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I'll Be Watching You

Buffyanp

Word Count: 22,205
Date: 5/15/06
Series: Post Season 2
Rating: NC-17
Category: Relationship
Pairing/Focus: Lee/Kara
Warnings: none given
Summary: Lee watches Kara, in while she's sleeping, in the shower
Archive: Apollo/Starbuck Fic, Flesh and Bone, BG2003, and The Fallout Shelter, all other please ask.
Spoilers/Disclaimer s: season 1 and season 2, and PURE speculation
about Season 3; Ron Moore owns BSG, we are active duty military and
live in base housing…so no money here…don't sue
Dedication and Thanks: This fic is dedicated to Sprite, for giving
me the inspiration for the story, for all her help on my other
stories, and for being such a great friend. Thanks to Viv/Aleja/Ice
for her hard beta work, and thanks to my husband for his tireless
editing, without him, this would be one big comma.

A/N: This is a fic for the summer hiatus contest


Prologue

Lee was sitting in his command suite aboard Pegasus, reading over his CAG's latest report on the most recent nuggets assigned to the Beast. What a bunch of frak-ups! He laid the papers on his desk and rubbed his hand over his face in frustration. He was barely getting along with his CAG as it was. The man barely concealed his contempt for Lee. And now with these frak-ups giving his CAG even more fodder against the Fleet's flight instructor - it was all he needed. One of the nuggets had almost totaled a Viper on a routine landing after a CAP. He thought about the Fleet's flight instructor – lovable, vulnerable, frakked-up Kara Thrace. It was just like her to send him the bottom of the barrel and keep the good ones for herself as CAG on Galactica.

He called his CAG on the comm and slammed it back down a few minutes later in anger and frustration. Lords of Kobol, that man was infuriating. First he maligned Lee's character, bordering on insubordination, then turned his wrath on Starbuck, which angered Lee even more for reasons he didn't want to explore, other than the fact that he was angry with her, too. Angry for giving him these frak- ups, and for putting him in the position where he felt he had to defend her, which was the last thing he wanted to do.

He slammed the reports down on his desk and stood up, thinking it was about time he had a talk with the Fleet's flight instructor. He buttoned his jacket, left his office, and headed to CIC. He winced when he got there; he had forgotten Dee was on duty. He didn't want to get into things with her. She never had anything nice to say about Starbuck, it was like she had an axe to grind, which of course put him on the defensive. He hated defending Starbuck, frak they barely even spoke anymore and they certainly weren't friends. Plus, there was Dee. Sweet Dee, he didn't know what was going on with them anymore. They were married but things had most definitely been rocky, had been since they rescued the survivors from New Caprica. They barely talked now, except to argue, or frak - and they hadn't done that in months. He shook his head, took a deep breath and walked into CIC.

He nodded at Dee and walked over to talk to his XO. He spoke with him quietly, informing him that he had to take a trip over to Galactica to speak with the Admiral and the Fleet's flight instructor. He told the XO that he would have the CONN until he got back. He turned to leave CIC and Dee met him by the door.

"You're going over there to talk to her, aren't you?"

"Not now Dee, I don't have time for this."

She laughed, "I can't believe it. What'd she do now?"

"Dee, I'm not going to get into this with you right now."

"What, you expect me to come to your bed after you've been in hers?"

"Not here," he whispered through clenched teeth as he grabbed her arm and steered her out of CIC into the hallway. "For the last time, Captain Thrace and I are not sleeping together. We've never slept together. We're not even friends anymore. We haven't been friends for a long time. Your constant nagging and harping about her is both immature and tiresome." He held up a hand to stop her interruption. "Dee, Give It A Rest! I'll be back in a few hours and we'll talk then. Right now, I have to go find out why the Fleet's flight instructor keeps sending me the bottom of the barrel."

He turned to go and she grabbed his arm, "You know, she's still doing it."

"Still doing what, Dee?"

"Still screwing up and making you miserable."

Lee sighed and said quietly, "I have to go."

He walked off in the direction of the flight deck. His Raptor was waiting. A few minutes later he was on his way to Galactica.


Chapter 1

Every breath you take
Every move you make
Every bond you break
Every step you take
I'll be watching you

Kara sat there in the CAG's office, staring at mounds of paperwork.She rubbed her eyes; she was just so tired - tired of the Cylons,tired of running, not just from them but from her own personal demons. She was tired of people turning to her and she was tired of teaching the bottom of the barrel. So many things had happened, so many people had died – husbands, lovers, friends. Friends – the word made her think of Lee, of that horrible day she left Galactica.

Sam had asked her to marry him. He had already gone down to the planet and was waiting for her and waiting for her answer. She took a deep shuddering breath as she thought about the argument. She'd already talked to the Admiral about going down planetside, and although he was dreadfully sorry to see her go, he had said, "Kara, he makes you happy, happier than I've seen you. You deserve that. So go, we'll be okay up here."

So she had gone looking for Lee. She knew he was with Dee now, but he deserved to hear first hand that she was leaving; she owed their friendship that much. She looked for him everywhere, he had come over from Pegasus for a meeting and she knew he hadn't left yet. But she couldn't find him. So she finally just joined the Triad game in the rec room for old times' sake.

Lee finally made an appearance a few hours later. She could tell by the look on his face that he knew. He already knew. He sat there in silence watching her play, that cold hard look on his face. When she won the last hand, she stood up and said, "I'm outta here folks. It's been great. I'll see you around."

Lee followed her out into the hall and lit into her before the hatch had even closed. "So, when were you gonna tell me, Kara?"

"I looked for you, Lee. I looked all over for you and I couldn't find you. I wanted to tell you myself."

"So, you're just gonna leave. You're gonna leave - just like that?" She watched him pace angrily as he spoke. "The Fleet needs you, you have responsibilities."

"What responsibilities, Lee? There's nobody to teach! The Old Man gave me his blessing! So, yeah, I'm going."

"Well, that's just great. The Old Man says it's okay. So you just say frak my responsibilities. Do you even care about the people you're leaving behind? It's okay for you to just drop everything and everyone and go down to New Caprica and play house with your new boy toy."

She rolled her eyes at the boy toy comment, but ignored it. "What is wrong with that? Why do you care? You're with Dee, you have been. What, so I can't be happy? That's it, isn't it? You're mad because I'm happy. I finally found someone to be happy with – someone who loves me and appreciates me for who I am – someone who doesn't constantly remind me that I'm a screw-up. You're mad because I won't be under your thumb anymore. I'll be out of your reach and Starbuck, the screw-up, won't be around to make you feel better about yourself. You like me down in the dirt and screwing up and you're mad because I'm happy and I'm leaving."

"Are you finished? Yeah, you're right, I don't want you to leave. But you got the reasons wrong. How long is this really gonna last, Kara, huh? How long before you screw this up? How long before you get tired of him and go looking for a new frak toy? Huh? How long before you exhaust the supply down there and come back up here looking for a new frak toy?"

"You're one to talk, Lee. First Shevon, then me, and then Dee or wait Dee before AND after the night we tried to have sex. So don't even, Lee. You do not get to call me a whore. Anders loves me and I don't have to be afraid that I'm not gonna measure up. I can just be me, Kara. So, no I won't apologize for how I choose to repair what you helped break. He makes me feel happy and safe, so I'm going."

"Fine. I wouldn't expect anything else from you, always taking the selfish, immature road. Go down there with him, have your fun, but when it all goes to hell, and it will, don't come back here, expecting me to drop everything and come to your rescue. Because this, us, whatever it was, it's finished, done. It's over. Goodbye, Kara."

She sat at her desk and hastily wiped a tear away at the painful memory. The next time she'd spoken with him was the day the Cylons invaded, almost a year later. Things had gotten really bad when the Cylons invaded, and she hadn't had time to think about Lee. Life on New Caprica had been hard. They had lost several hundred people that first year to illness and malnutrition. Then Anders got sick. Then the Centurions were marching down Main Street and Anders died a week later. He wasn't the last. They lost 2000 that first month. The old and the ill were just cast aside by the Cylons and the people that had openly resisted; Kara shuddered at the memory of what happened to them. Some were publicly executed. And then there were the disappearances - more people disappeared everyday. Kara suspected they were taken to breeding farms, but she never found any evidence of it, but not for lack of trying.

Those first few months were the hardest. That first day the Cylons had herded them like cattle into the tent they had been using as a meeting hall. Human models had stood up and talked some crap about how they wanted to love the humans and how they had made a mistake in attacking them and how they wanted to coexist with them now. Then they instituted martial law and demanded that everybody be registered. And then, just like that, the survivors were divided up to be interrogated. Although, that wasn't the term used by the Cylons, they used some flowery term to make it seem like they just wanted to learn about the survivors, but Kara knew an interrogation when she experienced one and she was interrogated.

Based on how many Cylons she saw, Kara figured they outnumbered the humans at least five to one. Kara had been in the first group for interrogation. It didn't take the Cylons long to identify the troublemakers. Kara knew just about everybody in that first group; the Chief, Cally, the Tighs, even her sick husband Anders, although he didn't live to actually be interrogated. They were "interviewed" in groups, and people identified as troublemakers, such as herself and most of the people in her group, were assigned a permanent Centurion guard. Non-troublemakers were placed in groups, assigned an area of the camp to live in and were guarded as a group. Once assigned to an area, they weren't allowed to leave without permission - and a Cylon escort. Needless to say, Kara's group was split up and each assigned their own personal Centurion prison guard.

Those first few weeks were the worst. Kara was caught repeatedly sneaking back into her tent after meeting secretly with the others. She was "educated" numerous times and acquired several Centurion guards. Kara snorted at the memory; those metal mother-frakkers never thought that the personal Centurion guards probably shouldn't go into sleep mode at night. At one point, she had five guards assigned specifically to her. But she never did anything that would have gotten her publicly executed. Most of the time, if they caught her out after curfew, they either caught her sneaking back into her tent or on the pyramid court. The frakheads thought she was out there grieving for her dead husband. They had no idea that's how she was communicating with the others – that they were leaving messages on the pyramid court at the base of the goals. In those first few weeks, in the dark of night, Kara managed to meet with President Roslin, the Tighs, Chief, Cally, and Gaeta. From those first secret meetings, the Resistance was born.

After those first few months, life settled into a sort of prison camp routine. That was when the Resistance started up in earnest. It was herself, the Tighs, Chief, Cally, Laura, and Gaeta. They recruited others that could be trusted. Starbuck continued to sneak out at night to get the comm. back up and running, and then send coded messages out into space weekly with the hope that someday Galactica would receive one and answer. She, the Chief, Cally and Gaeta worked on the few ships that were hidden to try to get them running again. They had to work at night and usually alone or with one of the others, so it was slow and tedious. Kara developed a basic plan to get the ships running, get as many people as possible aboard and then get the frak off the planet, desperately hoping that the Fleet got the messages in the meantime and would come back to help.

That was her life for 18 months, until the day she and the Chief finished fixing the last ship and she sent out a final coded message - "Resistance alive, ships fixed, ready to leave." And this time, her message was received and answered. Adama himself answered in his usual manner, "Starbuck, whatta you hear?"

With tears in her eyes, she said, "Nothing but the rain, sir, nothing but the rain."

"Then grab your gun and bring in the cat," and with that she knew Galactica was on her way.

Life became a frenzied pace of undercover coordination for the evacuation over the next two weeks. She informed Galactica that the numbers were depleted. They had lost approximately 10,000 in those 18 months of Cylon occupation and another 5,000 had been identified as Cylon sympathizers. Several hundred more were just too sick to go. Kara hated to do it, but those people would have to be left behind. Laura had coordinated with Cally to evacuate the schoolchildren. The Chief, the Tighs, and Starbuck coordinated the rest. Gaeta told Baltar at the last possible second, because he knew the coward would want to come. And sure enough, the halfwit that stranded them on that rock wanted to escape with them when they left.

