Word Count: 19.027
Characters: Lee, Samantha Carter (SG1)
Date Posted: 12/13/2006
Category: Crossover with Stargate: SG1
Story Timeline: Pre-Mini, Mini, Season 1+2
Spoilers: Mini, Season 1 + 2
Disclaimer: I own nothing related to Battlestar Galactica or Stargate SG1. The characters and the universe of the Battlestar Galactica and Stargate SG1 do not belong to me. I make no profit from this story.
"Samantha, it's time to go to bed.” Elizabeth called for her daughter.
“But Mom, I wanna play a bit more, just a few minutes.”
“You know the rules. 7 pm is bedtime. You can stay awake longer when you're older.”
“When I'm six?” Samantha asked excited.
“Yes. When you're six you can stay up half an hour longer.” Elizabeth assured her daughter.
“When will I be six, mommie?”
“In eight months, sweetheart.”
“Is that long?” Samantha asked with wide eyes.
“Only if you don't get enough sleep. Now up to bed.”
“Okay. Love you mommie. Good night.” Samantha gave her mother a quick kiss and rushed into her bed. Ten minutes later she was deep asleep and dreaming.
Laughing , Samantha ran over the meadow. She had been chasing a butterfly for several minutes. She loved doing that. She only wished they had so many butterflies in real life. She could spend all day running after them. Well, she only had the nights. But in her dreams she could do everything she wanted.
She was always alone in her dreams. She enjoyed this time. In real life, there were always people around her. Her parents, her brother, the other kids from kindergarten. This was her place where no one was ever mean to her.
But sometimes she wished she had someone to share this all with. Because with all her friends from kindergarten, with her brother and with her parents who she loved dearly, she felt alone sometimes.
Samantha was so concentrated on chasing the butterfly that she didn't see the little boy running in her direction. He was enchanted by another butterfly himself so he didn't notice her either. The inevitable happened - they ran into each other and rums … they sat on the ground.
Surprised they both stared at each other for a while.
“ Who are you?” Samantha finally asked.
“Who are you? This is my meadow.” The boy answered defiantly.
“No it's not, I was here first.”
Angrily they stared at each other, neither of them willing to give in. They continued to stare until the two butterflies flew by them again. Immediately they jumped up and began to run after them. Laughing they ran in circles around each other, following the butterflies, until they were so exhausted that they let themselves fell on the ground.
“What's your name?” Samantha asked once she had caught her breath again.
“Lee. What's yours?”
“I like that name.”
“I like yours better. It's short. My name is too long, the younger kids always say it wrong.”
“What would you like to be called?” Lee asked curiously.
She thought about that for a moment. “Sam.”
“Okay, I'll call you Sam then.”
“I'd like that.” Sam beamed with joy. Maybe she could get everyone else to call her Sam too. “You want to play catch?”
“I don't play with girls.” Lee replied defiantly.
“We're not stupid. Boys are stupid.”
“Yes. If you weren't stupid than you would play with me. There's no one else here.”
Lee thought about that for a moment. Maybe his best friend Ben wasn't so right about all girls being stupid after all. This girl was kinda nice. “Okay, let's play catch.” He replied grinning.
They played all night until it was time for them to wake up. Lee was the first to suddenly disappear from the meadow. Sam stared surprised at the empty space he had left. She had never thought about what would happen when she woke up. She didn't have much time to think about it though as she woke up only seconds later.
“Good morning, sweetheart.” Elizabeth greeted her youngest daughter. “Did you dream something nice? You had a big smile on your face.”
“I had the best dream, mommie. I was playing catch with Lee and we ran after butterflies and he wasn't stupid at all.”
“Really.” Smiling Elizabeth watched her daughter. “And who is this Lee?”
Sam hesitated a moment before she replied. “Hmm, I don't know. He suddenly appeared on my meadow. I told him it was mine, but he said it was his, but that's not true because I was there first. But we're friends now so I'll just share it with him.”
“That's very nice of you, Samantha. It does sound like a nice dream. But now it's time to get up.” Elizabeth gently pulled the blanket off her daughter and tickled her on the side.
Laughing Sam squirmed to the side, then she jumped out of bed.
“Can I wear my red shirt today, mommie?”
“Of course, sweetheart.” Elizabeth went to the closet, got out her daughter's clothes and placed them on the bed. “Now go wash yourself and don't forget to brush your teeth. Breakfast will be ready in a few minutes.”
“Okay. Oh, mom? Can everyone call me Sam from now on? I'd like that much better.” Sam asked excited.
“But Samantha is such a wonderful name.” Elizabeth replied surprised.
“But it's so long.”
“Don't you like your name?”
“I do, but …” Sam paused. She could see the disappointment on her mothers face. “I do like my name.”
“That's good to know. I was starting to worry that I gave you a wrong name.” Lovingly Elizabeth smiled at her daughter. “Now go wash up. I'll be in the kitchen.”
When the evening came and it was time for Elizabeth to bring her daughter to bed, she was surprised at how willing Samantha suddenly was. She didn't ask for another half hour to play, she seemed even happy to go to bed. Elizabeth wondered about that, but she decided to enjoy this for as long as it would last.
And Samantha dreamed again of playing with her new friend.
Samantha dreamed of playing with Lee every night from then on. They played catch, ran after butterflies, discovered secret places in the wood next to their meadow and enjoyed every single moment together. Sam was convinced that Lee was her best friend in the world. She could tell him everything. Sometimes she even missed him during the day. She wished he would be real so they could go to the same kindergarten and do sports together. Not that she really was into sports. But Lee had taught her this new game and she loved it.
One day she decided to show it to the other kids. She was sure they would like it too and then she could also play it during the day. She started drawing a big triangle on the floor. Then she ran inside the building and carried out a waste basket which she put on top of the triangle.
“What are you doing?” Some of her friends had become curious.
“It's a new game.” Sam announced proudly.
All kids were eager to try this new game, so Sam explained them the rules, just like Lee had.
“Okay, the game is called Pyramid. And this …”
“Like in the movie with the mummy?” Rodney, one of the older kids, asked.
“I'm not allowed to watch such movies. Okay, this triangle is the Pyramid and …”
“It doesn't look like a pyramid. A pyramid is much bigger and build from stone.” Rodney interrupted her again.
Sam chose to ignore him. “… at the top of the PYRAMID …” She glared defiantly at the older boy.” … is the goal. We have to throw the ball in it.”
“So it's like basketball with just one basket?” Kevin Miley asked.
“Something like this, but much better. So, you want to play?” Sam asked excitedly.
Everyone wanted to and they spend the rest of the day playing this new game. Mary, the kindergarten teacher, watched them happily. She was glad that Samantha had come up with this new game. The little girl was usually very quiet, too quiet for her age and she hardly ever attended any team games. Mary was actually surprised that Samantha had come up with a game for more than just one person.
“They all loved it and we played it all day. That's a great game you invented.” Sam said excitedly.
“I didn't invent it, stupid. It's being played everywhere. It's even on TV.” Lee laughed.
“Well, no one knew it and Ms. Mary thought I imagined it and she was proud and even told my mom and they were both very happy.”
“Did your mom play it with you too?”
“No, my mom doesn't play such games. She's too old for this. Does your mom play it?”
”No, my mom never plays anything.”
“Grown ups are so boring.” Suddenly Sam had an idea. If she didn't know Lee's games, than maybe he didn't know hers too. “Do you know baseball?”
“No, what's that?”
“You're gonna love it.” Sam beamed. And then she taught Lee how to play baseball.
“Happy birthday, sweetheart.” Smiling, Elizabeth watched her daughter's eyes flutter open. She had been surprised that Samantha was still asleep. Usually it was her daughter waking her on this day, waiting anxiously to get her presents. Too many things were changing as her daughter got older, she thought sighing.
“Can I open my presents right now?” Sam asked excitedly.
And some things always stay the same, Elizabeth smiled. “Of course. They're waiting for you in the living room.”
Quickly Sam slung her arms around her mother's neck and gave her a quick kiss. “Thanks.”
Then she jumped out of bed and ran down into the living room.
“Happy Birthday.” Sam called out happily as soon as she saw Lee appear on the meadow. A few days ago they had discovered that they were born on the same day. They had both turned six today.
“Happy birthday.” Lee said quietly.
“You don't sound very happy. Didn't you get the jet model? I got my Major Matt Mason doll.”
“That's great. And it's called a viper.” Lee paused a moment. “My dad moved out last night while I was sleeping.”
“Oh … where did he move to?” Sam asked. She didn't quite understand what that meant.
“His battlestar I guess.” Lee shrugged.
“Wow. And you're moving there too?” Lee had already told her everything about battlestars. She hoped she would be able to fly in one too some day.
“No. Zak and I are staying in Caprica City with mom.”
“Oh … “ Suddenly Sam understood. “I'm sorry.”
“It's okay, I guess.” Lee shrugged. “He wasn't home much anyway.”
“Then why are you sad?”
“I don't know.” Again Lee shrugged his shoulders.
“He's gonna come visit you, isn't he?”
“I don't know. … I think it's my fault.” Lee whispered.
“He took me and Zak to the base yesterday. We spend all day there and he showed us the vipers and said that one day we would fly one of them too and I said that I like grandpas job too, you know, helping people, and that maybe I don't want to fly vipers when I grow up, only sometimes for fun and he looked very disappointed then. Maybe he doesn't love us anymore and wants a new family.”
“I don't think that's why he left.” Vehemently Sam shook her head. Parents didn't stop loving their children because they wanted to do something else. She had told her mother that she wanted to be an astronaut when she was older and her mother had laughed and said that she had always dreamed of having a doctor as daughter. But she had also said that becoming an astronaut was okay too. And her mother still loved her. Parents weren't supposed to stop loving their children. But they weren't supposed to leave their children either.
Lee sat down on the ground and Sam followed him a moment later, taking his hand in hers. After a while he started crying silently and she grasped his hand a bit tighter. They stayed like that for the rest of the night with the butterflies flying around them.
“Are you mad that I don't want to become a doctor?”
“Of course not.” Surprised Elizabeth looked at her daughter. “Why would you think I'd be mad?”
“Lee's Dad left them and Lee thinks it's because he doesn't want to be a jet … uh, I mean viper pilot when he's grown up.”
“And who is Lee?”
“My friend from my dreams. I told you about him. Don't you remember?”
“Oh …” Elizabeth looked at her daughter with concern. She hardly remembered ever telling her that she wanted her to become a doctor. And she would have never thought that Samantha might get so upset because of her words that she would dream something like that. “Sweetheart, I want you to be happy. And when you get older, I want you to do whatever makes you happy. That's more important for me than you becoming a doctor.”
“So you won't leave us?”
