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Beautiful History

Title Beautiful History (1/2)
Author angelicalangie
Summary: Events on New Caprica return to haunt Kara
Characters Lee, Kara, Cottle, Adama, Sam, Helo, Leoben, Simon, OFC.
Rating Teen
Length: 11,882
Warnings Light dub-con, definitely an amount of Stockholm Syndrome in the beginning. Mentions of Kara's relationship with her mother. Mentions of “The Farm”. If I have left anything else out, I am really sorry
Beta: Many, many thanks to the wonderfully encouraging embolalia who also managed to catch silly mistakes and tell me where I may make things more cohesive and realistic and just was a fantastic Beta. Thank you, you made this something that I am damned proud of!
Author Notes: Thank you to Kdbleu who provided in seven words a prompt that kinda went out of control when I was writing, I know that the minimum is 1,000 I was given such an interesting concept I went what, 11 times that? I know that I have gone pretty easy on the creep factor for Leoben, that is to make him easier for pure K/L or people squicked by Leoben to deal with the narrative.
Also a debt of gratitude to Taragel and SciFiShipper who were gracious when I asked for an extension. Also a personal thanks to a friend Katie, who helped me keep momentum and offered words of encouragement. This is the story that NEVER wanted to end, and at the end I didn't want it to, either. I hope you enjoy, I certainly did!



Prologue


Relief floods through Kara as the child in front of her opens her eyes and looks up at her. It's a mo-ment that she’s been hoping for from the moment she found Kacey on stairs. She screamed then; she’s smiling now with relief. She sinks backwards and Leoben is there, ready and waiting. This time she doesn't flinch, she knows he is there - that he has been there through the whole mess. A part of her knows he is the one that created the situation himself, but the bigger part, the part that loves Kacey as her own now, doesn't care.

A Simon comes in and begins to check over Kacey, taking her vitals and making notations on a chart. Kara’s back begins to stiffen and Leoben notices her change in behaviour. He guides her to a seat and Kara watches numbly from the sidelines as Leoben discusses Kacey's prognosis. A shiver runs through her as she watches them converse, as she watches the Simon's hands with horrified fascination and remembers them on her own skin. The brief tête a tête concludes and the Simon leaves the room; Leoben returns to Kara's side.

“He'll be back soon, he wants to keep an eye on her since she lost consciousness for so long,” Leoben says, sitting next to Kara.

“He creeps me out.” It's a flat statement and she says it so quietly that if Leoben didn't have superior hearing he may not have heard it.

She feels the lack of warmth as he moves away and out of the door and she is left with the sounds of the monitor, of Kacey's breathing and her own in the room. Dragging a chair from one side of the room to the bed, she settles and watches Kacey watching her. Moments pass in time as child and woman gaze at each other, as 'mother' strokes 'daughter’s' hair and a bond deepens. Kara knows now that she will never allow any harm to befall her little girl. Wonderment fills her when she real-ises she thinks of Kacey as her little girl, but she focuses once again on Kacey and her needs.

Leoben re-enters the room and takes Kara's hands, pulling them behind her. The coolness of shack-les binds her wrists together and she knows they’re leaving Kacey's side. Part of her rejoices at it, but she also wants to struggle, wants to fight to protect Kacey from the bogey man that the Simons present in her mind. It’s only when a Six appears, gentle in her appearance, that Kara relaxes enough to be ushered from the room.

***

They arrive back at their mockery of a home and Leoben releases her wrists so that she can walk down the stairs. Kara looks back at him as he shuts the door. Something has changed between them, something she can't quantify, but it’s there. She walks to the kitchen through the dining and living area and runs some water into a glass. She brings it to her lips and drinks it down greedily as though she is dehydrated. She finishes the glass sets it down, but it hasn't alleviated the feeling that is rising and beginning to take over her. Leoben turns her by her shoulder and looks her in the eye. He raises his hands to her face and kisses her tenderly on the forehead.