Since life had settled into a routine it was easy to get people to the ships, because the Centurions never varied their patrol schedule and Starbuck had memorized it that first month. The hard part was getting past the Cylon sympathizers. But throughout New Caprica City that night, people either made excuses to go out and just never went back or they snuck out after dark. Just as planned, Vipers swooped in right before dawn to provide cover fire for the launching ships. Galactica and Pegasus engaged the basestars in space above the planet. As soon as the ships made it out of the atmosphere, the FTL drives were fired up and they jumped to a predetermined set of coordinates that only the pilots and Starbuck knew. A few minutes later, Galactica and Pegasus jumped into space around them. Galactica gave them all a new set of coordinates and the Fleet jumped together for the first time in almost three years.

The Fleet made several jumps daily for over a week before they finally felt that they were ahead of the Cylons. The Admiral called a meeting with the Resistance leaders to discuss reintegration into the Fleet. All military members were detailed back to their old jobs at their former ranks. The few people that had remained with the Fleet were relieved that people were coming back, because it lightened their work load tremendously. There was some resentment, but most of the people that had remained behind had done so by choice, not out of force. So most were glad to have the extra hands back.

Laura Roslin was made Interim President, until a new election could be held, because nobody wanted Gaius Baltar. Colonel Tigh went back to XO of Galactica. Chief and Cally went back to the flight deck. And the Admiral had asked Kara to be his CAG again, along with resuming her duties as the Fleet's flight instructor. She agreed, but not before seeing the look of disgust on Lee's face. Yeah, Lee had been there, as CO of the Beast, he had to be there, as there would be people assigned to his ship. He barely acknowledged her existence, and left for the Beast as soon as the meeting was over.

Seeing the look on Kara's face and watching her watch Lee walk out the door, the Admiral came over to her and put his arm around her shoulder. Startled out of her thoughts, Kara looked at him, "I don't think it's you. I think he and Dee are having problems. Don't worry, he'll come around. He never could stay mad at you for long. Why don't you have dinner with me? I think we have some things to catch up on."

She smiled gratefully and quickly accepted his offer. And thus began a weekly thing for her, dinner with the Admiral. They had talked a great deal during those dinners, over the past 18 months she had told him just about everything that had happened on New Caprica, and some of the things that happened during her childhood. With Lee on the Beast and not speaking to her, the Admiral became her confidant, just like a normal Dad would for his daughter, only no father should have to hear the horrible things she told him of the Cylon occupation.

It had taken a few weeks but the survivors reintegrated into the Fleet and things got back to some semblance of normal. As before, the civilian ships split up the survivors and they made do with what they had. The civilian ships continued to look to Galactica for leadership. With Tigh as XO again, Starbuck back as CAG and the Fleet's flight instructor, everything seemed to be the way it was before New Caprica, except they didn't let Baltar anywhere near politics. There were only about 25,000 people left, and she and Apollo were no more. They barely spoke, and when they did, it was all business.

Kara shifted the paperwork around on her desk. She put her head in her hands and sighed. Things were just so frakked up now. So many people had been lost, so many died, and so many friendships ruined. It was just so overwhelming. It just made her so tired, so very tired. She stood up and looked around the office. She was too tired to go to the bunkroom and she didn't feel much like socializing. She walked over to the couch and stripped down to her tanks and underwear and curled up on the couch. She tried so hard during the day, her exterior so tough, but at night, when she was alone, she didn't have to try anymore. And some nights, like tonight, the tears came – tears for herself, Anders, everything humanity had lost in the past 4 ½ years and yes, sometimes, even for Lee. Deep down she knew there was a part of her that missed what they had, what she knew she could never get back and she grieved for it along with everything else. When her tears were exhausted, she finally drifted off to sleep.


Chapter 2

Every single day
Every word you say
Every game you play
Every night you stay
I'll be watching you

Lee landed his Raptor on Galactica. He took his helmet off, running his fingers through his hair. He knew he had to see his father first. Then he would go look for her. The Raptor door opened and Lee stepped down to be greeted by the Chief. Lee had always liked Galen but he was really in no mood to be sociable.

"Hey Chief, how's it going?"

"Fine, sir. Welcome aboard. I believe the Admiral is in his office."

"Thanks, Chief. How are Cally and the baby?"

"They're fine, sir. Thanks for asking. How's Dee?" Instantly, the Chief saw something flash in Lee's eyes and almost regretted asking the question, but then it was gone and Lee was himself again.

"She's fine. Thank you. You say he's in his office?"

"Yes, sir."

"Thanks," and Lee turned and headed off in the direction of the Admiral's quarters.

A few minutes later, he was knocking on the door. "Enter." Lee walked in. He and his Dad had foregone the military roles between them a long time ago, so he walked over and sat down. Bill looked up, surprise evident on his face. "Lee, I wasn't expecting you for a few more hours."

"Something came up and I thought I'd drop by early."

"How are things on the Beast?"

Lee smiled at the slang name for the Pegasus. "Things are good, Dad. Things are good."

"And your nuggets? How are they?"

Lee shifted uncomfortably in his chair. He had known this would come up, but that didn't make it any easier. "That's actually why I'm here early. I'm hoping to discuss my latest set of nuggets with Captain Thrace."

A warning look flashed briefly in the Admiral's eyes before it was quickly replaced with a calm resolve. "Lee, she's doing the best she can with what she's got."

"Really? So you're telling me that your nuggets are the bottom of the barrel, too?" sarcasm dripped from his voice.

"Commander, we've all lost a great deal, we're all tired, and we've all been through a lot. Captain Thrace has been through a lot and she's doing the best that she can. So if you're here to harass my CAG, I'm going to put a stop to it before you start."

Lee looked up at his father, an incredulous look on his face. "I can't believe you're taking her side. She abandoned the Fleet. For frak's sake, she abandoned you, Dad!"

His dad looked at him sharply. "No. That idiot Baltar got all of us caught up in a huge colossal mistake. And she did a damn fine job getting those people out. You don't talk to her, Lee, not like I do. You have no idea what happened down there on that planet. Whatever you think she did to you, she didn't deserve what happened down there. Nobody did – not even Doctor Baltar. Besides, I suspect your anger is a little more personal. And Lee, I wouldn't go there, you're a married man now."

Lee laughed harshly, "Yeah, married, if that's what you could call it. Dee and I never talk anymore, except to argue. I'm beginning to realize marrying her was a mistake."

"Then why did you do it?"

To get back at Kara, Lee thought, "I don't know, Dad. I just don't know."

But the look in Bill's eyes told Lee that his Dad knew he was lying and that he suspected the truth. "Well, I'm not telling you how to live your life, but when it comes to my CAG – be careful. She's not the Starbuck you remember – she's not the Starbuck that moved down to that planet with her husband. She's a war widow, a resistance leader, and the woman who led the remnants of humanity to safety. So be careful." Shifting in his seat, Bill changed the subject, "So, I guess I won't ask how Dee is."

Lee shook his head and laughed bitterly again, "She's fine. I'm fine. We are not fine. I just don't know what I'm going to do."

"Well, I can legally dissolve the marriage banns if that's what both of you decide."

"I know. I need to think about that. Well, I better go." Lee stood up and walked to the hatch. He turned when his Dad said one last time, "Be careful." Lee shook his head and left the Admiral's quarters.

He walked down the corridor and headed to his old office, the office Kara now occupied. He thought about what his father had said, how it had been hard on her. Well, boo-hoo, it had been hard on all of them. They'd sat above that planet rotting for a year and then had to turn tail and run when the Cylons had come back. Eighteen months they were on the run, just like before, only this time they had only a skeleton crew and not enough pilots to fly CAPs. They had run out of supplies and were desperately searching for food and water when Galactica received Kara's message. And just like that, they were going back – back to rescue the few people that were left.

They sent seventy-five percent of their Vipers down to the planet to cover the ships taking off. The remaining few stayed with Galactica and Pegasus to fight the Raiders and the basestars. Lee had to hand it to his Dad and Kara. They had it planned down to the second. Within five minutes of them jumping into the space above New Caprica, the ships had launched into space and were firing up their FTL drives to make the jump. In twenty minutes it was all over. The Fleet was together and jumping again for the first time in almost three years. But they paid a price. They lost thirty percent of their Vipers and pilots that day. So yeah, it had been hard on all of them.

As he made his way closer to her office, he thought back to that day she left, to the argument they had. He had been so jealous. She was obviously happy with Anders, happier than he was with Dee. So yeah, he'd been jealous, of her happiness, and of the fact that she was going to leave and live planetside and didn't seem to care about him. Some sick part of him wanted her to stay, regardless of how painful it was to see her everyday, knowing she wasn't his. But he let his anger get the better of him that day, and he said every mean, hateful thing he could think of, including telling her that whatever was between them was over, for good.

So she left and even though he was the reason she did, he still felt betrayed. He knew he had no reason to feel that way because as much as she was with Anders, he was with Dee, but still there it was, the sting of betrayal. After she left, they didn't speak and things between Dee and him became strained. But they got married anyway and he let himself go. Then she called asking for antibiotics for her husband, and despite his still lingering anger towards her, a part of his heart ached for her, he still wanted to protect her, to make her happy. But the Cylons came and that was that and now here he was standing in front of her door about to talk to her alone for the first time since she left.

Funny, he thought, she'd been back for 18 months and somehow they'd managed to only see each other a handful of times - never alone. When he did see her, there was a look in her eyes that hadn't been there before and he couldn't place it. They had spoken, but they had done an excellent job of avoiding each other. Something had changed for him the day the Cylons came. He knew that he was kidding himself with Dee but he was so angry with Starbuck that he didn't care. But then things got bad between them and he blamed Starbuck for it. He hated her for it. He hated her for always getting under his skin, he hated that she had gone down to that planet and he hated leaving her behind.

He hated Dee for taking advantage of the situation and staying with him, but it was better than not having anyone. And when he was alone, he hated himself – for everything, but most of all for letting Starbuck go.

He took a deep breath and opened the door. He walked in and there she was asleep on the couch. Shutting the hatch, he turned and walked over to the couch and looked at her lying there. Her long blonde hair was tousled from sleep. Her ivory skin glowed in the soft light. But there were dark circles under her eyes. Her tank tops had ridden up exposing her ribcage. Her ribs stood out, Lords of Kobol; she was so thin, still. She stirred in her sleep turning to her side and when she did, he could see her back. His breath caught in his throat. There were marks on her back that he didn't remember. He bent down for a closer look and reached out with a trembling finger to trace one. It looked like she had been beaten. The scars were slightly faded, so it had to have happened on New Caprica. And finally he was able to place the look she had in her eyes now; she was haunted. She survived a hellish childhood only to be haunted now by what those metal motherfrakkers had down to her on New Caprica.

As his anger toward her slowly drained out of him, it was replaced with respect, then love, for the tough woman lying in front of him, move than he ever knew possible. The anger came back, only now it had shifted towards the Cylons and anyone who would hurt Kara. He pulled up a chair and sat down, his legs suddenly too weak to hold him as the full realization of what she must have gone through hit him. He looked at her, lying there in front of him, a battle-scarred warrior but still the most beautiful woman he'd ever seen. Her hair was longer now and made her face look thinner, but he realized she was thinner. She'd lost a lot of weight down on New Caprica and didn't appear to be putting much back on now that she was back with the Fleet. That worried Lee as he glanced at her ribs poking out; she was way too thin. Couple that with the dark circle under her eyes, the haunted look she had now, and the scars on her back and she looked like a prison camp survivor. Of course that's what she was, but it was 18 months ago! He sighed and pulled the blanket over her. To him, she was still his beautiful Kara and he was just so damn glad she was back. But things were so frakked up between them. They had gone from being Apollo and Starbuck to being Commander of Pegasus and CAG on Galactica. How did it come to this? He didn't know how or where to begin fixing them. So he sat there. He sat there and watched her while she slept.