“Of course not, sweetheart, I would never leave you. I love you too much to ever leave you.” Elizabeth put her arms around her daughter and pulled her in a tight embrace. She hoped this would show Samantha that she really meant what she said.
“I love you too, mommie.” Sam replied relieved. Then she cuddled closer to her mother. She had the best mom in the world.
“Happy 10th Birthday.” Lee laughed at Sam when she appeared on their meadow.
“Happy 10 th Birthday.” Sam laughed back. “So, did your Dad take you to the Base?”
“Yeah and it was awesome. He got us flight suits in our size and we actually got to sit in his viper and than his boss let us go into the tower and we could watch Dad flying and talk to him over the wireless.” Lee beamed.
“That sounds wonderful.” Sam envied him every time his father took him to the base. She wished her father would take her, but he kept telling her it wasn't a place for girls. “What happened to your eye?”
“What do you mean?”
“Lee, you have a black eye.” She stated dryly.
“Oh, that … I … ran against a door. So did your mom take you to the Planetarium?“
“Yes, she did. And it was wonderful. There was one room, it was like I was walking on the moon and there was this wall and it really felt as if I looked down on earth. It was so great.” Sam told him excitedly. “Why did you ran against a door?”
“I was playing with Zak.” Lee replied quickly. “So, you still want to be an astronaut?”
“Absolutely.” Sam replied determinedly. “What about you?”
“I don't know. I'd still like to become a lawyer later like grandpa. He gets to be home every day. I don't want to be so far away all the time. I guess mom would be pretty lonely when I go away too. And grandpa is helping a lot of people, I like that.”
“I bet you would be a great lawyer.” Sam assured him smiling.
“Yeah, but … well, Dad said that a man is only a man when …. uh …” Lee tried to remember the exact words his father had used, “ … when he wears the wings of a viper pilot.”
“Can't you wear the wings and still become a lawyer?”
“I don't think it works that way.”
“Would you like to play Baseball?” Sam asked after a moment. She usually preferred to play pyramid because she didn't get to play that very often in her real life, but she knew that Lee liked baseball more – probably for the same reason – and she wanted to cheer him up a bit. This could be her birthday gift for him.
“Sure.” Lee grinned.
“Hey Sam, you're never going to believe it. I asked Kathy for the prom and she said yes and now …” Lee stopped when he saw his friend looking up at him. Tears were rolling over her face and she looked like she had cried for hours. “What happened?”
“Mom is dead.” Sam said between sobs.
“What?” Horrified Lee stared at Sam. He quickly sat down next to her and put his arm around her.
“She had a car accident. Dad was supposed to pick her up, but he came too late. She didn't want to wait any longer and took a cab and then …” Her voice broke and she started crying again.
“I'm so sorry, Sam.” Lee said helplessly.
“I can't believe she's dead. She said she'd never leave.”
The devastated tone in her voice broke Lee's heart. He wished there was anything he could do to help her. But he couldn't bring her mother back. So he just held her close to him until she stopped crying.
“I wish I could go back with you.” Sam whispered after a while.
“Back?” Lee looked at her confused.
“To … wherever it is that you're going.”
“I would take you if I could.” Lee replied quietly. He remembered how many times he had wished to come with her. To escape his life and start over somewhere else. Where no one expected him to do anything, where he could just be himself.
They sat quietly next to each other for a long time. Eventually Sam had calmed down and she looked up at Lee.
“It's great that you get to go to a prom on your 16th. birthday. And I knew Kathy would say yes. I bet every girl dreamed about you asking her out.” She said with a small smile on her lips.
“I don't even really wanna go anymore.” Lee replied quietly.
“Because of my mom? That's stupid, Lee.”
“I know, it's just … I can't imagine having fun there when you are … I'd rather be here with you then.”
“We're here together every night, Lee. And you'll go to sleep at some point. I'll just enjoy having this place for myself for a change until you come back. And then you can tell me all about the prom. I always wanted to know what a caprican high school prom would be like.” She said smiling.
“It's just a bunch of high school students dancing to some stupid music. Nothing special.”
“Sounds exactly like our proms.” Suddenly Sam's eyes fell on a few butterflies nearby. “You know what we haven't done in a long time?”
“You want to run after butterflies now?” Lee asked surprised.
“Yeah, why not. We haven't done that in years. I hardly notice them anymore but they were the most special thing to this place when I was little. Well, before you came, of course.” She said grinning.
Lee chuckled. It felt good seeing Sam's spirit return to her. And if chasing butterflies was going to make her feel better, than that's what they were going to do. “Okay, let's do it then.”
For the rest of the night, Sam and Lee ran chasing after butterflies. Sam never really stopped thinking about her mother and the pain didn't get any less, but for a short time she didn't feel so alone. At some point she thought she saw her mother standing on a hill, watching them with a smile on her face. She raised her hand to wave at her and when her mother waved back she started running to her. But before she could reach her, she woke up.
With tears in her eyes Sam lay in her bed. Not for the first time she wished that Lee was a real person. It had felt so good talking to him. He had been the only one she had felt comfortable with today. So many people had tried to help her and she was really grateful for that, but Lee had been the only one to make her feel better. If only he were real …
Sam didn't know that many lightyears away a 15 year old boy wished for the exact same thing.
Impatiently Sam stood on the meadow, waiting for Lee to appear. She hadn't seen him the night before … His prom must have been better than expected. She hated to admit it, but she was feeling a little bit disappointed. Lee had promised her that he would tell her all about the prom right away. But of course it wasn't his fault that he'd stayed up all night having fun. In fact, she was happy he had enjoyed the prom so much that he had stayed up all night. Living your real life was more important than spending your time with dreaming.
But it had been the first night since she had met him over 10 years ago that they hadn't been together in her dreams.
When he finally appeared, she forced herself to smile at him. She didn't want him to know how much she had missed him. He had felt guilty already for going to the prom so shortly after her mother's death. She didn't want him to regret having some fun.
“Hi Lee, must have been a great night.” She said laughing.
Lee turned around and looked at her confused. He didn't say anything.
“Hey, you all right? Don't tell me you still have a hangover.” Sam tried to joke. The truth was, his appearance worried her. He didn't look like himself. He looked so … distant. And he still hadn't said anything. “Lee?”
He blinked a few times and looked around the meadow, his eyes still full of confusion. “Why am I here?”
“What do you mean, why are you here? You're here every night.”
“But I shouldn't be … not anymore. I'm not sleeping. It was all supposed to be over.”
He sounded so desperate and devastated, that it broke her heart. “Lee, what's wrong? What is supposed to be over?”
“Everything …” He whispered with tears in his eyes. He didn't look at her.
Now it was Sam who looked at him confused. “What did you mean you are not sleeping? You're obviously dreaming, so you have to be asleep.” She took his hand in hers and tried to get him to look at her again.
“No …” Lee shook his head in desperation. “No, I jumped … It was high enough, I know it. I can't be just sleeping ….” His voice trailed off.
His words scared her to the core. “You jumped? What do you mean, you jumped? What did you do, Lee?”
He started trembling and pulled his hand away. “I don't want this anymore. I can't. Every frakking day I'm supposed to be the perfect son and do whatever they want. But they never want the same.” He yelled with tears in his eyes.
“Who?” Sam asked quietly. She didn't want him to stop talking now.
“Everyone. Dad wants me to be the perfect little soldier and Mom wants me to study even harder so I can get into the best law school and become the total opposite of my father. And I'm sick of hearing her saying all those bad things about him and then expecting me to agree with everything she says. And I don't want to keep making excuses for Dad because he once again didn't show up on Zak's birthday or doesn't keep his promises and then listen to Mom telling him she knew this would happen and I want her to stop … “ His voice broke and he sagged down on his knees. “I just want this to stop.”
Horrified Sam stared at him. She couldn't believe this was happening. “Oh god, Lee … you …” She paused and took a deep breath. She had to do this right now. “I didn't know it was so difficult for you. I … I'm so sorry. But …” She stopped again when she felt the tears well up in her eyes. She tried to force them down; she didn't want him to see her cry now. “You can't give up. Not like this. You … you can't let them do this to you. To hell with your parents. Who cares what they want? Your Dad was never there for you … and Zak knows that. You don't have to make excuses for his sake … And your Mom … you certainly don't have to care about her. The way she treated you all those years … You can't just throw everything away because of them. They're not that important. In less than two years you will be finished with school and than you can do whatever you want. You … you can be a dog teacher for all I care but you can't give up. Because … because you're so much better than they are and I need you and …” She couldn't continue as the tears were rolling down her face. Devastated she looked at him. She couldn't lose him like this.
“A dog teacher?” Lee looked at her wide eyed.
Sam let out a nervous laugh. “It was the first thing I could think of.” Then she looked at him sadly. “You're in the hospital right now, aren't you? In a coma or something?”
“I don't know.” Lee looked down at his hands as he spoke. “I guess it was pretty stupid.”
“Yeah, it was.” Sam said. Then she put her arm around his shoulders and pulled him close to her … just like he had the day her mother had died. “You can't give up now, Lee. You have to fight this and you have to wake up again.”
“It would be so much easier if we could just stay here forever.” Lee said quietly.
“But we can't live in our dreams.” Sam pulled him a little closer to her. They stayed silent for some time.
“I need you too, you know.” Lee whispered after a while.
Smiling Sam looked at him. “Maybe that's why we're here every night. We both need someone to look out for us.” Her smile faded and she looked at him intently. “Lee, if you ever feel like this again, talk to me, okay? Don't do this again.”
Lee hesitated a second before he replied. “I promise.”
“Oh my god, we survived High School.“ Laughing, Sam let herself fall into the grass next to Lee."And I still don't know which College I'll go to.“
“I thought you wanted to go to Harvard?“
“Yeah, but Stanford has this great astrophysic program. And Yale is great too. Gods, why did I apply to so many colleges? Have you decided yet?“
“Yeah, uhm ... I'm going to the military academy.“ Lee looked uncomfortably at his friend.
Sam stared at him for a moment. “The military academy? I thought you wanted to become a lawyer?“
“I did, it's just ... Well, I talked to my Dad a bit more these last few months and it really means a lot to him and ... I always wanted to fly vipers and joining the military is the only way to achieve that.“
“So, you're doing this to please your Dad?“ Sam looked at him accusingly.
“No, I'm doing this because I always dreamed of flying vipers.“ Lee defended himself.
“You also dreamed of becoming a lawyer. I thought you wanted to help people.“
“As a viper pilot I can defend their lives. That's helpful too.“ Lee let out a frustrated sigh. "Look Sam, I know I always talked about becoming a lawyer. But ... I've been thinking about this for a while and ... I'm certain this is the right thing to do.“
“And you're sure this is the right way for you?“
“Yes, very sure.“ Lee replied determinedly.
