Word Count: 6,168
Series: Season 2
Category: Alternate Universe
Summary: What if Commander Adama could not be saved? What if he wasn't alive to put the Fleet back together?
Spoilers/Disclaimers: events take place as offshoots of the events of "Scattered" (though potential spoilers for the entire first half of the second season); They're not mine. I wish they were mine. In some cool alternate universe, they are mine. But, alas, that universe is not the one I'm currently living in. So they're not mine.
Kara's words hung in the air between them as they stood inches apart in the small storage closet. "We have to do this, Lee. There's no other way." She ran her hands up his chest, finally resting them around his neck, and leaned in to touch him, forehead to forehead.
Lee closed his eyes, relishing the small amount of quiet being stolen between them, and wondered when executing a military coup had become part of his job description.
~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~
It had all started when he returned to Galactica, the one place he still considered home. At the time, he was feeling a lot more pride than shame at what had taken place to bring him to this point. Sure, he had committed mutiny by placing a gun to the XO's head, and he had been guilty of desertion by helping President Roslin escape from the brig. But he had found Galactica's missing pilot and another who had been presumed dead. He had brought home the Arrow of Apollo and delivered new hope to the Fleet that Earth might be found.
As their Raptor landed, Lee was greeted by the dour face of the man he had grown up calling Uncle Saul. He could tell the Colonel had been hitting the bottle again while he was gone. Helo and Boomer hung back in the Raptor, out of view like instructed, while the President brushed right past Tigh to talk with her assistant. That left him and the woman to his right to take the heat.
Lee and Kara walked forward to stand in front of their executive officer. He could feel her take a step closer to him and understood the comfort of knowing there was someone beside you at a time like this. It didn't surprise him that she was scared of the repercussions of her actions.
"Do you want us to go to the brig for our crimes?" Lee inquired with a hint of sarcasm. He hoped the break in seriousness would make Kara a little more at ease.
"No. But you two can go to the bunkroom and change into your dress greys. There is a funeral you need to attend in a few hours."
"Who died?" Kara asked softly, taking another instinctual step closer to Lee.
Lee could feel the words hit his gut even before they were out of Tigh's lips. He knew who had died. There was only one person it could have been. There was only one person who would demand that protocol be thrown out the window and force formal charges to be put off until later.
"I should keep you two away, but I know the Old Man would have wanted you there. As dysfunctional as you were, he still considered you his children."
"Adama?" Lee's arms automatically flew out to hold Kara up as her knees buckled. She hadn't seen how bad his father had been like Lee had. She would have no idea that this might be coming.
"I thought he was stable," Kara said, looking from Lee to Tigh and then back again. "I don't understand. You said he was going to be fine."
"If you two weren't gallivanting across the universe on some ridiculous quest from the gods, you would have realized that Adama was not strong enough to bounce back from two bullets to the chest point blank. Maybe then you could have given him the luxury of a goodbye." Giving them one last stern look, Tigh turned away and left them without any more of an explanation.
~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~
"You were the one that brought this up," Kara said, pulling back to meet his eyes. "You were the one to point out if we don't do this now, then the whole Fleet will be destroyed."
"That was weeks ago. I never thought it would actually come to this."
Kara reached out to softly touch his cheek with her fingertips. "Lee, if you won't do this for me, do it for our unborn child."
He looked at her in confusion for a second before narrowing his eyes and batting her hand away. "Very funny, Kara."
She let out a laugh. "I had to try."
"We haven't even slept together."
"Not for lack of me trying." Kara wiggled her eyebrows at him suggestively.
~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~
Lee watched the only friend he had left from life before the Cylons attacked. She was still in her full dress uniform lying in her bunk and staring blankly at the metal bed above her. The funeral had been hard to take. They didn't even have time to adjust to the fact that the man they both considered their father was gone. Knowing that, they had been forced to stand in the hangar bay while his coffin was flushed out of the airlock into space.
He knew that they had both been desperately trying to hold back tears as the senselessness of his death lingered in the air around them. They were expected to stay strong and give his father the proper goodbye he deserved. That expectation didn't help when all you wanted to do was let your emotions take over.
