Title: Coming Back – Chapter 16 – THE END
Spoilers: Everything up to and including Exodus, Part 2
Summary: Kara finally seems okay with the idea of being with Lee, but what will her journey into the nebula reveal?
A/N: Hi everyone! So, here's what happened … I was writing this today, getting toward the end and I realized as I wrote the last scene that maybe this was a good place to end it. But maybe it isn't. Maybe it's just fatigue talking. So, I need your help … once you've read, please take a moment to let me know if you think something is missing. While there were many elements to this story, overall, it is about Lee and Kara and their relationship post-New Caprica.
As always, I appreciate your patience and your support while I finished this story. I'm not going to say it was a labor of love (it got a little too long and cumbersome for that), but it's important to me as a writer to never start something and not finish. You, as the reader, don't deserve that.
I hope you enjoyed this story and I truly hope you enjoy the ending. Happy reading!
Yours in Kara/Lee-shippiness,
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"Out of all the rope you've ever given Thrace, I think this time she might actually hang herself with it," Saul told him. He was standing at his elbow, allowed in CIC only because Bill didn't really view him as a threat. His marine guard was still present, standing just in the doorway. Of course, every officer on the bridge was armed, a privilege of wartime. Now that Saul's status as a Cylon was common knowledge, he didn't think any of them would have an issue pulling a gun on him. Not that they'd have likely had an issue before either.
Forcing his mind back to the task at hand, Adama studied the DRADIS, waiting for Kara and Lee's birds to show up on the screen. He had the bridge speakers tuned to their frequency.
"Apollo here. Go ahead Actual."
He took a deep breath, considering for a moment and then said, "Be careful out there."
He could hear the smile in Lee's voice. "Good hunting is what you say, sir."
"Well, it's what I say, at any rate," Kara chimed in. She sounded freer than she had in months. She was a true pilot, Bill could relate. "Don't worry, Actual, I'll keep an eye on him for you."
"And who will keep an eye on you, Starbuck?"
Her snort of laughter sounded like a particularly rude burst of static. "As if anybody ever could, sir."
"Apollo, Gaeta. You should be approaching the outer edges of the nebula now."
"Yeah, we see it. Starbuck, I'm on your six."
"Copy that, Apollo. I'm going in."
The nebula was a red circle on DRADIS, Lee and Kara's green blips appearing to cross the outer edge of the anomaly as though they were crossing a line. Bill knew it wasn't nearly that easy.
"What do you think Thrace is really looking for out there?" Saul asked, voice pitched low enough so only Adama could hear him.
He considered for a moment, listening as Gaeta relayed a few more warnings to Lee and Kara. Finally, he said, "I honestly don't know. But I hope she finds it."
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Perhaps from a distance, the nebula would look pretty, ephemeral. A handful of watercolors thrown against the blackness of space, its shape and consistency something like cotton candy Kara could remember eating at a fair once, before her father left. She remembered watching them make it, running the paper cone around and around the edges of the big barrel collecting wisps of the pink confection until there was a large puff of sugary candy on the end. It made her fingers pink. And when she got home, her mother had forced her to scrub them with a wire brush in scalding water to get the dye out.
But here, in the midst of the nebula, there was little to distinguish it from the rest of space. Once she and Lee passed through the outer edge, they were enveloped in hazy colors of orange and red. Their birds were buffeted by random pockets of gravity, created by the bits of debris and space junk that the nebula had absorbed as it grew. So far, it hadn't interfered too badly with their comms, but the transmissions from Galactica were growing weaker and weaker the farther in they ventured.
"Starbuck, Apollo. What do you see up there?"
"Apollo, Starbuck. More of the same. You?"
"Ditto." His voice was tight with concentration. They had to be alert out here. Their flight path was littered with large bits of what once might have been a planet. Flying into one could easily lead to pulverization.
"Frak!" Kara grabbed her stick, pulling hard, her ship jumping up and over an asteroid that had appeared from nowhere. "Apollo, banked hard to starboard, now!"
She pulled harder on her own stick, bringing her bird end over end in a move that had gotten her a handful of demerits during her days at the Academy. But it was the quickest way to get eyes on her six and she needed to be sure Lee got clear.
She watched him juke to the right just in time to miss the asteroid, even as she felt the impact of small ones against her hull. She'd be pounding out divots for a month.
"Frak, Kara. That was close."
"Apollo, Actual. Are you all right?"
