Title: For Now
AN: I tried to come up with a very simple "fix" for the last Lee and Kara scene that would have made a difference in how I felt about the ending for the ship. I read a fic that was written just after the finale that had a similar element to this but I needed to write it my way for my own peace of heart.
Lee watched as the raptor disappeared behind the distant hills and recalled his father's words the last time he piloted a raptor. The old man couldn't live without Laura and she was not long for this world. It was tempting to deny what those two things meant right now. The gnawing in his gut was too strong though. He had said goodbye to his father before more than one so called suicide mission but he couldn't shake the feeling that this was the final one.
"Why do I get the feeling he's not coming back?" he asked quietly when he was sure he was composed. Out of the corner of his eye he saw Kara turn back towards the camp.
"Because he's not," She said frankly. Then she paused and twisted her body to look him in the eye, "and neither am I."
Suddenly the foreboding was like a viper landing on his chest. His mind struggled to grasp what his subconscious had been suggesting since her return from the dead. That each and every second since the nebula, every moment that he had had in her presence was a gift that was about to be ripped from him. Again. Forever.
"What? Where are you going?" He stuttered.
"I don't know. I just know my journey is over and it feels good." But her face was anything but good. It was twisted with pain. Very likely, his was a mirror image. He took a step toward her and she immediately turned away, her eyes wandering out across the plain. A klaxon went off in his head as he recognized deflection; crossed arms and the clearing of her throat.
Earth was beneath his feet and the cylons were not longer a threat but Lee Adama had one more battle. For his heart.
"What? That's it? This is your reward? A life of pain and struggle and even death so you could bring us to the promised land. But you don't get to stay and enjoy it? Your gods have a sick sense of humor Kara."
"After all of this you still don't have faith do you?"
"I have faith. My faith is in you. I don't need anything else."
A sad smile stretched her lips. "Lee Adama loves me."
"I have always loved you…"
"…from the first moment we met" she finished for him. "This is not the end. I will be waiting for you. We will be together again."
"Kara…" he pleaded.
"I need you to hold on to this for me, Okay?" She pulled something gold from her pocket. During the last two weeks he had noticed her dipping into that same pocket, surreptitiously palming its contents. He knew this because for the last two weeks she had been his constant companion. Every night they shared a pad on the floor of his tent. When they were sated and spent they spooned together, listening to the sounds of the night in the new world she had brought them to.
He was proud of not spoiling the time with her by assuming anything from one minute to the next. Did he somehow know that there was an expiration date on this happiness? Each and every morning when he awoke to those amazing hazel eyes he was grateful. And yet now that the moment was here he was having trouble swallowing the bitter taste of a fate he could nothing about.
In his hand she placed Aurora. She closed his fingers around it, then placed a soft kiss on them as tears threatened to overflow from where they flooded her eyes. Lee sniffed and blinked back his own tears as he smoothed golden windswept strands back from her face. "Yeah, okay."
He watched her steel her features and fight to bring a smile from her lips to her eyes. Her arms once again crossed her chest, her gaze shifted again to the horizon.
"Today is the first day of the rest of your life Lee. What are you going to do?"
He shoved his hands in his pockets, the edges of the figurine digging into his right palm, and looked at the wilderness around him. It hit him then that he was free from responsibility, of leadership. He took a deep breath of the clean unfiltered air.
"I want to explore. I want to climb mountains…"
He turned back to gauge her reaction, but she was gone. As if she had never been there. No, that wasn't true. Kara had always been larger than life, even in death. She was the love of his life and now he had a reason not to fear death.
"Good bye for now Kara Thrace."