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Hope Times Two

By Paige McKinney

Word Count: 3,907
Date: 2004
Series: Future
Rating: T
Category: AU
Pairing/Focus: Lee, Kara
Summary:  Set roughly two years after the mini-series, Kara and Lee are married and expecting their first child. What happens when the baby arrives while Lee is on patrol? What happens when Kara faces an unexpected hurdle in the course of giving birth? What does it mean to have a child when both Lee and Kara are pilots fighting for the survival of the human race? Both parents reflect on how different their lives become with the new addition and find, with a little faith, just how normal their lives could be. Pure fluff with a happy ending on top…be prepared to gag.

Kara Thrace was on her morning walk when her water broke. She’d been pregnant almost 9 months and was tired of it. Grounded from flight, unable to go on her daily runs, Kara had taken to walking the corridors of the Galactica, hoping to keep up with her usual routine. Today, however, was anything but routine. “Frak!” she exclaimed, watching the watery substance careen all over the floor. Kara was throttled by sudden pain and looked through her grimacing to try and figure out where she was. She saw the Commander’s quarters to her left and let out an airy laugh. “If that’s not a frakking sign, I don’t know what is,” she said, moving towards Commander Adama’s quarters while clutching her bowling ball of a stomach. She banged on his hatch with all of her might and let out a yelp as a contraction hit, sending her to her knees. The door swung open, revealing Commander Adama, hand on his weapon and looking around confusedly. Seeing Kara, he knelt at her side. Before he said one word, Kara broke in: “Sir…I suggest…you call…for help…unless…you want…your grandson…to land on this…floor!” Kara struggled to speak as Adama hurried her into his quarters, lying her down on his floor and reaching for his phone to call the Galactica’s doctor. Kara couldn’t help but notice how calm he was, as if this was just another day on the ship. The thought, however, was brief, as she let out another scream in pain. Adama hung up the phone and came back to Kara. “Kara you need to breathe…” Adama said quietly, placing a pillow under her head. “Frak my breathing…GET THIS THING OUT!” she yelled, clutching Adama’s shirt. “I’m working on it, Lieutenant… but screaming isn’t going to help your situation. Save your strength, that’s an order. The doctor is on his way,” Adama said, holding Kara’s hand. “You with me?” he asked, looking Kara in the face. She nodded, but he knew she was terrified. He had to get to Lee.

Lee was on patrol when his father’s voice came over Lee’s radio in his viper. “How’s the patrol going?” the elder Adama asked. Lee knew something was going on instantly, judging by the sound of the Commander’s voice. He thought he heard some sort of commotion in the background when he said “I’m just clearing the first half of the patrol now. No sign of anything yet, but I’m keeping my eyes peeled. Why?” Lee asked, apprehensively. “There’s a situation here, Lee…” Adama said, trying to maintain a neutral tone when all he wanted to do was tell Lee to get his ass back to the ship. “What kind of situation?” Lee asked, worried. Kara’s scream in the background didn’t help. “LEE! GET YOUR ASS BACK HERE NOW FOR FRAK’S SAKE!” Kara yelled. Lee’s brow began to sweat. “Dad? Dad, is she…” Lee began but was cut off. “In labor? ‘Fraid so, son. Her water broke in front of my quarters, so if I were you, I’d high tail it out of there,” Adama said. Lee was in the middle of turning around when he saw the blips on his screen, showing cylon fighters. “Tell Kara I love her. I’ve got company. Tell her to hang in there and I’ll be there as soon as I can. Take care of her, Dad,” Lee said, shutting off his communications and engaging the enemy. “This better be quick,” Lee said quietly as he opened fire. But Lee knew in his heart that he probably would be there for a while.

Kara was now propped up on a wide assortment of pillows, courtesy of the Commander’s couch, preparing to give birth on his floor. The Commander held her hand as each contraction hit, reassuring her that she’d get through this and she’d have a great reward in the end. “I’m…not…so…sure…this…is…worth…it,” she replied through clenched teeth. The doctor, who’d arrived moments after the transmission with Lee, looked at Kara sternly. “Breathe, Lieutenant Thrace, or it won’t be worth it,” he said calmly to which Kara then made an obscene gesture with her hand that caused the doctor to suppress a laugh. He’d gotten much worse things in delivery rooms before—this was no exception. “Okay Kara, start pushing,” the doctor requested gently. Adama held back a laugh as he heard Kara mutter under her breath “push this!” to the doctor. She’d never been one for doctors, or for this kind of pain. The next hour ticked slowly by with; everyone in the Commander’s quarters counting and breathing as Lee continued to fight off cylons, silently praying he wouldn’t miss the baby’s birth. Kara would never forgive him and Lee was sure that missing your child’s birth was sure to screw up the kid’s subconscious or something later in life. Lee groaned, pulling the trigger yet again. Would this ever end?