Lee had stood there, frozen in place, biting his tongue to keep it all in, and begging the gods to help Kara through this. He knew how easily she could break.
"I don`t know what we're supposed to do now," Lee said, pulling himself back into the present moment. He slowly walked over to sit on the bottom bunk of the woman about which he was so concerned. "Tigh's not bringing us up on charges. I'm still the CAG. You're still the lead pilot. We're not being punished. What are we supposed to do?"
Lee watched helplessly as pain flashed across Kara's face and she clenched her jaw tightly to hold the tears in. It was an expression he had grown used to seeing on her. "The gods are punishing us, Lee," she whispered. "They know we acted selfish and followed our own needs rather than thinking of what others needed. We forgot our place in this universe, and the gods want to hurt us for that betrayal."
"You can't believe that we did anything to cause this."
"We weren't there when he needed us," she said, sitting up to face him. "The Old Man was dying, and we weren't there."
"It's not our fault, Kara."
"That flimsy little sentence will not make the guilt go away, even if I believed it." She grabbed his chin roughly to turn his face to look at her. "We both know that if you and I had been there that day, Adama would never have been shot. Boomer wouldn't have even gotten within two feet of him. Try to tell me that you haven't thought the same thing, and I'll call you a liar, Lee Adama."
Lee pulled her hand away from where it held his chin and grasped it tightly against his chest. "I know things would have been different if we were both there, Kara. But we can`t change the past. It happened, he`s gone, and we`re still here."
"I can't believe you can be so logical about this. The most important man in both our lives just died, and we weren't there to say goodbye. Doesn't that make you want to cry out?"
"Yes. But losing strength won't solve any of our problems."
Kara sighed and leaned her head in to rest on his shoulder. "I don't want to live this life anymore. I'm tired of it."
"So is everyone else. All we can do is hold on to the things we still have and pray for something better." Lee smiled down at her. "Don't forget. We brought hope back with us to Galactica."
"A fraking star chart and a distant nebula means nothing."
"It's all we have."
Kara pulled back to stare at him a moment before shaking her head. Her hands reached out to wrap themselves around him and she brought her mouth up to his ear to whisper, "We have each other, Lee."
"Kara," he said hesitantly as she ran her right hand through his hair.
"Come on, Lee. It will help us forget."
"You think I don't know this is just your defense mechanism?" he pointed out with a laugh. "A way to throw off the pain for a few hours? You're damn predictable, Kara."
"I don't care," Kara admitted, biting her lip as the nervousness began to take hold. She knew that this might be stupid, but she wasn't about to back down now. "So this is my typical reaction. Who cares? It will help. You know it, and I know it."
"I'm not going to frak you."
"You don't have to do anything. I'll do all the work," she said with a laugh.
Lee didn't say anything as Kara twisted to push his body down onto the bed, giving him a rather predatory look along the way. A complete sense of awe came over him as she smoothly moved to straddle his waist and immediately began working on the buckle to his pants.
"The pain is still going to be there when this is over. You need to understand that," he said, grabbing her hands in his to force her to pause. "You're still going to hurt after you`re done using me. The only difference is when this is over, you won't be able to look me in the eye anymore. Is it worth it, Kara? Trading a few hours of forgetting for the loss of the one person who really gets what you're going through?"
Kara stared down at him a second, and he watched as something gave way inside. The tears were finally falling as her strength eroded away. Lee moved his hands up to grab her shoulders and pull her body down on top of him. "The guilt isn't going to go away, Kara, unless you let it."
"How can you be so strong, Lee?" she choked through the sobs. "He's gone. The Old Man's gone, and he's not coming back."
Lee moved his hands in small, soothing circles on her back until he felt her settle down. "You don't know how much I want to just let myself break down, but it's not that easy. We still have a duty to make sure the Fleet gets to the thirteenth colony now that my father is gone."
"You think there's going to be a problem with Tigh," she said, pulling back to look at him.
"He's already on the road to destroying the whole Fleet. It's only going to get worse."
