Tom Zarek's words had broken her heart. They had gripped like a vice on either side, had punctured and pierced and ripped the chambers apart. Left them weeping vengeance and despair (each pump no longer beating her life, but beating his death instead). The blood had hardened in her veins, turned to granite, weighing her down - and shattering with the silent scream that tore through her, that she held inside as her knees gave way (too heavy with ache, with loss).
She thought she had lost him, that he was dead (the agony of it, the pure white blinding pain of life without him in it), that she was without him - she could not comprehend how her body could feel so laden when it had just been bereaved of so much.
How could she feel empty yet full of lead in the same instant? She had closed her eyes against the reality, unwilling, unable to look around a world that no longer contained him. How was she to live in it? How was that option viable? How had she expected it, demanded it of him, to let her go willingly. Her heart bled that this was her punishment.
(She hadn't told him enough that she loved him. She hadn't kissed him enough. Held him enough. Lived with him enough. And now he was gone. Forever wouldn't have been enough.)
They had executed - murdered - the best man she had ever known. The best person. Her beloved. Bile rose in her throat. There would be no forgiveness. She would not let these cowards, these traitors, win. No surrender. He hadn't. She wouldn't. The granite heated. The white heat of pain turned to anger, to fire, to vengeance burning hard and fast. She felt the flames scorching her from the inside out. She would burn them down. She would blaze her hatred, her fury (her devastation) through them all. She would incinerate them. Her wrath (her pain) knew no bounds.
(Her soul was tormented. Tortured.
She would visit its equal upon their flesh. See her pain weeping from their skin.)
This is not like her. Or, at least, not like how she was. Before - 5 minutes previous.
He is dead. There is no before. There is no after. There is only this.)
And then… a miracle. A penance from absconded Gods.
His voice. Him. Galactica secured.
(He is secure. Safe. Alivealivealive.)
She could not believe it. Would not allow herself to. Would not give herself that hope until she could she him for herself, could touch the solid mass of him. Bill calling to her across a void of despair. Bill calling her home.
William Adama healed the ache. A simple sentence acting as a thread, sewing her heart back together, his voice stitching itself into her cardiac walls. It beat again. Beat warmth not fire. Beat love not hate. Beat hope not anguish. He was alive. Had taken command of the fleet. Knew that she had stood by him until the end. Would always.
(She does not need him to live. She needs him for life, to be alive. To feel and not just exist.)
Reborn. Protected. Saved.
By his still beating.
She feels dead on her feet (but alive in her heart). His arm wound around her body, hers clutching at his (her glasses palmed in her hand, staining, she knows, with the lines of her hand).
Is not a line.
It is a person.
He is holding her up.
She tries to grasp at him further, tries to take a fistful of his uniform, to claw at the man beneath, to hold him in her hands. Her glasses slip from her hold (she stays within his). The frames drop lightly to the deck and he stops (so she stops) to pick them up. Her body moves with his, she refuses to let go.
(Their contact never breaks.
She pushes closer into his side, winds tighter around him as he slides her glasses into his pocket, runs his hand to the back of her neck and rubs his thumb in deep circles. (His body pushing against hers as much as hers rocks against his. They balance. They continue.)
They are within sight of their home and she can stand it no more, the pressure in her chest, behind her eyes, within her reformed heart.
(Lungs fill and empty as they try to balance pressure. Make the outside equal to the inside. Her heart is full inside. She needs him to see it outside.)
She stops and tugs and pulls him closer with fingers slipping between button-lined seams, a thumb circling the circumference of a single button. She steps back against the wall, her mouth a breath from his, calling him closer (a whisper, not a shout). She kisses him in the corridor of a reclaimed ship, in sight of their home, in view of marines.
Not a peck before running, not a kiss before fleeing. It is more, more, gloriously more.
She has no words for how she loves him, 'love' is not good enough, it is a word, a description, the feeling... she cannot pronounce that, cannot verbalise its depth, her mouth cannot give it sound that would justify it.
So she spills it from her tongue. Explains with strokes and rolls, with gentle tracing and delicate flits, with words that are not words because for this for this for only and always this words will fail them, words will not be enough. They converse with their mouths without voicing a syllable.
She does not care that they are on display, that they have just survived and overcome a mutiny, a coup, a near fatal blow. She cares that she can feel his body beneath her hands, can press her fingers along his neck and feel the blood flow, steady and strong.
And is loved.
They are exhausted. And she knows when they close the hatch behind them (close out what has happened, for just a while) that she will take him to bed (Or he will take her. They will take each other.) and they will sleep a heavy painful rest of those who have been drained of all they have (for now).
So for now for now just for now she refuses to step inside.
"Bill." As her mouth moves on him.
"Bill." As her tongue flicks against his.
"Bill." As her face cracks with a smile at the sheer beauty of his existence.
"Bill." As her heart seals along it wounds, stronger than before.
"Laura." As she giggles in love, in exhaustion, in response to his expression mirroring her own. "Come inside."
She sobers almost violently, fingers clenching into his sides, her eyes pinning him more than her hold. "I thought…" (You were dead. I had lost you.) She swallows the words back down. They feel like razor blades slicing her throat. She sees in his eyes, in the length of a blink before he tries to bury that truth – how close she had come to that being true. She chokes on a sob.
She hears her name whispered in her ear. Feels her hands suddenly wrapped in his. Feels his presence across her skin.
She leads him inside.