Kara was starting to get tired and worrying about Lee didn’t help. She needed him more than anything right now. The pain was getting worse and Kara nearly broke the Commander’s hand. “The baby is crowning, Kara, you’re almost there,” the doctor called, quietly. But the pain was too much for Kara, who had pulled the Commander toward her, screaming into his chest. “I can’t do this,” she said, quietly. Adama hid his worry and spoke softly to her. “Yes you can, Kara,” he said, reassuringly. She looked up at him, red faced and tired, tears starting to run down her face. Kara was losing control, and Adama had to do something. He took her face in his hands, forcing her to look at him. “What do you hear?” he asked her, quietly. “I can’t…” she said, crying harder. “Starbuck, what do you hear?” he asked again, this time more sternly. “Don’t…can’t,” Starbuck said again. “STARBUCK! WHAT DO YOU HEAR? THAT’S AN ORDER!” Adama yelled at her. Kara snapped to, shaking herself free and going into Lieutenant mode again. “SIR! NOTHING BUT THE RAIN, SIR!” she yelled back. “Good. Grab your gun and bring in the cat,” Adama replied, smiling at Kara and taking her hand as she pushed again.

Lee heard his father’s voice come on the radio again as he started to head back towards the Galactica. His mission had been a success and the raiders had been destroyed, no sign of any other disturbances in the sector. “Sorry to tell you this, son, but you’re not going to make it in time,” Adama told his son, regretfully. Lee sighed. “How’s Kara holding up?” Lee asked. “Like a pro, as always, though I think she may want to stick to flying after this,” Adama replied, cheerfully. Lee could hear Kara in the background and the doctor telling her one final push should do it. “Dad, she needs you. Tell her I’ll be home soon,” Lee said. “Hurry home, son,” Adama replied. And Lee did just that.

Kara couldn’t feel anything anymore as she pushed one final time. “That’s it! Baby’s out!” the doctor said excitedly, holding the tiny baby in his arms. Kara literally stopped breathing. The baby wasn’t crying. Hurriedly, the doctor began massaging the little body and suctioning out his nose and mouth. Kara watched the child suddenly turn red and let out a scream that was music to her ears. Kara breathed and Adama smiled. The baby was cleaned and the cord cut, the doctor wrapped the baby up in a blanket and handed him to Kara. “Congratulations, Lieutenant, and say hello to your new son!” the doctor said, beaming at both Kara and Adama. Kara looked down at the pink creature in her arms and the tears started flowing. She looked up at the Commander and smiled. “Congratulations, Grandpa,” she said softly. Commander Adama was at a loss for words as Kara handed the baby to him. “He’s beautiful,” Adama said quietly. “He’s Zak,” Kara replied. Adama looked at her. She smiled. “Zakary Lee Adama, after the two loves of my life,” Kara said. Adama smiled. “I think Lee will like that,” he said as he watched the baby open his eyes; blue, like his father. Suddenly, the doctor spoke up, interrupting the moment. “Hold off on the celebrations, you two…” he said, looking at Kara. The look on her face told her something was very wrong. “What is it?” she asked, panic hinging on her voice. “Commander, take your grandson to the life station and hand him over to a nurse. Come back immediately,” the doctor said, looking at Commander Adama urgently. “What’s going on?” Kara asked, anger now lacing her voice. The doctor came to her side and took her hand in his. The Commander held back from leaving, holding his grandson. “Kara, you’ve got to concentrate hard. Don’t let what I say you scare you. Concentrate on what’s going on, okay? You’re not done giving birth,” the doctor replied. “What do you mean I’m not done?” Kara said, slowly. “Kara, it appears you’ve got another baby on the way…” the doctor replied, answering slowly. Kara took in the information and nodded at the doctor. “Commander, take care of my son,” she said softly as a new contraction hit, announcing that the doctor’s observation was indeed a reality. The Commander left reluctantly and hurried towards the life station.

Later, Kara wouldn’t remember much about how she was able to find the strength to bring a second child, a daughter, into the world, moments after spending hours giving birth to a son. All she would remember is the satisfaction she felt at going through it at all as well as the sadness; knowing Lee had missed the birth of his two children. Kara wasn’t exactly sure what she would say when Lee got back. They’d barely planned on one child and now they had two. Kara briefly held her two babies before alarms that had been placed on her daughter started going off. Fear gripped her before a nurse picked up the tiny infant and placed her in an incubator, all the while, Kara asking what was happening. The baby girl, it turned out, had fluid in her lungs that was causing some problems, but the nurse was quick to explain that this happens sometimes with babies and that Kara’s little girl would be okay. Kara, reassured, allowed herself to fall asleep, holding her newborn son in her arms, smiling contently.