"So what do you want to do then? Overthrow the evil dictator?"
"If it comes to that."
Kara sighed and laid her head back down against him. "You're too damn strong for your own good, Adama. When are you going to let yourself break down?"
"Tell you what. I'll make you a promise. When you're strong enough to support us both, I'll let go."
He could feel her smile against his chest. Suddenly he was glad that no matter how much he had lost, he still had her. There was a lot they needed to talk about, but at least they weren't reverting back to their normal fighting and name-calling. He didn't know if he could take that right now.
~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~
"So, it's obvious to me you've been giving this whole coup thing a lot of thought," Lee said, tapping her nose slightly with affection before returning his hand to its place of rest on her hip. "What's the first step, fearless leader?"
"The first step is finding out if we're alone on this one. Way I figure it, we need friends and lots of them if this is going to work. The way. I figure." Lee's hand had starting lightly caressing the bit of skin exposed where her tanks met her pants. It was fraking distracting. "Would you stop that?" she hissed.
"Sorry. Couldn't help myself. Alone in a storage closet. It`s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."
She gave him a stern grin before continuing. "Tigh is going to be watching us. He knows from experience that you and I don't really agree with his methods of leadership. So we're going to have to round up the major players more subtly."
"Keep going," Lee said.
"We're going to need the President behind us on this one or there's no way we can succeed. I figure that Tigh will be expecting you to contact her, which is why I'm going to set up an appointment to see her later today."
"It'll look like just another meeting about what happened on Caprica."
"Exactly. Next we're going to need a few people in the CIC. So, give me a list and I'll start talking with them in my downtime. Again, Tigh won`t be expecting me to be the one making the deals."
Lee took a step back from Kara to lean up against the wall and crossed his arms. She was right. It was time to get down to business and forget about the fact that he was alone in a storage closet with the personification of his ideal woman. There was a lot to be thinking about if they were going to pull this off. "Dee's going to be critical. She handles pretty much all communication within the Fleet. And seeing as how she helped the President and I escape the brig the first time around, it shouldn't be that hard to convince her to help."
"We're probably going to need Lieutenant Gaeta, too," Kara pointed out. "He understands every single tool in the CIC."
"All right. So the President and the CIC are yours. What do you expect me to do?"
"We're going to want pilots on our side," Kara said with a sigh. "And it's not going to be easy to get the ones we need."
~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~
Lee felt his Viper slow to a standstill and ripped off his helmet as soon as he heard the cockpit hatch begin to slide up. Dee had taken to giving him small updates on the state of the Fleet while he was on CAP these past few weeks. It was a time where he could openly communicate without Tigh knowing, and Dee was extremely willing to give him the information he needed. Usually it amounted to which ships were denying which supplies to Galactica or what resistance movements were currently taking hold in which part of the Fleet. This time, however, the news had been slightly more distressing and a little too fraking close for comfort.
His eyes locked with Kara's even before his feet met the ground. He figured she would be waiting for him. "Dee gave me a brief rundown," he said, grabbing her arm and puling her away from the crowded hangar. They needed to go somewhere where they could talk. "Why don't you tell me the specifics?"
"Well, Tigh woke up on the wrong side of the bed today and decided that no rational human being would knowingly bring an enemy back to the Fleet. So he had a whole squad of Marines bust into the break room to arrest Helo. He's thrown him in the cell intended for. Boomer."
Lee nodded and continued to pull Kara across the hangar bay. It was hard to know what to call the Cylon that had murdered his father, especially now that they only had memories of the past to rely on. Boomer was dead. That was the one decision Colonel Tigh made that Lee felt he could support. The decision to execute both models of Sharon Valerii had at least some semblance of logic behind it.
After they had found a small modicum of privacy behind a few crates of Viper parts, Kara started explaining again. "I know you've never gotten along with Helo, but he's my friend. He kept me sane during my first few months on Galactica after Zak's death, and he kept me alive the first few days I was stuck on Caprica. A man strong enough to do that does not deserve to be locked away just because he was a fool for love."