“You're gonna give me a ride in your viper sometime?“ Sam asked grinning.
“Of course. As soon as we have figured out how to meet in real life, I'll pick you up in my viper.“ Lee said with a big grin on his face.
His words made Sam become more serious again. "You think we'll ever meet for real? I mean, there are so many differences in ours lives. If you're not just some imagination, than we're from two different planets ... And we haven't even been able to send people to Mars.“
“So? If you can't come to me, then I'll come to you. As soon as I have found out which planet you live on. Shouldn't be so hard, should it?“ Lee joked. Then he too got serious again. “I don't believe you're just an imagination. And one day, we will meet.“
“The way you say that I almost believe you.“ Sam gave him a warm smile."And with me becoming an astronaut and you going to be a viper pilot, the chances really aren't that bad, right?“
“Right.“ Lee grinned.
“You what?“ Astounded and completely surprised Lee stared at his friend.
“I joined the Air Force.“ Sam repeated quietly.
“But why? I thought you want to get your doctorate in astrophysics. And you always said that joining the Air Force was the last thing you wanted. I mean, it's because of the Air Force that your father was never home. You hate the Air Force.“
"You hated the colonial fleet too once and for the same reason. Things change ... And I have a better chance to get into the NASA program when I'm a pilot. And I can still get my doctorate.“
Lee stayed quiet for a moment and looked at Sam thoughtfully before he spoke up again. “Who would have thought that we would both end up doing exactly what our fathers are doing.“
“That's life I guess.“
“All that has happened before will happen again.“
“What?“ Confused, Sam looked at Lee.
“It's just something from the scriptures.“ Lee sighed.
“I'm not doing this because of my Dad, Lee. I really just want to become an astronaut and my mom once told me that when I really want something, I have to do anything in my power to achieve that. And that's what I'm doing. I want to be in space one day and if I have to join the Air Force to do it, than that's what I will do.“
Lee looked at her again for a moment. "You've always achieved what you put your mind to. That's what I love about you most.“
Sam didn't know what to reply to that. Her imaginary friend from her dreams had just told her he loved her. Well, he had told her that he loved her determination, but that was still more than she had ever hoped for. And if she was true to herself, she loved many things about him too. In fact, every man she had met so far, she had compared to Lee. That was probably the reason she was still single. There just was no one who was like him. He was the one person who knew everything about her life and he was the only one she had ever met, that she could think of spending the rest of her life with. And he was the one person that she could never have that with ... at least not when she was awake. But she would always be with him in her dreams.
“I'm engaged. … No … Guess, what, I'm engaged to Jonas now … No, that's not good. Jonas proposed to me today. … Arrgghh, why is this so hard?” Frustrated Sam stomped her food on the ground. For almost an hour she had tried to think of the best way to tell Lee that her boyfriend Jonas Hanson had proposed to her. This shouldn't be so difficult. Taking a deep breath, Sam closed her eyes. “Lee, I'm engaged to Jonas.”
Startled Sam's eyes flew open. “Lee … uh, hi, I … uhm … I didn't know you were here.” She stammered. His sudden appearance had caught her by surprise.
“Your closed eyes kinda gave that away.” Lee laughed. “So, Jonas finally got the nerve to ask you. That's great.”
“Yeah, he did. He surprised me with a dinner this night, candles and everything … and then, you know .. he asked me.”
“Yeah, it was. Absolutely.” Sam chuckled. “I'd never thought I would marry someday. I mean, I never really had much of a social life.”
“I knew you would find someone eventually.” Lee smiled warmly at her.
Sam cleared her throat. She had no idea why, but this whole conversation was making her nervous. “Yeah well … uhm, so, how's it going with Gianne?”
Lee's expression told her immediately that something was wrong. “Not good?”
“No, not good. Real bad actually.” Lee sighed.
“Oh … “ Sam didn't know what to say. Usually she would congratulate him, but he didn't look too happy about it.
“I didn't exactly react the way she wanted me too. She ran off and that's it. I tried to call her, but she … she doesn't want to talk. At least not now.”
“Okay … how did you react?” Sam asked carefully.
“In the worst way possible.” Lee let out a frustrated sigh.
“You didn't tell her you would pay for an abortion, did you?”
“Of course not.” Lee called out offended. “I would never do that.”
“Well, then you didn't act in the worst way possible. So, what did you do?”
Lee stayed silent for a moment, reliving what happened this afternoon between him and Gianne. “I froze … at first. Then I started mumbling that I would be a really bad father and that I never really planned having children. I'm in the military and surprisingly enough I like it there … But being a viper pilot and a father just doesn't work … My father is the best example for that. If … if things had been different, then Zak might still be alive …” His voice trailed off and he looked at Sam with sad eyes. “I completely screwed it.”
“You told her all that?”
“Not in so many words … but basically, yes.”
“And what are you going to do now?”
“I wish I knew … The right thing would be to marry her, but … “
“That would be a stupid thing to do. You can't get married because she's pregnant. That marriage would be doomed from the beginning. You only get married because you love her. That's the only reason you marry someone.” As she said the words, Sam suddenly wasn't so sure anymore if marrying Jonas was really the right decision. Did she love him enough to spend the rest of her life with him? And did she say yes, only because she thought she loved him? The truth was, she had only begun dating Jonas on a regular basis after Lee had started dating Gianne. Now that it seemed to be over between them …
“What's going through your mind? You look like you're miles away.” Lee interrupted her thoughts.
“I don't know … this whole thing just made me question if I should really marry Jonas.”
“What? But I thought you love him … you just said that was the most important reason.”
“The only reason … you're not listening, Lee.” Sam sighed. “I know I said that, but …. what if I don't love him enough? Or what if my love for him isn't the main reason I want to marry him? What if …”
“Now who's overthinking?” Lee teased her. He had stopped counting how many times she had accused him of thinking too much about certain things.
“So you think I should marry him?”
Lee hesitated a moment. He wanted to tell her that she should marry him. But something inside him stopped him from saying the words. “You should do what you think is right.” He said instead.
Sam let out a long sigh. “So should you … do what you think is right for both of you, not what everyone thinks or would expect to be the right thing.”
“I wish that would be so easy.”
“Congratulations to your promotion, Captain Adama.“ Sam said proudly.
“Thank you, Captain Carter.“ Lee grinned."„Though I am still a bit disappointed that you made Captain before me.“
“Well, getting some air time during war helps getting promoted fast.“ Sam replied laughing. "I have some great news too, by the way.“
“Don't tell me you got promoted to Major already?“ Lee joked.
“No, remember what I told you about the Stargate program?”
“You mentioned it once or twice.” Lee teased her. The truth was, ever since she started working on that program, she couldn't talk about anything else.
“Well, we're going to use it again. We finally discovered a way to travel to more than to just this one planet. We're going to exploit the universe and I'll be part of one of the teams … the main team even, SG-1. The leader will be Colonel O'Neil. Remember when I told you about him?”
“You mean the one you secretly have a crush on?” Lee grinned.
“I do not have or ever had a crush on him. Anyway, he was part of the first team to walk through the Gate and I'm on his team. This is so great.”
“That's really wonderful news. Should you ever come to Caprica, let me know.” Lee laughed. Most of the time he only understood half of all the science stuff she talked about, but he enjoyed how excited she could get about these things. And traveling through space by just walking through some gate was something even he would be excited about.
“So how was the promotion? Did your Dad come?”
“Sam …” Lee groaned. “I haven't talked to my father in two years. Why would that change all of a sudden?”
“Because he's your father and he loves you and deep down you love him too.”
“You're a psychiatrist now?”
Sam only rolled her eyes. They already had this discussion several times.
“I have to go to his ship next week.” Lee said quietly after a while.
“My Dad's. The Galactica is being decommissioned and I have to attend to the frakking ceremony.” His frustration was evident in his voice.
“So you're gonna see your father.” Sam replied quietly.
“Not if I can avoid it.”
“Maybe you could …”
“I don't want to talk to him, Sam.”
Sighing Sam gave up. She knew it was useless to talk about this with him. She just wished he would reconcile with his father. He had become more closer with his mother again after Zak's death and Sam didn't like that. Whatever his father had done wrong in Lee's life, his mother had been ten times worse. If only he would see that.
“Have you heard anything from Gianne?” She tried to change the subject.
“You're planning to bring up all my failed relationships today?” Lee groaned. “How about you? Have you talked to your Dad lately? Or what about your brother? I'm sure he'd like to hear something from his little sister now and then. Oh, and Jonas ... have you finally returned some of his phone calls yet?”
“Okay, okay ... I got the message, I'll stop.” Sam gave in. Damn, how could she get him to talk to his father when he would start holding her own failed relationships against her.
“She finally returned my calls.” Lee responed to her question after all. “We're meeting next week. After the decomissioning I'm going to Caprica for a few days.”
“That's great. I'm sure you two can work it out.” Sam hoped her words sounded encouraging. She didn't feel exactly like this was good news. Damn, why did this bother her so much? She should be happy that he had a chance to get back together with Gianne again.
“I don't think we will. But I want to tell her that I'll be there for her and the baby. I don't want her to feel she's alone in this.”
“Oh ..that's good..” Sam did her best to hide the joy she felt at his words. “So, uhm... are you're going to see Kara when you're on the Galactica?”
“Yeah, it'll be nice talking to her again. I can't believe it's been two years since I talked to her the last time. Except a few letters every few months we didn't have any contact at all.” Lee said ruefully.
“You have to tell me all about it. I missed hearing all those crazy stories about her.”
Sam felt like she was going crazy. For five days she hadn't seen Lee. This was the longest time they had ever spent apart. Due to their military jobs they sometimes didn't see each other for one or two nights, but they had always known in advance. And Lee wasn't on some training mission now, he only had to participate in a decommissioning ceremony. But that had been five days ago and since then she hadn't seen him again.
She tried to think of a reasonable explanation why he wasn't here, but she had done that over and over again the previous nights. Frustrated she pounded her fist on the ground. “Damn it, Lee, where are you?”
Suddenly she saw him standing only a few feet away from her.
“Lee.” Relieved Sam jumped up and ran to him. “Where have you been?”
Sam froze in her tracks, when Lee turned around to her. He was pale and had dark rings under his eyes. He looked like he hadn't slept in days.
“What happened?” She whispered in shock.
“Sam? Frak, I can't sleep. Not now. They're gonna be back any minute.”
Lee had an almost haunted look in his eyes, which frightened Sam even more.
“Lee, what is going on? Who's going to be back?”
But before he could reply, he had already disappeared again.
Shocked Sam stared at the now empty space before her. What was going on?
When Sam appeared on the meadow the next time, Lee was already there. He looked even worse than last night.