Lee walked into the life station to find his wife sound asleep, holding a small bundle of blankets. He paused, reflecting on the day. It had been another day ruined by cylons, a day when Lee should have been with his wife, coaching her as she gave birth to their child. Lee’s entire body was exhausted, but the excitement of seeing Kara and meeting his child was keeping him extremely alert and awake. The room was dark, save one tiny nightlight whose beams lingered over Kara and the baby she held in her arms. Lee slowly walked towards Kara, quietly shutting the door behind him. As he drew nearer to her, Lee stopped his movements abruptly when Kara started to stir, which in turn caused the life in her arms to stir ever so slightly. The baby made tiny baby noises that sent waves of feelings through Lee’s weary body. Kara opened her eyes and looked at Lee sleepily; a smile spread across her face. “Hey, stranger,” she whispered, softly. Lee smiled, pulling up a chair and sitting beside the hospital bed, lightly running a hand through Kara’s blonde hair. His smile fell as he watched the baby in her arms move in a slow and incalculable manner. Kara knew what was going through Lee’s head instantly and placed a finger on his lips to quiet him when he opened his mouth to speak. “Shut up, Lee. Don’t even say it or I’ll hit you,” Kara warned. Lee looked hurt for a moment, but Kara smiled reassuringly. “Lee, I love you. Nothing could ever change that. For better or for worse, remember? I knew when this war started and we fell in love, there would be things we’d have to give up. Things we’d have to sacrifice. When I got pregnant, I knew you might not always be here when I needed you due to this war. I accepted it and went ahead and loved you anyway, because I knew when it really mattered, you would be here. Just like you’re here now, safe and sound and alive. That’s all that matters. So, don’t tell me how guilty you feel, or how you think somehow this baby isn’t going to like you just because you were a little late to meet him because the minute I hand you our son, you’re gonna forget it all and we’re gonna be okay, got it?” Kara finished to take a breath. Lee didn’t know whether to laugh or cry, so he just smiled instead. Kara straightened up and sat up in the hospital bed, scooping the baby into her hands and handing him to Lee. Lee, with great trepidation, lifted the child into his arms and looked at the baby for a long time. When he looked back at Kara, he had tears in his eyes and he found that she was right. It just didn’t matter anymore, because he felt like he hadn’t missed a single thing. He was now a father and he always would be. Kara took Lee’s free hand in hers and brushed the tears off of his face. “Come on, he can’t be that ugly,” she quipped. Lee chuckled. “I was just going to tell you how beautiful he is. He looks…” Lee was searching for the right words to describe his son, but his jubilation at being a parent had left him speechless. Kara interrupted, “Like Zak?” she asked, innocently. Lee looked at her and then back down at his son. It was strange, he thought. The baby had his eyes, and Kara’s features, but he did look uncannily like Zak. Lee could feel his heart melting at this thought. “Yeah, he does look like him. Its so strange…” Lee replied, opening the baby blankets so he could count fingers and toes. “Well, I’m glad you agree, ‘cause that’s what I named him. I didn’t think you would mind, it just came to me the minute I saw him—Zakary Lee, for my two favorite people,” Kara said. Lee just smiled at her. “Of course I don’t mind. I wanted to suggest it, but there just wasn’t any time,” Lee spoke softly. Kara could sense something in his voice that made her feel sad. “Lee, is something bothering you?” she asked, running a hand through Lee’s hair. Lee didn’t speak as he climbed into the bed, careful not to disturb baby Zak. He was briefly amazed at how an entire family could fit in a tiny hospital bed and let out a chuckle. Kara cuddled up next to him as he wrapped one arm around her; the other protectively cocooned around their son. Lee sighed as Kara looked up at him. “There’s just so much, Kara. So much I’m going to miss if I…I just can’t imagine how I’m going to get up tomorrow and get back in my Viper. Things are so different now. I’m happy and yet I’m also sad, because I know I’m going to miss something,” Lee spoke softly and with bated breath. Kara was quiet for a moment and was about to speak, when Lee started again. “I’m fighting so that he’ll have a chance at life, and yet I feel like I’m only half a man because I can’t be there one hundred percent. I’m fulfilling my duty to the colonies, but at the price of my duty to my family. It just isn’t fair,” Lee sighed and looked away from Kara to study his son’s tiny face once more. Kara took a deep breath before she spoke. “Lee, no one is there one hundred percent, its just impossible with the way things are. Its normal as parents to be scared of failure to our children, especially now, and especially us. We’re at war and the most we can offer Zakary is love and faith. Faith that someday, things will change for the better. That there is hope, and its not going to be easy, and there’s gonna be times when he’s going to hate us for not being there all the time. But we’ll figure it out. We’ll make sure he always has someone. And we’ll always love him. We gave him life so that life would go on, so