The Old Man's voice was tight with worry. Kara cringed, only able to guess how hard it must be for him to watch and listen with no control over the outcome. "Actual, this is Apollo. Yeah, we're good."
"Proceed with caution. Actual out."
"Copy that, Apollo out."
Kara heard the tell-tale double click of Lee switching comm channels and she followed him to the ship-to-ship frequency. "Kara, we're getting eaten alive out here. Any thoughts on what to do next?"
She paused, considering. It was true. Their planes weren't indestructible and neither of them was infallible. Eventually one of those asteroids would find its mark or they'd pass too close to a gravity pocket and end up a permanent part of this nebula. But Kara knew there was more to it still. She hadn't found what she'd come out here to find. Not yet.
She remembered her dream from that morning. The dream that had prompted her to get in her bird in the first place. When Anders-as-Leoben had mentioned that she was the only person who knew where to find him, she'd instantly known he'd been talking about the empty field from her nightmare.
She'd almost passed out when she'd seen the preliminary images of the nebula and noted how its primary colors were blue, red and yellow. Whatever was happening, whatever had been happening in the past weeks and months, Kara was meant to be here now.
"We have to go lower, Lee."
"The nebula. Gaeta said it's as deep as it is wide, we need to go lower."
"You mean, to the part he hasn't mapped yet? Yeah, Kara, that's a great plan."
In spite of his sarcasm, she knew he'd follow her across the River Styx if she asked. "Lee."
"I know, Kara, I know." He sighed. "There's a chance we'll lose comms."
She smiled, righting her bird, so she was again leading the way. "Just don't lose me, Apollo."
"Not on your life."
She had descended a good fifty meters further when her comms went dead. Kara double-clicked, trying to rouse Lee on the ship-to-ship and was only met with static. "Frak." Slowing her descent and pulling up and over to her port side, she waited until she had Lee in her line of sight, hanging off her wing at about three o'clock. Despite the murkiness of the nebula, she could still see him. He looked worried.
Tapping the side of her helmet, Kara shook her head once and then mouthed, "No comms."
Lee nodded and mouthed back, "I know."
Kara paused considering what they should do. The soldier in her, the pilot said turn around. It was far too dangerous to be flying into the muck with little to no idea of what lay ahead. Add the fact she and Lee had no comms and could easily end up drifting into the others flight path and this was turning into a fairly dangerous flight of fancy.
But she couldn't turn back now. And Lee knew it. He waved once, grabbing her attention and mouthed, "I'll follow you."
She felt a burst of something in her chest: pride, love, warmth, comfort. Lee had never faltered in these last few months. No matter what Kara had thrown at him—literally and figuratively—or how testy she'd become or how broken, he'd stuck by her. Considering their history, and the fact that she'd left him, sleeping naked in a field after declarations to the night sky, he should have punched out ages ago. Hell, he shouldn't even have bothered with her when she got back from that hellhole. But he was still here.
And maybe most importantly, she was still here and she wanted to be with him. And no matter how afraid she was of what might lie below the hard deck, she was willing to stick it out.
"Copy that," she mouthed back and then banked her bird to port, righting her trajectory before she pushed her stick forward and started a fairly steep descent into the nebula.
It was a bit like being a cat's toy, batted back and forth by unseen forces instead of paws. Kara jolted in her chair, body straining against her harness a few times hard enough to bruise. She could barely see the tip of Lee's bird as he flew up and off to her starboard side, but she knew he was keeping pace.
The instruments in front of her had been wailing for quite some time, especially after a fairly large bit of debris took out an engine under her left wing. She was fine to fly without, especially as she didn't envision encountering any bogies out here, but it was frakking with her maneuverability, making her more vulnerable to another hit that might leave her spinning.
A high-pitched siren told her it was getting worse. Checking the read-outs, she saw the latest cause for concern—they were approaching the hard deck. A point of no return, the line below which most pilots didn't make it back. The nebula swirled before her, the red, yellow, blue of the clouds forming into concentric circles like the ones from her dreams. And through the eye of the storm, pointing directly at the point of no return she could see the barest glimpse of a planet. And that was where she needed to go.
"Lords of Kobol," she muttered, her grasp on her stick growing tighter, making her fingers ache. "Hear my prayer. Please let me see this through. Please let Lee see this through." She paused, releasing a breath. She had always thought praying for the things she really wanted was a bit too much like tempting fate. It was okay to pray for big picture things: surviving a dogfight, making it through another day on New Caprica. But to voice her deepest desires, to put them out into the universe where others might hear or see seemed too great a risk.
