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The Great Cigar Caper

By BSGWS Round Robin Crew

Word Count: 4,393
Date: 7/16/04
Rating: K+
Category: Relationship
Pairing/Focus: Lee / Kara / Zak
Summary: Buzzer, Dragon, Irish, Socks
Spoilers/Disclaimers: Mini

An emotion that seemed to leech from the very blankness of space, into the soul of whomever viewed it through their eyes. It was an emotion that Lee was very familiar with right now, as he turned to face the other two people in the quad with him.

“How the hell did I ever let you talk me into this?”

“You’re here because you love me,” Zak told him with a grin and a knuckle to his ribs. Lee smacked his hand away.

“Just shut up, will you,” Kara tossed in. “If we’re going to do this, let’s try not to get caught. I can tell you first hand that the brig is not fun on Fridays. Lieutenant Kappings runs it, and he doesn’t even allow pillows.”

“Only you would know which guard has which shift,” Zak said, but he took heed and softened his voice slightly.

“Yeah, well, I’ve learned to stay out of there on Friday nights. We’ll leave it at that.”

Lee shook his head, watching the traditional bickering between Zak and Kara. The two could be a comedic act give the right circumstances, although Lee never had determined who was the straight man. He supposed it switched based on the circumstances. Tonight, the circumstances were definitely Zak’s doing.

It had started as such a simple idea. Kara had joked about running out of cigars, Lee had made the stupid mistake of mentioning that the only cigars worse than hers were the ones that Captain Evans smoked – some strange weed he had imported from Sagittaria – and then Zak had gotten into the act.

And it was an act, that was for sure. Moments later as they crept through the darkness, Lee looked to either side, seeing nothing but trees, shadows, and the occasional flicker of a lamp as one student or another went from building to building.

They’d chosen this route into the teachers’ dorms because it had no overhead lighting and no established paths, so theoretically it would be harder for them to get caught. At the moment, Lee wasn’t so sure.

Zak and his dumb ideas. “Sagittarian cigars,” he had announced. “Kara you have to try those!” Good Lords, now look what a mess they were in, creeping across the quad towards sure disaster.

Lee had done everything in his power to talk them out of it, but his little brother could be damned determined when he wanted to be. So when he couldn’t talk them into reason, he had instead gone for damage control and creeping around in the dark after them, praying that none of them got caught. Stealing cigars from a teacher; Lee had never thought to sink so low.

“His window is third from the right, isn’t it?” Zak asked with excitement. Lee rolled his eyes. Hell, the brat didn’t even know where he was going.

“Yeah, third,” Kara confirmed, her hand reaching back to grasp Lee’s. “Keep up or go back,” she ground out. “I told you, Fridays are not good for getting sent to the brig.”

“So how about we got back and forget this,” Lee put in, trying once more for precious reason.

“What’s the fun in that?” Zak threw out, his head flashing from side to side as he edged from the sparse cover and slightly into the open.

“Staying out of jail,” Lee breathed, but neither of the conspirators were paying attention. They were intent on their prize, and come hell or high water they were going to get it. Heaven help them, he couldn’t do a damned thing about it.

Kara looked back to be sure that Lee was still with them. It wasn’t so much that she wanted him along – he could be a stick in the mud when he wanted to be – but he was their best chance of talking their way out of this if it went bad. And Kara knew from experience that things could go bad. Around her they often did. But with Zak in front of her and Lee trailing behind, she didn’t feel a great deal of fear. Lee was pretty good at explaining the inexplicable; he should be a teacher himself someday.

Zak, on the other hand, was a dreamer and Lords he could get into trouble! She could not count the number of close calls that they’d had, or how many jams Lee had talked them out of. She had to admit though, this was probably Zak’s craziest idea yet.

Captain Evans strolled down the corridor with absolutely nothing on his mind but a glass of sherry and a good cigar. It had been another long day of watching the snot noses stumble over themselves in his physical education class. Most of them couldn’t even do a pull up or a push up, although some had a real love for running.

Take that Adama kid, for example. He and Thrace went buzzing around the track every morning. It was a joy to see them.

