lizziec: (BSG - Apollo & Starbuck (Final cut))
[personal profile] lizziec
Title: Just Listen
Author: [livejournal.com profile] trappermcintyre
Summary: Conversations overheard.
Characters: Lee and Kara, with an appearance from Dee
Rating: PG-13 I think
Warnings: None
Prompt: Eavesdropping
Beta Thanks: Thanks to the patient and helpful [livejournal.com profile] pressdbtwnpages who did an awesome job.
Author Notes: This was written for [livejournal.com profile] embolalia over on [livejournal.com profile] pilots_presents for their summer gift exchange. Originally posted here.

It has got to be her. This thing is flying with some serious attitude.

It was late in Galactica’s artificial night but Lee, despite being off shift, was wide awake. His mind was busy, unable to stop going over the events of the previous few days. The thousandth landing. Happiness that had turned to ashes with the deaths of all those pilots. The argument that had started about the nuggets but was really about Zak. Nearly losing Kara all together. The elation of realising she was still alive...

He’d been attempting to sleep now for hours and was sick of staring at the dull grey walls of his bunk and just thinking. Lee knew instinctively what the problem was. Weeks on Galactica had taught him to be able to recognise each pilot he shared a room with just from the tone and sound of their breathing and tonight Kara’s was missing. Logically he knew she was safe. He’d seen her, joked with her, but he knew that right now he needed to be near her.

Finally giving up on even the pretence of resting, Lee dressed and exited the bunk room silently with a pack of well thumbed cards in his pocket in case she was awake and in need of something to think about that was unrelated to the moon or her knee. Kicking Lee’s ass at cards always seemed to make her feel better and he was sure she’d need that soon.

He’d tried to visit her earlier, not long after she’d been taken to sickbay but his visit had coincided with his father’s. Unwilling to share the visit with his father Lee had moved to make a quick exit, but not before he’d overheard his father and the Doc talking about Kara’s knee. Even to his untrained ear it sounded serious. He knew she wouldn’t even be approaching a Viper for a long time, and no one who really knew Kara could doubt what that would do to her.

The corridors were mostly empty, causing each footstep on the metal flooring to echo loudly as the quiet of the night amplified every sound. Lee was briefly surprised that no one came to investigate before realising that anyone on duty was already at their station, and most everyone else was asleep. He was grateful to be avoiding questioning glances or interruptions because he just needed to get there, not have some stupid nugget asking how she was or the Chief approaching with just one question about the duty rosters or Tigh giving him the kind of look that made Lee feel as if his intentions were being read, being watched for any sign that he might be attempting to break fraternisation regs with Kara.

As with the rest of the ship, sickbay was darkened and quiet, the medic on duty nowhere to be seen. Lee was pleased; it meant he’d be alone for a while. The curtains around Kara’s bay were pulled shut and unwilling to disturb her by moving the curtain to peek in Lee just stood outside and listened.

Through the curtain Lee could hear her slow, even breaths, as familiar to him as his own because he always focused on her above everyone else. When she was in the room it was as if there were no one else. Like the rest of the remaining worlds she was asleep. Cottle’s good stuff must be helping, because Lee had seen Kara’s knee when she was extracted from the raider and heard the doctor’s assessment of her. He knew that the pain would be keeping her awake. Lee had told himself that he was just going to make sure she was safe so he could clear his mind and sleep when he got back to bed, but now he realised he’d been hoping that Kara would be awake, that she could be a companion to him in the darkness.

Even as he listened to her breathing Lee found himself starting to unwind, his thoughts slowing. He’d found what he was missing in the bunk room. He pulled up a chair and settled into it next to the drawn curtain and felt himself properly relax for the first time in days, despite the discomfort of a seat designed more for utility than for any sort of comfort. Through the sleepy haze he heard the night nurse speaking to someone, explaining that the patient was resting comfortably. Lee smiled. Kara would be okay, he would make sure of it, even if he had to employ every trick he could think of, use all his knowledge about how she worked. Kara was here and she was safe. Tonight nothing else mattered to him. Safe in that knowledge, sleep finally overtook Lee.

***


It was friendly fire. Lee got hit by friendly fire. I think it was me.

Kara had been reliving the scene in the Cloud 9 bar in her head over and over since her failed rescue, and was there again now as she stalked through Galactica’s corridors desperate to get to sickbay. To get to Lee, to make sure he really was alive, to confirm that she was not responsible for his death.

The scenes were so vivid as they played out that she almost couldn’t see where she was going. Kara was in the moment when she had realised that she’d been found out, hearing Ellen Tigh’s gasp of recognition that had given her away all over again. She felt a fresh rush of adrenaline as the memory of the fire fight came to her, the feeling of panic as the confusion of close quarters fighting replayed itself. Most clearly she remembered the look on Lee’s face when she had shot him. The pain and shock etched on his face as he had made eye contact with her made Kara despair whenever she recalled it.

She had shot Lee.