Perhaps it is exhaustion, perhaps it is being overwrought, perhaps it is a lot of things but she melts into him, wraps her arms around him – this machine who plays man – and in the moment it, he, whatever he is, gives her a sense of solace she hasn't had since her father left. She clings to that in her emotional turbulence. She lifts her head and returns his kiss and a chemistry that has built from the day she tortured him on that godsforsaken ship - whose name she has long forgotten - ignites, sparking a fire of touch and taste and a cataclysm of emotion that would never exist beyond this moment.

Chapter One

She steps off the raptor with Kacey in her arms, the small, precious and warm body melded into hers. Kara tightens her grip a little more as she looks down and descends to the deck floor and gazes about her. Sam wanders up behind her from within the raptor her, happy to be reunited with her, but Kara turns, almost imperceptibly, but enough to send a large enough message that he isn’t welcome. This is a moment with her daughter. She looks down at Kacey lovingly; she doesn’t notice the crowd thin a little in her area until she hears a female voice.

Within moments Kacey is gone, never her child. All the love Kara poured into the little girl means nothing. All that is left is the question of how to fill a child-shaped hole in your heart, when that child was never your flesh and bone. It felt like Kacey was her child. Kara’s arms feel empty as she relinquishes her to Julia, questions flooding her eyes. There are no answers forthcoming and Sam’s concern for her irritates until she twists away from him, the first step of their pattern. His concern and gentility and love can’t touch her emotional blank slate, only it isn’t as blank as she would like to think.

The hurt that begins that day twists and morphs into something she doesn’t even have a word set for. She sows seeds of discontent with Tigh, a man she has never particularly liked before. She feels nothing for the life she had before, nothing for the people in it who desert her now, watching from the periphery as time passes and she descends into a second personal hell.

How can she tell anyone what had happened, that she is ashamed of the feelings she had for the toaster, the way he manipulated her into loving him, into thinking she had a child. The experience has left her a remnant; all she is now is a shell of the person that she was. That child is with another woman and she, Kara Thrace, is not the mother. It’s strange, it’s weird, it’s twisted, it’s frakked. She never wanted to be a mother, but in a few short weeks, weeks she let that twisted pile of circuits into her heart, she became a mother and she loved it – even if the spectre of Kacey scared her - though she’d rip anyone’s tongue out if they said it to her face, or behind her back.

She’s not just wrestling with the situation, the effects of being kept in detention, the botched sui-cide, the multiple murders, and the accident with Kacey. She’s dealing with the lack of control and the submission; she hates herself for that most of all. She goes round and round and round in circles, reliving, trying to work out a different ending, some new clue that means that she isn’t responsible, that she had no choice but to love Leoben. Each night she finds herself in a closet or a small space, willing herself to die whilst daring herself to drink into oblivion only to succeed in failing and hating herself all the more.

Kara spends her life in a haze of misery buried under layers of anger and spite and bitterness. She had hoped that she would come back to a life like she’d had, but the world moved on without her, and she doesn’t know how to deal with it. She rises now each morning with what reminds her of a hangover, vomiting, and shrugs it off to the long hours, the terrible food and the enforced life of sobriety the toaster made her live. Another thing she hates him for. Everything she eats or does now rebounds on her in some manner, and it is all a reflection of New Caprica and the Cylons. The mis-ery compounds in on itself when she sees Kacey in passing. The child that could have been hers. She never wanted to be a mother and now, now there is a yearning that wouldn’t exist had Leoben not interfered and meddled.

One morning she rolls out of the bunk that she shares with Sam, the gods know why, and heads straight for the sink they have. She heaves again - she can’t stop - and it lifts her to her toes with a feeling as though she is pulling everything up from in her torso. Sam watches from the bunk, blank-faced. He knows this time it isn’t from alcohol. They had had a fight last night and she stayed with him out of spite. She didn’t drink, she partook in her other addiction. She fought and frakked him instead.

“Kara, you’ve thrown up like that for the last five weeks, there has to be something wrong. You know the amount of illnesses that were going around back on that planet. You should see Doc Cot-tle.” He rolls back on the bunk and looks at the ceiling.

Kara wipes her mouth with her sleeve. “I don’t feel ill.”

“Kara you were violently ill, and you don’t feel ill.” Disbelief tinges Sam’s voice, as if he doesn’t know what to do anymore. It’s almost like living with an angry wraith; she isn’t the Kara he mar-ried, certainly not the one he met on Caprica.

