Hello! I'm actually a bit nervous posting this, as this is an experimental piece. I originally wrote a segment that formed this story as a part of a cross-over story (not posted) between BSG and the world of my own fic, (if you're interested to read my fic please visit my fictionpress page under the same name). There was a lot of re-writing done on this to detach it from that story.
Again, because this is an experiment, I wouldn't say this is a proper sequel to "In Your Arms", but the character building and back story were from that story, so if you haven't read it, please do as there would be a little bit of reference to it in this story.
Takes place after the exodus from New Caprica. Spoilers from all over.
In this story Galactica finally met Pegasus after events in "In Your Arms", and eventually found New Caprica during one of their missions to scout for food supply.
I hope you enjoy it.
Disclaimer: I do not own BSG and/or its characters.
"You'd be great, Starbuck" Karl stared at her with pleading eyes.
"Oh no, you don't get to do that… not on me" Kara threw her gaze away.
"I really need your help here, I have no one else to ask" he pleaded.
"How about Cally?"
"She's on duty"
Kara sighed and turned to face her friend again. He was telling the truth, he had no one else to ask, not anyone he could trust anyway.
"I wouldn't be asking if it wasn't urgent. Athena only found out this morning that she'd be going on a mission. Not enough time to find a replacement"
"Gods! You're stubborn. Have you asked Lee?" she stomped her feet.
"No, I wanted to ask you first"
She drew her hands to the side of her hips, and held her gaze at her pleading friend.
"Fine" she caved in.
"Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I owe you one" he squeezed her hands.
"BIG one" she reminded him.
"This is a one off, Helo" she warned him before he could say anything else.
"Hera is going to love you" he smiled sweetly at her, but his eyes were apologetic.
"Doubt it" she murmured under her breath, and said a silent goodbye to her R&R.
"What the frak?" Lee came into their quarter welcomed by the wailing sound of a crying toddler.
"Good! You're home. Here! Take it! I need to take a walk before I go insane" she handed the little girl in her arms to him before stomping off, leaving Lee confused, standing by the hatch with a toddler in his arms.
"Wait! Starbuck?" he called out to her, but she quickly disappeared around the corner.
I don't do kids! Her mind screamed. She felt the frustration when Hera wouldn't stop crying, she just wanted some quiet time. But all effort had failed. She tried feeding her, singing to her, reading to her, playing with her, but nothing worked. By then her frustration was at a dangerous level and she couldn't be in the room for much longer.
"Captain" the Chief nodded at her as she entered his office. One look at the pissed off Starbuck, he poured a serving of his brew and handed it to her. Without delay she knocked it back and asked for more.
"Do I want to know?" Galen was careful.
"Hera" she simply said.
"I'm surprised Helo managed to convince you" he gave her that knowing look.
"Couldn't say no" she knocked the clear liquid back. Karl would have come to help her no matter what if she asked. She couldn't say no to him, especially after he had exhausted all his other possible options.
"Where is Hera now?" Galen asked while silently offering another, but Kara shook her head.
"With Lee. I just needed some air before I…" she couldn't finish her sentence as guilt washed over her. Hera had not done anything wrong to her, so why was she this angry?
"It's normal… the anger and frustration… it's expected" he told her.
"I'm a pilot, for frak's sake. I fly vipers and shoot Cylons! Heck! I turned down the job as XO, didn't I? I wouldn't be able to handle it…" she continued on with her complaints. When she finished, she took another shot of the Chief's brew and went back out after saying thank you to the man.
"Feeling better?" Lee asked from across the room as she entered. There was no more crying, Hera was asleep in the little corner she made up for her this morning.
"Much. Thanks" she muttered. Lee grabbed her hand and sat her down next to him.
"Want to talk about it?" he kept his hand on hers while looking into her eyes. Kara's eyes shifted to Hera who was peacefully asleep by then. She rested her head on Lee's shoulder as she sank into the curve of his arms. She didn't want to talk about it, but Lee knew that already, he was asking just in case she needed to.
It had been three months since the battle of New Caprica, since she broke free from the gods forsaken hell of hers, and the endless nightmares Leoben had put her through. If only she wasn't doing supply run on that fateful day when the Cylons found them, she'd be aboard Pegasus with Lee, and she'd be fighting to free her people instead of being the one in need of rescuing.
The death of Admiral Cain, Commander Fisk, and Commander Garner had landed Lee the responsibility of the Commander of the Pegasus. Soon after the Colonials settled on New Caprica, Kara transferred to the beast to be with Lee. The position XO was offered to her, but she politely refused, having loved flying more than anything else. She took the role of Pegasus CAG instead, and did a good job despite the lack of enthusiasm for paperwork that came with the title.
