Laura still wasn't quite used to not having someone need her night and day, and part of her still twitched for the rush and the constant motion that being president had given her. Even on the days when the pain had been too much, she'd still felt inspired to move because of what all those around her were doing and did. The enforced evening inactivity of New Caprica was both a blessing, in that she got to get a full night's sleep (unlike before) and a curse, in that it made her irritable sometimes. It was just that the hours after the children had gone home sometimes stretched out long and lonely.
Laura chuntered at herself. She'd never been lonely before; short lived love and companionship were always easy for her to pick up. It was the lasting relationships that still mystified her. Not that she was really bothered, but down here, on this world, all that the rest of them (the remainder of humanity) seemed to be doing was hooking up. The amount of times she'd caught giggles and the sounds of couples (et al) going at it at the back of the school tent was in triple figures now. It made her smile, then feel like she was the only one not getting any.
Laura opened the school log book and began to scribble down the day's events. Who was off sick, what the children had done, and statistical information of the school results, etc. It was her record for everything that she had begun with this school – however long it was to last.
The candles were burning low by the time she'd finished. Her work was neat without a single crossed out line, for she found the day's events flowed for her. From the moment the children came in, yawning and grouching, to the time that Tory rang the bell and they all ran out screaming for the joy of freedom: darting for the fresh air that landing here had brought them. Most of them barely remembered sunlight or the feel of rain. And the toddlers still reacted to the air outside as if it were snow - all squeals and excitement, it was that strange to them.
Laura dropped her pen and sneaking into her drawer, pulled out the bottle. She grinned at it with a naughty glint in her eyes, then upended a healthy amount of the spirit into her mug. She kicked back from her chair, retracting her earlier thought that perhaps these long evenings were wasteful. It was warm tonight, which made a change. It was Friday, which meant a lie in. Furthermore, there was a street party tomorrow and you just never knew, she mused.
You never knew, indeed, she thought. Particularly when moments later, Lee knocked and called from outside, asking if he could come in.
"This school is as open as the temple, and you especially are always welcome," she said, still speaking as he stumbled in looking dishevelled and disorientated. "Lee, Gods! Are you okay?" she questioned, at his side in an instant. But in coming close however, she smelt the distinctive scent of alcohol. And lots of it. Part of her was tempted to leave him right where he might collapse but the rest of her was too caught up in how pleased she was to see him. And how down right frakkable he looked so mussed up. Laura – she warned herself in restraint.
"It's over," he mumbled, into her neck as she dragged him over to her chair. "All of it. Down and done."
"Huh? Lee, focus. You're making about as much sense as Gaeta trying to explain the workings of Galactica's navigation systems to me." She dumped him into the chair where he slumped forward, blinking at her woozily. How the frak he'd had the courtesy to knock in this state was beyond her. "Honey?" she cajoled, crouching down before him, testing the endearment in her tongue.
"It's over… all of it," he repeated vaguely, his eyes crossed.
"Yes, I got that part, but not actually what was wrong?"
"Dee… and my command. I wanted… wanted out. Told her and Dad both…"
Laura's brows snapped together in confusion, then she stood up infuriated. "You told Dee you wanted out? Lee, I know you can be a moron, but that's awful!" she ground out.
Lee blinked at her, then shook his head which almost made him slip from the chair. "No, Dee and me… it wasn't working. Bad for her. Bad for me. Wanted to make it right…"
"What did you say to her?" Laura interrupted.
It took him two attempts to grip her hand. "I said that I loved her but that she needed more than me. I told her the truth… that I'm not worthy of that."
"I thought you were happy?"
Lee gave a little sob. "Married her when I shouldn't have. Knew she'd say yes." He wiped his nose with his wrist. "I'm such a asshole."
"Why 'shouldn't have'?"
He shook his head as if he wasn't going to reply but even so, did. "Slept with Kara. Said I loved her and she threw it back at me. I married Dee because she did Sam." His words came out slowly but not incoherently. He was drunk beyond belief, but that didn't screw with his speech. It only made him soul blaringly, truthful.
Laura sighed at him. At the way youth, and also mature adults could so easily mess up their lives due to bitterness, spite and downright thoughtlessness.
"How'd she take it?" she asked as she walked away to grab a chair. She had an inkling that this was going to be a long conversation.
"She went pale then nodded," he replied before going silent; his eyes moving, bobbing to and fro as if the single section of flooring he was focused on kept dancing away from him.
"And nothing. That's the worst part. It's like she knew it was going to happen." He sniffed then, slightly self-pitying. "She's smarter than me. Always has been."
Laura watched him, still feeling exasperation biting at her insides, but with it being poked at by the tender part of her which knew Lee. Knew how he never intended to do wrong. He was just so passionate and so earnest, that it sometimes led him down the wrong path. She also couldn't be totally peeved at him, not when he looked so remorseful. So fallen.
"What about your command?"
