He couldn't concentrate. Everything was falling apart. His son and daughter both betrayed him. For that woman. Why? He should have expected that from Lee-Those two had been close since the attacks. But Kara?
He should have been focusing on the mission. But all he could think about was those eyes. She looked disappointed. Like she expected him to kowtow to her like his children had. She was locked in his brig, but her eyes had followed him. He couldn't escape them.
"You have the comm, Col. I'm gonna talk to our prisoner."
"In the middle of a battle?" Bill gave Saul his Adama Glare, and Saul backpedaled. "Yes, Sir."
Bill walked to the brig. He didn't know why he was going. He just knew he needed to go there. Face those eyes.
He entered the brig. The President had already made herself comfortable, sitting on the cot like she was in a country club instead of a cell. In all his years of service, Bill had never been on the other side of those bars. He had no idea what was going through her head. She didn't look any different than she did in her office on Colonial One. Was the woman ever out of her element?
"Commander Adama, shouldn't you be in the CIC?"
"You gonna tell me what to do on my ship!?"
She rolled her eyes. "I'm just surprised you're here during a battle."
"Col. Tigh can handle it."
"I'm sure he can." She paused. "Doesn't explain why you're here."
"What do you care about the battle?"
She threw up her hands. "Just because I made a different choice doesn't mean I don't care about your mission."
"How'd you do it?"
"Get Starbuck to follow you."
"You used my lie, you mean. You swore you'd keep that to yourself." He didn't raise his voice above a whisper. Instead, he shot her the Adama Glare, which made even Saul flinch. It didn't seem to work on her.
"The circumstances changed."
He sneered. "Your visions?"
"Yes, my visions."
"Why would she follow you blindly?"
Laura shook her head. "She didn't. She's unfailingly loyal to you, Commander."
"I told her the truth. You didn't. It's as simple as that."
"And what is this truth I keep hearing about?"
"The truth is you won't have to deal with me for much longer. Six months on the outside." Bill blinked, stunned. He looked at her for a sign of emotion; there was none, and she continued, "The truth is my visions point to the existence of Earth and that I'll live just long enough to lead us there. The truth is I hope you have enough foresight not to jeopardize humanity's only chance at survival because you're mad at me."
Laura relaxed a little on the cot, looking at him expectantly. "How do you know I won't just keep you in here till you die?"
"I don't." She sighed. "It would be bad for you if you did that, though."
"Really? Why's that?"
"I'm going to start getting sicker. Much sicker. The quorum and the press are going to demand to see me soon enough. How do you think they'll react to the knowledge that you're holding a dying woman in prison? Especially one who seems to be fulfilling the Pythian prophesy?"
"Do you think I give a frak about public opinion?"
"I do, actually. And that's not the point. When I'm dead, you'll be the one running the fleet. The people need to know they can trust you. Holding me and withholding our one chance at survival isn't going to help your cause."
He opened his mouth to speak, but Laura kept going. "And I know how much you care for Lt. Thrace. I refuse to believe you'd let her risk her life for nothing."
Bill growled. "You let her risk her life. If she dies, that's on your hands."
"You're right. Her death would be on me. The funny thing about dying is I don't seem to mind having those things on my conscience. But she won't die. She'll get that arrow, and it'll lead us to Earth."
He looked down. "You're right. I wouldn't let Kara's risks be for nothing."
She smiled at him. "I know."
"Are you comfortable? I mean, do you need your medicine?"
The disappointment in her face had faded away. "If you'd let Billy bring them to me, that'll be great." She paused. "I doubt you'd want to deal with my chamalla withdraw."
"And Dr. Cottle?"
She gave him a sad smile. "He can't save me."
"Now, isn't there a battle going on? I bet they need their commander in the CIC."
He knew that was her way of dismissing him. He decided to follow her implied order. "Yes, Madame President."
Bill walked out the hatch and down the corridor. He was even more confused than when he had entered the brig. What was he going to do with her? And why did the knowledge of her eventual death hurt so bad? He realized he hadn't even asked her what was wrong. They'd have to discuss it later.
The scene before him was restrained jubilee. Bill returned just in time to learn Boomer and Racetrack successfully destroyed the basestar. They were returning home.
Bill could worry about rescuing his people from Kobol. He'd decide what to do with President Roslin and his son later. What would he do with Lee? He supposed if Lee was acting in Roslin's defense-did he know she was sick?-then he couldn't really punish him, especially if he released Roslin and reinstated her. He'd have to talk to Cottle about her fitness for duty. At the very least, he couldn't let the woman die in his brig.
He approached Saul. "Sit rep."
"Mission success, sir."
"Excellent. You can debrief Boomer and Racetrack. I'm going to talk to Apollo."
Bill moved to where his son stood, cuffed. He faced his son. "We need to talk."
Lee looked surprised. "You want to talk to a mutineer?"
"I want to talk to my son."
Lee looked away. "What do you want, dad?"
"You knew, didn't you?"
"That she was sick."
Lee nodded. "She told me weeks ago. That's not why I did it, though."
"You can't arrest the President because she makes a bad call."
Bill realized he was proud of his son. He was still angry, though. "Maybe you're right."
"What are going to do?"
"I don't know."
"You can't let her die in there."
They stood there, facing each other. Lee had made a stand. Bill had to respect that. It wasn't the stand he would have chosen for his son, but even he could understand Lee's reasoning for it. It seemed Lee was the only one who remembered the oath he'd taken. He was the only one who acted lawfully, and yet, he was in cuffs. Bill wasn't sure where Roslin, Lee, and he would go from there. Reconciliation wouldn't be easy-for any of them.
Bill turned his attention back to Saul, who was greeting Boomer and Racetrack. He watched as Saul shook both of their hands and congratulated them. Then Boomer discharged her weapon, shooting Saul twice in the chest. It happened so quickly, no one had time to react. Bill and Lee rushed to the table where Saul lay. Dee was there too. They held his hands and tried to slow the bleeding.
The marines arrested Boomer, and Bill shouted orders without thinking. Most of his focus was on his best friend. Saul had to live. He just had to.