Chapter 3

Oh, can't you see
You belong to me
How my poor heart aches
With every step you take

Kara was running. She was running away from something. She just couldn't see what it was. But it was getting closer. Her heart was pounding and there was a cold sheen of sweat on her face. She kept looking over her shoulder, couldn't see anything, but she could feel it getting closer. She could hear the pounding behind her and all she could think was if she got to Lee in time, everything would be okay. Finally, she saw him up ahead, talking to Dee. She tried to call out his name but no sound came. Suddenly, she slowed and it felt like she was running through water. He put his arm around Dee and the two of them turned and started walking away. Kara cried out, but again, no sound came. She struggled to run faster and finally broke free and reached out to grab him, but he slipped from her grasp. She looked around but couldn't see him. But he was right here, she thought, she could still smell him, that clean fresh sea spray smell with just a hint of spicy pine undertones. The smell was so strong it was as if she was wrapped in his arms, but she wasn't. She was standing there looking for him when she felt a cold metal hand on her shoulder. She turned around and screamed and sat bolt upright on the couch in the CAG's office.

As her heart rate and breathing slowed, Kara clutched the blanket to her chest and wiped the cold sweat off her face. She could still smell Lee, as if he were right here in the room. She looked around; nothing seemed out of order until her eyes settled on the chair sitting next to the couch. She could have sworn the chair was in front of her desk when she laid down. As she stood up, she could still smell Lee in the room. He must have been here. She grabbed her clothes and angrily got dressed.

What the frak was he doing in her office? And why was he sitting in a chair watching her sleep? They barely spoke, they weren't friends now, so who the frak did he think he was and what the frak was he doing? She finished dressing and stormed out of her office.

As she stalked down the corridor towards the flight deck people took one look at her face and scattered out of her way like rats fleeing a ship, because nobody wanted to get in Starbuck's way when she was so obviously pissed off. The few who were aware of Commander Adama's presence on board assumed that it had something to do with him. Because when it came to Apollo and Starbuck, they were the only people that could make each other that mad.

When she got to the flight deck, she immediately went looking for the Chief. Word had already gotten around that a brassed off Starbuck was headed to the flight deck and the Chief found her first. "Captain Thrace, what can I do for you?"

"You can tell me if Lee was on board."

"Ah, yes, he was. In fact, he was looking for you. Did he find you?"

"Yeah," she laughed bitterly, "He found me alright. Is he still on board?"

"No, he left a little while ago. He was here to see the Admiral and you. His Raptor took off about thirty minutes ago."

"Thanks, Chief."

"You're welcome, Captain," and he turned back to Cally.

As Kara headed away from the flight deck back to her office, she fumed and wondered why Lee would come all this way to talk to here and instead just sit and watch her sleep. There was a part of her that was scared to think about his reasons why. When she got back to her office, she called up the Comm Officer.

"Yes, Captain Thrace?"

"I need to speak with Pegasus Actual."

The Comm officer was new to his post, but he'd been on board Galactica long enough to know that Apollo and Starbuck didn't speak. He also recognized the barely concealed fury in Starbuck's voice. He looked around as if someone could help him when she barked in his ear again. "Did you hear me? Get Pegasus Actual on the horn!"

"Yes, sir. Calling up Pegasus right now, sir."

Starbuck sat at her desk tapping her pen impatiently while she waited. She knew he would put the call through to Pegasus Comms and then the request would be put through to Lee. Galactica Comms came on a few minutes later. "Sir, Pegasus Actual said he'd be with you in a few minutes. I believe he wanted to go to his office to take your call."

"Fine, I'll wait," and she hung up the comm. Lee must have been in his quarters and didn't want Dee to hear them talking. Interesting. The comm rang and she picked it up. "Thrace here."

"I'm putting you through to Pegasus Actual."

"Pegasus Actual, you're on with Starbuck," and with that, the two Comm officers disconnected, neither one wanting to have any more involvement in what was sure to be a volatile phone call.

"Captain Thrace, to what do I owe this honor?"

"Why don't you tell me?"

"I'm not sure I understand."

"Well, you were the one that came over here looking for me, correct?"

"Yes, but…" he stopped as Kara interrupted him.

"I believe you found me, didn't you?"

"Yes, but…" Kara kept talking.

"I believe you found me half-naked and sleeping on my couch."

"Yes, but…" Kara spoke loudly, drowning him out.

"But what, Commander? You just couldn't help yourself? You had to sit down and watch for a while? Your little wife may appreciate something like that, but I don't. You violated my privacy and frankly, you violated me. Don't Do It Again."

"Kara, let me explain."

"This better be good."

"I had to come over to see the Admiral, and then I went looking for you, because I needed to discuss some of my nuggets. But when I got there, you were asleep. And – and you looked so peaceful and so…" beautiful was the word he wanted to say but couldn't. "I just, I just, I couldn't disturb you."

"So, what, you thought you'd sit down and watch?"

"No, I, look Kara," she interrupted him again and it was making him angry.

"What kind of frakking game are you playing, Lee? You sit and watch me sleep and then go to bed with your wife? I'm not gonna be the other woman or some fantasy that helps you frak your wife!"

And Lee's anger got the better of him again. "First off, I don't need a fantasy to be with Dee, she is the fantasy, and if I did, it certainly wouldn't be you. Gods, you are so damn frustrating, Kara!" He heard her sigh with exasperation and something else he couldn't quite place.

Kara was just so tired of it all - the fighting, the longing, the never being happy. "Fine, Commander, whatever, look I don't want to fight. You wanted to talk to me about a nugget?"

"Yes, I did. One of your nuggets crashed one of my Vipers during a routine landing."

"Let me guess, it was Knucklehead."

"Yup, that would be him. Did you knowingly give me a bad nugget?"

Kara could feel her ire rising again, but she quickly tamped it down, just wanting this phone call to be over. "No, Commander, I did not. I'm doing the best I can with what I've got. Why don't you send Knucklehead back and I'll work on landings with him again."

"That sounds like a good idea. I'll have him on the next shuttle back to Galactica."

They were both silent for a few moments.

"Was there anything else, Commander?

Lee winced at her continued use of his title instead of his name or callsign. "So, we're back to Commander, now?"

Kara sighed again, "It's just easier that way."

Lee thought for a moment, "Kara, I'm sorry. I'm sorry I violated your privacy. It's just, you were lying there, sleeping, and I just, and I just wanted to look at you. I miss the old days."

Kara was silent, not quite sure what to say, finally she whispered, "But Lee, you're married."

"I know," he whispered back with the barest hint of regret, "I know."

Choking on the lump that had formed in her throat, Kara spoke softly, "Lee, I – I have to go. I have to go. Goodbye," and she hung up the comm as the tears started down her face. Kara swiped angrily at the tears. She went into the bathroom and splashed cold water on her face. She came out and changed into her working uniform and left her office, pushing all thoughts of Lee and what might have been to the back of her mind. She had nuggets to teach.

Lee sat there looking at the comm in his hand. He could have sworn Kara got choked up at the end of the phone conversation. But she was right. He was married, but Lords of Kobol, after seeing her like that and talking to her, Gods he wished he wasn't. He poured himself a drink and sat there nursing it for a very long time.


Chapter 4

Every move you make
Every vow you break
Every smile you fake
Every claim you stake
I'll be watching you

Several days went by and all Lee could think about was Kara. He didn't even bother going back to the quarters he shared with Dee. It was over between them and they both knew it, but had been unwilling to admit it. It had been over for a very long time.

Kara had spent the last few days using her spare time to work with Knucklehead on his landings. And every night she lay in bed and thought forbidden thoughts about Lee. She thought about him in bed with Dee but would quickly push those thoughts aside. She thought about him here, watching her sleep and the wistful tone to his voice the last time she talked to him, and lastly she thought about him, here in her bed. But those thoughts always led to a cold shower. She hated that she thought about him so much. But something about the last phone call coupled with his admission to sitting there watching her sleep gave her hope. Hope that whatever had been between them, their friendship, their history, whatever it was, hope that it was still alive and just buried beneath years of hostility and anger. She hated it, but she clung to the hope that if there was still something between them that over time it could be unearthed and nurtured. In those rare moments that she allowed herself to hope, she conveniently forgot about Dee and the fact that Lee was married to her.

Kara was finishing up a CAP when she heard over the comm that Pegasus Actual was cleared for landing on Galactica. Despite herself, her heart started pounding. She took some deep breaths, finished her sweep and brought her Viper in for landing. The Chief helped her take her helmet off and hop out of the Viper. "How's she flying?"

"Not too bad, Chief, not too bad." She looked around the flight deck.

"He went to see the Admiral, Captain."

Starbuck blushed furiously at his statement, "What? Uh, thanks, Chief. I'll be in my office if anyone needs me." She turned and left the flight deck, practically ran to her office and shut the door.

Lee listened to Starbuck on the comm on his way over and realized just how much he missed flying with her. He had been thinking about her a lot lately. That was one of the reasons he was meeting with his father. He and Dee had talked. Although she was furious, she had agreed that things between them hadn't been right for a long time. He had told her he wanted the marriage banns broken. She had been extremely upset, but had finally agreed. He was here to talk with his father about getting that done. He thought he might also stop in and see Kara. He still wasn't sure what was going on between them, but he hoped the timid steps they had taken would lead them some place, he just wasn't sure where. He walked down the corridor and knocked on his father's door. "Enter." Lee took a deep breath and walked in.

Kara shut the office hatch behind her. She grimaced at the piles of paperwork on her desk. She just didn't want to deal with that now. She pushed her sweaty hair off her forehead. Lee was on board. The words repeated themselves over and over in her head. She kicked off her boots. She could still feel her heart pounding from learning he was here. She could almost feel his presence on board. The nerves in her skin were practically humming. She took a deep breath. She knew she was well and truly frakked. Lee had opened up Pandora's Box by watching her and she had helped by calling him on it. She shook her head, trying to clear the fog. What she needed was a cold shower. She started stripping off her clothes, leaving a trail into the bathroom. She turned the water on as cold as she could stand it and stepped in.

"So, what do you think?" Lee was sitting in front of his father, having just told him he wanted the marriage banns broken. The elder Adama sighed and stroked his mustache. "I told you before that if this was what you two decided, that I was within the law to do it."

Always looking for approval, Lee asked, "So, you're not upset?"

"No, son, I'm not upset. All I've ever wanted was for you to be happy. If you are unhappy with Dee, then you shouldn't be together. I'm just wondering what your plans are now?"

Lee looked down at his hands, feeling his cheeks grow warm.

"They don't have anything to do with my CAG, do they?"

Lee winced at his Dad's use of the term "my CAG" - he used to refer to Kara as "our girl," but he hadn't done that in a very long time. "I don't have any concrete plans right now. As for Kara, it's complicated, Dad. We've always been complicated. We used to be friends – best friends. We've just started talking again and I guess I was just hoping to see where it goes with no pressure, no strings, just our history and the faith that we can at least be friends again."

Adama looked at his son hard, "My previous warning still stands. Before you get in too deep, make sure this is what you want, what you really want. Because underneath that tough Starbuck exterior, Kara can be very fragile. So be careful."

