Author's Note: Written because Dee = greatness and Lee/Dee = heartbreaking. Thanks to meddow for the beta and being all around awesome.
we are objects in motion
It's not like her decision is hard to make. The thought of how easy it is leaves a bad taste in the back of her mouth, but she doesn't regret it, not this choice nor all the choices she's made before it. Like everyone else in the fleet, she's made the best with what she's been given.
When she leaves him, she wonders if she ever was truly there enough to leave.
Only later, in her new rack, it occurs to her that she didn't cry. There's no use crying anyway.
At first it's like some weird dream. Lee – Apollo– is staring at her like she's special. Like Dee means something to him other than a sparring partner and another member of Galactica's crew.
It's easy with Billy: he is sweet and sincere, a hard worker, a normal boy like the boys she dated back home. She likes this about him – how easy it is to be around him, to kiss him, to hold him. She likes that because right now, she wants comfort, she wants home, and she gets that with Billy. He is normalcy defined, a steady hand and a willing partner in all that she wants to do.
That doesn't mean she stops looking. Who can refrain from looking at Apollo, so god-like in his uniform? Lee Adama could be a poster child for the Colonial Fleet, the way he's admired by everyone including the President. And now he's looking at her like she's more than the Communications Officer and that frakking scares her because he makes her feel things with that gaze that she's never felt with Billy or those boys back home.
And then Billy is dead and she's clinging to Apollo's hand like he's her lifeline and it all goes pear shaped after that. Frakking him in his bunk is one thing; pursuing a relationship is something else entirely.
"I'm on duty in one hour," Dee mumbles into his shoulder but he doesn't stop. His mouth moves its? way down her body, hovers between her thighs until she aches and cries out, back arching off the bed. He laughs, his breath hot against the fevered skin of her inner thigh.
"I think your commanding officer would forgive you," he says, his voice vibrating against her stomach as he slides up her body, slides into her. He presses kisses against her neck, along her jaw, on her lips. She drags her fingernails along his back, urges him forward with the heels of her feet.
"Really now?" she gasps and he says "Of course, since he'll be late as well."
The ink on her transfer orders wasn't dry before he asked her to marry him. At first, she's not sure what brought this on (there's a part of her that's always fearful of Starbuck) but she says 'yes' because the smile on his face breaks her. And, because part of her wants this – what they have right now, what they have when they're alone. Things are different when it's the two of them without the fleet or his father or frakking Kara Thrace meddling. The quiet moments – and the loud ones, like this – are the things that make her fall in love with him more and more every day.
Lee holds her afterwards, brushes her hair away from her face and kisses her soft and slow and looks at her the way he always does, the way he has since that day in the gym: like she's something special and wonderful and he wants nothing more than to keep her with him forever.
The wedding is small and simple, and they both report to duty immediately afterwards. They celebrate later in their quarters and he pulls her into his lap, taking her face in his hands.
"I am the happiest man in all the fleet," he says, "because of you."
And Dee believes him.
The first time she met Kara Thrace, the other woman insulted her rank and home planet. To this day Dee still doesn't know if it was accidental or not. She can hardly be blamed for disliking the woman, especially when she watches her eye-frak her husband before beating his ass in the ring.
She's always had a lingering feeling that the happiness she felt in the first days of their relationship and marriage would never be permanent; something would happen and she would lose him to her. Kara Thrace is a star, and people fall like planets and moons into her orbit. She's bright and violent and unpredictable and the day she goes supernova, she will consume them all.
Dee is not a star, probably not even a planet – more like a moon, small and helpless and trapped.
She goes back to her station, and when her shift is over takes a long shower, letting the water wash away her tears. She dries herself off and dresses and returns to her quarters where her husband is waiting for her. She makes polite small talk and he does the same, and the awkwardness lingers until they go to sleep. They do not reach for each other as they sometimes do. They lie side by side, their arms barely touching on the narrow bed.
They do not touch for some time.
Lee comes home late, and brushes a kiss against her forehead with lips that are already bruised from kissing someone else. She says nothing, does not even cry herself to sleep. She is too numb to feel.