"Kara, there's a lot of unrest right now. We have to pick and chose our battles."
"You can't tell me that if I was the one locked up that you wouldn't be fighting tooth and nail to get me out!" she yelled, not caring if anyone overheard.
"Of course I would. But that's different."
"Not to me," she hissed. "Helo's a good man."
"I'll do what I can," he said, the tension in his body slowly leaving as he let himself give in to her. He watched as the same tension left Kara while she lowered her eyes to the floor and let out a deep breath. It was clear that she was counting on him to not fight her. Funny how much they`ve grown to depend on one another. "I can't guarantee it will be right now, but I think I can come up with a way to get him out."
Kara shook her head. "I don't want to wait. I say we do this my way and we do it now."
Lee reached out to rest his hands on her shoulders. "Your way will get both of us sent to the brig. We can't do anyone good from there."
"We have to do something," Kara whispered, bringing her eyes up to meet his. Lee was thrown to see that she was choking back tears. She was really concerned that something bad was going to happen to Helo.
Leaning in, he brushed his lips lightly against hers. "We will."
~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~
Lee paused outside the fence of metal and nodded at the Marine guard in a silent order to be leave him alone with the prisoner. He waited until the room had returned to its relative silence before slipping open the lock and stepping inside the cell.
"Why are you here, Apollo?" Helo said, dragging his head out of where it rested in his hands. Lee faltered for a moment at the sight of how low this once great pilot had fallen. He looked like he had one foot in the grave. "Are you to be my executioner?"
"No," Lee said, pulling himself to a stop a few feet from the cot Helo sat on.
They stared at each other for a few minutes without saying a word. They really hadn't spoken much since their time on Kobol. Helo knew that Lee couldn't understand how a human could have fallen in love with a machine, and Lee knew that Helo couldn't understand the truth to the pain this Cylon model had caused the people he loved. So they were at an impasse and chose to simply ignore one another.
"There's something I've been wanting to say to you since you reappeared," Lee said, casually leaning against the chain link wall and crossing his arms in front of him.
"Great," Helo said, laughing silently as he sat up straight. "Let's hear it, Adama."
Lee watched him for a moment before speaking. "Thank you."
"I never thanked you for what you did."
Helo looked at Lee in confusion. "I don't understand."
"You brought her back to me. You did something that I couldn't do. She's my world, Helo, and you kept her safe when I couldn't. And for that, I will be grateful to you for the rest of my life." Lee cleared his throat uncomfortably. "And with that out of the way, Kara and I need your help."
~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~
Kara peered over the hand she had been dealt in the current round of triad. She wasn't in the game for the joy of the win this time, but no one needed to know that. There was a definite feeling descending upon the Fleet. Something terrible was just around the corner. And there was no better place to find out what that was than the triad tables. She turned to smile at Racetrack, who was sitting next to her. "So have you heard about any of the new idiotic decisions our current dictator has made?"
Racetrack's eyes widened and she started looking around to see if anyone was watching them.
"Paranoid much?" Kara said, rolling her eyes. She turned to look at the rest of the table. Seelix and Two-Tone were staring at her with similar expressions of fear. "What's gotten in to all of you?"
"Tigh is cracking down on the dissention in his ranks," Seelix explained. "He heard Cally questioning his new decree that the deck crew have to fix all birds before they go off-shift. Threw her straight into the brig for ten days. Insubordination."
"It's the same for the pilots," Two-Tone pointed out. "Hyper, my ECO? He's in the brig for the next few days. Tigh didn't like his tone of voice."
"That man really has become a dictator," Kara said, setting down a couple cards. "Two, please."
Seelix dealt them out to Kara. "Personally, I'm starting to get scared about where Tigh is taking us. We haven't talked about what was brought back from Kobol by the President. Half the ship still doesn't even know Roslin's back."
"I know what you mean," Two-Tone said, indicating he wanted three cards. "Seriously, when was the last time you even heard the thirteenth colony being mentioned? I'm starting to think Tigh doesn't believe it exists. Where does that leave the Fleet if our leader won`t take us to the one place we`d be safe?"