Lee nodded, "I will, Dad."

"Alright, anything else?"

"No, sir."

"Same time next week?"

"Yes, sir. And Dad, thanks."

"No problem. I'll get the paperwork drawn up and have it ready by next week."

"Thanks, Dad," and Lee turned and walked out of his father's quarters. He got into the corridor, breathed a sigh of relief, and headed towards the CAG's office.

Kara was shivering from the cold water. "Frak! This is cold," she muttered, thinking that it wasn't doing a damn thing for her. Nerves still humming with thoughts of Lee, she reached over and turned the water to warm. There was no use punishing herself like this. She knew it was wrong to think of him, he was married after all, and they were barely speaking. But old habits die hard and he'd been her sexual fantasy for as long as she could remember. She felt the warm water cascade over her hair and down her back. She reached up and traced the graceful curve of her neck down to her collarbone to the gentle swell of her breasts. She lifted them in her hands drawing teasing circles around her nipples making herself anticipate her touch.

Lee let himself into the CAG's office, expecting to see Kara hunched over her desk. But instead he was greeted by an empty office and a trail of clothes leading to the bathroom where he could hear the shower running. He meant to call out her name, but he didn't. He walked to the open bathroom door and he could see she was in the shower. The was steam on the mirror, her wet hair slicked down her back. He watched the water run off the turgid peaks of her perfect breasts. He watched as she took those peaks in her hands and pinched and rolled them between her fingers. He could feel his heart start to pound and the blood rush to his groin as he realized what he was witnessing. Lee knew he was playing with fire, knew he would probably get burned, but he just couldn't turn around and walk out, and he most definitely would not interrupt her.

Kara imagined the hands touching her were Lee's hands, pinching and rolling her nipples. It was his hand that traveled down her belly gently exploring her skin to find gold wiry curls waiting for him. He thrust a finger inside her making her gasp at the sensation and he found her sweet spot and started to flick it ever so gently.

Lee's breathing became ragged as he watched her hand drift down her belly and bury itself in her golden curls. He heard her gasp as she thrust a finger inside and felt himself grow hard when he saw her find her sweet spot.

Kara imagined it was Lee thrusting his fingers inside. He was creating these swirling sensations inside her. He was the one thrusting and teasing her little nub, just enough to send her over the edge. And when she fell, she moaned his name, "Lee."

Lee watched her climax overtake her and almost went to join her when he heard her say his name. Somehow, hearing his name was the best worst thing in the world. Best because he now knew how she felt and that it was him she thought about. And worst because she was coming down and if she caught him watching her she would probably kill him. He drew a ragged breath, straightened his uniform and stumbled out of the room.

Kara felt the waves of pleasure receding and with them her visions of Lee. "Oh, Lee," she moaned and leaned her forehead against the cool metal of the shower, feeling the water wash away all evidence of her desire.

Lee quickly shut the hatch and headed towards the flight deck where he boarded his Raptor and flew back to the Beast. He knew he'd be thinking about what he had just seen for quite some time. In fact, he had every intention of taking a shower when he got back to his quarters – a cold shower.


Chapter 5

Since you've gone I been lost without a trace
I dream at night I can only see your face
I look around but it's you I can't replace
I feel so cold and I long for your embrace
I keep crying baby, baby, please...

Kara was walking the corridors of the Beast again. Gods, she hated this ship, for more reasons than one. Knucklehead had been on Galactica for the past two weeks working on his landings. She had escorted him back to Pegasus and watched him execute a textbook landing. She was here to meet with the nuggets, see how they were adjusting and just to check on them in general.

She headed towards the rec room, where she could already hear the nuggets talking. She walked in, and Repo shouted, "Attention On Deck!"

She snorted, "At ease, everyone, at ease. So, did ya'll miss me?"

"You know it, Starbuck!"

"Yeah, we miss Galactica."

"We miss you, CAG."

"And we miss the Old Man."

Starbuck laughed, "Seriously, is everything going okay over here?"

"Yeah, but we'd rather have you as our CAG."

She laughed again and then sat down at the Triad table. "Deal me in, boys."

She stayed in the rec room playing Triad until she'd beaten just about everybody and taken all their cubits. "Alright, boys and girls, it's time for me to leave. Ya'll be good to Stinger. Call Galactica if you need me." She scooped up her winnings and left the room.

Over the course of the night, she'd had a chance to talk to each pilot and check up on him or her. They were all doing fine. She nodded to herself; they were all going to be okay. There were a few who had some issues with Stinger, big surprise there - the man was an ass - so she headed to Lee's office hoping to catch him there and talk about the nuggets and Stinger. She found herself in front of his door. She took a deep breath and raised her hand to knock. There was no answer. So she called his name, "Lee?" When there was no answer, she opened the hatch and walked in, not really sure why she did. He was nowhere to be seen, but the bathroom door was open and she could hear the shower. She knew she should turn around and leave, but she was inexplicably drawn to the bathroom. She knew Lee was in there. Part of her wanted to turn and run, but part of her had to go look.

And there he was, water streaming down his muscular back. Frak, he was hot! She knew she had buried that realization deep and had ignored it for a very long time. But now here it was, staring her right in the face. He had very broad muscular shoulders, bulging arms and a chiseled back. He had put on weight during that initial year over New Caprica, or so she had heard. There was no evidence of that now. When he turned slightly she could see his rock hard abs, and her eyes drifted lower and saw that Lee was very much aroused. She wondered what/who he was thinking about.

As Lee stood under the pounding shower, his mind drifted back to Kara. Despite everything, he had missed her. He was glad she was back and glad that after 18 months, they were finally talking to each other again. Things had been so frakked up between the two of them for so long. He shook his head; they had such a long sordid history. He'd known her before she met Zak. People who thought she was wild now should have seen her back then. She had gotten him in all sorts of trouble before they graduated. Then he left her behind as a flight instructor.

He didn't see her again until Zak's funeral. At that time, he was so enraged with his father that he didn't see how devastated and fragile she had become. She didn't seem fragile that day the worlds ended, but looking back, she had a fragile quality to her, the same one he recognized in her now.

Kara watched him as he turned in the water, watched as he lathered shampoo into his hair. She remembered the few times she'd run her fingers through that hair, how it had that clean piney sea spray smell of his. She wondered when it was exactly that she had let go of her anger towards him. It was sometime during the Cylon occupation, it just didn't seem that important to carry a grudge.

But when they had escaped and rejoined the Fleet, it was clear Lee was still angry and still holding a grudge against her. That was, until recently. Something must have happened the night he watched her sleep, because other than their normal sniping he had been nice to her. During their one conversation, he almost sounded regretful that he was married. She brought her mind back to the present as she watched him rinse the shampoo from his hair and reach for the soap. How she longed to join him and run soapy hands across his shoulders, down his arms, up his chest, down his back, right down to his tight… Frak, what was she doing? He could catch her any second.

As Lee rinsed the shampoo from his hair, he realized he was no longer angry or hurt about Kara. Over the past few weeks, the anger, hurt, and betrayal had disappeared. The woman that was here now was not the same woman that had left. His father was right. She was still Starbuck, but she had changed. Whatever had happened on that planet had changed her. The old Kara was still in there, he could tell that by her phone call and her fury at being watched. But the tired resignation was new, the haunted look in her eyes was new, and the fragility was new, both emotional and physical. The physical fragility – he remembered the scars he saw on her back for the first time while she was sleeping. He remembered how she looked in the shower. Lords of Kobol, she was hot, he swelled at the memory. But she was so thin. She'd been back for 18 months, and the Fleet had plenty of supplies, thanks to Kara and the New Caprica survivors. But she hadn't gained any weight. Her ribs stuck out, her hips were angular and pointy, and her arms and legs were so skinny. She was still strong, he had seen her muscles, but she was all angles and no curves now. She still looked like a prison camp survivor. But damn, even looking like that, she was still hot, and what he'd seen in the shower, he felt the blood rush to his groin at the thought.

Kara's mouth went dry when she saw his penis throb slightly, swelling with more blood as Lee's arousal grew. She watched the water drip off of him, off his hair, running down his chest and her breath caught in her throat as she watched the water drip off his penis. At that moment, it all became clear. Her heart belonged to Lee. She belonged to Lee. No matter that he was married to Dee, she, Kara Thrace, would always belong to him, even if they were only and ever just friends. She knew she had made a lot of mistakes in her life, one of which was Anders. Oh, he made her happy at the time, and looking back it was the right thing to do. She regretted what it had done to her relationship with Lee, but it was something she had to do. It was one of many in a long history of mistakes that made her the person she was today. The woman standing here today, watching Lee in the shower, was a different woman than the one who had made those mistakes because she had learned from them. She had grown from them. She knew now that Anders and all those other mindless fraks were just substitutes for Lee, and she had been too stubborn and stupid to admit it. But she was admitting it now, regardless of how much it hurt. They had made the first tentative steps back towards friendship, and friendship was based on trust. Sure, she trusted Lee with her life, as she expected he probably still trusted her with his. But entrusting their hearts to one another was an entirely different matter. That would take time, and standing here, spying on him in the shower, wasn't going to win her any trust points. So Kara Thrace sighed wistfully, took one long last glance at the man nicknamed after a god, and turned to leave.

As Lee started to rinse the soap off his body, he stopped thinking about Kara in the shower because that would only lead to one thing. He thought about how many times he had lost her over the past few years. When the Cylons first attacked, he was escorting Colonial One and Kara was on Galactica, he could have lost her then. Then she crashed on that frakking red moon and they almost left her behind, only after he and his father nearly drove everyone into the ground looking for her. Letting Baltar cut in on Colonial Day was one of his most colossal mistakes. Not only did he lose that night, but she jumped to Caprica the next day, a move that set into motion a whole chain of events leading to him almost losing her to the Cylons on New Caprica. But she was back and he was determined not to lose her again. His mistake in the past was being timid and cryptic about his feelings for her. He regretted all the times he put her down and rubbed her face in her mistakes. If this new Cylon war had taught him anything, it was that life was short – too short. One should take the chances presented today because tomorrow you could be dead. It all became crystal clear in that moment for Lee. They had taken the first timid steps back towards friendship, and if friends were all they ever were, then he would be happy with that. He just wanted Kara in his life. Every time he'd thought he'd lost her, it had nearly destroyed him. He finally realized why that was - she was his world. She meant everything to him. But he ran away every time she pushed him away. Well, that was going to stop. No matter how hard she pushed this time, he wasn't running away. As he reached to turn off the water, he heard the hatch to his quarters open. He grabbed a towel and threw it around his waist and turned to see the hatch pull closed again. He never really did see who was there, but he could have sworn he had caught a glimpse of a blonde ponytail.


Chapter 6

Oh, can't you see
You belong to me
How my poor heart aches
With every breath you take

Kara slid out from underneath the Viper she was working on and shouted, "Cally, hand me that soldering iron." A few seconds later, Cally plopped the tool in her hand and Kara slid back under. "How's she look, Captain?"

"As soon as I solder this panel closed, she'll be good to go."

A few minutes later, Kara slid out and stood up. The Chief and Cally were standing there. "She's all fixed, ready to go." She looked at them expectantly, "What?"

"Uh, nothing, sir," the Chief cleared his throat. "That's the last Viper."

"Great, I'll go get cleaned up then. Let me know if you need any more help." She turned and left the flight deck, choosing to ignore the Chief and Cally's discomfort over a certain Viper that she heard cleared for landing while she was finishing up Viper repairs.