“Lee.” Relieved she called out for him and ran the few steps to where he sat on the ground. Kneeling down before him, she pulled him into a tight embrace and held him close to her for several minutes. He returned the embrace after a moment, clinging to her tightly. He wished he would never have to let go again.
When Sam eventually pulled away, she looked at him questioningly. “What happened?”
Lee swallowed and looked down at his hands before he replied. “They came back. The Cylons.”
“Those machines you fought over … what was it, 30, 40 years ago?” Sam looked at him stunned.
“It's been 40 years … 40 years we haven't heard anything from them, not one word … and six days ago they came back. They nuked the colonies, destroyed the fleet and killed billions of people.” Lee said in a hoarse voice.
“Oh my god.” Sam looked at him shocked. Right now she didn't know what else to say. She was at a loss of words.
“There are not even 50,000 of us left. Our whole civilization was just ... wiped out within one day.”
“Lee, that's… that's horrible. What … where are you now? I mean …”
“I'm still on Galactica. She's the last battlestar. The few survivors we found went to Ragnar, that's where Galactica had jumped to to get more weapons. They didn't have any, because of the decommissioning and …” Lee stopped, unable to go on. Helplessly he looked at her. “I have no idea what to do now ... My Dad says were going to find Earth, that he knew the way, but ...” He stopped, shaking his head, before he continued in a whisper. “I don't think that's true.”
“Did you just say Earth?” Sam whispered stunned.
“Yeah, why?” Lee looked at her confused.
“Lee, that's ... that's where I live.”
For a moment they both stared at each other. Sam was the first to break the silence.
“I can't believe I never told you which planet I'm from. I mean, you told me you're from Caprica, how come I never told you I'm from Earth?”
“Maybe neither of us really believed the other one was real. So it wasn't important.” Lee said quietly
Again they both stayed silent for a moment. And again it was Sam who spoke first.
“You'll find Earth, Lee. Even if your father doesn't know the way, if you give me your coordinates, I can show you the way.” She said excitedly.
“Sam, I don't think our coordination systems match. Even if I gave them to you ... it wouldn't be any help.”
The excitement faded immediately from her face, realization cutting in. “You're right. ... But I can give you some advice at least. So listen carefully ... There are nine planets surrounding the sun, Earth is the third one. It's a beautiful blue planet, you can't miss it, it's the only one inhabited.” Sam went on telling Lee everything she knew about the surroundings of earth, of the nearby planets and stars, hoping that this information would help him to find earth.
They talked about it all night and in the end Lee actually had some hope that they might make it to Earth after all
“So how was your day?” Sam asked when Lee finally showed up on the meadow. She had been waiting anxiously for him. He had told her about this big mission against the Cylons they had today. Luckily she had been so busy today she didn't have much time to think about it during the day ... She probably would have gone crazy not knowing if he had come back alive or not.
“Great, I blew up a Cylon base. How was yours?” Lee replied grinning. He seemed to be in an exceptionally good mood this night. Sam hadn't seen him this relaxed since the attacks and his grin was infectious. She couldn't help but look at him with a big smile on her face when she replied to his question.
“The usual. Went to a new planet, got taken hostage by my ex-fiancé who had declared himself to be a god and had forced the inhabitants of the planet into slavery, fought and won a few battles and returned home.” Sam stated dryl
“Okay, you win.” Lee laughed. Once again he was amazed by the things Sam got to see. Almost daily she went to a new planet, met different cultures and had even encountered some real aliens. It sounded like one of the science-fiction stories he and Zak had watched as kids and yet he believed every word of it. No matter how strange or weird her experiences were, they never made him doubt that she was a real person.
“Oh, I don't now. Blowing up a Cylon base sounds pretty cool too.” Sam replied laughing.
“It was .” Lee said with a big grin on his face.
“I'm glad you came back. I was ... a bit worried.”
“So was I.” Lee admitted. “Though your pep talk last night really helped. You and my Dad are quite a team.”
“I'm glad I could help.” Sam smiled
Slowly Lee and Sam were dancing across the meadow. She had put her head on his shoulders, her hand tracing over the fabric of his dress uniform.
“When you said you'd save the last dance for me, I didn't think you really meant it.” She said smiling.
“I always keep my promises.”
“I really admire your people. For two months you're on the run and still you can celebrate ... what was it? Colonial Day?”
“Yes ... It's the most special day in the year and ... well, this is good for morale.”
“And you get to drink real ambrosia for a change.” Sam said grinning.
“And I get to drink real ambrosia.” Lee agreed laughing.
With an earnest expression Sam pulled away from him a bit and looked him in the eyes. “Promise me that we will meet. For real. That someday ... we will be together outside of our dreams.”
Lee only hesitated a second. “I promise.”
They both hoped he would be able to keep this promise too
Astounded, Lee took in his surroundings. He was standing in a cave – a tomb if the scriptures were right – and it was full with statues that represented the different gods. He didn't know what he had expected to find, but this wasn't it
“If the arrow didn't actually open the tomb, how do we know this is the right place?” Kara asked
Lee, President Roslin, Adama and Kara inspected the cave more closely until they noticed a statue that looked like an archer. It was missing one significant thing – an arrow. As soon as Kara placed the arrow on the statue, a wall in the back of the cave slid aside, revealing a large, metallic ring standing upright in the middle of the room.
“What is that?” Kara asked astounded
Lee could only stare at the strange object in front of them. He had never seen anything like this ... but he had heard about it. “This can't be true.” He whispered
“This can't be true.” Lee whispered.
Everyone stared at the strange object in front of them. Suddenly the inner ring of the Circle started moving and nine equally-spaced, V-shaped locking mechanisms started to light up. An energy vortex burst
forth violently like a fountain of water from the ring and everyone jumped down on the floor to take cover.
“What is that thing?” Kara yelled.
Once the blast collapsed back, a strange light illuminated the cave and when they all looked up again they saw a puddle of water that had appeared inside the ring.
“What is going on here?” Roslin asked terrified.
“I have never seen anything like this before.” Adama replied, still stunned at what he saw in front of him.
Lee looked hesitantly at his companions. “Uh ... I think I know what this is.”
“What?” All three turned to him, the surprise evident on their faces.
“Well, I'm not sure ...” Lee paused and cleared his throat. He had no idea how he was supposed to explain this. He wasn't even sure if he was right. But there might be a way to find out.
“Lee, if you know what this is ...” Adama stopped when he saw his son taking off his dog tags. “What are you doing?”
“Just checking something out.” Lee replied while he took out a piece of paper from one of his pockets. He wrote something on it, wrapped it around his tags and threw it through the ring.
“Lee, have you lost your mind?” Kara yelled at him.
Sighing, Lee chose to ignore Kara for the moment and turned to his father. “Dad, I can't really explain why I know this, but ... I think this might be the way to earth.”
“How?” Adama asked.
“I think this is a ...” He swallowed before he went on. “ ... a Stargate. A direct connection to earth.”
“A gate?” Kara looked at him confused.
“How do you know this, Lee?” Adama inquired.
“You'd never believe me.” Lee said sighing. He wasn't even sure if he should believe it.
“What's going on?” Sam asked when she stepped into the gate room.
“You know we've been having trouble with the Iris. She wouldn't close probably the last few days. Well, it happened again.” Chief Master Sergeant Walter Harriman reported. “A few minutes ago the gate opened from outside and something came through. Here.” He handed a piece of paper to Sam.
Surprised , Sam unwrapped the paper and found military dog tags inside of them. Immediately she started to worry that someone from their teams might be in danger. But when she took a closer look at the inscription on the tags, she gasped in shock. “That's impossible.”
“Captain?” Sergeant Harriman looked at her worriedly .
Sam ignored him and started to read what was written on the paper.
I told you I'd find you someday. You still want that ride in a viper?
I'm waiting on the other side.
Sam didn't even notice her hands shaking or the tears welling up in her eyes. She could only stare at the paper in her hands.
“Hey Sam, you all right?” Colonel Jack O'Neil had just stepped into the gate room. He was surprised to find his colleague close to tears.
“Sergeant, do we know which address this is from?” Sam asked, not even realizing O'Neil had asked her a question.
“Yes, we do.” Harriman responded, confused by her demeanor.
“Then please call Dr. Jackson and Teal'c” She ordered him. Then she turned to O'Neil with an excited smile on her face. “Colonel, I need to go there.”
“O-kay ... why?”
“Someone promised me a ride in his viper.” She said with a wide smile.
“Frak Lee, just tell us.” Kara shouted at her friend.
They had been standing in the cave for almost an hour. The light from the circle, or the Stargate as Lee called it, had long gone out. Lee insisted that they should wait here. For some reason he was convinced that people from earth would try to get in contact with them but he still refused to tell them where he got his information from.
“Look, I don't even know if I'm right. It's ... it's more of a feeling.”
“You have a feeling that this ring is called a Stargate and is a connection to earth?” Roslin asked with a raised eyebrow.
“You have to admit that doesn't sound very convincing, son.”
Sighing Lee looked at his father. “What would you say if I tell you I know all this from my dreams?”
“Your dreams?” Adama asked surprised. This was certainly not the answer he had expected.
Lee was spared to give any more explanations as in that moment the Gate got activated again and only a few moments later four people walked through it.
Immediately Adama and Kara raised their guns, pointing them directly at the four newcomers. Lee followed their example hesitantly. But then his eyes fell on the woman who had entered the cave and he dropped his gun. A smile spread across his face.
“It's okay, we don't need weapons.”
“Lee ...” Angrily Adama looked at his son. He didn't understand his actions. Four strangers had suddenly appeared in the cave and his son was smiling as if he was meeting old friends. But then he noticed how one of the strangers, a woman, had lowered her gun as well and she motioned her companions to do the same. And the smile on her face matched the one across his son's face.
Lee hardly noticed how their visitors began to drop their weapons. He didn't listen to the introductions or the words being spoken. He didn't saw how his father and Roslin went to the side to talk to the one of the strangers. All he saw was Sam.
She was really standing right before him. After a moment they slowly walked towards each other.
“Hi.” Lee pressed out in a hoarse voice.
They looked at each other in silence for a while, neither of them knowing what to say. Lee didn't dare to move closer to her. He was afraid that if he'd touch her he would wake up and this would all just be a dream.
“I was worried my note wouldn't get through.” Lee said eventually .
“It did.” Sam replied. She bit her lip ... was that all she had to say? This wasn't exactly how she had envisioned her first real encounter with Lee. She had thought so many times what she would say to him. ‘Hi … it did' hadn't been one of the words she had thought of. “So ...” She looked hesitantly at Lee, still at a loss of words.
Lee didn't feel any better.
After a moment they both let out a nervous laugh at the same time.
“I thought I was dreaming when I was reading your note.” Sam admitted.