Racetrack slammed her cards facedown onto the table with no warning. "I'm out," she hissed, giving Two-Tone a dirty look.
Kara stared at the discarded hand for a moment before turning to look at Racetrack in surprise. The triad cards they were playing with had been worn down to their brim weeks ago. They were marked, scarred from one too many games. Which meant they didn't lie.
Racetrack had full colors. And yet she folded.
"Conversation making you uncomfortable, Racetrack?" Kara asked hesitantly while mentally tallying up her losses. Fifty cubits. Not that bad of a loss.
Racetrack glared and shoved her chair back from the table. "Like I said, I'm out."
Kara let a few seconds go by before throwing her cards into the middle of the table. She had a gut feeling that there was something important going on that she needed to know about.
"Racetrack! Would you fraking wait up?" she yelled as she ran down the corridor.
"What do you want, Thrace?" Racetrack said, turning to glare at her. "I have to do some maintenance before I take my Raptor out again. Since Cally is in the brig, there's no one else to do it."
"Understood," Kara said. She motioned for Racetrack to keep walking and fell into stride beside the Raptor pilot. "Listen. I'll help you out with your Raptor if you help me out. I need to know why you're so spooked by Tigh."
"It's getting out of hand, Starbuck. He's got half the deck crew in the brig, and now he's working on the pilots. This week alone, I've personally had two different pilots in my bird."
"You think this is all building up to something bad."
"Not one of those people in the brig did anything to justify their punishment." As they stepped into the hangar bay, Racetrack's eyes roamed the room erratically. It threw Kara off. Racetrack had never been the type to be paranoid.
Racetrack finally settled her gaze on the woman beside her. "I know you weren't here for what went down before, but you have to know that things were bad. Now, they're getting worse. Tigh is not in control of the Fleet."
"I know. No one respects the superior asshole."
"That's not what I mean," Racetrack hissed. "I mean he's literally not in control. Ellen Tigh is pulling his puppet strings. She tells him what to do. A man that weak should not be in charge of the Colonial Fleet. Everyone figured that out a long time ago."
"It feels like you're talking about a full-on rebellion here," Kara pointed out as they paused in front of the broken Raptor.
"It wouldn't be the first time. We were on the verge of it before. Probably would have happened, too, if Apollo hadn't chosen to steal the President away."
"You were going to give the ship over to the President?" Kara said, her eyes widening. Odd. She hadn't heard one word about that from anyone.
Racetrack looked at her in confusion. "No. Not the President. Apollo."
"You were ready to fight to put Lee in power?" Kara wanted to cringe at her unconscious shift away from call signs. The news was just too shocking. Why hadn't Lee told her that the whole ship seemed to want him to be their Commander? Wasn't that sort of thing important?
"He's just like his father. That's what we need right now. Someone we can trust to keep us alive long enough to do our jobs." Racetrack gave her a small shrug. "Now if you'll excuse me, I have a broken Raptor to fix. And no matter what you promised, you have more important things to do." She gave a slight nod towards something going on behind them.
Kara looked over her shoulder and saw Lee talking to the Chief. Almost like magic, things began to click into place in her head. She knew what had to be done.
"Time to get you alone in a storage closet, Adama," she muttered to herself as she began to make her way over to where Lee stood.
~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~
"Are you ready for this?" Lee asked, pausing on the last button of his uniform.
"Yeah. It's been a long time coming," Kara pointed out. She picked her gun up off her bunk and placed it in the holster at her hip. "I just wish I got to be the one to hold the gun up to Tigh's head even if it is only figurative this time."
"Got to stick with what you're good at. Besides, you have your own fun task to do."
Kara reached over to grab Lee by his collar and pulled him against her. She smiled as his arms instinctively came up to wrap around her waist. "Do you think we can really do this, Lee?" she whispered.
"I don't think we have a choice."
"Okay." She leaned in and quickly kissed him before pulling away. "We have to go then."
Lee nodded as Kara fixed his collar to sit straight. "Give Mrs. Tigh hell."
