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Heal Thyself

By Kylen

Word Count: 416 
Date: 2004
Series: Mini
Rating: K+
Category: Challenge
Pairing/Focus: William, Lee
Summary: Written for Jeb's challenge of introspection under 600 words. I should think this one would be obvious as to who it is once you get reading. Enjoy.
Spoilers/Disclaimers: They don't belong to me. Never have, never will. I borrow them for amusement ... and angst. Please don't sue, because I don't make enough to pay off my student loans.

"And tomorrow, I'll begin a formal combat patrol around the fleet."

He is confident, proud. And yet wary, as if judging the humor of his prey. There was no longer anger, but Adama wonders what exists in the mind of his son. So far, all he had seen was the Commander of Air Group, not his sole remaining child.

Easier to deal with, and also harder. It makes for a simple deflection, one that requires the ship's commander to speak, not the father.

"Good. Have a good night, Captain."

Then he sees the emotion burning in his son's eyes. He sees the hesitation and the fear -- every last bit of confidence having flown. It is no longer the CAG standing in front of him, but his son struggling to find the words that have been missing for over two years.

"I just..."

It is too much for Adama to bear. He cannot allow this opening. Not now, not tonight. Not after so much death and struggle. He desperately wants to hear the words, but he is afraid to let them come.

And so, it makes for another easy deflection.

"Why don't we save this for another time, son." A concession, that. To let the young man standing before him know that his father was speaking. It is not a dismissal, merely a reprieve. Adama does not know whether he is granting it for himself or for his son.

Perhaps for them both. There has been too much pain already this day.

"Good night, Commander."

The exchange shifts back to formal. His son's face is now calm, unaffected. There had been a glimpse of father and son, but now again there was the familiar military address. It is a refuge Adama takes shelter in now, confident in the fact there will be no more sadness this day.

"Good night, Captain."

And as his elder son turns and leaves, Adama can allow himself a gentle smile. There will be other nights and other settings. He will come to know this young man named Lee Adama, in many ways.

But most importantly, as his blood.