“I felt the same when I saw the Gate. It's amazing. For a moment I thought the whole thing would explode.”
“Yeah, it looks pretty impressive.” Sam said smiling. “So, that's your father?”
“He looks good. I mean … considering that he got shot a while ago.”
“Yeah, he does. He's much better.”
“That must have been a big relief. To see him again.”
Again they became silent, just looking at each other. Then they both started talking at the same time.
“Lee, come on!”
Startled Lee turned around. From the tone of Kara's voice she hadn't called for him for the first time. Somehow he had tuned out everything around him while talking to Sam.
“What's wrong?” He asked.
“Tyrol called over the wireless. Galactica contacted him … The Cylons showed up. The fleet is already jumping to the emergency coordinates. We gotta go now.”
“Frak.” Desperately Lee looked at Sam. He didn't want to leave her already.
“You can come with us, through the gate. You'll be safe there.” Sam said quickly.
He wished it would be so easy. He would have given anything to go with her.
“You know we can't.” Lee replied quietly.
Sam nodded. She understood. They were both in the military … she knew he couldn't leave his people just like that.
“We'll meet again.” Lee said determinedly.
“We will.” Sam nodded, a single tear rolling down her face.
Hardly able to take his eyes from her, Lee started to move towards the exit. He was almost outside, when he turned to her again. He couldn't just walk away from her like this. Following his instincts he ran the few steps back to Sam. Without saying anything, he cupped her face with his hands and gave her a long kiss. Sam closed her eyes, returning the kiss.
After a moment Lee pulled away again. “I'll see you tonight.”
Sam could only nod, not able to say anything. With tears in her eyes she watched him running out of the cave, following his people.
“What did he mean he will see you tonight?” Daniel, who had walked to her, asked stunned.
A small smile appeared on Sam's lips. “It's what we always do.”
Both Sam and Lee appeared on the meadow at the same time. For a moment they just looked at each other. Then they both started walking towards the other, slowly first, but their pace quickening with every step until they were both running. As soon as they had reached each other, Sam threw her arms around his neck and he cupped her face with his hands, both pulling each other close to the other. Their lips met and they exchanged long, deep kisses. They held tightly onto each other, neither willing to let go.
They finally knew that the other was real. And that they had a chance to meet again for real. It was just a matter of time.
Uncomfortably Lee looked at the people sitting across from him. All three of them, his father, Roslin and Tigh, were looking at him expectantly, waiting for an explanation.
“Well, uhm …” He began. He still had no idea how to explain all this. “Like I said, I know her from … my dreams.” He cleared his throat and looked hesitantly at his father.
“You really expect us to believe that?” Adama said doubtfully.
“Not really …” Lee chuckled nervously. “But, well, it's the truth. I couldn't make that up, could I? How else would I know about the Stargate?”
“Captain Apollo, I've had my fair share of experience with visions and dreams … So, let's say I believe you. Why did you never tell us about her before?”
“I didn't know she was real. I mean, I was just dreaming.”
“When did this begin?” Roslin inquired.
“When I was a child. I was about five, I think. One night she just appeared on my meadow and …”
“Your meadow? What do you mean, your meadow?” Jack looked at Sam confused.
“Well, I have been dreaming of playing on this meadow since I can remember. And one night … he was just there and, well, we became friends. And from that day on we've been there every night in our dreams. It's like we grew up together. I just never thought it was real until I saw that note in my hand.”
“And you're saying those people are on the run from a superior enemy?” General Hammond inquired.
“Yes. Their home planets got destroyed and now they're looking for earth. They're looking for us.”
“This sounds a lot like science-fiction to me.” Jack threw in sarcastically. “You sure you didn't just see this on TV somewhere?”
“Lee said almost the same thing when I told him about the Stargate.” Sam replied grinning. “I know it's hard to believe, but it's all true. Somehow we are connected through our dreams …”
“… and you can deny it as often as you want, it's still the truth.” Lee ended. He didn't think he had convinced his father, much less Tigh, but Roslin looked like she might believe him.
“Will you see her again tonight?” She asked him.
“I guess so, yes.” Lee replied hesitantly.
“Good. There is something I want you to do.”
“So, how was your day?” Sam asked grinning.
“Lots of questions to answer.” Lee sighed.
“Same here. And I have a long list with even more questions they want you to answer.”
“We really must have the same ancestors. Roslin and my Dad had the same idea. I hope I can even remember all the things they want to know from you.”
“So, do we get this behind us right now or …” Her voice trailed off and she looked playfully at Lee.
“Work first and fun later?” He grinned.
“Mhmm … or we just tell them we didn't meet here tonight for whatever reason and forget about the questions.” She let her finger trace along his chest. Ever since their first kiss in that tomb on Kobol she couldn't stop thinking about touching him and kissing him … she just wanted to be close to him.
Lee took a deep breath. “Sounds tempting.”
He took her hand in his and their fingers entwined. He wished he could stay with her like this forever. Unfortunately it wasn't that easy. “I don't think they'll believe us though. So we better get this behind us as quickly as possible. Then we can enjoy the rest of the night.” He gave her a long kiss before he pulled away.
“Frakking duty.” Sam mumbled.
“Did you just say frakking?” Lee laughed.
“Well, I kinda got used to it over the years.” Sam admitted laughing. “So, back to the questions. You wanna start?”
“Just go ahead and ask.” Lee sighed. Now his duty even followed him into his dreams. It was just getting better and better.
They spend most of the night asking their leader's questions to each other, both hoping they would still remember all the answers when they woke up.
Once they were done, they let themselves fall back on the grass.
“Can we get back to the fun part now?” Lee said grinning.
“I doubt we have much time left.” Sam stated. “I don't want you to disappear right in the middle of … kissing.”
“Right.” Lee sighed.
“At least this night wasn't all for nothing. You're a lot closer to finding earth now. From now on, things can only get better, right?”
“Right.” Lee replied smiling.
Desperately Lee waited for Sam to show up on the meadow. She hadn't been there last night and Lee was longing to talk to her. Ever since Pegasus had shown up, things have turned for the worse. First there was the transfer away from Galactica and now he had learned about his father's and the president's plan to assassinate Cain … and he was supposed to be a part of that. This wasn't why he had fought so hard all these last months. All day he had asked himself if it was worth it to even keep going. He remembered his father's words the day of the decommissioning ceremony. Was humanity still worth saving? From what he had experienced today, he wasn't so sure anymore.
Tomorrow they would fight the Cylons and right after that they would murder one of their own. Killing Cain couldn't be the only way to stop her from doing any harm. If they had stooped so low, they were no better than the Cylons.
Frustrated he threw a stone in the lake next to which he and Sam had often sat. Where was she? She hadn't told him of any upcoming mission that would keep her up all night.
He let himself fall on the grass and closed his eyes. He felt so tired …
Relieved Sam stood on the meadow. For a while she didn't think she'd ever come here again. When she had fallen asleep and hadn't been on the meadow, she had feared the Goa'uld in her hadn't only taken control of her body, but had also taken away her most precious thing – the time she got to spend here with Lee.
She didn't expect him to show up any time soon. It was still the middle of the day. She shouldn't even be sleeping herself. But having a Goa'uld inside of her was a lot more exhausting than she had expected. She was just glad it was over and she was back here.
Being a host for a Goa'uld, even a friendly one, had been more traumatic than she had been willing to admit. To not have any control over her body ... She was longing to talk to Lee about it. He could always understand her better than anyone else. If only he were here right now …
Suddenly her eyes fell on something floating in the lake. Surprised she went closer. There had never been any changes to this dreamworld. Everything still looked the same as the first time she got here as a child. When she stood right before the lake, she suddenly recognized what had caught her attention.
“Lee.” She called out. She was surprised to see him here. Especially like this … she hadn't seen him swimming in the lake since they were children. When she didn't get a response, she called for him again. That's when she noticed that he wasn't moving. “Lee!”
Quickly she run into the water … it was ice cold. She didn't remember it to be so cold. She was still far away from Lee when she saw him drowning. “No! Lee!”
She tried to quicken her steps. Suddenly a white light appeared above her. She shielded her eyes with her hands. Once the light was gone, she searched the water for Lee. He wasn't there anymore.
“No…” She whispered. Frantically she dived into the water, searching for him. She couldn't find him.
Silently Sam sat next to Lee, still shaken about what she had seen a few hours ago. When she had found him sitting at the lake, alive and staring at the water in front of him, her first impulse had been to run to him and hug him tightly. But he had seemed so distant when she had reached him that she had only taken a seat next to him, taking his hand in hers.
Neither of them had spoken a word since then.
“Are you okay?” Sam eventually asked quietly.
“I don't know.” Lee whispered.
Sam swallowed. “Did something happen?”
“Where have you been?”
Sam immediately felt guilty. Of course there was no reason to, it hadn't been her fault that she hadn't been able to come here. But Lee didn't know that. “I wanted to come, but … it's one of these sci-fi stories you're always laughing about.” She had hoped to get Lee to at least smile at her comment, but he just kept staring at the water.
“There was this Goa'uld in me. Uhm, it turned out to be one of the good ones and it left , but … while it was in me, I couldn't come here. I was sleeping, but … “ She stopped and looked at him, scared of what she was seeing. “I saw you. A few hours ago you were in the lake … you were drowning and there was this light and then you were gone. It scared the hell out of me.”
Lee closed his eyes and took some deep breaths. "I let go." He whispered.
"What do you mean?" Sam had no idea what he was talking about. She was getting more and more worried about him. He looked so ... lost.
"Lee, what are you talking about?" She urged him to continue when he didn't go on by himself.
His eyes were open again, but he didn't look at her. Instead he stared at the water in front of them, but Sam doubted he was really seeing it. ”I had to eject .. during the battle. There was a hole in my flight suit and … I just let go.”
“Why did you do it?” She asked quietly, trying to hide her shock.
Lee hesitated a moment before he replied in a hoarse voice. “I didn't want to come back.”
His words struck her to the core. They reminded her of this one night when they had still been in high school. The way Lee was acting ... it was just like then. And she had nearly lost him then.
She shook her head in despair. Everything had been so perfect a few days ago. They had been happy. Lee had been thrilled that they had found another battlestar. What could have happened in such a short time to put him in a state like this?
“Lee, what happened?”
He closed his eyes again and shook his head slightly. “They wanted to kill her. Cain ... I already had a hard time believing that my father would go through with something like this. But Roslin? She promised … she promised us a bright, shiny future. How can we have that when we start killing our own?”
Sam stayed silent for a moment. She didn't really know what to say. Finally she took a deep breath. “You promised you would talk to me if you ever felt that way again.”
“You weren't there.”
“Right. But I'm here now.”