Silence encapsulates the room; it sits itself between them as though it is a third person in their mar-riage. Time passes and the implications of their conversation, if one could call it that, lay heavy. With a thump Sam breaks the silence by throwing a pillow at the wall opposite him. Kara knows she should be startled, should be wary, but she barely bats an eye.

“You are going to Doc Cottle.” His voice is definite; the job is done, finished and over.

Kara doesn’t care anymore; she goes with him out of some motivation she cannot even place, per-haps she is just doing it to placate him, out of duty, lacking the will to fight anymore. They walk the halls in silence, staying out of the way of people. Sam smiles at friends, promises to get back to them, but says that he has something important to do. Kara hears him, hears him say important and some small part of her registers that she is the ‘something important’, but her whole life suddenly feels as though she’s swimming through mud, a ghost in her own life. She wonders when she is ever going to snap out of this, or if this is it.

They enter life-station together, or as together as two strangers can be. It’s quiet in there and as Kara feels Sam leave her side to look for the doctor, she looks around, not out of interest, but out of a lack of anything else to do. She picks up paperwork, but can barely read it. She supposes it would be like the good Doc trying to read the engineering schematics to one of the vipers.

“Would you put that down, there is nothing there for a pilot, even one with no flight status like yourself, to read.” Cottle walks over to her before she has the opportunity to put the paperwork down and takes it out of her hands. “Well, what have you got yourself into that your husband won’t even talk about it?” His irascibility is palpable, but it doesn’t diminish an air of caring.

“I’m puking my brains out. It’s the food, I know it is,” Kara says sullenly, making it clear she in no way wants to be there.

“It's going to take your system a while to get used to things up here, Starbuck. Take it easy on your-self.” He turns to Sam. “Are you trying to waste my time?”

Sam blanches a little, but he has had worse, and this is Kara they are talking about – his wife, no matter how messed up she is. “I am not sold on the food theory. I’m not ill.”

The doctor turns to Kara, who is looking at Sam, her eyes throwing out silent messages that could range from traitor to get me out of here, but Sam is so far removed from her these days that he just isn’t receiving it.

“Everybody's system is different, but it can't hurt to see if there is something else going on I sup-pose.” Cottle says looking at her, but Kara won’t look him in the eye. The lack of answer confirms everything to Cottle and so he starts to think and begins to draw up a chart. “Sit on that bed Star-buck, and do not move.” His voice has become authoritative, and somehow it penetrates the static in her mind just enough for her to follow the order and do as she is told.

A nurse comes and begins drawing blood, and as Kara looks at it flowing into the tube, she’s whisked back to Leoben’s blood spurting out of his neck as he died, gasping for air like a fish out of water. She looks at her own hands; they are clean as they should be. The nurse has her fill and with-draws the needle and moves off. Kara begins to wipe her hands on her pants. In her mind’s eyes she has his blood on them, drying, making her fingers stiff.

Sam watches her silently and realises that he is creeping inexorably towards his tolerance levels. He can’t make out what is going on in her head any more than she can it seems. She has shut down so much he would be amazed if she ever opened up. He looks at her and begins to feel pity for her, she became the bird in a gilded cage, and even though she has left it physically, she hasn’t mentally. He wonders if she ever will. He wants to keep trying, wants to be with her, will allow her to do almost anything. He wonders, looking off into the distance, what his breaking point is.

Time passes slowly in life-stations, but Sam stays just so that Kara does. That said he wishes she would at least talk to him, even argue, just show some kind of response. He is left with his thoughts too often these days, and that was never his thing. Kara fidgets, playing with her hands. It’s such an unusual behaviour for her that for a moment Sam is stunned. He becomes fascinated, so much so that he doesn’t notice the Doc coming up on them.

“So, we have the preliminary results of your tests, Starbuck,” the Doctor begins. Kara looks at him and the world that seemed so distant slows down. She knows something is up, just looking at him. “You don’t have any sickness, at least so far that we have on our prelim, that’s your first piece of news.”

Kara feels vindicated and looks at Sam victoriously. “I told you it was the food and stress, I just need to get used to it,” she hisses. Deep down she knows he was trying to do the right thing, but she feels like a fool.

