|He was the worst of them all. Kara followed her passions, Anders trusted his, Dee turned hers into faith, but Lee, well, he just stumbled blindly along not knowing what the frak he was doing or who was going to be left standing when he was done. He knew about consequences, he knew about actions causing reactions, but what he didn't know was happiness. Maybe that was a reaction his actions had never earned.
Maybe he was like his father, a bad husband, a person who would only ever be good at his job. And maybe Kara was like his mother, crazy but no less enticing for it, and maybe Dee and Anders were like him, victims hurt by circumstances.
"Buy you a drink, sir?"
"You're not fleet, Anders. I'm not your superior."
"Good thing. I was never good with authority."
"Like wife, like husband."
"She's something special." Anders touched his glass to Lee's. "Here's to my wife."
The other thing Lee knew was responsibility. Guilt and fault were familiar bedfellows to him, more familiar than Dee or Kara would ever be. "Here's to mine."
Guilt, fault, Dee, Kara, Anders. He drank to them all. It was bitter going down.
|"I have to go back."
"No. Not yet."
"Yes." They sigh, they close their eyes to the time, they pretend life is normal. "I should go. You should go. We should go."
They kiss, they fight. There is nothing left to say. She says it anyway. "This is wrong, isn't it?"
"You don't want an answer." She doesn't. He doesn't have one. He lies.
"I'm sorry." He reaches for her, she reaches for him, they collide and they burn. "Don't stop."
He doesn't leave. She doesn't stay. This isn't what they wanted. It's what they have.
|She didn't think about it. She didn't think. Her life moved in spirals, the replicating patterns spreading ever outward, carrying her along with them. She repeated her mistakes.
Lee said that as he pushed her up against the wall, demanding answers she wouldn't give just as he demanded pleasures she would. "Am I any different? Or am I just another one of Kara Thrace's big mistakes?"
"Yeah, you and Anders." There it was, another spiral. Lee flinched and his expression echoed across her memory. Next time she would see this moment but still she wouldn't stop. She wasn't able. "Do you hate me?"
"You should." She closed her eyes and dug her fingers into his bare shoulders. "Anders should. Dee should."
"Dee should hate us both."
"Yes." She said it and she meant it, but she didn't care. She wanted to ask him why he didn't hate her, then she wanted to ask him if he knew why she cared, because she never used to, not about things like this. Maybe it was Lee. Maybe it was Anders. Maybe it was her and how she frakked up everything she touched.
Maybe it was destiny, because she just couldn't stop.
|"Will you be back?"
"Yes. Of course. You're always back." She pauses, tightens her collar, smoothes her uniform, tidies her hair. "Sooner or later."
He scowls, he frowns, he looks away. "What do you want to know?"
"I want to know if my husband will be eating with me tonight. I want to know if I should wait." I want you to come home.
"I'm sorry." He reaches for her, he stops, scant inches away. "Yes. You should wait."
"Then I'll wait."
"Then you'll wait."
She waits. He isn't there. Her heart stays as empty as their bed.
Clouds are not spheres, mountains are not cones, coastlines are not circles, and bark is not smooth, nor does lightning travel in a straight line.
|"You'll be back?"
"Yes. Of course. I always come back."
"When I call you." She pauses, drinks and smokes, straightens clothes and stretches muscles. "You always come when I call you."
He smiles, he laughs, he watches her eyes. "I'm a good dog."
"You're not a dog. You're my husband." You're my sin and my solace.
"I'm sorry." He reaches for her, touches flesh to flesh. "I'm your husband."
"And I'm your wife."
"You're my wife."
He's her husband, she's his wife. He goes home alone and waits for her next call. It doesn't come soon enough. He knows why.
|There were nights she thought she should be with Anders, just once, just so this frakked up square of theirs could be finished, because it went from her to Lee to Kara to Sam and it irked her sense of completeness that the square didn't close. She and Sam were on the bottom supporting the entire thing, as if it would tumble and fall without the two of them carrying it on their shoulders. Maybe it would, or maybe she and Sam would just spin away while Lee and Kara clung to each other and never even noticed.
She tried halfheartedly once, smiled at Anders, bought him a drink, but by the end of the night the two of them were commiserating. Neither of them wondered aloud where their spouses were, probably because they both knew just as they didn't want to know.
"What do you think would happen if we left?" she asked.
"But what if we did? Do you think they'd-"
"Notice?" he interrupted. "No. Not until they needed something."
He was right. They could remove the middle, but Lee and Kara would remain the same.
Still, some nights she wanted to close the square.
|He stopped minding a long time ago. Things could have been worse. Things had been worse when he'd been stuck on a frakked planet with toasters hunting him day and night. Things had been worse until Starbuck came. It made him want to cling to her, but he'd heard something once about loving something enough to let it go so he did that instead and just hoped she'd come back.
"What are you looking at?"
"My wife." He touched her arm and grinned. "Her mark."
"Our mark." She twisted until their tattoos joined. "See? Ours."
Talk had gone around that he had wanted her marked, Sam Anders branding his straying wife, but it wasn't like that. Kara had wanted them. She'd wanted to belong, not to him but to them. She'd wanted them to belong together. That was why he trusted her. That was why he let her wander, because they reflected each other and Starbuck needed to see the image he gave to her.
"What're you thinking about?"
"Nothing," he said, then bowed his head to concentrate on her. Someday she wouldn't come back, so he might as well see himself through her eyes while he had the chance.