Title: All That is Fair
Summary: A bit of fluff!
Disclaimer: Not mine, however much I wish they were.
Notes: A very, very belated birthday fic for hometown hero lacklusterfic , and also the first of several stories that (zomg, I finally have finished) I will be posting after this past months hiatus. Thanks for bearing with me, friends. Thanks to the incomparableleiascully for the beta.
By 2200, Laura had developed a tension headache, gotten a blister on her left heel, and was thirty minutes into a rant on her most steadfast of annoyances...none of which Bill was terribly pleased to be hearing about.
About thirty seconds in, he had ascertained that it had been another afternoon of underhanded machinations, political jostling, and the Quorum of Twelve -- all of which suggested Tom Zarek at his most conniving.
He sat at his desk, steadily working through the endless slog of paperwork as Laura stalked back and forth through his quarters. She practically reverberated with agitation, livid and flush with rage. Rage at herself; rage at her vice president; rage for having willfully appointed her vice president. She railed aloud with the practiced distance of someone who had lived alone and was accustomed to venting over the phone or at at screen, speaking more to herself than anything else.
"Frakking Zarek...It astounds me, it absolutely astounds me, Bill, how incapable Tom Zarek is of working the angles to anyone's advantage but his own. Gods, what that man could actually accomplish if he wasn't such a..."
She gave a little huff and trailed off, lapsing into a spell of furious silence. Grinding clenched fists against her hips like worry beads, she paced an angry line into the Leonian carpet.
From the way she spoke at him rather than to him, he could tell she sensed that he had long since given up on participating in her one-sided conversation, attempting to finish a pile of fleet requisitions and flight plan approvals. On occasion he dutifully glanced up between spouts of unchecked hostility and her bewildered political rationalization, nodding here, offering an agreement there, but for the most part simply letting her fume and give voice to frustration. She needed to let off a little steam. He understood that.
Or so he had for the first twenty minutes. By now his patience had worn thin.
"Going behind my back with the Celestra? What is he trying to win here? It's like he's trying to align his cards like we're playing a frakking Triad game," she growled in aggravation.
"Laura..." Bill interrupted with no small degree of exasperation in his voice.
"I mean really, does he really think that's going to work?"
"Laura." He tried again, with greater insistence.
"Honestly, I don't know how you can be so quiet about this. You dislike the man even more than I do."
He'd had enough.
Bill stood suddenly, closing the log book rather loudly and yanking his glasses off with irritation.
Laura had begun to form the words What is your problem when she found herself spun around without warning. She stuttered a noise of confusion as Bill pulled her up against him. Snaking an arm around her waist, he barely gave her a moment to register what was happening before cupping her jaw and kissing her soundly.
For a brief and endless moment, she forgot.
She forgot her title and his rank, the conditions of the Fleet and the road to Earth.
She forgot the ruthlessness of the Cylons, hunting them through the stars, and the callous mercy of the Gods, who laughed down from them.
There was only Bill, flooding her senses, kissing her slowly and hungrily, not precisely rough but with insistence, with purpose. He demanded her attentions, which were simple enough to grant when, for the moment, everything else was gone from her mind. Everything except his hand tangling in her hair, and the warmth radiating off him, stirring desires she'd pretended not to remember.
She remembered, and it was good.
Here was only Bill, who stole a moment from the hands of Chaos and gave it just to her.
Just as quickly as he had seized her, he abruptly released her, then calmly walked to his desk, retrieved his glasses and resumed his paperwork without so much as glance in her direction.
For a long moment, Laura was speechless.
She opened her mouth, and then, deciding that was only an approach worth considering in the event she had a response prepared, which she did not, closed it rather promptly. She felt tipsy with delight, still reeling as the familiar sensation of lightness began to bubble up without control. Having been caught off guard, without argument, incapable of reply, was enough to set off her age-old defense mechanism and she was powerless to stop it. The giggles tumbled out of her, even as she pressed her hand to her mouth, vainly attempting to control herself. She positively shook with laughter, nervously, wildly, caught somewhere between sincere amusement and a fleeting sense of shock.
For his part, Bill looked rather smug. Bastard.
"What the hell was that?" Laura wiped at her eyes.
"Combat tactics. Element of surprise."
"You employ military tactics with women often?"
"And successfully. Case in point." He gestured pointedly at her with a pencil.
"What exactly were you successful in accomplishing?" She leaned against the side of his desk, looking down at him with thinly veiled amusement.
"Got you to be quiet."
Well, there was that. Still.
"You might have said something, if I was annoying you."
"Yeah, but my way was more fun."
The man had a point. Laura smiled, moving behind his chair, bending to whisper suggestively in his ear.