that we could go on, Lee. And it’s wonderful and terrifying at the same time. But somehow, with a little faith, I think we’ll be okay. We’re fighting for his future, and someday, he’ll understand that. For now, we’ve just got to take it one day at a time and cherish the moments when we’re together,” Kara finished speaking to see Lee teary eyed once again. She hadn’t noticed the tears streaming down her face as she spoke and Lee wiped them away, smiling. “Besides, once this little guy’s on solid foods, I’m getting back in that plane, and you’re going to be on parent duty. I already cleared it with your dad,” Kara said, taking Zakary from Lee’s arms and preparing herself to feed her son. Lee just looked at her and grinned. “Why am I not surprised?” he said, watching as Kara fed their son. Kara just smiled contentedly as Zak ate, though, in her heart, she knew she might never get back in the cockpit after this. Lee somehow read her mind. “You’ll get back to flying, Kara, don’t worry. I know you too well. With a little faith, we’ll be okay,” Lee said, kissing his wife. Kara looked at Lee and waited until he made eye contact so she could tell him what she’d been reluctant to say earlier. “Well, I’m glad we got that straightened out, Lee, because there’s something else,” Kara started. Lee held his son protectively as Kara tried to find the words. “Lee, we don’t just have Zak to look after. I’ve been trying for the past ten minutes to tell you what I’m about to tell you but I just couldn’t find the words because I’m not sure how you’ll react,” Kara started. “Kara, what is it? Just tell me. Is something wrong?” Lee asked, searching Kara’s face. Kara looked at Lee and softened her expression. “No, nothing is wrong per se, but the doctor discovered something, a, uh, surprise, after Zak was born,” Kara said. “Kara?” Lee asked, but Kara immediately held up a hand to silence him. “Zak has a twin sister,” Kara said simply. Lee just looked at her and turned to look at Zak and then back at Kara again. “So we’ve got two babies?” Lee asked incredulously. “Yes, two. Our daughter is just over there, in an incubator. I’d flip on a light switch, but I don’t think I can get out of this bed,” Kara said quietly, pointing to what looked to Lee like a plastic box elevated on wheels. He could barely make out a tiny figure in the box but it was too dark to make out the rest. Lee looked at Kara, worried. “Is she okay?” he asked. “She’s fine, she just has some fluid in her lungs. She’s smaller than Zakary, but otherwise, she’s perfect,” Kara whispered. Lee handed Zakary back to Kara and walked slowly to the incubator holding his surprise daughter. A nurse walked in quietly, saw Lee and looked at Kara, smiling. “Captain, such a pleasure to see you finally. Let me get a light on for you,” the nurse said. Lee just looked at her and then looked back at the incubator, watching as the light came on and Lee’s daughter came into view. The nurse brought a chair over for Lee and he sat down, mesmerized by the sight of his daughter. She was indeed smaller than Zakary, though not by much, and she looked nothing like her brother. Lee wanted nothing more than to hold her, though the sight of tubes all over his baby’s body made her seem vulnerable; breakable. Still, Lee snapped out of his trance when the nurse started talking to him. “Captain, would you like to hold her?” the nurse asked. Lee looked up at her questioningly. “Is…is that possible? I mean she won’t get hurt by it will she?” Lee asked. “No, no. She’s tougher than she looks,” the nurse replied. “I’d love to hold her,” Lee answered. The nurse painstakingly opened the incubator, gingerly lifting the tiny being out of her cocoon and handing her to Lee. Lee cupped his daughter’s head in one hand while the other hand held the majority of her body, and Lee smiled, looking back at Kara who was smiling as well. “She’s so beautiful,” Lee said to Kara, looking back at his daughter. Lee didn’t notice Kara get up out of bed, holding Zakary. She was next to him, in a wheelchair, before he came out of his trance. “So, what’s her name?” Lee asked when Kara kissed his cheek. “I didn’t name her yet. I thought you might like to have the honor,” Kara replied. Lee just smiled at her. “Its funny. I never told you that I had a name in mind in case we had a girl, because by the time I was going to bring it up, you had come back from the doctor, telling me we were having a boy. Zak must have blocked her out of view, but all the same, I had this name,” Lee said, watching as his daughter stirred a little in his hands. After a moment, Kara spoke. “Well? What was the name?” she asked, impatiently and excited. “Skylar,” Lee said softly. “I don’t know where it came from, it just popped in my head and I knew that if we had a girl, I would want to call her Skylar. Skylar Kara Adama,” Lee said, shifting his daughter so that she was lying in the crook of one arm while he stroked what little hair she had on her head with his other hand. “Zak and Sky, huh?” Kara said. Lee looked at her and she smiled at him. “I like it. I think its perfect,” Kara said, kissing Lee again. “This is going to be a challenge,” Lee said, looking at his daughter and then at his son. Kara smiled. “I like a good challenge,” she said and she sat with Lee, joining him in just watching their new family live; knowing in her heart that while there was a war outside, inside there was love…and hope.