Spoilers: "Black Market"

Disclaimer: Lee, Kara, Helo, and all other characters mentioned here are the property of the Sci-Fi (SyFy) Network, Ron Moore, and David Eick Productions. No copyright infringement is intended.

Author's Notes: Written for LJ's BSG Pornbattle 2; prompts were 'best friends', 'dirty talk', frakbuddy, 'just this once', and 'not the one I want'. AS USUAL, the finished version ran way over the limit, because my brain has no concept of restrictions, so here is the full thing. And yes, I channeled the great Eva Rodriguez about midway through. I couldn't help myself.

~*~

Things have been tense between them for a long time. If Kara's honest with herself, there's been some sort of tension there since the day they met, but back then it was different. She was a different Kara and he was a different Lee and the tension was of the "I'd totally frak you if I weren't about to become your sister" variety. Nowadays, it's more of the "I'd like nothing more than to kill you with my bare hands" variety, and that's not nearly as much fun.

Kara offsets the restless unease she feels by latching onto Helo, who doesn't seem to mind. They flirt across comms when they fly CAP, dirty enough that she's sure Dee is about to have a coronary. They work out together in the gym, which usually devolves swiftly into wrestling matches more about giggling and groping than about any sort of actual training. They start betting each other as commodities during triad games, each whoring out the other's hidden talents to a roomful of clamoring pilots. (Because really, who would have ever guessed that Kara was such a fantastic masseuse, or Helo a damn good guitar player, had they not known these quirks to exploit?) It's an entertaining distraction, and with Helo there's never the worry that something said will be misconstrued, that a glance will be misinterpreted, that her words will be thrown back back her in the seconds before a fist. She's (mostly) happy directing all of her pent-up energy at someone she considers a best friend in the truest sense of the word, and Kara is rarely seen without Helo's arm around her waist, a sucker in her mouth.

And if, when passing Lee in the corridors, he happens to look murderously jealous, well, that's just a pleasant bonus.

Because Lee himself has been filling the void their friendship left with countless trips to Cloud Nine, something Kara doesn't want to think about on so many different levels. He stumbles back into the bunkroom at all hours of the night, hair askew and smelling like cheap perfume and Kara's not jealous, she's not. She and Lee have been doing quite well on their own lately; why screw it all up by suddenly pretending to care?

It doesn't really get to her until the night he decides to bring it into the bunkroom rather than keep it on a ship halfway across the Fleet. And by it she means her, a buxom blonde whose giggle as she enters the room clearly does not belong to a pilot, which is what makes Kara investigate in the first place. She's in Helo's bunk, nearly asleep, his arm draped across her hip as he snores, so she draws the curtain back just a few inches and sure enough, finds a blonde who is not a pilot, but is currently attached to one. Her shirt is already on the floor, bra strap hanging off her shoulder, the zipper of Lee's flight suit rapidly descending. When she shoves her hands inside the fabric, Kara moves back to close the curtain. But before she can get the chance, Lee looks up from his companion's mouth and meets her eyes. He continues working her, hands sliding to cup her breasts, her ass, but his eyes never leave Kara's.

She breaks first, darting backwards into the safety of the dark bunk and Helo's arms.

Behind the curtain, she wills her breath to slow to a steady rhythm. Helo lumbers on obliviously beside her, and she scoots closer to his warmth. But comfort is easier sought than found, because as she learned her first night on a battlestar, there is no such thing as privacy in the bunkroom. She can hear Lee and his nameless floozy far more clearly than she has any desire to, all rustling clothes and panting breath. Kara squeezes her eyes shut, but this only provides a wide blank canvas for her overactive imagination, and she couldn't stop the resulting images if she tried. Lee, stripped bare, spread out in his bunk. Lee, pumping slowly, his biceps flexing and sweat trailing down his abdomen.

Kara squirms. Shit. She can feel herself getting turned on despite her best efforts to prevent it, spurred on by the sounds emanating from the bunkroom. A loud, wet kiss...boots hitting the metal floor...a curtain being drawn back...the soft thud of bodies falling to the mattress. By the time the action really starts to get going, others are beginning to stir in their own bunks. Below her, Kara can make out the distinct sounds of Racetrack getting herself off, and she'd bet a month's worth of Helo's guitar lessons that Hot Dog is doing the same because the kid is hornier than a Picon boar in heat. She glances pleadingly over at her bunkmate, but he's sound asleep, chest rising and falling to the pattern of his snores. Useless, she thinks acridly, tossing in the space next to him, shoving his arm off of her for good measure.

She lasts about thirty seconds (until she hears a female voice gasp out Lee's name) before shoving her hand down her pants.

