"You're up 'buck."
Kara lifts her glass in a mock salute to Helo before pursing her lips thoughtfully and surveying the rest of the pilots circled around the table, seeking an appropriate target.
Her eyes skim over Kat to flick briefly onto Hot Dog but slide away as soon as he perks up like an over eager puppy. Finally she settles on the man seated opposite her.
"Apollo," she says with faux seriousness. "Dare or dare?"
"We're playing truth or dare," Kat points out.
Kara scowls, mentally adding another reason to the list of why Kat rubs her the wrong way. "I'm God. I make the rules," she says. "Besides, little Leland here got to do a truth last time, and while I'm sure we all found his tale of losing it to Cindy Lou Snooze-a-lot fascinating, I say he has to do a dare now to make up for having the lamest first frak story ever."
"Mine isn't lame," Hot Dog boasts.
Kara shifts her attention onto him, watches him preen, knowing that he is hoping she will ask about it. She considers it for a split second, but decides that encouraging him would be the wrong way to go. He is cocky enough as is, better to knock him down a peg or two. "I'm sure it isn't," she smiles condescendingly. "But the difference here is that I don't want to know who, or what you've frakked Costanza. I'd rather keep down my dinner." She adds a wink for good measure before shifting back to Lee. "So what's it gonna be Captain? Dare or dare?"
"However will I choose?" Lee mutters sardonically.
"Sometime this evening Apollo. I've got CAP in ten hours and I'd still like to get some rack time between now and then."
"Well in that case, I'll go with dare. The second one."
"Good choice. I dare you to shave - "
Hot Dog interrupts, scratching his head, oblivious. "But he's already shaved."
"I don't mean his face, Costanza!" Kara snaps before turning back to Lee. She meets his eyes and he feels a hint of foreboding in the pit of his stomach at the mischief simmering within those hazel depths. Then with a smirk, she deliberately glances downwards, slowly raking her gaze over him with an intensity that is almost predatory, lingering on the line of his throat and the expanse of his shoulders and the way his double tanks stretch across his chest until her view of his torso is obstructed by the edge of the table and her lips curve upwards into a grin that is just short of malicious. "I mean his arrow of Apollo."
There is a second of shocked silence, and then the nuggets are attempting to smother their snickers while Helo openly guffaws, nearly choking on his lollipop in the process before Lee shoots him a dark look and he wisely shuts up. Despite the embarrassed flush blossoming in his cheeks, Lee's expression is stony and dangerous as he glares at each person in turn until their amused smiles disappear in the face of the CAG's evident wrath.
Lastly, he focuses on Kara and she alone stares back defiantly, unfazed by his glower. "Do not call it that."
"Oh I'm sorry. What would you prefer I call it? Your joystick? Your throttle? Your - "
"Don't call it anything!" he spits.
"My, my. Does someone need to get laid? I hear there's a hooker on - "
"Kara," he warns.
"Fine," she sighs. "Lighten up Lee for frak's sake. I was only kidding." She pauses, draining the last of her ambrosia in one long swallow. "Except for the dare. I was serious about the dare."
"The dare?" he sputters, incredulous.
"Yeah, Captain. I dare you to shave your uh…" She gestures towards the vicinity of his crotch.
Lee's response is instantaneous. "No."
"Oh come on Lee!"
"No," he repeats emphatically.
"And why the hell not?"
"It'll make you look bigger."
Lee's blinks, flustered at the unexpected turn this conversation has taken. "What?"
"It. Will. Make. Your. Dick. Look. Bigger," she says, over enunciating like he is an idiot and hadn't heard her properly the first time.
"What? No it doesn't."
She crosses her arms under her breasts and her face gets that look it always gets when someone questions her authority, tense jaw, firm mouth, hard eyes. "Helo?" she says softly, her voice laced with contempt as she continues staring down the CAG.
Helo glances from her to Lee and back again, not wanting to get drawn into one of their arguments, but knowing that if he doesn't answer, he might end up being the one Kara takes a swing at because right now she is bristling for a fight. "I'm afraid in this the lady's correct."
"Since when is Starbuck a lady?" Hot Dog interjects, and Helo winces as the brunt of Kara's rage finds itself a target.