“It’s not the food, nor the stress, Starbuck, you’re pregnant.” Cottle’s words hang in the air like un-wanted birthday balloons. Sam is stunned, Kara just feels lost, the world falling out from under her.

“I’m on the shot, just like everyone else.” It’s a desperate plea; he has to have gotten it wrong.

“You weren’t whilst you were on New Caprica, you just didn’t have the access, and when you were captured I hardly doubt the Cylons thought it was a pertinent action.” Cottle doesn’t notice that Kara pales just a little bit; he keeps going. “Starbuck, you probably got pregnant in the celebration when you got back, in the week or so before you restarted the shot.” He places two bottles on the bed. “These are the best I can give you in prenatal care. Take one a day.” He backs out of the cur-tained area and leaves the couple to their own devices.

“Well, that’s just perfect Kara, frakking perfect.” Sam gets up, staring at his wife, who now seems alien to him. “Last frakking night was the first night you deigned to frak me. You've treated me like the frakking plague!” His voice is hushed, harsh and angry. “So who’s the father Kara, Lee? Some-one else? Anyone else? A deck hand! The whole frakking ship knows that you got back and frakked the first thing to come to mind. Frak, your pre-nuptual frak was Lee. What did he do? Turn you away last night and I became sloppy seconds?”

It snaps Kara out of her malaise and she looks up at Sam, a tear rolling down her cheek. It gives Sam some pause but it isn’t enough to stop him walking out the door. Kara watches him leave and fiercely wipes her tears away as she pulls the typical Starbuck facade over her features, a facade that has been missing for so long. There is something more going on, something is tickling at the back of her mind, but she doesn’t want to pay attention to it. A part of her is revelling in the idea that this is her second chance at being a mother. Kacey was taken from her, but now she has this child.

She follows Sam out the door and down the corridor until she is on his heels at a run. Something has taken over her, something has changed, and the child-shaped hole in her world is being filled. It isn’t a replacement, but is something that is hers and hers alone. She won’t question this, even though something is nagging at her. She steps into her quarters and into the storm that is raging in her husband.

“What, you couldn’t keep it in your pants long enough that we could be together?” Sam is pacing angrily. Kara’s never seen him like this before and she isn’t going to say a thing.

She sits down on their bed as he spews venom at her. It’s nothing she hasn’t heard before. It’s eve-rything she knew would happen. It was just a matter of time. She is reminded of all the times that her mother told her she was no good, a cancer, and a frak-up. Look at where she is now, frakking up a marriage – then again, if she really thought about it she married Sam more out of fear than love.

“Is there any chance that it’s Leoben’s? I mean you seem to frak anyone, why not him?” Sam is throwing stuff in a bag hard and fast, and by the time Kara really looks at him she sees that he is completely packed.

“Well here is the offer,” he says finally, but his voice is now deadly calm and she wishes he would return to angry because then at least she would know what she was dealing with. There is no trace of the Sam she loved so long ago.

“You get rid of the thing that is within you, that tumour, or we are done.” He suddenly realises that of all the things she could have done, getting knocked up by another guy is the one thing that would break him. He loves her even now, but how can he be near her, especially if this is Lee's child. A part of him believes it is, not even a suspicion.

Kara looks at him, really looks at him, there is disbelief in her eyes but as she sees he means it, her hand goes to her flat abdomen protectively. She remembers the loss she felt when Kacey was taken away and Leoben’s game was shown for what it was: something to weaken her resolve.

“I’m not getting rid of it. For one thing it’s illegal, thanks to Roslin,” Kara shouts for all to hear. Sam looks at her and realises that she’s serious. He walks over to her and kneels down in front of her; gently he places his hands on her shoulders and looks her in the eyes beseechingly.

“I know people who can do this, who will make everything right again. It isn’t like you ever wanted children before.” Sam thinks he is making some headway until Kara looks him in the eyes. Some-thing has changed, there is an impenetrable wall and he just hit it. Gods knew what Leoben did to her, but something about her is different now. She looks like she’s about to dig her heels in and make trenches.