Lee listened to the idle comm chatter as he waited for landing clearance on Galactica. It had been about four weeks since his last trip. There had been a small Cylon attack and life had just been busy and he'd been unable to get back over. He was hoping to pick up the dissolution papers from his father for Dee to look at and sign, but he had to see Kara first. He hadn't seen her since he had watched her sleep, hadn't really talked to her since their last phone call. Someone has been in his quarters a couple of weeks ago, and he suspected it was Kara. By the time he had dressed and gotten to the flight deck, she was already on her way back to Galactica. As he landed the Viper and was lifted up into the hanger, he looked around from inside the canopy. He had heard Kara was working maintenance, just by listening to the pilot channel. But as the canopy opened and he scanned the flight deck, he didn't see anyone with blonde hair.

The Chief removed Apollo's helmet and said, "Welcome aboard, sir." He watched Apollo scan the flight deck and knew instantly who he was looking for. "Captain Thrace finished up a few minutes ago, sir. I think she went to get cleaned up."

"Ah, thanks, Chief. Ah, the Admiral, is he around?"

"Yes, sir. I believe he's in his quarters."

"Thanks."

Apollo returned the Chief's salute and turned to leave the flight deck.

Kara walked to her office, cleaning her hands with a rag as she went. Opening the door, she walked in and headed straight to the bathroom. Catching a glimpse of herself in the mirror, she grimaced at her reflection. She was filthy! She didn't want to wash this grime off in her own shower. She grabbed a towel, her shampoo and some soap, and headed back out into the corridor towards the main head. She knew Chief and Cally were acting weird because Lee's Viper had just landed. She suspected that people knew they were talking again. The rumor mill had already started and she wondered how long it would take before word got back to Dee that Apollo and Starbuck were speaking again. Lords of Kobol, who knew where that would lead. She thought about him watching her sleep, about the phone call, about watching him in the shower, and her own buried desires. It had been two weeks since she'd watched him in the shower. She had taken a cold shower every night since. Her skin practically hummed every time he was near. She shook her head as she reached the hatch, amazed that Lee still had that effect on her, even after all this time.

Lee headed towards Kara's office. He had to see her. The last four weeks had been extremely long because all he thought about was Kara and what he'd seen. He'd lost count of all the cold showers he'd taken. When he hopped out of his Viper and onto the flight deck, it was there, instantly. He could feel it - that build up of electricity in the air that always seemed to surround him and Kara as if waiting for the two of them to make the final connection, so it could spark. He had looked around to see if anybody else noticed it, but as always, nobody did. So why today? What was special about this moment in time? There had been countless other times, other opportunities, other chances, why was he choosing now? Lee wasn't really sure what the answer to that question was. He knew his timing was bad; they'd just started talking again. Now that he finally knew what was in his mind and heart when it came to Kara, he didn't want to waste any more time. So he was going to find her and lay it all out for her, roll the hard six, as his Dad would say. And he would take whatever she would give him. He found himself at her door, took a deep breath and knocked.

Kara walked down the corridor to the main head. She cursed inwardly at the effect Lee was having on her. Just the knowledge that he was on board had her skin tingling and her nerves humming. Unfortunately, she wouldn't be able to indulge her fantasy in the main shower and she was way too dirty to use her own. She groaned inwardly at the frustration, especially when memories of Apollo in the shower with her flooded her vision. Why now?, she wondered. The only answer she could come up with was because they had started talking again. Lee had really opened Pandora's Box when he had sat there watching her sleep. Just that one simple action was all it had taken to open that door again and fill her mind with possibilities, not the least of which was just being friends again. She missed him. She would settle for being friends, but gods she wanted so much more. As she turned the corner, she thought she heard knocking on her office door and she almost turned to look, but she figured whoever it was could just find her later, when she was clean. So, she walked into the main head and back to the corner shower, where she stripped off her clothes and stepped under the warm spray.

Lee knocked again and got no answer. "Kara?" he said. When she didn't answer, he opened the door and walked in. He knew immediately that she wasn't there. But he remembered the last time he was here and grew hard at the memory. After all this time, despite everything, Kara still wanted him. He had watched her when she broke and she had cried out his name. So there was no doubt who she was thinking about. Frak! He had to find her and find her fast. Then it hit him. She'd been doing maintenance, so she was probably filthy. Not wanting to dirty her own shower, she'd probably gone to use the main head. Lee left her office and took off for the main head down the corridor.

Kara reached over and turned the water to cold as thoughts of Lee drifted back into her mind. She wasn't sure exactly why this all seemed to be coming to a head now, but it was. Ever since the night she caught, well almost caught him watching her, she'd been unable to think about anything but Lee. He filled her every waking moment and her dreams as well. She was right back where she was four and a half years ago, when all she wanted was to rescue Anders in the hopes that he would chase Lee out of her blood. But what he did was even better; he made her realize that nobody could ever chase Lee out of her blood. Lee was there to stay and right now he was making her blood boil. As hot as she was, she was surprised that steam wasn't rising off her skin under the cold water. She lathered up her hair and tried to think about Viper repair.

Lee wrenched open the hatch to the main head, scattering a few nuggets just inside the door. Kat jumped at the sudden sound over at the sink. She turned to him, "Commander, are you okay?"

"Yes, yes, um, have you seen Starbuck?"

"Yeah, actually, she's back in the showers," Kat said, concern evident on her face. Starbuck had come in a little while ago scattering nuggets in her wake, too. That could only mean one thing – the rumor mill was right, Apollo and Starbuck were talking again and from the looks of it, about to have a bench-clearing brawl.

Lee stalked back into the shower area and from the dirty water running down the drain, he could see that Kara was in the last stall. Without any thought to what he was doing, he opened the door and stepped in. And there she was, blonde hair soapy and streaming down her back, ending just at the crest of her perfect bottom.

Kara let the water pound on her face trying to pound out the vision of Lee in her head and then she turned to rinse her hair and there he was in front of her. Lee – standing there in her shower stall - uniform and all, and he was getting wet. Instinctively, she crossed her arms over her chest and exclaimed, "Frak, Lee! What the frak are you doing?"

Lee looked at her for a moment, shivering under the cold water and he decided – friendship be damned! He took a step closer, gently framing her face with his hands and said, "This, Kara. I'm doing this," and he kissed her. It wasn't a chaste kiss, or a let's make up and be friends kiss. It was a kiss of desire and possession. His tongue swept into her mouth and took control. He took her breath away. When he broke the kiss he pulled back and looked at her. "Kara, I am so sorry. I know I've done some terrible things that I'm not proud of at all and I've hurt you and I am sorry. For all of it. I've learned something from all this, life is too short and I'm not wasting any more time. I want you. I need you. Kara, I love you."

Kara looked at him, standing there in front of her, water soaking his uniform and dripping down his face. She bit her lip to keep from giggling. Between the wet clothes, the wet hair and the cute pleading look on his face, he looked like a drowned puppy. She was trying to grasp what he was saying, trying to wrap her head around it and what it meant. She looked up at him and whispered, "I'm sorry, too. I just want things to be like they were before, only better, you know, without us hurting each other. I know we've got a lot of things to work out and trust to rebuild and all that takes time and can't you just be kissing me right now?" And then he was.

He framed her face with his hands again and kissed her hard. He wrapped one arm around her and pulled her tightly up against him, reaching behind her and turning the spray to warm at the same time. She was grasping the collar of his uniform and then undoing the buttons. His tongue swept into her mouth and battled with hers for control. She escaped and swept her tongue into his mouth. She finished the last button and jerked the jacket down his arms. He let go of her long enough to wrestle his arms free and throw the jacket. It landed against the door with a wet sounding thud.

Kat was standing at the sink when the jacket hit the door. When she saw it on the floor underneath the door, she knew what was happening. Nobody else had seemed to notice yet. She was trying to work out in her mind how to clear the head when Hotdog came up beside her, "So, did the Commander find Starbuck?"

Inside the stall, Lee was trying frantically to kick his boots off while kissing Kara at the same time. She was clinging to him, her wet naked body pressed up against him, making him harder by the second. As he kicked his second boot off, her hands were at his waist tugging at his tanks. She moved them up his chest and he kissed his way down her neck. He found her pulse point and a primal need took over and he sucked the tender skin into his mouth, gently nipping her with his teeth. He knew he was leaving a mark, his mark, on her neck – a mark that would show everyone that she was his. As she eased his tanks over his shoulders, he helped pull them over his head and threw them in the direction of his jacket.

Hotdog jumped at the wet thud that came from the last stall. He looked over and saw a wet pile of clothes on the floor. He recognized the insignia on the jacket. He turned to Kat, surprise on his face. "Is that?" She smirked and said, "Yeah, it seems they're working out some issues. I think we should clear out and give them some privacy."

"But-"

"Come on, flyboy," she said, as she dragged him out of the shower area. Within moments, she had emptied the head and put a note on the door indicating that it was closed. The least she could do was give them some privacy. She owed Starbuck that.

Kara smiled at Lee as she started undoing his pants. He smiled back as he bent to kiss her shoulder. His hands drifted down to her breasts, gently lifting each one and caressing it in turn, lightly grazing his thumbs over her nipples. She gasped at the sensation as it sent ripples through her body. She pushed his pants down as far as they would go. She whimpered slightly when he took his hands off her and placed them on the wall on either side of her and stepped out of his pants, kicking them out of the way. She looked down and laughed, "Going Commando, Commander?"

Lee smirked, "Yeah, well, I was in a hurry." And he bent and took one nipple into his mouth, lightly nipping it with his teeth. His left hand drifted down her shoulder to her breast and he gently pinched and rolled the nipple to match the ministrations he was performing with his mouth.

Kara arched her head back pressing her chest harder against him. She gripped his shoulders tightly, digging her nails into his skin. He ghosted his right hand down and rested it on her hip, pulling her closer to him. He continued suckling her breast as his hand ghosted over her skin until he found tight wiry curls. As he gently delved his fingers into the soft tender folds, Kara moaned in response. He gently thrust one, then two, then three fingers inside her, finding her wet and needy. "Gods, Lee, I need you."

He started thrusting faster, curling his fingers forward and finding that little bundle of nerves with his thumb. "Oh, Gods, Lee!" He pressed gently with his thumb, thrusting faster and harder. She could feel it coming with his mouth on her right breast and then her left as he pulled her closer and wrapped his arm around her, all the while thrusting and pressing on that one spot, the spot driving her crazy. And then he felt her shatter around his fingers as she bent forward and bit his shoulder muffling her screams. As she started to come down, Lee took his hand out and grabbed her waist. He lifted her up and she wrapped her legs around his waist. He walked her over and slammed her against the stall door and roughly commanded, "Grab the top." She obeyed and reached up and grabbed the top of the door just as he entered her in one quick thrust.

"Oh Gods, Kara, so tight, so hot. Need you so bad."

As he started thrusting, she could feel it coming again. So she met him, thrust for thrust, urging him on with her hips and squeezing her muscles all around him. "Oh, Gods, Lee. Faster. Harder. Now!" And somehow, he did. His thrusts came faster and he grabbed her hips and pulled her down to match his upward thrusts. Then she was breaking, her muscles convulsing around him, milking him as he burst and came inside her. She let go with one arm and draped it around him, out of breath.

He set her legs down and slid out of her only to gather her close and start kissing her again. His tongue swept into her mouth and then he burned kisses along her jaw line and up to her ear where he sucked her earlobe into his mouth. He kissed his way down her neck and marked her other side as well. Bending down, he took her breast in his mouth again, nipping gently at each nipple in turn. Ghosting kisses down her belly, he gently slid her leg up onto his shoulder and said huskily, "Kara baby, hold on." She reached up and grabbed the top of the door again, just as he knelt and put her other leg on his shoulder.

