"No one can coerce Starbuck. Believe me, I've tried."

Bill Adama knew his friend was wrong, but he had no idea just how wrong he was.

12 hours earlier:

Kara was shaken after her meeting with the President. The woman was dying and she seemed fearless about it. The schoolteacher was quite the trooper. Kara wanted President Roslin to be lying, crazy, or both, particularly about the Old Man. Roslin was neither, it seemed. The Old Man was a liar.

Kara found herself docking on Colonial One's landing bay. She didn't have an appointment, but she had no trouble getting through the security detail. It wasn't long before she was standing in front of the President's desk, feeling out of her element.

Laura wasn't surprised to see the pilot. In fact, she anticipated her visit after what she knew would be a traumatic discovery. "Lt. Thrace."

"You were right, sir."

Laura nodded. She knew it had taken a lot out of Kara to admit that. "And what do you think about the prophesy, now?"

"It's still crazy, but that doesn't mean it's not true."

Laura smiled. "My thoughts exactly."

"I can't believe he lied to me."

"He had his reasons."

"But you told me the truth."

Laura smirked. "I'm surprisingly honest for a politician."

"Except for your little secret."

Laura's mask started to break a bit.

"Don't worry, sir. I'll keep your secret."

"Thank you, Lt."

"I'm sorry."

"What for?"

"That you're dying."

Laura didn't know what to say to that. She never did. That was probably part of the reason she'd told so few people. However, she sensed Kara Thrace didn't know what to say either. It was awkward for both of them. "Thank you, Kara."

"If I do this, what'll happen?"

Laura gave a wistful smile. "My prophesies only show so much."

"You're pretty smart. Take a guess."

Laura sighed. She had thought of the likely consequences of their actions, and they weren't pretty. "Commander Adama will be angry with you. And even angrier with me. He'll likely suspect it was me who coerced you."

At the word 'coerced,' Kara snorted. "What's funny, Starbuck?"

"No one coerces me."



"Me neither."

They exchanged a look. The similarities between them were lost on neither woman.

"He'll suspect you, and then what?"

"I'm sure you can see where it'll go. You know protocol. He'll likely confront me-"

"And you'll come clean; since, you apparently don't lie good."

"I lie well enough, but you're right. There wouldn't be much sense in lying, anyway."

"The Old Man's smart like that."

"I noticed."

"He'll want to arrest you."

"I'll let him."

"You'll do time in hack?"

"I'll do what I must."

Kara was moved by Laura's drive. She felt an urge to hug the woman. Kara usually didn't do hugs. The Adamas were an exception to that-and Laura apparently. As she usually acted on her impulses, Kara moved to the President and threw her arms around her in a tight hug.

If Laura was surprised, she didn't act it. She returned the hug.

"I'm sorry you're dying," Kara said in a whisper.

"You said that. Thank you."

"It's not right."

"No, it's not. But it's the role I seem to be playing."

"I wish I could do something."

"You can. Bring me the arrow. I'll do the rest."

"That's for the fleet not you."

"I don't think about myself much."

"Let me help with that."

Kara kissed her on one cheek and then the other, testing the waters. Laura made no resistance or protest, so Kara kissed her mouth. When Laura responded, Kara felt the woman's spirit and strength.

When they broke for air, Laura said, "I think you should come with me, Lt."

Laura led Kara into her private quarters. When they were safely behind the privacy curtain. Kara latched onto Laura again. She wanted to feel something before risking everything, and she wanted Laura to remember what it meant to be a person. The woman had been swallowed up by her responsibilities and her destiny. Kara wanted to help her find Laura Roslin, the very warm-blooded woman underneath the power suit and the veil of responsibility.

When they broke apart, Laura undressed herself. She clearly didn't trust Kara with her suit. Kara thought that was wise, as she let her own uniform pieces land haphazardly on the floor. Kara watched Laura. She was different from the women she'd known in the service. Her body wasn't toned from the fleet's mandatory fitness regime, but she was in good shape anyway. Kara knew Laura was much older, but it didn't matter. She looked great. And healthy. If Kara didn't know otherwise, she'd have never suspected the truth.

"See something you like, Lt?"

"Yes, sir."

"You gonna do something about it?"

Kara wanted to do lots of things. She took Laura's hand and led her to the makeshift bed. The sight of it angered Kara. Her own rack was much better than what the dying President had been sleeping on.

As they sat side by side, Laura sensed Kara's apprehension. "What's wrong, Kara?"

"Your bed sucks."

Laura smiled. Kara's candor was so refreshing. "Yes, it does."

"Why don't you-"

"I couldn't do that."

Laura's quiet resolve moved Kara. She felt so many things, but she didn't know how to express any of them. She sensed Laura understood anyway. It was kind of scary but mostly sexy.

Kara laid Laura down on the bed, and then she straddled her. Kara moved her hands up to cup Laura's breasts. "Which one?"

"The left."

"Does it hurt?"

Laura shook her head. Kara's ministrations felt good. She was very gentle. Kara lowered her mouth to the left one, gently nibbling and licking the flesh. Laura moaned in pleasure.


Laura nodded.

Kara kept doing it, encouraged by Laura's moans and hums. She'd never had such a vocal lover. It turned Kara on.

Laura surprised Kara by reaching up to touch her. Laura's hands and fingers were so soft against her breasts-much softer than her own. Kara let out a moan.

"Good?" Laura asked.

"Really frakkin good."


Kara moved between Laura's legs. She mourned the loss of Laura's caresses for a second, but there'd be more of that later. It had been awhile since Kara had been with a woman-she'd dated or frakked only men for the last few years.

"You're so beautiful."

"Oh, please. I'm an old dying woman."

"Don't remind me."

"That I'm old?"

"That you're dying."

"We're all dying, Kara. My time is just being quantified more accurately."

Kara nodded. "This is crazy."

Laura giggled at that. "Frakking the President probably is."

"I meant us talking."

"You don't talk much in bed?"

"Not really, no."

"Me neither."


"I haven't actually frakked in a bed in a long time, come to think of it."

Kara snorted. "It's a shame your first time has to be in such a shitty bed."

"We'll have to use your rack next time."

The unlikelihood of what Laura said dawned on them both. They were silent for awhile.

"I'll make it good for you."

"I know you will, Lt. Thrace."

Kara lowered her head down to Laura's mound. As her tongue entered Laura's folds, Laura moaned. It had been so long.

Kara kept pushing in and pulling out. Laura's hips met her with each thrust.

When Laura came, Kara moved back up Laura's body, spooning behind her.

"It's your turn."

"No. This was for you."


"Next time, sir."

Laura nodded. "Thank you, Lt."

"That godsdamn arrow better be worth it."