“No.” It’s quiet in comparison to all the shouting they’ve done during their marriage. “I won’t go to some former backstreet butcher. I’m not losing this child, too.” Sam’s face becomes perplexed and Kara shrugs inwardly; she isn’t going to bother explaining that to him. He’d understand more, she figures, if he knew her better. She negates the idea that he would know more, perhaps even under-stand her, if she opened up to him. If it’s over as he’s said, she isn’t going to lay herself bare to him. She’s done as well.

“You’re throwing us away over someone else’s baby?” It’s louder than Kara was expecting and she flinches away. Sam rocks back on his haunches before walking to his bags. He can hardly believe the fact that she isn’t even defending herself. He moves to the door and opens it. Outside their quarters people are moving about freely, going about their lives, unaware that his is imploding. As he steps out of the hatch Kara’s voice sounds finally and his heart skips a beat hoping she has come to her senses.

“Sam, not someone else’s baby. My baby. I don’t care who the father is. This is my baby first and foremost. Don’t forget that.” She stands finally and moves to the half bare wardrobe and positions her clothes in the centre and does something she rarely does. She tidies.

***

Hours pass, and that niggling feeling returns, Sam’s words return to her: “Is there any chance it’s Leoben’s?” Her first reaction is to be repulsed, but her instincts tell her the truth. Her memory floats and she is back in that hospital, back watching Kacey, unconscious and bandaged. She was the one that held his hand there, she made the move. You couldn’t call it love, but she doesn’t know what else you could call it.

They had returned to the apartment on the say-so of a Simon. Just looking at him had reminded her of the farms on Caprica, and almost as though sensing it Leoben dragged her away. Kacey was safe, she was being tended to, she’d woken up, and she’d be home soon. They got back and Kara had sagged, had landed on the floor and sobbed, listing all her failings, finally broken. Leoben had taken advantage of it all, but then so had she. She had taken advantage of the slightest comfort she could get – and for a moment forgot who was giving it. She hadn’t told him she loved him though, that had come much later, her last bargaining chip, and now ... now she found he had an even better one. Had he known?

It’s a thought that makes her restless, and like a tiger she prowls her quarters, suddenly feeling trapped like she was at the doll house. Kara grabs a bottle of ambrosia, more out of habit than any-thing else. She runs out of her quarters, not paying any heed as to who’s around.

A man watches her dash out of the quarters, and has half a mind to follow her, but he knows that she is better left alone. He’s still so bitterly angry towards her that whatever words he gave her would be damaging and not what she needed.

Walking the corridor he finds himself at the new makeshift bar that has sprung up, Joe’s. He walks in and takes in the tableau: Sam shooting pyramid scores, a dark look on his face. Lee sits on the opposite side of the bar and buys a shot of Ambrosia. He leans on the bar and listens to the gossip; he isn’t one to spread it, but knowing the hot spots tends to avoid issues later on.

“Sam’s back here then,” a male voice speaks, chuckling.

“Yeah, you’d think being married to Starbuck he’d be at home.” The innuendo threads its way into what the man is saying, raising Lee’s hackles.

“Yeah well, I saw him leaving with a packed bag and Starbuck shouting something about, ‘Not someone else’s baby, her baby.’ Perhaps she’s been playing away from home and got caught.” Lee can hear the shrug in the voice. He doesn’t care. He drinks the shot in one gulp, slams the glass on the bar and leaves. As he walks out he puts together the look Kara wore when he saw her and the story he had just heard. He was wrong before; she shouldn’t be left on her own right now.


Chapter Two

Kara sits back against the wall, the viewing port to one side. The room is long deserted by the hordes that used to love admiring the view; the novelty has long worn off. In her hands is a bottle of ambrosia, the glass warm, but she hasn’t tasted a sip. Her head rests on the wall behind her as she schools her breathing from angered and laboured to calm. She tilts her head and looks at the join between ceiling and wall, her breath still shaky from her anger. She looks out the corner of her eye and regards the starscape, once as familiar as a lover’s caress and now foreign and forbidden.