He licked the inside of her thigh only to turn and lick the inside of the other thigh. Slowly making his way up to the center, maddeningly slow. He looked at the beauty that was Kara; he could smell the musky scent of desire mixed with his own. He gently sucked each tender fold into his mouth and then slowly and deliberately thrust his tongue inside. "Oh, Gods, Lee!" she moaned. He smiled and thrust his tongue inside her again. Gods, it was happening again! she thought, as the sensations started to overwhelm her again. He gently parted her folds with his fingers and revealed that sweet little nub. He softly grazed his thumb over it and felt her shudder. He took it into his mouth and sucked, pressing tenderly with his tongue. Her hips started to buck. "Oh, Lee, please, please!" He thrust two fingers inside and lightly bit that little nub with his teeth and he heard her scream and then she went limp.

She felt him thrust his fingers and when he nipped her bundle of nerves, she broke, screaming out his name with the pleasure of it; "LEE!" and then she went limp. She was spent. He gently gathered her up in his arms and walked them both under the spray letting the shower wash away the remnants of their coupling. As the water hit his shoulder, he winced and saw her bite mark. He could already feel the scratches on his back from her nails. Looking down at her, he saw her smiling up at him. He could see the bite marks on her neck and the hand shaped bruising already forming on her hips. They had marked each other everywhere. There would be no doubts now that Apollo and Starbuck belonged with each other.

A little while later, they were drying off in silence, not an awkward silence, but a happy content silence. Wrapping a towel around his waist, Le picked up his pile of wet clothes and wrung them out. "Looks like I need to find some new clothes."

Kara laughed, "Fortunately, you left some in the CAG office."

They walked down to her office together, carrying their clothes and stealing some happy glances at each other. Once in her office, she dug out the clothes for him and they dressed in silence. When the were dressed, Lee walked up to Kara and pulled her into a tight embrace. "I meant what I said in there. I do love you. I know we've got some bridges to mend and that things will take time, just promise me that we're gonna give this, give us, a chance."

She pulled back and looked at him, "I promise," she whispered. He hugged her tightly and kissed her hair. "I have to go. I have a meeting with the Admiral and then I need to get back to the Beast. But Kara, I'll be back. We will figure something out. I promise."

"Okay," she whispered. He leaned down and kissed her again and then turned and walked out. Kara looked at the door after he left. She would take whatever she could get, even if it was just best friends with benefits. She wrapped her arms around her chest as she realized they had forgotten one thing. Dee. Lee was married to Dee and he had just slept with her. Kara sat down at her desk, dreading the moment when Lee realized he had committed adultery with her and that she'd screwed up his life again.


Chapter 7

Every move you make
Every vow you break
Every smile you fake
Every claim you stake
I'll be watching you

"Frak, Dee. Just sign the papers!"

"And what if I don't? Huh? What are you going to do then, Lee?"

"Well, then I guess you'll be the laughingstock of the Fleet, because everybody will know your marriage is a big sham."

Dee looked at him, fury evident on her face. She savagely snatched the papers out of his hand and slammed them down on the desk. "I suppose my transfer order is in here," she snarled.

"No, just the disillusionment of the marriage banns." He watched her silently as she signed the papers.

"Done, and boy will you be sorry," she said as she threw the papers and the pen at him and stalked out of his office. Lee looked at the door after she left. "What the frak did she mean, `he'd be sorry?'" Lee shrugged his shoulders and folded the papers. It didn't matter what she said. He was free now. He felt like a huge weight had been lifted from his shoulders. He was finally free of Dee and now whatever was going on between Kara and him could take on a life of its own, unencumbered.

As he left for his shift in CIC, he couldn't help but grin and walk with a spring in his step, which had been missing for years. Because in addition to finally being free of Dee, Kara was on board today for her monthly visit with the most recent nugget graduates. He hadn't seen her in two weeks and just knowing she was on board made everything seem a little brighter. He actually started whistling as he opened the doors to CIC.

Several hours later, Kara was finishing up with the nuggets. She varied her methods on these trips. Sometimes, like the last time, it was informal and she would show up in the Rec room and see how they were doing. Other times, like today, it was more formal. They met in the ready room; she gave a pep talk to the group, and then met with each pilot individually. She had dismissed them about an hour ago and was finishing her paperwork.

The word had been passed for her to meet Commander Adama in his quarters when she was done. She could almost hear the whispering throughout the ship over that message. Smiling as she left the ready room, paperwork in hand, she shook her head at the gossip mill. She'd already heard there was a "frak or fight" poll that had started right after she and Apollo started talking again. Wondering what the odds were, she raised her hand and knocked on the door to Lee's office. When there was no answer, she opened the hatch and let herself in.

Immediately, she could tell he wasn't in from the silence of the room. But she walked in anyway, remembering the last time she was here. He'd been in the shower. She grew warm at the memory. She'd finished early and come here hoping to catch him on somewhat neutral ground. He'd requested that she come to his quarters, but she was afraid Dee would be there and that would be awkward. So she had come here first, hoping to catch him in his office. But he wasn't here and she was supposed to be meeting him in a few minutes. She took a deep breath and blew out a sigh and turned back to the door and left, heading to his quarters, praying that Dee wouldn't be there.

Lee finished his shift in CIC and headed quickly to his office. He was supposed to meet Kara at his quarters, but he needed to run to his office first. He suspected he was going to have to show her the paperwork before she would believe that Dee was history. He got into his office, filed some papers, signed some more, picked up his copy of the signed papers and headed towards his quarters.

Kara knocked on Lee's door, but there was no answer, so she let herself in, he was expecting her after all. The room was a shambles! There were clothes and paper everywhere. She grew concerned because it wasn't like Lee to leave a mess like this. She poked around a little, seeing Lee's and Dee's clothes strew about the room together. There was paperwork all over as well, mixed in with the clothes. She bent down and picked up a piece of paper that was underneath her boot.

"What the frak do you think you're doing?"

Kara spun around at the sound of ice dripping in Dee's voice.

"What the frak are you doing in here? Give me those! Those are mine!" she yelled as she savagely snatched the paper out of Kara's hands.

Startled by such a vicious opening tirade by Dee, Kara didn't quite know what to say, and she stumbled over her answer. "Um, Lee, I mean, the Commander asked me to meet him here when I was done with the nuggets. Something he wanted to talk to me about, and well, I'm done, so here I am."

Dee saw the startled look on Starbuck's face and the faint glimmer of hope when Starbuck said Lee's name and instantly a plan started to evolve. She could kill two birds with one stone; get rid of Starbuck and get Lee back, once and for all. She knew she had to be careful; she could never take Starbuck physically. Attacking her was out of the question. This would take some finesse and she would have to use what she knew about Starbuck and her one weakness – Lee.

Dee took a step forward, regret and apology flooding her face, "Captain Thrace, I am so sorry. I didn't realize it was you at first. We've had some problems with security. I didn't mean to jump all over you. You said Lee told you to meet him here?"

Surprised at the change in attitude, Kara could only nod her head in agreement.

"I was doing some rearranging and was hoping to get it done before Lee got back from his shift. Would you mind giving me a hand? I just need to get these clothes folded and back into the drawers and the paper neatly stacked on that desk."

Kara nodded numbly and started folding the sweatshirt that was at her feet. As Dee knelt beside her, she started talking. "You know, he used to talk about you a lot. At first, it was how you'd been his brother's fiancée, and flight instructor. Then about how you'd been
best friends and wingmen. Then it was about how much of a screw-up you were and how you were driving him crazy. He talked a lot about that." She slyly looked at Kara and when Kara turned to look at her, she smiled encouragingly. The two continued to fold the clothes on the floor.

"But then we found New Caprica and you went down there and he stopped talking about you at all. And now, you're back. He talks about you sometimes now," Dee laughed, "Mostly about how you're back to your old self and being a constant pain in his ass." She stopped talking and risked another glance at Starbuck; she could still see the hope flickering in Starbuck's eyes. She placed a hand on Starbuck's arm, "You know, he missed you, when you went down on that planet. He didn't talk about you, I guess because it was too painful, but I could tell that he missed you. You know, I was always a little jealous of you and your relationship with Lee, but then you moved on with Sam and Lee put a ring on my finger. And I realized I didn't have to be jealous of you, I was the one with his ring on my finger. I still am. Obviously, he made his choice. You're his friend, but I'm his wife. I'm the one in his bed every night." Dee let those words slowly sink in.

Kara listlessly folded the last piece of clothing trying not to let her panic show on her face. Frak! What had she done? Lee was happily married and she had frakked him, literally! If Dee ever found out…well she wouldn't. Kara would never tell and it would never happen again. She would just have to go back to avoiding Lee again. If losing him meant that he was happy, then so be it. She couldn't stand to know that she was the one that screwed his life up and made him unhappy. So she would distance herself from him again, for his own good.

As they finished folding the clothes and moved on to the paperwork, Dee cast another sly glance towards the blonde woman beside her. She saw the hope growing dimmer and moved in for the killing blow.

"You know, Lee's a good man. He deserves nothing but the best, no one but the best."

Kara was silent, but Dee's meaning was loud and clear. Dee was the best and she, Kara Thrace, was not. Dee continued, "You know when you left to move down to New Caprica, Lee was really hurt, almost betrayed. That's when he stopped talking about you, but I could tell that he missed you. And then when the Cylons came back, leaving you behind almost devastated him. I was the one that got him through that. I was the warm body he turned to for comfort. And I was the one he moved on with. Now you're back, and he's happy you're back."

Turning to Kara, Dee grabbed her hand, "I'm glad you're friends again. Your friendship means the world to him. But Captain Thrace, he's such a good man, he deserves to be happy. So please," she said pleadingly, "please don't hurt him again."

Kara looked at her hands clasped in Dee's like they were on fire, and she fought back the tears. She'd been right all along. She was nothing but trouble and no good for Lee. Dee was safe, she was good for Lee. Kara knew she needed to get as far away from him as possible and stay there for his own good. Taking a deep breath, she looked at Dee through teary eyes, "I've got to run. Can you finish the paperwork on your own? I forgot I was due back on the Bucket. Please apologize to Lee and tell him that if it's really important that he speak with me, to call me on Galactica. I have to go." And with that, she turned and ran from the room. As the hatch closed, Dee saw the last flicker of hope in Kara's eyes go out and grinned with satisfaction. Hope was such a devious bitch.

Kara ran down the corridor towards the flight deck. She had to get off this ship before she lost what little control she had left. Rounding the corner, she ran right into Lee. "Whoa, where's the fire? Wait, Kara? Are you okay? Where are you going? I thought we had a meeting?"

"Yeah, Lee, I'm fine. I just forgot, I have to get back to Galactica. Sorry," and she turned and kept running.

Wondering about the sudden change of heart, Lee walked to his quarters. There was only one thing that would change Kara like that – Dee. He quickened his pace and threw open the hatch to his quarters, startling Dee. "What the frak did you say to her?"

As Kara was cleared for take off and was flying back to Galactica, she managed to keep the tears at bay. She had been such a fool to think Lee wanted anything more than friends, friends with benefits. Dee was safe, and he was happy with her. Kara was just a distraction, a fling with an old flame. She'd been an idiot to hope for something more with Lee, but then hope always was a lying frakked up bitch.


Chapter 8

Every move you make, Every step you take, I'll be watching you

Lee looked at Dee, anger flashing in his eyes. "What did you say to her?"

Dee pasted an innocent look on her face and said, "Nothing."

Lee advanced on her and grabbed her by the elbow forcing her to look him in the eye. "Don't lie to me," he said through clenched teeth.

