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Divide the Child

By Denise Allen

Word Count: 26,108
Date: 02/06/05
Series: One
Rating: K+
Category: Action
Pairing/Focus: E
Warnings:
Summary:
Spoilers/Disclaimers:


Laura Roslin sat in the cell madder than hell. No mad didn’t even begin to describe it. The jerk had dared placed her in the brig. So, Starbuck flew back to Caprica to get the “Arrow of Apollo.” It was their only chance to find Earth.

When Adama had mentioned Earth it was a myth a fable. Earth a false hope to give humanity a reason to survive and fight. The gods were funny life was funny sometimes. They found Kobol. It was real. She was sure of that. She was certain there was an earth now. Surer of earth than anything she had been in her life. Just as she knew, she would never see it. The damned man had summoned a legend and it had actually come.

She hadn’t exactly coerced Lt. Kara Thrace. But, if she was honest with herself, she really hadn’t given her any choice either. She had revealed the man she viewed as her father to be a liar. She had broken a pact with the Commander. A low blow granted, but they needed that damned arrow whether Adama knew it or not.

Now as she sat in the brig and cooled down she realized William Adama had reacted not just as a commander who had lost an invaluable strategic weapon and key pilot, to a drug induced vision as Billy had called it, but also as a father protecting someone he regarded as his daughter on what he considered a suicide mission.

Stupid! Stupid! How could she have been so stupid? Caprica was infested with Cylons and irradiated to hell. She sent Starbuck back into hell. She had been so focused on the Temple of Athena and finding the location of Earth. She should have thought this through more carefully. The personal and military ramifications of what she had asked were crashing in on her now.

Then there was Lee. She viewed him as a son, and if she was honest maybe a little bit more. No wonder the Commander had looked at her with contempt. She remembered saying “I know who you are, but Captain Apollo has a nice ring to it, don’t you think”

She had been so wrong. He wasn’t Captain Apollo. He was Lee Adama, son of a living legend, William Adama’s flesh and blood. William Adama protected his own right or wrong. She had seen clear evidence of that with Starbuck.

She remembered promising Lee that both jobs wouldn’t interfere with each other.

He had never shown his father anything but loyalty until today. It had been his decision she consoled herself. Yes, that was certainly true, but in all honesty she had her part to play in all this. She had probably helped cost him his rank, his wings, and possibly more importantly his father and Kara.

Adama had warned both of them. What was the old adage? “You can’t serve two masters. She had been kidding herself. This was bound to have happened eventually. Adama had seen it, and had tried to warn them.

Hell, she thought she’d be lucky to ever see daylight again. And she wasn’t sure she completely blamed Adama. Now that she’d had a minute to see his side. Damn, what a mess…

All her introspection abruptly halted as claxons screamed all over the Galactica.

Oh damn! Were they under attack again? “Condition one. Set condition one ...”

That sounded like Col. Tigh’s voice “Marine!” Laura shouted.

The guard at the door jumped to attention and proceeded to her cell.

“Yes, Ma’am, what do you need?”

“What is happening? Why are we at condition 1?” She demanded.

“I don’t know Ma’am. They won’t tell me anything. We only receive news on a need to know basis down here Ma’am. Will there be anything else?”

“Please inform Commander Adama I would like to speak with him as soon as possible.” Laura demanded.

The marine’s eyes popped in surprise at her tone. “Yes, Ma’am I’ll relay the message. Will there be anything else?”

No, thank you.” Laura said softly and went to sit back down on the bench in her cell.

Chapter 2

The bridge was chaos. The medical team had arrived as half of the CIC piled on top of Sharon Valeri. Col. Tigh and the medics were trying to get the commander loaded on a gurney, Lee and Dee held on to his hands talking to him softly as they started to move him.

As they were carrying the stretcher toward the life station Lee started following the stretcher. The two marines guarding him immediately grabbed to restrain him. Lee’s feet were not shackled as was normally procedure. This was a mistake the two marines would never make again. As they tried to drag him away from his father he lashed out kicking one of the guards in the face as the other went to pin him to the ground.

Tigh intervened quickly. The last thing he needed was another injured Adama in life station.

“LEE!. Captain stop now! That’s an order.” Tigh screamed at him.

Something in Tigh’s tone registered in Lee’s numbed mind. He stopped fighting and looked up at Col. Tigh. What Tigh saw there scared him. He would have killed the guards to get to his father, Tigh had no doubt. He was in shock and eyes were totally blank. Tigh wasn’t exactly sure what he was registering, but he was going to get him to life station immediately. Hell it was no surprise, his father had just been shot and bled all over him.

“Guard, escort Captain Adama to life station. He is to remain there until I give further orders. Once there remove the cuffs, and tell personnel on duty that Captain Adama needs to be examined and treated if necessary. That’s all.”

Tigh turned and bent down and talked to Lee very softly as if he were a scared child. He wasn’t very good at this, but he needed to keep him together until they could get him to his father and life station.

“Lee, look at me.” He said softly. Lee gave no indication of hearing him. ”These soldiers are going to take you to life station. to see your father. I want you to go with them. Do I have your word you’ll cooperate?” Tigh asked very quietly.

He didn’t want to shackle and carry Lee Adama bodily from CIC after everything else that had happened.

Lee gave a small nod of assent to Tigh and slowly got up from the floor.. Tigh breathed a sigh of relief as the guards led him out of CIC without any further incident. Tigh watched Lee go wishing Starbuck were here for the first time in memory. She would have been able to handle him, but then he would have had to arrest her for the murder of Sharon Valeri (or whatever she was) he though wryly, as he went on to handle her next.

Chapter 3

Sharon Valeri turned the gun on herself. She was a Cylon, but she didn’t want to be a Cylon. She was Sharon Valeri, no she was model number nine. But she loved Tyrol. She knew that, but she was Cylon, how could she love a man? How could she shoot one of them and yet love another. And it was love she knew that. How could she know love when she was a Cylon? She wanted to die, that would be easier. She wanted to live, she just didn’t want to live as a Cylon.

Col. Tigh slapped the gun from her hand. Four Marines came running with their side arms drawn. No. She wouldn’t kill herself. She had done it. She had finally hurt someone. She didn’t want to hurt Commander Adama, she just couldn’t stop herself. How could a Cylon live among humans she was expected to hurt, but didn’t want to hurt. Sharon wanted to be something she knew was impossible, she wanted to be human.

Better to be human she thought no matter how inferior and flawed, than to be this abomination that she had become. She knew this wasn’t what God wanted for her. But she wanted it anyway. She stopped caring about God in that minute. Any God that could make her hurt those she loved, and yes it was love she told herself, was not worthy of worship. She would never be human, but she would never hurt another human again. She didn’t know how she knew this, but God or the gods (she wasn’t sure which) didn’t want her to hurt a human again. In that moment clarity finally came, she was not model nine, or human Sharon Valeri. She was simply Sharon also known as Boomer. That was how she would think of herself from here forward.

Now how did she make this right.? She knew now she had to make this right. The first action she took was to send a silent prayer for Commander Adama to the human gods. She didn’t know if they would hear a Cylon, but she would try anyway. Then for good measure, she sent a prayer to the Cylon God as well. Would a Cylon God help humans? She didn’t know, but again she would try.

She would help the humans now because she had to fix this. That was the right thing to do she decided. She knew they would never trust her again. She would be isolated, probably for her natural life. She accepted this as her penance. Whether that would be a few hours or many years, she didn’t know yet. She sent another prayer to God and the gods. “Help me.” was the simple prayer she said silently. Time would tell whether either would hear her.

Tigh and several marines covered Sharon. They shackled and restrained her now that she was disarmed.

.”If she moves kill her.” Tigh ordered.

Sharon looked directly at Tigh and spoke softly. “I won’t hurt anyone else.”

She looked away and added softly “I’m sorry.”

Tigh didn’t know what to say to that, but frak he believed she really was sorry.

Next to deal with the President and , then to check Life Station and Will and Lee Adama. He was not looking forward to either as he headed toward the brig.

Chapter 4

Laura Roslin watched bewildered as they led Lt Sharon Valeri into the brig under heavy guard with a blaster pointed directly at her head. She moved forward in the cell, and looked at Sharon Valeri. She looked dismal with bruises about her face.

“What the…?” she started to ask, when Col. Tigh came into the brig with his blaster drawn, Laura watched stunned.

“Madam President move back away from the prisoner immediately. Now! Move to the back of your cell. I’ll be with you presently.” Tigh ordered.

She immediately obeyed without question, which was unheard for her. There was an iron quality in Tigh’s voice that left no room for argument. She immediately sat back on the bench at the back of her cell, and waited until Tigh finished.

Tigh spent some time talking with Lt. Valeri, but Laura could not hear what was discussed. She watched fascinated waiting for Tigh to come. She figured she would learn soon enough what had happened. She also started to wonder where Captain Adama was. She would have expected him to be in the brig by now. Something big was happening, she knew. Now just what exactly had happened in the past few hours that she had missed was the question.

Tigh sent for the medic to dress Sharon’s wounds. Tigh signaled to the guard to open Laura’s cell.

“Madam president if you would follow me please. We have some urgent things we need to discuss. .The doctor also tells me that he wants to see you in Life Station when we are done.” Tigh looked at her for a moment to see if she would offer anything.

She remained silent and simply gave him a small nod of acknowledgement.

“Colonel, I need something to eat if that would be possible. I haven’t been able to keep much down lately.”

Tigh nodded as they moved from the brig. Tigh waved away one of the marine guards as he started to follow.

“Madam President I’m going to take you to your quarters. I think that will be private enough to discuss what has happened and what were going to do about this whole mess.”

“Colonel where is Commander Adama?”. Something was obviously very wrong and it involved the Commander or his son. That might explain the condition one alert blared over the ship earlier.

“In your quarters, I’ll fill you in, and you and I will work out some details that need to be addressed.”

Laura nodded and the walked in silence. The marine guards saluted as they walked through the entrance to her quarters.

Chapter 5

Laura turned rapidly and immediately fired at him.

“Col. What the hell is going on? I see one of our pilots placed in the brig with a blaster to her head. Commander Adama is missing in action and Captain Adama who should be in the brig is nowhere to be found.”

Tigh had to give her credit she was quick study, and she faced him down unbowed after many hours in the brig. He suspected Will had placed her there partly, so she could cool down, and to let her think about the ramifications of what had happened. Also Tigh had to admit, it would probably help the old man cool down also. He was madder than hell, and placing her in the brig for a day probably made him feel a hell of a lot better too.

“Sit down Madam president this is going to take a while.” Tigh motioned to the table. “Let me order some dinner for us. It’s going to be a long night.” Tigh went to the phone and ordered dinner.

“Gaeta, tell my wife I’ll be late this evening. I won’t be eating dinner with her. Thank you.”

Turning back to Laura Roslin, he started with the worst news first.

“Commander Adama has been shot twice point blank in the stomach by Sharon Valeri a raptor pilot. She’s a Cylon plant, and she managed to infiltrate to the highest levels of the air group. She was in the CIC talking with the Commander when she pulled her blaster and shot him twice from about two feet away. The Commander is in surgery now. I am waiting for an update, but the doctor says it will be several hours before he can tell me anything specific. I left Captain Adama with his father in Life Station for now. Right now, placing him in the brig would serve no purpose.”

Laura Roslin sat in stunned silence at the table. Tigh watched waiting for her to absorb the news.

“What can I do? How serious …where is Lee, Captain Adama” She stammered once she could speak at all.

Damn! This was bad. The Commander could be infuriating, but she had no illusions exactly how important he was to the entire fleet. He was the reason they stood any chance at all. He allowed an autonomous civilian government , and allowed her a free reign other than military matters. She had gone too far in many respects, and he had overreacted as a result. Now they had to bring it back to center and fast.

She looked at Tigh for moment. She knew a lot of the crew didn’t respect him, but for some reason Commander Adama did. She had found the man was an annoyingly good judge of character. She was curious where Tigh would go with all this.

“What do you need from me, Colonel? I assume if you were going to depose the government we wouldn’t be sitting here?”

Tigh eyed her carefully for a minute. “Madam President did you know that Captain Adama was going to commit mutiny aboard Colonial One?” Tigh looked directly at her waiting for her answer.

Laura was surprised. She wasn’t sure what she had expected, but it was definitely not this. “No,” She stated emphatically. “are we here to discuss why I incited Captain Adama to mutiny. If we are, then there’s nothing left to discuss.” She said rising from her seat.

“Madam President sit down..” Tigh ordered. “I needed to know why my CAG put a gun to my head. Now that we have that clear let’s proceed.”

Tigh was greatly relieved. He needed to trust her to work with her at all.

Laura looked confused, but Tigh offered no more explanation. She stood in her place trying to decide exactly what they were discussing here. She felt like a pupil, and apparently, she had just passed a test. She just wasn’t sure what Col. Tigh was testing.

“Sit down Madam President.” Tigh gestured to the chair. This time it was a request not an order like previously. Apparently, whatever Tigh needed to know he found in her answer. This time she sat down.

A marine knocked on the door and brought dinner and drinks into the room. Laura picked at her dinner , while Tigh attacked his. He hadn’t eaten since this had happened several hours earlier.

‘So, Colonel what exactly do we need to discuss?” Laura asked.

“I need someone to take care of the civilian fleet. We need to set a few rules. I have a general understanding of the agreement you had with the Commander. I think we need to refine that, so that civilian and military matters are clearly divided. I want no more room for misunderstanding, and I do not want a repeat incident like either Lt Thrace or Captain Adama.”

“I have clear right as head of the government to call on members of the military for the good of the fleet.” Laura knew she had made a serious judgment in error with Lt. Thrace. She however was not yet willing to admit that to Col. Tigh. She wanted to see his reaction. Was he really trying to work with her, or was he looking for an excuse to declare martial law?

Tigh took a deep breath.

“Perhaps you could explain to me clearly , how for the good of the fleet, you sent one of our most senior skilled Viper pilots back into irradiated Cylon occupied territory due to a Kamala induced vision Madam President?”

Laura blanched slightly. She knew the military ramifications were far more serious than she had thought at the time.

Tigh continued.

“Not only are we down a senior pilot we can ill afford, plus they now have the information from FTL jump computer on the raider that may give away our location. We know far too little about how the raider works to know all its capabilities yet. Should I add that the probability of Lt Thrace being captured and tortured for information is extremely high. She possesses enough information for the Cylons to find us Madam President. So, please explain to me how this can all be for the good of the fleet?” Tigh asked her angrily.

This wasn’t anything Laura hadn’t already thought herself.

“So, what do you intend to do with me then Colonel? “

“What would you have me do Madam President? Place you back in the brig. That certainly is tempting. If you can’t understand why Commander Adama placed you there in the first place, especially after I just told you, maybe this discussion is useless. You frakked up Madam President! You frakked up royally! And it’s going to take a lot of work to undo this.” Tigh said. He got up and paced the room.

He turned and challenged her to deny what he had just said.

Chapter 6

She looked away. She was the president. That meant she got the credit when she did well, it also meant when she made mistakes they were huge. This one was huge.

She looked directly at Tigh no time like the present for a confession.

