Iocasta In Waiting
by Tigerlady

Sometimes she thinks that there will be stories in the future, about this time, about humanity's great cataclysm and fight for survival. She thinks that is a good thing. Stories imply a future. She just wonders how the stories will go.

The four of them sit around the hand-hewn table, dessert nothing but crumbs on their plates. The colony is celebrating an impromptu holiday, inspired by the first sugar harvest of their new home. It's as good a reason as any to celebrate; Laura's just pleased there's an excuse to bring them all together.

Kara is busy telling a tall tale, hands waving emphatically as she demonstrates her points. She hasn't changed a bit since Laura first met her, though her hair is a little longer and she wears off-duty clothes. William breaks in on her monologue now and then with teasing corrections and asides. Kara just rides right on over his quiet words. Lee looks both bemused and regretful. He's often left out of these stories of the past shared by his wife and father.

Laura can relate.

She knows her husband loves and respects her, as she does him. But their love is a muted love, born in a forge of the hottest heat, melted into a shape that is unrecognizable until it shines like a prism in just the right light. To this day she isn't quite sure how they wound up married. She has hazy memories of William at her side, during the dark days when she was sure she was two steps from death. He wasn't the only one to keep vigil, of course. She remembers Lee, and Billy, and even Kara a time or two. But William didn't step away afterwards.

"That is so not true," Kara suddenly exclaims. "I was the first one to break eighty."

William chuckles, a bittersweet sound. Sweet, because she loves the sound of him happy and relaxed. Bitter, because she so rarely makes him laugh herself.

"I have proof," he says, quietly confident. Laura has no doubt that he does. She got very good at gauging his level of surety in their years as grudging allies.

"I don't believe you," Kara says. "I think you're bluffing."

She's smiling widely, radiantly. Laura has heard she's quite the card-sharp, but on this she's over her head.

"I wouldn't doubt him," Lee advises. He's been quiet most of the evening, though Laura thinks that is because he's just content to observe. As is she.

Kara laughs, a sound low in her chest and throat. "Oh, the old man has more layers than you think."

William meets her gaze, then stands. He bows his head at Laura, ever the gentleman, then cocks his finger at Kara. "Come be educated, then."


She wouldn't be the heroine of the story, of course, but her part would be intrinsic to the tale. A pivot of the plot, a character for the footnotes.

Laura smiles as they head toward the front room. She's glad for their fun, but it's not her fun. Lee stands a second later, bobbing his own courteous nod before joining the other two.

She sighs and stands herself, stacking the plates and utensils to take to the sink. If she gets this cleaned up now she might join them later.

As she starts scrubbing the first plate in the wash tub, Laura catches sight of her reflection in the wavy glass of the window. Some days she is shocked at how old she looks. But this woman in the window looks far younger than she feels. The imperfections of the glass ease away the wrinkles around her eyes and the lines that are starting to cross her cheeks. The gray at her temples does not show in the black on obsidian.

Lee's face suddenly appears beside her own. She jumps, knocking a glass off the edge of the counter. She makes a mad grab for it, but the brittle piece shatters in her hand.

"Frack!" A jagged shard is embedded in her palm, the blood already mixing in with the dishwater clinging to her skin. She feels a moment of panic as she tries to figure out what to do first.

Then Lee is there, cradling her hand in his left as he draws the piece of glass out with his right. His hands are warm and sure, and she's grateful she doesn't have to take care of this herself. Laura has always prided herself on her independence--but she'll make an exception when it involves her own blood.

She looks up at his face as he presses the dishtowel to the wound, satisfied that he knows what he's doing. Lee hasn't aged a bit--not in any outward way. But she knows that he's not quite the fairly naive young man that she first met on the last day of the world. He's grown in so many ways, and she feels something a little like pride, and a lot like affection, as she thinks about that.

Then he presses harder on the cloth. "Ow," she yells.

He smiles at her sheepishly. "Sorry. Have to stop the bleeding."

Laura nods. "Of course," she says. Her voice is a little breathy. Lee frowns, and draws her toward the washroom.


No, the hero of the tale would be young and dashing. His tragedy would have happened in his youth, and then he would grow and learn and lead. Her own role would be only to guide his footsteps to his path. Nothing more.

She sits on the edge of the tub, realizing how shaky she is. It makes her frown; a little thing like this shouldn't get to her so badly.

"You'll be fine," Lee murmurs. He lifts the cloth. Laura looks away, but she sees him grimace even as he nods.

"I don't think it needs stitches, but I do need to clean it," he says.

She smiles as he digs through the paltry medicine cabinet. He turns back with a dark bottle and a handful of cloth.

"Remember you like me," he grins.