At the event of Exodus, Lee had sacrificed Pegasus and gave his people and Galactica a fighting chance, successfully escaping New Caprica, and once again made home in Galactica and be reunited with Kara. But the time she spent locked up in Leoben's frakked up cell had done damage to her, she barely function when Sam once again saved her life and took her aboard Galactica.
Lee, Sam and Karl had somehow came with a silent agreement to keep an eye on her. It frustrated her to no end that they felt the need to babysit her that she gave Lee a black eye when he hovered a little too close.
"I don't want to" she finally answered, letting Lee's arms enveloped her body as she watched Hera. Lee kissed the top of her head as he held her.
Kara understood why they left, why they jumped away when the Cylons came. Heck, the Admiral had them run emergency drills so often that when shit hit the fan, she was sure everyone went on autopilot mode and performed the emergency procedure spotlessly. She would have met them at the rendezvous point if she wasn't captured while trying to get to her raptor. She didn't blame anyone when it came to it, not even Showboat, who was supposed to be down there instead of Kara. It was Showboat's shift that put Kara on the planet side that day, she was ill and Kara took her shift.
When Kara didn't come within 48 hours of the emergency jump, Lee feared the worst. There was not a day went by without him begging the gods to bring her home safely. He formed a unique friendship with Karl over this mutual friend, and shared their worries. By then Karl took the position of Galactica's XO and was promoted to Captain. He married Sharon, who was sworn in to serve the Colonial military and later took after the callsign Athena.
Starbuck came back on Galactica an angry woman, she was bruised and beaten, but feistier than ever. Sam had described their escape from the tower to the raptor as gruesome. Kara had no mercy on those skinjobs, when her guns ran out of ammo, she'd impaled them with whatever sharp or dull object she found around her, and no matter how many times she was hit, even with the superior power of the Cylons, she kept coming back at them like a woman possessed. The only model she hesitated to kill was the eights, in relation to Sharon, but she only hesitated for a second before she brutally killed them.
Lee had held her close when she came back on Galactica, repeatedly saying he was sorry, and once again thanking Anders for saving her. Kara didn't say much, she turned quiet most days, and taking out her anger on punching bag and alcohol. She had slept on separate bed from lee for the first two weeks, not trusting herself being around people without hurting them.
And then there was Kacey…. The only person who managed to break Kara into tears everytime she thought of her. Kara missed her, and she hated Leoben for what he did, well… hate was an understatement. There was nothing she could do, Kacey was back with her real mother, where she supposed to be. All Kara was left with was a gaping hole in her heart as she learned the truth.
Lee's arms around her reminded her that Lee was not aware about what happened down in New Caprica. He asked, numerous times… so did Karl, and so did the Admiral, but each time she pushed back harder, not exposing any details on her capture. Even on her official report she only gave the Admiral the basic rundown of what happened. Taking back the role of CAG, Lee had grounded her for the first four weeks, until at least she didn't have the urge to deck her fellow pilots for no reason.
By the sixth week, Lee stopped asking, he figured she'd tell him when she was ready. But it didn't escape his attention that despite her lack of interest on Hera, she held a longing look when she watched her.
"Why don't we?" he whispered.
"Why don't we what?" Kara met his gaze and followed the trail to the sight of the sleeping toddler.
"Not now, Lee. We can't possibly start now. It's not a good time with the Cylons chasing us"
"There will never be a good time, Kara. Cylons will always be chasing us"
"People need us. We can't abandon my duty" she quickly replied.
"And we never will! It doesn't mean that we're throwing away our responsibilities. If we let the Cylons hold us back from what is rightfully ours, then why are we still fighting?"
She stared at him, searching for something in that captivating blue eyes. They had conversations about their future when they were still orbiting New Caprica, the possibility of a family was there. Starbuck made it very clear that it was still a possibility, but it wasn't beyond reach.
Her mind went back to Kacey, oh the little blonde beauty who stole her heart. She grew to love the little soul, only to lose her again. No, she couldn't, not now…
She withdrew herself from Lee, keeping her head down, but keeping one hand on his thigh.
"I'm not ready, Lee" her voice softened before she went to sit by Hera.
"Thanks again, Kara" Karl expressed his gratitude when he picked Hera up. It was the second time Karl had asked Kara to babysit.
"What did I say about this being a one-off, again?" she smirked.