"Oh, I will." She gave him a quick wink before turning to leave
It suddenly occurred to Lee as he watched her walk out of the bunkroom how incredibly strange it was to be so happy when he was about to do something so idiotically stupid. Then again, loving Kara had never brought rationality to his life.
Sighing, he checked his reflection in the mirror one last time before starting to make his way to the CIC. He tried to ignore the looks of anyone he passed as he concentrated on running the details of their plan through his head one last time. There was a lot of things that could go wrong, but if they could pull this off, it would all be worth it. Because Kara was right. They had no other choice.
"Sir?" Lee said to Colonel Tigh as he entered the CIC. "You needed to see me?"
"Yes, Captain. It seems that there was a unscheduled Raptor launch a few minutes ago. Paperwork says it was authorized by you."
"Well, as CAG, I do make the launch schedules, sir."
"But I have to approve them. I didn't approve this one. Frak. I don't even know to what purpose it was created. Care to explain?"
"It's nothing, sir," Lee said shrugging. "I just felt like it was time to make a point."
"What point would that be, Captain?"
Lee stopped for a moment, knowing that this was the last moment he had to change his mind. Not that he would want to. There were people counting on him. People who had put their whole fraking lives on the line just because he asked. With all that in mind, Lee looked up and gave Tigh the most infuriating smirk he could muster. "It's time for you to step down from your command. Sir."
"I don't understand."
"That Raptor out there is carrying the last nuclear weapons that Galactica was saving. It currently is close enough to the Battlestar to cause plenty of damage before it could be shot down."
"Sir, he's telling the truth," Lieutenant Gaeta cut in. "Information from the deck crew logs says that Raptor was loaded with missiles earlier today."
"All orders for that sort of thing have to be signed by me. How the frak did that happen without me knowing?"
"Easy," Lee interjected, bringing Tigh's attention back to him. "Most of the deck crew is in the brig per your judgment. The pilots have been doing their own repairs of late. Racetrack must have forgotten she had to clear it with you before loading those weapons onto her Raptor." Lee could see the wheels in Tigh's head turning. "And before you overreact, I just want to let you know Lieutenant Edmondson was already thrown in the brig for failure to comply with your instructions this morning when she refused to go on a strafing run of the Gideon. So that`s one last thing you need to worry about."
Tigh looked around in confusion for a few moments before turning back to glare at Lee. "What is the meaning of this?"
"You're driving this Fleet to its death. I can't just sit by and let you do that." Lee took a deep breath and continued on. "I want you to resign your command before someone is forced to get hurt."
"One Raptor cannot do that much damage to a Battlestar," Tigh said. "You cannot intimidate me."
Lee smiled. "We'll see. That Raptor is about to get a lock on the Galactica, and I'll have you know it's not just going to be some random arms locker they're aiming at. Now, on a side note, and this just might be my personal opinion, but I'm thinking you should be focusing less on me and more on trying to negotiate that ship into standing down, sir. Specialist Dualla, why don't you patch us into a comm channel on that Raptor so the Colonel can get started?"
"Sir?" Dee said to Tigh.
"Do it. I want to find out what moron got brainwashed into flying that thing."
"Unidentified Raptor pilot, Galactica. Please identify."
"It's your worst fraking nightmare, Tigh." Helo's voice carried across the whole of the CIC.
"Who let Lieutenant Agathon out of his cell?" Tigh screamed at no one in particular.
Lee raised his hand. "I did. Thought that would be clear."
Tigh turned to stare at the son of his best friend. "You don't know what you're doing."
"He knows exactly what he's doing, Saul."
Tigh turned to look at the communication screen on the consul in front of him. "Ellen?" His wife's image was projected on the screen. She was standing in front of the comm screen in their quarters, and she wasn't alone.
"Hey, Saul," Kara said from her position holding a gun to the head of the XO's wife. "Nice to see you."
"Thrace. What the frak are you doing?" he hissed, gripping the edges of the control panel tightly.