Laura hisses as he pours some of the medicinal alcohol over the cut. She breathes deeply. Pain is something she has learned to deal with.

"Sorry," he says, and she knows that he is. His eyes are full of compassion as they meet her own.

Laura catches her breath. She tells herself it's the pain and not his beautiful blue eyes that makes her do so.

"It'll be over soon," he soothes.

"I know," she says, but she can't look away. She smiles wryly. "I've missed seeing you, you know. You're always so busy."

He looks away, inspecting her hand as a faint blush touches his cheeks. "I know. It's hard to get away, even for an evening."

She understands completely. Her days as President were overwhelming in so many ways, but the inability to have a quiet moment to herself was perhaps the worse. Lee isn't President yet, but he's being groomed to fill the slot in a few short years. That is, if he doesn't take command of the fleet first. Laura has always envied his ability to balance both sides of that equation, but she often wonders what it costs him to do so.

"Well, we're glad you could make it."

He looks up at her again, eyes probing, though she doesn't know why. "Are you," he murmurs, then turns away to bandage her hand.


The hero would have an important father, a man who was great in his own right. The hero would have a beautiful wife, as bold and daring as he was. His cadre would all be impressive, but none so much as he.

Laura doesn't know what that means. She reaches up, brushes his cheek with her free hand. "Is this about your father?"

Lee shakes his head. "No, it's nothing."

She's worried now. "Are you and Kara all right?"

He snorts. "As good as it ever is. You know Kara."

She does, but not nearly as well as the two Adama men do. Laura was honestly surprised when Lee and Kara got together--she thought they made better siblings than lovers, but it wasn't her place to say so. She's glad that he found happiness, though. Both of them are dear to her.

"So what's up?" she coaxes.

He takes her good hand and squeezes gently. "I just wish you were back in charge. I don't suppose I could interest you in a second run?"

There are tears springing to her eyes, much to her surprise, and she blinks them away quickly. She laughs instead. "Just like a true politician, always with a hidden agenda."

He smirks at her, though his eyes are serious. "I take it that's a no."

Part of her wants to say yes, but that part isn't driven by a need to fulfill the greater good. She feels like she's letting him down, turning away something important, but she shakes her head anyway. "That part of my life is over. The colony needs stability, and I still can't give them that."

He stands then, obviously finished with his doctoring. "I think you're selling yourself short. But I understand." Lee smiles. "I don't like it, but I understand."

He pulls her to her feet easily, then braces her as she wobbles just a bit. He is warmth itself in front of her, as are his eyes. Apollo, god of the many suns. He just stands there, looking at her. She searches for words to break his spell.

"I should get back to the dishes," she says.

Lee swallows, then shakes his head. "You shouldn't get that bandage wet. Make Dad take care of the mess."


Yes, the tales will go something like this. A hero and his family, toiling ever onward to save humanity. The details will be lost, the bonds between them distorted by the distance of time and the lurid pull of imagination.

He finally steps back as she nods. By silent accord they make their way to the front room. Laughter drifts to meet them, Kara's chuckles layering over William's far quieter ones. The sight of them makes her heart clench with joy and some darker emotion she refuses to recognize. Kara is perched on William's knee, staring at some priceless paper handbook that he holds. The perfect picture of a father and daughter sharing story time.

Lee clears his throat. They both look up, and Kara shoots him a grin.

"We wondered where you had gotten to. You've got to see this," she says, sliding off of William's lap. She bounds forward with her boundless energy to tug at Lee's hand.

He follows slowly. "Laura had an accident," he explains.

William's head comes up sharply. "What?"

Laura shakes her head. "It's nothing," she assures him, but Lee carries on over her voice.

"I'm afraid I startled her in the kitchen," he says. "She cut her hand, but I've bandaged it up."

William is at her side in an instant. She smiles at him, waving her hand sheepishly. "It's nothing," she says again.

His face is concerned, and that makes her feel far too good. She leans in for a hug, and his arms are warm and safe.

"Does she need stitches?"

It should bother her that they talk over her like a child, but for some reason it doesn't. Maybe it's the bonds of family that make it this way. Maybe she's just tired of fighting for everything in her life.


She doesn't mind being left to the side of the story. She knows the part she has played, and she is content with her choices.

"I don't think so," she hears Lee say. "But it wouldn't hurt to get Doc to take a look at it."

She feels William nod. She steps back, smiles at him. He really is a wonderful man, and a wonderful husband. Laura is lucky to have him, and Lee and Kara, in her life.

As she turns around she sees Kara behind Lee, her arms around his waist in casual affection. Laura tells herself the burning in her gut is only a bit of indigestion. She's not used to the saccharine sweetness of this evening.

Just don't call her Iocasta. Her womb has long been barren, and Lee has never been blind.


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