Until now. Until she literally had nothing else to lose. "I love him and I need him. Lords of Kobol, protect your son, Lee Adama, on this day. So say we all."
Inhaling a deep breath, Kara closed her eyes, picturing Lee's face, his blue eyes, the smile he shared with her and her alone. She remembered for just a moment the way his lips felt on hers, how it felt when he held her in comfort or passion. "I want that," she whispered aloud, finally. "I want him."
And then she pushed her stick forward and hit the hard deck.
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Lee had hoped with everything he had that Kara would pull back, that she wouldn't decide today was a good day to try on her suicidal tendencies and push her plane past the line. Truthfully, he'd known the odds weren't good—maybe one in ten thousand—that she'd pull back, but still, watching her push forward and disappear, her bird flashing out of existence in a burst of bright light that flooded his cockpit, made him want to retch inside his helmet.
"Apollo, Actual … you … hear …?"
Still in shock, Lee breathed deep, fighting back tears and dread. She couldn't be gone. He couldn't believe she was gone.
In fact, he knew she wasn't. Kara had wanted to come out here and she'd wanted him with her. And no matter how much they fought, Lee knew she'd never wish him dead. She wouldn't have dragged him out here to kill him, nor was she going to kill herself.
Ignoring the broken transmission from Galactica, Lee took a deep breath and released it, murmuring a prayer as he did so, something he never did. "Lords of Kobol, keep her safe and please, let me find her."
Then, he pushed his throttle forward, lining up his plane with her point of entry and pushed through the hard deck behind her.
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As soon as she'd pushed through, a bright burst of light had blinded her, making any attempt to steer irrelevant. Kara had simply ridden it out, eyes tightly shut behind her visor waiting until the roller coaster ride stopped. It culminated in the same feeling as being shot out of a launch tube and when Kara hesitantly opened one eye and then the other, she could see tranquil space even around the black dots that still cluttered her vision.
She sucked in a breath. It was beautiful. Kara had flown a few combat exercises around Picon in her academy days and more recently, she'd flown a Raptor down to Kobol after she'd returned with the arrow and gone in search of the tomb. She had seen plenty of planets from space before.
But none like this.
The planet hung in front of her, perfectly framed by her canopy, an atmosphere of white clouds swirling above a mostly blue surface with bits of dark green and brown peeking through.
Kara scanned her read-outs, checking for a breathable atmosphere. She had to get down there. This was why she'd come. A beeping from her console sounded drawing her attention.
Kara frowned. There was a signal coming from the planet, a beacon of some type it seemed, sounding from the middle of a fairly flat patch of land on the light side. With a shrug, Kara pointed her bird in that direction, set a course and let her Viper guide her in.
She must be insane. It was the only real explanation for her behavior in the past forty-eight hours. Kara had always been known for her willingness to fly a bit too close to the sun. She supposed it had been a way to stick it to her mother. A way to show her that she hadn't beaten Kara's spirit out of her, no matter how hard she'd hit.
She'd been reckless then. But her current bout of temporary insanity wasn't borne of recklessness, but something a lot scarier. The Oracle's words came back to her. Aurora and Apollo must walk hand in hand to bring light to the day. Light cast into the darkness removes the shadows and burns away the fog. You must embrace the light, Kara Thrace. It had everything to do with Lee.
As she descended into the outer edges of the atmosphere, she tried to reach him. "Lee? Apollo, do you copy?"
There was still static. Kara swallowed down a bubble of bile. She prayed he'd waited on the other side. She couldn't run the risk that he'd attempted to follow her and died in the attempt. She wouldn't be able to form a thought, let alone land her bird. And no matter how far she'd come in the past few months, if he died out here, she would be responsible and Kara knew she wouldn't survive that. The guilt would kill her.
The proximity alert beeped once, signaling it was time to focus on flying. Kara deployed her landing gear, skimming the upper atmosphere of the planet, looking for a suitable spot to land.
The waving grasses and the mountains in the distance were unmistakable. Kara recognized the field from her dream immediately. The only thing that didn't fit was the small craft, a Cylon heavy raider from the looks of it, sitting a few hundred meters from a stand of short trees. Swallowing hard, Kara did another scan, finding no other signs of civilization in the vicinity or any other types of tech.
Of course, she wouldn't. Because it was Leoben. And he was prideful enough to believe he didn't need back-up or air support to complete his mission. His mission of getting to Kara once again, maybe for good this time.