Passing by a row of open windows in the hall, Evans glanced out and saw a flicker of movement in the shrubbery. More than likely it was another pack of pranksters out to toilet paper the quad. Evans wasn’t the type to report them and all he really, really wanted was that smoke. He walked on to his door.

Lee really had to wonder just why he was the one stuck with being the lifting body at that point in time. Just because he was a couple years older and had more than just a couple of pounds on Zak, it hardly made him Mr. Muscles. He gave a bit of a grunt as he moved to give his younger brother a lift up to the second story window. Kara would have been easier, but they already knew she wouldn’t be able to reach the sill they needed.

“Hurry and get up there you oaf,” Lee wheezed out as Zak stepped up onto his shoulders, getting more than just a little mud on his uniform jacket. That was going to take forever to get out. Just why did they have to do this after it had rained? Couldn’t they have waited until next week?

“What’s the matter, Lee? I thought you were the big, strong man.”

Lee could have hit Kara to get that smug look off her lips, but she had judged the distance just perfectly enough that he’d have to take a step to do it, and that would mean dropping Zak.

“I don’t see you lending a hand,” Lee said through gritted teeth as Zak was seemingly still searching for the windowsill and ended up stepping on his head to get another couple of inches.

“Shhh. Be quiet you two; I think there’s somebody up there,” Zak hissed down at them, finally gaining a handhold on the windowsill and pulling himself just barely far enough up to peek over the edge. “Oh frak! It’s Evans! Wait… he’s just getting a cigar… let’s see if he leaves…”

Lee was slowly turning red with the effort of standing up under the weight of his brother and from the growing irritation he was feeling. This was it; the last time, he told himself once again. The next time they wanted to do something like this, they could darned well do it by themselves. He wasn’t going to get involved outside of visiting them while they were in the slam.

“Okay… he’s leaving how,” Zak whispered down at them, pulling himself finally up and over the edge to the window and carefully pushing it open, his elbow hooked over the edge of the sill.

“You look marvelous, Lee,” Kara deadpanned, and reached out to flick a bit of mud off his jacket. She brushed more of the mud off the shoulder of the jacket. “Perfect…”

Lee glared at her, and was about to deliver a retort when Zak’s voice broke in from above. “Come on, guys. I don’t know when he’s going to be getting back. Lee, give Kara a hand up here.”

“Frak, why didn’t we have him take the cigars up,” Lee growled as he looped his hands to give Kara a boost up and wondering if he should “accidentally” slip and let her land on her rear.

“Because he can’t pick the lock box in Evans’ room,” Kara replied as she stepped into his hands and continued with a hiss into his ear. “Drop me, and you’ll wake up in the infirmary next week.”

Kara grinned as Lee hoisted her further up towards the window, just high enough to get a hold of Zak’s hand, and a foothold on a broken brick. She carefully hauled herself up and through the open window.

“Okay, now where does he keep them?” Kara asked Zak in a hushed voice. She couldn’t help but smile at him; he already looked positively triumphant, and they hadn’t even gotten the cigars yet, much less gotten out.

“In here.” Zak motioned to the large drawer of the old desk in the middle of the room. He opened the drawer and pulled out a lock box from the back. Kara had a feeling that if Zak had not seen Evans only a few minutes before, it would have been a lot harder to find the legendary treasure.

Kara reached into her pocket and pulled out a small, thin piece of metal. “It’s been a while; wish me luck,” she said as she fiddled with the lock. Lords, Evans was the paranoid type. Who else kept their cigars locked in a box in a room with five locks on the frakking door? Why he never locked the window, she didn’t know.

She finally managed to get the lock open and lifted the lid. “Whoa, these are strong, even unlit,” she smirked. Zak was practically beaming. She reached in and grabbed three cigars just as the sound of keys fumbling in a lock came at the door. “Frak me,” she muttered, closing the box quickly and jamming it back in the desk. “Come on Zak, get out now!”

Kara ran back over to the window and slipped out, dropping rather unceremoniously to the ground below and narrowly missing landing on Lee.

