It's dark and it's cold and you could give a frak because this, right now, is not happening.
It's not. It is absolutely not.
You don't... not about her. Not with her. Because she is driving you crazy with this lead the people home thing, and the way she's so tired and refuses to sit down, and how she knows you're furious and yet she's smiling at you.
She's frakking smiling at you. As if you amuse her. "Do you think this is funny, Madame President?"
"Certainly you can call me Laura by now," she pauses, and if she were anyone else, if she were Kara, you'd swear she was looking you up and down. Appraising you. "Lee."
"Have you suddenly become something other than President?"
"Actually," she says, and you're starting to wonder just what's gone on while you were away, "I rather think I have."
"There are people outside. Kneeling."
"Praying, I suspect."
Something small and dark crosses her face when she says that. It's gone so quickly you wouldn't be sure it was there except for the way she's holding herself still, and the flush of rage you can feel spreading across your chest. "Really."
"What reason would I have to lie?"
She leans into the bars separating you and twines her fingers around the metal. There are visible veins on the backs of her hands, bluish through her skin, and the fine lines tracing them make you wonder what sort of work she's done with those hands. They're... capable. Not covered in grease like Kara's often are, not the kind of hands that get scarred by metal and weapons, but they look strong.
"There are many reasons to lie."
She laughs. "Well, then, I'll rephrase. What reason would I have to lie to you?"
At least this time she didn't say your name.
Frak. The way she says it, it's part school teacher, part President of the Colonies, part Mommy telling you what to do, and it feels like teasing. It feels warm.
This is not happening. "You should sleep."
"I'm not tired," she says, angling closer and resting her forehead on the cage.
"Well I am."
"No, you're not."
She's right. You're not, but she is, you can see her eyelids fluttering open and shut. For some reason you want to press lightly on them with your thumbs until she stills. You exhale sharply and clench your hands around the bars. "Laura."
"Yes?" She sounds pleased, or so you think, but sometimes it is very hard to tell.
"You should sleep."
This time her eyes flicker shut and stay that way. "Yes."
You're about to tell her the obvious, that in order to sleep she needs to lie down, when she brushes her thumb across the back of your hand. "Goodnight, Lee," she says, and turns away. You stay standing there, the imprint of her thumb hot on your hand, until she settles on her cot, then you count her breaths until they deepen.
Tomorrow you're going to be angry that she avoided your argument but right now you're going to count to twelve, again and again, until you, too, fall asleep.