“I overstepped my bounds. This was a military decision. I used classified knowledge between Commander Adama and myself to convince Lt Starbuck to undertake the mission to Caprica. Knowing what I know, I would have probably done the same. I was wrong, but finding earth is imperative, and “The Arrow of Apollo” is our only hope “

“I know about earth being a myth.” Tigh said. “Since finding Kobol, I even pray you are right. If by some miracle of the gods Lt. Thrace returns, and we gain access to Kobol, you’ll be a hero Madam President. So, pray to the gods, pray very hard. Until then…”

“How do you know about earth, Col?” Laura interrupted pointedly.

“There are few secrets aboard a battlestar and fewer between a Commander and an XO. It’s part of the job.”

Taking an opportunity to segway into the next issue, her health, Tigh decided to press his advantage.

“We have several issues we have to cover Madam President, so I going to delay religious discussions until a later time. First, Madam President are you still taking Kamala? And have you had any other visions of any type?”

She didn’t bother to ask how he knew about the Kamala. As he said there were few secrets aboard a battlestar.

“I have stopped the Kamala. It is not helping the cancer. Any visions I have now will not be from the Kamala treatments.”

Tigh nodded he didn’t want to remove her due to incapacity for medical reasons. That would be just one more mess among many.

“What are we going to do about your illness Madam President. Dr Baltar is missing, and we have a serious power vacuum, if you become incapacitated. Given the gravity of your condition, you need to decide who will replace you?”

“How did you…?” Laura didn’t get to finish her question before Col. Tigh decided to stop another argument.

“Madam President, when you became president of the colonies you lost all privacy. Now during a time of war, with such a serious illness, stability of your government is first priority. You need to designate someone to step into your place. I’ll leave that to you to decide.”

“I want…” Laura started.

“Madam President, let me finish I only have a few more things. Then I’ll be happy answer your questions and get us on our way.”

She nodded and reserved her comments for now.

“I want you with the help of Lt Gaeta and your assistant Billy to clearly delineate the authority of the civilian administration for now. This document will be up for review in six months or upon you death whichever is first. I want a draft of the document for my review and for council review with a closed debate within two days. I will handle the military equivalent of this For now, Lt Gaeta or I will address your military questions or needs, until the Commander is well enough to resume this duty.”

Tigh stopped for a moment waiting to see if Laura would protest. She looked angry at his tone, but he wouldn’t allow such a gaping breech of military security again.

Tigh spoke very softly, just above a whisper. Laura strained to hear him. His tone however was deadly serious. “Most importantly, Madam President if ever pull a stunt like this again, I will throw your ass in the brig myself and flush the key personally. The same goes for Captain Adama and Lt Thrace if she returns. Captain Adama will no longer be your military advisor? I need my CAG with undivided loyalties.”

The “if she returns” hit Laura hard. She knew Tigh was trying to shame her. He had succeeded. She thought of Lee as invaluable to her. She also knew this was non-negotiable.

Laura took a gulp of air, but marched forward. She wouldn’t show weakness. “How do I know you’ll honor the agreement? How do I know you won’t declare martial law the minute I disagree with you?”

“You don’t.” Tigh said “You have my word I will honor what I sign. That will have to do.”

Laura nodded. She had no choice but to trust him. ”Can you promise Commander Adama will honor the document also?”

“Yes, the Commander will honor any decisions I make, while I am in command.”

Tigh sounded certain. She didn’t know why, but she trusted him. It would have to do for now.

“OK Col. You’ll have your document. You may not like all the details in it.”

“I’m willing to take that chance Madam President., I.’ll brief Lt Gaeta of my decision. I want this done here in case we need him.in CIC for anything. So, for now I’d like you to stay aboard Galactica.”

Laura nodded in agreement. It could have been much worse. Tigh was arrogant, but he had been reasonably fair. She wasn’t sure if Adama would have been as even handed with her.

“Let’s go to Life Staton now, Madam President. The doctor needs see you.”

Tigh led the way from her quarters.

Chapter 7

Starbuck rolled over, she was on something hard.

“Damn!” she exclaimed. “What the frak!” She hurt. She hurt everywhere. She felt like she had hit the wall at full speed in her viper.

“Shh, don’t move.” Came a familiar voice through the fog.

Kara turned on her back and opened her eyes. She jumped as she saw Sharon there, and everything came rushing back like a nightmare, but it was real.

“Starbuck stay still.” Helo was bending over her. There was concern on his face.

“Ow! Damn!” Kara tried to rise, that didn’t work too well. Kara looked around and took inventory. She had the hell beat out of her. Her sides hurt, and hurt badly. She knew she was in trouble. Breathing was an effort and hurt like hell.

Starbuck focused on Helo. “Where are we? Why is she with us?” Kara asked with disgust in her voice.

Helo sighed. “We’re under the museum. She is keeping us alive for now.”

Sharon had said nothing so far just watching as Kara tried to move.

Starbuck looked at Sharon. “Why? Why are you doing this?”

“I don’t know.” Sharon answered truthfully. “I do know you need help and soon. You have several broken ribs, and they need attention before you get hurt further. We’re going to have to get out of here tonight.”

“You can thank your friend for that.” The arrow flashed back into her memory. The reason she had the hell beat out of her. “The…”

Helo read her mind before she could move again.

“Right here. Don’t worry.” Helo held up the arrow for Kara to see.

Kara looked straight at Sharon. “Is this a game to you? Do like hurting us? Why don’t you just shoot me now? It would show at least you have a soul.”

Sharon looked away. She actually looked guilty. Starbuck didn’t know what to make of it.

Sharon took a big breath. “We have souls, but they are different than yours. At least they were when we started. We thought we were being merciful. ”

They viewed it as a favor saving humans from themselves. It was more merciful. Now she don’t know.

“Merciful? ”Kara lunged at Sharon.

“Aaghh!” Kara doubled over in pain. Damn! She was going to die here. She was going to die without making peace with Lee. No!

“Stop that!” Sharon held her down gently. She took a syringe from the first aid kit.

“This will stop the pain. You need to stay still.”

Sharon turned to Helo.

“We have to bind her ribs before they go through her lungs.”

Kara felt the syringe go in and wondered if this was the end. “Sorry Lee” she thought. “I should have told you. I frakked up. Forgive me please. I wanted it to be you. I only wanted it to be you. Forgive me, Lee.”

The shot took effect and Kara quieted. Sharon removed some tape from the first aid kit, and she and Helo got busy binding Kara’s ribs as quickly as possible.

“Move her slowly on her side. Don’t push on her ribs. Slowly.”

Sharon worked quickly wrapping up her ribs.

“We have to get out of here tonight. She won’t survive another day. I don’t think there’s any internal bleeding, but she is still in bad shape.”

Helo looked at Kara. He was scared. Sharon had learned watching them, and the way he had treated her before he realized what she really was. She was right when she said she had a soul. All “human” Cylons had a soul. They were missing a conscience. That was the word for this idea: decency, right, wrong, remorse and guilt. Those emotions made them so much more. It was the difference between the humans and the Cylons. She suspected many humans lacked one. But, these two redeemed those that didn’t. They were not pets as Six referred to them. They didn’t have to right to do this to them. They were living caring people, and they deserved to be left in peace to their own destiny.

Now, their destiny was hers as well. They would be killed, or they would escape tonight.

Sharon turned to Helo. It was dusk and Starbuck needed a few hours rest then she had to fly them out of here in the raider. Sharon couldn’t do that.

“We have to get to the raider.” Sharon said ’ They’re going to be looking for us there. Damn! We have to get her out of here tonight.”

Helo looked at Sharon. He had no choice, but to trust her. Either they escaped or they died tonight. He wouldn’t have Starbuck go through this hell. He would kill her first. Better that than play the rat in a maze for the Cylons.

“Why are you helping us?”

“They’ll kill me too. They want the child, and then they’ll kill me. They’re not getting the baby. I’ll kill him first.” Sharon stated without a bit of doubt or regret. “This stops here.”

Sharon paused and thought of how to word this.

“You may hate me for the rest of our lives, but don’t blame the child. This wasn’t supposed to happen like this.”

Helo shouted furious “What you weren’t supposed to feel guilty torturing your rats before killing them. Remorse, you’re feeling remorse now! How does it feel? How do you like it?”

“OK! OK! Hate me if it will help. Right now I just want to get out of here alive. The Galactica is the only chance we have. Only Starbuck knows how to get there, so for now you need me, and we need her. So stop whining, and let’s get her in shape to get us the hell out of here.” Sharon fired back.

Helo swallowed. She had a point. He wanted to believe her badly. He didn’t dare, not until Starbuck was safe. Then maybe, just maybe he would risk it.

Helo bent and carefully lifted Starbuck. ‘”Shhh” he rubbed her cheek gently. Other than a groan he got no response. Sharon watched carefully and for just a moment understood why Six felt jealousy.

“Stop it!” she thought . So, this was what it was like to be human. Not just to be able to feel emotions, but to have no control over feeling. Scary, but much more alive than what she had been. This was not part of her original design, but she preferred it.

In that minute she knew she had to help them, no matter what they did to her. She had to try to fix this. Now, she was going to get them to the raider.

They walked under the airfield. The sewers were infested with rats. There would be a few centurions on guard. That would be the easy part. They had about thirty minutes before someone missed the patrol.

They waited below the airfield until it started to get dark. Starbuck slowly regained consciousness. She was wet and cold, but her sides felt a lot better. So, she hadn’t killed her.

Sharon sat with Helo planning when Starbuck interrupted.

“You’ll need someone to fly that thing?” She asked with some her bravado returning.

They both looked over and Helo smiled. “Welcome back, sleepyhead.” Helo scooted to her and helped her sit up slowly. “How are you doing?” he asked concerned.

“Better. Nice place you have here, Helo.” She quipped. Helo smiled relieved. That sounded much more like the Starbuck he knew.

Kara turned to Sharon. “Thanks.” She said softly. She didn’t know why, but she felt it necessary. She could have killed her. For some reason, Kara didn’t think she was playing with her. She prayed she was right.

They sat discussing and getting down their respective roles. Helo and Sharon would gain access to the raider, while Kara would get it fired up and get the jump computer ready to go. They were only going to get one chance at this.

It was dark. Helo took out the two centurions, and then they ran up the ladder, and approached the back of the field. Sharon knew the resistance should be greatest by the captured raider. From what she could see there were about a dozen centurions in the area. She didn’t see Six. She suspected she wasn’t far.

What Kara told no one was that she had taken the memory from the FTL computer. The Cylons weren’t going to use her as a means to the fleet. She’d destroy herself before they found the fleet.

Sharon took a percussion grenade from her pack and threw it at the guards near the raider. They needed to get in without damaging the raider.

Kara sneaked toward the raider. While everyone ran at the distraction, Kara pulled herself into the raider.. She climbed partially inside, when Six grabbed her by the neck..

“Remember me, Starbuck?” Six hissed. “Now where were we?”

Kara didn’t even have time to struggle before Sharon was there.

Suddenly Six jerked back violently as Sharon fired her blaster blindly.

“Get her the hell out of here now!” Kara commanded as she ran to the front of the crammed cockpit, and fired up the engines.

Helo came running screaming at them. “In! Get in now they’re coming!”

Sharon jammed herself next to Kara to make room for Helo.

Kara somehow got the raider off the ground. They were off center because of the excess weight. Kara worked to compensate

“Sharon, seal the bottom now!” She ordered. “We need an airtight seal.. Fast”

Sharon nodded and half crawled over Helo to seal the membrane to keep the oxygen inside the ship.

As they were rising the raider was glanced by a bullet. Kara was thrown from the controls.

“Helo get the controls.” Kara yelled. “Keep this thing flying. I have to get the memory into the computer.”

“Helo was tangled with Sharon, and grabbed the control as Starbuck went for the FTL computer.

She said a quick prayer to the gods and jammed the memory into the computer. She rapidly keyed in to coordinates and made the calculations for the FTL jump. She prayed that the Galactica was still there.

Helo worked at breaking orbit. The raider slowed down with all the excess weight it carried. There were raiders approaching rapidly as Helo moved to dodge the missile.

“Incoming Starbuck!” Helo shouted.

It was now or never. Starbuck looked at the computer. She hit the controls and hoped the Galactica was still there.

They vanished as the missile passed through thin air. The raider vanished and reappeared in the middle of the fleet.

“Galactica don’t shoot. It’s us.“ Starbuck screamed into the radio exuberant.

A whoop was heard on the wireless on bridge of the Galactica as a Cylon raider suddenly appeared on the console in front of Lt Gaeta.

Chapter 8

Tigh and Roslin walked into Life Station., as Dr Salik approached. He looked tired but relieved. Laura released a breath she didn’t realize she was holding.

“He’s going to be OK.” She said very softly to herself. She offered a fervent thank you prayer to the gods. An enormous weight felt like it had just lifted off her shoulders.. “I owe someone up there.” She thought as they waited for the doctor to brief them on Commander Adama’s condition.

The doctor motioned to his office. Laura sat down grateful for the chair. She was exhausted, but she could sleep later.

“He’s going to be fine, but he’s very weak right now. He lost a lot of blood. We took two units from his son. Luckily, they are a close match. It probably saved his life.”

“You took blood from the Commander’s son?” Tigh asked confused. Artificial plasma was typically used in surgery. “Why did you need blood?”

The doctor continued. “ We need to manufacture plasma and quickly. I’m going to have a blood drive to keep some compatible blood in stock, until the hospital ship can makeup for the demand. With all the injuries and the Commander took five units. We were lucky we had the Captain nearby.”

The doctor continued outlining the Commander’s condition.

The bullets knicked the liver and a kidney. One went through the small intestine, but we were able to repair the damage. The quick response saved him. Commend your bridge crew, they probably saved him by reacting so quickly. He was lucky there wasn’t major damage. He’s going to be in recovery for rest of the night. “ The doctor looked at the clock. “I should say morning now. He’ll be out of the anesthesia sometime this afternoon. He’ll need bed rest with no duty at all for at least four weeks. We’ll discuss that again when he’s up and around. Knowing him you’ll have a fun time enforcing that order.”

Tigh chuckled. “I’ll just pull rank on him. You’ll have to back me on that one.”

The doctor laughed. “I don’t know if I’m that brave my friend. We’ll deal with that crisis when we get there.”

Laura just smiled. She could imagine a very grumpy Adama on their hands once he started feeling better. She thought she might actually enjoy that.

“Doctor, first can we see the Commander?” Laura asked.

The doctor shook his head. ”He’s still asleep in recovery. I’m only allowing his son in there for now. Colonel, if you need to talk to the Captain, feel free to go back, but he’s sleeping right now. It’s been a long night, and he needs the rest.. I’ve given him some boosters to help make up his blood supply. He’ll be fine in a day.”

Laura bristled not used to being told no. It was a feeling she did not like, and lately she heard a lot of it. She understood. It was typical medical practice only family or necessary visitors in the recovery room. She could try pulling rank, but this was the doctor’s domain. She didn’t think he would allow it, and she couldn’t overrule him on medical matters.

The doctor sighed and went on to the next issue.

“Colonel, why don’t you go back and check on Captain Adama. I need to talk to the President alone. And then I plan on sleeping for the next ten hours or so.”

Tigh smiled and nodded. He proceeded to rise from his chair. He turned to Laura.

“Madam President if you need anything page Lt Gaeta or myself through the comm. system. You are free to go anywhere except CIC or the brig. I’ll inform you when we are ready to interrogate the prisoner, if you want to witness it.”

That surprised her. She was pleased that he was willing to allow her at the interrogation.

She nodded. “Thank you Col. I would like to be there…”

A massive yell on Tigh’s wireless interrupted her.