"Shut it nugget!" she snaps, kicking Costanza's chair with enough force to send it toppling over, Hot Dog's mouth forming a perfect 'O' of surprise before he crashes heavily onto the floor. "This is between the big boys," she says with enough menace to erase all thoughts of retaliation from Hot Dog's mind before she turns back to Lee. "So how 'bout it Apollo? All men want to be bigger, even those named after gods."
"Whatever happened to it's not the size of the ship, it's the - "
"The motion of the ocean? Blah, blah, blah. Haven't you guys realized that any chick who says that is lying through her teeth? Size always matters. Right, Hot Dog?"
"It's okay. Don't strain yourself. We'll come back to you. Kat, back me up here."
"She's got a point."
"See Apollo? I've got a point, and it's that bigger is better, and if you can't be big, you can at least look big. I'm all for the false advertising. So how about you stop stalling, break out that razor you're so fond of and graduate to the big leagues?"
"How do you know I'm not already in the big leagues?"
"Communal showers, remember?"
"Number one, you aren't supposed to be looking," he says sternly, although he can't help feeling a swell of pride that Starbuck had admittedly checked him out as his gaze might have occasionally slipped to her in the locker room. "And number two, I always take cold showers."
"Yeah. Cold showers, Kara. I believe in false advertising too. Only mine tends to work the other way."
Kat breaks into a wolfish grin, and Lee thinks he's just bought himself another admirer. "So you're saying that you're…"
"Yeah," he says somewhat wearily. "That's exactly what I'm saying. So I don't need to shave to make girls think I'm endowed Starbuck. I do just fine as is."
Kara bends forward, stretching across the table, inadvertently giving Lee a peek down her zippered hoodie as she calls his bluff. "You sure about that?" There's a note of challenge in her voice, and something else too that he can't quite place.
He leans forward, mirroring her posture, holding her gaze and refusing to back down until his face is dangerously close to hers, and he can't be certain, but he thinks that Kara's breath hitches ever so slightly. "Yeah," he whispers soft enough that only she can hear. "I'm more than sure."
Her eyes widen, and her lips part in the smallest of gasps, and when she doesn't look away, electricity crackles in the small space between them, and Lee feels his groin stir to life.
Abruptly he flops back into his seat and takes a long pull off his beer to avoid looking at her. Afterward, he risks it however, and finds her still staring at him as if she's never quite seen him before and if he didn't know better, he would swear her expression appears hungry, her irises darkening with desire, and without meaning to, he imagines her spread beneath him, her legs hooked over his hips and her fingernails in his shoulders as he drives into her, harder, faster, deeper, until she comes undone and screams his name, and seeing her across the table, his mouth is suddenly as dry as the deserts on Aerelon. He wets his lips before he can stop himself and Kara's gaze zeros in on the tiny movement and something so entirely raw smolders within her eyes and almost immediately Lee's trousers become unbearably constricting.
"I - "
Helo coughs discreetly, and the moment shatters.
Kara blinks, realizes where she is, that Hot Dog is gaping at her, that Kat is smirking triumphantly. "Tongue back in your mouth Costanza!" she barks. "And wipe that look off your face right frakking now Katraine! Don't you nuggets have somewhere to be?"
"I… uh… we…"
"Never mind! I'll go! Sweet Lords of Kobol, is everyone on this ship frakking incompetent?"
And with that, Kara shoves away from the table, storming from the rec room, the scowl twisting her features warning everyone to stay out of her way unless they have a death wish.
A couple seconds later, Lee stands. He's acutely aware that his pants are too tight and he prays no one notices and he can tell from the warmth in his face that his cheeks are probably flaming a red every bit as deep as Starbuck's had. "I should, uh… report to CIC," he stammers before beating a hasty retreat.
"Why'd you do that?" Hot Dog demands of Helo as soon as the hatch slams shut. "They were so about to frak!"
"Yeah," Kat echoes. "And I had the pool today!"
Nonchalantly, Helo reaches across the table to snatch up Apollo's abandoned beer. "Yeah, sorry about that kiddies, but I have the pool tomorrow and I'm running low on lollies. Sacrifices had to be made."