A/N: Last Chapter! It might be a few weeks before I get working on the next story. But never fear, it is in the works!
Disclaimer: I do not own Battlestar Galactica.
Bill paced outside the clear curtained surgical ara in the corner of the life center. It had been two hours since the medical team had rescued them from the storage closet. Bill felt just as uncertain of Laura's survival as he did now. He knew they were pumping blood into her system after she had lost consciousness from blood-loss during the delivery. The nurse had also told him the baby appeared healthy enough to make it through the delivery with few problems. But after an hour in surgery, Bill was beginning to worry. Eventually a nurse was sent out to talk to him.
"Admiral," It was Ishtay.
"What can you tell me?" His voice cracked with the stress.
"Your child should be delivered any minute now. As for the President, there was a fair amount of internal damage. Her body was simply too old to handle this process."
Bill jumped on her words immediately, "Was? What do you mean...was?" He growled.
"The only thing we know for certain is the President will never be able to have a child after this. Until we have finished surgery and given her a day or so to recover, we cannot accurately judge how well her body will recover. She lost a lot of blood, but we've been working hard to replenish it. We simply have to wait and see." The nurse studied the bewildered look on the Admiral's face. "I'm sorry that's all I know for now." She added comfortingly. The Admiral had come to the life center on a few dire calls before this one. He had never though, to her memory, looked quite so upset as he did now.
By this point, the dogfights were over, the fleet had jumped, and the Galactica jumped to emergency coordinates until they had excised the Cylon threat. The Admiral had last heard they had destroyed the Centurious but the ship and the damage caused by it were still a minor threat. However, Starbuck and Apollo were both in the life center, getting patched up after a few rounds with the bullet-heads. They both rushed over at the sight of a baby. As promised, she returned less than an hour later with a white-blanketed, squalling bundle. His hopeful look was rebutted by the nurse, "No word on her mother yet. But this little lady is perfect."
The Admiral held his daughter, staring in to her wide-open eyes. Unlike most babies' blue eyes, the little girl's stare was a piercing green, identical to her mother's. Kara and Lee each took a turn with the child as Bill pressed the issue. "When will you know something for certain?" He pleaded.
"Tomorrow morning, at the earliest," Jack Cottle threw back at him as he had just finished washing up, "Give her poor body time to recover. I stand by what I've said before, that woman needed a miracle to survive delivery. That blood transfusion was just in time. She still may not make it, only time will tell. I know what you're going to ask, Admiral. And yes, you can bring a cot in to stay the night."
Bill. Who had nearly asked that exact question snapped his mouth closed and nodded his thanks. Lee radioed a cot in for the night. Kara still cradled the awe-struck baby. Despite the tension in the room, she was grinning broadly. Bill stepped over to look at her.
"What are you going to name her?" Kara began, but the she saw the tears trickling down the Old Man's face. "Frak, I'm sorry, Old Man." her face immediately lost its grin. "You know she'll make it, sir. She beat off cancer, she can beat this too."
At that moment, Dee burst into the life center. Without even caring about protocol, she hugged the Admiral, "It's going to be all right." She whispered, looking him in the eyes as she pulled away. The next minute, the baby as her captive.
"Watch out, Lee," whispered the newly baby-less Starbuck, "She'll want one of her own soon."
Bill sat down next to Laura and grasped her hand. She had a much less pale complexion now. Bill felt more assured than he had four hours ago. But the doubts still pressed his mind ruthlessly. He began to talk to Laura mindlessly, saying anything that came to his mind. "Laura, you have to wake up, you have to see. We have our own little family now! Our newest daughter, she's so small. She has your eyes, and your red hair. I wouldn't doubt it if she becomes a future heartbreaker. She's going to be so beautiful, like you. You have to be here, Laura, you have to be with me, I could never raise her without you. I failed as a father to my boys, I could never be trusted with an infant girl. If you stay and help me, I'll do anything. All the midnight diaper changes, I'll take care of her every time she's sick… Anything! Just please don't leave me!" Tears twisted his voice.
"Every midnight diaper change?" Bill jumped at the raspy whisper from the bed. "How could I… refuse that?" Laura's eyes fluttered and finally peeped half-open sleepily. Cottle came over with a nurse, and after a few minutes, declared her stable.
"That was one hell of a stunt you pulled on us, young lady," He chided, "Having a baby at your age… just promise you won't try it again."
Laura grinned weakly, "I want to see my baby, please, gentlemen," She whispered, her vocal chords destroyed from screaming. Dee brought the baby over, and Kara and Lee crowded around the bed.
Three hours later, the life center was utterly peaceful. Cottle had banished all visitors and most of the staff were off duty. It was just Bill, Laura, and their daughter, the newly christened Madeline. Bill was nodding off as he assumed Laura was all ready asleep. The baby was in the most angelic of rests. Just as he was ready to doze off, Laura whispered, "Bill?"
He grinned up at her, so incredibly in love. "Yes?"
"Do you remember that night when I took you up to the cabin?" She laughed tiredly.
"I'll never forget it." He reached for her hand.
"I have it now," She croaked, "Everything I wanted from that night."
"I don't think we'll see peace and solitude any time soon," he chuckled, grinning at the newest Adama.
"But what I really wanted," She smiled tearfully, "What I've wanted for…" She sniffed, "Years, is a family again. I may not have an isolated retreat. But I have people who care about me, and about whom I care deeply, because of you." She took a shaky breath and reached a hand up to wipe away tears.
But Bill was all ready there, "Laura, I love you. I can't wait to spend the rest of our lives together watching our family grow."
A/N: A final review would be a lovely wrap gift!