Chapter 9

“What the hell?. Gaeta! What the hell is going on up there?“ Tigh demanded into the radio he was wearing.

“Sir! We have a Draedus contact. It’s a Cylon Raider.” Gaeta paused for a few seconds. “The Cylon raider sir. Lt Starbuck’s raider sir!” Gaeta shouted into his mic.

“Holy frak. She did it. She actually did it!” Tigh exclaimed.

Laura turned suddenly to Tigh Tigh’s expression could only mean one thing. Starbuck had returned. .”She made it?” Laura half asked and half declared astonished.

“Yeah!” Laura almost jumped for joy.

Tigh had to smile at the very undignified, but very appropriate response.

“Gaeta, patch me through on an encrypted channel. I want an escort into the Starboard landing bay. Get me a guard detail down there with heavy armament.”

Laura looked surprised but said nothing. She assumed he had his reasons.

“Galactica actual, this is Starbuck. I’ve brought the cat home sir.” Tigh could almost hear her smile through the radio.

He wanted to do the same. She drove him insane, but he was very glad to hear her voice. Life just got a whole lot better with her return. Things might actually work now.

“Lt., it’s Tigh .actual is unavailable. I’ll have to do for now. Come into the Starboard landing bay.”

“Roger that Galactica actual, on all counts. Sir is he..? “ Starbuck stopped herself. She didn’t want to discuss this in front of Sharon. She would find out soon enough. “Sir, we have company. I need a medical team and an armed escort. Sir, Lt Valeri is a toaster. I have her double here sir. Sir, she claims she’s pregnant by Helo.. Helo confirms the story, sir.”

Tigh’s face looked shocked and pleased at the same time. Starbuck had given him a token of respect. Actual was the word for the Commander of the vessel. He never expected she would use it in reference to him.

“Roger that Starbuck. We’ll meet you there. Galactica out.”

Tigh turned and he was actually smiling. Something Laura couldn’t ever remember seeing.

“Madam President. It appears someone heard your prayers. You’ll have to tell me how you do that sometime.”

:”Doctor I don’t think you’re going to sleep quite yet. Starbuck requests a medical team down in starboard landing bay. Doctor,. I need to speak with you alone. Madam President why don’t you stay here.”

“Madam President. I need to run a few tests on you. They can wait until later if you want.”

“No, do them now if you have the people. It doesn’t look like I’ll be sleeping for a while yet.”

“OK. I’ll order the scans for you. You can grab a bed here if you want to rest.”

Laura nodded and followed the doctor from his office. He motioned to a medical tech, and gave her orders for several scans.

Tigh waited and repeated what Starbuck had told him. If Laura had seen the doctor’s face, she would have insisted on accompanying them to the landing bay.

Tigh, the medical team, and an armed marine escort met the raider in Starboard bay.

Starbuck crawled slowly from the raider. As she stood upright, she noticed neither the Commander nor Lee there. What the hell happened while she was gone? At the very least she expected Tigh to ream her for stealing the raider. He almost looked happy to see her. She couldn’t have been gone that long.

“Sir? “ she said slightly unsteady on her feet.

Tigh grabbed her as she swayed slightly. “Here. Sit down before you fall down.” Tigh guided her to a medical gurney.

“Come out of the raider.” he commanded.

Helo was next. The astonished deck crew broke out in smiles and cheers.

Tigh turned to Starbuck. “He’s real?”

Starbuck nodded unable to say anything for a moment. Now that she was home, all she wanted to do was see Lee and the Commander and collapse.

“As far as I can tell. I would use the Cylon detector to be sure sir.”

Finally Sharon crawled out of the ship. Several people lunged forward.

“Stop! Stay where you are!” Tigh thundered. “Marines shoot the first person who moves toward her without my permission.”

He walked slowly to Sharon. Very softly he said “I understand you claim to be pregnant by a human.”

She nodded, but said nothing.

:”I’m going to take you to the medical wing in detention. If you so much as breath funny, I will have them put more holes in you than you can count. Do you understand me?”

Sharon nodded. “I won’t give you any problem.”

Tigh nodded.

Frak , that was the second time he believed a Cylon .This was getting stranger by the minute.

Tigh nodded and gave orders for the Marines to escort Sharon and Helo to Life Station.

Tigh followed along side Starbuck’s gurney as they moved.

“Holding on Lt.?” He asked.

He actually sounded concerned.

“Yes, sir. I think my ribs are busted. I got the crap beat out of me by another Cylon. I’ll fill you in. Sir, what happened to Commander Adama?”

“Our Lt Valeri shot him point blank.”

Starbuck hissed and tried to sit up on the gurney.

“Sit back Starbuck. He’s out of surgery, and he’s going to be OK.”

Starbuck reclined and closed her eyes in relief. “Thank you sir.”

“For what Lt.?”

“Not throwing my ass straight in the brig for one.”

Tigh actually chuckled.

“I have something else in mind for both you and Captain Adama. Lt. I assure you by the time both of you are done you’ll be longing for the brig and an easy court martial. I need both of you. You’re both too damn good to lose, so I just have to be creative.”

“Lee, sir? Is he OK?”

“He is badly shaken. He watched his father shot in front of him in CIC. This after he placed a gun to my head commiting mutiny.”

“What the hell? Lee and mutiny, that’s not possible sir. Me sure, but Lee sir?”

Tigh enjoyed this. It was rare he had the upper hand with Starbuck. He was going to enjoy it.

“Don’t worry Lt. He’s in Life Station with his father. I’m not as heartless as you think. Now, rest and Lee can tell you himself. I don’t think you’ll believe me anyway.”

Chapter 10

Starbuck dozed as they wheeled her through the halls of the Galactica. Tigh was quiet. She was in rough shape. Most of her normal vitriol and sarcasm was missing. The Cylon had given her a bad beating by the look of her.

Kara was vaguely aware of many well-wishers as they passed through the halls. Tigh kept them moving as fast as possible. He wanted her examined and treated as quickly as possible.

Lee and Will would be waking soon, and he wanted her there with them. It would make dealing with the whole bunch much easier. Otherwise, they would only fight him to get at each other anyway.

Lee roused as he heard noise as they moved Kara into the back area. He tried to clear his mind.

He was in the recovery room in life station. He rose slowly and tried to clear the sleep from his mind. He hadn’t meant to sleep, but his body had other ideas. There was a commotion in the next room.

He looked and his father was resting peacefully. His color looked better than before. They had promised him his father would be fine. At least he thought they had told him that. He felt like a wet sponge. They had needed blood from him. His father had lost so much blood. There had been so much blood everywhere. That was what he remembered. He wasn’t sure where the nightmares began and reality ended during the last day.

Hopefully, things would be calmer today. He brushed his hand across his face. He stopped and peered at his father for a minute. On an impulse he softly kissed his father on the forehead, something he wouldn’t have dared normally. Then he went looking for a bathroom to clean up a little.

As he walked out of his father’s room , and into the hall of the Life Station he heard noise coming from the next exam room. He kept walking, not wanting to deal with anyone until he woke a little more.

Then he heard Kara scream. He stopped dead and turned running toward the exam room.

“FRAK!” she screamed. “That’s the bad side! That hurts!” Her voice tore at him.

Lee saw her as he entered the exam room. She was facing away from him giving the medical tech a bad time cursing up a storm. They were taking the tape off her, so they could scan her ribs. He stopped unsure what to do next. When had she returned? Why had no one told him? Hell, he didn’t care she was here. She was injured but here. Given her temper and reaction, he expected she would survive her injuries.

He didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. He would probably do both and break down and make a fool of himself all over Life Station. He didn’t care, she was here. That was all that mattered. She was here! He leaned against the wall and collected himself.

“Lt! Stop giving them a hard time. That’s an order. Now stay still and listen for a change.”

Kara stopped as all the air rushed from her lungs.

His tone was firm, but his voice was shaky. He didn’t care. The med tech looked up and smiled at him

“Thank you, Captain. Maybe she’ll listen to you. She sure isn’t listening to me.”

Kara turned her head. She couldn’t roll on her side. Her ribs were broken.

Lee noticed for the first time she looked like she hell. His eyes widened when he saw her. Her face was bruised, and her sides were bruised black. The worst bruises he had ever seen. He involuntarily moved toward her, and carefully placed a hand on her shoulder.

He didn’t even notice that she was naked from the waist up. He was so focused on her.

He simply stared at her for a moment speechless. He forgot where he was, he forgot everything for a moment.

Kara broke the spell. “You look like hell, sir.” she replied with a smirk on her face. She kept his gaze the whole time.

He might have smacked her, if he hadn’t seen her eyes. They were bright with unshed tears. He took a gulp of air, and then his face broke into a huge smile. The smile lit his eyes. It was going to be OK. They were going to be OK. He didn’t know how he knew, but it was enough for now. They would fix the rest later. Now that there was a later, he didn’t plan on squandering it.

He broke into a laugh. “Have you looked in a mirror lately, Starbuck?”

The medical tech cleared her throat. She hated to interrupt, but she needed to get the tests done. “Sirs. I’m sorry but Lt Thrace needs to be brought for tests. We’ll be done in about thirty minutes, Sir.”

Lee nodded. He didn’t want to let go of her, but they needed to check her chest.

They started to roll her out of the room.

Kara held tight to Lee. “Lee!” There was almost a hint of desperation in her voice.

Lee held her hand. “Can you give us a minute please?” He asked the medical tech.

“Yes sir, but make it quick.”

Lee nodded and waited until the tech left the room.

“Shh!” He brushed her hair tenderly from her face. “It’s OK now. Just rest now. Don’t worry. I’ll be here. I’m not going anywhere.” He reassured her softly.

Kara swallowed and shifted slightly. Her face scrunched in pain as she hit a sore spot.

“Stay still, Kara.! Just take it easy. OK.” Lee said. He sounded a little shaky.

She had to say this now before she lost her nerve. It mattered. She had to make them OK.

“When I was down there on Caprica, I thought I was dead.” Her voice broke on a soft sob. “All I could think was I’d never get a chance to make peace with you. To say I frakked up. Lee, I’m so sorry I hurt.…”There were tears rolling down her face and Lee understood.

He stopped her placing his lips softly on hers. Everything Kara needed to know was in that kiss. It was the gentlest kiss Kara had ever experienced. Lee poured every emotion he couldn’t speak into the kiss.

He broke the kiss reluctantly and squeezed her hand. “I’m not going anywhere I promise. Now you try to sleep, while they scan you.. OK? I’ll see you when you’re done. Now sleep, that’s an order, Lt.” he said gently smiling at her.

She smiled and nodded at him. Then she closed her eyes in relief. They were OK. It was going to be OK. She started to drift, and smiled slightly as she felt him ruffle her hair softly.

Chapter 11

Lee returned to his original mission of finding a shower. He just wanted to be clean and alone for a few minutes. Lee went into the shower and turned the water to scalding. He leaned against the shower wall, as the enormity of the last few days finally hit him. Kara was here!. He kept repeating it to himself. He almost didn’t believe it. His dad was going to be fine. Yesterday his entire world disintegrated before his eyes. Today in a second, it was together again. Well, there was the mutiny problem, but for some reason Col. Tigh didn’t want his blood. He supposed Tigh was leaving that for his father. He would worry about that later.

The adrenalin high from Kara had held Lee together. He could tell the crash was coming and soon. Too little sleep and too much of everything else finally caught Lee Adama. He shook as tears started down his face. Once they started he couldn’t stop them, he didn’t want to stop them. They fell freely finally bringing relief from this nightmare.

He wasn’t sure how long he stood against the shower wall. Gods, he felt better now. He hurried and finished washing. He promised Kara he would be there when she was done.

He needed to be there when his father woke. He needed forgiveness from his father. He hoped his father could forgive his son, if not his CAG.

Lee walked into the room. His father fidgeted in the bed. Lee took his hand and talked to him softly.

Will Adama heard his son’s voice. It sounded so distant. Lords, he was tired. He couldn’t remember being this tired. He would rest for a minute then talk to Lee.

His father quieted and slept again. Lee sighed and lay on his cot. He closed his eyes just for a second. Unaware Lee drifted into a deep sleep for the first time in days.

The med tech rolled a sleeping Kara Thrace into the Commander’s recovery room.

She stopped and admired a sleeping Lee Adama just for a minute. He was a nice looking package. He seemed like a decent guy too. Kara Thrace was a lucky woman in many ways.

Chapter 12

Col. Tigh came in to Adama’s room. Everyone was quiet for once, even Starbuck. He smiled at the thought.

Laura Roslin followed quietly behind him.

“Gods!” Laura was shocked. William Adama looked like hell. He had tubes going everywhere. He was usually so vital. This William Adama was someone she didn’t recognize, and it scared her.

Tigh turned quickly. “Shh! What are you doing here, Madam President.?”

“Is he really OK?.” She whispered in disbelief.

“With some rest he’ll be fine. The doctor says it was close, but he’ll make it.”

Laura looked visibly relieved. “Starbuck?”

Tigh sighed.” She got the arrow. She also got beaten within an inch of her life by a Cylon. She’s alive though. She broke her ribs on both sides, bruised a kidney, fractured her arm. and bruised her lower spine. She’ll recover with rest.”

Laura waited. Tigh’s tone was wrong. Something was up. She looked pointedly at Tigh.

Tigh was about to continue when…

Voices intruded on William Adama. He thought he heard Lee’s voice earlier. Then the memory of Sharon and Lee screaming came rushing back. Adama jerked awake jumping and yelling in pain as a result..

Tigh and Laura turned immediately toward Adama. Lee jumped at the sound and immediately reached for his father.

“Easy. Dad don’t move.” Lee grabbed his father and helped settle him in the bed.

Adama’s chest was heaving. “Get the doctor now!” Lee ordered Laura just acknowledging their presence for the first time.

Kara woke to Lee’s screaming. She looked over at them, and watched helplessly.

Laura ran out of the room in search of help. Tigh moved toward the opposite side of the bed.

“Dad! Dad can you hear me? It’s Lee.” Lee called to his father.

Adama calmed when he heard Lee’s voice.

.Lee held his hand reassuring him.

“Dad, listen to me. You’re safe. You’re in Life Station.. You’re going to be fine. I need you to stay still. Do you understand me?”

Adama took a deep breath and opened his eyes. The doctor and med tech came running into the room.

“Get everyone but Captain Adama and Lt. Thrace out of here now.” Dr Salik ordered.

“Commander, Will. It’s Dr Salik. Can you hear me?”

Will took a deep breath and tried to take a mental inventory. He was in Life Station. Damn his stomach felt …

“Will, Commander, look at me!” The doctor ordered. His tone allowed no disobedience.

William Adama forced himself to focus, and turned his head to Dr Salik.

The doctor smiled. “Well, that’s better. Now I need you to stay with me for a few minutes, while I check you out. Can you do that?”

Adama nodded his head slightly and closed his eyes for a minute.

Lee released his breath. His father understood them. That was a good sign.

“L…Le..” Adama stuttered having trouble getting enough breath to speak.

‘Quiet now.” Dr Salik admonished. “He’s right here. He hasn’t moved from here. He’s not going anywhere. Now don’t speak. Just relax and nod yes or no if I ask.”

Lee moved and took his father’s hand again and squeezed it firmly to let him know he was there “I’m right here.” Lee said softly.

Will looked into his son’s eyes. There were tears there. What the hell, Lee was crying? He must be in bad shape? Lee never cried. He screamed, cursed and ranted at him, or worse shunned him and said absolutely nothing for years. Will could count on one hand the number of times he’d seen Lee cry, if he’d ever seen Lee cry at all.

