Halcyon Days
by Käthe

Despite what many people thought, Lee never really got to play the role of a stereotypical big brother. He wanted to be a role model for Zak, wanted to teach him how to play ball or how to climb trees, but the truth was that Zak never needed Lee's help. Instead, Zak would let Lee help him out sometimes, just to humor his big brother.

It was much the same with Kara, but with Kara, Lee learned about need of a different kind.


"I'm sorry, someone has already checked that volume out for the night."

"But I reserved it last week."

The peevish tone catches Lee's attention, pulling him away from the dense language of the book. He leans to the right, peers around the bookcase trying to catch sight of the circulation desk.

"I don't see your name here, cadet."

The blonde girl at the counter gestures for the logbook with insistent hands. From the angle Lee can't be sure who she is, but she looks familiar.

The girl flips through the pages impatiently and then, finding what she's been looking for, points roughly at it and turns the book back to the less-than-interested clerk.

"Theoretical Flight, etc. etc., reserved by Starbuck, five days ago." She wheels around and points directly at him. "Does he look like a Starbuck to you?"

The clerk isn't going to budge. "You don't look like a Starbuck to me, young lady. Call signs are not to be used when reserving or checking out library materials. The rest of this place may live and swear by those idiotic things, but we still have some standards!"

Thoroughly interested now, especially as he's been brought into the conversation, Lee watches as Starbuck (he recognizes her now, a year into the academy and she already has a call sign, something most of them wouldn't gain till flight training, post-graduation) struggles to find something to say. He's surprised with what she finally says.

"Good thing I learned to share." Starbuck turns to him and smiles sarcastically.

He's heard the stories. He should be scared. Instead he feels a tingle jump up and down his spine.

Lee smiles back. It's going to be a long night.


The fireworks are long over by the time Kara pins Lee against the wall, kicking the door closed with her foot.

Lee admires the tactic. "I'm not going anywhere," he says, right before she kisses him again. Kara leans into him and grasps his hands, threading her fingers through his.

"I'm glad," she murmurs, pulling back.

"Best Colonial Day on the books." Lee frees his hands and immediately settles them on Kara's hips, anchoring her body to his. He knows she isn't going anywhere either, but he's not going to take any chances.

It really has been the best holiday he can remember. A day spent in the warm sun, playing ball, laughing and joking around with their friends; holidays haven't been as good since he was very small. And then they had settled in on the hill above the athletic fields, Kara's body warm against his as they drank cheap ambrosia from the bottle and nibbled on sweets they bought earlier in the day.

As Lee had leaned back to watch the fireworks, a slow coil of warmth started spreading through him. Lee had looked at Kara in wonder, her face colored by reds and blues, and Lee knew that he wanted her. When she had turned to him with a knowing smile, he was sure she was thinking the exact same thing.

Lee wants to laugh. For something so complicated, this has all been amazingly simple. A little alcohol, a wisp of chocolate at the corner of Kara's mouth, and one easy, languorous kiss later and they are necking in the hall of Kara's apartment. Every Colonial Day should be this good.

Her fingers tapping his chest brings him back to the situation at hand. Kara smiles conspiratorially and bounces just a little. "Idle hands," she mocks.

Lee slides one hand to the small of Kara's back, relishing in the feel of her skin as his hand snakes under her top. Lords, he is grateful for her habit of wearing these low-slung pants. He presses her to him, stopping her bouncing. Lee's breath locks in his chest, but he manages to grin back. "I'm sure you could find good use for them."

It looks as though Kara has another comeback at the ready, but as much as he values Kara's particular verbal talents, his interests are currently elsewhere. Lee stops her retort with another kiss, this one deeper than any of the ones from before. Kara gives in a little and then pulls back, just enough that he has to follow. And follow he does, amused with the give and take as her hands wind themselves around his neck, threading through his hair, her short nails marking frisson trails that go straight to his groin.

Kara manages to pull back, out of breath. "Fuck, Adama. Do you have to ace everything?"

Catching her off guard, Lee counter-balances his weight and manages to turn them around, so now Kara is the one with her back to the wall. "I feel like I should make a witty comment here, but --"

Playtime is over; now when he kisses her there is no teasing involved. All he feels is an intense desire to stake a claim to her lips, her mouth.

"Kara," he breathes her name against the skin of her neck. Her name sounds like a prayer to him now, and a part of Lee feels ridiculous for even thinking of such a thing, but he dismisses it and lets his hands drift up Kara's stomach before he cups her breasts, thumbs tripping over her nipples, making Kara shudder and moan.

She grabs his wrists faster than he could've imagined. "Not like this," she grinds out.

