The memories came flooding back to her as she stood beside Lee in the press room aboard Colonial One. The podium, which she had stood behind many times and where on one frightening occasion she found herself surrounded by a dozen snakes, still stood tall and proud just like the office it represented. The thin curtain that separated this room from the private office of the president still hung in exactly the same way as she remembered. The press, in their same seats, were still as eager as ever to get a story. Even if they had lost a few members during the -
No Laura, she chastised herself, you can't think about that right now. Except it was all she could think about. How different things were now compared to the last time she stood here. Gods, they had lost so many. And now here was Tom Zarek explaining what had transpired with the government in the past few days.
Lee stood beside her; his shoulders slightly slumped in a posture he had adopted since the Pegasus was lost. She'd seen her Captain Apollo display many emotions but to see him broken like this hurt her. As it was surely hurting Bill as well.
Where was Bill? Yes, they'd had an argument about this decision but she really thought he would make the effort to come today.
Tom Zarek was finishing up his speech as a few members of the press tried to wake themselves up from their boredom induced snoozes.
"... and now sworn in as President only an hour ago, President Adama ladies and gentlemen."
The room erupted in polite applause many too groggy from just waking to join in the clapping. Lee stood to attention and went to move forward. Laura put a hand on his arm to stop him moving away. She lent in to whisper so no-one else could hear.
"Lee – I know you're not feeling on top of the world right now. Thank you for being here." She pulled back to smile up at him, her heart leaping at the sight of a half smile on his face. She released his arm so he could continue to move forward allowing her to pass him on her way to the podium.
She settled her hands on each side of the podiums frame, savouring the familiar feel under her fingers. Lifting her head to peer at the crowd she took a deep breath to begin the newest chapter of her life.
"Thank you all for being here. As Mr. Zarek mentioned an hour ago I was once again sworn in as president and my first act is to nominate my candidate for vice presidency Mr. Tom Zarek." She ignored the murmurs that built up at her last statement and carried on in a slightly louder voice, one she recognised as her teacher voice.
"A vote will take place when we reconvene the Quorum next week after new representatives to replace people lost on New Caprica, have been nominated." At this she did falter a slight break in her voice notable. Pushing a piece of auburn hair behind her ear she continued.
"Of course there have been a number of changes since the last time I held this office, least of all my surname". This earned her a chorus of chuckles from the room and from the corner of her eye she once again saw Lee's small smile. "This will include a few notable adjustments: my primary residence will be on the Galactica and I will return to Colonial One only for quorum meetings and of course any time I am addressing you the press. I understand there may be some questions raised regarding this unique situation but I can assure the Admiral and I, my husband and I, will remain as professional as ever when dealing with issues of the fleet. Nothing is more important to either of us than that of the safety of this fleet". With a final look around the room Laura released the podium and took a step back.
"That is all for now". The last word was drowned out by a chorus of people shouting "Madame President" at her as she swept from the room, closely followed by Lee and Zarek.