The doctor examined him, while Will tried to put all the pieces together. He was missing things. He was obviously hurt. Given Lee’s reaction he had been hurt badly. He remembered Lee’s screams in CIC, and Lee talking to him telling him to stay with him. He vaguely remembered a blaster, and pain, only pain after that. He had clung to Lee’s hand and voice Lee made him stay. Lee didn’t want him to go.

There had been a long confusing ride, and not much after that until now. It was all a jumble. Something else, something important was missing. The doctor was talking to him again when his mind clicked into gear. KARA! Where was Kara? She would be here too! He knew she would. A cylon raider flashed into his head.

Adama jumped again.

“Dammit ,Dad stay still.” Lee looked and there was fear in his father’s eyes. Something Lee never remembered seeing ever “What ...what’s wrong. Calm down it’s OK. You’re safe.” Lee looked at the doctor desperately. What was wrong? Adama was increasingly agitated

The doctor shook his head unsure.

“Sir, stop fighting everyone that’s my job, dammit! Stay still and listen to Lee for once.” Kara ordered. Lee looked up at her shocked. He wasn’t aware she was awake until now.

Adama calmed and looked in her direction. Kara motioned for someone to roll her over to the Commander. One of the techs grabbed the gurney and placed her within reach of the Commander. She grabbed his hand loosely.

“Now be quiet, sir you woke me up. The CAG here says I’m supposed to be resting. How is a body supposed to sleep with all this noise? You wouldn’t want me to disobey a direct order now would you , sir?”

The doctor broke into laughter. An unorthodox approach yes, but that was Starbuck. It worked far better than sedating a patient this weak.

Lee chuckled under his breath, and mouthed a thank you at her.

Adama sighed and relaxed. His eyes drifted shut. His family was safe for the moment. There was more he knew, but right now it didn’t matter. He was too tired to worry about it anyway. It could wait until later. He drifted back to sleep.

Lee looked expectantly at the doctor. Dr Salik spoke softly, so Lee and Kara could hear. He didn’t want to wake Adama. The more rest he got the better.

“He’s doing remarkably well. He took one hell of a hit.”

“Why is he having trouble breathing and talking?” Lee was scared. He had never seen his father this weak.

“He took two direct blaster shots to the stomach, son. It’s amazing he’s not on a respirator. He’s tough. He just needs rest and time. He answered everything sensibly. He understands and knows his surroundings. Trust me he’s better than I expected.

Lee nodded unsure, but it sounded like good news.

“He’s going to fine, Lee” Kara turned and smiled at Lee.

It was Kara’s turn to reassure him. Lee looked at her and believed her.

He sighed and walked over to her and took her free hand and kissed her forehead..

.They talked softly, and the doctor left unnoticed.

Chapter 13

Tigh never planned to throw Lee in the brig. Lee was too valuable as a CAG. However, his CAG placed a gun to his head. He planned to deal with this quickly, so it never had an opportunity to happen again.

Laura Poslin had grudgingly agreed to most of his terms. He had read the draft document that had divided military and civilian powers. The military would be answerable to the civilian administration, but not to the President directly.

There would be a council of four members. She and the Commander were each on the council. Additionally there would be one additional appointee from each side. The senior members, the Commander and President, both had to agree to the others’ appointees There would be one floating member from the Council of Twelve in case of deadlock.

Any military requests from the civilian administration went through the council. Defense was strictly a military matter, but either side could call the council to review a decision. The Council of Twelve left the document mainly intact.

Commander Adama’s appointee would serve as her military advisor. Laura was not pleased, but she needed an advisor. Captain Apollo was not an option. Tigh had not been willing to negotiate that point.

Tigh worried that Lee might resist. He sometimes wondered the hold the President had on the young man. He saw the President’s affection for him. He wondered if Lee returned the affection.

As he entered he saw Lee reading softly to Kara, while Will slept in the bed.

“Who would have thought the great Starbuck was a sucker for this crap.” Lee mocked her grinning. “How do you stand this trash anyway?”

“Shut up and read flyboy.” Kara punched his arm.

Tigh observed the exchange pleased. It was clear Lee cared for her. Tigh suspected he cared more than either would acknowledge publicly. If Lee had the strength to pursue Starbuck, he was a stronger man than most. This might not be a battle after all. Tigh hoped he was correct.

Will opened his eyes as Tigh entered.

“Welcome back,.” Tigh smiled at Adama.

“Sir.” Lee acknowledged the Colonel as he looked over to his father. He smiled and nodded at his father.

“Good to see you awake again, sir. Lee said to his dad.

Adama smiled back. He knew he would have to deal with Lee later. Right now, he was grateful for his presence. It was comforting in a way he didn’t really comprehend.

Adama still couldn’t talk. It was rare Will Adama didn’t have the last word, and Tigh planned to take the advantage while he had it.

“By the way, damned stupid plan, Will, getting yourself shot. Don’t you think you should have filled me in first? I would have told you there are better ways to catch Cylons.” Tigh drawled at him.

Will’s eyes flashed and his hand gesture left no doubt what he thought of Tigh’s comment.

“I see you’re feeling better.” Tigh smiled wryly at Adama. It was good to see the old man coming back.

“Sir, really such language in the presence of a lady.” Kara commented shocked.

Adama’s eyes flashed a warning, but his face broke into a smile

Lee chuckled watching his father’s reaction. He was pleased with the fire in his father’s reaction . It had been too long.

“You know I think this is the first time I ever got the last word with any Adama, even one who can’t speak.” Kara grinned at both of them. “I could get used to this.” She was having fun with this.

Tigh chuckled.

Lee’s body shook with suppressed laughter, as he looked at his father. Adama rolled his eyes and shook his head at Kara.

Lee just laughed. “Don’t look at me. You have trouble with her and you’re the Commander.”

“Excuse me, gentlemen. I’m still in the room here!” Kara tried to sound offended.

She didn’t succeed horribly well.

Adama raised his hands in mock defeat, and reclined against the pillows.

“I just came by to tell you get out of damned bed, old man. I don’t want this job, especially if I have to deal with these two.” Tigh stressed.

Tigh sighed and switched gears. Will was strong enough, that he could deal without Lee for a while. He needed to finish what he had originally intended.

“Commander, if you don’t mind I need our CAG for a few minutes.”

Will nodded. His face was sober. Lee sighed and rose. He knew this moment had to come. He grabbed his uniform as he switched into military mode expecting his next bed to be in the brig.

“Leave the uniform for now, Captain. I’ll have him back in a while. Come with me, Captain.”

“Yes, sir.” Lee looked confused, but followed Tigh out the door of Life Station.

Will watched his son leave curious what was happening. Tigh was plotting something. He knew his XO well enough to know something was up. He’d find out soon enough. He grabbed Kara’s hand, and offered a squeeze of reassurance.

Chapter 14

Lee and Tigh left life station.

Two Marine guards fell in step to the rear of him. Lee was a little surprised, but held his questions for now. He would find out soon enough what his punishment would be. He also owed Col. Tigh a thank you, even if the man threw him in the brig. His father had needed him there, and he had needed to be there. Tigh had allowed that. It was the only reason he had kept his sanity.

As Lee moved through the halls, he noticed that the Marine guards were eyeing him warily, but also with a certain amount of awe. He supposed when the Commander’s son is up on mutiny charges word got around. He was musing over this as they reached Tigh’s quarters.

“Marine, find President Roslin. Tell her to meet me in the ward room in an hour. Thank you that will be all.” The marine guard nodded staring at Lee for a moment. He didn’t think he had ever noticed the marines before now. Why were they staring at him so strangely?

Tigh noticed the marine’s regard of the Captain and chuckled at the inside joke. He didn’t know what Lee remembered from CIC, and his mind had been on other things for the past three days.

“Sir, permission to speak?” Lee asked perplexed.

Tigh chuckled. This was going to be a hard discussion, they might as well find some humor if possible.

“Granted, Captain.”

“Sir, why are the marines looking at me like…hell, I don’t know how they’re looking at me, sir?”

Tigh smiled. “Captain, do you remember what happened in CIC when your father was ..?”

Lee looked up in shock, and his face showed horror at the unexpected question as pieces of that day flashed through his mind.

“Sit down , son. You look like you’ve seen a ghost. I’m not trying to dredge bad memories up. Take a breath.” Tigh paused and let Lee collect himself. “They’re looking like that because you managed to take out a marine while you’re hands were shackled. Not only a Marine, but Blockhouse they call him. Basically because he’s built like one in both directions. He’s one of the biggest and toughest of them, his name is Sgt. Puli. You’ve become a bit of a legend among them in the past few days. I don’t think Puli will live down that a mere flyboy, and a shackled one at that broke his jaw.” Tigh answered.

Lee looked at Tigh like he had gone crazy. ”Sir, what the hell are you talking about? I took out a marine.”

Tigh watched Lee carefully. He really didn’t remember. He couldn’t say he was surprised. He remembered Lee’s eyes immediately after the shooting. Lee had been one step from coming completely apart when they had carried his father out of CIC. Things had moved too fast after that, and Lee had recovered once they had him in Life Station near his father.

“Well, I guess that answers my first question. You don’t remember do you?”

Lee didn’t answer. His expression was answer enough for Tigh. Tigh continued.

“The doctor said to expect this. Posttraumatic stress is common in the circumstances. He said you might never remember. It’s nothing to worry about Captain. You’ve earned a very useful reputation among the marines. It will be useful in your future CAG duties. And, I can’t charge you with a crime you weren’t even aware you were committing.”

Lee sat there speechless for a few minutes. He had taken out a marine. Hell, he didn’t even remember breaking someone’s jaw. “Sir,… How…How did I…? Lee stammered

“You kicked him in the face. Damn fine form you learned, if I may say so. You should teach that sometime.” Tigh commented wryly. “That doesn’t mean I condone that kind of behavior in the future, Captain. Is that clear?”

Lee nodded still shocked. He didn’t know what to say. Hell, he didn’t even remember it, to say anything.

“Captain.” Tigh called him to get back to get to the topic at hand.

“Sir.” Lee snapped back to reality. He owed a marine an apology, if he would take it. He filed Sgt. Puli’s name away for a later date. A comment that Tigh had said earlier finally registered in his mind. He looked at Tigh suddenly. “My future duties as CAG , sir?” He asked with the implied question in his tone.

Tigh took a breath. “Lee, we need to talk. I need to know if I can trust you. I don’t know that yet.” Tigh laid it out plainly. He continued. “I need you as my CAG. You’re too damn valuable to lose. Starbuck also. That doesn’t mean I can allow what you did to stand.”

Lee gulped for a second. Not sure how he should react. “Sir, I wasn’t aware I had a choice.” He paused looking for the words. What he did was inexcusable. President Roslin had made serious mistakes, more than he could possibly list. He knew that. That still didn’t excuse what he did, or what his father did.

Lee tried to put this into words. Tigh deserved that much. He had put a pistol to the man’s head.

“Sir, President Roslin seriously overstepped her bounds. She could have killed, Kara. She could have exposed all of us to the Cylons. I don’t think she realized that at the time. That still doesn’t mean you depose the civilian government that we are supposed to protect, sir. If she is compromised as a leader, you remove her for cause. You don’t shed innocent civilian blood because their leader is unfit.” Lee sighed and continued this part was the hardest.

“I know the rules have changed. Still, there is no excuse for what I did, and there is nothing I can say to make it right. I understand that, sir. I won’t belittle you by even try.ing I pulled a pistol on someone who has known and trusted me since I was a boy. If you wish I will certainly offer a public apology. You are more than entitled. I will accept any discipline you or my father feel necessary without question. I will plead guilty to any charges you feel fit to bring.”

Lee sighed and looked straight at Tigh for a minute. How could he make him and more importantly his father understand it wasn’t personal. It wasn’t even to defend the President. It was to stop bloodshed, and to defend the right of civilian government. The problem was his father and the president were both right. And were both wrong.

“Sir, permission to speak freely.” Lee asked.

Tigh raised his eyebrows, but said nothing. So, far Lee Adama had done a pretty good job of speaking freely. He was not disrespectful, but he was blunt. Tigh expected no less from an Adama. He was his father’s boy, whether either of them saw it or not.

“Granted, Captain.” He allowed.

“Sir, we went to Colonial One to commit a military coup. President Roslin may need to be removed for cause. That is a medical decision. I know my father knows about the cancer, even if she does not. There is no way that stays secret on a Battlestar. I am not that naïve, sir. However, that doesn’t give the Commander cause to depose her because he is mad, sir. I understand there are details I am unaware of here. But, innocent civilians would have lost their lives. Possibly, for a bad decision by an ill President. I took an oath to protect those civilians.

My father sent us to remove her because she incited Kara to jump back to Caprica, sir. It was personal. I do not disagree that her leadership was suspect and needs to be reassessed, but not the way we went about it, sir.”

Lee stopped. Tigh stared at him for a few minutes. It fit with the comments he had made before pulling his blaster.

“Is that what you meant by following your instincts, Captain?”

“Yes, sir.” Lee wasn’t sure where this was going. He expected Tigh to yell at him about professional and personal loyalty.

Tigh pulled out a several page document. “As you have said , Captain, the rules and the times have changed. Read this and give me your opinion please.”

A very confused Lee took and read the document. It explained the division of powers. After several minutes, he looked at Tigh. “It’s a good idea, sir. It should be codified permanently. But, sir what does this have to do with me?”

“It will be codified permanently. That is why we are meeting with the President after this discussion. Let me be frank ,Captain. Whether or not I agree with what your reasoning I need you. You’re a damned fine CAG, I cannot afford to lose you and throw your ass in the brig. However I need to be able to trust you, to work with you again.”

Lee nodded and looked away. Tigh’s last comment hurt the most. It was no less than he deserved.

“This is the way it is going to be. President Roslin has in principle agreed to what is stated in the document you just read. Implied in this document is that you will no longer serve as President Roslin’s military liaison. It will be your father’s prerogative, as it should have been to choose an advisor from his personal staff. She may find her own independent advisor if she wishes, but they will not serve in official capacity with us. She or the next president will not divide personal or professional loyalties among our soldiers. Nor will anyone who serves with us. Do you clearly understand what I have just stated?”

Lee sat back and looked at Tigh with a new measure of respect. The old dog had just outmaneuvered both his father and President Roslin. Both of whom were master strategists.

Lee actually smiled. “Yes sir, understood clearly sir.” He almost wanted to kiss Tigh. Damn the man had found a way out of this mess for everyone.

“Very well then, this is the way, it is going to go. If you disagree tell me now Captain. First you will offer a public apology to myself and more importantly to your father. Whether he was right or wrong, I cannot allow the undermining of his authority in this way. Second, you will resign as military liason to President Roslin effective immediately. Third, you and Lt Thrace will serve a tour of hard labor as available and as needed for the next twelve months. It will start with the replacing of the Celestra’s sewage system. There are many such jobs that need doing, but I do not have the people. You and Lt Thrace will fill that capacity as time allows.”

Tigh paused and looked at Lee. Lee looked stunned and giddy with relief.

“Captain two more things. Privately I want you to tell your father the same thing you told me. I cannot order it, but I think it is advised.”

Lee looked horrified. “Sir…?”

Tigh sighed.

“Son, look I know you and your father have had trouble in the past. I won’t inquire because it’s personal. I know he needs to understand, Lee. Nothing more just to understand, why.”