She doesn’t know what to do. Sam’s demands – on the one hand – seemed so rational. This baby shouldn’t exist, it’s an unnatural occurrence. What he’s proposing though is equally unnatural, not to mention, she smiles grimly, unlawful. She looks downward at her still flat stomach; one day, she surmises, this won’t be so flat. She doesn’t know where her anger lies. Is it with Leoben, who tricked her into a facsimile of love – but never the real thing? Could it be she’s angry at Sam, who wants her to throw away something living – no matter its origins? Or Lee, who saw her pain the day Julia took Kacey from her arms and yet did nothing but walk past her?

She sits that way for a time, despondent in her disequilibrium. It could be minutes, it could be hours – her emotions are in such disarray that perception is something of the past. One moment she knows she is alone, in the room, in the world, maybe even in the universe and then she feels crowded as his scent inhabits the room along with his presence.

“It isn’t the end of the world. It isn’t even the end of your career, Starbuck.” So he’s going to play to the infamous ‘Starbuck.’ If she weren’t so miserable she’d laugh.

She doesn’t look at him when she replies, “But it isn’t much of a career, is it? I don’t see much opportunity for career progression, either.” She feels hollow and empty and it shows on her face.

Lee stands there for a moment, paralysed, not knowing what to do with a Kara that is devoid of any emotion. Finally he sits on the cold deck, making sure that he doesn’t touch her – lest he scare her off.

“You’re grounded. Flying a bird – according to the good doctor – it’s too taxing on the pregnancy, you could have a miscarriage – hell you could kill yourself, and truth be told that is what worries me more.”

She looks up at him, her hollow eyes telling more of the tale than her words. “So that is all I am, a pregnancy?” She feels stripped of meaning, or at least the meaning that she held before. Identity ripped from her in the moments she spent with Leoben that created this thing that inhabits her. Identity ripped in the moments that it took for the good doctor Cottle to tell her she was pregnant. Or was it ripped the second that she was grounded, or when the messenger boy Lee delivered the verdict?

It wasn’t all true though, was it? She questions herself inwardly in the silence between her and Lee. Her identity metamorphosed the moment she accepted Kacey as her own. Mother, that was what she had become, and a damn sight better in the weeks she’d had with Kacey than her own mother had managed in eighteen years.

“It isn’t forever. It’s what, nine months of pregnancy? And then however long it takes for you to get back to adequate fitness to fly levels,” Lee says as he too stares at the wall ahead of him.

“It isn’t Sam’s.” Kara says finally. She could swear that the air in the room drops by ten degrees and she picks her hands up from her lap to wrap her arms around her herself protectively.

“What happened?” His words are quietly spoken, but they are not soft, and that gives more meaning than if he shouted. He’s angry and he has every reason to be.

“Leoben had me in some kind of house. He wanted me to love him.” She shakes her head gently as she speaks, her inner mind seeing the dollhouse he kept her in. “I killed him in so many different ways. A part of me began hating myself. I kept killing him and he kept returning, concerned for me.” She drops her head as she remembers the way he treated her.

“You do realize that it was false concern, he wanted you to break. You did remember that?” There is an air of desperation in his voice; he has moved from his previous position until he is on his knees facing her. He wants to grab her by the shoulders and shake her into sense, but knows that would be the wrong tack to take with her.

“I hurt him, Lee. I tortured him and he let me do it, he did that for me. I don’t understand him, Lee. Why would he place me on such a pedestal to allow me to repeatedly hurt him?” She looks blankly at the wall over Lee’s shoulder.

“He’s a Cylon, Gods, he is Leoben, and he tells you truths wrapped in lies! You know this!” His voice has crept up in volume until she looks at him, seeing him properly for the first time in this exchange.

“It’s his, Lee. I don’t think I loved him, but he was so relentless and he was there. Then there was Kacey and he was so gentle with her and I saw this other side ...” She drifts off. The rest is left unspoken.

Lee sinks down, winded, hunched as though he’s been sucker-punched. In a way, he thinks to himself, he has. “So, now what do we do?” he finally utters softly.

A part of her screams to get rid of it, refusing to even acknowledge that it is a child. But the part that finally broke in two when Kacey was gently wrenched from her arms, from her life - that part of her screams and begs and pleads to keep it. It is the part of her that is winning, and winning by a mile. She runs her hand over her belly protectively, unconsciously and subtly curling inwards. Her decision, if there ever had been one to make, is made. She looks at Lee finally, the decision in her eyes.