She does exactly what she's always done in situations she cannot control – she throws herself into her work, never once abandoning her post or wallowing in self-pity. She spends more time in the CIC than in her quarters, and when she's not there she's working on something extra that the Old Man gave her, something that is vital to the fleet. At this point it's not about saving herself or their marriage anyway – those days are long past. It's about saving all that remains of their civilization, and she lets herself believe that this calling can make up for her shattered dreams and sleepless nights.
And then there is the algae planet, where she must rescue and return Starbuck to Apollo. Her bitterness lingers even while Kara tries to explain the whole frakking confusing mess. She does not listen. She concentrates on piloting the Raptor to the stars and Galactica, making sure someone returns to him.
The bitterness over being asked to lay down her life for that of his lover never fades.
When their marriage finally crumbles, she gives up. Dee is tired of holding onto memories and tired of the petulant look on Lee's face, and the pity she sees in Starbuck's glances. She longs for the days of Billy and normalcy, not Apollo and broken dreams. In her darkest nights she dreams of a life with Billy, of saying yes even though she wasn't sure she loved him. She wonders what it would be like to lose the all-consuming passion she felt in the early days of Apollo for the sake of stability and constant devotion. In the end, she's not sure which she'd rather have, and it makes the decision to cut all ties easier.
She tells him that he can have whatever he wants. She will not stand in the way.
What she does not expect is the broken man that sits in front of her at Joe's Bar. This is not the man she married. This man bears a slight resemblance to the commander of the Pegasus all those long months away from New Caprica, but it's not him. This is a new man in front of her, and the touch of his hand against hers, the desperation with which he clings to her, makes her ache.
She's never thought much about what she's given him. She knows he's made her a better officer, and in some ways a more patient woman, and he's tested her in every way possible it is to test someone in love. She has known fear of losing him in more ways than one, as well as the feeling of bliss that comes from being in love, and now he's made her into a better woman by the way she has let him go and just as easily lets him back in.
But she's never seen him like this, and it upsets her. In their quarters that night, as they undress quietly and climb into bed, Lee's eyes still red with tears, she asks him why.
"Because I didn't know how much I needed you until you weren't there," he says. "Because you are my home."
She holds him until she goes on duty, not because he needs her comfort but because there are no words to express how she feels at that very moment.
It can be said that Anastasia Dualla is a patient woman to deal with Lee Adama and all his issues.
Gaius Baltar's trial, however, is the straw that break's the camel's back.
It's not that she doesn't agree that it should be a fair trial, or that there should be a trial at all. It's just that her husband's decision to help with the cases confirms to her the fact that has been lingering in her mind for months: maybe she doesn't know him anymore, and maybe she never did. She's surprised by his behavior at the trial, his genuine interest in the law and his passionate defending of what he feels are crimes that they all have committed. She knows she's not blameless and has done her fair share of subterfuge. But this is a different Lee – a Lee that's passionate about something for a change, not just going through the motions.
She wants to be angry at him and she is – she yells and shouts and tells him that this is not what she believes in, because it's not. She doesn't know what to believe in, to be honest, but it's not Lee and all that he now represents.
Watching him, what he does to the President, for Baltar, all in support of a system she feels is irrevocably flawed, is enough to propel her forward. Somewhere behind her Lee is talking to her, his voice breaking, but she does not turn around. Like an object thrust into motion, she stays in motion.
The Admiral is the one that tells her about Lee's decision to leave the Fleet. He pulls her into his office to tell her, and she can see how deeply all of this affects him.
"I'm sorry," she says, and she doesn't know what she's apologizing for and the tears start and they don't stop, tears that have been building that first day when Lee looked at her across a crowded room and through everything - New Caprica and the Pegasus and Starbuck - and she breaks down, sobbing until the Old Man is at her side, one hand on her shoulder, the other pressing her head against his chest.
When she calms down, she tries to apologize but he smiles and her throat catches (it's Lee's smile). He tells her, "You have nothing to apologize for other than loving the right man at the wrong time."