She swung out and over the clearing in a wide arc, and by the time she came back around, she could see him now, a small figure against the expanse of nature standing unarmed, with his face turned toward the sky—smiling.
Kara swallowed hard, fighting back a chill. She knew she shouldn't land. Just about every instinct in her told Kara to get a firing line on him and blast his sad carcass out of his boots. Satisfying as the thought was, she knew it wouldn't end this though. If she didn't confront him, he would still haunt her dreams. She would still look for him around corners, she, the Admiral and Lee would never be able to listen to a word Sam had to say from this point forward, always assuming he was speaking for Leoben through some type of Cylon connection.
No, this ended here. And she would end it.
Taking a deep breath, Kara began her landing sequence.
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He was still standing where she'd seen him, not bothering to venture closer. Kara kept him in her line of sight as she hauled herself up and out of her cockpit. Once on the wing, she chucked her helmet back onto the seat and then unzipped her flight suit tying the sleeves around her waist. Her gun was strapped to her belt. She'd already checked her clip before she even got up.
The air was fresh and clean. Kara drank in deep lung fulls, amazed at how it filled her and energized her, making her body feel more alert and alive. She had never felt this way on New Caprica. There a lung full of air was accompanied with a lung full of dust, leaving a gritty after taste that no amount of water, or the Chief's hooch could wash away.
The sun was bright, but not hot. It was a perfect spring day from what Kara could remember of the seasons and perfection. Not too hot, not too cold, a soft breeze caressing her skin as she climbed off the wing of her bird and took the jump to the ground, landing in a squat. Standing upright, Kara stretched her arms over her head, wiggling her fingers and toes, reveling in the amazing feeling of being alive. Gods, she hoped Lee had followed her in, he deserved to experience this.
She scanned the sky above, looking for any hint that he might be following her down, but the blue was unmarred by anything except white clouds. Kara forced her immediate disappointment down. It didn't mean he hadn't survived. He was still alive, probably panicking on the other side of the hard deck, waiting for her return. Just as soon as Kara was done here, she'd find him and bring him back. Maybe even kiss him under this beautiful sun on this beautiful day in this beautiful field.
"I knew you'd come."
Kara darted her eyes back to Leoben seeing that he had approached close enough so she could hear him, but not close enough to be within arm's reach. He looked much as the same as he had on New Caprica—spiky yellow hair, a placid expression capped off with that creepy grin. His clothes were more utilitarian than she remembered, no flowered shirt. Instead, just a set of gray cargoes and a long sleeve black shirt. Her preliminary assessment proved correct—he wasn't armed. Still, Kara didn't relax.
"I'm not here for you," she told him, willing her heart to stop racing. She was in control now. This wasn't New Caprica and it sure as hell wasn't some random dream.
He tilted his head to one side as though considering her statement and then tsked from the back of his throat. "Yes, you are. You're here because you knew I would be. Because we were destined to meet on Earth."
Kara blinked once, twice, swallowing hard, certain she'd misheard him. "What did you say?"
He smiled wider, extending his arms out to his sides as though to encompass the entire field they stood in and told her, "Welcome to Earth, Kara. You've found it."
"You're lying," she intoned, unwilling to believe another of Leoben's lies only to find her entire world again in shambles at her feet.
"Why would I, Kara?" He took another few steps forward, still not within touching distance, but Kara backed up a step anyway. "Why would I lie? This is the thirteenth colony, the original home of the thirteenth tribe and you have found it. You have brought your people here. And together, we will lead them in prosperity."
She snorted. "Together? I thought you understood that was never going to happen," she told him. Kara dropped her hand to her sidearm. She wasn't quite ready to pull it, but she wanted to be reminded it was there.
"Why else would you have listened to Sam and come here to find me?"
"I didn't come here to find you, I came to—"
She paused, uncertain how to finish. Why had she come? Because something had called to her? Maybe it had been Leoben. Maybe it was his assertion, relayed through Sam, that she was the only person who could find him.
Maybe all of this was still some elaborate plan; a game Leoben had been playing with her life for longer than she could remember.
A pop startled them both and Kara looked up, squinting against the sun to make out a small dot against the blue sky. As it grew in size and shape, she felt an immense weight lift off her chest; it was a Viper, it was Lee's Viper. He'd made it.
"He doesn't understand you, Kara."