Lee nodded slightly, but stayed silent. He felt too tired to talk. He leaned his head against her shoulder and she put her arm around him, holding him tightly to her.
“Are you going to be okay?” Sam asked quietly after a moment.
“I don't know.”
“But I can't lose you.” She swallowed down the lump in her throat. She could feel the tears brimming in her eyes. “I need you.”
“I need you too.” He mumbled after a moment.
“Good. So try to hold on next time, okay?” She turned to him and forced him to look at her. “Never let go again. Because even when I'm not here, I'm always with you in my thoughts. And we'll always be back together here. And no matter how hopeless everything might seem at the moment, we always have each other. So don't let go. Ever.”
She looked at him intently. Finally a small smile appeared on his face. It made her heart burst with joy.
“I love you. You know that, right?” He said quietly.
“I suspected something like that when you gave me that kiss the other day.” She smiled at him. “I love you too.”
They sat quietly for some time until Lee suddenly turned to her again, his eyes wide open. “You had a Goa'uld inside of you?”
When Sam appeared on the meadow that night she found Lee pacing angrily from one side to the other.
“I take it your trip to Cloud Nine wasn't as relaxing as Kara had made it sound.” She said laughing.
Startled Lee turned around. “Not exactly.” He replied through clenched teeth. “She shot me. And that's not even the worst part. I ended up with Ellen Tigh in a bathroom.”
Puzzled, Sam shook her head to get a clear mind. “What? What happened?”
“There was this hostage situation … of course those people had to make their point on the one day I get to do some R&R … I saw the guns, pulled Ellen into the bathroom … to protect her, which was probably my worst mistake today … Kara wasn't there, she had decided to have some fun with some guy she met in the bar, I ended up as being one of the hostages and she shot me.” Frustrated Lee let out the breath he had been holding while he spoke and let himself fall on the ground.
“O-kay … will you be all right?” Sam asked worried. She tried to comprehend what he was telling her … but all she had heard out of his speech was that he had been shot.
“I guess. I think I heard Cottle telling my Dad I'll be okay, but I'm pretty out of it, I've been on this meadow for hours!! I don't know if it's the drugs or the gunshot wound … Don't get me wrong, I like being here, but … there are tons of paperwork waiting that I need to get finished, I should be on CAP tomorrow and only because Kara talked me into this little trip none of it will happen!”
“But you will be all right.”
“Yes, I'll be all right. They got to me in time. … Gods, it really sounds weird to talk about it like this.”
“Yeah, it does.” Hesitantly Sam sat down next to him. “So you're not going to die?”
For the first time Lee noticed the worried look in Sam's eyes. He chastised himself for not seeing it before. “I'm sorry. No, I'm not going to die. You really don't have to worry. Like I said, Cottle said I'm going to be okay.”
“You only think you heard him say that, Lee.” Sam sighed. “I just wish I could talk with your Dad to find out how you're doing.”
“He'd tell you the same thing.” Lee assured her.
“Coming from a man who is unconscious most of the time that's not really reassuring. Lee, you have no idea how you really are. Your condition could be worse than you think. Maybe … maybe there were some complications, you could be in a coma or …”
“Hey, relax.” Smiling Lee cupped her face with his hands and gave her a kiss. “I'm going to be okay. This isn't something to worry about, okay? I'll be fine.”
“Sure.” Sam forced herself to smile at him. “Just … you better tell me you woke up for at least an hour when I come here again tomorrow.”
“I'll do my best.” Lee promised smiling.
Suddenly Sam started trembling and a lone tear was rolling down her face. She quickly wiped it away, but Lee had seen it nevertheless.
“Hey, what's wrong? I said I'd be okay.” He put his arm around her shoulders and pulled her closer to him.
“I know, but … this is just one bad news too many today.” Sam said in a sad voice.
“Why … what else happened?” Lee asked worried.
“My Dad … he has cancer. I just found out today. We met and…” She swallowed. “He was so angry. He offered me a job in NASA. He wanted to do this one thing for me that I always wanted. He had to pull all kinds of strings to get me that offer … and I had to turn it down. And I couldn't even explain it to him. For all he knows, I turned the offer down because it came from him. I will never forget that look on his face.”
“Sam, I'm so sorry.” Lee didn't know what to say. He knew that her relationship with her father was as screwed up as the one he had with his own father. And he had disappointed him several times in his life, so he could imagine how that felt. But to disappoint him while knowing that he might die soon … he couldn't even begin to imagine the pain she must feel right now. “Is there anything I can do?”
Of course that question was rhetorical … there wasn't really anything he could do. He was light-years away from her and no matter how much he wanted to, all he could give her was some comfort during their dreams.
“Don't die.” Sam said quietly.
“Now that's a given.” Lee replied smiling. “If you feel like talking, well … I guess I'll be around here pretty often the next few days, so … ”
“Would you stop talking like this? You got shot.” Sam tried to sound earnest, but she couldn't stop the laughter escaping her lips. Lee was lying unconscious in sickbay with a gun shot wound and he kept making jokes about it.
“It's good to know you find that so funny.” Lee replied grinning.
Sam's response to that was a punch on his arm. “You know it's not funny.”
“I know … but it's good to see you laugh.”
Sam looked at him gratefully. No matter how miserable she felt, he always made her feel better.
“So, why did Kara shoot you anyway?” She asked after a moment.
“Oh, you know how she is … she does the craziest things when she's mad at me.” When he saw Sam's eyes widen in surprise, he continued grinning. “No, she was aiming at one of the bad guys, I just got in between. At least I think that's what happened.” He added.
“Tell her to watch out more carefully the next time.”
“Oh, I will. Believe me, she will never hear the end of it.” Lee said grinning.
When Sam woke up the next morning, she missed Lee more than ever before. Despite his assurance that he would be all right, she wished she could be with him. While she was awake, she had no way to make sure if he was still alive. She couldn't just pick up the phone and call the hospital. She couldn't visit him, to see how he was doing or to help him recover. All she could do was wait until the night to make sure he was still there.
She wanted more than that. On Kobol, they had been so close. If he had come with her, if the Cylons hadn't shown up ... but no ifs or whens would bring him to her now. She could only hope and pray that one day they would find a way for the fleet to come to earth. She just hoped it didn't take too long and that Lee wouldn't get himself killed before that.
Anxiously Bill Adama watched his unconscious son. Lee had only been awake for a few moments since he was brought to sickbay. He looked so frail ... he wasn't used to see his son like this. Lee was always the strong one. He had always been the son that he didn't have to worry about. And now he was lying here ... Dr. Cottle had assured him that Lee would be all right. That it would take some time, but that he would live and would fully recover.
While he watched his son, Adama wondered if he was dreaming again. Was he with her now? He still had trouble believing his son's story about the woman from his dreams. But what other explanation could there be? Lee had recognized the Stargate, he had known it would lead them to earth ... and all the information he had given them. He remembered the look in Lee's eyes when he spoke of her ... they were full of love.
Suddenly he noticed Lee stir in his sleep and he saw his hand moving, as if he was looking for something ... or someone.
“Hey son.” He said quietly as he grabbed Lee's hand.
Lee didn't open his eyes, but his lips were moving as if he wanted to say something. Adama bent lower so he could understand his son's words.
“Sam ...” Lee mumbled, almost inaudible. Adama noticed a weak grasp from Lee's hand. And in that moment his heart broke for his son. The one person Lee needed right now wasn't anywhere near him. He returned the squeeze.
“You will find her, son. And if it is the last thing I do, you will be together with her.” He promised.
“No way!” Sam called out, shocked .
“It's true.” Lee said with a wide grin. He had been waiting all day to tell her this news.
“That's so not fair. I made Captain long before you and I'm still a Captain. I was okay when you became Major, but Commander?”
“ Well, getting some air time during war helps getting promoted fast .” Lee grinned.
Sam cast him an annoyed glance at throwing back her own words at her. “You know what? Skip that ride in the viper, I want that Battlestar now. Commander.” She shook her head but the smile spreading on her face showed how proud she really was of Lee. “So, what did your Dad say? I mean, he didn't just give you the new pins and hand you over a Battlestar, did he?”
“Well, he gave me the pins, told me not to frak this up and than he handed over the Battlestar.” Lee joked. “No, it was … nice. He didn't say much but I got the feeling that he was proud.” He swallowed. Talking about these moments between him and his father always made him feel a bit uncomfortable, even with Sam.
“Of course he's proud. You deserve this, Lee. I bet you're going to be the best Battlestar Commander ever.” She said proudly.
“Considering that right now I'm the only Battlestar Commander, that doesn't really say much.”
Sam scoffed, waving his argument away. “Who cares? You're the best. End of story.”
“If you say so.” Lee smiled.
“I'm so proud of you, Lee.” She smiled at him playfully. “This deserves a celebration.”
“Do I get a cake?”
“No, you're getting something much better.”
“Better than cake?”
“Mhmm …” Smiling Sam pulled him closer to her and gave him a long kiss while she let her hand trace along his chest. With a small moan Lee returned the kiss and put his arms around her back. Still kissing passionately they lay down on the ground, they're lips never parting.
“So you found a planet?”
“And it's habitable.”
“And the war is over.”
“Looks like it.”
“And you're going to settle there?”
Lee sighed before he replied. “Looks like it.”
“But what about finding earth?” Sam inquired.
“Baltar is getting more popular every day. The people are tired of living in these ships. We still haven't found another way to earth, so … this might be the right place to stay.” Lee replied quietly.
“Do you really think that?”
“No, I don't. But I know lots of people who do. Billy is already planning to hold his wedding with Dee down there and I've heard many pilots talking about leaving the military and settle down. If the people want this, than there isn't much I can do. We'd stay here.”
“But … “ Sam stopped, unable to go on. The argument that they couldn't settle down on that planet because this way she and Lee would never meet again in person wasn't really a strong one in the big scheme of things.
“Kara and I are going on a scouting mission tomorrow. See what's going on on the planet.” Lee knew what Sam had wanted to say. He felt the same way. But if the fleet would stay on this planet, he had no other choice but to stay with them.
“The big Commander is letting himself down to go scouting?” Sam tried to lighten up the situation but she didn't get her voice to sound as teasing as she had wanted to.
“I look forward to get off Pegasus for a while too. It's a great ship, but to breathe some real air for a change would be nice.”
“So you are looking forward to the settlement?” Sam bit her lip; she hadn't meant to sound accusatory.
“No, I'm looking forward to breathing some fresh air. Preferably on earth, but as that won't happen any time soon …” He sighed and looked at her sadly. “I want us to be together as much as you do. But … at least we'll be together in our dreams.”
“But that's not enough.” Sam replied, tears brimming in her eyes.
“No, it isn't.” At least not anymore, he added silently.
