup her cheek. "Kara," he breathed, ready to lean in for another kiss. It would end this, wouldn't it? A melding of lips and then bodies and then Kara would know she'd done a frakkin' stupid thing a few hours ago.
Just before his lips met hers, she shook her head sharply and backed up. Lee was so stunned he didn't even have time to try and grab her.
"No." Her voice was firm, resolute and sad. Lee could hear her anguish.
Sighing heavily, he ducked his head ashamed of the tears he felt in his eyes. Gods damn it! Waiting a beat, he cleared his throat and asked, "Why?"
Kara again crossed her arms over her chest and Lee got the distinct impression it was an act of self-preservation. "I married Sam."
Her voice was cold. Taking courage from that fact, Lee lifted his face to hers and pressed on. "Why?"
She rolled her eyes again, but this time Lee could tell it wasn't from annoyance, but instead to rid herself of traitorous tears. "I love Sam."
There was no love in her voice, there wasn't even affection. "No, you don't." He advanced on her again, more than amazed when she didn't turn tail and run. Instead, she let him get close enough, let him put his hands on her. This time he handled her far more gently, hands resting on her shoulders as he gazed into her shining eyes. "You don't love him, Kara. So tell me why you did this?"
She bit her lower lip, her eyes trapped by his gaze and finally, with a shuddering breath, she waved a hand between them. "Because I can't do this."
He stared stunned. She continued. "It's too much, Lee. We're too much." She lifted her eyes back to his face and this time he did see tears there. Trying to hold her, she pulled away from him, not violently, but just enough to tell him this wasn't the time. He let her go, watching as she walked with sagging shoulders a few steps back toward the trees.
After more silence and a heavy sigh, she turned back to him, wiping angrily at her cheeks. "When we fight, it's like the world is going to end," she told him. He could see her struggle to keep her voice even and it made his heart hurt even more. She was killing him.
"Sometimes, I get so angry with you I can barely see straight," she explained, a light smile tugging the corners of her mouth. "And then, there are times, like last night, when you look at me and touch me and kiss me and I feel like I could fly without a frakking plane." Her voice was softer now, and her tears were back, but she let them fall as Lee struggled to hold his at bay.
"And then there are those days when you have a shitty landing or you get clipped by a bogey or some stupid frakker shoots you and I. Want. To. Die." Each word hit him like an arrow, piercing his already sensitive skin and Lee stared in awe as she advanced toward him, eyes full of pain. When they were only inches apart, she stared at him for a moment more and then finally admitted, "I'd rather die, Lee than go through that. I don't want to live life without you."
Lee had never, ever expected to hear something that vulnerable pass through Kara's lips. But he could see the truth to the statement, could tell by the way she had so spectacularly pushed him away this morning, how she had run away from him, from them. It made sense—in the warped mind of Kara Thrace if nowhere else.
But that didn't mean he had to accept it. It didn't mean he was going to.
She was so close he could feel her breath ghosting across his cheek and he had to touch her, to hold her. They could figure this out. He knew they could make it work.
His hand was reaching for her as he murmured, "Kara."
She shook her head sharply and backed away slowly, putting physical distance between them. Each step added another crack to Lee's heart. He felt the pieces falling away.
"No, Lee. I can't do it anymore. I can't live feeling all of that everyday."
He balled his hands into fists once more inspired to take a swing. "So what's the alternative?" he spat out. "Feeling nothing? Leaving Galactica? Marrying Anders?"
She raised her chin slightly and schooled her features. When she spoke there was nothing in her voice that would give anything away. "Yes."
"That's crap." Gods, Lee was going to shake her. Shake her very hard until he dislodged whatever idiotic reasoning had taken hold of her brain.
Kara shrugged and he saw none of the woman before him who had loved him to within an inch of his life the night before. Not even a trace of the girl he loved who had shouted her own affection to the night sky. "It's my life. I made my choice."
"You didn't choose anything." Why was he still fighting? Lee supposed his tenacity was an asset in the cockpit, but at the moment, he wondered if he might just be bordering on pathetic. But if she was determined to make him hurt, then he could do the same. Narrowing his eyes, he stepped forward and accused, "You ran."
He had the sick pleasure of watching her pale, watching her entire body stiffen at the insult. Shaking his head, he went for broke. "I never took you for a coward before, but—"
The sharp sting of her open palm against his cheek startled him. Eyes flashing, he glanced at her, watching her seethe before she simply threw her hands up and backed away.
"Just go, Lee. Please. Don't make this—"
"What?" he demanded. Gods, his cheek hurt. It gave him a bit of a distraction from the frakkin' gaping wound in his chest. "Don't make this hard? Why shouldn't I? Kara, you're killing me."
He had hoped that might reach her, but instead, she sighed and shook her head. "Please, Lee. Let it go." Lifting her eyes to his face, she pleaded, "Let us go."
He had no other words. This was really it; it was over. Less than twelve hours from when it had truly begun Kara had chosen and married another man. In this one moment, Lee wanted to die.
Suddenly wanting nothing more than to never see her again, Lee straightened and stalked back toward the settlement, shoulders back, head held high. As he passed her, he paused for a moment. "This is a mistake and some day you'll see that."
He held her eyes for a second longer and then had to go. He couldn't stay here, couldn't be within her orbit anymore. He was done with Kara Thrace.
As he made his way back to his Raptor, he ignored his father and all but bit Dee's head off. She was trying to reach out to him, but Lee Adama had tasted perfection—and been rejected by it. He wouldn't find solace in the arms of another, even when those arms belonged to a more than willing Dee.
Once the hatch was shut and the pre-flight begun, Lee closed his eyes, doing his damnedest to forget the look of sheer ecstasy on Kara's face last night or the look of sheer despair on her features only a handful of minutes ago.
He did his best to forget the sigh of pleasure she had released as they both came back from the edge or the pained sob of anguish he'd heard as he walked away and left her to her husband.
By the time they docked with the Pegasus, Lee Adama knew he'd never forget any of it.