She glared at Leoben as he spoke. She'd let her guard down and now he was standing close enough to reach her. With a suddenness she wasn't prepared for, he seized her by the arms, gripping so tight she knew she'd have bruises. "I'm the only person who will ever understand you, Kara. Your pain, your sadness, your need to be loved. You must know that by now."
Kara swallowed hard, tracking the descent of Lee's bird over Leoben's shoulder. With all of her might, she pulled away from him, bringing up a fist to connect solidly with his jaw as he stumbled away from her, off balance and startled by her sudden movement.
Leoben straightened, wiping blood from his jaw, his eyes no longer holding their look of patient condescension, instead tinged with anger. "Why must you reject our love, Kara?"
"I don't love you and I will never love you," she told him, voice tight as she forced the words out. She wasn't going to listen to this anymore. A few months ago, she might have actually believed him, actually believed she wasn't worthy of anything but the false love borne of a machine's obsession. She knew better now.
Pulling out her sidearm, she aimed at him as he took another step forward. "Say goodbye, Leoben."
He raised his hands in front of him. "Kara, think about this. There is resurrection ship nearby. If you kill me now in a fit of pique, I won't be able to come back to you. You'll go through the rest of life unloved, misunderstood, unaware of the plan God has for you."
Kara shook her head once. In some ways she could almost pity him. But then she thought of Kacey and New Caprica and Sam and she didn't feel anything but anger. "I already am loved, Leoben, by a man a hundred times better than you. And you can tell your god to frak off."
She ended his lies with a bullet to the head. As she lowered her gun, she heard Lee call her name, but she didn't answer him, just sank to her knees in the grass, laying her gun at her side and heaved a heavy sigh.
It was over.
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Lee heard the gunshot just as he hit the ground. His entire body froze for a second, the air in his lungs gone in a rush of adrenaline and fear that maybe Kara hadn't been the one to deliver the decisive shot.
He ran toward her, sprinting through the tall grass, barely aware of the beauty of the scene around him, only aware that while Leoben wasn't moving, Kara wasn't either. He'd seen her hit the ground, down on her knees, face buried in her hands. He willed his body to run faster. He'd caught a glimpse of their tense stand-off as he'd circled once above before settling down to land, but he wouldn't trust that Kara had persevered until he could see her and touch her and know that she was whole.
His legs burned with the effort of sprinting. As he reached her side, he all but stumbled in the grass, falling down beside her, hands out, ready to do something to assure himself that she was okay.
"Kara, are you hurt? Talk to me." He placed his hands on her either side of her face, tilting her head back so he could see her. Her eyes were closed but he could see the track of tears on her cheeks, a few drops stuck in her lashes. "Kara?"
And then she opened her eyes and Lee felt his breath rush out of him for the second time in as many minutes. Her hazel eyes sparkled, making it obvious she wasn't crying tears of pain, but happiness. She mimicked his gesture, placing her hands to his cheeks, her palms warm against his skin.
"You made it through?" she whispered, fingers fluttering along his hairline, across his jaw and down his neck until she finally rested her hands against his shoulders. "I thought maybe—"
"We both made it through, Kara." He smiled at her, his own relief threatening to choke him.
Her smile deepened into one of actual joy, a look that had been missing from her face for far too long and then she pushed herself forward, arms winding around his neck and kissed him. Lee sighed with relief and contentment and kissed her back, arms wrapping around her back, pulling them together. He licked against her lips with his tongue and she opened her mouth to him, even as he felt the corners of her mouth turn up in a smile. Lee found her tongue, eagerly entangling it with his own.
Maybe it was the fresh air or the sun or just the unmitigated joy of knowing everything was finally okay, but Lee knew in that moment that they were going to be all right. She pulled back from him, panting lightly against his cheek as she fought for breath. Her hands played with the hair at the nape of his neck and Lee simply squeezed her tighter, making sure there wasn't an inch of wasted space between them.
"It's over, Lee. He's gone and … it's over," she murmured against his skin, finally leaning all of her weight against him as she released a sigh.
"I know, Kara." He pressed a kiss against her temple, rubbing circles along her back, hardly able to process how amazing it felt to hold her like this, when she was so relaxed and soft in his arms.
"Oh, and Lee?" She pressed a kiss to the underside of his jaw, before pulling back far enough so she could meet his gaze.
He smiled at her as she returned the grin once again overwhelmed with gratitude that they were both alive. "What is it, Kara?"
"Two things," she said, holding up her pointer finger as she leaned back against his arms and let him support her. "One, welcome to Earth."