Lee and Kara had been walking for over an hour and so far they hadn't found anything of interest.
“This planet is as dead as Caprica. We haven't even seen any animals so far.” Kara complained.
“Maybe that'll change their mind on the settlement.” Lee said hopefully.
“You think so?”
“Not really.” He sighed.
They walked again in silence for a while until Kara started speaking again.
“You know, maybe there's a Planetgate here somewhere.”
“It's called a Stargate.”
“Whatever … if there is one, we'd still make it to earth.”
“The preliminary scans of this planet didn't show any signs of civilization. So why should there be a Stargate here?”
“I don't know … Think more optimistically , Lee.” Kara said grinning.
“And that coming from you.” Lee smirked.
“Well, things are finally going good for me, so I have every reason to. I'm CAG … okay, maybe that's not so good because of the paperwork, but at least now I'm the one giving orders, that's fun.” She looked at Lee with her trademark-Starbuck-grin. “And I found Anders. And that's the best thing that happened to me so far. So now it's your turn to get some happiness.”
“I am happy.” Lee replied offended.
“Yes, but I know how much you want to find earth … because of her. I can see it in your eyes.” Kara said quietly.
Lee opened his mouth to respond, but he was at a loss of words. She was right … Sam was the most important reason why he wanted to find earth. He probably would be okay to stay here if that wouldn't mean that he'd never see her again outside of their dreams. So instead of saying anything, he just shrugged his shoulders.
They continued to walk in silence again. About an hour later they had reached the end of the woods they had been walking through and stepped onto a meadow. Lee suddenly froze in his tracks and stared at the space ahead of them. Surprised Kara looked at him.
Instead of replying to her question, Lee kept staring at the meadow. Kara followed his glance, but couldn't see anything suspicious.
“Lee? … Lee! Starbuck to Apollo, do you read?” She started waving her hand in front of his eyes.
That finally pulled him out of his haze. “Wh-what?”
“What are you staring at?” Kara asked impatiently.
“That …” Lee pointed vaguely at the meadow. “This is just like … but it can't be, I mean …” He swallowed. “I'm awake, this can't be it, but it looks exactly like it.”
Confused Kara looked at him. “Lee, you're not making any sense.”
“This looks exactly like the place in my dreams.”
”So, what do you say? A weekend at the cottage, fishing, having fun … Teal'c is coming too.” Jack asked grinning. He had been looking forward to this free weekend and he was determined to make the best of it … which in this case was going fishing with his friends.
“Uhm … I really have lots of things to do.” Sam replied evasively.
“What kind of things? Don't tell me you're working in your lab. Daniel already said no because he had some research to do.” Jack flinched. He couldn't understand how anyone could work voluntarily during his free time.
“Well, actually …” Sam's voice trailed off and she looked apologetically at Jack. “I have this project I'm working on and …”
“You two are unbelievable.”
Sam wanted to reply something, but at that moment they stepped out of the woods and the words stuck in her mouth. Frozen she stared at the meadow in front of her.
Jack stopped walking when he noticed that Sam wasn't at his side anymore. When he saw her staring at the meadow, he tried to find out what she was looking at. In that moment he saw two people standing on the other side and quickly raised his gun. He had expected for Sam to do the same … they never knew who they were encountering when they visited a new planet and they could never be too careful. But instead of raising her gun, Sam just stared at the meadow in front of them.
“Sam?” He cast a quick look at her, but didn't dare to take his eyes of the two strangers for too long. They didn't seem to have noticed them yet.
“That's impossible.” Sam muttered.
Before he could stop her, Sam had started walking on the meadow. Cursing Jack followed her, his eyes never leaving the two strangers on the other side. He was determined to pull Sam back to the safety of the woods should anything happen.
“It what?” Kara looked at Lee as if he had lost his mind. “Frak Lee, you know that's …” Suddenly her eyes noticed a movement on the meadow. She saw two people walking towards them, one holding something up that looked a lot like a weapon. “Frak, Lee, we gotta go.”
When he didn't move, she tried to pull him backwards. But he had seen the people too … and he had recognized them. Pulling out of Kara's grasp he began walking towards them, his pace quickening with every step.
“Lee, damn it.” Kara swore. She raised her sidearm and quickly followed him … and then she recognized them too. “Frak me.”
Sam saw Lee walking towards her across the meadow. She had to be dreaming, this couldn't be true. She quickened her steps. She could feel her hands shaking in anticipation. Could this be real? Was he really here?
He was only a few feet away from her when she started running. And then he was standing in front of her. Hardly believing her eyes, she slung her arms around his neck. She could feel his hands on her back, going through her hair. His lips met hers and they stood tightly embraced, kissing each other, neither of them willing to let go.
They forgot everything around them. They didn't notice the surprised looks of their friends who had accompanied them, they didn't notice the time passing and they didn't notice the butterflies flying around them as they stood tightly together.
Both Kara and Jack looked at each other uncomfortably.
“Hi, uhm, you're Thrace, right?” Jack finally asked after a long moment of silence.
“Yeah, and you are ....” Kara cursed inwardly. She usually had a good memory when it came to names, but she had only met this guy once. Why did he have to remember her name?
“Jack O'Neil.” He replied, holding out his hand.
“Right.” Kara said quickly as she took his hand. “So, uhm … you're a Colonel?” She said after a moment, pointing at his pins.
“Yeah.” Jack said surprised. “Funny that we have the same rank system.”
“Yeah, funny.” Kara replied dryly. This was probably the weirdest conversation she ever had. She just hoped Lee and his girlfriend would let go of each other soon.
But it took both Sam and Lee a long time before they were finally willing to let go. Slowly they pulled away from each other, their hands still tightly entwined though.
“I don't believe this.” Sam whispered. “When I woke up this morning, I thought I would never see you again like this and ... here you are.”
“How …?” Lee began but stopped himself. There was only one way how Sam could have come here. “We didn't find any signs of civilization. How can there be a Stargate here?”
“I don't care as long as it brought us together.” Sam replied, smiling happily. She felt as if her heart would explode of joy. Lee was really here, standing right next to her. She didn't dare let go of his hand. She didn't want him to leave again.
“How can we even be here? This place looks exactly …”
“ … like our meadow, I know.” Sam finished for him. “I have no idea … but you're here.” She beamed with joy.
“Yeah …” Lee looked as happy as she. “And there are no Cylons nearby, so …”
“… so there is enough time to bring all your people to the Stargate.”
“I need to contact my father. We need to start planning …”
“… and I will notify General Hammond. We'll start building an evacuation camp right away. It should only take a few days, by now we're prepared for this kind of thing.”
“And by the end of the week, we could all be living on earth.” Lee said smiling.
“I hate to interrupt you two, but maybe we should inform Hammond and your … father of this before you make any more plans.” Jack cut into their conversation.
Suddenly Sam realized that she would have to leave Lee again if she'd be going back to earth and he to the Galactica. When she looked at Lee, she could see in his eyes that he had just realized the same thing.
“We could wait a few hours …” She started. But at the same time she knew that wouldn't be a smart idea. They should get started with this as soon as possible.
“You know, I could return to the Galactica by myself and inform the Admiral and you could stay here and …” Kara waved her hand at the meadow. “…. do what you want to do.”
“Then he'd have to stay here on his own, because I'm not leaving Sam behind.” Jack said determinedly. He'd be damned if he left here without her. If anything were to happen to her, he would never forgive himself that.
“I wouldn't be on my own.” Sam objected. But once again she knew that she couldn't stay. She was in the military too long to just ignore the rules and she knew Lee well enough to know that he felt the same way.
“We can meet here again first thing in the morning.” Lee said. He could see what was going through Sam's mind. He hated leaving her again so soon. But the sooner they started getting the people through the gate, the better. He didn't really trust the truce with the Cylons. Should they decide to follow the fleet after all, they'd better be gone long before that.
“You're right.” Sam sighed defeated. “ So I'll see you tonight?” She said quietly.
Lee nodded and pulled her into an embrace. “And every day after that.”
Nervously Sam cast a few glances in Lee's direction. He was standing together with his father a few feet away. Lee had suggested to introduce them today. Of course she had looked forward to that. She had only met William Adama one time on Kobol … and at the time she had had only eyes for Lee, so she hadn't even talked to him.
She clenched her hands to fists to stop them from trembling. God, she was acting like a little girl. She would only meet Lee's father, that wasn't a big deal.
When she saw them turning around and walking towards her, she took a deep breath and tried to suppress the feeling of panic that was rising inside her. She put on her best smile and straightened up to meet them.
When William Adama stood before her, she immediately saluted him.
“I don't think that's necessary.” Adama smiled at her. “This meeting is personal, nothing military related.”
“Oh, of course.” Clearing her throat, Sam put her hand down and took the hand Adama was offering her. “It's so nice to meet you, Sir. I have been looking forward to it.”
“So have I, Captain, so have I.” Adama looked at her thoughtfully. “I have to admit, it was hard believing Lee's story about you and … his dreams. But it's nice to know that it was true after all.”
“Believe me, Admiral, it wasn't easy to believe for us too.” Sam smiled at him and cast a quick glance in Lee's direction. She was satisfied to notice that he looked as nervous as she felt … even though he did a good job hiding it, but she had learned to read him pretty well over the years.
“I wish I could get to know you better, but I believe your General is waiting.” Adama said smiling.
“I'd like to invite you into my home once we're all on earth. You and Lee ...” Sam stopped when she saw a sad look flicker through Adama's eyes.
“That sounds nice. I look forward to it.” He nodded at her with a warm smile, then he walked away to meet General Hammond.
“That went well.” Lee let out a relieved breath.
“Did you have any doubts?” Sam asked with a raised eyebrow.
“Not once.” He slung his arms around her and gave her a kiss. “I gotta go. I'm supposed to be in this meeting as well.”
“Don't forget you promised me that tour on Pegasus.” She called after him.
“I won't.” He called over his shoulder.
Smiling Sam watched him walk away. It felt good making plans for the day.
Smiling Sam watched Lee walking towards her. She had been waiting half the day to hear from him how the first meeting between his father and General Hammond had been. Of course Hammond had already told her the most important facts, but she wanted to hear this from Lee's point of view. As Commander of a Battlestar he had been part of the meeting and she was dying to know what had been decided.
But first she had to greet him the right way. When he had reached her, she grasped his hand and pulled him down next to her. Then she gave him a long, passionate kiss.
“Have you been waiting for long?” He asked grinning when she let him free again.
“Hours. What has been taking you so long?” She looked at him accusingly, but with a mischievous smile on her lips.
“I can't just walk through the gate and go home. I have a ship to run.” Lee told her, trying to sound very important. His eyes sparked with joy.
“Oh, I forgot. Being a Commander is a very time-consuming job.”
“That it is.”