Lee's confused. "What --?"

"I never intended to frak you with my boots on. The bedroom's over there," she tilts her head, indicating the room to the right.

"Right," he says, as Kara takes his hand and leads him to the bed. "No sex with inappropriate footwear."

She looks back at him, trying her best to look serious. "Don't try to be funny, Lee. This is serious business."

With is free hand, Lee performs a mock salute. "Yes, ma'am." And she laughs.

This time he is the one to kick the door closed.


Lee wakes up as Kara climbs out of bed, taking the sheet with her, leaving him naked and chilly. He closes his eyes against the weak sunlight spilling into the room and groans.

They did it, really did it. Years ago, that first night in the library, if someone had told them they'd end up in bed together, Lee would've laughed. Kara probably would have shot them in the foot.

Lee rolls out of the bed and finds his pants. He can hear Kara in the kitchen, so he takes a moment to sit down and gather his thoughts. Lee leans over, puts his face in his hands and wonders just what in hell he'd been thinking. No matter what his feelings for Kara might be, Lee had promised himself that there was a line not to be crossed. Well, crossed it he had, and now look at them.

"It's not the end of the world, you know."

Looking up, Lee finds Kara leaning on the doorframe, white sheet draped around her body like she's some sort of debauched goddess. Lee quickly starts to remember why that invisible line had been crossed. Frak.

"I know, it's just a little...strange."

She smiles sadly and sits beside him. "It doesn't have to be."

But it is. He's lost. And he might've been lost before last night, but at least he knew which direction he wasn't going in. He was happily biding his time until...Until what? She wasn't by his side all the time? It wasn't a perfect solution, but it was the one to which Lee had resigned himself.

As if she's reading his mind, Kara nudges his shoulder, trying to provoke a smile. "You're going to war college in a few weeks. I'm staying here. This doesn't have to mean anything, Lee."

Yes, this is definitely strange -- Kara was being the rational one.

"I'm not the love 'em and leave 'em type."

They both knew that describes her more than him. Kara leans closer and kisses him on the cheek. "Listen, no regrets. Agreed?"

Lee nods and gives her a friendly peck, which makes her laugh. No regrets, Lee can agree to that, but he'd be lying. He knows he'll regret turning his back instead of standing to fight.


By the looks of it, Zak has already arrived. Two green duffel bags already crowd the hallway by the time Lee arrives late in the afternoon. He wonders about the second bag for a moment before realizing that Zak probably brought home laundry. Nice.

"Mom?" he calls out, moving into the house. Lee can smell something cooking, and something burning. His mother must be home.

"Lee?" His mother, beautiful and blonde as always, strides out from the kitchen, drying her hands on a towel. "I thought you couldn't come until tomorrow!" She hugs him tightly but there's a tone in her voice that he doesn't like.

When she tries to lead him into the kitchen by his hand, Lee knows something is going on. "What's up?"

He's thankful when she doesn't even try to hide it. "Zak's brought someone home."

"Really?" Lee sneaks a few bites off one of the plates while his mother's attention is diverted. "You don't approve of her?"

"No, that's not it." She pauses before continuing, "It's Kara."

Lee stops mid-sneak. "Kara?" He knew that she had been Zak's basic flight instructor, but that anything had gone on...Lee wondered if his father knew. "Where are they?"

"The backyard, playing like a couple of children."

As if drawn to them, Lee moves to the back door and looks out the window.

"They really do suit one another, don't you think?"

Lee watches Kara race across the yard, ball firmly in her grasp as Zak chases her.

"You might want to put away anything breakable while they're both here," he says with a shrug, trying to ignore the heavy feeling in his chest.

Did he ever make her smile like that? Does Zak appreciate what he has?

Lee watches them for a few more minutes before Zak notices him standing there and waves him out to join them. He receives a healthy hug from his brother, but instead of the warm greeting he had been used to, Kara simply hugs him gingerly and kisses him on the cheek like a maiden aunt.

No matter how much they might've wished it, things haven't been normal between them since that night. Lee isn't surprised, really. He had avoided her calls at first, then when he felt guilty and called back, she avoided him in turn. Lee didn't resent Kara, he just didn't know how to be around her after that, trying to ignore all his better instincts. Now it was even worse.

>From the look of things, Kara is almost as uncomfortable with the situation. But she has Zak to hang on to.

His attention is drawn away as his mother steps outside, carrying a camera. "Oh good. Now that you're all here, I can finally get a picture of all of you."

"Mom," Zak starts to whine. Lee knows exactly how his brother feels. Too many years of posing for pictures that were then sent on to their absent father has made them wary of anything with a lens.