“Zak, come on…” she called quietly, feeling a touch of relief as he appeared in the window above. Lords, she hoped Evans would drop his keys. She was really not looking forward to spending a Friday night in the brig.

She saw Zak’s face for that single, precious moment, and then it was gone. Kara held her breath waiting for its reappearance. And she waited. And waited.

“Oh, frak,” Lee muttered behind her as he grabbed her by the belt of her uniform. “Kara, run!”

She did her best to stay on her feet as he gave her a solid push towards the trees. She fought him almost instinctively; they couldn’t leave Zak behind. Just as she thought she was making some headway against Lee – the brute – he lifted her clean off her feet and tossed her over his shoulder like a sack of vegetables. Oh, she was going to kill him for this!

Thankfully, Lee’s actions stunned Kara so that she shut her trap, and the steady bounce of his running steps kept the wind knocked out of her so she couldn’t yell. It was going to be hard enough to get Zak out of this; he didn’t need to bail out Kara as well.

Once in the trees and safely under the cover of brush, Lee put Kara down and in a practiced motion dodged the swing she made towards him. He grabbed her hand, wrapped it around her, and then put his other hand over her mouth while he pulled her in close against his chest and spoke quickly into her ear.

“Quiet! Just be quiet for a second. We can’t help him if we’re in hack with him. Think for a minute.”

He waited long enough for his words to penetrate Kara’s fury, eternally grateful that she was a hitter and not a biter. Slowly she settled and he was able to loosen his hold on her.

“You left him there,” she accused, her tone just shy of threatening.

“Yeah, I did,” Lee confirmed. “It was the only thing we could do.”

“We didn’t do it!” she said with a firm stomp of one boot to his foot. He absorbed the stomp with gritted teeth, thankful for once that their boots had reinforced toes. A little steel went a long way towards preventing injury where Kara was concerned.

“Kara, what can you do for him in the brig?” he asked as he took a step back to avoid another attempted swing. With more than a little frustration he grabbed her hand again. “If you need to be put in a hold, don’t think I won’t do it!”

“You just try it…”

“Kara, we need to get into the brig,” he told her quickly, hoping to get in some logic before she got them caught. “We can’t help him here, but you know that place inside out. Think a minute; what’s the best way in?”

He watched her expression change, a gradual forgiveness replacing her initial accusation. It almost hurt. Did she really think he’d leave his brother there?

“Basement venting,” she finally said. He had practically seen the wheels turning in her mind as she’d been thinking and he smiled as she gave a nod. “Definitely venting,” she said again. “The window is too obvious, and the door… no, we need to go through the venting.”

Lee nodded his understanding, then reached out and placed a hand on each of her arms, getting her to meet his eyes. “We’ll get him out,” he assured her. “We have to. I am not explaining this to my father.”

Little known to those on the ground, Zak was not on his way to the brig at that moment, though it had been a close thing. There was no way he could have been able to get out of the room, close the window, and get out of sight before Evans got the door open, even with the five different locks. So instead, he had closed the window – hopefully buying Lee and Kara some time to escape – and slipped under the narrow bed.

It was a tight fit, but with the small room, it was quite possible that he wasn’t going to be seen as long as he kept close to the wall. He pressed himself as far into the corner as he could, scarcely daring to breathe as Evans came back into the room.

“And these are my quarters… As you can see, we hardly get the good stuff as you were claiming oh so much earlier.” Yep, that was Evan's voice most definitely, and he was obviously speaking to someone else, but Zak could not see who he was speaking to, outside of the regulation boots and trousers of ground maintenance crew.

"Oh I don't know... they've got something over enlisted quarters... much more private..."

Zak had to bite his lip as he heard the second voice. This was not a good thing. Friday night, weekend off, and the second voice belonged to the most definitely female Chief Walters, who was far and widely known to have a thing for a certain cigar smoking instructor. This could not be happening. Definitely could not be happening… At least they weren’t turning on the lights, so it was doubtful they would see the muddy tracks all over the floor.

“Just let me get another cigar and another glass, and you can join me in the rec room.”