Kara barely remembered how she had ended up escaping the carnage in the bar, but she must have because the memory of summoning the courage to tell the Admiral that it was her fault that Lee was bleeding out on the floor of the bar was razor sharp. All she’d been able to think about was that now she was responsible for the deaths of both Adama boys.

The relief when Kara had found out that Lee was still alive and going to make it was better than the endorphin release of sex, better than the burn of ambrosia as it hit the back of her throat, even better than the rush of adrenaline she felt when she flew.

Kara had been moving so fast that it was as if her feet had wings but now that she was within sight of his bed she found herself unable to go any closer, rooted to a spot in the shadows by the door, unseen by anyone. She had been compelled to come to sickbay by her need to see that he really was alive, but the weight of her own guilt made it impossible for her to force her feet carry her the extra distance to Lee’s bedside.

He was asleep, recovering from the surgery to remove the bullet that she had put into him, so pale in the harsh light that he was in danger of blending into the bland decor. Lee wasn’t alone though. By his side was Dualla, the woman who had helped to keep him alive after Kara had put a bullet into him.

Kara could see Lee stirring, and in her mind she thought briefly of rushing forward and apologising, telling Lee that she loved him and she would stay right by his side until he recovered. But she found herself still unable to go to him, and equally incapable of forcing herself to leave. Dee was talking and Kara knew she should make herself go instead of eavesdropping. She was hearing the words that she had been desperate to say, but what the layers of guilt and fear had prevented her from expressing, flowing easily from Dee’s mouth.

Kara knew she should be devastated. She knew what Dee’s words really meant. She could hear the subtext loud and clear and knew in that moment that she had lost Lee. Kara hadn’t killed Lee when she shot him but she felt as if it had changed everything. Trying to prevent herself from falling apart in public, Kara recited basic facts like articles of faith for her to cling to. Lee was here on Galactica. He was safe. She attempted to convince herself that nothing else mattered.

It didn’t work for long, but it did get Kara deep enough in to the storage areas of Galactica to be able to let her self-control go, safe in the knowledge that no one else would see her being weak.

***


Follow me. Please.

The last time that Kara and Lee had fought together had been at the Battle of the Ionian Nebula. A lot had happened since then, but here they were, still fighting in tandem as if the last time had been only yesterday.

Lee was now a politician and there had been speculation that he was getting physically soft again and losing his edge as a result. Though Kara was as tough as she always had been she was viewed with suspicion by much of the crew. Some of those who had been with her on the Demetrius had spread it around the crew that she was more unpredictable now than she had ever been before.

When those involved in the mutiny had discovered that Lee and Kara were not dead or safely contained, it caused a ripple of worry among those who had fought with them before. The mutineers knew what it could mean for them. Their best hope was that the passage of time would have softened the uncanny bond of understanding that Starbuck and Apollo had always seemed to share.

As the fight for control of Galactica progressed, it was becoming clear that it was a vain hope. The bonds of understanding were as tight as ever. If those fighting against Kara and Lee would have had time to watch, they would have realised that all it was taking was a glance here, a word there to communicate huge paragraphs of tactics. If the mutineers could have stopped to think they would have known they were in trouble because Starbuck and Apollo were back and acting like one complete entity.

Kara and Lee were standing alert in yet another storage locker, growing impatient with the speed of their progress towards the brig. They wanted to liberate more fighters and had been making the most of their intimate knowledge of Galactica to hop between hiding places, coming out for confrontations only when it was necessary, to keep their movements as secret as they could and to conserve their dwindling stock of ammunition.

One of the only upsides to the enforced rest periods was that Lee and Kara found they were building up a huge amount of intel on the progress of the mutiny. Overheard conversations revealed who was being held in the brig and the fact that Starbuck and Apollo were now being desperately sought out in the hope of quashing resistance. The sound of sporadic gunfire was helping them to pinpoint the movements of the mutineers around the ship.

The voices outside their current hiding place finally faded. It was time to move on. Kara was poised ready to go as soon as the sounds had disappeared, her hand on the hatch wheel, but Lee placed a hand on hers, and a warning finger to his lips. He’d heard only just in time the sound of footsteps on metal before they stopped, just feet away, directly outside their hatch. They couldn’t risk leaving just yet. A faint smell of cigarette smoke reached them. Whoever was outside was clearly in no hurry to move on.

Kara realised that Lee’s hand on her arm was sending thrills through her body, as if all her senses had suddenly come alive. Letting instinct take over she kissed Lee as if her sanity depended on his touch. In that moment he discovered that he needed her too, that he was aching with the urge to hold her, to channel the adrenaline that had been coursing through them both into something physical, unable to be still any longer. The metal floor was cold, but they barely noticed as they slid to the ground. They were too focused on each other and the need to be silent. For a time it was as if there was nothing or no one else in the worlds.

They were here together. They were both safe. And really, nothing else mattered.

This entry was originally posted at http://lizziec.dreamwidth.org/423466.html. There are currently comments on the original entry.

Date: 4 August 2011 05:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pocochina.livejournal.com
I really like your take on this relationship, it's poignant without being crushed by all their angst. And awww, the image of Lee dozing off next to her in sick bay is perfect.

September 2013

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