"Keeping your wife all comfy and cozy in your quarters, sir," Kara said, winking at him. "Just like ordered. Don`t worry. I won`t be shooting her. Just couldn`t take any chances on this one."
"Saul, this young pilot seems to think that I'm in danger of being blown up. Care to explain?"
Lee decided it was time to lay it all out. "Helo currently has a weapons lock on your quarters. He's willing to release his missiles and take out that whole section of the ship should you not step down within the next few minutes. Think about it, Colonel. Could you really run this ship without your wife telling you what to do?"
Tigh stared at him before letting out a cold laugh. "You're a fraking idiot. You actually think I'm going to believe that rubbish?"
"You have no reason not to."
"How about the fact that Lieutenant Thrace is currently standing beside my wife? If Helo launches those missiles, she won't make it out of there alive no matter how much of a warning she gets." Tigh let out a loud chuckle. "You forget that I know you, Lee. You're just like your Old Man. Couldn't sacrifice her even if it meant dooming the whole of humanity."
"You're right," Lee said.
"Sir? The Raptor has weapons lock on Galactica," Gaeta called out.
"You cannot outthink me, Colonel," Lee said taking a few steps closer. "You cannot outplay me. Just step down before something happens that neither one of us can take back."
"Missiles are powering up," Gaeta shouted.
"Did I miss anything?" Kara yelled as she came running into the CIC full steam. "Please tell me I didn't miss anything."
Tigh look at Kara into confusion before looking down at the comm screen. His wife was still sitting in their quarters, but it was suddenly apparent that she was handcuffed down. He looked back up at Lee.
"Problem solved. Sir."
"Enough," Tigh screamed, the reality of the situation finally hitting. He was going to have to start taking action. People couldn`t just commit mutiny left and right on his ship. "Dee, order the CAP to shoot that Raptor down."
"Sorry, sir," Dee said, setting down her headset. "I can't do that."
"Fine," Tigh hissed. "Lieutenant Gaeta, take over comms."
"I." Gaeta cleared his throat and tried again. "I can't do that either, sir."
Lee stepped forward to stand next to Colonel Tigh. "I'm sorry it had to come to this."
"I'm not," Kara added with a laugh. That earned her one mean look from Lee.
"I had no other option, though," Lee continued. "If you just step down, sir, then there won't be a problem. We're not going to put you away in the brig like some common criminal. You have my word. We'll set you and your wife up with a nice suite on Cloud 9. It'll be a good life. A good retirement, Colonel. There's no shame in resignation."
"You're fraking mad."
"He's fraking right," Kara said, stepping forward. "You don't have a choice."
Tigh stared back and forth at all of the people around them. Each one had the same look of determination plastered across their face. He looked down at the sight of his wife, unable to move, unable to get herself out of harm's way. No one understood it, but he really did love Ellen with all his heart. She was his wife. Like always, that's what it all came down to.
"Checkmate, Captain," Tigh said, stepping away from the consul.
"Thank you, sir," Lee said. He motioned for two Marines to step forward. "Escort Colonel Tigh and his wife to a shuttle immediately." Then he turned to smile at Dee. "Patch me in to that Raptor, Officer."
"You got it, Apollo."
"Helo, this is Galactica-" Lee's voice cut off as he realized what he was about to officially do. "This is Galactica Actual. You can power down and land the Raptor through Launch Tunnel C."
"Wilco, Galactica," Helo said. A chuckle filtered in over the comms. "Frak. I can't believe you two actually pulled that off."
Lee let out a laugh before ordering Dee to close the comm channel. "Lieutenant Gaeta, would you please get President Roslin on the wireless? I think it's high time she came to Galactica with the information that was acquired on Kobol."
Seconds later, Lee had a headset on and was speaking with the President of the Twelve Colonies on their next plan of action.
Kara felt a small smile creep across her face as she stood back and watched the scene unfolding in front of her. Things were finally looking up. People were rushing all over the CIC, commands were being yelled, and the man she loved was in the middle of it all, steering the Fleet down the road of their one last hope.
For the first time since the Cylons had attacked humanity, Kara finally felt the freedom to be happy.