“Sir, personally I don’t think he’ll ever trust me again. I can’t undo that no matter what I do.” Lee replied desolately.

Tigh spoke softly.

“Lee, you’d be surprised. I’ve known your father a long time. There is nothing he can’t forgive with a good reason, whether he agrees or not. Trust me I know personally.”

“I don’t know , sir. I wish you were right.” It felt odd talking this personally with a man he barely knew. But, this man knew his father probably better than most, even his own son.

“Fine, then son. Consider it payback for putting a blaster to my head.” Tigh wasn’t above playing the guilt card.

He knew Adama would forgive his boy, just as Lee had already forgiven his father for putting him in a tug of war. Adama had made a mistake too It never should have led to an armed confrontation. Lee was right about that.

Lee sighed. “The second thing ,sir?”

“Yes, that.” Tigh acknowledged. “I already informed the President and will inform Lt Thrace as well. If ever you put a blaster to my head again, or ever pull anything that stupid. I will lock you so far away they won’t be able to find your ass. Is that clear?” Tigh thundered mostly for effect.

“Yes, sir.” Lee actually laughed at that.

“Something funny, Captain?” Tigh asked. He knew Lee meant no disrespect. This was mainly relief

“No sir. The President once thanked me, for saving their collective asses. .May I just say, thank you sir, for saving our collective asses.”

“So, we are agreed then, Captain?” Tigh asked formally.

“Yes, sir.” Lee replied.

“Very well, then Captain I will have the papers drawn for your signature. Will you require formal council as it is your right?”

“No, sir I agree willingly to all the condition we discussed here. Sir,” Lee paused and Tigh looked at him waiting. “I mean all the conditions we discussed.. Thank you ,sir.”

Tigh nodded. Lee would try to talk with his father. “That is a wise decision , Captain. Let’s go talk with the President.”

Chapter 15: Loyalties

Laura Roslin did not like waiting. And she had been waiting for almost twenty minutes, when Lee and Tigh finally arrived.

Laura was giving up a lot of influence with the military. When she had tried to influence Lt. Gaeta, he had been unbending on the separation of powers. When she had threatened to boycott the meeting, he had politely risen and said he would inform Col. Tigh of her decision.

Billy had not so tactfully explained to her; one: she had no options. And two: given everything, she should be grateful they were giving her any options at all. Somewhere she had become a politician. A very skilled politician, who understood the game she was playing extremely well. She realized Tigh had given her more than she might reasonably expect. However, she still did not like to lose, and she viewed this as a loss.

“Madam President.” Tigh acknowledged. Lee nodded at the President. He suspected that he was included in this meeting as a witness. He also wanted them both to witness in front of the other that this was the final agreement, and they had gone willingly into it. Tigh didn’t want any questions arising later. His presence was insurance against that possibility.

Lee wondered if the President realized this. It was easy to underestimate Col. Tigh. He had been guilty of it. He understood now why his father kept him on as XO, despite his personal problems. He had brilliantly outmaneuvered both her and his father.

Now he just hoped she would gracefully accept it. He thought his father would have no issue with the agreement. It was extremely fair to everyone.

Laura looked carefully at Lee. She saw something float through his eyes for just a moment. Then his face was blank to her again. Otherwise, he looked calm, and far better than the last time he had been screaming at her for a doctor. That was good. It meant Adama was getting better.

The fact that she had not personally seen the Commander yet annoyed her. She suspected that they protecting him until he was fit. She couldn’t blame them. She would not want to deal with Adama if she were seriously hurt.

Laura acknowledged Lee personally. “Captain Adama. I trust you are well.”

“Yes, Ma’am I’m fine, thank you.”

“Madam President, you have read the document approved by all parties.?” Tigh asked formally.

“Yes, Colonel. I have a few questions.” Lee looked from Tigh to her. Tigh kept his cool. Lee noticed her assistant Billy did not look pleased. This was not what they had discussed prior to entering the room. He decided to keep quiet for now, and see where she was going with this.

“OK, Madam President. What do you need clarified?” Tigh asked politely. Lee looked at Tigh. He did not seem perturbed. He had expected this.

“I would like to speak with Captain Apollo alone for a few minutes. Col.” She stated

”May I ask, why, Madam President?” Tigh enquired politely.

“I wish to speak to Captain Apollo privately for a few minutes. I need answers to a few questions, and I do not want his answers influenced by the presence of his commanders.”

‘Captain Apollo, do you have any objections?”

Lee played his role. He wanted her to understand his actions aboard Colonial One. He wasn’t sure she did.

“No sir. If both the Col and the President agree, I am amenable to answer any questions the President has, sir.”

“Very well then.” Col Tigh motioned a very angry Billy out of the room. Tigh wanted to smile. He liked the boy a lot. He had potential. Right now, he was out of his league, but he would learn watching Laura Roslin. She was a master of the game.

Laura waited until they had exited the room. Lee sat across from her and waited.

“How are you really?” Laura asked smiling at him.

He smiled but his eyes were cool. “As good as can be expected, considering everything. Thanks.” Lee answered honestly. “Yourself?”

“Better now that this is finally being resolved.”

Laura attempted to find her Captain Apollo again .He was no longer there. Too much had happened and it had nearly cost Kara her life. When Lee thought about it, he got madder than hell. He knew his father and Kara also had responsibility as well, but she had instigated it.

“Starbuck? Is she going to be OK?”

He nodded and swallowed his temper for a minute. “Kara, is doing well. She has broken ribs, but she’ll recover given time.”

He said it nonchalantly, but Laura caught the sarcasm beneath his answer. He was angry very angry with her. She wasn’t totally surprised. Kara was a friend, and he considered her important. Laura knew that.. Lee’s silence and anger made her realize she may have misjudged the situation with Lee. He was angry, angry over Kara.

“Captain, she was trying to assert some of her authority. Were you coerced in any way to resign as military liaison.” Laura asked him directly.

“No ma’am. No one asked or forced me to resign. I agree with Col Tigh that for all parties concerned this is the best option.”

Laura looked at his face. She couldn’t read him anymore. Lee had once been an open book to her. He was closed now.

“Ma’am permission to speak freely”

“Always , Captain”

“Ma’am ,Col Tigh has found a graceful exit for all of us. I suggest you take it. If my father makes the decision, I can assure you it will be far harsher on everyone.”

“How do I know that your father will allow it to stand, Captain.” It became obvious to Laura that Lee was gone. In his place was Captain Adama. She didn’t like the change.

“If Col Tigh authorizes it while in command, I can guarantee my father will honor it. It’s how things are done. My father won’t break the chain of command unless it’s necessary.” Lee spoke with absolute certainty.

Laura sighed .“That Captain is exactly why I wanted you for military advisor. You understand how you father thinks better than anyone.”

“I seriously doubt that Ma’am. Regardless that is not an option. If Col. Tigh didn’t request my resignation, I would have tendered it anyway.”

“May I ask why?”

“Yes, Ma’am. “ Lee sighed and then spoke what needed to be said. “ You made a very serious mistake in judgment. You nearly killed Lt. Thrace. You took a tactical weapon, we were going to deploy against the Cylons and commandeered it for personal use, while under the influence of questionable medical treatments.

You made a military decision overriding my authority as CAG without first informing myself or the Commander. You used my pilot whose safety is my direct responsibility without my consent or knowledge. You placed her in serious danger of being killed or worse captured and tortured.”

Laura reacted as if someone bodily slapped her

“Is there anymore, Captain.” Her tone was cold and distant.

“Yes, Ma’am”

You broke a pact with Commander Adama divulging classified information knowing full well what Lt Thrace’s reaction was likely to be. We are now in possession of the arrow, Madam President. I hope it was worth the Lt. getting beaten within an inch of her life by a Cylon. I hope at least it will be of use.

Finally, your decision directly contributed to a situation that need never have happened. I was placed in the untenable position of defending innocent civilians from both you and the Commander. I can no longer place myself between you and the Commander and perform my duties as well.”

Lee stopped and looked at Laura.. She was pale and stunned for a moment, then she got mad.

“Are you saying I am directly responsible for you committing mutiny, Captain.” Laura asked forcefully.

“No, Ma’am. That was my decision and mine alone. I take any consequences for it willingly. I felt it necessary and would do it again. I am saying that you had a very large part in this whole mess, whether you admit it or not.

And more importantly Madam President, I am not a rope in a tug-of-war between my father and yourself. If you want to know what my father is thinking ask my father. I can assure you he has never been reticent in telling anyone what his on his mind.”

Laura sat there and absorbed Lee’s words for a minute. No, not Lee. He was Captain Adama. He had declared his allegiance, and it wasn’t to her. She supposed it was too much to hope that he might see things her way. He was the Commander’s son.

“Captain, where is the arrow now?”

“You need to talk to Col Tigh about the arrow, Madam President..”

“Thank you , Captain we are all done here.”

Lee nodded and got up

Laura walked out of the room, and called to Billy. “Agree to whatever he wants in the document. Then tell Tigh I want to talk about landing on Kobol.”

Billy knew what had happened. He could see it in her face. He had seen Captain Adama on the Galactica. He had committed mutiny to defend them. He was bound by his oath to protect them, so he had done so. That did not equate to supporting her against his father. Billy had tried to tell the President. Words like loyalty and honor weren’t just empty words to these people. Billy had seen these qualities in Lee Adama. Lee Adama wasn’t a politician, he was a soldier first. Laura Roslin had forgotten that. Captain Adama had reminded her of that fact.

Chapter 16 – The Deal (1)

Will Adama was getting antsy. It had been five days since his shooting. He was making amazing progress. The doctor ordered no command duty, so. Lee, Tigh and Kara had been running interference. It would not work much longer.

Despite his better judgment, even the doctor agreed it was time to bring the Commander into the loop. Though he was not yet fit for duty, they could not leave him in the dark much longer. He remembered what had happened with Starbuck. President Roslin, the mutiny and most of what had happened in CIC.

Lee walked back into Life Station and headed for his father’s room. He walked in and the Commander was reading a book. He looked up and nodded at Lee.

“Sir, how are you doing?”

“Better.” Talking still took effort, but Adama was becoming a problem patient nonetheless. “Want to know what the hell is happening."

He found the inactivity tedious, and wanted action again.

Lee turned his head and grinned. He didn’t think that his father would appreciate the humor in all of this.

“Stop causing trouble, old man.” Tigh answered much to the relief of Lee Adama. He was more than happy to pass his father to the Col., if he was willing to handle him.

“Captain, I need to talk with you for a minute.” Lee nodded and rose.

Tigh led him to another empty room down the hall in Life Station.

“Lee, I want you and Starbuck to start planning a tactical mission to Kobol. Take a look at the long range scans from the raptors, and see if we can find our crew.”

“Sir, is rescue or an exploration mission?” Lee asked.

“Both. Start looking at the recon photos. Bring the priestess and the President into the meetings and go over the scans.”

Lee looked surprised at the mention of the President.

“Are you able to work with her, Captain?” Tigh asked pointedly.

“I’m fine with it, sir. I’m not sure she will be.”

“Fine, include Gaeta and Billy if needed. Recon and rescue is top priority. Let’s see if we can’t find this damn temple while we’re there.”

“Sir, do you actually believe this stuff exists?” Lee asked incredulously.

“It’s doubtful, but since we’re here we might as well look. The basestar is gone, so I’m going to send a few raptor flights to jump ahead and get some more scans. So, I want my CAG to start doing his duties again and arrange for the flights.”

Lee smiled and said “Yes, sir.” He paused for a minute “Sir, I think it’s time to start telling him…”

“I can see you’re happy to be someplace else when I do.” Tigh stated deadpan.

Lee smiled. “That’s the privilege of command, sir.”

“Get out of here before I throw you in the brig for insubordination, Captain.”

Lee laughed and made his escape.

Tigh sighed. Well, no time like the present

Tigh walked into Adama’s room. Will looked at him. “Saul, you want to tell me what the hell is going on?”. He paused and took a breath. Talking still took some effort on his part.

“Well, I can see you getting better.” He stalled.

“Saul.” It was a warning. Fewer carefully spoken words had more impact, and took less effort Adama noted wryly.

“On one condition.” Tigh interrupted. Will stared daggers at him.

“I mean it Will.” Tigh shot right back.

He continued.

“You keep your cool. You let me do the worrying and planning for now. I’ll brief you daily, but if it gets too much, I’ll stop it in a minute. I’m not kidding. You came too damn close.”

There was no give in Tigh’s voice. Adama didn’t expect any. He wasn’t kidding, and Adama didn’t blame him. If the situation were reversed, he would have done the same exact thing.

“Agreed, now what the hell is going on.”

Tigh pulled out the document. Roslin had approved and signed. The agreement itself wasn’t the hard sell. The tough part was going convincing Adama keeping her in power was wise.

“Read this. I’ve agreed to it in principle as has Roslin. I wanted you to see it before I sign it.

Adama looked perplexed. He took the document and started reading. Tigh was silent for several minutes, while Adama read and absorbed everything.

Adama looked at Tigh. His face was unreadable. He thought for a minute.

“Her administration stands?”

“Yes. It stands.” Tigh was firm. “She is duly sworn. It stands.” He was not removing her, whether Adama wanted it or not.

Adama thought long and hard for a minute. He couldn’t find a valid objection. Tigh was right, she had legitimate standing like it or not. Privately he accepted Tigh’s conclusion. She had overstepped her boundaries, but then so had he. Grudgingly he admitted to himself what he was not ready to say publicly.

He took a breath. “Her administration stands.” Adama agreed.

Tigh released his breath. Now that Adama agreed the rest was easier.

“Her military advisor?” Tigh knew where he was going with this.

“Gaeta and myself for now. Lee resigned. When you’re ready, you will specify one . She can pick someone independent as long as they don’t work with us.”

“Lee agrees willingly?”

“Yes, he agrees. It’s already done.”

There was no hesitation in Saul’s answer. Adama was satisfied. He was also greatly relieved. He would analyze why later.

“She agrees?”

“Grudgingly.”

Adama stared at Tigh for a minute. “I knew you had a purpose.” Adama offered a smile “Agreed.”

Tigh smiled.and pulled out a pen. “So, who gets the honors, old man?”

“Your show, you decide.” Adama motioned to the paper.

“I’d prefer you do the honor, unless you object. It means more with your name on it.”

Showing that Adama had signed it, showed his explicit support.

“Done.” Adama put his name to the paper. He lay back on the pillows and closed his eyes for a minute.

Chapter 17 – The Deal (2)

Tigh looked at the Commander. This might be too much too soon. When Adama, didn’t move Tigh called softly. If the old man had gone to sleep, he wasn’t going to wake him. Now that Lee and Kara’s fate were set, he simply had to get Adama to agree.

Adama actually had no say. It was the XO’s duty to bring and administer the court martial. Also because of Lee’s relation to the Commander there was no way he could preside over this court martial. It was better if Will accepted the plea willingly. If he thought Tigh had shown favoritism, Lee would have hell to pay with his father. He gave Kara many allowances, but he made no allowances for his son’s lineage.

Though Will wouldn’t admit it, he sometimes expected too much of his son. It was one of his few blind spots. He demanded more of him than anyone else. Will expected it of himself, and so he expected it of his son as well. Though neither would admit it, Lee had the same expectations of himself. Being the Commander’s son drove him to prove, he was the best regardless of his name.