Sam's smile faded and she looked at him sympathetically. “Are you going to miss it?”
“Hmm?” He looked at her with a raised eyebrow.
“Being a Commander. It's not like we have anything like a Battlestar on earth.”
The sparkle in Lee's eyes vanished and he looked down on his hands uncomfortably. “Yeah, about that …” He stopped and swallowed, unsure how to go on.
“What is it?” Sam urged him to go on. She suspected that she wouldn't like what he was about to tell her.
“My father isn't willing to leave the Galactica and Pegasus behind. Should the Cylons find us on earth … General Hammond told us that you don't have that many effective weapons yet to hold off an attack from space, so …” He cleared his throat and finally looked at Sam again. “Only the civilians will go through the gate, the crews of Pegasus and Galactica won't. Hammond told us they have star charts from this area and they can show us the way to earth.”
“Us?” Sam asked quietly.
Again Lee swallowed. “I … I can't leave him now. He's my father. And Pegasus is my ship ...”
Sam nodded slowly, forcing down the tears in her eyes. Of course he couldn't. “How long …” She cleared her throat and swallowed down the lump in her throat. “How long will it take you?”
“Without the Civilians only about a year. Our resources should last that long, so we can go the direct way. And now we know where to go.” Lee took her hands in his. “I know this isn't what we had hoped for. Believe me, I want to go through that gate with you, but … I just can't.”
“And a year isn't really that long. We've been waiting 23 years for this, another year won't be that bad.”
“And we will still see each other every night.”
“Sam …” He looked at her with sad eyes. “I'm really sorry.”
“So am I.” She managed to smile at him. “But you don't have to be sorry. I understand you have to go with him. You wouldn't be the man I fell in love with if you wouldn't. It's just … I'll miss you. I'll miss waking up knowing that I will see you during the day. That I can reach you whenever I want to. When you got shot, I nearly got crazy during the day. I couldn't just pick up the phone and check on you. I hate to wait until night. You could have died during the day and I wouldn't have known.”
“I feel the same way. When you told me about your father .. despite the fact that I was lying unconscious in sickbay, I wanted to be with you. I wanted to be there for you 24 hours a day. But we will have that. Just one more year and we will have exactly that.” He smiled at her. “And in the meantime we can picture how our lives will be once we're together. You better have plans ready to show me your planet, because I intend to see every corner of it.”
“Each and every one, yeah.”
“That might be a bit difficult, but I'll do my best.” Now she was smiling too. It felt good making plans for the future. “I could start with my house.”
“That sounds nice. I always wondered what your house would look like.”
“We could go there while you're still here.” Sam asked hopefully. She knew it wouldn't happen, but it felt nice thinking about it.
“I'd love that.”
“I could cook you something – real food.” She laughed, remembering his vents about both the Galactica's and Pegasus' food.
“Real food? Mhmm.” Lee's smile got wider just by thinking about it. “Can I take a shower before dinner? A real, long, hot shower?”
“I have a bath tub too.”
“It's just getting better and better.” He smiled at the image, but then reality came back to him. “At least I have something to look forward to during this year.”
Sam looked at him sadly. Why was it that every time they met something hindered them from staying together? Who knew what would happen in this year? He could die, she could die; they both had powerful enemies who were trying to kill them every chance they got.
When she looked at Lee and saw the same sadness in his eyes that she felt herself, she pushed those thoughts out of her mind. She could think about that when she was awake … the nights belonged to Lee and she wasn't going to waste them by being depressed about things she couldn't change. Determined to lighten up the mood again, she put on her most mischievous smile.
“A good dinner and a hot bath is all you're looking forward to?” She asked grinning.
“Well, that and …” The sadness had vanished from his eyes and he smiled back at her. “… having you all for myself once and for all.”
He put his arms around her waist and pulled her closer to him while lying back on the grass. Laughing they rolled around for a moment, until they lay still, Sam right on top of Lee. He let his hand ran through her hair, while she traced her finger along his cheek. Finally he drew her head closer to him and kissed her. He indented not to let go of her again until he woke up.
“Wow, the Pegasus really is an amazing ship.” Sam said, impressed after Lee had given her the promised tour.
“I'm glad you like it.” Lee smiled proudly. “So, you're ready to go back to the planet?”
“I don't want to leave already.” Sam looked at him sadly. This was their last day together.
“I could bring you down myself.” A wide grin appeared on his face. “You still want that viper ride?”
Her jaw fell open. “Are you serious?”
“Just say yes.”
“Yes!” Sam shot out so quickly that Lee had to laugh.
“Good. There's a flight suit waiting for you in my quarters. Vipers are only designed for one person, but if we move together, we should both fit in.”
“Move together sounds good.” Sam replied smiling.
Half an hour later they both sat together in Lee's viper, ready to launch.
“So, uhm, what am I supposed to do now?” Sam asked hesitantly.
“Just hold on. Ready?”
“Okay.” When Lee got the clear, he pushed the button and the viper shot out into space.
“Oh wow!” Sam cried out excitedly. “Whoo!”
Lee laughed at her excitement. He felt exactly the same way. It had been way too long since his last flight.
“Can we take a little detour?” Sam pleaded when she saw the planet below them coming closer.
“Your wish is my demand.” Lee grinned. He turned the viper around and hit the thrusters. “Whoohoo!”
Their little detour lasted until they had used most of the viper's fuel and only enough was left for Lee to get back from the planet to the Pegasus. They both enjoyed every moment of it.
Tightly entwined, Lee and Sam stood in front of the Gate. The last group of civilians had left the planet a few minutes ago.
“I don't want to go.” Sam whispered, her head lying on Lee's shoulder.
“It's only a year.” Lee replied quietly.
“And we can keep making plans for when I get to earth. This time we know it will really happen.”
“I don't want you to go either, but …” He stopped and looked at her sadly.
“I know. I understand all the reasons, it's just …” She sighed. “I'm gonna miss this. This last week …”
“… was perfect.” Lee finished for her.
“Have that dinner ready and the water in the bathtub hot when I come.” He grinned at her.
“I will … Just come back safe.”
“Don't worry, with Galactica and Pegasus and no civilian ships to guard, there's nothing to go wrong.” He assured her. “And you make sure that the Goa'uld don't occupy earth before I get there.”
“That'll never happen. And thanks to the ship plans you gave us we should be able to defend earth against any enemy until the year is over.” Sam replied smiling.
They looked at each other for a moment before Lee pulled her closer for a long kiss.
“I'll see you tonight, all right?”
“All right.” Sam swallowed and closed her eyes for a second when she heard Jack call for her. “I guess I'll have to go.” She didn't move or turn around to go.
“I'll wait here until … you're through the gate.” He didn't let go of her.
“Okay.” She held onto him tightly, not willing to let go.
Finally it was Lee who broke the contact. “I guess your friends won't wait forever.” He said sadly. “Take good care of the civilians, okay? Especially Roslin … I think her and my Dad … well, I don't want to think too much about it, but I'd like them to be reunited again.”
“Okay then …” He forced himself to let go of her hand.
They kissed a last time before Sam started walking towards the gate. It took all her willpower to keep going and not run back to him. She could feel his eyes on her back with every step she was going away from him. When she reached the gate, she turned around to him again. He was standing only a few feet away, smiling at her. She forced herself to smile back at him. She would see him again tonight. This wasn't a goodbye forever. Only for a few hours.
She never took her eyes of Lee as she stepped backwards through the gate.
16 months later:
With gleaming eyes Lee looked at the planet below him. They were finally here. It had taken them a little while longer to reach earth thanks to some Cylon attacks, but they had made it. And even though he had never been here before, it felt like he had come home.
“The Raptor is waiting, Commander.”
The gruff voice from his father pulled him out of his thoughts. Smiling Lee turned to him.
“I thought this day would never come.” He said quietly. “You kept your promise.”
Questioningly Adama looked at his son.
“You promised us earth. And here we are.”
“Unfortunately as an Admiral I can't always keep the promises I make. But as a father … The day the Cylons attacked, I vowed that I would never let you down again. I promised to bring you to earth, so it was never a question that we would get here … only a question of how long it would take us.” He added smiling. “Now let's go, we don't want to keep her waiting.”
Half an hour later Lee stepped off the Raptor, looking at his surroundings. There were several people waiting for them. He recognized President Roslin standing in the first row, beaming with joy. And right next to her was Sam. From the moment his eyes fell on her, he didn't see anything else. He didn't see Kara flinging herself into Anders arms or the warm embrace between Laura Roslin and his father. All he saw was Sam walking towards him. He quickened his steps and after a short moment he was with her, held her in his arms and kissed her passionately. He never wanted to let go of her again.
“Welcome to earth, Commander.” Sam whispered in his ears.
One week, several medical tests and other quarantine procedures later, Lee was finally allowed to leave the base. Sam was eager to show him her home. She had planned this day for so long.
Hesitantly they stood in her living room after she had showed him her house.
“So, do you like it?” Sam asked quietly.
“It's perfect. It's almost exactly how I pictured you would live.” Lee replied smiling.
A small smile spread on Sam's lips. “How about I prepare us dinner and you take that bath you have been waiting for so long?”
“That sounds like a good idea.” He slung his arms around her and pulled her closer to him. “But how about we cook dinner together later and you join me in the bath? There's room for two right?”
“We might have to move together, but we should fit.” Sam replied grinning.
“Move together sounds good.” He said right before he gave her a long, lingering kiss.
“What took you so long?” Lee asked smiling when Sam appeared on the meadow.
“I enjoyed watching you sleep.” She replied while she sat down next to him.
For a while they just sat next to each other, watching the butterflies fly around them.
“Did you ever think it would come to this ? That we would live on the same planet, sleep in the same house?” Sam asked quietly after a while.
“Not really. When I saw the Gate on Kobol, I thought I had lost my mind.” He laughed. “And then you were standing right before me.”
“I'm still wondering how this is even possible. I meet a five year old boy in my dreams, chase butterflies with him, share every hope and all my fears with him, knowing he exists only in my dreams ... and 24 years later he's sleeping in my bed.”
Lee laughed. “I have no idea. But whatever or whoever made this possible, I'll be forever grateful.” He looked thoughtfully at her. “I don't think I would have made it this far without you. You gave me the strength to go on.”
“We both gave us strength.” Sam snuggled closer to him. “You think we'll go on each others nerves after a while? I mean, we won't only meet in our dreams, but also during the day.”
“No, that won't happen. With our jobs, we're lucky if we get to see us at all during the day.” Lee replied laughing.
“Right.” Sam smiled warmly. When she looked up at him she looked happier than ever before. “When I wake up tomorrow, it will be the first time I won't have to miss you. You'll be right next to me.”
He laid his arms around her and together they waited for the next morning.