"I know… I know… Trust me, I wouldn't have asked if I could ask someone else" he took the sleeping Hera from her arms, gently rocking her as the toddler made a little noise.
Kara symphatized him, he looked exhausted, worn… stressed… not the usual Karl she knew.
"Is everything alright?" she was concerned. He sighed, his shoulders slumped slightly as he squeezed his eyes before opening them again.
"Exhausted. There's something going around in Dogsville… people are getting sick"
"I'm sorry to hear that, Helo"
"Thanks" he added a smile.
"Hey…" she paused for a second, "If… you know… IF you can't find anyone else to babysit, and I'm free… You're welcome to bring Hera around" Karl was going to tease, but he was too tired.
"Thank you… I really appreciate it"
Kara pursed her lips together and nodded before parting with them.
"What were you trying to prove?" Lee was half shouting. They haven't even made it into the CAG's office yet and an argument had erupted.
"Nothing! It was an accident!"
"Then tell me why your nuggets and my two raptor pilots are in the lifestation?"
"Stop being a drama king! They passed all my ground tests!" she raised her voice.
"Enough!" they only just realized then that the Admiral had entered the office. Both of them snapped into position at the sight of the Old Man.
"Now someone tell me why I have damage birds and three pilots in lifestation?" he demanded.
Both Kara and Lee started to speak together but another bark from the Admiral shut them up.
"I want you to explain, Captain. You were there when it happened" he held his gaze at Kara.
"There was an avionic problem with Racetrack's raptor, Sir. It spiraled out of control towards us. I ordered my squad to break, which they did, apart from Amber, who froze. I had to push her out of the way so I shot her, she propelled towards Sonic and hit him, but both nuggets ejected before the collision. Racetrack and Skulls managed to get their raptor back under control, but Skulls was injured during the ordeal. The nuggets are uninjured, Sir"
"A pilot who froze…" Bill repeated. Kara twitched it was as bad as it sounded.
There was a tense moment as the three of then stood quietly in the CAG's office before siren blared loudly throughout every corner of Galactica.
"Action station! Action station! Set condition one throughout the ship. This is not a drill"
All three cursed as the voice blared through the speaker, followed by the deafening horn. Without delay, they ran out of the office.
"What happened out there?" Kat demanded answers as Kara exited her viper.
"What? I saved your ass"
"You almost frakking kill me!" Kat advanced towards the taller woman. Lee immediately grabbed onto Kat's arms as she put another step forward and ready to throw a punch.
"Cool it, you two! I'm not in the mood to send anyone to the brig! We're alive, leave it at that" Lee stood between the two furious women.
"Kat, she did save you. Might not be gentle, but she did, just be thankful" he turned towards Kat before he went to seek Kara's eyes.
"And you… what the frak is going on?"
"We're all alive, leave it at that? Wasn't like that an hour ago" she spat back at him before turning away. Lee grabbed her arm before she had a chance to leave. It only visible to him then, the exhaustion in her face, the growing bag under her eyes, the tiredness overlooming her, how could he miss it?
"Kara… are you okay? You've been… different" his voice softened.
"I'm fine" she quickly said.
"Get yourself to Cottle…"
"I'm fine" she snarled.
"There is a Mellorak infection going around in this ship, Kara. Please get yourself to Cottle" he insisted.
"Stop it, Lee. I have CAP in half hour and I'm planning to get a bit of rest beforehand" she moved away from him. She knew by the time they turn in that night things would go back to normal again, it always had.
"Yo Captain! Join us for a game?" Hotdog yelled out from his seat. Kara gave him a weak grin, she just finished her CAP and somehow feeling more exhausted than usual. She could barely sleep last night, and by the time she finally managed to doze off, her alarm woke her up.
"Not today, kids"
"What's the matter, Starbuck? Scared we'd beat you?" Kat remarked. Kara stopped and turned towards the younger woman.
"Not in a million years. Deal the cards" Kat snorted, which didn't go unnoticed. Kara went to grab a seat from the next table, but as soon as she lifted it, she put it down again as her knees wobbled, her hand went to the back of Sharon's chair to support her weight.
"Frak!" she cursed under her breath.
"Hey, you okay? Not drunk already, are you?" Sharon turned in her seat.
"Nope… I'm good" Kara whispered. Perhaps I really should visit Cottle. She shook her head and made another attempt at lifting the empty chair, but she never made it. As soon as she bent to lift, her world went black, a thud followed as she hit the ground.
"Starbuck?" Sharon dropped her cards and rushed to her side.
To be continued...