Will loved the boy more than his own life. Tigh had seen how much when they watched him blown to bits in CIC. When he learned his son was alive, he had come back to life. Things had slowly changed for the better after that for both of them.

Tigh also knew Will was fair given a decent reason and some time. That’s why he wanted Lee to tell his father, why. Will didn’t need to agree with his son, but he had to understand him. Both men were proud, each with the damned Adama pride. That’s why Tigh had gotten personal with Lee Adama, even though he didn’t really know him anymore.

Tigh got up slowly thinking that Will had fallen asleep. Adama’s hand grabbed Tigh’s arm and held him in place. He opened his eyes and looked at Tigh.

“Kara and Lee. What are…”

“Are you sure you’re up to this? It can wait. I meant what I said, Will. Don’t overdo it.”

Adama gave him a look that froze any additional protests.

“Here.” he pulled out the plea agreements for both Kara and Lee. Both were charged; Kara with disobeying a direct order and desertion, and, Lee with mutiny. Both had agreed to a public apology and hard labor.”

Tigh actually looked forward to Starbuck’s apology. One of the conditions of the apology was that she give a “sincere” apology. Tigh was trying to imagine how she would manage that. For the sake of Lee and the old man they both had declared an unofficial truce for now. Tigh didn’t think it would last long, but he ‘d take it for now.

Adama took and read the documents. First Kara’s. He knew both should have their asses thrown in the brig. The fact was they needed them both so badly. He could insist on it. It wasn’t realistic in their present circumstance.

Kara he forgave. He understood why Kara had taken the raider. He blamed himself. He would deal with the President for that later. It was easier to forgive Kara. He could explain away her reaction.

Lee, well, Lee was harder. Lee never did anything without a reason. At first he thought he had finally chosen sides. It seemed to him the President had won his son to her side. It hurt more than he would acknowledge, even to himself.

Now, Adama wasn’t sure. Lee had been there the whole time. He never apologized for what he had done. That meant Lee thought it was necessary. Not that had he approved of the President, if anything just the opposite. Kara had made that clear to him. He just wanted to know what was on his son’s mind. Lee had always been hard to read. Hell, he had learned it from him, so if he had anyone to blame he supposed it was himself.

“You OK with this?” Adama asked. He wanted to be sure this was what Tigh wanted. It was his head that had a blaster to it. “Should be harsher…”

“First, old man you have no say.” Tigh meant it. This was his decision. He wanted to make that clear to Adama.

“Second, I drew it up and presented it to Lee, not the other way around. He refused council, and said whatever I thought necessary he would accept. Adamas seem to like to fall on their swords, even when there’s no need.”

Adama looked at him surprised. Where was his XO going with that comment? He was about to find out as Tigh continued.

“I don’t approve of his methods, but he was right in preventing a military coup of a duly sworn government.” He let Adama absorb that before moving on. Will said nothing and waited. His face was unreadable. Tigh plunged forward.

“You overreacted. Roslin was wrong and probably violated at least three counts I can name off the top of my head. I can probably find more, if I think about it. You were pissed Will because she made a self-serving calculation and broke a pact with you. She knew what Starbuck would do. You over-reacted because it was Kara involved. Lee got stuck in the middle between you and Roslin.”

Tigh paused looking at Will before continuing. Adama stared at him stone faced.

“You done?” Adama asked flatly.

“No, not yet. I was there Will. There would have been bloodshed. How many civilians would we have killed because the President made a bad self-serving decision? Remember we promised to protect them once upon a time. Lee was right, not that I approve of his methods. We go in there massively outgunning them. It would have been a massacre. They would have died protecting her.

She played her cards brillantly. Even by losing, she wins. If there’s a coup we lose, if there’s bloodshed we lose. Even surrendering she wins There’s no bloodshed, she’s the hero. She wins anyway. Better this.”

“This ensures an orderly process. More importantly, she no longer divides our people. You can’t divide the child between two houses as the old proverb goes. This ensures loyalty and service within one house not both.”

Adama hated it when he was wrong. He wanted to hit his XO at the moment , however he knew Tigh was right. That’s what made him so mad. Tigh was right. He was a brilliant tactician, and one of the few friends or officers he knew not afraid of brutal honesty if he required it. He had required it.

Tigh watched and waited for either the explosion or acceptance. He knew there were only two options.

“Lee agrees with this?”

“Yes, he actually laughed. He said something to the effect I had outmaneuvered both the old bastards.” Tigh goaded him. Will accepted the agreement, and more importantly maybe Lee’s role as Lee saw it.

“Don’t push it.” Adama warned, but he smiled.

“Give me the papers and a pen.” Adama demanded.

Tigh has already signed the orders. He knew why Will wanted to sign the order too. It showed Lee he approved. Lee would understand the meaning of his signature on the orders

Tigh handed him the orders and a pen without further discussion.

“I’ll handle it.” Adama said to Tigh, and placed the papers by his bed.

“You don’t have to, Will. I’ll…”

“Yes, I do.” Adama interrupted him.

Tigh nodded. “When he’s done with planning, I’ll tell him to see you.”

“Mission?” Adama asked. He sounded tired.

“Recon and rescue for survivors on Kobol. The last scans showed some signs of survivors. Now that the basestar is gone, I want to try and get our people. I’ll fill you in when we have it detailed. It will probably be another day.”

Adama leaned back on the pillow again. He closed his eyes and nodded. Now he just had to face Lee, he thought as he drifted to sleep.

Chapter 18: Discussions (1)

Lee and Kara were sitting in Tigh’s office going through the tactical planning. Gaeta had stepped into his role as Roslin’s advisor. She had come away from the meeting pleasantly surprised from what Kara and Lee relayed. She was getting her wish, which also served their needs as well. Tigh didn’t leave survivors behind unless forced. He planned to get his people back.

“Can we work with her?” Tigh asked pointedly. He was not the trusting type, and he did not trust Laura Roslin. They had a ceasefire because it was beneficial to both sides.

It was easier for him to view Roslin in terms of a tactical engagement. That way they would never underestimate her again. She cared about her people and the fleet, and had done a good job in keeping order. She and Adama had overstepped their boundaries The two were flip sides of a coin, and Tigh planned to keep them together. They both checked each other, and that was best for everyone.

Tigh was satisfied with the progress. He needed to talk with Starbuck alone and get her take on Sharon 2. He had talked with Sharon 1 (who shot Adama) and now he needed to have a detailed talk with Sharon 2.

He had given Starbuck a direct order that she was not to discuss Sharon 2, until he had a chance to interrogate her in detail. He wanted Kara, and Laura with him. Anyone who flushed a Cylon out an airlock without a seconds hesitation would be valuable during the interrogation. She served as a good counterbalance to Kara and maybe even himself. His sense was there was something different about these two. They were “humanized” Cylons. . These two formed close relations with humans. It made them different, but still they were Cylon. The nature of the beast was still there.

The doctor had confirmed what Sharon 2 claimed. She was pregnant. The child was definitely Helo’s relation and hers as well. The development seemed to mimic a normal human fetus, so far. They were watching her carefully. The pregnancy would continue, but any betrayal or threat perceived on her part would end the life of both very quickly. Tigh informed her no uncertain terms. She accepted his conditions, and had cooperated so far.

Tigh dismissed Lee. Kara started to rise thinking she was done when Tigh motioned fpr her to remain.

“Stay, Lt. I need to clarify some details of your little unauthorized journey with you.” Starbuck nodded and gave Lee a smile and a wave.

Lee looked intrigued but said nothing. Tigh clearly didn’t want him here. Kara would tell him later.

“Captain, the Commander had requested to speak with you. When you are free please report to Life Station.”

“Yes, sir. I’m almost done here. I’ll report once I’ve finished.”

“Captain, when I left Life Station earlier the Commander was sleeping. Don’t disturb him if he’s resting. He’s aware of what we discussed, so it’s not urgent.”

“Understood ,sir. Thank you for the warning, sir. I’ll be sure not to disturb the Commander.” Tigh was warning him his father knew at least parts. Lee doubted Tigh told him everything. He wanted him to do that.

“That will be all , Captain.” Tigh dismissed him.

He warned Lee, so Will couldn’t completely blindside him. They were overdue for this talk, and Tigh needed it to happen soon. He wanted his CAG’s mind on this mission, and he wanted the Commander to have peace of mind. Tigh sent a prayer hoping for the best to whatever Lord covered worn-out XO’s prayers.

Lee marched through the halls and girded himself mentally for battle. His father had seemed relaxed with him previously. Tigh must have informed him of his decisions recently. He just prayed that his father would be willing to speak with him after they talked.

Lee Adama walked around the corner in Life Station into is father’s room. There he stopped dead. Sitting in the chair in the corner of his room was Laura Roslin just reading while his father slept. He didn’t think his father was even aware she was there. He did not intend to allow Laura Roslin to bait his father in his condition. He would bodily remove her if needed. How had she gotten in here?

Lee cleared his throat, “Madam President.” He said more forcefully than he meant.

Laura looked up. She seemed calm and collected. She smiled at Lee and brought her finger to her lips and motioned to his father.

Lee spoke softly but there was iron and not a little anger in his voice. “I’m sorry Ma’am, but my father is in not receiving visitors outside immediate family and friends right now. I appreciate the thought, but until he feels better…”

Lee felt a firm grip on his arm.

Damn! They had woken him. He needed to talk with his father, and he did not intend to allow Laura Roslin to upset his father.

“Madam President.” Adama acknowledged her softly.

She smiled at him ”It’s good to see you awake finally, Commander. You’re looking better than last time I saw you.” She sounded sincere.

Lee realized she meant it. This was not going to be a contentious visit. She truly wanted to know he was OK.

Lee looked at his father. Adama gave a small nod to his son. He wanted her to stay. Lee was curious. If he wanted her to stay then she would stay..

Adama looked over at her. “Madam President, as you can see I’m not exactly dressed for company. Could I ask for a moment to get myself properly attired?”

“You seem fine to me, Commander.” Laura replied with a grin looking directly at Adama. He was bare with only dressings on his chest. She headed to the door and stopped for a moment. ” Call me if you need anything.” She smiled at him mischievously.

Lee wisely looked away. His face was probably beet red. He blushed easily and against his skin it was easy to see.

Lee turned and said. “Dad, are you sure you’re up for this? If it’s too much…”

Adama however just chuckled softly. He appreciated his son’s protective instincts. It gave him hope. This was the perfect opportunity to see Tigh had told him. He wanted to gauge Lee’s reaction around Laura Roslin, as well as hers around him.

He also welcomed a little verbal sparring with her. She was infuriating at times, but she kept his wits sharp. They had dulled from lack of use lately.

“Thanks for the concern.” He smiled at Lee. “With you here I’m sure she’ll be on her best behavior. Now find me a robe, so at least I don’t have to meet with the President of the Twelve Colonies in a hospital gown.”

Lee chuckled as he searched the room for a robe. He hadn’t expected to be laughing at a meeting with his father and the President given their recent circumstances.

“Something funny you care to share, Captain?” Adama stressed.

Lee would later wonder what possessed him. But the picture of the President meeting his father in a hospital gown was just so ridiculous it defied description.

“Just the headline if this were an officially recorded meeting, sir”. Lee unsuccessfully suppressed a laugh.

Adama was surprised by his son’s wicked sense of humor. He had rarely seen his son’s sense of humor. Adama chuckled under his breath and decided for once to bite.

“And that would be what, Captain?”

Lee looked at his father pointedly. His eyes glowed with amusement.

“Do you require an answer of me, sir?” Lee stalled.

“That’s why I asked you, Captain” Adama tried to sound official.

“Very well sir. President meets with Commander half-dressed. would be the most appropriate, sir.”

Lee turned away from his father laughing trying to regain some control. He was cracking under the stress of everything. His father probably thought he had lost his sanity.

Adama held his stomach as he chuckled. He had never seen Lee like this. He usually kept himself so tightly controlled. Kara had told him about this part of Lee. This was just the first time he had ever seen it.

“Captain.” Adama called.

Lee looked at his father, now that he regained control of himself.

“Sir?”

“Would you like to inform the President of the official title?” Adama asked wryly.

“Gods, no sir! I don’t wish to be thrown in the brig by my Commander for conduct unbecoming, smacked upside my head by the President of the Colonies, not to mention then my father would then have my hide.”

Lee helped his father with the robe, and then went to get the President.

Discussions (2)

Lee Adama went into the hall. He talked very softly to Laura Roslin.

“Madam President, I know I don’t have to tell you this. My father had a rough week. I don’t know how completely Col Tigh has briefed my father. So, please let Col. Tigh handle that unless he brings it up first.

Laura understood Lee was protecting him. William Adama was a very lucky man. Laura controlled the impulse to smile. She doubted William Adama needed protection from anyone even in his weaken state.

“I won’t upset him, Captain. I’ll wait until your father is on his feet again for that.” She quipped.

Lee wasn’t sure whether he should be amused or angry at her comment. Silence he decided was the best option and simply nodded.

“Commander, the robe is most becoming.” Laura teased with a smile on her face walking into the room.

“Thank you Madam President. Not exactly standard military issue, but it will have to do I’m afraid.” He nodded for her to sit.

Lee nodded at his father. “Sir, unless you require my presence I’ll be in my quarters.”

“Captain, I need your presence for a while.” That was his official tone. Apparently Tigh had briefed his father. He looked serious, but not angry.

Lee nodded and waited for his father to continue. He brought the chair by his father’s bed for the President and then went and sat on the cot Life Station had provided for him.

Adama sighed and looked at the President. He wanted to gauge both of their reactions and then he would let Lee leave. Lee looked like he would rather be anywhere than caught in the middle of the two of them. He didn’t blame his son.

Adama took copies of the agreement between Tigh and Laura Roslin, and gave them to her and his son.

“Captain, I understand you were witness to this document.” Lee took it and quickly read the agreement. He flipped the pages and noticed his father’s, not Tigh’s signature on the paper. That meant he knew and approved.

His father was watching the President’s and his reaction as well. This was an exploratory mission.

“Yes, sir.” Lee answered looking at him.

Laura sat in the chair and read what Adama had handed her.

She wondered what Adama was doing. She believed them when they said he would honor the document. Had they read him wrong?

Adama continued. “Was this agreed to by all parties freely in your opinion, Captain?”

“Yes, sir. However, I was not privy to the drafting of the agreement. Lt Gaeta , Col Tigh, or the President could inform you of any lingering disputes from that.”

“Madam President, are there any lingering issues that are not dealt with in the agreement I signed?”

Laura made a show of reading the document for a moment. She saw Adama’s signature. Now she understood. They had been correct he would honor the agreement. He wanted to hear her acceptance from her directly.

“No, Commander I am satisfied. The civilian council will have to do for now. What happened on board Colonial One cannot happen again.” Laura paused and let them absorb this for a moment.

She wasn’t entirely happy, but they had to bridge this impasse and move forward. That was what she wanted the Commander to understand. Somehow they had to work together again.

Laura took a calculated risk. She had frakked up, as Tigh had told her. Now she intended to make the situation right.

She knew this would anger Lee. Adama needed to know that Lee had chosen him not her. His father needed to hear it from him not from Tigh or her. More importantly, he needed to understand his son’s motivation.

“I have two questions I would like resolved.”

Lee looked at her surprised. Their discussion had resolved any issues about where he stood.

“What question do you have Madam President.” Frankly, Adama was curious about this as well. He wasn’t sure what she had in mind.