"I can't keep it. I know he needs me, but if I can't make the right choice to not marry someone because of jealousy, then how can I command a battlestar?"
He looked up at her then. His sole attention on her and her alone.
"I'm not… Lee I can't be your conscience. Your guide. Whatever decisions you need to make about this, you need to make them yourself. By yourself," she whispered. Laura brought her hand up to brush his cheek, wishing for him to find the something that could make him happy. Sad for him that he wasn't the person in his own mind, that she saw him to be. For she knew that he had loved Dee. It was obvious. She also knew that whatever else, he would never have deliberately set out to hurt her.
Laura reached over and patted his arm, then stood and took three steps back, just knowing that she'd cursed herself earlier on in the evening when she wished that her evenings could be a little more exciting.
"Lee, you need to sleep this off. You need time to think about what you're saying and to think about what you're giving up."
"I don't need more time. I just need to…"
"You need to sleep," she pressed again. This time she grabbed a blanket and pulled it over his lolling form.
A few weeks later and he hadn't returned to duty aboard the battlestar. He'd relocated to down here and began to monitor how Baltar's administration, or rather Baltar himself, was failing. Lee, already had Gaeta's respect from before, and Laura knew that it was only a matter of time before her Captain Lee Adama had his nicely shaped nose worked into every misdeed.
Laura smiled as she heard him speak over the wireless about how it was right for them to be down here. That humanity deserved this break. She listened sleepily to his words while she worked at adding to her log, recognising that although her heart was still not able to quite settle itself into the belief that this was the right thing for them to have done, done it was, and so she smiled at him making the best of it.
Half in a doze, she listened to the passion of his voice, enjoying the rise and fall of his intonation, until a hand settled onto her shoulder and she jumped.
"Gods of frak!" she exclaimed, jerking up straight, her fist raised, only to find it was him. "But, you were…" Her ears picked up on the static that now issued forth from the wireless. "Oh," she muttered, dropping her hand to her chest to register where her heart beat faster than she ever would have thought possible. She let out a little laugh.
"Sorry, I did knock, Laura."
He chuckled warmly then sat himself on her desk; his thigh brushing hers.
Her eyebrows twitched in amusement and she dropped her hand. "So, what do I owe the pleasure for this time? And if it's in support of your campaign, you have my vote, but I'm loving my work here too much to get involved with all that nonsense again, thank you very much."
He offered her one of his patented smiles. She narrowed her eyes at him. It usually meant that he was after something.
"I came to apologise for being such an idiot a few weeks back. I shouldn't have brought that to your door, but I didn't know where else to go." He paused. "No, that's a lie. There was nowhere else I wanted to go." He seemed to be saying more in the change of direction from where he'd started, but she shrugged it off.
To cover, Laura gave him a little sniff that was only half in jest. "Well, great. So I'm your 'go to' woman when you're wasted, now?"
He retorted with a little throat noise, which meant something more than nothing. "No, that's not it at all."
"So, why then do I have the honour of the former Commander Adama's, presence? Though personally, I prefer Captain."
"Laura," he breathed back as if not listening, bringing his face close to hers. "Don't you see?" And it seemed all of a sudden that she did. "I realised something that night when I came to see you. I realised that I didn't want you to be my conscience. I don't want you to be my guide. I just want…" he trailed off as he stared at her closely.
Laura couldn't pull back. Neither could she feel completely comfortable with the direction that this was going in. She picked up her pen and started fiddling with it to get some space away from his penetrating gaze.
"Lee, you sure you're not drunk again? Or, emotional? All this with Dee and your father, it must still be a wrench?"
"No… well, yes. It is. But… and maybe I am drunk… I certainly… oh, frak it!" He then practically fell from off the desk and onto the floor. His fall from grace just as messy. He touched her face with his hand. His fingers curling gently by her ear. "I want you. I can't stop thinking about you. The things with Dee and Dad… I just couldn't be up there, not with you down here."
"But Kara?" Laura knew how he felt about the younger woman.
"Kara is Kara. And what's between us… it's not healthy. We both know that. It'll always be there, but…" He was so sincere and so honest in the statement, that strangely it didn't hurt to hear. Because it was the same kind of lingering attraction that she felt for his father. It would never go away; it just wasn't right. So, yes, she understood him well.
Laura put the pen she was messing about with down inside her log book and closed it. His tickling by her ear suddenly much more of interest. She shifted her attention back to his face and examined the clean lines of his features. She did remember thinking that she wanted something more to do of an evening.
She smirked. Then ran one finger down from his forehead to his lips.
"Okay, Mr. Adama. I'm not interfering with your downward spiral into politics, but I am most certainly interested in this here, between us."
His face brightened up.
"I lov…" he started to say, but she stalled him with a kiss.
"Lee, you need to realise that down here we take things one step at time, otherwise things can fall apart so very easily."
Lee didn't seem to pay that much attention however. His lips were already back on hers.