Now that he's no longer a member of the Fleet, Lee must leave Galactica and so she takes his rank and frames it as a memento of a time when things were much clearer and easier to understand.
When he approaches her and she hands him her gift, she sees the same look she's always seen when he looks at her. It is a look that says she is special and precious and it makes her resolve waiver.
"Guess you got the house," he says, and she can see the tears in his eyes.
The room narrows and it's just them, and no one else, and he's holding her close. His suit smells new and musty at the same time, and his breathing is erratic and she holds him close to, wishing desperately for things to be different.
The story of the Galactica is one of constant frak-ups. One minute they've got everything under control the next moment something is broken, or a trusted Raptor pilot is really a Cylon, or Kara Thrace blows up in space. Nothing can be predicted, and all their carefully made plans must have backups in case of emergency. So when the Basestar belonging to their Cylon "allies" jumps away with the President and Gaius Baltar and almost all of their birds on board, it's chaos as usual.
But this time they have no president or admiral to lead them through the mess ; the Old Man is staying behind to wait for Roslin,, Tigh is now in charge of everything military, and Lee in charge of everything civilian.
He calls her to his father's quarters. She feels on edge the entire way there, because it's been two months since she left and three weeks since they last exchanged words even though he's been in the CIC enough to at least say hello. Dee knows he's been busy, and so has she but that doesn't stop her from feeling jittery as she stands in front of him and says, "You wanted to see me, Mr. President."
"Dee." Her name, spoken softly. "Not now."
She drops all formal pretenses and takes a seat.
"This place is so empty without them," Lee says after a prolonged silence. "I don't think I can do this, Dee."
"You're more than capable," she reassures him. "You know it too."
"I'm not good at anything except blowing up frakking toasters," Lee says adamantly, eyes meeting hers then looking away suddenly. "I had a fiancée, once. Before you. I frakked that up. And…our marriage…" when he meets her eyes again there are tears in them and she feels uncomfortable and sad. She reaches her hand out for him and he threads their fingers together. She feels the tears in her own eyes before he says, "At least I know where he kept the good stuff."
When she laughs, it's the first time in so long that the sound is foreign to her ears. Lee joins in before letting go and digging around for two glasses and a bottle of something strong.
It's only when their fingers separate that she notices he still wears his wedding band.
They sit, for the first time in a long time, and just talk. He tells her about life outside of Galactica, of the Quorum and how they seem tired and frustrated, of feeling like he's making a difference besides fighting and flying. And she listens. She doesn't have much new to tell him, and so she just drinks, comfortable with the warm feeling that seems to consume her body, from the alcohol and from him at her side.
Finally, she asks: "Why do you still wear your ring?" She takes his hand in hers, turns the band around his finger.
"I didn't want to lose all of you," he says. His eyes darken. "Dee…"
The careful thread of her sanity breaks and she kisses him, rough and hard, pushing him back into the sofa. His hands grab at her hips and pull her against him. There is nothing else in the world accept the two of them in this room.
It's just like old times but it's not. He still knows what to do to make her quiver, make her breathing speed up or slow down, and she knows precisely how to move to make him moan, but it's not the same. This is new. They have been through heaven and hell and betrayal and the thought of salvation so close that they can almost taste its powerful elixir. As she arches her back into his touch and he sucks hard enough to leave a mark just below her collarbone where it will remain hidden, she doesn't think about anything but the feeling of him.
When they are breathless and spent, he holds her close and kisses her and says, "Dee, oh Dee," over and over again. She clings to him despite the sweat and heat of the room.
If the first time was frakking, the second time is making love.
I didn't want to lose all of you. His voice is in her head as he moves slowly in and over her. She closes her eyes and smiles, because she is happy. She does not think too hard, or too fast, just concentrates. She will keep this memory with her in the dark days, but for now she just feels.
As he drifts to sleep, holding her at his side, she knows that this changes nothing. They are objects in motion, and they will stay in motion. Soon, someone will demand his attention and they will never have this again. This is a gift from the gods, she thinks, and maybe this could continue on Earth. Maybe the prospect of Earth what draws them together once more.
She is an object in motion, but for now she is at rest.