Dee struggled out of his grip, laughing as she did. "You two are so pathetic, so concerned about the other's well-being. What do you think I said to her? I threw the one thing in her face that would make her turn tail and run. YOU. Or more specifically, your happiness without her."

Lee's face blanched as he started to put it together. "Don't move," he said viciously and picked up the comm.

Helo was leaving the Brig from visiting Sharon when the word was passed that Pegasus Actual was waiting to speak with him. "Yeah, Commander, what can I do for you?"

"Short version," Lee began tersely, glaring at Dee from across the room. "Dee upset Kara, REALLY upset her. She's coming back to the Bucket now. Don't let her do anything stupid until I can get there. I promise I'll explain later."

"You got it. Helo out." Helo hung up the comm and headed for the flight deck, wondering what the frak was going on with these two now.

Lee hung up and turned back to Dee. "If anything happens to her…,"

Dee's laughter interrupted him. "I'm sure Starbuck will land on her feet. She always does. What is it about her?" she asked smugly, pacing in front of him. "Why does it seem that when it comes to her, you are so blind? She is a screw-up. You have said that numerous times. She was just waiting to get her hooks back into you, and now that she has, you're right back in her clutches, letting her pull the strings. You need to grow a pair! She says jump and you ask how high. You act like a puppet operated by Starbuck when she's just a whoring low life piece of trash not fit to tie your boots!"

Lee went quiet, fury pulsing through his veins, but he kept it in check for Kara's sake. He had to get to Galactica to find her, but not before he finished with Dee for good. He grabbed Dee by the shoulders and sat her down hard on the chair. "Don't ever say something like that about Kara again. EVER! Am I clear?"

"Crystal."

"Now, tell me EXACTLY what you said to her."

So she did, every last word. When she finished, she watched him order a Viper prepped over the comm.

"I know you love her. I know that's why we stopped having sex, why we're not married anymore. But you know what? That's okay. Knowing you, you won't stay with her. She's not," she paused, "safe. She's trouble and you'll just get mad and leave. And when you do, I'll be waiting for you to come back to me."

"No, you won't. I'm transferring you back to Galactica, effective immediately. Clear your stuff out and be gone when I get back." He
let her go and walked out of his quarters towards the flight deck, without ever looking back.

Hope was a lying frakked up bitch, the words thundered through Kara's head as she brought her Viper in for a landing on Galactica. As Chief popped the canopy, took her helmet and helped her out, she plastered a fake smile on her face. "How's Cally?"

"Just fine, sir. How's my bird flying?"

"Well, we need to talk about that; the pitch is a little off."

Helo watched Kara walk off and talk to the Chief about the Viper and how the controls were a little sluggish. She was with him for about ten minutes before she finally broke off and headed in Helo's direction. He matched her step, "So how's it going, Buck?"

"Just fine, Helo. Going to the office to drop off some paperwork and
then to the gym to punch the bag."

"Mind if I join you?"

She glanced at him, "Yeah, I do, actually."

"Aw, come on Buck?" he elbowed her side as they walked down the corridor to her office. They got to the door and she went in, stopping Helo with her arm, "Don't bother, Agathon, I'll only be a moment. Then you can follow me to the gym."

Helo popped the lollipop back into his mouth and waited. A few minutes later, she came back out dressed in sweats and tanks and carrying a towel. He fell in beside her again. "So, I know you're mad, I expect it's at Commander Adama."

"None of your business. So back the frak off."

"Buck, come on, maybe a friendly little sparring match with your good friend Helo will help you work things out."

She turned and slammed him into the wall, "I said NO! Now leave me the frak alone or I'll put you on the frakking ground and you'll spend the next week in sickbay!" She opened the hatch to the gym just as she heard Helo being called to the flight deck. Good riddance, she thought, as she gloved up and started hitting the bag.

Helo got to the flight deck just as Lee was getting out of his Viper. "Helo, I thought you were going to watch her!"

"I did. I mean I was. Frak, Apollo, frankly she scares me more than you. She threatened to put me in sickbay for a week and in the mood she's in, she could have done it."

Apollo looked at him and laughed. "Alright, go stand guard. I have to see my father, and then I'll be there as soon as I can."

Helo saluted and said, "Aye, sir," and laughed as he put the lollipop back into his mouth. Then he headed back to "guard" Starbuck.

Lee laughed and sprinted off to his Dad's office. He knew Kara was in good hands with Helo and he needed to do this before he saw her. He knocked on his father's door and heard him say, "Enter."

Lee walked in. "Lee, well, this is a surprise." His father walked over and grabbed his son in a hug. "So what's going on?"

"I brought the paperwork back."

"Any problems?"

"Well, she certainly wasn't happy, that's for sure. I think it would be better if she came back over to Galactica."

The Admiral nodded, "I'll arrange for an immediate transfer. What about Kara?"

"Well, she's punching the bag right now, according to Helo. As soon as we're done here, I'm going to talk to her and tell her that Dee and I are over and not just because Dee upset her a little while ago."

The Admiral looked up sharply.

"Don't worry, I took care of it, and I'm gonna take care of Kara, too."

"Well, what about Dee and Kara when Dee gets back here?"

"Kara can hold her own, especially if she's the one that wins. I wouldn't worry too much about her."

"Okay, sounds like you've got it figured out. I'll put the transfer for Dee in and she'll be back here by tomorrow. And Lee, we'll arrange something to give you and Kara time together. I don't know what right now, but we'll think of something."

"Thanks Dad, for everything."

"You're welcome - now go get our girl back."

Lee smiled, turned and left his father's office.

Kara rhythmically punched the bag, putting all her anger, frustration and disappointment behind every punch. She broke her rhythm occasionally to angrily swipe a tear off her cheek. She was asking the gods why she was such a screw-up, and why she never got anything good. Just when she thought she was happy with Zak, he got killed. Just when she thought she would be happy on New Caprica with Anders, he got killed. Frak, she wiped tears with her arm, so many people had been lost. She viciously punched the bag and could feel the skin on her knuckles split open despite the tape and gloves that she was wearing. Lee. Frak! She couldn't even begin with how frakked up her relationship with Lee was. Friends, not friends, friends again, then maybe something more, then most definitely not friends, and now – now she didn't know.

They seemed to be friends again, friends with benefits, she smiled as she thought back to the encounter in the shower. Friends that spied on each other, as she thought about him watching her sleep, and watching him in the shower. But then there was Dee, his wife. Gods what had she done? And the tears started anew. The last thing she would ever do was hurt Lee, and now she'd made him an adulterer. Frak! She pounded the bag through her tears. What she really wanted to do was pound Lee. Pound him for making her feel again, for hurting her. Frak! She kicked the bag now; she could feel her hands slick with blood inside her gloves. The anger and frustration poured into the bag and streamed down her cheeks in tears and out of her gloves in blood. She turned angrily when she heard the hatch open, "Whoever you are, get the frak out!"

"It's me, Kara. It's me," Lee said as he walked into the gym and dogged the hatch.


Chapter 9

I'll be watching you I'll be watching you I'll be watching you
I'll be watching you

Lee looked at Kara. Gods, even sweaty and crying, she was hot. She angrily turned away from him, "Leave me alone, Lee."

He noticed blood on her wrists. He took a step forward, "Kara, you're bleeding."

"I said, leave me ALONE!" she shouted, as she started punching the bag again. She pounded the bag with a ferocity Lee had never seen before. "Kara," he said.

"I said, leave me the frak alone. Go back to your wife."

"I can't do that. I don't have one."

She stopped, and turned to look at him in shock. Hope fluttered briefly in her chest, but then Dee's words echoed in her head. "Stay away from me, Lee. I'm nothing but trouble for you."

He sighed, "Kara, that's not true and you know it. You were the only reason I've had for living these past few years."

Kara looked at him, "Right, that's why you left us all behind and we had to rescue ourselves, why you've barely spoken to me since I got back and why you let me turn you into an adulterer."

"Frak, Kara! You told me to leave, to save the fleet. You've been avoiding me just as much since you got back – and you did not turn me into an adulterer."

"Whatever Lee, did you even wait until I actually got down to the planet to marry Dee, or did you do it as soon as you knew I was on the shuttle?"

"I died that day! The day you left for New Caprica was the day I died. I went to Dee because I needed to feel, something, anything. With Dee, when I was inside her, I pictured you. And it made me feel alive again. It would only last for a few brief moments, but I lived for those moments, because I was with you. I felt you."

Tears welled up in her eyes and she turned away so he wouldn't see. "I'm sorry, Lee. I'm sorry I hurt you." She started punching the bag again. "This is why you have to go away. I'm no good for you. I just hurt you, even when I'm trying not to. Dee was right. I'm nothing but trouble for you. You deserve the best and that's not me." She attacked the bag with renewed vigor, clearly dismissing him.

Lee strode over to her and enveloped her in a bear hug from behind, trapping her arms against her chest. She struggled in his grip, but then finally sagged against him. "What do you want, Lee?" she asked dully.

Not loosening his grip, "Dee and I are over, we have been for a long time, but it's official now. We signed the paperwork today and I just gave it to my Dad. She's packing her stuff right now as we speak."

Kara twisted in his arms to face him, "But she told me…"

Lee interrupted her, "I know what she told you, and Kara, everything she said to you was a lie. Everything."

Tears welled up in her eyes again and she shook her head as if she didn't believe him. He grabbed her by the shoulders as if he was going to shake her, but instead he looked her in the eyes and softly whispered, "Kara Thrace, I love you. I always have, just too scared and too frakked up to admit it. I wanna be with you, forever, or for however long you'll have me. But first, I think we need to look at these hands."

She let him lead her over to the bench. They sat down and he gingerly started taking off her gloves. "I don't care what Dee told you. You are not trouble for me. I'm not saying you aren't trouble, you are trouble. But you're just the kind of trouble I love."

He slid her gloves off and slowly started untaping her hands. She grimaced as some of her skin pulled away with the tape. He raised her hands to his lips and kissed each bloody knuckle. "We need to get these cleaned off and bandaged. Come on, there should be a med kit in your office."

They left the gym and slowly walked back to the CAG's office. He opened the door and she stepped in, he dogged the hatch. No one would be interrupting them. He made her sit down on the couch while he got the med kit. Kara sat silently and watched him clean the wounds with some antiseptic, put some antibiotic ointment on them and then bandage them up. He took her hands in his, raised them to his lips and kissed the palms of her hands. "All done."

She looked at him, "Is your marriage to Dee really over?"

He looked at the hope he could see mirrored in her eyes, "Yes, it's really over. To be honest, it never should have started. There's always only been one woman for me. Look, I know things won't always be perfect for us, we'll argue, we'll fight, we'll treat each other like crap at times, and frak Kara we are at war. But I know one thing. You're my soul mate and I can't live without you."

She pulled her hands free and brought them up to cup his face and leaned in to kiss him. Her soft full lips met his and fireworks went off in his head, but only for a moment because she pulled away. She got up from the couch and started pacing, "I can't do this, Lee. As much as I want to, I can't. You should go back to Dee."

He took her hands in his and forced her to look at him. "Is this some misguided attempt to protect me from you? Because if it is, it is not going to work. Because it is too late. You've been in my heart and soul, frak Kara, you've been in my blood for as long as I can remember. So if you want to protect me and keep me from getting hurt, then you won't leave, because it's only when you're gone that I hurt."

She looked into those stormy blue eyes and saw into his soul and knew that he was speaking the truth. He was echoing everything she'd ever felt. It was as if he knew what she had hidden in her heart, that every time she left him, a little part of her died. Her thoughts flickered briefly to everything they'd lost, everything she had lost and she quickly made her decision. She wanted to live.