“Captain, two questions. First were you forced to resign as my advisor. Second, why did you commit mutiny aboard Colonial One?”

Frak ! Why was she doing this? Was she mad and trying to get even? What did she hope to gain? Lee would have hurt her if he could. He looked down and took a deep breath. He knew he had to address this. He had planned to do it in private when his father was ready. He did not plan for Laura Roslin to set the schedule for this discussion.

He looked directly at his father. His face was unreadable. He had expected to see anger or disappointment. He didn’t know if this was better or worse. He decided to let his father make the decision. That was his right.

“Sir, do you want me to answer those questions now? The President and I have already had a discussion about both of them, but if she requires confirmation or reminder I will repeat what I told her previously.”

Adama watched his son. He was furious. He was also telling the truth. She already knew the answer to both of these questions. So, what was she hoping to gain.

Adama looked at Laura Roslin. Her face was not angry. She seemed almost sympathetic to him. Adama was usually a good reader of motive and character. Why would she do this? He didn’t sense any malice in her. He decided to take a gamble. He hoped he was right.

“Answer her, Captain.” Adama looked directly at his son.

Lee shifted uncomfortably under his gaze and then nodded.

“Very well sir. As I told the President previously I was not forced to resign. I would have tendered my resignation regardless. I can no longer perform my duties as CAG and civilian military advisor.”

“Why?” Adama asked softly. His tone was serious. Lee hated that voice. He would rather his father screamed at him.

Lee heaved and fought to contain his temper. This was private and he did not want to discuss this in front of the President.

“It is impossible for me to remain between the two of you and properly fulfill my duties. I cannot be on two sides of an issue at one time. I will not have my loyalty questioned. I cannot function with split loyalties. I have to choose where I wish to be, and I have chosen.”

“Where do you wish to be, Captain?” Adama spoke so quietly he almost missed the question.

Lee’s head snapped up and looked at his father. His father wanted to hear it from him. He was asking him, not commanding him. It was his choice no matter the agreement.

“I wish to remain on duty as CAG, sir.” Lee started directly at his father as he answered.

Adama said nothing and nodded.

“Are you satisfied , Madam President?” Adama asked her directly.

“Yes, I just want my second question clarified Commander then I am done.”

Lee definitely did not want to answer this question in front of her. He had no option. If his father wanted the answer he would get it. His father would probably never forgive him, but he would speak the truth.

“Captain.” Adama said and closed is eyes for a moment.

“Sir, are you OK?” Lee asked. He was concerned. The doctor would probably ban him from Life Station after this. He wouldn’t blame him. His only comfort right now was he had thought of at least five creative ways to torture President Roslin.

“Yes, sir. I committed mutiny because I had no other option at the time, sir.”

Adama stared angrily at his son. “Care to clarify that remark, Captain. You were given a straight forward order as I recall.”

“Yes sir. I was given an order that would have resulted in a military coup of a duly sworn civilian government. The President made a politically calculated decision overriding my authority as CAG and your authority as military commander.

That still does not give the military the right to depose the civilian government. I was constitutionally bound by oath to protect the government and the innocents caught in-between. I did my duty as I saw it. I would do it again.”

There he had said it. He had just told his father he was wrong. Lee stared straight at the wall. They could both rot for all he cared right now. He was tired of being a pawn in this game.

Adama sat back against the pillow. He looked at Laura Roslin. She had known this was coming. Hell, Tigh had warned him this was coming. Tigh had been right. They had both been wrong. They had unwittingly trapped his son in the middle of their tug-of war.

Mutiny had certainly not been the best option available, but Lee was not totally unjustified.

Laura looked at the Commander. He didn’t look angry. She hoped her gamble worked. This was a big risk. He was a fair man in most cases. She hoped that he admitted his part as she admitted her part to both of them. They were both entitled. Hell, Lee was entitled to an apology from both of them. He was right he was not a rope in a tug-of-war.

Adama looked at her. There was a look of grudging respect growing on his face. He got it. Laura nodded to Adama. She would let him lead the way.

“Captain!” Adama called.

Lee looked surprised at his father. He saw no anger there. What the hell! Lee expected outrage or worse stone cold silence.

“It would seem the President and I owe you an apology.”

Lee sat there in stunned disbelief. He didn’t know how to react. They were apologizing to him. He’d expected his father to throw him in the brig, and never speak to him again.

Laura said gently. “You’re right Commander, except I owe you both an apology..” She paused and collected her thoughts.

”You were correct Commander I overstepped my authority. This was a military decision.

As Col Tigh so tactfully put it, I frakked up, and it’s going to take a lot of work to fix it.

I could have endangered the entire fleet. Worse, I used privileged information and, endangered one of your warriors and your family Commander. I can’t promise I would have done anything differently. I believe the arrow is essential.

Still, my methods were inexcusable. I don’t expect forgiveness, but I want you know I am truly sorry.”

Laura paused and looked at the Commander. He seemed almost as stunned as his son at the moment. Laura decided to finish this, so she could leave father and son alone. They had private matters to discuss.

“Captain Adama.” She waited until he acknowledged her and then continued.

“You were correct you are not a rope in a tug-of-war between myself and your father. I placed you in an untenable position. You were correct the situation never should have arisen, and I take full responsibility. There is nothing I can say that will make this right So, I ‘ll simply say I apologize.“

Laura had said all that she needed to say. The discussion between father and son was private. She didn’t think Adama would appreciate admitting fallibility in her presence.

Laura got up to leave.

“Gentlemen, I’ll leave now. I’ve taken enough of your time.”

Adama recovered himself.

“Madam President.” Adama called her.. Laura turned around

“We’re not done here yet.” He ordered and motioned to the chair.

Chapter 20 – Discussions (3)

“We’re not done here yet.” He ordered and motioned to the chair.

Adama paused a moment and collected his thoughts.

“As I said Madam President, we both owe the Captain an apology. I think he is entitled to hear both of us. You are also entitled to hear mine as well Madam President.”

Now it was Laura who was surprised. This man fascinated her. Just when she thought she had his character figured he surprised her. He was exceptionally proud. Sometimeshe had flawed pride and expectations when it came to his family. Still he had amazing strength and there was nothing he wouldn’t do for them. She hoped Lee knew how lucky he was as well.

“You are right Captain this should have never happened on both counts. You should have never been placed into a position where your loyalties or duties to either myself or the President could have been placed you at odds with either of us. That I trust will not be an issue again Madam President.”

Lee for his part was absolutely silent. Never in his wildest imagination could he have imagined what his father was saying to him. It was almost more than he could absorb.

Laura quickly recovered herself.

“No, Commander. I don’t foresee that as a problem again. In fact I am quite happy with Lt Gaeta if you can spare him.”

Adama nodded. “We will discuss that at a later date Madam President.”

“Captain!” Adama said forcefully. His son looked shocked putting it mildly. He wanted Lee’s attention.

Lee looked him directly in the eye.

“I do not now nor will I ever condone mutiny in the line of duty during wartime. What you did breeches every rule and action you’ve ever been taught, since you entered Academy.”

Lee simply stared at his father. Laura waited. She hoped she had not misread Adama.

“I cannot afford in wartime to have my officers questioning my commands every time they disagree with me. Our safety may depend on your action, not your agreement. Is that clear, Captain?”

Adama waited. Lee stared at his father. He could not find his voice. Hell, he could barely comprehend what was happening.

“Captain, is that clear?”” Adama called after a few minutes of silence

“Yea….Yes,sir.” Lee stammered.

Laura waited. Adama was correct second guessing his orders could cause death. He could not allow that among his command especially with Cylons among them. He needed Lee as his CAG to acknowledge that fact. She still hurt for Lee, but this was a necessary evil.

“Very well then. That said what you did on board Colonial One, though I cannot condone it, was justifiable. Your actions were appropriate given the circumstances.”

His father had just admitted he was wrong. Lee knew that was tantamount to an apology. He didn’t need words. He just had to remember to breathe right now. He didn’t think he could do more.

Adama looked at Laura giving Lee a few minutes to digest what was happening.

“That Madam President is why I felt it necessary you be here as well. Like you I overstepped my authority. Though I feel my decision was correct at the time, that is not justification for relieving you of command without due process. It will not happen again.”

Still she had made a colossal mistake going into Cylon territory. She could have killed them. He intended to make that clear. They got lucky this time. Next time they might not be so lucky.

“Madam President, if ever you place the fleet and my officers in that type of danger again without first discussing it with me, I will take the appropriate due process to have you removed. Public opinion and consequences be dammed.”

He allowed Laura to absorb what he had said.

Laura understood he meant it. It was a fair statement. She still felt the arrow was essential. This was probably the only way to get it. Still she could not have the Commander, and though she didn’t quite yet understand did not want the Commander at odds with her.

She respected him as much as she sometimes loathed him.

“Understood, Commander.” Laura said quietly. “Just don’t expect me to cede authority to you without cause.”

Adama smiled to himself. This could work. They were back in balance where they belonged. They now had the needed buffer between them with the council. He would have to talk to her further in private.

Adama’s eyes flashed. “I would be disappointed if you did , Madam President.

Adama turned his attention to Lee. He stared into space while his father and the President sparred He wasn’t sure if this was a blessing or a curse yet. Hell, he wasn’t sure of anything right now.

Laura rose sure she was done. The rest of this conversation needed to be private.

“Commander, unless you need me I have a meeting and duties I have to attend. I am very glad you are feeling better. I’ll check in again later.”

Adama nodded.

Laura could not resist one wicked temptation. She doubted the opportunity would arise anytime again soon. She also got to have the last word without even talking.

“Get some rest and get well quickly, Commander.” Laura said and then bent over and gave him a completely “innocent” get well kiss on the cheek.

William Adama sat flabbergasted as the color rose to his cheeks. The President of the Colonies had just kissed him in a completely innocent, and completely wicked way simultaneously.

Her eyes twinkled and she knew she got him.

William Adama just watched her go. Damn! She was a fascinating woman. If their jobs didn’t put them in direct conflict…He left the rest of that thought unfinished.

Lee sat there lack-jawed. He wanted to pinch himself to see if any of this was real.

“Lee.” His father called softly. “You can close your mouth now, son.” He said with a smile.

Chapter 21 – Discussions (4)

Lee’s jaw snapped shut. Lee felt like someone had placed him into someone else’s life.

Hell, what was he supposed to say to his father. He had imagined how this conversation might happen. It was nothing like this. In his wildest imagination, he couldn’t have imagined this.

He didn’t know whether to thank or throttle Laura Roslin. He was surprised his father actually admitted to his part. The fact he admitted it in front of Laura Roslin was unimaginable. Gods, he didn’t even know where to start.

Adama lay back against the pillow and closed his eyes for a minute. This was the hard part. He had never been much at heart to heart talks with his son. With Kara it was easy, she wore her heart on her sleeve. Every conversation with Kara was a heart to heart.

Lee was measured. Everything was planned and tightly controlled. The conversation Adama had with Lee flashed through his mind. Follow your instincts he had told him.

Adama actually chuckled at the observation when Lee actually decided to listen he picked one hell way to demonstrate it.

Lee just looked at his father. He had no clue what he was thinking, given this evening he suspected he never would.

“You know you pick one hell of a way to finally listen to the old man.”

Lee just looked at his father. He didn’t have a clue what he meant.

“Tigh told me you were following your instincts. Stupid way of showing it, but the thought was right.”

Lee nodded. He finally found his voice.

“Yes, sir.” Lee agreed. He was trying to find something anything to say to his father.

“Son, what’s on your mind?” Adama asked softly. They had to start somewhere. It didn’t look like Lee was going to start this conversation.

“Frankly , sir?” Lee asked

“That’s usually best.”

“I don’t know what’s on my mind. I feel like I’m living in someone else’s reality.” Lee sighed. “I’ve run this in my mind a few dozen times. It certainly didn’t include President Roslin in it.”

Adama chuckled at the observation.

“She has a tendency to do the unexpected. It keeps dealing with her interesting.” He noted wryly.

Lee smiled the first real smile Adama had seen from his son. Slow and steady seemed to be the way here.

“How do you envision this going?” Adama asked softly.

Lee looked at his father. His face was neutral.

“Angry. with that stone cold silence we do.” Lee said flatly.

Adama shook his head at his son.

“I won’t have it, not this time. I’ve lost one son. I’m too damned old to lose my other son.” Adama looked directly at Lee.

Lee slowly raised his eyes. There in his father’s eyes was the answer to his question. Was he still his father’s son? Could his father forgive him? He was still his son. He would always be his son.

“Why? Why this time?” Lee asked.

“Even this old dog can learn from his mistakes. I let you walk away once. I won’t do it again. You and Kara are family. These days family is everything. You will not leave this family again. If you have to scream at me, then you’ll scream at me. Hell, maybe I’ll even scream at you. But I will never again have two missing sons, while one of them is standing in front of me.”

Lee wanted to laugh and cry at the same time. Only his father could say he cared and loved him and make it sound like an order. He would take it.

Lee looked directly at his father. The next question had to be asked. He needed to know. Love was one thing trust was entirely another.

“You’ll have me.” Lee answered. He wouldn’t run away again. “Do you think you can deal with me?”

Adama looked at his son. He was finally talking. Good.

“Who is asking, my son or my CAG?” Adama asked.

He wanted to weigh his words on this carefully. Lee needed to know they would heal. When he thought Lee had died, his world had ended. Adama meant it when he told Lee he would not let him walk away again.

Lee considered this a moment. He had meant it on a personal level, but both mattered.

“Both. I need to work with you. I can’t perform as CAG if you don’t trust me. The other well,…that I don’t know. I haven’t exactly been the ideal son since Zac…”

Adama interrupted. Neither of them had been the ideal anything since Zac. They were all they had left. He didn’t plan on it happening again.

“You’re a damned fine CAG. One of the best I’ve had, and I’ve had many. You said you won’t have your loyalty questioned. Fair enough. I should have never allowed you to be in a position where I questioned it. That was my fault not yours. I’m the Commander, and I should have moved to stop it. Next time I will, whether you want me to or not.”

“Thank you.” Lee said quietly. His father didn’t hand out idle compliments.

He was surprised his father took any blame. He had chosen to work as Roslin’s advisor. At the time he wouldn’t have taken his father’s interference graciously. His father had seen it though. He had finally chosen sides. He had no choice. A weight had lifted off his shoulders.

“As a son. I’d say I probably got the better end of that deal. Hell, you haven’t left Life Station unless Tigh has bodily dragged you out of here. You’ve been bled and apparently earned one hell of a reputation among the marines trying to protect me. I could do worse.” Adama stated deadpan.

This was Adama’s way of saying “Thank You” to Lee.

Lee didn’t miss the sentiment behind the comment. He looked away embarrassed. Adama could see the color rising up his son’s neck. He had his mother’s fair coloring. Will gave Lee a moment to pull himself together.

When Lee looked back he had a grin on his face. “Very well then I stay on as CAG. There’s probably no chance of resigning as Commander’s son. Nasty job sometimes, but I guess I’m stuck.”

“Don’t push it.” His father warned. His eyes were smiling. They had a start. They would heal.

Chapter 22: Adama Returns

Saul Tigh walked into Life Station. They decided to release the Commander at Tigh’s urging today. There were things they needed to discuss, and they could not discuss them in Life Station.

The doctor had agreed reluctantly. He ordered no duty for another several weeks. He had not discussed this with the Commander, but Tigh was insisting it was important.