“This child is innocent of its parents’ sins, Lee. It didn’t deserve this situation; I can’t do what Sam asked of me. Find some way out of this mess.” She swallows, takes a breath and closes her eyes. “It’s over with him. How can he love me when he would risk my life?”

Lee sits opposite her with warring emotions. He can see where Sam is coming from, what he saw and the reasons why. Lords he could see himself agreeing with Sam. He looks at Kara; there is no trace of the bravado that is Starbuck’s shield. Has Sam ever seen this aspect of Kara? Ever seen the fragility? Has he ever seen tears run down his wife’s face as she feels torn as she does now? Lee doesn’t think he has.

“Sam knows it is Leoben’s? Frak!” The statement is expelled on a held breath. Lee looks at Kara, ashen-faced.

“I neither confirmed nor denied. Hell, considering the way I’ve treated him lately, he thinks it could be any one of a dozen men’s child.” Regret tinges her words. “He suspects it though.”

“Suspecting and knowing are two entirely separate things, Kara.” Lee says, thoughts roiling as plots began to whir in his mind. His face becomes distant as he stares out of the viewing port.

“I know that look, Lee. I saw that look when Zak and I played Pyramid against you. Lords of Kobol, does that seem a long time ago.” She blows out a breath she didn’t know she had been holding. “Where do we go from here Lee? It isn’t as though we have exactly been friends, frak; you’ve looked like you wanted to kill me a few times.”

“I did,” he admits. If they are going to clear the air, he may as well be honest he figures. “You ... slept with me; we made an agreement to tell them, break it off finally and be together and the next thing I knew you were married the following morning. Did you know what you did to me?” He is angry again, but it isn’t as potent as it had been before.

“I think I saw that,” Kara says smiling, it’s a small victory, but it is there. “Your uniform could barely hold you.” She becomes quiet as a thought falls over her. “I’m going to have that problem next.” She sighs and goes over the words he has said. She had hurt him, and he was honest enough to tell her. Looking up she smiles. “Sorry, sorry for all of it.” She sags just a little and feels one of her many walls crumble, she is already letting him in, even though she could really hurt them both this time.

“Yeah, you are going to have a small issue with the uniform, I know the name of an excellent tailor though.” He laughs, but she doesn’t and it worries him just a little. He needs to lighten things up, it feels as though the conversation is a negotiation of new ground in their relationship.

Lee stands up; he doesn’t know what the next step is now that she has made her decision. Samuel T. Anders could blow her life apart if he voices his suspicions.

“Sam needs new quarters, the last I heard he wanted to be pilot. I guess it will be a good thing now that I am out of commission, just don’t ask me to be the one to train him.” Kara says finally.

“You’re thinking about adding people to the pilot roster when we have a Cylon pregnancy to cover up?” Lee looks at her, astonished, and then thinks of what he has said aloud and it gives him a moment of pause. Something he wouldn’t do for anyone else, there is still a part of him that doesn’t want to do it, even for her. It’s a Cylon for the Gods sakes, and then he sees her stricken face and he knows he really will do anything for Kara Thrace.

Later as he walks down the corridors of the hulking ship that he calls home, he finds that he can’t stop thinking. How do they dare hide this, can they get away with this? He remembers the insanity that happened with Helo’s kid and it didn’t end well. He remembers Sharon being locked in a cell and the thought that it could happen to Kara chills him. He cannot let that happen to Kara, he will not. He just has no clues as to how to protect her - especially now that Sam has left her.

Thoughts of Kara preoccupy his mind as he heads through the ship toward his own quarters, unaware of the lateness of the hour, time having frozen in conversation, in the concerns that have abounded in his mind about Kara. Before he realises it he in the long corridor that will take him to his own quarters, to the woman he married, to the life he now lives – the one that doesn’t feel like his. His steps are slow; they are lazy and reluctant, but not hesitant. He finds himself at his hatch all too soon and feels himself entering as though he is watching his own life from outside his body.


Now on to the Second part