1. She returns to Caprica for them -- for him -- with a whole SAR team. Good as her word. "Bet you feel like a big frakking idiot now," she tells him with a big grin, and it's not true at all. He feels like the luckiest motherfrakker left alive.
After the excitement Cavil brings to Galactica -- he never fully forgives himself for not suspecting -- Kara shows him around the ship, shows him off, and then plies them both with enough alcohol to knock the entire crew on their asses. Her kisses are so whiskey-tinged he feels like he's drinking straight from her lips, drunk on her laughter, and later he wishes he hadn't had quite so much because the best parts are little more than a happy tactile blur of her, wet and ready, easing herself down into his lap, her nails scraping the backs of his shoulders, her hair swinging between their lips, her tongue sliding into his mouth. He says something about her being beautiful, the best part of being rescued, and he gets laughed at but doesn't mind because her follow-up kiss feels like a reward. The next day he wakes up with one frak of a hangover and no reason not to smile through it.
2. She marries him. He never finds out just how close a call the entire thing is, but that night, after celebratory ambrosia and returning to their tent to find a just frakking married sign pinned to the flap, he fraks for the first time as a married man and loves every second of it.
She married him and mustered out with the Admiral's blessing in one easy move. Sure, there'd been jokes about how much they'd be seeing each other if she did quit flying, but he never expected as much as he gets out of it. That night she's territorial, a predator in bed. She makes jokes about where she thinks he should get inked in honor of their wedding, pointing out her favorite potential spots, and her tongue traces paths across his body until he thinks there's barely an inch of him she hasn't mapped out. He manages to roll on top of her, hips perfecting a rhythm, when part of the tent collapses. They both look up, wide-eyed, and over to where it droops down just two feet away. On the verge of cracking up, he says he guesses they should fix that, but she curls up tight, laughing so loudly he knows the neighbors aren't spared, and wraps her legs around him so he can't possibly think she wants him going anywhere.
3. After shutting him out and having him hand her tag back over, she lets him back in. It's not immediate; he spends a month living alone on the Salpica before he hears from her again. Through the handset, the tone of her voice offers something more like an apology than her words ever do. When she asks to see him, he goes.
Less than an hour later his boots are outside the hatch and she's bent over the table in the center of the room, the sweat-slick heat of her body ghosting her outline on the metal surface. His fingers smooth over her hair, grip her shoulders, slide down her back. At first he has the presence of mind to reach around and circle slippery fingertips over her clit, but it's been so long and she feels so good and she eggs him on, every word out of her mouth a challenge he wants nothing more than to meet over and over. His hands hook tightly on her hips and don't loosen until he's poured himself inside her, the words gods, Kara teetering on the tip of his tongue, pinpoints of light blinking like stars behind his closed eyelids. Once he's stopped shuddering against her, she captures his left hand, a willing hostage, and moves it back around her body to finish what it started. And then give her an encore.
4. He offers her an out, but she still winds up in his arms. He expects her to leave him, and he doesn't want to see it happen but he does want to see her happier than she's been since they left New Caprica. Either she changes her mind or Lee loses his: within twenty-four hours of what he assumed was goodbye she's inviting him to Joe's with her. He's done some dumb things in his time, and he doesn't want to list turning her down as one of them.
Once she's made her decision he doesn't want to list not frakking her as one, either. She could just as easily turn him loose, with or without Lee's help, and she doesn't. Instead she spends forty minutes drinking with him and then leads him away from the bar like they're newlyweds all over again, hands like magnets. She knows of an empty compartment, she says, and he isn't sure he wants to know exactly why but he plays along until she finds what she's looking for and tugs him inside with her. She sheds her clothes like an unwanted second skin and only waits long enough for him to get his pants off. It's tough to mind the cold metal of the floor beneath him when she's on top of him, hips pitched and rolling, her breasts inviting his hands and her mouth inviting his tongue. She pushes his shirt up by the fistful to expose all the skin she craves, and she fraks like she wants to forget everything else. If that's what she wants, he can give it to her.
5. Not even a Viper explosion can keep his wife down, but it does change her. A lot of days on the Demetrius she seems like her own ghost. She calls him Ensign instead of Sammy, won't let him touch her, won't indulge him or anybody. He knows the woman he married is still in there, though: it's just like Kara Thrace to sink her teeth into something and refuse to let go.
The day he confronts her, reminds her of the vows they inked onto their skin and calls her out as scared, she lashes out at him. Her words carry a sharp sting, but in the moment he still can't force himself to resist her. She wants to frak instead of fight, she says -- she dares him to make her feel -- and he thinks about it. He thinks about telling her no and stepping away, but he knows he couldn't live with it. He pushes her back toward the bed, and for a split second she gives him a dazzling grin, more his wife than she's been in a long time. All he can do is rise to her challenge: he pins her, lips crushed against hers, his fingers bruising. It's more like a scuffle on a pyramid court than foreplay when their clothes come off, but they always blurred that line. She's wet to the point of distraction when he dips inside her; the laugh that breaks in her throat is raw and needful. This time she fraks like she wants to remember. It's just enough to get him by.