Disclaimer: Not my characters, just my words.
There are no seasons in space, Laura knows. Oh, she knows. The dark of space stays dark, never fading or growing, a constant lasting backdrop. You need a sun for seasons. Out there, there's only stars.
She really wants to see another spring and she is dying.
It's not that she rebels against the dying part. Not really, except in the most hidden, selfish part of her mind. No, she has accepted it. She will die so her people will live, paying for them all as a leader should. She believes that. She has to.
He doesn't, she knows. Not William Adama, atheist and admiral and hero for all the reasons he never considers himself to be. No. He believes in her - he just doesn't share her beliefs.
It leaves her a little lonely even when he's there.
"Flip a coin – love, hate. It's all passion. It's all emotion. Flip a coin. Gravity will see it fall. Maybe it's fate. Maybe it's chance," he reads, and she listens with her eyes closed. She isn't sure why he's still reading to her even after treatment, but she has a few ideas.
If they ever get to it, she knows what she'll read to him.
"Where did you find this one?" she asks, and she can feel him looking at her even through closed eyelids.
"Delena Val," he says softly. "She died a long time ago. No family. She just left books."
"Nothing 'just' about that," she counters, and she finds him smiling as she opens her eyes. "I'd like to..."
She trails off, breathing as she feels her body imploring her very strongly to throw up. It passes, but he's already moved to the couch, sitting down by her feet.
"Fine. It's fine," she assures him, but he doesn't look convinced. Neither is she, really. It's not fine. She'll just have to make the best of it.
"It's not," he says harshly. He'd take a bullet for her. He can't take cancer, and she thinks it might be killing him a little.
"You wouldn't argue with the President, would you?"
His smile is tense, but it is a smile, and she sits up to smile back at him.
"I have it on good authority that is a frakking bad move," she continues. "An admiral told me."
He doesn't laugh, as she half hoped, even knowing it is a lame joke. Instead, he just breathes for a moment, and she can see resolve on his face as clearly as if he'd spoken the words.
"Bill," she says softly, wanting to yell at him a little. "I need you to accept this. I need you to be ready to lead after them when I'm gone, and you can't with denial."
"I'm not going to be the president."
"No. But you'll hold all the cards. I'll make sure of it."
He sighs a little, but she isn't entirely sure at what. In this battle of wills, she's not entirely sure she's winning. Maybe she doesn't really want to.
"I wish I could see Earth," she tells him instead. "If it has springs like Caprica or autumns like Tauron. If it has a sun. I want to see a sun again."
"You already are," he says, indicating the space engulfing them. "Stars. They're suns. We just need to get closer to see. The difference between a star and a sun is just where you're standing."
She laughs a little delightedly at his words, feeling them warm her. "Earth's star. Maybe we've already seen it."
"We'll both see Earth, or none of us will," he says, a commitment and a challenge both.
"Mm." She doesn't disagree, doesn't agree, just watches his jaw set slightly. She can see a faint reflection of herself in his glasses, and she has a strange urge to take them off. Not so strange the urge to kiss him too, because he's seeing a future - no, willing - a future she wants to see.
Spring on Earth, its sun over their heads, grass under their feet and laughing at life, a new home for their people. A home for them too, and she can see it so clearly in his eyes she just can't resist taking his glasses off. He looks surprised for a moment, but it quickly fades into something almost beautiful as he leans forward.
She puts a hand on his chest as he kisses her; feeling it rise and fall with his breath; rise and fall until he holds his breath and she's breathing for both, ragged and uneven.
It isn't flip a coin, she thinks. It's turning it by choices, and they've seen both sides to come here. Mistakes, anger and hurt. Love doesn't come without hurt, never has. It just offers an incentive to work through it.
She smiles a little as he pulls away, keeping her hand over his heart.
"You'll see Earth," he says, putting his hand on hers. "I'll see it for you if..."
He doesn't finish the if, but it is enough for now. She can build on that.
"Thank you, Bill," she says, and leans a little back as he picks up the book again. She'll make him ready. There will be a future for their people. And maybe she can hope, just a little, that she is wrong and he is right and there's an Earth waiting for them both.
Out there, there's only suns.
In here, there's only hope.