The contact relieves some of the ache, and Kara breathes a sigh of relief. She keeps as quiet as she can, determined not to let her sounds reach his ears; though she doubts bitterly that he would even notice given his current level of distraction. Her hips rock restlessly back and forth as she plunges one finger inside herself, followed quickly by two more. The slap of skin-on-skin from across the way sets a punishing rhythm, but Kara follows it relentlessly. She bites her lip so hard she nearly draws blood. Lee lets out a shuddering breath and her free hand trails up under her tanks. She wonders idly whether the mystery blonde has the balls to be on top, but quickly dismisses the notion. She's positive, from the echoing sounds and what she knows of Lee, that he's pounding into her from behind, trying to pretend that she's someone else.

A small whimper escapes Kara's throat.

The woman gasps out Lee's name again (Kara notes with warring satisfaction and disappointment that he says nothing in return), and she scissors two fingers inside her channel. Her body thrashes with the effort of keeping quiet, a foot kicking out to strike Helo's ankle. He mutters something unintelligible, stirring in his sleep, and Kara knows that the situation's about to go from bad to worse, but she's so close that she can't stop herself.

"Kara? What are you doing?" Helo murmurs. Kara grimaces.

"Knitting a sweater," she retorts. Helo props himself upright, head cocked as he awakens fully and begins to register what's happening, just as Racetrack climaxes beneath them. Lee's name is uttered a third time, and the light goes off as he looks down at her pityingly.

"Kara..." His hand closes over her elbow and she's gone, just from the simple contact of male skin. She pinches her clit, hard, hips bucking off of the bunk and into the man beside her. Still shaky from her orgasm, she clambers atop Helo and pins his wrists to the mattress. She licks a stripe from chest to chin, making her intentions clear. Helo tries to pull away.

"Kara, no. This is totally frakked-up. And Sharon -"

Kara bites his shoulder.

"Helo, just this once, can you stop being the good guy?" she demands, and whips her tanks over her head. Helo looks like he's going to protest further and she sighs in frustration, gesturing between them. "Man, breasts. React accordingly."

She has no idea what ultimately makes up his mind, but after several moments of her expectant glare, Helo finally pushes himself up to take one of her nipples into his mouth. Kara arches into him with a triumphant smile.

"That's more like it," she moans, hands fumbling to find the elastic of his briefs.

"Shut up Kara," Helo commands, and flips her roughly onto her back. He kisses her soundly, thoroughly, frakking her mouth with his tongue and Kara's sure that her second orgasm is going to be fast and furious. Helo jerks away and rocks back on his heels, leaving her gasping and ready to revolt, but when he yanks both of their briefs to their ankles she shelves her complaints. He resumes his attentions to her mouth, Kara's hands sliding down to grip his ass firmly. He's wide and warm above her, safe in a way that Lee Adama will never be. Kara allows herself a moment of wishful thinking, but knows its uselessness. She thrives too much on the conflict, the adversarial parry-and-thrust (so to speak); if it were always this easy, she'd just get bored.

Helo may be boring sometimes by her standards, but with the way his tongue swirls enticingly against the skin of her neck, she's willing to overlook it.

He plunges into her without warning, using his full weight to pin her to the mattress. When her body has adjusted to the sudden invasion he starts to pump, slow and even, in direct contrast to the frenzied coupling happening on the other side of the barracks. If she didn't already love him so dearly Kara would probably hate him right now. But when she squeezes her eyes shut and buries her face into Helo's neck, she's able to lose herself in their joining. Karl Agathon is patient and kind and loves her without question or reason, and for that she clings to him, lets his breath drive out the noise in the bunkroom and in her own head.

She's teetering on the edge of release once again when loud feminine moans penetrate the sanctuary of Helo's rack. It's clear what's happening, and Lee's pleasured groans follow closely after as he empties himself into the woman he's bought and paid for. Kara meets Karl's eyes and he nods in understanding, slamming into her ruthlessly until she's coming, just as fast and furious as she predicted, calling out no names but those of the Gods. She milks Helo's cock with her inner muscles, urging him on until he's spilling into her. Her fingers make dents in his biceps. He finally collapses, spent, and pulls her to his side.

"We probably shouldn't do that again," he wheezes. Kara nods, agrees that they shouldn't, knows that they will. It's then that she realizes, stupidly late, that Lee heard the whole thing. Good, she thinks defiantly, snuggling closer to Helo. Payback's a bitch and Starbuck is the biggest one of all.

(Starbuck doesn't cry in her bunk. But Kara does, and Kara lets Helo wrap his arms around her and murmur comforting words into her hair and promise that they'll never speak of this again.)

The next day, Starbuck spends morning briefing throwing things at the back of Hot Dog's head, fraks around during CAP pulling unnecessary and dangerous maneuvers, and swaggers into her maintenance shift an hour late. Yeah, payback's a bitch.

She doesn't look him in the eye the entire time.