He blinked, doing a quick scan of their unbelievable surroundings: blue sky, green grass, a faint breeze, the sound of some type of insects buzzing, the smell of fresh dirt and new life. "What?"
"I don't trust Leoben on most things," Kara said, not even bothering to look in the direction of the dead cylon's body. "But he did say one thing that I think he might actually be right about. This is Earth."
"Oh my gods." Lee could barely believe it, although like Kara, he did, despite the information's source. "Kara, you found Earth!" he exclaimed, squeezing her tighter again. Barely thinking, Lee pulled them both to their feet and then lifted Kara in his arms, swinging her around. She let out a shout of joy, arms wrapped tightly around his shoulders, face buried against his neck.
As he set her feet back on the ground, he pushed a stray lock of hair behind her ear, dragging his fingers against the soft skin of her cheek. He could see that with her fair skin, she would suntan easily. Her cheeks were already a little pink from just this minor exposure. He had a sudden vision of Kara, skin a light shade of brown, hacking down trees and building cabins for the colonists to live in. And Lee right beside her.
"I'm pretty amazing, aren't I?" she asked as a tease, giggling softly to let him know it was a rhetorical question.
But not for Lee. "Yeah, Kara. You're amazing," he breathed sincerely, tilting her face up to meet his and kissing her again. This one was softer and sweeter than the first one, a longer, slower exploration, passion building quickly as Kara opened her mouth to him again, swirling her tongue against his and pulling their bodies flush as they continued to kiss. Gods, he wanted to frak her right now on the ground, on Earth, propriety be damned. It had never worked for Lee to be all that proper with Kara in the past.
They broke again for air, but this time, they barely separated. Kara's hands were everywhere, her fingers light against his skin as they glided over his face and neck and then down the front of his flight suit. She undid the zipper there, pushing the stiff fabric back off his shoulders, her hands returning to explore the skin of his arms. Lee returned her touches, hands gliding down her arms, stopping to gently trace the outline of finger shaped bruises Leoben had left there. Lifting her arm up, he placed a soft kiss against the abraded skin, barely more than a bus of his lips. He trailed the kisses from her upper arms to her shoulder, dragging his mouth against her skin, up the side of her neck before pressing a kiss to the skin just below her ear. He nipped at the spot, laving his tongue over it to take away the sting, but Kara barely seemed to notice. She mewled softly from the back of her throat, pressing her body back into his, one hand placed gently, but firmly against the back of his head, encouraging him to continue. Lee obliged, knowing he'd leave a mark, and not caring. Apparently, Kara didn't either.
"Mmm, Lee," Kara breathed against his ear, lips brushing against his cheek as she hummed again while he kept his lips firmly planted against her skin.
"Mmmm?" he replied, not quite willing to interrupt his task; she tasted too good.
"There's one other thing. Don't you, ah … don't you want to know about the other thing?"
He could give a rat's ass what other thing Kara wanted to tell him, but if it was important enough for her to remember now, in the midst of this, he was willing to listen. Pulling back reluctantly, he brought his mouth to hers, kissing her again, a full-mouthed kiss that kept them from speaking for another few minutes.
Only when he needed a breath, did Lee pull away from her, their bodies still connected from shoulder to knee, his arms still wrapped around her back, one hand at her waist, his pointer finger having found the soft skin of her back under her tanks, gently rubbing back and forth, while his other hand supported her at her shoulder, keeping her locked against him. "Okay, Kara, what's the other thing?" he whispered, lips brushing against the shell of her ear.
"Well," Kara murmured, leaning back slightly to meet his gaze. Her expression was soft, unguarded, but confident. It was an expression he'd seen from her maybe once or twice before in all of their years of knowing one another. Lee felt such a ridiculous surge of happiness for her that she could be in this peaceful place finally. She deserved it.
Placing a palm against his cheek, Kara locked eyes with him and Lee's breath hitched in his throat; she was really going to do it. "I love you," she told him softly, her faint smile breaking into a wide grin as he smiled back at her. "I love you, Lee Adama."
The happiness he'd felt magnified tenfold in that moment and he knew he'd never forget it for as long as he lived, which was going to be a gods-damned long time with Kara beside him on this new Earth she had found while they had been finding their way back to one another.
"I love you, Kara," he answered her and then he kissed her again, and new Earth or no, neither Lee nor Kara was aware of much else for quite some time.
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A/N 2: The End or … ? Let me know what you think!