Zak gave a fervent nod from under the cot. Yes, join him in the rec room – play some pool – no, not pool. Checkers. Yes, go play some checkers…

It was then that the boots moved closer to the cot, and someone sat down on it. They bounced a couple of times as if checking out the cushioning ability of the cot before speaking. “Mmm… you sure you wouldn’t just rather…”

Zak shook his head energetically under the cot, hoping that somehow his fervent wishes would influence the person opening the drawer up. No, don’t rather… don’t rather at all. Zak did not want to be trapped under this cot while people above did… well, that did no good to bother thinking about. They might collapse the cot!

Zak hoped like hell that they would just leave. Lords, he hoped Lee and Kara had gotten as far as possible from there.

“Frak!” came the angered should of Captain Evans. “Someone has been in my cigars… I know there were eighteen here before I left… now there are only fifteen.”

If Zak hadn’t been so terrified he would have laughed. What kind of idiot counted his cigars when there was a willing, warm body waiting on his bed? Lords, he couldn’t believe he had just thought that… the visual was something he really could have done without.

He did breathe a sigh of relief as the weight shifted and eventually left the cot above. He just hoped like hell that they didn’t start searching the room. He could hear the sound of the window opening.

“I can’t see anyone on the grounds below,” Zak heard Chief Walters say. “Are you sure they’re missing? Maybe you just miscounted…”

Zak could hear Evans cursing up a storm and the Chief doing her best to calm him. Soon though, he heard the words that he had been dying to hear. “Maybe you’re right. Let’s go have another drink.” It was Evans. He could see two sets of feet heading towards the door and he breathed a sigh of relief.

Before the door closed completely however, he heard Chief Walters. “You go on ahead. I forgot to close the window.” With that, she walked back into the room and closed the door. She knelt down beside the cot… Zak’s heart was pounding. When she looked under, her eyes meeting his, he was terrified. She smiled. “You owe me one kid.” Then she stood and left the room, locking the door behind her.

Zak scrambled out from beneath the cot and through the window. Lords, that had been close. And being indebted to Chief Walters might just be worse than an evening in the brig. He knew one thing though. He had to find Lee and Kara. He had definitely earned that cigar!

“I’m too big for this,” Lee muttered as he tried to shove his upper body into the small opening to the vent. He wasn’t making much progress. Kara had managed it easily enough, but one hazard of being a man was his upper body size. He wasn’t huge by any means – certainly not like a lot of the guys – but the regulation push-ups had him just enough larger than Kara that he wasn’t going to be able to do this.

“Just wiggle,” she called back to him, her voice a soft echo in the metallic space.

Wiggle. Right.

He struggled again, but made no more progress. “Kara, this won’t go,” he finally said. “We have to find another way.”

“There isn’t another way!”

“There has to be,” he argued, trying to work his way back out of the square vent. By the time he’d managed to get himself free, he had nearly dislocated one shoulder, and his uniform shirt was in worse shape than the jacket he’d taken off and laid on the ground outside with the vent grill.

“Damn-it,” Kara said as she scooted much more gracefully out of the square tunnel. “Lee, you’re useless!”

“You weren’t saying that when I was boosting you up to that window,” he told her petulantly.

“Yeah, well you see where that got us.”

“Okay. Stop a minute. Let’s think. Zak’s in the brig, and we need to get in there. What about taking the least expected route?”

“What do you mean?” she asked, her expression suspicious.

“You said a window was too obvious, and you’re right. But what about walking in through the front door?”

She raised her eyebrows to look at him. “You’re kidding.”

“No, I’m not,” he argued. “It’s the last thing they’d expect. You can go in – hell, you practically live there anyway – and find out where he’s at. Then I’ll come up with some kind of diversion and you get him out. I can’t do a damned thing with those lock picks anyway.”

“I told you some skills are worth taking the time to learn,” she said with a wink. “Fine. I look, and you divert. What are you going to do?”

Lee thought about it for a moment. “Not sure,” he admitted.

Crossing her arms, Kara glared at him. “You make a lousy criminal,” she told him.

“Thanks,” he said with a grin, and for just a moment she smiled back. Lords, if they couldn’t laugh – even through this – then they were really lost. “We’ve been through worse than this,” he reminded her. “At least there’s two of us free this time.”