Lee watched as emotions ran past in her eyes and knew the moment she made her decision. "Kara, I can't promise that it's not going to be rocky. We are both stubborn and strong-willed and chances are we will hurt each other. But I can promise you that no matter what happens, I will always love you. Can you promise me that?"

She smiled at him, her eyes shiny with unshed tears, "Yeah, I can promise you that. I can't promise I won't try to kill you if you frak this up, but I can promise you that I'll love you always."

Lee laughed and then pulled her in and hugged her. When they met in the hug it was like an electric charge went off. Lee squeezed her a little tighter and kissed her neck. The moment his lips met her skin a spark was made. He licked the tender skin there; right over the spot he knew he had marked her in the past. He sucked that spot into his mouth, fully intending to mark her again. He heard her indrawn breath and felt her pull him a little closer, arching her neck in the process. He kissed his way up to her ear and sucked the tiny lobe into his mouth and then withdrew to trace the outline of her ear with his tongue. He sensed her breathing quicken as he felt his own heart speed up. He drifted kisses from her ear down her jaw until he found her mouth.

She was waiting for him and opened her mouth hungrily. He felt like he was drowning in her. He'd kissed Kara before and he never forgot the taste because it was exquisite, like rich smoky ambrosia. Greedily, he stole her breath and made it his own, while twining his fingers in her hair, he pulled her closer. The blood was rushing to his groin, making him hard. He could feel his erection straining against his flight suit.

Kara pulled back at that moment and looked down and smiled. Sardonically she said, "Is that a Viper in your flight suit, or are you just happy to see me?"

He stepped closer, causing her to take a few steps back, "Why don't you find out?" he said huskily.

"Oh, I fully intend to," she replied, undoing the top snap of his flight suit and unzipping it halfway down. She took advantage of his trapped arms to lean in and suck hungrily on his bottom lip. As he frantically tried to pull his arms out of his flight suit, she slid her tongue into his mouth and started making delightful noises. Wrapping her arms around him she steered him around until his back was to the couch.

Finally, freeing his arms, he wrapped her in an embrace, feeling her breasts crush against his chest. His arms ghosted down her back until he found the patch of bare skin between her tanks and her sweats. Slowly making that area larger he drew her tanks up until she lifted her arms to help him get them over her head. But he fooled her, as he drew the tanks over her face; he exposed her lips and stopped. Trapping her arms and leaving her blind, he leaned in and gently nipped her lower lip. When she tried to intensify the kiss and suck hungrily at his mouth, he drew back and with his free hand, lifted her sports bra and freed her breasts, taking one puckered nipple into his mouth.

She gasped in surprise at the sudden welcome sensation. With her nipple in his mouth, Lee pulled her tanks the rest of the way off, freeing her arms. She immediately went back to work on his flight suit. Unzipping it the rest of the way, she pushed it down low over his hips. She then jerked her sports bra over her head setting both her breasts free. She threw it to the ground and wrapped her arms around Lee's neck, dragging his mouth away from her nipple up to her mouth so she could savor his taste again.

Lee sucked hungrily at her mouth. Gods, she tasted so good. He struggled to toe off his boots, almost pulling Kara down onto the couch, but he wasn't ready for that just yet. When he got his boots off, he took his hands off her long enough to finish what Kara started; he dragged the flight suit down over his hips and felt it slide to the floor.

He wrapped his arms back around Kara, feeling her silky skin under his fingers, ignoring the stripe-like scars criss-crossing her back. He steadied himself as he stepped out of the flight suit. He was left standing there in his boxers. He pulled her closer to him so she could feel his growing arousal.

Kara felt him pull her closer as he stepped out of his flight suit. She could feel his erection pressing into her. She felt his hands slide down his back and grasp her sweats. Feeling him start to tug them down her hips, she let go of him long enough to help him. She reluctantly broke the kiss as she looked down and grabbed his boxers. As she bent down and stepped out of her sweats she pulled his boxers down with her. His penis bobbed into view and she couldn't help but take it into her mouth.

When she took him into her mouth and started sucking him like Helo sucked on those lollipops, Lee's knees almost buckled. His hands automatically went to her head as they twisted into her hair, he moaned, "Oh gods, Kara." She drew her tongue up and down his shaft, gently tickling his balls with her fingernails. She rimmed the head of his penis with her tongue, lightly grazing the sensitive tip with her teeth. Then she took him deep into her mouth again, almost into her throat. He grabbed her head and instinctively started thrusting into her mouth. He tried to maintain control, but gods, having her mouth on him felt so frakking good!

She grinned around him as she felt him start to thrust. She started sucking harder and lightly squeezing and scratching his sack. "Oh Gods, Kara," he shouted as his thrusting speed increased. She reached around and grabbed his tight ass and squeezed.

When she squeezed his ass, Lee felt like he was going to explode and then he did. As Kara swallowed every drop he gave her, she wondered with smug satisfaction if Dee had ever done this for Lee. Based on his reaction, Kara suspected not. She kissed her way back up to his chest. He pulled her up and kissed her gratefully. He could still taste himself on her lips and it had to be the sexiest thing he ever tasted.

He drifted his hand down her shoulder to the gentle swell of her breast. Ghosting calloused fingers along the curve of her breast, he felt her indrawn breath as his fingertips lightly grazed her nipple. At his touch, she broke the kiss and let out a low moan, arching her back into his touch. He took advantage and bent to her neck, tenderly licking and biting at her pulse point. He gently rolled her nipple under his thumb. "Oh Gods, Lee."

He bent and took the other nipple into his mouth and sucked greedily, while pinching and rolling the first nipple with his fingers. Desperately starting to ache, she grabbed his shoulders and tried to pull him closer. As he flicked her nipples with his tongue, teeth, and fingers, sensations shot through her right to her clit, causing her to tremble with need. "Gods, Lee, I need you so bad." Hearing her words, Lee finally felt his groin start to come back to life. "Lee, I need you, inside me, now!" she moaned and pushed him down to the couch.

As he sat there looking up at her, his penis sprang to life. Gods, she was beautiful, her long blonde hair tousled because of his hands, her lips swollen because of his kisses, her nipples pink and erect because of his ministrations, and her heady scent of arousal as evidenced by the delicate drops of moisture in her fine, curly, blonde hairs. As he stared at her, she started to blush, feeling shy under his intense gaze. She almost turned away, but before she could he grabbed her hand. "Gods, you're beautiful Kara, and I want you, no, I need you, right now." She smiled at him then, "I want you to, and no you were right, I need you inside me right now!" As she leaned down to kiss him, he grasped her waist and pulled her close, sitting her in his lap with her knees bent up beside his shoulders and her feet planted beside his hips. Huskily he said, "Then why don't you take a seat and let's go for a ride?"

"Gladly," she silkily replied as she slid herself down onto him slowly. Groaning as her wet heat engulfed him, he drew her closer and rested his head on her shoulder. Once he was fully seated inside her, she started rocking back and forth against him. He threaded his hands through her hair as their mouths met in another fiery kiss. His hands went around her coming up from behind to cup her shoulders. She arched against him as he started kissing down her neck.

He bent to take a nipple into his mouth and his hands moved to her hips to help with the thrusting. With every move it felt like he was seeing stars. He looked down and could see himself moving in and out of her and he almost exploded right then. He trailed a hand down her silky belly until he found that sweet little nub nestled in her curls, right above where they were joined.

She let out a scream as his fingers found her clit. She could feel her orgasm building. As they started thrusting harder and faster, he flicked that little nub mercilessly with his finger. "Oh, Gods, Lee, I'm coming! Right now!" she shouted as wave after wave of sensation crashed over her. With her last conscious thought before riding the wave, she clenched down on him and felt him explode inside her.

They collapsed against each other, panting. When Lee was able to catch his breath, he said, "Frak, that was amazing Kara, but we're not done." He lifted her off of him and stood her beside the couch. He converted it to a bed and then picked her up and placed her in the middle of it. As he leaned down to kiss her, he said, "I believe I owe you one," and he captured her mouth in his.

He sucked greedily on her mouth, darting his tongue in and out. Breaking the kiss, he slowly made his way down her body, stopping briefly to gently bite at her pulse points. Drifting kisses down her shoulders, he lingered on her breasts, taking each turgid peak into his mouth in turn, gently biting those perky tips causing her to gasp. Slowly, he kissed her creamy belly, dipping his tongue into her belly button feeling her shiver in anticipation. He softly licked each hipbone.

Gently he drew her thighs apart, opening her to his gaze. He placed tender kisses up and down each inner thigh until she was restlessly moving her hips and threading her fingers through his hair. "Lee, please, please!" she begged. He parted her velvet lips with his fingers and thrust his tongue inside. "YES!" she shouted, as her hips began to buck. He continued thrusting and sucking until she was begging again. Then he slipped two fingers inside and gently took that little nub into his mouth and bit down. As she screamed his name and writhed on the bed, Lee felt her shudder with pleasure. He felt her coming down and released the pressure of his teeth and pressed it with his tongue, continuing to slowly thrust his fingers until she calmed. He moved up beside her on the bed and leaned in to kiss her when there was a knock at the door. "FRAK," they both said in unison.


Epilogue

Kara stood up and wrapped the sheet around her. "Just a sec," she yelled as she threw a towel at Lee, so he could cover himself. Of course, the towel being a washcloth didn't cover much. "Thanks, Kara," Lee said dryly. "Shh," she hissed at him. She paused as she opened the door. There was nothing she could do about the scent of sex that hung heavy in the air, except get rid of whoever was at the door.

She opened the door a crack and almost collapsed with surprise when she saw the Admiral standing in the doorway. "Admiral, sir, sorry. Please excuse my appearance," she stammered out, feeling her cheeks grow pink with embarrassment.

"No problem, Starbuck. I understand my son is still on board. Have you seen him?" He didn't miss the quick glance she threw back into the room before answering him.

At Lee's nod, Kara opened the door wider and stepped back, revealing Lee on the bed, barely covered with the washcloth.

Sternly, the Admiral said, "I suspected as much. Commander, before you return to Pegasus, we need to discuss a few things," his eyes flickering over to Kara, indicating that she would be one of the things.

"Yes, sir. I'll be there."

"Captain Thrace, I'll expect you around the same time."

"Yes, sir," she gulped.

He turned to go and then as if he had forgotten something, he turned back to face the two of them. "One more thing, I'll be expecting some grandchildren now. Hopefully, in the not too distant future. Carry on," he chuckled, as he walked out of the room.

Lee and Kara looked at each other, a blush creeping into both of their faces.

"Did he just…" Lee's voice trailed off.

"Yeah, I think he did," Kara giggled and ran to join him back in bed. As they snuggled down close, Lee pulled her into his arms and she rested her head and palm on his chest.

"I love you, Kara. I always have. I – I saw you in the showers once."

Kara's hand stilled on his chest, she knew exactly what he was talking about. Her hand started tracing circles on his chest again. "That's okay, I saw you in the shower, too."

Lee pulled her tight and laughed. "We are a pair."

Softly she whispered, "You think we're going to be okay?"

He tilted his head so he could look at her, "Yeah, I think we're going to be okay. People are already starting to refer to us as ApolloandStarbuck again and that's a good thing. We'll get the whole Pegasus versus Galactica thing worked out. Until then, I guess we'll have a lot of shuttle runs back and forth."

"I guess so. I love you, Lee."

Lee kissed the top of her head and whispered softly into her hair, "Gods, I love you, too, Kara. Don't ever leave me again."

"I won't," she whispered and snuggled closer to him as they drifted off to sleep.

The End