"Humor me. I just wish you weren't all in those awful uniforms."

"I don't think we even notice anymore," Kara shrugs and picks at her tank. "After a while it starts to feel like home."

Caroline Adama shakes her head. "Brainwashing," she mutters, though quietly so the others wouldn't hear. Then, louder, "Now get in close, otherwise you won't fit."

Zak throws the ball to Lee and grabs onto Kara instead. She tucks her body into his, and Lee had to admit that they fit together nicely.


They find themselves alone during the fireworks that evening, just like that Colonial Day the year before.

"You didn't keep your promise," she says to him. She doesn't bother to elaborate. He knows exactly to what she's referring.

"By the looks of it, you didn't either."

They don't look at one another.

"We frakked up."

Lee risks a glance and catches Kara smiling.

"You should be used to the feeling."

"Yeah, well," Kara says, starting to laugh. "It's one you should start getting familiar with."

Laughing now too, Lee asks, "How long have you been waiting to say that?"

"Oh, years at least."

By the time Zak finds them, they're both clutching their sides and red in the face from laughing so hard.


Super-heated air. Fire. The peculiar smell of fuel permeates his nose; it leaves a foul taste in the back of his mouth. The nightmare is over, but his body is still locked into an adrenalized state.

It's happened every night for the three months since his brother's fatal crash. Lee is starting to wonder if he'll ever find peace again, or if the horrific visions he's conjured will haunt him until he's the one to die. Which, going at the rate he is, will be soon.

More than anything, Lee wants to get up, find a quiet space somewhere on the ship and write a letter to Kara. Handwritten, not sent through endless data streams only to finally be read over a screen or on a flimsy printout. What he has to say deserves more than that. He wants her to keep this as-yet-unrealized letter for when she is awakened by nightmares of her own.

But there's not going to be any letter. Lee knows this all too well, despite his desires.

Kara's on his father's ship, and Lee can only hope that she's finding some peace. They didn't leave things on the best of terms. Funerals don't really breed the kind of confession that he needs to make, and instead, the last time he saw Kara was in a room full of people, just after he berated his father for the last time. She had watched with sad eyes, turning away only as he did.

Too many things left unsaid. Too many things said that shouldn't have been. It was an unequal balance that tore at Lee's heart.

In the middle of the night, in the dark of his own soul, Lee Adama realizes many things. How to make it all better isn't one of them.


"C'mon, Starbuck, I could do twice this without even blinking."

Her face is red with exertion, sweat beading on her forehead. She grits her teeth and pushes the weight upward, her bad leg shaking with the effort. She lets it down again after a quick count and breathes out.

"Excuse me for saying so sir, but I think you've also been sneaking protein shakes from the mess. Unlike you," she pushes up again, this time with a little less shaking. "Some of us aren't that concerned with impressing the bridge bunnies." She bites off a 'sir' as an afterthought.

Lee watches from the safety of a nearby bench. Her comment could be considered a little insubordinate, but until she's taking shots at him like the ones she took at Tigh, Lee will consider himself lucky. Besides, this is harmless teasing. They had been good at this once.

"By the way, why are you still here?"

Lee straightens and pushes his chest out, trying to act important. "I'm providing motivation."

Kara snorts. "Providing irritation is more like it. Motivation is a long shower, a few more cigars, and a day without the nuggets."

"I don't know what I can do about the cigars without breaking into the black market, and no," he says, responding to her look, "I'm not going there. Even for you. And stop pouting!"

"I do not pout!"

Lee has to laugh. "You pout and you know it. How do you think you passed Gianais' class?"

She's given up all pretense of doing her therapy to turn and face him squarely. "You tutored me. And I wasn't doing that badly."

"Ha! And why do you think I tutored you in the first place? You had me twisted around your little finger thanks to those big eyes and that pout." Lee quickly realizes the implications of what he's said and adds, "The fact that you could've probably kicked my ass might've helped."

He is suddenly glad that no one else is around to see him even a little flustered. It's a state unbecoming to the position of CAG.

But Kara, she's just smiling. A little smile. Shy, even. This is new.

"Well, if I pout, you get this little crinkle between your eyes when you're anxious. The furrow's kind of endearing. In fact," she stands and gathers up her towel. "It was probably the reason I wasn't doing so well in Gianais' class in the first place."

Kara passes by him and ruffles his hair on the way out of the room.

Lee sits very still for a moment, thinking. It isn't quite full circle, but these days few things are that clear and easily worked. It's a shift, he thinks.

He thinks he likes it.


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