“Yeah, sneaking both of us out of there must have been a mess,” Kara remembered with a smile. “What did you do then?”

“Fire alarm,” he said with a shrug.

“It’s classic,” she admitted. “Could work.”

“Predictable,” he argued.

“Lee you’re not good enough at this to be creative. Just get it done and get it over.”

“Why do I get the feeling I’ll be more than creative before we get out of this place.”

“Stick with me kid,” she told him as she rounded the building to head for the door to the brig. “You’ll go places.”

“Yeah,” he muttered as he grabbed his muddy jacket. “To the prison on Picon.”

“It could be worse,” Kara said as she tried to brush some of the mud off her jacket. “I hear the weather there is good this time of year.”

“Yeah, sure, if you like blistering hot days and freezing nights.” Lee shook his head and took a look around the cell block, trying to find one of the fire alarms that was not well lit or in easy view of the guard shack. “They’ve put more lights up since last time, Kara. Maybe you could help me with this diversion?”

“Yeah, and maybe you’d like a black eye.”

Lee gave a shake of his head. He was not doing this again, ever. Or at least next time he was going to get caught and Kara and Zak could break him out of hack. Well, maybe that wasn’t such a good idea. “Okay, okay… just get in there. Say you want to see him or whatever. I’ll come up with something.”

There was one fire alarm he could maybe get to, but it would require him to be out of sight of the guardhouse, and thus Kara. He’d have no idea if she was inside or not when he pulled the alarm. He made his way over to the remote section, trusting that Kara would come up with something to tell the guards. She was good at that.

Slowly he counted off three minutes before reaching up to pull down the fire alarm, his body already coiling itself to run for a nearby line of bushes.

“Lee, what the hell are you doing? How could you let Kara get caught?”

Lee nearly jumped out of his own boots as the voice hissed behind him. He spun around, his jaw nearly hitting the ground. “You got caught. We’re breaking you out of hack!”

Zak just gave a shake of his head and gestured to himself. “I seem to be rather free for someone in hack. Now, where’s Kara?”

Lee gestured over his shoulder at the guardhouse.

Zak debated telling his brother how he had gotten out of the tight squeeze he had been in, but he knew the older Adama would likely have a brick if he found out the whole story.

“She’s getting in there to get you out. I’m supposed to be making a diversion.”

“Well it’s going to be hard for her to break me out when I’m not even in there, even with a diversion. And you couldn’t come up with anything better than pulling the fire alarm?”

Lee glowered at his brother and gave a shake of his head. “It was Kara’s idea!”

“Oh, so now you’re making Kara come up with the ideas, huh?” Zak glared at his brother then gave a shrug. “I suppose that’s for the best though. After all, it was your idea that got us into this mess in the first place.

Lee shot his brother an incredulous look. “My idea? I never said we should break into Captain Evans’ room and steal his cigars!”

“You’re the one who told Kara about them,” Zak grinned.

Lee rolled his eyes. Lords, this was going to get them nowhere. “Does it really matter? We need to get Kara and get the frak out of here. I’m betting it’s past curfew by now. I can’t be sure, since my watch ended up in the mud below the window!”

“Well, you’d be less likely to get caught if you kept your voices down.” A low, feminine voice echoed behind them, causing both Adama boys to freeze in their tracks. Then it started; that infectious giggle.

Lee turned around suddenly. “Frak! Kara, you scared the hell out of us! I thought you were going inside…”

“I did. In case you forgot, there’s a log book right by the desk. I just waited for the guard to leave and checked the book. Zak’s name wasn’t in it, so I came back out to find you. Now, let’s get the frak out of here before we all end up in hack. I checked the clock, too; it’s almost midnight. If we’re not quick, we’ll miss the last shuttle.”

Sticking to the bushes, the three of them snuck back across the quad to the shuttle which would take them back to the dorms. Taking a seat next to Zak, Kara reached into the pocket of her jacket and grabbed the three cigars. She handed one to Lee and then one to Zak. “Enjoy… you earned ‘em.”

The End!