Tigh came in and found Adama sitting up alone in his room. Major Cottle followed Tigh into the room. Adama looked up and acknowledged both men.

“Gentlemen. Major, to what do I owe the pleasure of your company?” He had known and served with the Major for a long time. The man could be a bastard, but he was not afraid of the Commander. That was definitely a requirement for Chief Medical Officer when your Commander was William Adama.

Adama respected the man. He also valued his opinion because he was one of a few people on this boat whose job it was to tell him the unvarnished truth.

“Commander, Dr Salik tells me you’ve been a pain in his behind long enough, and requests that I kick you out of Life Station.”

Adama raised an eyebrow. Apparently, he qualified for early release.

“I have no objections.”

“I didn’t think you would. Col, I need to speak to the Commander privately for a moment.”

The Major waited until the Col had left He did not intended to lecture the Commander in front of other officers.

Tigh nodded and left the room.

“Will, I’m releasing you at Tigh’s request. I’d keep you here at least a few more days. I know there are things you need to do. When I say no active duty for several weeks, I mean it. I know you. I don’t want to drag you back here bodily, so please for once be a model patient for me.”

Adam chuckled. “I’ll do my best.”

“Will, I’m serious. You have no idea how lucky you were. You nearly bled out on us. If Lee hadn’t been there, we might not be having this talk. It was too damned close Will. You’re doing much better than expected, but this was a major injury. I need you to promise me you’ll take it easy.”

“I’ll take it easy.” Adama promised. He knew the Major meant every word. He was also not a hundred percent. Hell, he’d be happy with fifty percent right now. Still getting back to his quarters was a major improvement.

“I don’t think Lee would let me out of bed if he had his way. Don’t worry I promise to go easy.”

The Major nodded satisfied. “Deal, on one condition. I’ll check on you twice a day. If I see anything I don’t like, you’re back here immediately.”

“Deal.” Adama agreed. He hated Life Station. He was glad to be leaving finally.

“I’ll do the paperwork. I’ll have Tigh page your son, so we can get you the hell out of here. God, I always hated Viper pilots as patients.” Cottle groused half to himself.

Adama laughed. He knew the comment was directed at him. He had behaved this time. Daily briefings had helped. He liked to know what was happening on his ship. It made it easier to handle being hurt. He suspected that’s why the doctors had agreed to it.

Tigh came in smiling. “So, old man I guess we’re taking you home finally.”

Adama smiled, but there was concern in his eyes. “Care to tell me after what was so damned important we can’t talk here?”

“I’ll brief you, but not here.”

Adama nodded. He’d wait if Saul thought it was that important, then he would trust his judgment.

Lee came jogging in a few minutes later. “Sir? They paged me. Is everything alright?”

The Major came walking in with the release instructions. “Ah Captain, just the person I need to see. I don’t envy you your job Captain.”

Lee looked at the Major. “Sir?”

“I’m releasing your father into your care. Come with me and I’ll give you instructions. That way at least there’s one person besides me to make him behave.”

Tigh laughed, and Lee looked a bit unsure. The doctor went through the instructions for medications, dressings and care with the Commander and Lee.

“Captain, he gives you any grief, and I do mean any, you call me.”

“Don’t worry I will.” Lee smiled looking directly at his father.

“Great, just what I need you two in collusion with each other.” Adama muttered under his breath.

Lee and the Major laughed.

“I’ll catch up with you later once you’re settled.” Tigh said

He left Lee with his father.

The med tech came in with some loose fitting clothes and a wheelchair for the Commander. Lee helped with the clothes and then helped him to stand.

Adama looked at the wheelchair with distaste. “I hate being a dammed invalid.”

Lee looked at his father intently.

“I’ll take it. It’s better than the alternative.” Lee said softly.

Will Adama looked at his son. It had been a long time since Lee outwardly expressed emotion with his father. Will squeezed his shoulder firmly acknowledging the gesture.

“Now get me the hell out of here.” Adama ordered.

“Come on, let’s get you where you belong.” Lee pushed his father into the main part of Life Station.

The Major had assembled everyone. He felt it necessary because the Commander had nearly died. It was good for the morale of everyone including the Commander.

There were mummers of surprise followed by joy when Adama appeared.

“Commander on deck!” The Major shouted.

Everyone in the room snapped to attention. There were salutes and huge smiles all around Adama knew this was unusual for the medical team. They were usually informal here. This was their way of saying welcome back.

“As you were.” Adama knew he could expect this all the way to his quarters. Usually he hated ceremony. He was grateful for all the well wishes and knew he needed to acknowledge them. “The major tells me I am well enough to go back to quarters. That would not be possible without all of you. Thank you.”

The medical crew actually applauded and shouted.

Major Cottle saluted. “Now, Captain, I gave you an order. Get the Commander out of my Life Station.”

Lee smiled and saluted the Major. “With pleasure sir.” He answered.

People in the halls came to a dead stop, and then saluted offering well wishes. Lee must have stopped a dozen times before the elevator.

Lee looked down at his father. ”I suspect this is going to be a slow ride. Let me know if it’s too much.”

Adama chuckled. ”And miss all this adoration.” He replied sardonically.

Lee laughed “Great sir. Permission to speak freely sir?”

“Granted.” Adama answered. His son’s tone was light. Lee was obviously in a good mood. He intended to enjoy this.

“I’m afraid all this praise will go to your head, sir. And frankly, sir, that will make my job that much harder.” Lee joked.

“Captain, silence is golden. I suggest you heed those words.” Adama warned lightly.

“Push more, talk less. Got it, sir.” Lee laughed.

Lee pressed the elevator for CIC. Adama noticed. “What do you think you’re doing?” Adama demanded.

Lee hit the stop button.

“Sir, unless you object there’s your whole command that would like to know you’re better. They’ve been worried. It would help morale unless you have any objections.”

“I’d prefer not to be wheeled onto my own bridge.” Adama replied

Lee understood and agreed. “Then we won’t wheel you. You can stand and walk. I’d be happy to help if you don’t mind. It’s about three or four steps to the bridge railing from the entrance. I’ve seen you walk further than that in Life Station. If you need help, I’ll be right there.”

Lee didn’t mention that he knew his father would enjoy it as well.

Adama considered it for a moment. He knew the crew would like to see him. He wanted to see them too.

“OK Captain. Let’s go see what Tigh has done to my ship in my absence.”

Lee laughed. “Yes, sir.”

Lee started the elevator. He stopped the chair outside the entrance to CIC. He helped his father stand. Adama was strong enough to take a few steps into CIC and lean against the rail. Lee entered directly behind him.

Since the Commander had been shot, security had tightened significantly. The marines eyes widened in surprise as they saw the Commander enter. They snapped to attention and saluted. Lee saluted and gave them the password. Then they did something Adama had never seen. The marines smiled at their Commander.

“As you were.” Adama acknowledged and returned their smiles.

CIC was busy. Tigh had to shuffle duties, and everyone had more than usual. Adama walked to the railing and leaned on it for support. It was invigorating standing on the bridge again. Lee stepped a discreet distance behind his father. He was about to call Commander on deck when Gaeta turned.

Gaeta’s eyes popped and then a huge smile crossed his face. Dee looked at him bewildered.

“Commander on Deck!” Gaeta shouted and jumped from his seat to attention.

The whole CIC stopped and stared in their direction. Lee stood there amazed as all at once CIC was silent and stood to attention. It was damned impressive. Shock quickly turned to joy. Everyone stood at attention with smiles on their faces.

Adama returned the salute.

“As you were. Thank you.” Adama said simply and smiled

Dee brought a chair for the Commander. Adama gratefully lowered himself into the deck chair. “Thank you, Specialist. It seems the old man is still finding his sea legs.” Adama joked.

Dee saluted. “Glad to have you back sir.”

Lee watched and tried very hard not to break into the same corny grin she and everyone else was wearing.

Adama looked over at Lee. Adama gave his son a salute. Lee smiled and returned it in kind.

All of CIC greeted Adama. Their Commander was back, and the CIC suddenly came to life again.

Chapter 23

Tigh walked toward Adama’s quarters. Major Cottle was with him. First, he was here to verify that Sharon 1 as he called her was actually pregnant. He also wanted the doctor there when they informed the Commander in case he needed medical help. The Major had not been happy about this, but he agreed this had to be done.

He wanted to discuss Sharon 2’s fate. These two seemed to have somehow broken their programming. Now that Sharon 2 realized what she was, she mentally stable again. She had been cooperating with Tigh. She had explainedwhy she had done it.. She seemed remorseful, if that was possible for a Cylon.

Tigh had ordered a full compliment of marines to be at Adama’s quarters when he briefed the team, and the President. He suspected the Sharons were going to need protection from Lee Adama when he saw them. He couldn’t blame the him.

It was time to let Helo and Starbuck tell their stories.

Tigh knocked on Adams’s quarters.

“Come.”

Tigh entered with the Major.

“Gentlemen , Lt Thrace.” The Major greeted them.

“So, Captain has he been behaving for you?” The Major asked.

Lee smiled. “So far so good sir.” He answered.

“Major” Adama warned. There was humor in his voice. “Don’t push your luck.”

Tigh went to the door and had the two marines escort Helo into the Commander’s quarters. Lt Gaeta followed Lt Helo into the Commander’s quarters.

“Lt.” Adama rose from his chair. Lee knew something was up. His father looked like he had seen a ghost.

President Roslin walked into the room. Everyone snapped to attention.

“Madam, President.” Adama said.

Laura looked at Adama. He looked stunned by the man in front of him. So, this must be the big briefing Tigh was talking about. She wanted to talk about Kobol. They needed to get moving on that. Laura sat down and waited impatiently for an opportunity to bring up Kobol and the Arrow.

“I assume he’s been tested.” He referred the question to Lt Gaeta and Tigh.

“Yes, sir. “ The Lt replied. “He is human and other than some minor radiation damage is well.”

“Glad to have you with us again, Lt. Care to explain how this is possible?”

Kara was sitting watching the exchange. Tigh interrupted. “Sir, I think Starbuck can fill in that part of the story with Lt Agathon.”

Adama looked pointedly at Kara and nodded for her to continue.

“Yes, sir. I landed on Caprica in the Raider. I made it to the museum without being detected, or so I thought. I collected the arrow from the museum in Caprica City. Then a Cylon. Blond, tall with blue eyes came out of nowhere. We fought for the arrow.”

“She was winning, sir. She would have killed me. She was much stronger than any human. We fell into a pit fighting and a piece of sharp metal debris impaled her. I couldn’t move, and was stuck in the pit. My ribs were broken, and I lost consciousness for a while.”

“Helo and a Boomer toaster found me, sir. The Boomer toaster fixed my ribs and kept us alive ,sir. You’d have to ask her why. Her reasons didn’t make any sense to me. She escaped with us knowing exactly what would happen once she got here.”

Adama absorbed this. The Lt had been traveling with a Cylon.

“Lt. Did you know Lt Valeri was a Cylon.?”

“Not at first, sir. I found out later. I started out as an experiment, sir. They wanted to see how humans reacted to each other. You’ll have to ask her for more detail. The rules changed sometime during the experiment. She started protecting me, sir She later kept both myself and Stabuck alive, and helped escape in the raider.”

“When you found out she was a Cylon. What did you do,Lt.?”

“I shot her, sir Point blank in the stomach I tried to kill her and the child sir.”

Adama blanched as did everyone else in the room.

“Child?” Adama said the word with scorn. “You made a child with that thing.”

Chapter 24

Helo looked at floor. “Sorry sir. I didn’t know at the time. There were no humans anywhere. I saw no bodies, and no people other than Cylon models. By the time I realized it was already too late.”

“Did it ever occur to either of you she could be a plant. They could use her to track us.

Tigh interrupted at this point. “The thought occurred to me. We had her checked thoroughly.”

Adama looked at the Major. “Doctor, talk to me. How is this possible?”

“She is definitely Cylon, and she is carrying a child about 2 months along almost. The development mimics human pregnancy. I’m watching her for now. The two Lt Valeri’s are identical for all purposes that I can tell. She had no devices, implants, or anything that our Lt Valeri doesn’t have.”

Laura Roslin interrupted at this point. “You’re going to allow that thing to give birth to some Cylon/.human monster.” She said astonished.

The Major nodded. “As distasteful as it is Madam Presidnet, yes that’s exactly what I’m going to do.”

“How do you know it won’t grow it kill us.”

“I don’t know. I took a medical oath to do no harm and that’s what I intend to do. I meant it then I mean it now. I will honor it. It goes beyond any oath I took to either you or the Commander, Madam President.” The Major’s tone left no doubt he meant it.

Lee sat in the chair looking at Kara. She had known all along and had said nothing. The whole time they had been in Life Station not a word. Kara looked straight at the wall.

“For now doctor I am inclined to agree with you” Adama stated. He would not kill what was not yet a threat. ”However if either the mother or child shows any potential for violence or danger against us I will kill them both instantly without a second thought. Is that clear?”

Helo looked visibly relieved.

“Col. I want to talk to the Cylon. Drag her, shackle her, whatever get her the hell up here and now.”

Tigh nodded “Gaeta get me a detachment of marines bring her in here with a blaster to her head. If she moves funny kill her.”

While they were waiting Tigh took several sketches from a folder he was carrying. He gave these to Adama.

“Models 1 through 10 thanks to the Boomer they brought back. We’ve found six plants and one additional Boomer agent. I’m passing these to security details. We’re doing a ship by ship sweep right now. We’re keeping it quiet and going room by room ,so it’s going to take a few more days.”

“What about the other two models?”

“She doesn’t know.” Tigh stated. Adama looked at him pointedly. “I believe her.” He answered the unasked question.

Laura Roslin looked surprised.” Commander, how do you know how many Cylon models exist?”

“Intelligence gathered early in the war.” Adama stated. “I can’t reveal my source.” Which was true he didn’t know the source, but he believed the note for some reason.

Laura looked like she wanted to argue, but Adama interrupted before she got a chance.

“Captain, you’re with me please.” Adama needed to talk to his son privately for a moment. Tigh had told him about the marine. He didn’t want a repeat incident. The Cylon was cooperating for now. He needed to know why. First, he needed to make certain his son did not take out the room when he saw her.

Lee rose and helped his father into his private bedroom. Adama sat down on the couch.

“What’s wrong? Are you all right?” Lee asked concerned when he saw his father’s face.

“I’ll be better once this over.” Adama paused. “Son…” That caught Lee’s attention.

“Yes,sir?” Lee asked.

“I need to know you’ll behave when they bring her. Tigh told me about the marine. I don’t want my office torn up protecting a Cylon from my CAG. “ He chuckled at the thought, but there was little humor in it. Adama looked at Lee. “Understood?”

Lee sighed. He would behave. For his father, because he had asked him.. Lee reached for his blaster. “I think you better take this for now. I’ll collect it when we’re done with her. Good enough?” Lee placed the gun by his father.

“That’s not necessary. I’ll take your word.”

“Consider it insurance.” Lee said.

Adama looked at his son. So, he didn’t completely trust himself with her. The shooting had affected his son more deeply than even he had realized. They would need to discuss that eventually. He noticed for the first time that Lee looked a bit haggard.

Adama placed the gun inside a drawer near the coach.

“Lee…” He called softly “How are you?”

“Tired, I’ll be fine. Let’s get this over with.” Lee turned toward the outer office, so his father can’t see his eyes.

Both men returned to the outer office as Sharon was escorted in by the marines.